Grey Goose Vodka has signed on as the name-in-title sponsor of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) under a multi-year agreement.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- The Jan. 8 announcement of the expansion of the Breeders' Cup to two days, along with the addition of three new $1-million races is symbolic of the organization's dynamic new leadership, one that is willing to take some chances.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors plans to explore the possibility of seeking a title sponsor for the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships will have a new look at first-time host Monmouth Park this year--an expanded two-day event that will inaugurate three $1-million stakes designed to accommodate owners and breeders.
By Patricia Ranft - It's been a tumultuous year in Thoroughbred racing, although most years have their share of turmoil in this sport. Emotions changed with the seasons, resulting in a 2006 that won't soon be forgotten.
A Jan. 6 dinner will honor the breeders of winners of 2006 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races.
- By Ryan Conley
ESPN's "Wire To Wire" digest show will be eliminated in 2007, but the amount of live coverage hours of horse racing on the network will increase slightly, part of a retooling of the lineups for the sports cable company and affiliated broadcast network ABC.
- By Tom LaMarra
Breeders' Cup officials visited Monmouth Park in New Jersey for a tour Nov. 28, but they said it wasn't because the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority-operated racetrack was in danger of losing the 2007 Breeders' Cup World Championships as published reports had suggested.
Fleet Indian, who suffered an injury to her left front suspensory ligament during the Nov. 4 running of the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, had surgery Nov. 20 to fuse her left front fetlock.
Swiss Yodeler, the sire of TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Thor's Echo, will stand in 2007 for $10,000, up from $7,500 this year.
Citing "significant decreases" in revenue from both Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing in the last five years, as well as increased health insurance costs, president and chief executive officer George Zoffinger has recommended to the board of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority it reduce its workforce by up to 40 positions.
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.
Lemons Forever, the longshot winner of this year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), was scheduled to be sold following her run in the Nov. 4 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). But she never left her stall in the Churchill Downs barn of trainer and co-owner Dallas Stewart.
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.
TVG processed a record-setting $6,708,450 in wagers, including $4,815,799 in wagering on the eight Breeders' Cup World Championships events, Nov. 4 from Churchill Downs.
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.
The Breeders' Cup simulcast helped trigger a record day for New Jersey Account Wagering and increased wagering at both Meadowlands and Monmouth Park.
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.
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.
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.
Favored Ouija Board rolled to her second victory in the Emirates Ariline 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.
If I had to watch Bernardini get beat, this was the way to go.
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.
Healthy Addiction will be bred to Tiznow. Hollywood Story will visit Storm Cat.
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.
- By Tom LaMarra
As Churchill Downs prepares to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Kentucky regulators are examining the state's drug-testing policies and procedures. Upgrades, however, may hinge on state funding.
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.
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?
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