With apologies to Grantland Rice, under blue-gray October skies, Breeders'
Cup candidates were out en force at Santa Anita Saturday morning, going through
final stages of their major drills for the World Championships event at "The
Great Race Place" on November 2 and 3.
Mary Ann Houghland's Pierrot Lunaire charged through the stretch and overtook
pacesetter Divine Fortune to win the Grade 1, $250,000 Grand National by
three-quarters of a length at the 92nd Far Hills Races on Saturday. Royal
Bonsai, a newcomer to American racing, finished third in the year's richest
Unbeaten phenom Frankel crowned his glorious career with a victory over
Cirrus des Aigles in Saturday's Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot, but only after
his fans endured drama both before and during the highly-anticipated contest.
Senior BHA handicapper Phil Smith paid tribute to
following the unbeaten colt's grand finale in Saturday's Group 1 Champion
FRANKEL THEY SAID IT
Multiple Grade 1 hero Wise Dan, one of the top contenders for the $2 million
Breeders' Cup Mile on November 3 at Santa Anita, completed his major work for
his California test by working five furlongs on Keeneland's Polytrack in a
bullet, best of 18, 1:00 2/5 on a cool, clear Saturday morning.
Mr. and Mrs. Marc C. Ferrell's two-year-old filly Madame Cactus rallied
strongly in the homestretch to score a two-length victory in Friday night's
Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta Downs. The race was part of an opening night
program for the track's 2012-2013 meeting.
One race prior to Frankel's anticipated career finale in the Group 1 QIPCO
Champion Stakes on Saturday at Ascot, a field of eight will take to the green in
the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The four-year-old Excelebration, trained by Aidan O'Brien, has
been beaten five times by Frankel and finally has the chance to prove himself the top
miler in Europe without having to take on his nemesis.
Todd Pletcher, whose barn of bluebloods leads the nation in purse earnings
this year with nearly $17 million, was at Santa Anita Friday morning to
coordinate strategy first hand as his locally based contenders prepare for the
Breeders' Cup on November 2 and 3.
Miz Ida made a successful rally from more than seven lengths down to deny
25-1 longshot English Class the upset in Friday's second division of the Grade
Valley View for three-year-old fillies at Keeneland. A homebred racing for
Richard, Bert and Elaine Klein, Miz Ida paid $11.40, $6.40 and $4 as the 9-2
Augustin Stable's homebred Angel Terrace outperformed her 27-1 odds when
fending off the 4-1 Miss Cato by a nose in Friday's first division of the Grade
Valley View Stakes at Keeneland. A fast-finishing fourth in the July 29 Nani
Rose Stakes at Saratoga last out, the Jonathan Sheppard pupil rallied from last
under an enterprising ride by James Graham and sparked mutuels of $57.60, $20.60
Caixa Eletronica, who at age seven finished second in the Grade 1 Vosburgh
Invitational last out, returns next Saturday in Belmont Park's Grade 3, $150,000
Bold Ruler Handicap, a race in which he finished third last year.
Slip Away, the champion steeplechaser of 2010, makes his return from a layoff
of more than 14 months in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000
National. Contested over 2 5/8 miles at Far Hills, New Jersey, the Grand
National is the richest event of the American jump season and last year yielded
the season's eventual Eclipse Award champion, Black Jack Blues.
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Poker Pro and World Series of Poker Bracelet
Winner, confirmed Friday that he will play in the $10,000 Breeders' Cup Betting
Challenge (BCBC) taking place at Santa Anita Park on November 2-3 during the
The Jockey Club on Friday released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for
the 2012 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through October 14, 2012, The
Jockey Club reports that 1,861 stallions covered 35,391 mares in North America
Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) announced Friday that Donald R. "Donnie"
Richardson, CDI's senior vice president of racing, will leave at the end of the
When Sir Henry Cecil saddles Frankel at Ascot ahead of the Group 1 QIPCO Champion
Stakes on Saturday, the poignancy of the moment will be far from
lost on him.
