The Juddmonte International Stakes, run at 85 yards more than 1 1/4 miles, has attracted a field of nine horses. (Entries, Sporting Life)
Distant Music will attempt to keep Juddmonte Farms' hot streak in high-class 1 1/4-mile races intact in Tuesday's Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at York on Tuesday. This weekend, Juddmonte Farms homebreds won the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), and Pacific Classic (gr. I) -- each a 1 1/4-mile event. The only recent blemish in a 1 1/4-mile stakes came with an eighth-place finish by Senure in Saturday's Arlington Million (gr. IT).The 4-year-old son of Distant View finished fifth in his most recent start, which followed a 1 1/2-length victory over Muakaad in the Goffs International Stakes (Ire-II). As a 3-year-old Distant Music finished third -- behind Kalanisi and Montjeu -- in the 1 1/4-mile Dubai Champion Stakes (Eng-I). Following that race, he shipped to Churchill Downs where he finished 10th in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).Distant Music will be opposed in the International Stakes by St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) and Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) winner Black Minnaloushe and Medicean -- who is undefeated as a 4year-old, including two group I wins.Besides Black Minnaloushe, trainer Aidan O'Brien also entered Bach and Darwin, the latter of whom will likely serve as a rabbit for Black Minnaloushe. Bach is unlikely to run after winning a group II in Ireland on Sunday.Godolphin sends out Sakhee, the Dante Stakes (Eng-II) winner who finished second in the 2000 Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and fourth in Giant's Causeway's Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I). Sakhee was then sidelined and had knee surgery over the winter. In his lone 2001 start, the son of Bahri won the Steventon Stakes by three lengths at Newbury."We have been very pleased with Sakhee's preparation before and after the Newbury race," said Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager. "He is in good condition and worked well on the Racecourse Side at Newmarket last week. The Juddmonte International has always been his target and we are hoping he can reproduce his best form."