The bulk of Southern California-based Breeders' Cup aspirants will be flown east on two H.E. Sutton charters Monday and Tuesday, according to regional manager Mary Knight.
Obviously, the only thing harder to predict than who will win the eight Breeders' Cup races at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 is what the weather will be like in Louisville, Ky., on that date.
Tiznow worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Thursday under regular rider Chris McCarron in his final major work prior to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Honest Lady continued preparations for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) with a bullet five-furlong work Thursday at Hollywood Park.
Richard Mulhall, general manager of Prince Ahmed bin Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp., is optimistic about the stable's chances for a repeat victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
After having to rely on the fates in his effort to get David Holloway's Bet On Sunshine in the Breeders' Cup Sprint in 1997 and '99, Churchill Downs-based trainer Paul J. McGee will be able to relax a bit heading into the 2000 renewal of the $1 million race.
Under a dense blanket of fog, all three of trainer Christophe Clement's Breeders' Cup hopefuls worked on the turf Thursday morning at Belmont Park. New York Racing Association clockers caught Forbidden Apple (Mile) going a half-mile in :49. Stablemates Ciro and Craigsteel, both bound for the Turf, each worked five-eighths, galloping out three-quarters.
The 10-day forecast from the National Weather Service is calling for partly cloudy skies and a temperature of 72 on Saturday, Nov. 4 in Louisville, Ky. Which means a possibility Breeders' Cup XVII could see a record crowd.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, a model of consistency himself, sent three of his eight Breeders' Cup hopefuls to the main track at Belmont Park Wednesday morning, and the trio came back with identical results. Hap (Mile) and Vision and Verse (Classic) both breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5, with King Cugat (Mile) going a half in :48 3/5 and galloping out in -- you guessed it -- 1:01 2/5.
Breeders' Cup Sprint hopeful Five Star Day cleared a couple of major hurdles on Wednesday. The Beau Greely trainee was named as one of the 14 preferred entrants in the Sprint and he turned in a solid training move in his next-to-last work before the Breeders' Cup.
Her reputation has been tarnished a bit after surprising back-to-back losses in the Personal Ensign (gr. I) at Saratoga and the Three Chimneys Spinster (gr. I) at Keeneland, but a workout on the Churchill Downs turf Wednesday by Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) contender Heritage of Gold showed trainer Tom Amoss that she can still be a major force on Breeders' Cup Day.
Two of the big guns from the powerful roster of stars from the stable of Frank Stronach, Golden Missile and Perfect Sting, tuned up for their big events on Breeders' Cup Day with solid works at Churchill Downs Wednesday.
As the folks at the Breeders' Cup get out their piggy banks and prepare to stuff in $3,060,000 in supplementary fees, horses across America and Europe begin their march on Louisville. And when the last of the travelers arrives at Churchill Downs, there will be a total of 135 horses parading to the track each morning wearing purple Breeders' Cup saddlecloths.
The $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) picture has been changing faster than the autumn leaves. While new, vibrant colors keep appearing in the 3-year-old division, the older horses seem to be withering and falling harmlessly to the ground.
That collective gasp was the connections of the other Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) entrants when owners Aaron and Marie Jones decided to pony up the $400,000 to supplement Riboletta. The big check they wrote changed the whole complexion of the race.
From Europe's 17 Breeders' Cup wins, it isn't surprising to find that seven have come in the Turf (gr. IT) and seven in the Mile (gr. IT).
This year's 11-furlong edition of the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) figures to be as wide-open as a St. Louis Rams receiver streaking downfield.
Gather the world's best sprinters and what do you expect? Well, fast fractions naturally. Because every member of the field is capable of running so quickly, it makes the Breeders' Cup Sprint a difficult race to handicap.
"No child shall be left behind" -- one presidential candidate's sound bite -- fails to work in the Thoroughbred classroom, as 19 of those pre-entered at the head of the juvenile class of 2000 have proven to be in the accelerated program.
In the 16 previous editions of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), 10 of the winners had made their most recent start at either Belmont or Keeneland. This year, two undefeated fillies who last competed at those two racetracks appear headed for showdown at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
But a national division once boasting the potential of Royal Anthem, Dark Moondancer, Chester House, and Bienamado now finds itself pining for a star, and with no local standout or foreign phenomenon to brandish. This year's running of the Turf is totally up for grabs.
continued from part 1
The race, which makes a return after seven years, figures to play a key role in determining the steeplechase champion of the year.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Cat Thief, winner of the 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic, is coming to hand at the right time.
By G.D. Hieronymus -- Breeders' Cup Day is second to none for horseplayers, with nearly every horse having a shot.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- If the NTRA was created to boost racing's popularity with the general public, then using that same organization to raise the awareness of the sport's championship day is a logical progression.
Lu Ravi and Super Quercus worked at Churchill Downs on Sunday in preparation for their respective Breeders' Cup races. On Saturday at Churchill, Caller One, Dollar Bill, and Thunder Bertie were on the track for morning works.
Walkslikeaduck, one of the most interestingly named horses aiming for the Breeders' Cup Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, remains on target for the Mile in the Santa Anita stable of trainer Paddy Gallagher.
