Although the current forecast calls for weather that could dampen Breeders' Cup weekend, Monmouth Park and Breeders' Cup officials, as well as trainers, are remaining optimistic.
Daniel Ryan's Forest Park stalked the pace, took the lead in the stretch and held off a rival's late bid to win the $100,000 Monmouth University Stakes Oct. 25, a sprint that was moved from turf to the main track because of heavy rain at Monmouth Park.
Jockeys John Velazquez and Garrett Gomez offered opinions on their Breeders' Cup mounts in an Oct. 25 press conference held at Monmouth Park the day before the Oct. 26-27 event was to get under way.
Activity inside and outside the quarantine barn at Monmouth Park intensified significantly Thursday morning. The trainers of Europe's 12-strong raiding party arrived at last to supervise horses and conclude the licensing process, while Frankie Dettori and Mick Kinane had their first experience riding at Monmouth.
In a race where the the likely top three betting choices were scratched, Patricia Generazio's Pure Disco won the $100,000 Revidere Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion Oct. 25 at Monmouth Park.
Irish-bred Red Rocks, who will attempt to defend his title in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), has the benefit of experience on his side as he enters this year's race, trainer Brian Meehan said.
Discreet Cat will be making only his third start this year when he attempts to return to his glory days in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
- By Claire Novak
Navy Aircraft Mechanic first class Johnny Arrendondo Ponce became the first non-track worker to win the Race Track Chaplaincy of America's White Horse Award when it was presented Oct. 25 at the Taylor Made Stallions' White Horse Heroes Luncheon at Monmouth Park.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is again in the eye of the Breeders' Cup storm. The Eclipse Award-winning trainer will saddle 11 runners, including Any Given Saturday and Lawyer Ron, both of whom are set to go 1 1/4 miles in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) during the two-day World Championship event Oct. 26-27 at Monmouth Park.
Mark Hennig is closing in on a milestone, and the trainer wouldn't mind reaching it in grand style Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park.
Dylan Thomas will be trying to become the first Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) winner to capture a Breeders' Cup World Championships race.
Despite being listed at 30-1 on the morning line and never having competed in a graded stakes event, Smarty Deb is anything but a Cinderella story for the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) candidate After Market will be given a crucial turf workout the morning of Oct. 26 to ensure his place in the lineup the following day.
After Market, a California shipper, will try his hand on an East Coast turf course when he competes in the Oct. 27 NetJet Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.
Manning the Otis Elevator that serves as the stewards elevator at Monmouth Park is Ed Thayer. He knows the equipment....he's been operating the elevator for the past 11 years.
Peter Vegso's War Monger was in last place after a half-mile, but made a decisive move along the far turn and rallied to take the $100,000 Rutgers University Stakes by a length-and-a-half on the Monmouth Park turf Oct. 24.
Vinery Stables' Lantana Mob looks for his fourth victory as a juvenile when a field of 10 line up for the $250,000 Favorite Trick Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park Oct. 26.
Live Oak Plantation had high hopes for Namaste's Wish when they purchased her for $600,000 as a yearling last year. After a couple of disappointing starts to open her career, it seems as if the Pulpit filly is on her way to fulfilling those expectations. She headlines a field of 12 in the one-mile $250,000 Epitome Breeders' Cup Stakes on the Monmouth Park turf Oct. 26.
The Europeans felt more at home around the Monmouth Park quarantine barn the morning of Oct. 24, thanks to the clouds and rain that became heavy at times. None of the British or Irish trainers with Breeders' Cup runners had arrived, so leading Irish jockey Johnny Murtagh held center stage. He has four excellent rides in the 11 Breeders' Cup races Friday and Saturday.
Despite having her five-race win streak broken last month, Talkin About Love will be a formidable foe in the $250,000 Inside Information Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park Oct. 26, a test for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16-miles on the main track.
The first two-day World Championships has created opportunities and challenges for Breeders' Cup and first-time host Monmouth Park.
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile will be a key race in determining whether throat surgery earlier this year helped Park Avenue Ball, who will be running at his home track.
The random out-of-competition testing of Breeders' Cup World Championships participants for Epogen (EPO) and total carbon dioxide (TCO2) have all returned negative, officials announced Oct. 24.
Cry and Catch Me, winner of the Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park in her last start, has been scratched from the Oct. 27 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Breeders' Cup officials said Oct. 24.
Better Talk Now, who will make his fourth appearance Satuday in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), hasn't lost his competitive edge.
