Now that we're in the eye of the Breeders' Cup storm, with the deluge of preps behind us and the main event only two weeks away, this is the perfect time to recognize a trainer and a horse whose accomplishments may have gone overlooked - Steve Asmussen and Red Giant.
Jason and Tom discuss the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr.IT). Plus, picks from John Pricci of Equiform for the Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap, Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Waquoit's Love, dismissed at odds 13-1 in Belmont Park's Noble Damsel (gr. IIIT) one month ago only to lose by a head to Criminologist, will get another crack at her nemesis in the $100,000 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf Oct. 11.
Patrick Valenzuela, whose career as a jockey has been both troubled and brilliant, won his 4,000th race Oct. 9. His milestone victory came at Louisiana Downs aboard Burst of Light in a one-mile allowance/optional claiming event.
There has been talk about Delightful Kiss running in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). But the Hobeau Farm homebred will be entered in the inaugural $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon at 1 1/2 miles because his connections want a win in the World Championships sooner rather than later, and time is running out. Hobeau owner Jack Dreyfus is in his 90s.
Cowboy Cal, who has not started since finishing 9th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), makes his return to the racetrack Oct. 12 when he faces a full field of 3-year-olds in the $150,000 Bryan Station Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland turf.
A resilient book 1 of Tattersalls' October yearling sale finished with an average price of 121,515 guineas, just 5% down from last year, while the 85,000-guinea median rose 6%. The 49,821,000-guinea aggregate for the 410 horses sold (from 532 offered) Oct. 7-9 in England was down 23%, but the catalog was smaller than the 2007 edition.
Undefeated Casino Drive has been entered to run at Santa Anita on Oct. 12 in what his connections hope will lead to a start in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Handle on races in the United States sharply dropped 9.85% in the third quarter of this year, clearly in keeping with a trend that began in early 2008.
A year after the death of racehorse John Henry, fans now have a lasting monument and a dedicated place to remember their champion. A bronze statue by artist Shelley Hunter has taken its place at John's gravesite, just outside the Kentucky Horse Park's Hall of Champions paddock that John called home for 22 of his 32 years.
The Maryland Jockey Club said it is "aggressively supporting" a campaign to win approval via a Nov. 4 statewide referendum for slot machines at five locations in the state.
The results were grim for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s fall mixed auction, which ended its three-day run in Central Florida Oct. 8. The buy-back/no bid rate rose significantly while the other key business figures suffered huge setbacks during a week when the American stock market is plunging and economic turmoil is increasing worldwide.
Tennessee equestrian and horse breeder Lisa Cook wanted a Thoroughbred mare to breed to her Thoroughbred stallion, but perceived high prices always prevented her from buying one at high profile auctions such as Kentucky's Keeneland sale. But since the economy drove prices at this year's Keeneland September yearling sale downward, sport horse enthusiasts like Cook might be thinking differently.
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