A total of 92 horses were entered Wednesday for the 19th Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. After weeks of speculation and rumors, European superstar Rock of Gibraltar was entered in the Mile, where he was installed as the even-money favorite by Arlington Park oddsmaker Mike Battaglia.
When post positions were drawn Wednesday at Arlington Park for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), the connections of Sky Mesa didn't want to be too far outside or too far inside. After the son of Pulpit was awarded the No. 9 spot, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, according to Donna Ward, who assists her husband, trainer John Ward.
The battle lines have been drawn. Now, Breeders' Cup and National Thoroughbred Racing Association officials are hoping the "race within a race" proves popular at the betting windows.
With three days remaining before the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Zavata and Good Journey breezed at Arlington Park.
Laura de Seroux barely had time Wedneday morning to train her horses. She was busy doing interviews. De Seroux has three horses running Saturday at Arlington in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Members of the Mr. Greeley syndicate and Spendthrift Farm have purchased a 50% interest in the breeding rights to top 2-year-old Whywhywhy.
For Bobby Springer, Tuesday was just another cold, windy fall morning at Arlington Park, as he returned from the track on his pony, bundled up in his heavy down jacket. But that will soon change. On Wednesday, his old friend, War Emblem, is expected take up residence two barns away from his home of a year ago.
If you assume this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be the first and last at Arlington Park, you may very well be wrong. If the Oct. 26 event meets with the satisfaction of Breeders' Cup, Arlington could become a regular host facility for the event.
After a 45-minute drive in rush hour traffic that normally would take 10-15 minutes, two vans carrying Aidan O'Brien's eight Breeders' Cup horses finally pulled up to the Arlington Park quarantine barn just after 6 p.m.
With just days to go before the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park, the question of whether Rock Of Gibraltar would compete in the Classic or the NetJets Mile remained unanswered. Even the colt's jockey said he doesn't know.
Can't make it to Chicago? Many tracks around the country have special post times, handicapping seminars, and other events this Saturday.
Before he leaves his stall each morning, Bonapaw nibbles some carrots and then is the recipient of a 60-minute massage. Most people should have it so good.
Caeser Kimmel and Ronald Nicholson's Blazing Fury has been declared out of Saturday's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT). He suffered a tendon injury after galloping at Belmont Park Tuesday morning.
A powerful team of eight horses from Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle Stables left Ireland on Tuesday for the Breeders' Cup and were expected to touch down in Chicago at 4:15 p.m. (Central time).
Came Home, who will be one of the favorites for the Breeders' Cup Classic, had his final tuneup for the $4 million race, working a half-mile in :47 3/5 at Santa Anita Tuesday.
It came down to the final week, but the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park is a sellout.
Major preparations by Breeders' Cup contenders based at Churchill Downs were completed Tuesday as Perfect Drift and three other horses bound for Saturday's races turned in their final preps before shipping to Arlington Park for Saturday's races.
The number of Breeders' Cup horses on the grounds nearly doubled Monday afternoon when Bobby Frankel's six-horse arsenal stepped off the Brook Ledge van at 3 p.m. Those arriving were Medaglia d'Oro and Milwaukee Brew (Classic), Beat Hollow and Aldebaran (Mile), Starine (Filly & Mare Turf), and Denon (Turf). Filly & Mare Turf starter Banks Hill, who captured the race last year, was due to arrive Tuesday from California.
The weather report for Saturday at Arlington Park changed again Wednesday morning. The track is the host of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships for the first time on Saturday.
Wally Dollase was on top of the world in 1996 and '97, when he saddled eight Breeders' Cup starters. He won the Distaff with Jewel Princess in '96 and finished second in the Classic with Deputy Commander. In 1997 Career Collection finished second in the Juvenile Fillies. The following year, he had a big chance in the Distaff with Sharp Cat, but the filly tied up badly during Breeders' Cup week and nearly died. Now, he is back with Good Journey.
Allen Paulson died in July of 2000, but the legacy of his breeding successes continues. Paulson, the leading breeder of Breeders' Cup horses by earnings, will be represented by two runners Saturday at Arlington Park in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
The leading Breeders' Cup sire by earnings, Deputy Minister, does not have an entrant this year. That could open the door for another sire to take over that title, the likely candidates being Storm Cat, Seattle Slew, Mr. Prospector, and Sadler's Wells.
The palatial grandstand wasn't all that was new when Arlington Park reopened in 1989 as Arlington International Racecourse. Horses raced over a new nine-furlong main surface and a single, one-mile turf course with movable rails that replaced the old two-course setup.
