Southern California trainer Phil D'Amato, who starts outsider Big John B in the Breeders' Cup Turf, is an overnight success story that was 16 years in the making.
Bright Thought, winner of the John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park, will not run in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), trainer Phil D'Amato said Oct. 17.
Bright Thought turned the tables on his heavily favored stablemate Big John B in the $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) Sept. 28 at Santa Anita Park with his first win since March 2013.
An overpowering 5 1/4-length winner of the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) last month, Big John B returns for the John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Sept. 28 against many of the same horses he beat previously.
Big John B, a $50,000 claim in April, qualified for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) with a runaway victory in the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 22.
After exchanging tight decisions in two recent starts this spring, Fire With Fire and Quick Casablanca clash for a third time in the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 23 on the Del Mar turf.
Quick Casablanca and Fire With Fire, separated by a head the last time they met for their respective Hall of Fame trainers, will battle again in the $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan didn't scare away many rivals as he attempts to take down a second edition of the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Next to last going to the far turn under Mike Smith, Tom's Tribute came roaring down the stretch to win the $75,000 Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita Park while equaling Wise Dan's course record for a mile on turf.
Horse of the Year Wise Dan will launch a title defense in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) from post 8 in a field of 10 off his only loss of 2013. Among his challengers is the horse who beat him, Silver Max.
Ten Breeders' Cup runners slated for the turf events, led by Obviously (IRE), worked on the grass at Santa Anita Park Oct. 26.
Twilight Eclipse ruined the return of favored Newsdad while establishing a new world record for 1 1/2 miles on turf in the $150,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) March 23 at Gulfstream Park.
Bright Thought, a scintillating 3 1/4-length winner of the $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes going 1 1/2 miles on turf March 16, has established a new world record time of 2:22.72, according to the American Racing Manual.
Bright Thought, making his graded stakes debut, pulled away in the stretch to capture the $150,750 San Luis Rey (gr. IIT) in course record time on the turf March 16 at Santa Anita Park.
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