On April 17, 2008, American racing fans were immersed in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and no one was even giving the Breeders' Cup a second thought. But across the Atlantic, there was a scene being played out that would have a far greater effect on the Breeders' Cup than anyone could have imagined.
Johannesburg, the champion 2-year-old in England and the U.S. in 2001, has been sold to stand at stud in Japan.
It looks as if Mastercraftsman will be joining stablemate Rip Van Winkle in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) after the colt's easy victory in the 1 1/8-mile Diamond Stakes on the all-weather track at Dundalk.
Rip Van Winkle held off a stubborn Zacinto in the final furlong to claim his second group I victory of the season, taking the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) by a determined 1 1/4-lengths at Ascot Sept. 26.
Rip Van Winkle finally lived up to the hype and broke through for his first group I victory when he powered home for a 2 1/2-length win over Paco Boy in the BGC Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) at Goodwood July 29.
Alfred Nobel wore down a stubborn Air Chief Marshal to capture the Camas Park and Ashtown House Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) by a determined half-length at the Curragh July 26.
Fame And Glory justified being the odds-on favorite with a commanding five-length victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I) at the Curragh June 28.
Yeats etched his name in history by becoming the first horse to win the prestigious Gold Cup (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot for the fourth straight year.
Mastercraftsman repulsed a strong bid from Delegator to post a gritty neck victory in the St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 16.
Turf Flat racing resumed in Ireland at the Curragh on Sunday, March 22, but probably more significant was Aidan O'Brien's decision to work 48 horses on the course after racing.
Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien won the final group I of the European season when Fame and Glory edged stablemate Drumbeat in France's Criterium de Saint-Cloud for 2-year-olds Nov. 12.
Undefeated Maram got up to win the inaugural Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf by a nose in the final strides over Heart Shaped. The $1 million contest was the second Breeders' Cup race on the Oct. 24 Ladies Day card of the two-day World Championships card at Santa Anita.
European trainers discussed the strengths of their Breeders' Cup contenders, the largest number from overseas since 1994. Several said they would not have made the trip if the main track had a dirt instead of a synthetic surface.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien discussed the chances of his eight Breeders' Cup contenders, who were followed by a throng of media after their morning walks on the track.
Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) winner Fairbanks worked five furlongs in 1:00 over the main track at Santa Anita Oct. 19 in preparation for the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Although they have dominated the $3-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at other venues, top European imports have not performed especially well when the Breeders' Cup has been held at Santa Anita, where they must contend with tighter turns, hard turf, and warm temperatures.
Halfway To Heaven broke alertly and never looked back as she gamely held off a stubborn Darjina to post a half-length victory in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket Oct. 4.
A slight change in tactics made the difference as Raven's Pass turned the tables on longtime rival Henrythenavigator to earn his first group I victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by Sony) (Eng-I) at Ascot Sept. 27.
Churchill Downs and Great Britain's Kempton Park Racecourse have announced a race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that will provide a clear path for the winner to a starting spot in the field for the 2009 running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Septimus powered his way to a 13-length victory in the Irish Field St. Leger (Ire-I), enabling trainer Aidan O'Brien to sweep all five Irish classic races this season. In doing so, O'Brien became the first trainer in 73 years to accomplish such a feat.
Duke of Marmalade captured his fifth group I of the season by stubbornly holding off Phoenix Tower by three-quarters of a length to win the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) at Newmarket Aug. 23.
Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth's Tizdejavu, undefeated on turf, will be after his fourth consecutive victory over the surface in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 9 at Arlington Park. Tizdejavu, trained by Gregory Fox, was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite in the 1 1/4-mile test for 3-year-olds. Nine were entered.
Archipenko, who has won stakes events in four different countries in the past 15 months, has been installed as the 2-1 favorite and is one of three formidable European invaders vying for top honors in the 26th running of the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 9.
The Ballydoyle juggernaut notched a remarkable 17th group I win of the season when Halfway To Heaven held on for a gallant head victory over Lush Lashes in the Blue Square Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Goodwood Aug. 2.
Henrythenavigator repelled a late challenge by Raven's Pass to capture the BGC Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) by a determined head at Glorious Goodwood July 30.
Moonstone earned her first career victory in spectacular fashion by just outlasting stablemate Ice Queen to capture the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) by a short head July 13 at the Curragh.
