Not many people get to celebrate their birthday with a $270,000 payday, but
that's exactly what Brian Hernandez Jr. did when he guided Fort Larned to
victory in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on his 27th
Michael Dubb's My Happy Face got the head-bobbing win on Sunday in Aqueduct's
Grade 3, $142,500
over Cue the Moon. The Rudy Rodriguez-trained daughter of Tiz Wonderful just
missed by a head in the Grade 1 Frizette last out, but would not be denied a
second time, completing this one-mile, fast-track in 1:36 1/5.
BREEDERS' CUP SATURDAY THEY SAID IT
Morton Fink's homebred Wise Dan stated his case for Horse of the Year by
blitzing an international field in Saturday's $1,818,000
Cup Mile, and put an exclamation point on his victory by speeding in a Santa
Anita course-record 1:31.78 on the firm turf. With jockey John Velazquez
orchestrating an ideal passage throughout, Wise Dan powered past longtime leader
Obviously in midstretch and drew off to extend his winning streak to four.
Despite some scary moments in the stretch, Shanghai Bobby lived up to his 6-5
favoritism to take Saturday's Grade 1, $1,818,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile by a
head over He's Had Enough.
Groupie Doll overcame a wide trip in Saturday's Grade 1, $909,000
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita to score an easy win and
wrap up the Eclipse Award as champion female sprinter. The Bowman's Band filly
is now five-for-five since trainer Bill "Buff" Bradley added blinkers for her
run in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland in April, and finished this
seven-furlong, fast-dirt event in 1:20 3/5.
Fort Larned rewarded his connections' faith with a scintillating victory in
Saturday's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita, holding off a game
Mucho Macho Man to score by a neck on the wire.
The total two-day common-pool handle for the Friday and Saturday race cards
of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park was
$144,272,332, Breeders' Cup announced Saturday.
Priscilla Vaccarezza's homebred Little Mike bounced back from a drubbing in
the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at a boggy Belmont Park to
upstage Point of Entry and defending champion St Nicholas Abbey in Saturday's
Breeders' Cup Turf in record time at Santa Anita. Widely regarded as a
doubtful prospect at the 1 1/2-mile trip with a hot pace scenario on tap, the
Dale Romans charge showed a new dimension by drafting behind the pacesetters,
pouncing at the top of the stretch, and blazing the firm turf in 2:22.83.
Sherry Parbhoo's Trinniberg snapped a three-race losing streak and possibly
clinched an Eclipse Award championship with a swift and decisive score in
Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.
Noted sports broadcaster Jim Rome, a convert to Thoroughbred racing in recent
years and operator of Jungle Racing stable, celebrated his biggest win as an
owner Saturday when Mizdirection, a filly he owns in partnership with Strauss,
Grohs, Beljak and KMN Racing, turned in a spectacular stretch run to win the
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
Team Forster's Brushed by a Star outdueled Joyful Victory by a head in
Saturday's Grade 2, $168,900
Stakes at Churchill Downs. Under a Corey Lanerie drive, the Grant Forster
filly ranged up in midstretch and proved just the stronger. Her second graded
stakes victory will serve as a nifty catalog update for Monday's Fasig-Tipton
November Sale, where she is listed as Hip No. 29.
A return to Santa Anita revived the fortunes of Winchell Thoroughbreds'
homebred Tapizar in Saturday's $909,000
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. A previous winner over the track in the 2011 Grade
3 Sham and Grade 2 San Fernando this past January, the Tapit colt turned in a
dominating performance under Corey Nakatani at odds of 15-1.
Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith's George Vancouver showed
a turn of foot worthy of his freshman sire, Henrythenavigator, to score handily
in Saturday's $909,000
Cup Juvenile Turf. By beating the Chad Brown duo of Noble Tune and Balance
the Books, the Irish shipper gave his Coolmore connections, and trainer Aidan
O'Brien and jockey Ryan Moore, their second straight win in this race, following
Wrote a year ago at Churchill Downs.
Phipps Stable's homebred Boisterous successfully defended his title in
Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000
Smith Handicap at Aqueduct. Rating in third under Edgar Prado for more than
a mile, Boisterous eased into the lead at the top of the stretch and drew off to
win by a comfortable three lengths. The final time for 1 3/8 miles over yielding
turf was 2:19 1/5. An overwhelming 1-5 favorite, Boisterous returned $2.70,
$2.20 and $2.10.
Trainer Bill Mott spelled out how Royal Delta was doing Saturday, the morning
after her gate-to-wire victory in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. It was the
four-year-old filly's second consecutive win in the race and Mott's third
straight and fifth overall.
If there is any crying occurring in Argentina, it's tears of joy following
Calidoscopio's upset victory Friday in the $454,500
Breeders' Cup Marathon at Santa Anita.
A crowd of 34,619 was on hand at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on
Friday for the first day of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships. The
attendance figure was a slight decline over the 2009 Friday attendance at Santa
Anita of 37,651, but up from the 2008 figure of 31,257.
BREEDERS' CUP FRIDAY
THEY SAID IT
Yvonne Jacques' Grandeur, who trailed much of the way after stumbling at the
start in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000
Twilight Derby, flew home in deep stretch to catch 5-2 favorite Speaking of
Which. Trained by Jeremy Noseda and ridden by William Buick, the English shipper
bested the Irish colt by a half-length in the all-European exacta.
Besilu Stable's Royal Delta proved herself a true champion on Friday when
successfully defending her title in the Grade 1, $1,818,000
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita Park despite being taken out of
her usual game.
