The Blood-Horse has learned that Guided Tour, the game runner who earned the nickname "The Bus," was euthanized Dec. 21 after he broke down during a 1 1/4-mile race at Malaz racecourse in Ridayh, Saudi Arabia.
The horse affectionately referred to as "The Bus" due to his slow morning works will not start in the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs later this month. Instead, Guided Tour -- the winner of four grade II races this year -- will begin his trip to Saudi Arabia Monday where he will be prepared for a start in the Jan. 11 King's Cup.
After a drastic downturn Monday from the comparable session one year ago, the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale rebounded Tuesday as the second day average and median were more closely in line with the comparable day one year ago.
A major interest in Guided Tour, who runs in Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), has been purchased by Buckram Oak Farm. The 5-year-old horse has been owned by a group led by majority partner Morton Fink of Chicago. He will be listed in the program on Saturday as owned by Buckram Oak and Fink and run in Fink's colors.
Unlike his non-work last Friday, Fantastic Light lit up the Belmont track Tuesday, as he blazed five furlongs in :59 4/5 with jockey Frankie Dettori aboard, flying home his final quarter in :23 2/5 and galloping out a strong six furlongs in 1:12 3/5. Private clockers caught him a tick faster in :59 3/5. About an hour and a half later, Godolphin's other star, Sakhee, also showed more life, working his five furlongs in 1:01, with regular exercise rider Lee Roebuck up.
Striking Song, a son of Unbridled's Song training for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, has been declared out of Saturday's race after sustaining a chip to his left hind ankle. The Robert Hess Jr.-trained colt has won one of four career starts, breaking his maiden at one mile in last outing.
Morton Fink's Stephen Foster Handicap winner Guided Tour breezed five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 in company over a muddy track at Churchill Downs on Monday.
The results of this past weekend only further confused the Classic picture. Guided Tour showed a new dimension in the Kentucky Cup Classic, stalking the front-running Balto Star the entire way before wearing him down. But trainer Niall O'Callaghan doesn't seem too excited about throwing him in with tougher company at Belmont Park. O'Callaghan will discuss the options with the gelding's group of owners before committing one way or the other.
Guided Tour keeps on winning, this time in dramatic fashion over Balto Star.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour earned his third straight grade II win by outlasting Balto Star in a stretch duel to win the $400,000 Kentucky Cup Classic by a neck Saturday at Turfway Park as a pair of geldings filled the top two finishing positions.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour drew post 3 for his start Saturday in the $400,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) and was installed the 7-5 morning-line favorite. Only five other horses will face the 118-pound highweight in the marquee race on the Kentucky Cup card at Turfway Park.
Guided Tour continues his winning ways, this time in the Washington Park Handicap.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour tracked Duckhorn through the early going before reeling in the leader with just over a quarter-mile to run en route to winning Saturday's $400,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
Guided Tour stays home and defeats the world-traveling Captain Steve in the Stephen Foster.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour rallied in the stretch to upset 7-10 favorite Captain Steve in Saturday's $831,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. II).
The axiom "speed kills" holds true about every second race for Duckhorn. The other times he worries trainer Patrick Byrne half to death. Fortunately for Byrne and owner Michael Tabor, the "good" Duckhorn showed up for the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) May 19. Of course, that was bad news for his half-dozen opponents, who spent a mile and a quarter watching the rear end of the roan 4-year-old colt.
Heading into Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), much of the interest will be around a pair of horses that have knocked heads in the past -- Guided Tour and Chicago Six. But a handful of challengers could prove strong.
The National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) was a puzzle just waiting to be assembled by Guided Tour at Sportsman's Park on April 22. The out-of-town star was supposed to ship in, overcome the challenge of invading speedster Duckhorn, add another $120,000 to his earnings, and leave everybody else in the field of five to cash their checks. Puzzle solved. All the pieces were in place -- until a stout-hearted Illinois-bred named Chicago Six scattered the preordained solution all over the drying-out racetrack.
