As predicted, all-source wagering exceeded $140 million for the Breeders' Cup World Championships held Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, according to official figures released Nov. 9.
In one swift, bold stroke coming off the turn for home, in the brief stitch of time that it took Frankie Dettori to swing her outside and set her down for her inexorable drive to victory in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), the dark bay mare who answers to the name of Ouija Board thus became the uncontested queen of the Breeders' Cup.
The coronation was nearly complete. The crowd of 75,132 prepared to give Bernardini a thunderous ovation worthy of the greatness they were witnessing.
Final U.S. national household television ratings confirmed a severe dip in the number of Americans tuned to the Breeders' Cup World Championships this year.
Though Breeders' Cup officials believe Churchill Downs is a premier host site for the World Championships, the rebuilt clubhouse at the Kentucky racetrack has created a problem providing quality seating for guests of Breeders' Cup.
Pine Island, who was euthanized after breaking down in the Nov. 4 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, was buried at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., Monday afternoon.
Bernardini, who took command of the 3-year-old division starting with an overpowering victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), has been retired from racing for stallion duty at Sheikh Mohammed's Darley at Jonabell near Lexington.
Shadwell Farm's Invasor (Candy Stripes-Quendom, by Interprete), winner of Saturday's $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I), will remain in training and looks to the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on March 31, 2007, as his next major objective.
Television ratings were down but Web traffic was up for ESPN's maiden voyage covering the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
An equine ambulance was delayed in getting to Fleet Indian after the mare injured her left front suspensory ligament during the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) because Churchill Downs personnel were following state regulations regarding ambulances on the track.
The owners and trainers of the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships winners turned out in full force to share their thoughts and plans for the future at the annual press breakfast Nov. 5.
Jockey Lanfranco "Frankie" Dettori, who rode Ouija Board and Red Rocks to victory during the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Thoroughbred Championships, was named recipient of the annual Bill Shoemaker Award during a press breakfast the following morning at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Tom Albertrani said Sunday morning that he was "disappointed" by the second place finish by Bernardini, the 11-10 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, but that the 3-year-old colt did not disgrace himself.
Fans and bettors made the Breeders' Cup World Championships' first appearance at Churchill Downs in six years a big one with record numbers for all-sources and on-track handle.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was asked Thursday if he knew the words to the Urugauain national anthem and he smiled but said, "No."
While trainer Todd Pletcher had a record number of Breeders' Cup World Championship runners, none of them were able to bring home the victory as his stable went 0-17 at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
The Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) epitomized the highs and lows of the sport. Round Pond won the 1 1/8-mile race, but co-favorites Pine Island and Fleet Indian suffered injuries.
The two 5-2 co-favorites in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) both broke down during the running of the race and failed to finish.
Live Oak Plantation's Miesque's Approval, a winner in his only previous turf start at Churchill Downs, made it two-for-two with a sharp come-from-behind score in the $1,987,720 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Tragedy struck the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) Saturday at Churchill Downs when the co-favored Pine Island was fatally injured and Fleet Indian suffered a serious injury in a race won easily by Round Pond.
Red Rocks, rated far off an honest pace, rallied boldly in the stretch under Frankie Dettori to win the $2,748,000 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) over fast-closing Better Talk Now.
Thor's Echo rolled to the lead reaching the stretch and shook loose for a four-length upset in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Favored Ouija Board rolled to her second victory in the $2,015,200 Emirates Arline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT), adding a 2 1/4-length triumph Saturday at Churchill Downs to her victory at Lone Star Park in 2004.
Tracking a hotly contested pace early, Street Sense came up the rail and ran away with the $1,832,000 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) by 10 lengths at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
Under blue skies with wispy clouds, the Breeders' Cup World Championships got off to a formful start at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., when favorite Dreaming of Anna led gate to wire to take the $1,832,000 Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
If I had to watch Bernardini get beat, this was the way to go.
There's no rain in the forecast Saturday in Louisville for the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships, but it will be on the chilly side.
