In its continuing support of a national program for retired racehorses, the Breeders' Cup announced Tuesday that it has created a "Text to Donate" campaign, through Give by Cell, to allow fans to contribute to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).
Owner Benjamin Leon, who purchased Royal Delta for $8.5 million at Keeneland a few days after her 2011 Ladies' Classic triumph, wanted to keep all options on the table.
Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) will honor Frank Stronach with the TCA Leadership Award and Belmont Child Care Association with the TCA Industry Service Award at the 23rd Annual Select Stallion Season Auction to be held January 5, 2013 at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Kentucky.
The blitz towards the Breeders' Cup continued at mach speed Sunday morning at Santa Anita as several major players worked for their engagements in the World Championship events at The Great Race Place on November 2-3, headed by Breeders' Cup Classic favorite Game on Dude.
In a move that did not come unexpectedly, Godolphin announced Sunday that Frankie Dettori will no longer serve as a retained rider for the stable. The popular Italian, who had been Godolphin's premier rider for 18 years, will now become a highly sought-after freelancer. On that basis, Dettori will continue to accept mounts for Sheikh Mohammed's flagship operation.
"I love Woodbine, I love riding here," Sutherland said. "It's nice that I could end it here, where it all started for me."
The veteran five-year-old mare Upperline made her finale for the Mike Stidham barn in Sunday's $125,000 Dowager Stakes, and seized the moment to make Keeneland history as well. The winner of the Grade 3 Bewitch here in April, Upperline became the first to sweep both of the track's 1 1/2-mile turf stakes for distaffers in the same season.
Trainer Chad Brown sent out undefeated Awesome Feather on Sunday morning for her penultimate work prior to an expected start in the 1 1/8-mile Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic. The four-year-old Awesome of Course filly was caught by NYRA clockers in 1:12 1/5 for six furlongs over Belmont Park's fast main track, the only work at the distance.
Trainer Gary Sciacca expressed excitement Sunday morning about what the future might have in store for Saratoga Snacks, a three-year-old who on Saturday finished second, beaten 1 1/4 lengths by five-year-old Lunar Victory, in the Empire Classic.
After his Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint hopeful, Great Attack, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over the good Keeneland turf course on Thursday, trainer Wesley Ward was asked about the performance. The horseman said he was pleased and that he "wanted to talk to his Melbourne Cup-winning rider."
Gold Ship, sent off heavy favorite with the absence of archrival Deep Brillante, lived up to expectations with his second classic victory in Sunday's Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) at Kyoto. Trained by Naosuke Sugai and ridden by Hiroyuki Uchida, the gray son of Stay Gold covered about 1 7/8 miles on firm turf in 3:02.9, just missing the stakes record of 3:02.7 established by Song of Wind in 2006.
Under jockey Paco Lopez, Bern Identity sat behind the early leaders before moving up four wide around the second turn. When Lopez gave him his cue he responded well by opening up a clear lead in the stretch and cruising home in front by three lengths while never feeling the whip. Finishing another four lengths behind Mylute in third was Mr. Bandini's Band. Bern Identity covered the distance over a fast track in 1:39 2/5.
Gypsy Robin remained a perfect three-for-three over the Keeneland Polytrack as she wired the field in the Grade 2, $250,000 Raven Run on Saturday with John Velazquez aboard.
Kindle, the 5-2 second choice, blasted right out of the gate in her turf debut. As she sizzled through fractions of :20 4/5 and :42 2/5, Kindle opened up a sizeable margin. Broken Dreams, who was shortening up off a trio of route races, stalked beneath Garrett Gomez, but the 3-1 third choice still had about five lengths to make up at the top of the stretch. The 2-1 favorite Byrama, who had been last early, had even more of a deficit to overcome.
Godolphin Racing's multiple Grade 1 winner It's Tricky has been retired with an injury to her right hind ankle, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin announced Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday in England, Juddmonte Farm's Frankel wrapped up his extraordinary career with victory in the Group 1 Champions Stakes at Ascot. Later in the day and across the Atlantic in New York, the organization's Lunar Victory helped prolong the festivities with a 1 1/4-length score in the $250,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park.
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 steeplechase race.
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 Frankel following the unbeaten colt's grand finale in Saturday's Group 1 Champion Stakes.
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 $150,000 My 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 3, $125,000 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 second choice.
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 3, $125,000 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 and $15.80.
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 Grand 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 World Championships.
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 during 2012.
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 year.
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, California, track.
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 Sycamore 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