By Ray Paulick -- The 20th running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships had everything a racing fan could ask for: heart-pounding finishes; championship performances, boxcar mutuels, and human interest stories.
Connections of most of the nine winning horses (counting one dead-heat) from Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were non-committal Sunday about future plans, but there is a possibility one or more of the horses could run again this year.
For the first time in Breeders' Cup history, a race ended in a dead-heat. In a thrilling three-horse stretch drive, High Chaparral and Johar finished on even terms, with Falbrav just a nod behind those two in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I).
Following a three-hour hearing, Irish racing officials Monday confirmed High Chaparral as the winner of the The Food Island Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown Sept. 7, dismissing an appeal to the original stewards' decision brought by the connections of Falbrav.
By late Sunday afternoon, all of the European horses scheduled to compete in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships had arrived in Southern California. As they arrive, they are finding the weather much warmer than where their flights originated.
A total of 39 horses remain eligible for the group I Racing Post Trophy on Oct. 25, and 20 of them are trained in Ireland by Aiden O'Brien.
Aidan O'Brien, who has captured Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races the past two years, with High Chaparral and Johannesburg, is planning to return this year with several top-class horses, and hopes to be represented in four races.
French Derby winner Dalakhani is once again the toast of Paris with his stirring performance in winning the 2003 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) at Longchamp Sunday.
U.S. viewers can catch the weekend's racing action from France on either TVG or HRTV, as both will feature coverage of France's group I races.
There are 40 horses going forward for the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, this year carrying £400,000 in prize money, and 40 juveniles remaining in the season's top 2-year-old event, the £230,000 Darley Dewhurst Stakes. Both races are group I events.
Churchill Downs Simulcast Network will offer wagering on the Oct. 5 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I) through its Chicago-area racetrack, Arlington Park.
Michael Tabor's standout High Chaparral survived a stewards' inquiry to win the Ireland The Food Island Champion Stakes (Ire-I) by a neck over an unfortunate Falbrav Saturday at Leopardstown.
It's taken more than 10 months, but Hold That Tiger, who finished a fast-closing third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), finally has returned to the U.S. to run in Saturday's $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I).
With all the debating about Azeri's Horse of the Year credentials, it turned out to be a landslide. The daughter of Jade Hunter did not defeat males during her 2002 campaign, but she certainly dominated them in the voting for racing's highest honor.
Rock of Gibraltar, a finalist for Horse of the Year honors in the U.S. on the basis of a runner-up effort in the Breeders' Cup Mile, has been rated the top horse on the International Classifications released in London, England on Wednesday.
Rock of Gibraltar has been retired to stud duty, but the horse's Coolmore connections plan to campaign his well-known stablemates, Breeders' Cup Turf champion High Chaparral and Classic contender Hawk Wing, as four-year-olds.
Irish breeders Sean and Anne Coughlan played a big role on Breeders' Cup Day, with connections to winners Domedriver and High Chaparral.
Six of the eight winners on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships card at Arlington Park Oct. 26 are expected to race in 2003, if all goes according to plans. Three winners--Orientate, Domedriver, and Starine--could run again this year.
The Irish connections of Michael Tabor and John Magnier got their first winner on Saturday's Breeders' Cup card when 4-5 favorite High Chaparral won the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I).
Top Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien gave the media more time than usual Thursday morning at Arlington, talking for nearly 20 minutes outside the quarantine barn. O'Brien will saddle seven horses Saturday in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien said on an international teleconference Thursday there is a chance both Rock of Gibraltar and Hawk Wing will run in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
With victory in the last three runnings of the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), sponsored this year by John Deere, Europe will field another strong team for the 12-furlong, $2-million affair at Arlington Park.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien has pre-entered 10 runners, including his Ballydoyle big three of Rock Of Gibraltar, High Chaparral and Hawk Wing, to the Oct. 26 World Thoroughbred Championships, ensuring strong representation for European runners at Arlington Park.
English bookmaking firm William Hill has dropped Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Marienbard from its board for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), citing the horse's "withdrawal" from the race at Arlington Park Oct. 26.
Longchamp's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) is considered the 12-furlong championship of Europe, but it has never produced a John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf winner.
Godolphin's Marienbard, with Frankie Dettori riding, came off the rail in the straight to win the 81st running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp by less than a length over French Derby champion Sulamini.
French Derby winner Sulamani and English Derby champion High Chaparral are the top contenders for Sunday's $1.58 million Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), Europe's most prestigious horse race. Sakhee, last year's Arc winner, went on to finish second in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
A quiet weekend upcoming for horses preparing for the 12-furlong John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf after major stakes races in New York, California and Ireland last weekend confirmed the status of some of the major players.
Aidan O'Brien took no chances on Thursday and declared both of his superstars, Hawk Wing and High Chaparral, for the Ireland The Food Island Champion Stakes.
Bettors believe that the winner of the three Breeders' Cup races that were offered in the second wagering pool of the NTRA Future Book Bet – the Turf, the Mile and the Filly & Mare Turf – is someone they don't know about yet.
As a virus runs through Aidan O'Brien's yard, he still manages to win the Phoenix Stakes for the fifth straight year.
Irish-bred High Chaparral (5-2) Rock of Gibraltar (9-5) are the favorites in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf and the Breeders' Cup Mile, respectively, after the second day of wagering in Pool Two of the Breeder' Cup Future Bet. Astra and Irish-bred Golden Apples are the 5-1 co-favorites in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Aidan O'Brien saddles first three and Sadler's Wells sires the first four as High Chaparral becomes 15th Epsom/Irish Derby winner.
Aidan O'Brien first, the rest nowhere. We are getting used to this scenario by now and it has never been better illustrated than in the running of the 2002 Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) on June 8.
Twelve 3-year-old colts were entered Thursday morning for the 223rd Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) which will be run June 8. The only defection from the five-day confirmations is Dubai Destination, owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, the team which is still represented by two runners: Naheef and Moon Ballad.
Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Johannesburg begins 2002 as the future-book favorite for both the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) and the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Both races will be run on May 4.
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