Grade 1 Pacific Classic winner Dullahan is one of five horses bedded down at
Barn 76 at Santa Anita for trainer Dale Romans, who is preparing the quintet for
the Breeders' Cup World Championships on November 2-3 at the Arcadia,
A perfectly timed ride by Julien Leparoux saw Ken and Sarah Ramsey's
Kindergarden Kid slip between pacesetter Ioya Bigtime and Miami Deco to take
Thursday's Grade 3, $100,000
at Keeneland by a neck over the former rival. The Dynaformer gelding was sent
off the 3-1 third pick in the seven-horse field and completed 1 1/2 miles on the
firm turf in 2:31 4/5 to add a first graded win to his resume.
More than 70 top New York-breds will gather Saturday for the seven stakes
highlighting Belmont Park's annual New York Showcase Day, celebrating the best
of the Empire State.
Churchill Downs Inc. has launched
Luckity.com, a new and
exciting gaming site with hundreds of chances to win cash prizes daily. It
features number games, draw games, jackpots, quick picks, casino-style games and
more, with the action revolving around live horse races around the world.
DECISIVE (Pulpit), a four-year-old filly carrying her first foal, by Kitten's
Joy, on a March 4 cover, was the $50,000 top price at the Ocala Breeders' Sales
Company's Fall Mixed Sale Open Session on Wednesday. Consigned by Ramsey Farm,
agent, Hip No. 373 was gaveled down to Jose Uzcategui.
Gypsy Robin, front-running winner of this spring's Grade 2 Beaumont at
Keeneland, returns to the site of that three-length victory to headline a full
field of 14 sophomore fillies in Saturday's 14th running of the Grade 2,
$250,000 Raven Run going seven furlongs on the main Polytrack.
The fourth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit concluded Wednesday
morning in Lexington, Kentucky, as racing commission representatives discussed
the implementation of safety initiatives and four other speakers made
presentations on Thoroughbred aftercare.
The Breeders' Cup announced Wednesday the launch of its $500K Pay Day
promotion that will be conducted in partnership with 20 simulcast outlets, up
from 17 in 2011, across the country. This is the second year in a row that the
Breeders' Cup is offering this co-promotion with its simulcast partners.
SANTA ANITA NOTEBOOK
The Grade 3, $1250,000 Valley View at Keeneland will be renewed at Keeneland
on Friday, and for the second time in four years the 1 1/16-mile grass test for
three-year-old fillies will be run in two divisions.
Starlight Racing's Algorithms, winner of the Grade 3 Holly Bull in his most
recent start January 29, has been retired.
A thriving equine industry is vital to the health of the New York State
economy, according to the results of a study released Tuesday. The New York
State Equine Industry Economic Impact Study determined that the equine industry
has a $4.2 billion effect on the state's economy and generates 33,000 full-time
jobs. Equine commerce also results in $187 million in state and local taxes for
New York. The thousands of horse farms, training centers and riding stables
doing business across the state preserve 1.3 million acres of open space. There
are 157,500 horses in New York.
The Breeders' Cup announced Tuesday that it has launched the Official 2012
Breeders' Cup iPhone and iPad App in advance of the Breeders' Cup World
Championships at Santa Anita Park on November 2-3. The Official 2012 Breeders'
Cup app will allow iPhone and iPad users to watch all 15 Breeders' Cup World
Championship races live and for free, as the world's top Thoroughbreds compete
for more than $25 million in purses.
BREEDERS' CUP FEATURE
Sam Houston Race Park has announced a revamped stakes schedule in 2013 which
will include the richest Thoroughbred race in Texas and in track history. The
$400,000 Houston Ladies' Classic is set for January 26 as part of a special
stakes-filled card including the Grade 3, $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup. In
total, the meet will feature 23 stakes races including four new stakes for
Texas-breds paying more than $1.7 million in purses.