Mount Nelson notched another group I win for the Ballydoyle team when he nailed Phoenix Tower at the wire to capture the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) at Sandown Park July 5.
Classy campaigner Yeats secured his place in history by becoming just the second horse to capture three consecutive renewals of the Gold Cup (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 19.
Duke of Marmalade justified his heavy favoritism by powering to an emphatic four length victory in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 18.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Henrythenavigator won the St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) on opening day of Royal Ascot meeting. Other winners on the day include Haradasun, winner of the Queen Anne (Eng-I), and Equiano, winner of the King's Stand Stakes (Eng-I).
Soldier of Fortune benefited from a masterful ride by Johnny Murtagh to defeat a top class field in the Juddmonte Coronation Cup (Eng-I) at Epsom June 6.
Duke of Marmalade is proving to be a worthy successor to former stablemate Dylan Thomas after notching his second consecutive group I victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 25.
Halfway To Heaven capped an outstanding weekend for trainer Aidan O'Brien by holding on for a head victory over Mad About You in the Boylesports Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 25.
Henrythenavigator made it a Guineas sweep when he powered away from rival New Approach to capture the Boylesports Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) by 1 3/4-lengths at The Curragh May 24.
Dylan Thomas, who was recently named Cartier Horse of the Year and top older horse in Europe, is no longer a contender for the Nov. 25 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) due to not testing negative for equine viral arteritis.
Dylan Thomas was named Cartier Horse of the Year and top older horse at the 2007 Cartier Racing Awards, presented in the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel in London's Mayfair Nov. 14.
The equine influenza outbreak has not been able to penetrate the outer shell of excellence of the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I). In fact, the Aus$5 million ($4.6million) Cup, at two miles Nov. 6, features as good a field as ever.
Roy and Gretchen Jackson had not seen George Washington since he was a yearling. Still, when they watched the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) from their Pennsylvania home Oct. 27 and saw the 4-year-old colt tragically break down, they had an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
European jockeys and trainers who ventured onto the turf course at Monmouth Park the morning of Oct. 26 were surprised at its resilience. The lack of rain overnight, despite a two-day drenching, allowed the course to recover to good from yielding.
After Market is set to take his place in the lineup for the Oct. 27 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) despite some concerns from trainer John Shirreffs about the condition of the turf course.
Dylan Thomas will be trying to become the first Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) winner to capture a Breeders' Cup World Championships race.
The Europeans felt more at home around the Monmouth Park quarantine barn the morning of Oct. 24, thanks to the clouds and rain that became heavy at times. None of the British or Irish trainers with Breeders' Cup runners had arrived, so leading Irish jockey Johnny Murtagh held center stage. He has four excellent rides in the 11 Breeders' Cup races Friday and Saturday.
Star European turf horse Dylan Thomas and Jim Scatuorchio's English Channel will enter the starting gate next to each other as the first and second morning-line choices for the Oct. 27 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
The likely favorite for the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) caught Demi O'Byrne's eye in the barn of another trainer. And that's just fine with the man who sold most of Excellent Art.
Kitty Matcham lived up to her impeccable pedigree and pulled a 10-1 surprise when landing the seriousquitters.co.uk Rockfel Stakes (Eng-II) by a neck Oct. 20 at Newmarket.
The ESPN family of networks will set a record for length of Breeders' Cup coverage, with 9 1/2 hours devoted to the two-day Breeders' Cup event and a preview show Wednesday.
The eyes of the horse racing world are squarely fixed on next week's Breeders' Cup, with a total of 160 pre-entries (141 individual horses, 19 cross-entered) for 11 races. It will be a year of many firsts for the World Championships.
Aidan O'Brien, who has been a dominant force in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, likely will have only two starters in this year's event, but they will be a formidable pair. O'Brien will send out Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fra-I) winner Dylan Thomas in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and Excellent Art in the NetJets Mile (gr. IT).
After a tense 20-minute stewards' inquiry into the result of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I), the order of finish stood and Dylan Thomas officially won the 10th race of his 18-start career and sixth at the group I level.
After a tense 20-minute stewards' inquiry into the result of the Oct. 7 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I) at Longchamp in France, the order of finish stood and Dylan Thomas officially won the 10th race of his 18-start career and sixth at the group I level.
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