This year's 11-furlong edition of the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) figures to be as wide-open as a St. Louis Rams receiver streaking downfield.
Gather the world's best sprinters and what do you expect? Well, fast fractions naturally. Because every member of the field is capable of running so quickly, it makes the Breeders' Cup Sprint a difficult race to handicap.
"No child shall be left behind" -- one presidential candidate's sound bite -- fails to work in the Thoroughbred classroom, as 19 of those pre-entered at the head of the juvenile class of 2000 have proven to be in the accelerated program.
In the 16 previous editions of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), 10 of the winners had made their most recent start at either Belmont or Keeneland. This year, two undefeated fillies who last competed at those two racetracks appear headed for showdown at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
But a national division once boasting the potential of Royal Anthem, Dark Moondancer, Chester House, and Bienamado now finds itself pining for a star, and with no local standout or foreign phenomenon to brandish. This year's running of the Turf is totally up for grabs.
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The race, which makes a return after seven years, figures to play a key role in determining the steeplechase champion of the year.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Cat Thief, winner of the 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic, is coming to hand at the right time.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won't saddle one of the favorites in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, but he likes the chances of two of his colts after they worked five furlongs over the Louisville track on Monday.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus turned in his long- awaited first breeze since his return to Churchill Downs a week ago and Riboletta sparkled in her workout Monday.
John's Call, the 9-year-old gelding who's become a fan favorite, will be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup Turf on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, says his trainer Tom Voss.
Officials will be at Churchill Downs for the Breeders' Cup to take applications from owners.
Aaron Jones' Forest Camp, who finished fourth in the Forest Hills Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park when last out, will not run in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), according to trainer Eduardo Inda.
Lu Ravi and Super Quercus worked at Churchill Downs on Sunday in preparation for their respective Breeders' Cup races. On Saturday at Churchill, Caller One, Dollar Bill, and Thunder Bertie were on the track for morning works.
Walkslikeaduck, one of the most interestingly named horses aiming for the Breeders' Cup Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, remains on target for the Mile in the Santa Anita stable of trainer Paddy Gallagher.
Fusao Sekiguchi's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Fusaichi Pegasus, trained by Neil Drysdale, continued Friday to leave a favorable impression in his morning training at Churchill Downs. Meanwhile, Drysdale may have added another contender to his strong Breeders' Cup hand with Stonerside Stable, LLC's recent acquisition Freefourracing.
Joe Orseno said Friday that Jerry Bailey will ride Golden Missile in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), replacing Kent Desormeaux, who also is the regular rider for Fusaichi Pegasus. Bailey also will ride Perfect Sting in the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) and Macho Uno in the Juvenile (gr. I) for Orseno.
As a Kentucky-born lover of Thoroughbred racing, Beau Greely counts his Kentucky Derby Day victory by Manndar in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) as one of the special moments in his young career. But that victory could drop a notch on his personal highlight reel if he has the Breeders' Cup Day he is hoping for at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.
Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) fifth-place finisher Platinum Tiara shipped from Keeneland to Churchill Downs on Thursday morning. The Brave Raj Stakes winner will begin preparing for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) on Friday, according to trainer Joe Waunsch and owner Rob Murphy.
By Steve Haskin -- It was once a vintage crop, but the pick of the older horses have either fallen from the vine or shriveled under the heat of battle. Golden Missile, however, has been kept in the shade the past few months, and unlike his withered opponents, he should be a relatively fresh horse and ready to take on whatever 3-year-old phenoms show up on Nov. 4.
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Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus left the impression that he enjoys cool Kentucky mornings in a brisk gallop Wednesday at Churchill Downs.
Flame Thrower, who remained unbeaten in four starts with a victory in the Norfolk Stakes Oct. 7, worked a half mile in :46 1/5 breezing Wednesday morning at Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Also working were Arabian Light, Notable Career, Point Given, and Street Cry. Caffe Latte worked Tuesday.
The owners of grade I winners Riboletta and Tiznow have decided to ante up the funds necessary to supplement the horses to the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup championship day races.
Nominees to the five Fall Meet stakes races scheduled for Breeders' Cup Week at Churchill Downs feature top American runners, plus a strong representation of European-based horses. A total of 245 horses were nominated to the five races in the opening six days of the Fall Meet, Oct. 29-Nov. 25.
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European horsemen tend to favor cold weather sites for the Breeders' Cup, and particularly Churchill Downs with its long stretch.
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Fusao Sekiguchi's Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus returned to Churchill Downs Monday afternoon to continue his preparation for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (GI) on Nov. 4.
The overnight rating on NBC's Breeders' Cup Preview climbs 25% higher compared with last year's preview.
By Steve Haskin -- Remember the time when the big Breeders' Cup preps served to clear up the picture rather than confuse it? Well, it seems those days are long gone.
Aaron and Marie Jones' brilliant Riboletta led a planeload of Breeders' Cup contenders who arrived at Churchill Downs Monday morning. Meanwhile, Behrens, who suffered a cut on his leg in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, didn't make the flight and could be retired.
Michael Cooper and Cecilia Straub-Ruben's Tiznow led from the start and held off a determined Captain Steve and possibly a ticket to the Breeders' Cup.
With the Breeders' Cup just around the corner, more questions were asked than were answered as favorites were upset in graded stakes.
The Breeders' Cup Turf may have gained an additional starter but lost a contender as a result of Saturday's Dubai Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket, England.
Jorge (Chop Chop) Chavez moved Celtic Pride Stable's A P Valentine through on the rail and gamely outdueled Point Given for a 1 3/4-length triumph in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I).
Riboletta, the leading West Coast older female, and champion Beautiful Pleasure will face off in the $750,000 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park.
Lemon Drop Kid was exercised in a two-minute clip over the Belmont Park main track Friday and Hall of Fame trainer Scotty Schulhofer declared the colt fit and ready for Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
At its annual membership meeting in Lexington, Ky., the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Breeders' Cup Limited unveiled details of the licensing agreement for the operational merger ofthe two organizations.
Part of a series on handicapping the 2000 Breeders' Cup.
By Steve Haskin -- When the smoke of battle clears on Sunday night, those still standing will pack up and head to Churchill Downs, where riches, glory, and Eclipse Awards await. Of course, we all know by now that the most feared warrior of them all, Fusaichi Pegasus, has put back his sword and armor and will fight his final fight in Kentucky.
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Saturday's "Breeders' Cup Preview" from Belmont Park will be televised live on the NBC network from 4:30-6:00 p.m. ET.
Barn notes from Churchill Downs include notable workouts and plans for top horses.
Notes from Belmont Park for Staurday's Breeders' Cup Preview card.
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Notes from Belmont Park on contenders for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Preview Day.
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