Clifford Sise, Jr. says that a normal trainer, without the consistent backing of big-money owners, will only get a superstar horse about ever 20 years. Sise had his last big horse in 1996, so he's nine years ahead of schedule as he heads toward this weekend's Breeders' Cup World Championships with a Sprint (gr. I) hopeful named Idiot Proof.
A field of nine was drawn Oct. 23 for one of the deepest and most contentious runnings of the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I). The two horses who drew the most attention were Hard Spun and Lawyer Ron, who likely will dictate how the race will be run.
European hopefuls for the Breeders' Cup World Championships took to the main track and turf course at Monmouth Park Oct. 23.
Excellent Art, who is less than a length shy of being a winner of his last three races in England, all group I events, was made the 3-1 favorite for the Oct. 27 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.
The condition of Monmouth Park's turf course Oct. 27, with rain in the forecast for the middle part of Breeders' Cup week, is a major concern for horsemen with runners in the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
Star European turf horse Dylan Thomas and Jim Scatuorchio's English Channel will enter the starting gate next to each other as the first and second morning-line choices for the Oct. 27 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Watson and Weitman Performances and Mike Pegram's Midnight Lute, impressive winner of the Sept. 1 Forego Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga in his last start, is the early 2-1 favorite in a field of 11 entered in the $2-million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
Nick Zito trainee War Pass, winner of the Oct. 6 Champagne Stakes (gr. I), has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $2- million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
La Traviata opted for the new Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Oct. 26 rather than the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) the following day, making that race much more intriguing than it would have been had she opted to run against males.
Heading into uncharted territory, Monticule's homebred Prussian was made the 3-1 favorite for the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Run as the second Breeders' Cup race on the new Friday program, the $1-million race will be run at a mile Oct. 26.
Godolphin Racing's Discreet Cat, third in the Sept. 30 Vosburgh Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park in his last start, was installed the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park.
Frizette Stakes (gr. I) winner Indian Blessing was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the $2-million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park.
After the post position draw, which clocked in right at one hour to introduce all the dignitaries and draw 11 races, trainer Todd Pletcher takes a seat at table. He's quickly surrounded by a circle of cameras, tape recorders, and notebooks.
- By Claire Novak
Bentley Smith is well-connected when it comes to Breeders' Cup horses. As the son-in-law of the late Frances Genter, he managed Frances Genter Stable for nearly 30 years and sent Smile to a 1986 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) victory and, of course, watched Unbridled win the Classic (gr. I) in 1990.
With showers forecast for Oceanport, N.J., on Saturday, the weather could be a factor on the second day of the Oct. 26-27 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park.
Nine of the potential European Breeders' Cup runners arrived at Monmouth Park at about 8 p.m. EDT Oct. 21, having touched down at Newark International Airport three hours earlier after an uneventful flight from England.
Trainer Todd Pletcher worked 12 of his pre-entered Breeders' Cup horses Oct. 21 at Belmont Park, while Discreet Cat sizzled in prepartion for the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Pam and Martin Wygod's Idiot Proof, who shattered the Monmouth Park track record when he won the Jersey Shore Stakes (gr. III) in July, had his final breeze for the Oct. 27 TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 21 when he breezed five furlongs in 1:00 4/5.
- By Tom LaMarra
Her connections have thought highly of her for quite some time. But Miss Macy Sue needed to keep proving herself in her order to be considered for the inaugural $1-million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park.
The first two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships will feature some pari-mutuel firsts as well.
James Tafel's Street Sense, who will be one of the favorites for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), arrived safely at Monmouth Park at 6:15 a.m. Oct. 19 after a van ride from Churchill Downs.
- By Ryan Conley
The Oregon Racing Commission is looking into whether there are any statutory licensing actions to be taken against International Racing Group, which has had $1.5 million in funds seized by federal authorities.
- By Claire Novak
Jockey Herb McCauley, who returned to racing Sept. 1 after nine years on the sidelines, won his first race since his comeback when he guided Red Oak Stable's Missed The Prom to an eight-length victory in the sixth race at the Meadowlands Oct. 17 for trainer Greg Sacco.
Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and one of the favorites for next week's Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, will depart from Churchill Downs Oct. 18.
It will be interesting to see how the horses-for-courses angle plays out at Monmouth Park, where it has often been an advantage to have either a race or a work over the track. In this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships, there is one trainer who will be coming to the Jersey Shore well prepared.
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