Trainer Tom Albetrani said his Bernardini will be facing the most difficult task of his life Saturday in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
After finishing second in Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) two years ago, Balletto returns to the Breeders' Cup, this time in the Emirates Airline Distaff (gr.I).
Two days before the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Doug O'Neill, trainer of Lava Man, Sharp Lisa, and Great Hunter; and Tom Albertrani, trainer of Bernardini and Balletto, discussed the chances of their stars leading up to their respective races.
Once again, trainer Aidan O'Brien has brought a strong contingent of horses from across the pond to compete in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 4. As always, the European invaders are most feared in the turf events, and O'Brien will saddle Aussie Rules and Ad Valorem in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT)and Scorpion in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
If there were a prize to be given for the most royal pedigree in the Breeders' Cup Classic-Powered By Dodge (gr. I), Suave would be right up there among the contenders.
Giacomo is a different kettle of fish from the best-known runners from the Plaudit line, who gained their reputation on the basis of raw brilliance.
Some might question why Flower Alley is even being considered for the Breeders' Cup Classic–Powered By Dodge (gr. I). If he can return to the form that carried him to a second-place finish behind Horse of the Year Saint Liam in last year's Classic, however, he will not be a horse to overlook.
By the late 1990s, it seemed almost certain that the male line of Hall of Famer Alydar would not survive. Before he died in 1990, however, Alydar sired one last runner of some note.
Lawyer Ron proved himself one of the most consistent 3-year-old colts of 2006 heading into the Kentucky Derby, carrying a six-race win streak into the big race.
George Washington is a unique conundrum. Bred by Roy and Gretchen Jackson – also the breeders and owners of Kentucky Derby (gr, I) winner Barbaro – he has a name as American as baseball and apple pie, yet is largely European in background and performance.
At a Nov. 2 press conference next to the Churchill Downs paddock, trainer Todd Pletcher tried to explain the logistics of starting 17 horses on Breeders' Cup World Championship day Saturday.
If Lava Man's pedigree is blue-collar and Invasor's is foreign nobility, Bernardini's represents the American aristocracy.
Owners Clinton and Susan Atkins had hoped to watch their 3-year-old filly Baghdaria race under Churchill Downs' famed twin spires on the first Friday in May. The filly didn't compete in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but they have a second chance to compete at Churchill with a berth in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships actually being just that has taken hold with at least one trainer. Ed Dunlop, who conditions Ouija Board, has planned three campaigns for the filly, each designed with the Breeders' Cup in mind.
The great Laffit Pincay Jr., now retired but still the world's all-time leading jockey (and winner of eight Breeders' Cup races), is at Churchill Downs to introduce the nominees for the Race Track Chaplaincy's White Horse Award.
Looking at the post positions for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), one can expect plenty of action up front, with several jockeys having to make a split decision whether or not to commit their horse to the lead, or at least to be a major pace factor. But is it possible a horse can get a clear lead...and actually hold it?
In the words of ESPN senior vice president Len DeLuca, the network is "bullish" on its opportunity to broadcast the Breeders' Cup World Championships for the first time Nov. 4.
Gorella, a beast on the turf course this year against the girls and a formidable foe against the boys, drew post position 12 of 14 for Saturday's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.
Fleet Indian is right where her owner, Paul Saylor, wants her to be in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
European invader Hurricane Run, a multiple group I winner, drew the seven post position and was made the 3-1 morning line favorite for the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
European sensation Ouija Board drew post two and was made the 8-5 morning line favorite for the Nov. 4 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs, where she will face nine challengers, including 3-year-old sensation Wait a While and race veteran Film Maker.
Henny Hughes, undefeated this year since coming to the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin, was installed as the 2-1 favorite for the $2-million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) after drawing post position four in the six-furlong contest.
Cash Included, winner of the Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park in her first start around two turns, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the $2-million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Everyone had been saying the field for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) was evenly matched. Obviously Mike Battaglia, who makes the morning line at Churchill Downs, agreed.
Bernardini, leading candidate for Horse of the Year honors, drew the three post position and was installed as the even-money favorite for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic -- Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Millennium Farms Super Frolic, pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) and the Netjets Mile (gr. IT), was shipped to Churchill Downs Tuesday and is now in the barn of trainer Scott Blasi.
