Trainer Todd Pletcher's brigade of unbeaten juveniles was also out in force.
Trainer Todd Pletcher's brigade of unbeaten juveniles was also out in force.
Keeneland concluded its 2012 fall race meeting Saturday with strong gains in all-sources handle and a fall meet attendance record while featuring outstanding Thoroughbred racing.
Dullahan worked five furlongs on Santa Anita's conventional dirt track Saturday morning under Tammy Fox in 1:00, after which trainer Dale Romans said a decision on whether the Grade 1 Pacific Classic winner would run in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic or the $3 million Turf at Santa Anita next Saturday would likely not be rendered before Monday's deadline.
Newsdad rallies in Fayette
The Laurel fall meet has proven to be a big one for Robert Gerczak's Action Andy. Three weeks after taking the Maryland Million Sprint by 2 3/4 lengths, the five-year-old gelding delivered a thrilling photo-finish score in Saturday's $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, the centerpiece of Laurel's six-stakes Fall Festival of Racing.
Godolphin Racing's Buffum quickly moved to the front at the start of Belmont Park's Grade 3, $150,000 Bold Ruler Handicap on Saturday and held to score by 1 1/4 lengths under jockey Eddie Castro.
Exactly one week before her half-brother and stablemate Shackleford lines up in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Afleeting Lady broke through with her first graded victory in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Belmont Park. Owned by Alpha Delta Stables and Richard Santulli, the Dale Romans trainee stalked, pounced, and drew off with authority by 3 1/2 lengths.
Grade 2 hero Willcox Inn, pre-entered in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile, worked at Keeneland on Saturday for the second time since his runner-up finish to Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile on October 6. With assistant Hilary Pridham aboard for trainer Mike Stidham, the colt worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 in company with Every Way, a two-year-old City Zip filly who was third in the Grade 3 Mazarine at Woodbine on October 6.
Sum of the Parts, winner of the Grade 3 Phoenix on October 5 at Keeneland, capped his major preparations for a start in next Saturday's $1.5 million Breeders Cup Sprint by working a half-mile in :47 3/5 under jockey Julien Leparoux on Saturday morning at the Lexington, Kentucky, track.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had Godolphin's Breeders' Cup foursome working a half-mile over the all-weather Tapeta at Greentree Training Center on Friday.
BREEDERS' CUP FEATURE
Bob Baffert, who has been headquartered at Santa Anita for more than two decades, can fall out of bed and be at the Breeders' Cup when it's run next Friday and Saturday. Ditto for his horses, who are only a furlong away from their barn to the starting gate, but that doesn't necessarily provide an edge over those who have to ship in from all parts of the globe.
Trainer Mark Casse had planned to work his two juvenile fillies pointing to the Breeders' Cup on Friday and the boys would work Saturday. The threat of rainy conditions Friday and Saturday caused Casse to call an audible and all five of his Breeders' Cup hopefuls breezed over the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Friday morning.
Animal Kingdom completed his major training for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile by working five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 around the dogs on a firm turf course Friday morning at Keeneland.
With the clock inexorably ticking ever closer to the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita nine days hence, event participants went through their daily regimen without a hitch on a clear, crisp, sun-filled Thursday morning with the scenic San Gabriel Mountains providing their ever-present picturesque background.
Approximately nine hours after working five furlongs over a sloppy track in :59 4/5 on Thursday, Pinnacle Racing Stables Inc. and Bill Kaplan's champion female sprinter Musical Romance departed Calder aboard a Brookledge van bound for Kentucky, the first-leg of a two-tiered journey to California where the mare will seek a title defense in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on November 3 in what is expected to be her final start.
The Breeders' Cup, joined by Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Chairman Keith Brackpool, Breeders' Cup Ambassador Bo Derek and Hall of Fame jockeys Laffit Pincay Jr. and Gary Stevens, on Thursday unveiled "BCin3D" at a press conference at L.A. LIVE welcoming the Breeders' Cup back to Southern California.
