By Paul Volponi -- Paul Volponi, a New York-based correspondent for The Blood-Horse, recalls his meeting with P. G. Johnson and how a Classic winning horse was named for him.
Despite heavy competition from a high-scoring Notre Dame-Florida State college football game, the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships managed a 5% increase in its overnight television rating.
Six of the eight winners on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships card at Arlington Park Oct. 26 are expected to race in 2003, if all goes according to plans. Three winners--Orientate, Domedriver, and Starine--could run again this year.
Two days after the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board was investigating "unusual circumstances" related to the winning Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 wagers made Oct. 26 through Catskill Off-Track Betting Corp.
Trainer P. G. Johnson was an early arrival at Barn 22 on Arlington's backstretch, checking on Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi before departing for a flight to New York.
Trainer Laura De Seroux was politicking Sunday morning to persuade Turf writers and other Eclipse Award voters that Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Azeri deserves the Horse of the Year title.
The Blood-Horse's own head-to-head competition, where executive editor Dan Liebman and managing editor Evan Hammonds were given mythical $1,000 bankrolls to bet the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, was no contest.
A new event wagering record of $115,523,156 from all sources was established for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park Saturday, according to preliminary totals.
The Irish connections of Michael Tabor and John Magnier got their first winner on Saturday's Breeders' Cup card when 4-5 favorite High Chaparral won the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I).
Padua Stable's Vindication and The Thoroughbred Corporation's Kafwain provided trainer Bob Baffert with a 1-2 finish in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Take Charge Lady, who finished a disappointing sixth in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff Saturday at Arlington, was ill, according to trainer Ken McPeek.
Led by longshot Starine, horses trained by Bobby Frankel finished first and second in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas extended his leadership in Breeders' Cup victories to 17 when Bob and Beverly Lewis' Orientate wore down Thunderello in the stretch for a half-length victory in the NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
French-based Domedriver held off a stiff challenge from 4-5 favorite Rock of Gibraltar to post a three-quarter length victory in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I). The race was marred by the breakdown of Landseer, who broke a cannon bone shortly after the field entered the stretch.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Storm Flag Flying remained undefeated in the Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but it wasn't easy. She was passed by Composure in midstretch, appeared beaten, and found another gear to win by a half-length.
The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Azeri solidified her bid for Horse of the Year with a dominating win in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Arlington Park.
Twenty-nine minutes before the first Breeders' Cup race today at Arlington, the track condition was upgraded to fast. It began the day as muddy, quickly was switched to good, and then announced as fast.
Arlington Park track superintendent Javier Baraja said at 9:30 a.m. central time this morning that the track surface for the Breeders' Cup races will start out either muddy or good, but should be upgraded as the day progresses.
There are longshots galore in this year's BC, but Volponi is our best bet of the day.
Dan Liebman and Evan Hammonds, who have been on the scene in Chicago this week, were each given a $1,000 mythical bankroll...
With approximately $100,000 in advance Breeders' Cup wagering at Arlington Park and off-site facilities in Illinois on Friday, Evening Attire emerged as a surprising lukewarm favorite for the Classic (gr. I).
Sometimes, even horses that want to run long mature early. Such is the case with Tom Durant's Most Feared, who trainer Ronny Werner will send out Saturday in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Boy, am I glad this is play money.
John C. Oxley's Sky Mesa, the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), was scratched Friday morning after sustaining an apparent sprain of his right front ankle.
Three trainers will make their first starts in a Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship when the gates open for the Distaff (gr. I). But none of them feel the weight of the championship because they have so much of their confidence in their horses.
Looking for a live longshot for the NetJets Breeders' Cup (gr. IT)? Look no further than Green Fee, who is listed at 50-1 on the morning line and was the last horse to draw into the 14-horse field.
Jockey Pat Day was aboard Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) contender Whywhywhy for the first time Tuesday when the Hall of Famer worked the Mr. Greeley colt at Arlington Park.
Tomorrow's NAPA Auto Parts Breeders' Cup Sprint will be trainer Howard Zucker's first Breeders' Cup contest, but it certainly isn't the first time he has been closely involved with world-class athletes.
Vindication is a name with special meaning for Satish Sanan and his family.
Links to Breeders' Cup-related articles in daily newspapers.
Aidan O'Brien, Europe's leading trainer as caretaker of the horses from the Coolmore operation at Ballydoyle, has seven horses entered for the World Thoroughbred Championships. His standout for the day lies in the form of Rock of Gibraltar in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) -- the best "rock" to come out of Ireland since U2.
While horses like Kona Gold and Banks Hill seek to repeat past Breeders' Cup glory Saturday at Arlington Park, many owners are hoping to make encore trips to the winner's circle on racing's biggest day.
Jockey Terry Thompson is taking his first opportunity to ride in a Breeders' Cup race quite seriously. This week he gave up his regular nighttime schedule at Hoosier Park, where he is close to becoming the all-time leading rider, to get a handle on the Arlington Park surface.
It was a study in contrast Thursday morning, as the top California invaders War Emblem and Came Home went to the track for the first time. Both arrived at Arlington in good order Wednesday morning for their showdown in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Two Item Limit, who finished third in last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) is on track to take on a very deep field of eight. She's come a long way since the beginning of the year when a return to the Distaff was a distant hope.
There are five horses from this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) set to run Saturday in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). That is the most ever, the previous high being three, most recently in 1999.
There are 91 horses competing in the eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races Saturday at Arlington Park. Of them, only three will not run on Salix.
Top Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien gave the media more time than usual Thursday morning at Arlington, talking for nearly 20 minutes outside the quarantine barn. O'Brien will saddle seven horses Saturday in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Regardless of how they run in the NAPA Auto Parts Breeders' Cup Sprint Saturday, two logical contenders will be offered just one week later at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale.
The fans and punters in England are all rooting for Rock of Gibralter in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), but the betting shops sure aren't. Their biggest extension, by far, is on "the Rock."
Ivanavinalot, morning-line third choice for Saturday's Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), was scratched Thursday morning. Breeders' Cup officials said the daughter of West Acre, trained by Kathleen O'Connell, had developed a fever and been treated with medication.
Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia said he believes any one of three or four different horses could be favored for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic Oct. 26 at Arlington Park. Battaglia made War Emblem the 3-1 favorite in the 12-horse field.
By his own admission, trainer John Scanlan is a bad loser -- a man who curses and throw things in defeat. So when he heard Wednesday that Toccet had drawn the far outside post the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Scanlan's first reaction was to leave the post position draw breakfast at Arlington Park.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is well-represented in the Oct. 24 edition of USA Today with a four-page preview insert in the sports section that includes five stories, fields for the eight races, and selections by Turf writers and handicappers.
It might take you awhile to name the 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships trainer that has the highest winning percentage this year.
With Chris McCarron retired, Pat Day and Jerry Bailey, tied with 12 Breeders' Cup wins apiece, are the event's marquee jockeys.
Co-owner John Toffan firmly believes Came Home deserves to be Horse of the Year if he wins on Saturday.
Perhaps the most important of the post position draws for the World Thoroughbred Championships is the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). Taking into consideration the tight track configuration and a full field of 14 top-quality horses, horsemen like to draw inside to help save ground or gain a forward position
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