The plans for Johannesburg have taken a turn, and the 2-year-old champion will now make his 2002 debut in a proposed one-mile dirt race at Lingfield on April 6, according to the Daily Telegraph's Internet site telegraph.co.
Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Johannesburg, the 2-year-old champion of 2001, emerged as the favorite after the first day of Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
British bookmaker William Hill opened its betting on the Kentucky Derby, installing Johannesburg as the 9-2 favorite. Repent is next at 6-1, followed by Siphonic at 7-1.
A total of 135 horses remain engaged after the first forfeit stage for the 2002 Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) at Epsom Downs on June 8.
Yes, we have been here before. Two years ago, Japanese-owned Fusaichi Pegasus, trained by Neil Drysdale, broke his maiden sprinting in January, then won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race in February as a springboard to victories in the San Felipe, Wood Memorial, and the Kentucky Derby. Now, we have Japanese- owned Sunday Break, trained by Neil Drysdale, breaking his maiden sprinting in January, then winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance race in February.
Johannesburg proved to be a citizen of the world in 2001. The bay colt raced twice in England, once in France, three times in Ireland, and once in the United States. One other thing--he won all seven times. Perfect on the racetrack, Johannesburg easily outdistanced his rivals and was named the 2-year-old male Eclipse Award winner.
The wait is almost over and tonight we will find out if Tiznow successfully defended his Horse of the Year title when he won the Breeders' Cup Classic or if he will be dethroned by either Point Given or Johannesburg, the other two finalists as racing's best for 2001.
A record $577,889 was wagered into pool one of the pari-mutuel Kentucky Derby future wager offered this weekend, with the mutuel field emerging as the first-round favorite for the fourth straight year.
The favored mutuel field entry, consisting of all 3-year-olds except the 23 individual betting interests, drifted up to 3-1 following the third day of wagering in Pool One of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The field began the day at 8-5.
Reflecting the lack of a strong favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby, bettors have made the mutuel field a prohibitive favorite in the first day of wagering in Pool One of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Sheikh Mohammed has made no secret of his desire to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). His Godolphin Racing has nominated 17 horses to the Visa Triple Crown by the early deadline, nearly twice as many as any other owner.
For all you Johannesburg fans who have been picturing the son of Hennessy hibernating for the winter in a den somewhere in the bowels of Ballydoyle, fear not. Last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner and likely 2-year-old champion has been cantering and doing as well as can be expected at this time of the year.
To Keeneland racing official Howard Battle, it was simple when it came time to decide who was going to get top weight on the 2001 Experimental Free Handicap for males. "He won very easily. How could you not give him the top weight?"
Trainer Bob Baffert sent out a trio of 3-year-olds coming off stakes wins for four-furlong works at Santa Anita Wednesday, including Golden Gate Derby (gr. III) winner Danthebluegrassman. All three completed their assignments in :48 3/5 on a fast track.
Horses who ran in the United States in 2001 head the three main categories in the European-organized International Classifications, which were released in England on Wednesday.
Johannesburg was the "big horse" for Hennessy prior to last year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, having won all six of his races in Europe, three of them in group I company. His 1 1/4-length triumph in the Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) put Hennessy on top of the list of leading sires of 2-year-olds in 2001 and convinced management of Irish-based Coolmore to jump the son of Storm Cat's 2002 stud fee from a previously announced $20,000 to $45,000 live foal.
In a year without a lot of clear-cut favorites, Point Given is the lone unanimous choice in 2001 Eclipse Award balloting. The dual classic winner received top honors as champion 3-year-old male and is a finalist, along with Tiznow and Johannesburg, for Horse of the Year honors. Finalists in each of the Eclipse categories were announced Thursday.
By Steve Haskin -- There are 2,904 hours until the Kentucky Derby. By the time I finish writing this, there will be 2,903. I figure approximately 650 of those hours will be spent sleeping, leaving 2,253 hours to think about the Derby.
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.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien, owners Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier, and jockey Michael Kinane, who combined together to have such a great flat season for the Coolmore team, dominated the 2001 Derby Awards, organized by the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association, The winners were announced Dec. 10 before 600 people in London, England.
Coolmore Stud's John Magnier has reportedly called for Breeders' Cup Ltd. to stage its World Thoroughbred Championship Day races in Europe in alternate years.
Right now, the plan is simple: Johannesburg will point for the Kentucky Derby. The only question is how to go about doing it.
Breeders' Cup Turf winner Fantastic Light was honored Wednesday night with the Cartier "Horse of the Year" award during a ceremony at London's Four Seasons Hotel. Fantastic Light was also honored with the Older Horse Award, beating out his Godolphin stablemate Sakhee, runner-up in the Breeders Cup Classic.
Derby fever, in November? Heck, why not. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner is tucked away somewhere in Ireland, and until word surfaces from the usually tight-lipped Coolmore people, he will remain out of sight in winter hibernation. Whether or not a full-grown grizzly bear is going to emerge next year, and whether he's going to come back here looking for more easy pickins we won't know for a while.
Johannesburg remains unbeaten in seven starts with a huge win in the Juvenile, trainer Aidan O'Brien's first Breeders' Cup victory
Say what's the word? Well at Belmont Park on Saturday, it was Johannesburg, who remained unbeaten when he won the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Down to defeat went the Bob Baffert-trained Officer, who was on the rail in striking position but could not handle the pressure. Later, Baffert said Officer shut down after displacing his palate.
A baker's dozen were pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), but it will be an upside-down cake if anyone other than Officer enters the winner's circle following the 8 1/2 furlong match.
Pedigree Analysis for Johannesburg
In his final prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier's Johannesburg easily won his third group I race of the year in Thursday's Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, England.
Johannesburg wins the Prix Morny in France as short favorites and a long-distance longshot highlight York's "Ebor" meeting.
Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Johannesburg remained unbeaten while giving trainer Aidan O'Brien another group I success in Sunday's Prix Morny Casinos Barriere at Deauville. Also at Deauville Sunday, 2000 French Derby winner Holding Court won the Grand Prix de Deauville Lucien Barriere (Fr-II).
Michael Tabor's Johannesburg remained undefeated by beating Miss Beabea by five lengths to win the Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) on Sunday at Leopardstown. Also on Sunday, American-bred Bahamian Pirate held off fellow American-bred One Won One to win the Phoenix Sprint Stakes (Ire-III) by a short head.
One day after learning he will be suspended for five days, Irish jockey Johnny Murtagh rode three winners on the Royal Ascot card, including an all-out triumph on Royal Rebel in the featured Ascot Gold Cup (Eng-I).
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