Champion Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, is one of five horses pre-entered in next week's Breeders' Cup scheduled to work on the turf Friday morning at Keeneland.
Churchill Downs' 21-day meet begins Sunday with the first of two "Stars of Tomorrow" programs devoted exclusively to races for two-year-olds, including the Grade 2 $150,000 Pocahontas Stakes for fillies and the Grade 3, $100,000 Iroquois Stakes. Both stakes will be held at a one-turn mile.
The Breeders' Cup, which takes place November 2-3 at Santa Anita Park, has become the culmination of the U.S. Thoroughbred-racing season, and attracts some of the best horses, trainers and owners from across the globe. This year, Breeders' Cup and Grey Goose Vodka will showcase a celebration of global cuisine to go along with the Thoroughbred action when hosting "A Taste of the World."
Starlight Racing's undefeated Algorithms will enter stud at Claiborne Farm for 2013, according to farm representative Bernie Sams. The son of leading sire Bernardini will be syndicated and stand for a $7,500 fee.
Eight celebrity racing fans and owners are being honored as Breeders' Cup Ambassadors in the inaugural year of a program launched by the organization. The honor comes with rewards which allow the Ambassadors to enjoy horse racing all over the world, including concierge service, tickets and more. Additionally, they will serve as spokespersons for the 2012 Breeders' Cup World Championships and help promote the prestigious international event.
BREEDERS' CUP FEATURE
Closing weekend at Belmont Park is highlighted by a pair of Grade 3 races, with both the $150,000 Bold Ruler Handicap and the $150,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap for fillies and mares set for Saturday, the penultimate day of racing.
Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap hero Nonios (Pleasantly Perfect), runner-up in the Grade 1 Awesome Again (formerly Goodwood) and Grade 1 Haskell Invitational, clocked a bullet five furlongs in :59 4/5 over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track on Wednesday. The dark bay sophomore has been pre-entered to both the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and Classic, with a first preference to the Dirt Mile.
BREEDERS' CUP PRE-ENTRIES 2012
SANTA ANITA NOTEBOOK
Led by multiple Grade 1 winner Game On Dude, defending Ladies' Classic champion Royal Delta, dominating turf stars Wise Dan and Point of Entry, and 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, 180 horses, including eight defending or former Breeders' Cup Champions, have been pre-entered for the 2012 Breeders' Cup World Championships.
A $1.1 million, six-stakes bonanza awaits fans and bettors at Laurel's Fall Festival of Racing on Saturday, highlighted by the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash for older horses over six furlongs.
Hoping to add his name to an honor roll of three-year-old winners of the Grade 2, $150,000 Fayette that includes Blame and Arch, Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy makes his return to the races Saturday in the closing day feature at Keeneland. The Pat Byrne trainee is the only sophomore in a field of 11 that will negotiate nine furlongs on Polytrack.
The Breeders' Cup has announced the final race order for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, November 2-3 at Santa Anita Park. While all of the Friday races will remain in the same order when announced earlier this month, there were three changes made to the Saturday program.
A gray son of Speightstown provided some late fireworks near the conclusion of Tuesday's second session of Fasig-Tipton's October Yearling Sale at Newtown Paddocks near Lexington, Kentucky. Whipser Hill Farm was the winning bidder at $440,000 for the February 2 Kentucky-bred, who was offered as Hip No. 820 from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Esteemed turf writers Jay Hovdey and the late Whitney Tower have been chosen as the National Museum of Racing's Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor recipients for 2012. The Roll of Honor was initiated by the Museum in 2010 in memory of Hirsch, a distinguished turf writer who died the previous year.
Canadian champion Musketier has been retired to Adena Springs Canada for the 2013 breeding season.
Golden Ticket, dead-heat winner with Alpha in the Grade 1 Travers in August, was not pre-entered in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
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.