NBC sportscaster Tom Hammond, who has worked on all 18 Breeders' Cup programs to date, will appear on Saturday's telecast from home while recovering from heart surgery.
D. Wayne Lukas, the king of Breeders' Cup trainers with 16 victories, pre-entered only two horses for this year's renewal of the World Thoroughbred Championships.
When Breeders' Cup Ltd. selected Arlington Park to host the World Thoroughbred Championships, the organization and racetrack were sailing into uncharted water. With Arlington having seating capacity of 12,000, no track that small had ever been considered for racing's biggest event.
D'wildcat, who was double-entered in the NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and NetJets Mile (gr. IT) but expected to start in Saturday's Sprint (gr. I), will probably not ship from California for the race.
Tom Amoss is pulling double duty these days at Arlington Park. He trains Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile contender Lone Star Sky, and he serves as an analyst on the "The Works," the popular daily program on the TV Games Network.
Sky Mesa not only likes to be on time, he likes to be early. And that has made life interesting for his connections.
Two contenders for races in Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park completed their serious preparation for their races with workouts on Monday at Churchill Downs in Kentucky.
Irresistible Jewel is no longer being considered for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT), her trainer saying the Japan Cup is now the most likely spot for the Moyglare Stud's two-time Group III winner.
The 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic is unique in that there will be more activity at the Arlington Park stable gate during Breeders' Cup Week than on the track. As of Monday, Oct. 21, only two of the 13 horses expected to run were on the grounds. They were Macho Uno, who has been as Arlington for six weeks, and Evening Attire, who vanned from New York last week.
Following the 129 grade I races run during the first 18 years of the Breeders' Cup, 75 times the horse led into the winner's circle was bred in Kentucky. That 58% strike rate leads all states or countries in that category.
Besides the eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day races, the race for leading freshman sire of 2002 could be determined Oct. 26 at Arlington Park.
Four contenders for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic completed their final preparations Monday, with another hopeful for the race turning in an unofficial work at Arlington Park.
Select Stable's Overbrook Spinster (gr. I) winner Take Charge Lady breezed a half-mile at Churchill Downs Saturday, preparing for her next scheduled start in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr.i).
Robert and Beverly Lewis' Composure, winner of the Oak Leaf Stakes in her last start, turned in sharp 6-furlong work in 1:10 4/5 at Santa Anita Sunday.
Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) contender Swept Overboard worked five furlongs Saturday at Hollywood Park in a bullet :59, handily from the gate, fastest of 38 drills at the distance.
Paul J. Reddam's Momentum, a contender for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic Oct. 26, has been withdrawn from the race due to a soft tissue injury to his right foreleg.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem had his final major drill for next Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Arlington Park, working publicly at Santa Anita just after noon on Saturday.
Longshot Tout Seul rallied from last to take Saturday's Group I Dewhurst Stakes for 2-year-olds at Newmarket, defeating Tomahawk by a length and a quarter.
Most Feared was back on the track at Arlington Park Saturday morning and the Arlington- Washington Futurity (gr. III) winner flashed speed in a six-furlong work as he prepped for the Bessemer Trust Juvenile.
With six victories this year, including four stakes tallies, Bruno Schickedanz's Wake At Noon appears ready to take on the world's best at Arlington Park in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Preparing Kona Gold for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) is old hat for Bruce Headley, who is preparing the 8-year-old for his fifth run at the Sprint.
Although this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships officially launched Thursday with announcement of the pre-entries, interest in the Oct. 26 races at Arlington Park will be heightened once more of the horses are on the grounds at the Chicago oval.
A conflict with a four-day Future Farmers of America convention has moved the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships' return to Churchill Downs from 2005 to 2006. Belmont Park is expected to hold the event in 2005.
A minor foot ailment forced trainer Murray Johnson to postpone the final pre-race workout for Perfect Drift, a Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender owned by Stonecrest Farm.
Although there are a few mounts still open, the jockey assignments for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships are pretty much confirmed. Of the leading riders, Mike Smith, Jerry Bailey, Pat Day, and Edgar Prado are particularly deep in talent.
Gygistar, who has missed training time after injuring a hoof in a stall accident Oct. 11, was officially declared out of the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Friday. Trained by Mark Hennig, Gygistar had been questionable since he sustained a cut on his left front hoof in the stall accident.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien said on an international teleconference Thursday there is a chance both Rock of Gibraltar and Hawk Wing will run in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
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