The wheels have been turning at Ballydoyle. The decision to send group I Irish Derby and Irish Champion winner Dylan Thomas to Belmont for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) is a departure from their normal strategy. But they have done it before, and it is understandable why they would want to try a different approach
When Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now wins, it's usually close. Under Ramon Dominguez, the late closer gutted out a three-horse photo by a head to win Sunday's $269,156 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) on a yielding turf at Woodbine.
The 7-year-old gelding Better Talk Now is not expected to defend his title in next Saturday's $500,000 Man o' War (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
James Scatuorchio's English Channel and Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Cacique, never more than a half-length apart in three previous meetings, renew their rivalry in Saturday's 24th Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Trainer H. Graham Motion has a contender in two of the three big races at Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing, so he's in a good spot to assess the relative quality of Saturday's fields.
English Channel came off the rail to grab the lead in mid-stretch, then stubbornly refused to give in to the determined Cacique in winning the $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) on the sparkling new Monmouth Park turf course Saturday.
While New Jersey legislators and the governor close in on an agreement for the state budget that would allow racing at Monmouth Park this weekend, a field of seven was entered for the $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) Saturday over 11 furlongs on the grass.
In a matchup between former Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships race winners, 2005 John Deere Turf (gr. IT) winner Shirocco held off a game Ouija Board, winner of the 2004 Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) in Friday's Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) at England's Epsom Racecourse.
Better Talk Now had the final say when he inched out a head victory with a game effort between horses in the $250,000 CompUSA/Toshbia Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico Race Course Saturday.
After watching Better Talk Now's grand stretch kick compromised by a slow pace in last year's $250,000 Comp USA/Toshiba Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT), trainer Graham Motion is more surprised than anyone that he will saddle the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) champion for Saturday's Pimlico renewal.
Artie Schiller, winner of the 2005 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), and Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), are among 128 nominees to the 20th running of the $400,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.
Though Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact is sitting this one out, Sunday's 25th running of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) boasts two Breeders' Cup winners, one winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I), a two-time Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) winner, and the two previous winners of the Japan Cup.
TVG will become the first American TV network to present live, on-site coverage of horseracing from Japan when it telecasts that country's two most important international racing events – the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) and the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) on Nov. 25 and 26, respectively.
Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) winner Lava Man, who will try to give trainer Doug O'Neill his second victory in three years in the Japan Cup Dirt, worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 at Hollywood Park Saturday morning and is set to head to Japan on Tuesday.
If it's the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, you can bet (literally) that there will be several longshot winners. With so many of the grade I races this year appearing to be wide-open, with full fields, there is no reason to think this year will be any different from past Breeders' Cups.
It is still too early to make final selections for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Most of the important works are finished, and the majority of the mounts have been assigned. So, basically there is nothing much to do but wait for the shippers to arrive and concoct lists that may or not prove helpful.
As far as the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is concerned, repeat customers are more than welcome. But while many Breeders' Cup winners have tried to repeat their glory, only a select few have succeeded.
There are two ways of looking at this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, especially the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I). It is either a depleted group of horses that doesn't measure up to most Breeders' Cups or there is still plenty left to provide a championship-caliber afternoon of racing.
Saturday's $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) will feature last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now and Beverly D (gr. IT) winner Angara, whom trainer Patrick Biancone will send out against the boys in the 1 3/8-mile test.
Trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday he will run Shake the Bank as a pacesetter for last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now in Saturday's $500,000 Man o'War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Powerscourt, disqualified after winning last year's Arlington Million (gr. IT), provided sweet redemption for his Ballydoyle connections Saturday with an emphatic victory in the American classic on a yielding Arlington Park turf course.
Better Talk Now shipped into Arlington Park early Friday afternoon for Saturday's Arlington Million (gr. IT).
With Better Talk Now unlikely to defend his $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) title Saturday at Saratoga, the race now gives an opportunity for eight others horses on the East Coast to emerge among the top turf runners in the country.
Better Talk Now, who conquered all rivals in last fall's grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, will be ridden by last year's Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez should his owners at Bushwood Racing Partners decide to run in Saturday's grade I Arlington Million.
