The Laurel fall meet has proven to be a big one for Robert Gerczak's Action
Andy. Three weeks after taking the Maryland Million Sprint by 2 3/4 lengths, the
five-year-old gelding delivered a thrilling photo-finish score in Saturday's
J. De Francis Memorial Dash, the centerpiece of Laurel's six-stakes Fall
Festival of Racing.
Godolphin Racing's Buffum quickly moved to the front at the start of Belmont
Park's Grade 3, $150,000
Ruler Handicap on Saturday and held to score by 1 1/4 lengths under jockey
Exactly one week before her half-brother and stablemate Shackleford lines up
in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Afleeting Lady broke through with her first
graded victory in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000
Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Belmont Park. Owned by Alpha Delta Stables
and Richard Santulli, the Dale Romans trainee stalked, pounced, and drew off
with authority by 3 1/2 lengths.
Grade 2 hero Willcox Inn, pre-entered in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile,
worked at Keeneland on Saturday for the second time since his runner-up finish
to Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile on October 6. With assistant
Hilary Pridham aboard for trainer Mike Stidham, the colt worked five furlongs in
1:00 4/5 in company with Every Way, a two-year-old City Zip filly who was third
in the Grade 3 Mazarine at Woodbine on October 6.
Sum of the Parts, winner of the Grade 3 Phoenix on October 5 at Keeneland,
capped his major preparations for a start in next Saturday's $1.5 million
Breeders Cup Sprint by working a half-mile in :47 3/5 under jockey Julien
Leparoux on Saturday morning at the Lexington, Kentucky, track.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had Godolphin's Breeders' Cup foursome working a
half-mile over the all-weather Tapeta at Greentree Training Center on Friday.
BREEDERS' CUP FEATURE
Bob Baffert, who has been headquartered at Santa Anita for more than two
decades, can fall out of bed and be at the Breeders' Cup when it's run next
Friday and Saturday. Ditto for his horses, who are only a furlong away from
their barn to the starting gate, but that doesn't necessarily provide an edge
over those who have to ship in from all parts of the globe.
Trainer Mark Casse had planned to work his two juvenile fillies pointing to
the Breeders' Cup on Friday and the boys would work Saturday. The threat of
rainy conditions Friday and Saturday caused Casse to call an audible and all
five of his Breeders' Cup hopefuls breezed over the fast main track at Churchill
Downs on Friday morning.
Animal Kingdom completed his major training for the $2 million Breeders' Cup
working five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 around the dogs on a firm turf course
Friday morning at Keeneland.
With the clock inexorably ticking ever closer to the 29th Breeders' Cup World
Championships at Santa Anita nine days hence, event participants went through
their daily regimen without a hitch on a clear, crisp, sun-filled Thursday
morning with the scenic San Gabriel Mountains providing their ever-present
Approximately nine hours after working five furlongs over a sloppy track in
:59 4/5 on Thursday, Pinnacle Racing Stables Inc. and Bill Kaplan's champion
female sprinter Musical Romance departed Calder aboard a Brookledge van bound
for Kentucky, the first-leg of a two-tiered journey to California where the mare
will seek a title defense in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on November 3
in what is expected to be her final start.
The Breeders' Cup, joined by Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, California Horse
Racing Board (CHRB) Chairman Keith Brackpool, Breeders' Cup Ambassador Bo Derek
and Hall of Fame jockeys Laffit Pincay Jr. and Gary Stevens, on Thursday
unveiled "BCin3D" at a press conference at L.A. LIVE welcoming the Breeders' Cup
back to Southern California.
Champion Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, is one of five
horses pre-entered in next week's Breeders' Cup scheduled to work on the turf
Friday morning at Keeneland.
Churchill Downs' 21-day meet begins Sunday with the first of two "Stars of
Tomorrow" programs devoted exclusively to races for two-year-olds, including the
Grade 2 $150,000
Stakes for fillies and the Grade 3, $100,000
Stakes. Both stakes will be held at a one-turn mile.
