As in past Breeders' Cups, there are longshots galore in this year's World Thoroughbred Championships. Finding them, however, is another matter. This year, the task will be more challenging than usual.
It was a bit of the good news, bad news story for the 2-year-old colt Capitano in the Oct. 5 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita. He finished a solid second, defeating seven other juveniles.
He was considered ordinary as a young horse, but Storming Home now ranks among racing's elite. The 5-year-old son of Machiavellian is the probable favorite for Saturday's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita.
Tom VanMeter II hopes he has the bases covered in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). A principal in Eaton Sales along with Reiley McDonald, VanMeter has sold many "home run" runners, but he has two of his own on deck for the $1-million race for 2-year-old fillies: Be Gentle and Victory U.S.A.
All the time, trainers map out a schedule for a horse. Sometimes it works out. Other times it doesn't. And when it does work out, there is always one very important thing at work.
If Breeders' Cup history repeats itself at this year's World Thoroughbred Championships, bet on sunny weather and horses who have raced previously at Santa Anita.
A company specializing in surveillance systems reported Thursday to the California Horse Racing Board on the success of an experimental program that included two digital cameras monitoring activities in the stable area at Del Mar last summer.
The first horse Bill Heiligbrodt owned ran in the 1989 Breeders' Cup. It was a memorable experience, but not a good memory. On Saturday, Heiligbrodt and his wife, Corrine, hope for better memories.
The Joe Hirsch/Bill Leggett 2003 Breeders' Cup Writing Awards, which were presented Wednesday night, were won by Pat Forde, who became the first three-time winner, and Billy Reed, the first back-to-back winner. Both stories concerned the winner of the 2002 Classic, Volponi, and his Hall of Fame trainer, P. G. Johnson.
Mowing. Spiking. Watering. Tamping. And don't forget worrying. Leif Dickinson, turf course superintendent at Santa Anita, has been doing all of those things to ready the grass for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
There is little doubt Halfbridled looms large over her 13 rivals in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) both from a size and form perspective. However, the supersized daughter of Unbridled won't find a field she can push around on Saturday.
The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) is loaded with 2-year-old fillies trained by big-time names like Lukas, Baffert, and Mandella. Not to be lost among the shuffle, however, is newcomer Adam Kitchingman. The 29-year-old Australian conditioner is sending out his first stakes winner ever, Dixie High, in the $1-million Juvenile Fillies.
Most trainers are spending this Breeders' Cup week convincing themselves and everyone around them they have the absolute best horse in their respective races. Dermot Weld, it should be known, is an exception to the rule.
This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the Breeders' Cup, and only one trainer has saddled horses in each rendition of racing's biggest day. D. Wayne Lukas, in addition to his vast success in Triple Crown events, is by far the winningest Breeders' Cup conditioner.
Adoration, Dimatrova and Minister Eric topped the Breeders's Cup work tab at Santa Anita on Wednesday.
There was plenty of intrigue and a few 'oohs' and 'aahs' during the post position draw for the eight-race Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita Wednesday morning as the fields were set, the morning lines made, and head-to-head wagers announced.
The English bookmaking operations were busy updating their odds Wednesday morning after the post-position draw was held for Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita.
Medaglia d'Oro was installed as the 3-1 favorite for the $4-m illion Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) when a field of 10 was entered Wednesday for the 1 1/4 mile race at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Former jockey Corey Black wears several hats these days. He's a high-profile and well-liked racing expert on TVG. He leads the Seabiscuit backstretch tours several days a week at Santa Anita. And he's the work rider for the sometimes-troubled John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) favorite Storming Home.
On two different occasions in 2002, Bluesthestandard was claimed for $10,000. This year, he's ready to roll in the grade I Breeders' Cup Sprint, which will be held in his own back yard.
Patrick Biancone once had classic aspirations for Zavata. He doesn't mind admitting now the colt is a sprinter.
One jockey will be honored for overall outstanding performance in this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and subsequent editions of the event with the Bill Shoemaker Award, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup announced Oct. 21.