One year ago, owner Martin S. Schwartz and trainer Chad Brown endured the
bitter disappointment of watching their 9-5 favorite Stacelita trudge home 10th
in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. But in Friday's renewal at Santa Anita,
they experienced a much happier reversal of fortune, courtesy of the
consistently classy Zagora.
Spendthrift Farm's Beholder justified trainer Richard Mandella's decision to
enter her in the Grade 1, $1,818,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies instead of the Juvenile Sprint earlier on
Santa Anita's Friday program with a wire-to-wire win under jockey Garrett Gomez.
Sheikh Mohammed al Thani's Flotilla was sent off at 11-1 to continue the
double-digit winners on Breeders' Cup Friday, taking the Grade 1, $909,000
Juvenile Fillies Turf by 1 1/4 lengths after coming with furious late rally
down the middle of the lawn at Santa Anita. With Christophe Lemaire aboard, the
dark bay daughter of Mizzen Mast was forced to swing wide around the turn but
kicked into gear to get up and finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:34 3/5.
Trainer Ian Wilkes and jockey Brian Hernandez got their Breeders' Cup weekend
off to a good start Friday, but at Churchill Downs rather than Santa Anita.
With the return of the Southern Lights holiday festival, the Southern Lights
Stroll once again debuts as its opening night on November 15. The only evening
of the entire event when the public is allowed to experience a major portion of
the lighted route on foot, visitors may choose to run, walk or stroll their way
through thousands of dazzling holiday lights in the heart of horse country, on
the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
A number of trainers spoke of their runners for the 2012 Breeders' Cup races
taking place at Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday.
With co-owner and trainer Buff Bradley looking on for the first time this
week, Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint favorite Groupie Doll jogged
three-quarters of a mile and then galloped one mile under exercise rider Jada
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott was smiling and content Friday morning with
his horses safely back in their stalls after completing their exercise. Mott
will run defending champion Royal Delta in the Ladies' Classic Friday afternoon
and has three runners -- Flat Out, Ron the Greek and To Honor and Serve -- in
the $5 million Classic on Saturday.
Sustained was declared Friday morning from a start in the $1 million
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and Worth Repeating came out of the $500,000
Breeders' Cup Marathon, both races to be run Friday afternoon at Santa Anita.
Game On Dude, the Classic morning-line favorite, had another strong gallop
Thursday morning, heading out with trainer Bob Baffert's 7:45 a.m. (PDT) set under regular
exercise rider Dana Barnes. He returned to the Baffert barn on the Santa Anita
backstretch and got a treat of a couple of carrots from Barnes, who is married
to Baffert's chief assistant, Jim Barnes.
Team Valor International's Animal Kingdom galloped 1 1/2 miles
under exercise rider David Nava Thursday morning at Santa Anita in preparation
for his scheduled start in the Mile off an eight-month
Having cleared quarantine Wednesday evening, Aidan O'Brien's powerful
Breeders' Cup team took to the Santa Anita track for the first time to stretch
their legs Thursday morning.
Gary Barber's Grade 3 Durham Cup winner Delegation, whom trainer Mark Casse termed as "a little wound up" earlier in the week, is settling into a
routine with two days remaining before his start in the Dirt Mile.
Undefeated Grade 1 winner Shanghai Bobby, trainer Todd Pletcher's morning-line favorite for
Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, got his first glimpse of picturesque Santa Anita Thursday morning
after arriving on the Tex Sutton flight Wednesday.
Amazombie, defending champion of Saturday's Breeders'
Cup Sprint, was put through what amounted to a faster-than-usual gallop on
Thursday morning at Santa Anita under exercise rider Javier Meza that trainer Bill Spawr
likened to the one or two days before the 2011 Sprint at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Bill Mott's champion Royal Delta galloped 1 3/8 miles on Thursday
morning over the main track at Santa Anita in preparation for a title defense
run in Friday's Breeders' Cup Ladies'.
A baker's dozen of two-year-olds will vie for the spotlight at Aqueduct on
Sunday afternoon as they take the next step in their careers in the Grade 2,
Nashua and the Grade 3, $150,000
One day after wrapping up the 2012 Breeders' Cup, Santa Anita will offer the
Grade 2, $150,000
Goldikova (formerly Las Palmas) sending a competitive field of eight
distaffers one mile over the turf on closing day Sunday.
INTERNATIONALS IN THE
While the Cup horses from Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle Stables remain in
quarantine until they are able to make their first appearance on the track
Thursday, the trainer was at the barn on Wednesday morning and spent some time
with members of the international media discussing some of his Breeders' Cup
Flat Out, Ron the Greek and To Honor and Serve, all three members of trainer
Bill Mott's Breeders' Cup Classic team, galloped about 1 1/4 miles on the main
track at Santa Anita Wednesday morning.
Trainer Richard Mandella "got the attention" of his Distorted Humor colt
Jimmy Creed Wednesday morning. He felt he had to.
My Best Brother and Old Time Hockey, who landed the major three-year-old
grass stakes at Del Mar over the summer, will renew rivalry Friday in the Grade
Twilight Derby at Santa Anita. Formerly known as the Oak Tree Derby, the
grassy 1 1/8-mile Twilight Derby is the last of 10 races on the first of two
Breeders' Cup programs.
Boisterous will be heavy favorite to successfully defend his title in the
Grade 2, $200,000
Handicap at Aqueduct, the first of two non-Breeders' Cup graded stakes that
will be held across the country on Saturday.