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Turf Story: Illuminating

The biggest surprise of the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) popped up three days before the race was even run. The Maktoum brothers of Dubai shocked just about everyone Oct. 24 when they announced Fantastic Light would tackle the World Thoroughbred Championships' longest grass test instead of the Classic (gr. I)

Fantastic Light Appears Headed to Japan Cup

Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Fantastic Light will take on Japan's top horses again in the Nov. 25 Japan Cup (Jpn-I), a $4-million grass race at 1 1/2 miles, according to a published report quoting Godolphin representative Dr. Riki Takahashi.

Fantastic Light Appears Headed to Japan Cup

Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Fantastic Light will take on Japan's top horses again in the Nov. 25 Japan Cup (Jpn-I), a $4-million grass race at 1 1/2 miles, according to a published report quoting Godolphin representative Dr. Riki Takahashi.

Godolphin Sets its Sights on the Big A's Discovery Handicap

Godolphin's Street Cry has not raced since finishing second in the United Arab Emirates Derby (UAE-III) in late March and will face a solid field of 3-year-olds in Wednesday's $100,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III), the opening day feature of Aqueduct Racetrack's 44-day Fall Meeting.

Godolphin One-Two in Juvenile Fillies

Eoin Harty, who was hired by Sheikh Mohammed to train 2-year-olds in this country to try and win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), may eventually accomplish that, but Saturday he showcased fillies, running one-two in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Tempera and Imperial Gesture.

Godolphin One-Two in Juvenile Fillies

Eoin Harty, who was hired by Sheikh Mohammed to train 2-year-olds in this country to try and win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), may eventually accomplish that, but Saturday he showcased fillies, running one-two in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Tempera and Imperial Gesture.

Galileo, Other O'Brien Horses Set to Arrive Tuesday

Aidan O'Brien said on a national teleconference Wednesday afternoon that plans to ship to Belmont Park early next week are still on go. O'Brien will be arriving next Tuesday with one of the most powerful European contingents in Breeders' Cup history. The Ballydoyle trainer has Galileo and Black Minnaloushe for the Classic, Milan for the Turf, Bach for the Mile, Mozart for the Sprint, Johannesburg for the Juvenile, and Sophisticat for the Juvenile Fillies.

Godolphin Trio Arrives at Belmont Park

The main body of the Godolphin forces arrived at Belmont Park at 1:30 Friday afternoon following a flight from Stansted Airport in England. Fantastic Light, Sakhee, and Noverre will be in quarantine for 36 to 48 hours, and are expected to test the Belmont track for the first time either Sunday or Monday. Assistant trainer Tom Albertrani is expected to arrive on Saturday.

Godolphin Trio Departs For United States

The main body of the Godolphin forces departed Stansted Airport in England Friday morning for their journey to New York. After arriving at Belmont Park later in the afternoon, Fantastic Light, Sakhee, and Noverre will begin their 24-hour quarantine. They are expected to test the Belmont surface for the first time on Sunday.

China Visit Bests Jim and Tonic at Longchamp

Godolphin scored a win in the Prix du Rond-Point Casino Barriere de la Rochelle (Fr-II) at Longchamp Saturday -- one day before they send out favored Sakhee in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) -- when China Visit held off Jim and Tonic for the one-length victory. China Visit, a 4-year-old son of Red Ransom, completed the mile in 1:44 4/5 on ground listed as "very soft."

Express Tour Romps in Jerome Handicap

Godolphin's Express Tour alternately pressed and set the early pace en route to winning Saturday's $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park. Under John Velazquez, Express Tour completed the one-mile race in 1:34.57 on a fast track.

First Day Firepower: Keeneland Sale Begins on Strong Note

Powered by big-spending Maktoum family from Dubai, the Keeneland September yearling sale blasted off like a rocket on Sept. 10. The first of the auction's two select sessions established opening day records for average price and median. In addition, the second-most-expensive horse in the auction's history, a $5.5- million Storm Cat colt, was sold.

Galileo Shoots for the Stars; Jockey Gets Court Order to Ride

Galileo, the undefeated winner of the Epsom and Irish Derbies this year, squares off against Fantastic Light and 10 other runners in what promises to be a stirring rendition of the group I $1.07 million King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot. The race will be telecast live on ESPN News Saturday at 10:45 a.m. eastern time, and replayed Sunday on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. eastern.

Seeking the Gold Filly Brings $3.7 Million

He was shut out on several big lots early at the second session of the Keeneland July sale Tuesday, but Reynolds Bell, bidding for Jayeff B Stable, got the one he really wanted, a Seeking the Gold filly named Scene Seeker. Bell actually dropped out of the bidding, but then jumped back in and secured the filly for $3.7 million.

Noverre Fails French Guineas Drug Test

Noverre, who won the French 2,000 Guineas, has failed a subsequent drug test and is likely to be disqualified. The colt, owned by Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin, tested positive for the arthritis medication methylprednisolone.

E Dubai Earns First Graded Stakes Win in Dwyer

Godolphin's E Dubai avenged his second-place finish to Hero's Tribute in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) with an impressive 5 3/4-length victory in Sunday's $150,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park. The winning time marks the fastest running of the Dwyer since the race was switched to its present distance in 1994.

European Sire Charnwood Forest Dies

Leading European first and second crop sire Charnwood Forest (Ire) has died after fracturing a leg at Rathbarry Stud in Ireland on Sunday.

14 Entered for Saturday's Epsom Derby

About five hours before Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), England will know the results of its Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I). Fourteen horses are entered for the 12-furlong race, and four trainers have multiple entries, including a foursome scheduled to run for Barry Hills.

Sheikh Mohammed Creates Backstretch Buzz

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who with other members of his family operates Godolphin Racing, created a buzz on the backstretch at Churchill Downs Friday. Godolphin is seeking its first Kentucky Derby triumph with Express Tour. With a strong contingent of horses running in England on Saturday, it was uncertain whether Mohammed would be at Churchill Downs. Mohammed and entourage arrived Thursday in a jet that passed over the racetrack on its approach to the Louisville airport.

Godolphin's Street Cry Injured, Out of Derby

Godolphin's Street Cry, winner of the UAE Two Thousand Guineas and runner-up in the UAE Derby, will not run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after suffering an ankle injury Sunday morning. "He went out for a jog this morning," assistant trainer Tom Albertrani said, "and when he came back we noticed some filling in the right front ankle."

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