Fusao Sekiguchi's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Fusaichi Pegasus, trained by Neil Drysdale, continued Friday to leave a favorable impression in his morning training at Churchill Downs. Meanwhile, Drysdale may have added another contender to his strong Breeders' Cup hand with Stonerside Stable, LLC's recent acquisition Freefourracing.
Joe Orseno said Friday that Jerry Bailey will ride Golden Missile in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), replacing Kent Desormeaux, who also is the regular rider for Fusaichi Pegasus. Bailey also will ride Perfect Sting in the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) and Macho Uno in the Juvenile (gr. I) for Orseno.
Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) fifth-place finisher Platinum Tiara shipped from Keeneland to Churchill Downs on Thursday morning. The Brave Raj Stakes winner will begin preparing for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) on Friday, according to trainer Joe Waunsch and owner Rob Murphy.
By Steve Haskin -- It was once a vintage crop, but the pick of the older horses have either fallen from the vine or shriveled under the heat of battle. Golden Missile, however, has been kept in the shade the past few months, and unlike his withered opponents, he should be a relatively fresh horse and ready to take on whatever 3-year-old phenoms show up on Nov. 4.
The owners of grade I winners Riboletta and Tiznow have decided to ante up the funds necessary to supplement the horses to the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup championship day races.
Nominees to the five Fall Meet stakes races scheduled for Breeders' Cup Week at Churchill Downs feature top American runners, plus a strong representation of European-based horses. A total of 245 horses were nominated to the five races in the opening six days of the Fall Meet, Oct. 29-Nov. 25.
European horsemen tend to favor cold weather sites for the Breeders' Cup, and particularly Churchill Downs with its long stretch.
The overnight rating on NBC's Breeders' Cup Preview climbs 25% higher compared with last year's preview.
By Steve Haskin -- Remember the time when the big Breeders' Cup preps served to clear up the picture rather than confuse it? Well, it seems those days are long gone.
He has been a fixture at Churchill Downs since the 1970's, but veteran Bernie Flint has had only a sideline view of the track's biggest events.
Flint, whose 272 training wins at Churchill Downs puts him seventh on the track's all-time victory list, has never saddled a starter in the Kentucky Derby (GI) and has started only one runner (Dr. Bizzare, 6th in the 1988 Juvenile) in the four visits by the Breeders' Cup to his home track.
"I don't believe in bringing one over that doesn't stand a chance," said Flint. "I have never done it before. I've always been careful."
Flint's credo means you should pay close attention to a two-year-old daughter of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch named Thunder Bertie.
At its annual membership meeting in Lexington, Ky., the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Breeders' Cup Limited unveiled details of the licensing agreement for the operational merger ofthe two organizations.
Part of a series on handicapping the 2000 Breeders' Cup.
By Steve Haskin -- When the smoke of battle clears on Sunday night, those still standing will pack up and head to Churchill Downs, where riches, glory, and Eclipse Awards await. Of course, we all know by now that the most feared warrior of them all, Fusaichi Pegasus, has put back his sword and armor and will fight his final fight in Kentucky.
- By Steve Haskin
When the smoke of battle clears on Sunday night, those still standing will pack up and head to Churchill Downs, where riches, glory, and Eclipse Awards await. Of course, we all know by now that the most feared warrior of them all, Fusaichi Pegasus, has put back his sword and armor and will fight his final fight in Kentucky.
- By Steve Haskin
By Steve Haskin-- When the smoke of battle clears on Sunday night, those still standing will pack up and head to Churchill Downs, where riches, glory, and Eclipse Awards await. Of course, we all know by now that the most feared warrior of them all, Fusaichi Pegasus, has put back his sword and armor and will fight his final fight in Kentucky.
By Steve Haskin -- If it weren't for the heroics of Bob Baffert-trained 2-year-olds Flame Thrower, Arabian Light, and Notable Career, the first of the two big Breeders' Cup prep weekends would have been a lot more fizzle than sizzle.
By Tim McCarthy, Thoroughbred Sports Network -- There are many graded turf stakes races carded across the country on Columbus Day weekend, and after the sun sets on Monday, some prime picks for the championship day's grassy events are likely to be discovered.
By Steve Haskin -- Just think, there are eight Grade I stakes and six Grade II stakes this weekend, and it's only a prelude to the monster weekend coming up on Oct. 14 and 15. After that, horses will fill the skies over land and sea, and the only ground action will be in the form of behemoth horse vans rumbling into Louisville.
Churchill Downs is looking into expanding the number of possible wagering interests in the Kentucky Derby to 20, eliminating the need for horses to run as part of a mutuel field.
A deal that gives the TV Games Network the exclusive right to conduct interactive wagering on Breeders' Cup Championship Day races has left other account-wagering providers wondering how the decision will impact their ability to carry the Breeders' Cup program Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
By Steve Haskin -- Despite some brilliant performances this past weekend on both sides of the Atlantic, it is unlikely that any of the top races will have much of an impact on the Breeders' Cup. The big question will be whether the owners of Tiznow will cough up $480,000 to run in the Classic following the colt's powerful race in the Super Derby.
The Jockey Club has added a link from its Live Foal Report to the Breeders' Cup's foal nomination form on its Website.
By Steve Haskin -- With a rare slow weekend coming up, this is a perfect time to search out some live future book horses who are available at generous prices, namely Running Stag and Golden Missile.
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