Yes, it's time again to look for those hidden jewels that always seem to lurk beneath the surface every year in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, just waiting to burst forth and light up the tote board. With so many top class, talented horses this year, it won't be easy, but let's give it a try.
Assistant starter Clinton Beck was named the Race Track Chaplaincy of America's White Horse Award recipient during the Taylor Made Sale's Agency's Nov. 2 White Horse Heroes luncheon at Churchill Downs.
When considering Breeders' Cup fields, one would normally think the vast majority of horses are homebreds, or at least have been with one nurturing trainer and owner who have been pointing the horse to a certain championship race since it was a youngster. Not so, where this year's TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) is concerned.
Pine Island, bred and owned by the Phipps Stable, probably wouldn't win an equine beauty contest. But she's Miss America on the racetrack.
All of the credentialed photographers are gathered around the winner's circle, receiving their locations to shoot tomorrow's races. It's their views to the thrill.
When Satwa Queen springs from the gate in the Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs trainer Jean de Roualle will be content knowing his prep work is done and the outcome of the race is in the hands of jockey Thierry Thulliez.
Trainer Tom Albetrani said his Bernardini will be facing the most difficult task of his life Saturday in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
After finishing second in Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) two years ago, Balletto returns to the Breeders' Cup, this time in the Emirates Airline Distaff (gr.I).
Two days before the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Doug O'Neill, trainer of Lava Man, Sharp Lisa, and Great Hunter; and Tom Albertrani, trainer of Bernardini and Balletto, discussed the chances of their stars leading up to their respective races.
Once again, trainer Aidan O'Brien has brought a strong contingent of horses from across the pond to compete in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 4. As always, the European invaders are most feared in the turf events, and O'Brien will saddle Aussie Rules and Ad Valorem in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT)and Scorpion in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
If there were a prize to be given for the most royal pedigree in the Breeders' Cup Classic-Powered By Dodge (gr. I), Suave would be right up there among the contenders.
Giacomo is a different kettle of fish from the best-known runners from the Plaudit line, who gained their reputation on the basis of raw brilliance.
Some might question why Flower Alley is even being considered for the Breeders' Cup Classic–Powered By Dodge (gr. I). If he can return to the form that carried him to a second-place finish behind Horse of the Year Saint Liam in last year's Classic, however, he will not be a horse to overlook.
By the late 1990s, it seemed almost certain that the male line of Hall of Famer Alydar would not survive. Before he died in 1990, however, Alydar sired one last runner of some note.
Lawyer Ron proved himself one of the most consistent 3-year-old colts of 2006 heading into the Kentucky Derby, carrying a six-race win streak into the big race.
George Washington is a unique conundrum. Bred by Roy and Gretchen Jackson – also the breeders and owners of Kentucky Derby (gr, I) winner Barbaro – he has a name as American as baseball and apple pie, yet is largely European in background and performance.
At a Nov. 2 press conference next to the Churchill Downs paddock, trainer Todd Pletcher tried to explain the logistics of starting 17 horses on Breeders' Cup World Championship day Saturday.
If Lava Man's pedigree is blue-collar and Invasor's is foreign nobility, Bernardini's represents the American aristocracy.
Owners Clinton and Susan Atkins had hoped to watch their 3-year-old filly Baghdaria race under Churchill Downs' famed twin spires on the first Friday in May. The filly didn't compete in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but they have a second chance to compete at Churchill with a berth in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships actually being just that has taken hold with at least one trainer. Ed Dunlop, who conditions Ouija Board, has planned three campaigns for the filly, each designed with the Breeders' Cup in mind.
The great Laffit Pincay Jr., now retired but still the world's all-time leading jockey (and winner of eight Breeders' Cup races), is at Churchill Downs to introduce the nominees for the Race Track Chaplaincy's White Horse Award.
Looking at the post positions for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), one can expect plenty of action up front, with several jockeys having to make a split decision whether or not to commit their horse to the lead, or at least to be a major pace factor. But is it possible a horse can get a clear lead...and actually hold it?
In the words of ESPN senior vice president Len DeLuca, the network is "bullish" on its opportunity to broadcast the Breeders' Cup World Championships for the first time Nov. 4.
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