Trainer Aidan O'Brien discussed the chances of his eight Breeders' Cup contenders, who were followed by a throng of media after their morning walks on the track.
As it often does, the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) has produced the morning-line favorite for the the $3-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) as Aidan O'Brien's Irish raider Soldier of Fortune leads a packed field of 11 at Santa Anita Oct. 25.
Although they have dominated the $3-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at other venues, top European imports have not performed especially well when the Breeders' Cup has been held at Santa Anita, where they must contend with tighter turns, hard turf, and warm temperatures.
Youmzain gained a measure of revenge on rival Soldier of Fortune with a half-length victory in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) June 29.
Soldier of Fortune benefited from a masterful ride by Johnny Murtagh to defeat a top class field in the Juddmonte Coronation Cup (Eng-I) at Epsom June 6.
Aidan O'Brien, who has been a dominant force in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, likely will have only two starters in this year's event, but they will be a formidable pair. O'Brien will send out Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fra-I) winner Dylan Thomas in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and Excellent Art in the NetJets Mile (gr. IT).
After a tense 20-minute stewards' inquiry into the result of the Oct. 7 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I) at Longchamp in France, the order of finish stood and Dylan Thomas officially won the 10th race of his 18-start career and sixth at the group I level.
Soldier of Fortune made his return to racing a winning one by capturing the Prix Niel Casino Barriere d'Enghien Les Bains (Fr-II) at Longchamp Sept. 16.
Another group I race, another sweep for trainer Aidan O'Brien as Soldier of Fortune led fellow Ballydoyle trainees Alexander of Hales and Eagle Mountain home in a rain-soaked Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I) Sunday at the Curragh.
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