The great ones find a way to get past it all. Enough commotion had swirled around Tiznow and his preparation for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) that by the time the actual race rolled around, some were wondering why he was even there to begin with. As if his drab effort in last month's Strub Stakes (gr. II) wasn't reminder enough, Tiznow's days leading up to the Big 'Cap were like a roll call of mishaps, evil vibes, and plain bad karma. Lest we forget, this is the same horse who was a no-name last spring and Horse of the Year five months later, and the same animal whose grueling fall campaign left fans and hardboots alike in awe. No, he's not impervious to pain or the elements, but there may just be nothing that can stop him
Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year Tiznow drew post position No. 5 Thursday for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap this weekend. The 4-year-old colt is the 8-5 morning line favorite, followed by the Bob Baffert-trained Wooden Phone, who upset Tiznow in the Strub Stakes, at 5-1. Wooden Phone drew the No. 2 hole. Thirteen horses have been entered in the prestigious race, including turf champion Bienamado and grade II winner Guided Tour.
While much ado has been made about Bienamado making his first start on the dirt in Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, Neil Drysdale has a Kentucky-bred, Beat All, that will also be making his main track debut. "He works on the dirt over here and seems to handle it well," said Drysdale assistant John O'Donahue about Drysdale's decision to go in the Big 'Cap.
European import Jorrocks cleared quarantine and arrived at trainer Bob Hess Jr.'s barn Wednesday ready to roll in the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap on March 3. "We bought him specifically to run in this race," said Hess. In other Big 'Cap developments, Horse of the Year Tiznow was among those working Thursday in preparation for the grade I test.
Aptitude, runner-up in last year's Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes will make his first start of the new year in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap March 3, according to trainer Bobby Frankel.
In his most recent drill, Aptitude worked six furlongs in 1:13.20, handily, Feb. 11 at Hollywood. The 4-year-old A.P. Indy colt has been on the rebound from throat surgery after finishing eighth in the Clark Handicap Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs, which was won by Surfside.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour, shipped into Southern California from Louisiana by trainer Niall O'Callaghan, posted a mild upset in the $300,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park on Sunday, defeating Lethal Instrument by a length and a half under jockey Larry Melancon. Moonlight Charger finished third, with ex-claimer Freedom Crest, the odds-on favorite, bringing up the rear in the eight-horse field.
The next battle for Surfside, which comes not on the racetrack but at the ballot box, will likely prove more difficult than did her facile win in the Nov. 24 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. Having left a string of mostly older males in her wake in the Clark, the filly now faces just one foe, Jostle, for the crown of best 3-year-old filly, in what will likely be a photo finish.
Breeders' Cup Distaff runner-up Surfside will face males, including Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes runner-up Aptitude, in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) Friday at Churchill Downs.
Captain Steve, one of four 3-year-olds to comprise the all-sophomore superfecta in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), was assigned highweight of 120 pounds Sunday by Churchill Downs racing secretary Jerry Botts for the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II), to be run Friday at the Louisville oval. While the 3-year-olds received a 4-pound weight concession from their older rivals in the Classic, the five highest weighted nominees in the Clark are all sophomores.
Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Spain breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs Wednesday as she continues to prepare for a Churchill Downs Thanksgiving weekend stakes race. The 3-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch has been nominated to both the Falls City Handicap (gr. III, Churchill Downs, Nov. 23) for fillies and mares and the Clark Handicap (gr. II, Churchill, Nov. 26).
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.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus left the impression that he enjoys cool Kentucky mornings in a brisk gallop Wednesday at Churchill Downs.
Dust On the Bottle, last after the opening quarter mile and sixth after a mile, rallied through the stretch to win the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. III) by a length Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course. Sent off at nearly 39-1, the Glenn Hild-trained 5-year-old paid $79.40 for the win.
Stronach Stables Golden Missile has been installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite for the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. III) Saturday at Hawthorne.
Stronach Stable's Golden Missile heads the list of horses likely to enter Saturday's $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. III). Others pointing for the Gold Cup include Mula Gula, Blazing Sword, and Puerto Madero.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour stalked the early leaders and then rallied while three wide to win the $150,000 Hall of Fame Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) by 5 1/4 lengths Monday at Thistledown.
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