Only a few of the European runners in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships left the quarantine area Tuesday morning, but among them were some big names.
Trainer Elie Lellouche has told a representative of the International Racing Bureau in France that the Wildenstein family's Bright Sky will run in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) rather than the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. I).
Retired jockey Chris McCarron is no stranger to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, but this year, he'll be watching as general manager of host track Santa Anita Park.
Scott Lake was staring up at the San Gabriel Mountains that rise majestically behind Santa Anita. His Breeders' Cup starter was cooling out in the barn behind him.
Azeri, who was declared out of the Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I) on Monday morning, has an injured tendon, trainer Laura de Seroux said later in the day.
As a third-generation horseman, trainer Thomas "Ray" Bell II is no stranger to good horses. So when Mr. and Mrs. Vicken Meguerditchian's Capitano came along, 49-year-old Bell knew the son of Belong to Me was special.
Following a three-hour hearing, Irish racing officials Monday confirmed High Chaparral as the winner of the The Food Island Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown Sept. 7, dismissing an appeal to the original stewards' decision brought by the connections of Falbrav.
It is hot at Santa Anita. But the local Chamber of Commerce must have put in a good word with someone because the forecast for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is for a high of 78 degrees.
"It's a lovely day for a walk," trainer John Gosden said. He and his jockey, Richard Hughes, were walking the Santa Anita turf course Monday morning following training hours.
Edmund A. Gann's Peace Rules ran off after exercise rider Marco Ramirez came out of the stirrups and then turned in a bullet workout at Hollywood Park on Monday.
The first European horses scheduled to race in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were released from quarantine Monday morning at Santa Anita.
Five contenders for Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, including a powerful trio trained by Steve Asmussen, were on the track at Churchill Downs and its Trackside Louisville training center Monday.
Breeders' Cup World Championships week began Monday with a flurry of track activity at Santa Anita Park, where the Breeders' Cup races hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Association will be held Saturday.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, will not run in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel, Michael Paulson announced Sunday night.
Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) contender Tiger Hunt breezed five-eighths of a mile in 1:01 at Churchill Downs Oct. 18, and his ownership team has high hopes.
By late Sunday afternoon, all of the European horses scheduled to compete in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships had arrived in Southern California. As they arrive, they are finding the weather much warmer than where their flights originated.
Probable John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) favorite Storming Home worked seven furlongs in 1:28 2/5 in company with NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) hopeful Sarafan, who was clocked in 1:28 4/5 over Santa Anita's firm turf course Sunday.
Country music star Toby Keith's homebred Cactus Ridge has been declared out of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) due to a knee injury, according to a release from Hawthorne Race Course. Cactus Ridge and trainer Bret Calhoun are based at the Chicago-area track.
Trainer Todd Pletcher worked his trio of Breeders' Cup starters -- Chapel Royal, Ashado, and Balto Star -- at Belmont Park Sunday morning.
Stonecrest Farm's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Perfect Drift, Select Stable's Distaff (gr. I) hope Take Charge Lady, and Team Valor's Juvenile (gr. I) hopeful Tiger Hunt each worked five furlongs in dense fog at Churchill Downs Saturday morning in their last training moves before they fly to California to compete in the Breeders' Cup at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Oct. 25.
Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) hopeful Cactus Ridge breezed five furlongs in 1:00.26 prior to Saturday's first race at Hawthorne Racecourse.
Travers Stakes (gr. I) and Super Derby (gr. II) winner Ten Most Wanted continued his preparations for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge (gr. I) by breezing five furlongs in 1:00 at Hollywood Park Saturday morning.
Injuries and early retirements fail to diminish the field in the Big One.
North American success in Breeders' Cup events staged in southern California keep many European contenders home this year.
Failure to produce Derby winner lessens drama of the Juvenile.
Last year's winning trainer brings three gals to this year's dance.
This year's Sprint features the best field in recent memory.
Europe sending four top runners to compete in this year's Mile.
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