A full gate of 10 horses, including trainer Bobby Frankel's Blue Stellar and Dance Dreamer, appears certain for Sunday's running of the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
There are many questions going into Sunday's 21st running of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), whose nearly $4-million purse makes it one of the world's richest races. But first and foremost on the minds of many American racing fans is whether or not the four-horse U.S. contingent can break a 10-year victory drought in the 2,400 meter turf race.
The United States will have a strong contingent of seven horses at this year's Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) invitational races at Tokyo racecourse next Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24-25, including horses trained by Hall of Fame conditioners Jonathan Sheppard, Neil Drysdale, Richard Mandella, and Robert Frankel.
Lido Palace, winner of the grade I Whitney and Woodward, will make his next start in the $2.3 million Japan Cup Dirt on Nov. 24, trainer Bobby Frankel confirmed Thursday morning. Frankel also will send Turf Classic winner Timboroa for the Japan Cup, to be run on the turf the following day.
The top three finishers from the Breeders' Cup Turf and Classic winner Tiznow head a list of horses invited to the Japan Cup and Japan Cup Dirt that will be run at Tokyo Racecourse the weekend of Nov. 24-25.
It was a busy morning for Breeders' Cup participants, with a steady stream of workers Sunday. The most amazing move was turned in by Squirtle Squirt, although it certainly was not what trainer Bobby Frankel was expecting.
Pedigree Analysis for Timboroa
A busy weekend on grass helped pinpoint some of the top contenders for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I). But one of the best probably won't be in the field for the big race.
Everyone knew what was coming. Frankel the Fox was honed in on another kill, and no one could stop it. When the weekend had ended, Frankel won the Turf Classic with Timboroa, had a third in the Flower Bowl with the fast-closing Starine, and another grade I victory the following day with Senure in the Clement Hirsch, giving him 11 for the year. The only horse who ran poorly was The Seven Seas, and that was because she entrapped her epiglottis in the Yellow Ribbon.
Trainers Bob Baffert and Bobby Frankel keep stoking the fires with major winners Habibti and Timboroa
Timboroa held off defending Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Northern Quest and Super Quercus to win the $250,000 Del Mar feature as Bobby Frankel-trained horses filled the top three finishing positions in the 1 3/8-mile turf test at Del Mar Saturday.
Last weekend Bobby Frankel won three graded stakes races with three horses. This weekend he'll have three horses in one graded stakes race, the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT). Frankel is to saddle Northern Quest, Super Quercus, and Timboroa in Del Mar's feature Saturday.
Redattore rallied from behind an oddly set pace to win the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) on Saturday at Del Mar.
One week before Father's Day, Bienamado earned a 1 1/2-length victory in Hollywood Park's $350,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT), a race his sire Bien Bien won in course-record time in 1993.
Irish Prize came from off the pace to beat Timboroa by a neck and win the $110,400 Fastness Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park on Sunday. Ridden by Gary Stevens, Irish Prize covered 1 1/8 miles on the turf in 1:50.01 on the firm turf course and paid $5.60, $3.20, and $2.60 as the 9-5 favorite.
Japanese superhorse T.M. Opera O gave his many fans some anxious moments, but the 1-2 favorite ultimately prevailed in Sunday's $4.4 million Japan Cup (Jpn-I), winning by a neck over another Japanese runner, Meisho Doto, who just lasted for second over Godolphin's hard-charging Fantastic Light.
American runners John's Call, Timboroa, Euchre, and Lord Sterling had their first serious exercise at Tokyo race course on Thursday in preparation for the Japan Racing Association's two major group I international races: the inaugural $2.4 million Japan Cup Dirt at 1 5/16 miles on Saturday and the $4.4 million Japan Cup run at a mile and a half over the turf on Sunday.
Edmund A. Gann's Timboroa upset the $141,650 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sunday at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, completing the 1 1/2 miles in 2:29.91 over firm turf while winning by 2 1/2 lengths.
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