BREEDERS' CUP FEATURE
Frankel, in what is expected to be the final start of his remarkable unbeaten
career, Cirrus des Aigles and Nathaniel are all set to contest Europe's richest
10-furlong race, the Group 1, £1.3 million Champion Stakes at Ascot, which could
make it one of the highest-rated races this century.
Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Sky Lantern was confirmed on Monday for
the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, according to trainer
Grade 1-winning millionaire Creative Cause, last seen finishing third in the
May 19 Preakness Stakes, has been retired and will begin his new career as a
stallion at Airdrie Stud, it was announced Monday.
The Maryland Jockey Club has announced that tickets for 2013
Preakness Day went on-sale as of 10 a.m. (EDT) Monday morning. The 138th running
of the Preakness place May 18, 2013 at famed Pimlico Race Course.
Robert Jeffcock's Siyouma, who brought top-class European form to Sunday's
Grade 1, $1,026,822
Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, reigned supreme in the prestigious turf test for
distaffers. Sent off as the 5-2 favorite with Gerald Mosse, the French shipper
kicked clear in the stretch to record her second straight top-level victory,
following the Group 1 Sun Chariot at Newmarket September 29.
Game on Dude headed a parade of heavyweight hopefuls Sunday morning prepping
for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita as the countdown began in earnest for the
28th World Championship events at The Great Race Place on November 2-3.
Leading Breeders' Cup Turf contender Point of Entry (Dynaformer) --
hero of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, Sword Dancer Invitational and
Man o' War, all Grade 1s, in his past three -- logged five-eighths in 1:04 on
Belmont's good inner turf Sunday.
Gary Barber's Delegation went wire-to-wire at Woodbine in the $153,411
The 6-5 favorite paid $4.50, $2.80 and $2.10 to his backers on Sunday and has
now hit the board in all six of his lifetime starts.
Under a crafty Frankie Dettori ride, the globetrotting Joshua Tree wired
Sunday's Grade 1, $1,531,868
International, regaining the title he first won at Woodbine in 2010. The
Marco Botti charge was a troubled runner-up behind the filly Sarah Lynx last
year, but didn't have a straw in his path this time. Joshua Tree joins George
Royal (1965-66) and Majesty's Prince (1982, 1984) as the only two-time Canadian
International winners since the race was switched to turf in 1958.
Hessonite, a troubled fifth in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational on
September 29, remains on target for a title defense run in the $175,000
Ticonderoga on October 20, New York Showcase Day, at Belmont Park.
Three Diamonds Farm's Next Question was overlooked at 16-1 when making his
stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 1, $511,576
Stakes at Woodbine, but the Michael Trombetta charge proved more than up to
the task, and thereby earned an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf
Sprint. After forcing the pace beneath Ramon Dominguez, the New York-bred edged
clear down the lane and repelled English invader Night Carnation by a
Millionaires Musketier and Rahystrada, with a combined 11 graded/group
victories between them, head a field of seven turf marathoners entered for
Thursday's 18th running of the Grade 3, $100,000
Sycamore going 1 1/2 miles on the Keeneland grass.
"Winning a Grade 1 at Keeneland -- it doesn't get any better than that,"
Steve Laymon said Sunday morning, one day after Dayatthespa's front-running,
two-length victory in the 29th edition of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
Gentildonna has become the first since Apapane in 2010 and fourth in history
to sweep Japan's Triple Crown for fillies. Under jockey Yasunari Iwata, the bay
filly nosed out her archrival Verxina in a breathtaking photo-finish to claim
the final leg, Sunday's Grade 1 Shuka Sho at Kyoto. Both fillies are by Deep
Impact, hero of the 2005 Japanese Triple Crown.
While the Florida Stallion Stakes sweep by jockey Angel Serpa was the lead
story at the 21st annual Festival of the Sun at Calder Race Course on Saturday,
the headlines coming out of the day could be made by Bruce Hollander and Cary
Shapoff's Csaba, the three-year-old colt who put the sword to his rivals when
winning the Tropical Park Derby by 14 lengths.