The Breeders' Cup, which takes place November 2-3 at Santa Anita Park, has
become the culmination of the U.S. Thoroughbred-racing season, and attracts some
of the best
horses, trainers and owners from across the globe. This year, Breeders' Cup and
Grey Goose Vodka will showcase a celebration of global cuisine to go along with
the Thoroughbred action when hosting "A Taste of the World."
Starlight Racing's undefeated Algorithms will enter stud at Claiborne Farm
for 2013, according to farm representative Bernie Sams. The son of leading sire
Bernardini will be syndicated and stand for a $7,500 fee.
Eight celebrity racing fans and owners are being honored as Breeders' Cup
Ambassadors in the inaugural year of a program launched by the organization. The
honor comes with rewards which allow the Ambassadors to enjoy horse racing all
over the world, including concierge service, tickets and more. Additionally,
they will serve as spokespersons for the 2012 Breeders' Cup World Championships
and help promote the prestigious international event.
BREEDERS' CUP FEATURE
Closing weekend at Belmont Park is highlighted by a pair of Grade 3 races,
with both the $150,000
Ruler Handicap and the $150,000
Turnback the Alarm Handicap for fillies and mares set for Saturday, the
penultimate day of racing.
Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap hero Nonios (Pleasantly Perfect), runner-up
in the Grade 1 Awesome Again (formerly Goodwood) and Grade 1 Haskell
Invitational, clocked a bullet five furlongs in :59 4/5 over Hollywood Park's
Cushion Track on Wednesday. The dark bay sophomore has been pre-entered to both
the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and Classic, with a first preference to the Dirt
SANTA ANITA NOTEBOOK
Led by multiple Grade 1 winner Game On Dude, defending Ladies' Classic
champion Royal Delta, dominating turf stars Wise Dan and Point of Entry,
and 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, 180 horses, including eight
defending or former Breeders' Cup Champions, have been pre-entered for the 2012
Breeders' Cup World Championships.
A $1.1 million, six-stakes bonanza awaits fans and bettors at Laurel's Fall
Festival of Racing on Saturday, highlighted by the $350,000
Frank J. De
Francis Memorial Dash for older horses over six furlongs.
Hoping to add his name to an honor roll of three-year-old winners of the
Grade 2, $150,000
that includes Blame and Arch, Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy
makes his return to the races Saturday in the closing day feature at Keeneland.
The Pat Byrne trainee is the only sophomore in a field of 11 that will negotiate
nine furlongs on Polytrack.
The Breeders' Cup has announced the final race order for the Breeders' Cup
World Championships, November 2-3 at Santa Anita Park. While all of the Friday
races will remain in the same order when announced earlier this month, there
were three changes made to the Saturday program.
A gray son of Speightstown provided some late fireworks near the conclusion
of Tuesday's second session of Fasig-Tipton's October Yearling Sale at Newtown
Paddocks near Lexington, Kentucky. Whipser Hill Farm was the winning bidder at
$440,000 for the February 2 Kentucky-bred, who was offered as Hip No. 820 from
the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Esteemed turf writers Jay Hovdey and the late Whitney Tower have been chosen
as the National Museum of Racing's Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor recipients for
2012. The Roll of Honor was initiated by the Museum in 2010 in memory of Hirsch,
a distinguished turf writer who died the previous year.
Canadian champion Musketier has been retired to Adena Springs Canada for the
2013 breeding season.
Golden Ticket, dead-heat winner with Alpha in the Grade 1 Travers in August,
was not pre-entered in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
In its continuing support of a national program for retired racehorses,
the Breeders' Cup announced Tuesday that it has created a "Text to Donate"
campaign, through Give by Cell, to allow fans to contribute to the Thoroughbred
Aftercare Alliance (TAA).