Entered in this year's Breeders' Cup Championships is a horse who has not let the increasing years of his life affect his racing career. Perfect Drift, still going strong at age 7, has aged like fine wine, continuing to post impressive efforts as Nov. 4 rapidly approaches.
For the first time since 2000, the Breeders' Cup World Championships returns to Churchill Downs Nov. 4. The historic track has held the event five times in the past, and the six-year gap between hosting duties is the longest it has faced.
As soon as ESPN and the NTRA announced that Trevor Denman would replace Tom Durkin as the racecaller for the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Denman's phone started to ring.
Pace makes the race, but when it comes to big races, it doesn't hurt to study the trends, either. The Emirates Airline Distaff is no exception.
Right before the draw of the Breeders' Cup races takes place on the fourth floor of the clubhouse at Churchill Downs, Lisa Underwood surveys the scene. She's not eating breakfast from the buffet, but that's not to say she doesn't have a lot on her plate.
Four runners in Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Championships will be donating a portion of their earnings to Lexington-based The Race For Education, a national scholarship program that helps young people in the horse industry afford a college education.
Breeders' Cup and some of the top racetracks in the country have repackaged major stakes for 2007 in the hope of promoting the World Championships. The scheme includes guaranteed berths in the Breeders' Cup for horses that win stakes on six big-event days in the summer and early fall.
Darley Stable's 4-year-old filly Dubai Escapade will not be entered in Saturday's $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs after the filly was found to have some inflammation in her front ankle Tuesday.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors has made no decision on limiting the racetracks that could be considered as future host sites for the World Championships, but during an Oct. 31 luncheon in Louisville, Ky., officials couldn't say enough about having the event at Churchill Downs.
HorseRacing, a subsidiary of Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Tuesday, Oct. 31, that it has entered into an agreement with Insight Communications for carriage of HRTV on Insight systems beginning in time for the Breeders' Cup World Championships this Saturday.
Things were quiet at Barn 17 on the Churchill Downs backstretch the morning of Oct. 31. But Norman Casse knows that is about to change. And, he's glad.
Bernardini had his final workout at Belmont Park Oct. 31 and is ready for his start in the biggest race of the year.
Rev. Ed Donally is standing outside Barn 36 with an armful of new halters, watching as Lava Man cools out from his morning gallop. Donally, with the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, is in from California to coordinate the White Horse Award Luncheon.
Although retired, Hall of Fame members Jerry Bailey, Pat Day, and Gary Stevens all plan to attend the Breeders' Cup World Championships this year.
With an overall record of two wins, a second and a third from 12 starts in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, it's clear longtime trainer Mel Stute rarely heads to the big event without a legitimate candidate.
The turf at Churchill Downs on Breeders' Cup day should be firm--that is, if the long-range forecast holds up.
Thankfully there is an antidote to the serious nature of Breeders' Cup week, and it comes in the form of the owners of John Deere Turf (gr. IT) candidate Better Talk Now.
With the horses of racing age program implemented this year, owners had a different option for landing their non-nominated horses in the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships, and a few took full advantage.
The key to any Thoroughbred trainer's success is the quality of people around them. Trainer Todd Pletcher learned that from his mentor, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Pletcher, the two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer, is working with the same model. Holding down the Churchill Downs barn is assistant Mike McCarthy.
Following Sunday's deluge of Todd Pletcher works, and a pair by Kiaran McLaughlin's two stars, there still was enough activity at Belmont Park on a glorious fall morning Oct. 30 to keep one entertained.
Tracy Farmer's Commentator, a contender for the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), was withdrawn from the race Monday, Oct. 30, due to an injury.
Darley Stable's Dubai Escapade zipped five furlongs in a quick :59 3/5 at Churchill on Monday, Oct. 30, as she showed her fitness for Saturday's TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Following Fleet Indian's scheduled start in Saturday's Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, she heads to Keeneland to be offered Monday during the first session of the November breeding stock auction.
Following an active workout day Sunday, there were only four Breeders' Cup World Championship contenders working at Churchill Downs on a warm, sunny Monday morning, Oct. 30.
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