Articles posted October 17, 2001

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Galileo, Other O'Brien Horses Set to Arrive Tuesday

Aidan O'Brien said on a national teleconference Wednesday afternoon that plans to ship to Belmont Park early next week are still on go. O'Brien will be arriving next Tuesday with one of the most powerful European contingents in Breeders' Cup history. The Ballydoyle trainer has Galileo and Black Minnaloushe for the Classic, Milan for the Turf, Bach for the Mile, Mozart for the Sprint, Johannesburg for the Juvenile, and Sophisticat for the Juvenile Fillies.

Championships on Course for Oct. 27

Security personnel will be out in force, but other than that, it appears the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is full-steam-ahead for Oct. 27 at Belmont Park, officials said Wednesday afternoon.

Bailey to Give 5% of BC Earnings to Relief Funds

Jerry Bailey, who recently became the first jockey to win $20 million in purses in one year, will donate 5% of his earnings from mounts on Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day to two charities assisting victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Bassett Retires as Chairman of Keeneland

James E. "Ted" Bassett III, who joined the Keeneland Association in 1968, has retired as chairman of the Lexington auction and racing company. The annoucement was made during the annual Keeneland board of directors meeting Wednesday.

Mid-Atlantic Horsmen Scramble For Stalls

The next few weeks will be critical for many Mid-Atlantic horsemen as they seek to secure racetrack stabling for the winter. In New Jersey, The Meadowlands concludes its meet Nov. 10 and plans to close its backstretch on Nov. 22, leaving no stabling in the state, while Delaware Park ends on Nov. 4 and will close its backstretch one month later. In addition, the Maryland Jockey Club intends to close Pimlico for the winter, while Hialeah's backstretch also will be closed. That leaves few options for horsemen that don't have the stock to race in New York or at Gulfstream Park.

Steve Haskin's Classic Watch: Big Works Coming Up

The pre-entries are in, and things should start hopping over the next few days. Tiznow is scheduled to work at Santa Anita on Thursday, and Godolphin's dynamic duo of Fantastic Light and Sakhee will have important works on Friday, as will Macho Uno, with jockey Gary Stevens aboard. Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Aptitude is scheduled to work Saturday, depending on the weather.

England's William Hill Releases Odds

When the pre-entries were announced Wednesday, the British betting shops released their odds on the eight Breeders' Cup races. Among them is William Hill, which announced the following prices:

Racing Schedule Debated at Prairie Meadows

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The Racing Association of Central Iowa will ask racing interests to scale back the 2002 season to free up more money for the association's offer to purchase Prairie Meadows from Polk County. Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse owners and trainers already have a contract that guarantees $19.9 million in purse money and Iowa-bred bonuses for 2002.

All Gong Heads BC Steeplechase

Last year's Steeplechase Eclipse Award winner All Gong takes on eight opponents in the $250,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) to be run Saturday at the Far Hills Races in Far Hills, N.J.

117 Breeders' Cup Pre-Entries: Big Apple, Big Time

Goodbye, Breeders' Cup. Hello, World Thoroughbred Championships. America's biggest day of racing is now the world's biggest day of racing. For the first time since its inception, racing's Greatest Show on Earth will not be dominated by American-based horses. The two largest international powerhouses--Godolphin and the Coolmore group--are not only heading to the World Thoroughbred Championships en masse, they are bringing all their heavy artillery. And this year, that means an array of European stars never before seen on one card, especially in the United States.

Colstar, The Happy Hopper Booked to Point Given

Millionaire Colstar and multiple stakes winner The Happy Hopper have been retired to Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., and are booked to Horse of the Year candidate Point Given, who stands at the farm.

Turf Preview: Back for More

Horses campaigned by members of the Maktoum family have won the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) three times. This year, the Maktoums and their runners are back in force. But it's not yet clear which powerful combination of horses the family will send to the post in the $2-million Turf.

Mile Preview: Euro Exchange

Coral Eurobet flies in the face of recent history in making Godolphin's Noverre its 7-1 favorite for the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). U.S.-trained runners have won four of the last five runnings and now hold a 10-7 advantage over the Europeans, but Noverre's defeat by his 33-1 pacemaker, Summoner, in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot, Sept. 29, can only be a positive, if an extraordinarily coincidental one.

Juvenile Preview: Just a Hunch

If ever there was a hunch bet going into a race, the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 27 in New York boasts one of the great ones of all time. With policemen and firefighters being hailed as heroes in the wake of the terrorist attack on the city's World Trade Center, what better play could there be than Officer?

Juvenile Fillies Preview: Bucking History

Trainer Bob Baffert will be trying to buck 17 years of history when he sends Habibti postward in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). A Kentucky-bred daughter of Tabasco Cat racing for Saudi Arabian Prince Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp., Habibti will come into the World Thoroughbred Championships unbeaten but with only two starts.

Filly & Mare Turf Preview: Down an Eighth

Because the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) has been run only twice, it's hard to say there have been trends in the 1 1/4-mile event. But a few things have been established: The race has drawn full fields of 14, and those fields have been pretty deep. This year there won't be 14, but the field is evenly matched.

Distaff Preview: Youth Brigade

Never underestimate the handicapping abilities of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. "I think the 3-year-olds are better than the older horses and I'm very confident heading into the race," Frankel said in the days leading up to the Oct. 6 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

Classic Preview: Unknown Territory

How odd is the field for this year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)? It will not include the winners of the grade I Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Travers, Whitney, Woodward, and Pacific Classic. But it will include the winners of the group I English Derby, Irish Derby, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes, Irish Two Thousand Guineas, St. James's Palace Stakes, Hong Kong Cup, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. It seems as if the wires got crossed somewhere along the way.

Centaur Tries Increasing Stake In Hoosier Park

Centaur Racing is making a second attempt within a year to increase its stake in Hoosier Park. The company must first shed a moratorium it incurred during its last effort to buy a greater share of the Anderson, Ind., racetrack.

Battle Lines Forming in Indiana, Kentucky

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Indianapolis Downs has filed an application for a license to operate a satellite wagering facility in Evansville, Ind., only minutes from Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. Officials with the proposed racetrack claim the southern Indiana marketplace is underserved by Hoosier Park, currently the state's only pari-mutuel racetrack. Churchill Downs owns Hoosier Park and Ellis Park.

Sprint Report--10/17/2001

If the over and under on the number of Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) runners who had their final prep in England or France was 25, you would probably take the under, wouldn't you? This writer would have. But, counting them up shows 27 Sprint starters have shipped in from France or England. And, not surprisingly, more have finished last -- six -- than first -- one.

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