Owner Benjamin Leon, who purchased Royal Delta for $8.5 million at Keeneland
a few days after her 2011 Ladies' Classic triumph, wanted to keep all options on
Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) will honor Frank Stronach with the
TCA Leadership Award and Belmont Child Care Association with the TCA Industry
Service Award at the 23rd Annual Select Stallion Season Auction to be held
January 5, 2013 at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Kentucky.
The blitz towards the Breeders' Cup continued at mach speed Sunday morning at
Santa Anita as several major players worked for their engagements in the World
Championship events at The Great Race Place on November 2-3, headed by Breeders'
Cup Classic favorite Game on Dude.
In a move that did not come unexpectedly, Godolphin announced Sunday that
Frankie Dettori will no longer serve as a retained rider for the stable. The
popular Italian, who had been Godolphin's premier rider for 18 years, will now
become a highly sought-after freelancer. On that basis, Dettori will continue to
accept mounts for Sheikh Mohammed's flagship operation.
"I love Woodbine, I love riding here," Sutherland said. "It's nice that I
could end it here, where it all started for me."
The veteran five-year-old mare Upperline made her finale for the Mike Stidham
barn in Sunday's $125,000
Stakes, and seized the moment to make Keeneland history as well. The winner
of the Grade 3 Bewitch here in April, Upperline became the first to sweep both
of the track's 1 1/2-mile turf stakes for distaffers in the same season.
Trainer Chad Brown sent out undefeated Awesome Feather on Sunday morning for
her penultimate work prior to an expected start in the 1 1/8-mile Breeders' Cup
Ladies Classic. The four-year-old Awesome of Course filly was caught by NYRA
clockers in 1:12 1/5 for six furlongs over Belmont Park's fast main track, the
only work at the distance.
Trainer Gary Sciacca expressed excitement Sunday morning about what the
future might have in store for Saratoga Snacks, a three-year-old who on Saturday
finished second, beaten 1 1/4 lengths by five-year-old Lunar Victory, in the
After his Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint hopeful, Great Attack, breezed five
furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over the good Keeneland turf course on Thursday, trainer
Wesley Ward was asked about the performance. The horseman said he was pleased
and that he "wanted to talk to his Melbourne Cup-winning rider."
Gold Ship, sent off heavy favorite with the absence of archrival Deep
Brillante, lived up to expectations with his second classic victory in Sunday's
Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) at Kyoto. Trained by Naosuke Sugai and
ridden by Hiroyuki Uchida, the gray son of Stay Gold covered about 1 7/8 miles
on firm turf in 3:02.9, just missing the stakes record of 3:02.7 established by
Song of Wind in 2006.
Under jockey Paco Lopez, Bern Identity sat behind the early leaders before
moving up four wide around the second turn. When Lopez gave him his cue he
responded well by opening up a clear lead in the stretch and cruising home in
front by three lengths while never feeling the whip. Finishing another four
lengths behind Mylute in third was Mr. Bandini's Band. Bern Identity covered the
distance over a fast track in 1:39 2/5.
Gypsy Robin remained a perfect three-for-three over the Keeneland Polytrack
as she wired the field in the Grade 2, $250,000
Run on Saturday with John Velazquez aboard.
Kindle, the 5-2 second choice, blasted right out of the gate in her turf
debut. As she sizzled through fractions of :20 4/5 and :42 2/5, Kindle opened up
a sizeable margin. Broken Dreams, who was shortening up off a trio of route
races, stalked beneath Garrett Gomez, but the 3-1 third choice still had about
five lengths to make up at the top of the stretch. The 2-1 favorite Byrama, who
had been last early, had even more of a deficit to overcome.
Godolphin Racing's multiple Grade 1 winner
Tricky has been retired with an injury to her right hind ankle, trainer
Kiaran McLaughlin announced Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday in England, Juddmonte Farm's Frankel wrapped up his extraordinary
career with victory in the Group 1 Champions Stakes at Ascot. Later in the day
and across the Atlantic in New York, the organization's Lunar Victory helped
prolong the festivities with a 1 1/4-length score in the $250,000
at Belmont Park.