The Arlington Million (gr. IT) Saturday at Arlington Park could easily be mistaken for an all-star game, with group and graded stakes-caliber runners filling every post and Kitten's Joy and European shipper Powerscourt highlighting the field.
Trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference he is 90% sure Better Talk Now will start in Saturday's Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course. The trainer held out a slight 10% chance that last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner could show up in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Race Course on the same day.
Meteor Storm, the 2004 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) winner at Belmont Park, worked five furlongs over the Saratoga main track Monday morning in 1:00 2/5, handily, under jockey Javier Castellano.
Patiently guided by Ramon Dominguez, Bushwood Racing Partners' Better Talk Now stormed home along the inside to win Saturday's $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) on a soft Monmouth Park turf course.
Better Talk Now will have some help in Saturday's $750,000 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park with the prospect of a soft turf course and stablemate Shake the Bank.
A full field of turf specialists, including defending champion Request for Parole and John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner, Better Talk Now, is expected for the $750,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park July 2.
Two of the nation's best turf runners in the form of Artie Schiller and Better Talk Now hook up in Saturday's CompUSA Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico when they take on four rivals as each attempts to win their second consecutive race in as many starts this year.
Returning to action for the first time in 2005, Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) hero Better Talk Now registered a confident win for jockey Ramon Dominguez by a neck over Remind in the $107,400 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Aqueduct turf Saturday.
Better Talk Now, winner of the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) last year, faces a compact field when he returns to competition in Saturday's Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Ltd., in conjunction with the Thoroughbred Club of America, will honor the breeders of the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships race winners Jan. 8 at its 11th annual dinner at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington .
Traffic was tight in the stretch run of the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) but Gary Tanaka's Brazilian-bred Pellegrino found plenty of room along the inside with Gary Stevens aboard to spring a 10-1 surprise Saturday.
The connections for Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) upsetter Better Talk Now are gambling that a victory in Hollywood Park's $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) Saturday will be enough to secure an Eclipse Award as the year's North American male turf champion.
Better Talk Now, staging a late bid for an Eclipse Award, will be flown to California on Tuesday for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) Saturday, trainer H. Graham Motion said Sunday from his base at Fair Hill, Md.
John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now will make his next start in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) on Dec. 4, trainer H. Graham Motion said Wednesday from Fair Hill, Md.
They got down and dirty in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), turning the Sport of Kings into a rip-roaring, Texas-style rodeo. With front-running Star Over the Bay starting to fade, Powerscourt charged to the front on the final turn. Then Better Talk Now attacked from the outside, cutting in front of Magistretti. Meanwhile, the 7-10 favorite, Kitten's Joy, frantically swung his head to the left and right, looking for running room as the field headed to the wire.
Although jockey Jerry Bailey did not add to his record 14 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships winners, he had three seconds and two thirds from six mounts for earnings of $1,436,800.
Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now stormed to the lead in mid-stretch and rolled on to an upset victory over favored Kitten's Joy in the $2 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Live Oak Plantation's In the Gold was withdrawn from Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) after developing a fever.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy was made the even-money favorite by Lone Star Park handicapper Rick Lee for Saturday's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Epalo appeared to be home free in the late stages of the $500,000 Man o'War, but Michael Tabor's Magistretti, last at the top of the stretch, flew down the middle of the track to win going away on yielding turf at Belmont Park Saturday.
Saturday's $500,000 Man o'War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park drew a field of eight runners who may have to contend with soft going after steady rain in New York earlier this week.
Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now picked a fine spot to earn his first victory of the 2004 season, taking the $500,000 Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT) in his first grade I attempt on the grass at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Anstu Stables' Balto Star is the one catch in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/2 miles on turf Saturday at Saratoga. If he gets the kind of pace he enjoys, they may not be able to do it.
Grade I winner Kicken Kris, winless since October, got a perfect stalking trip from jockey Edgar Prado to win the Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Belmont Park turf Saturday.
After establishing himself as one of the leading sophomore turf runners in the nation last year, Kicken Kris drops out of grade I company Saturday in search of a much-needed win in the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Meteor Storm and Hard Buck are the heavy hitters in Saturday's $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, but Better Talk Now is among several major stakes winners in the field that could easily be factors.
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