Total wagering on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park on Oct. 27 reached $104,145,186, making it the second highest total handle just behind last year's mark of $108,603,040. The simulcast wagering total of $91,057,372 was also the second highest in Breeders' Cup history
Belmont Park posted large increases in attendance and handle for its 32-day fall meeting, helped along by its hosting of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 27. However, the quality meeting, with many graded stakes races that now serve as preps for the Breeders' Cup, was already on track to better year-ago figures without the Breeders' Cup races figured in.
The five-hour Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship telecast on NBC earned a 1.7 rating and captured 4% of the viewing audience. They were the lowest ratings the championship has ever received.
The biggest surprise of the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) popped up three days before the race was even run. The Maktoum brothers of Dubai shocked just about everyone Oct. 24 when they announced Fantastic Light would tackle the World Thoroughbred Championships' longest grass test instead of the Classic (gr. I)
Johannesburg remains unbeaten in seven starts with a huge win in the Juvenile, trainer Aidan O'Brien's first Breeders' Cup victory
Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms finally gets a Breeders' Cup victory as Olivier Peslier sees no one closing ground on the filly Banks Hill.
Val Royal wins the Mile at Belmont Park, just like his sire, Royal Academy, did in 1990 .
One day last fall, David Lanzman picked up the phone and rang Bobby Frankel to see if he would discuss taking a horse for him. It was 7 a.m. Frankel told him to swing by the barn between 9:15 and 9:30 and hung up.
It was only a matter of time. Not just for the Maktoum family's Godolphin operation, which proved to be a dominating presence at the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, but for Eoin Harty, a fifth-generation Irish horseman who left the Bob Baffert racing stable two years ago to train Godolphin's string of 2-year-olds in the United States
The rigors of being a Thoroughbred trainer means spending nearly as much time on the phone as training horses. In the past four months, Dallas Stewart has made and taken thousands of calls, but two have proven to be life altering. The first, a body blow, came in early June, when owner Roger Devenport phoned to say he was taking his horses and transferring them to trainer David Vance's barn. The second came just eight days before the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). That second call was Devenport asking Stewart to take the horses back.
It was happening all over again. America was a heartbeat away from being conquered in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). This time, however, a defeat would have been an ignominious end to the 2001 World Thoroughbred Championships.
Jump Start, who underwent several hours of surgery to repair his left front leg that was injured during the Oct 27 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), might be going to stud in 2002 at William T. Young's Overbrook Farm near Lexington.
The Godolphin team still was on cloud nine Monday following the magnificent overall effort of their horses in the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. After finishing one-two in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies with Tempera and Imperial Gesture, Godolphin captured the Turf with Fantastic Light and just missed by a nose with Sakhee in the Classic.
Trainer Scotty Schulhofer said Monday that Exogenous is still progressing slowly from her injuries suffered prior to the Breeders' Cup Distaff, when she flipped over backwards, hitting her head on the ground and suffering a severe concussion.
A roar of approval went up from the gathering of media following the Breeders' Cup Classic when Tiznow's owner Michael Cooper announced that the son of Cee's Tizzy would race again next year. The announcement also brought a loud "whoop" from jockey Chris McCarron, who pumped his fist in the air.
Despite a world of uncertainty and a location down the street from ground zero, the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships pulled off one its most successful days.
On Sunday morning, Exogenous, the Unbridled filly who suffered a severe concussion in a freak mishap prior to the running of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), was alert, standing in her stall, and eating hay, leaving the father and son training team of Scotty and Randy Schulhofer optimistic about her chances to recover. However, Randy Schulhofer cautioned that "the next 24 to 48 hours are the most crucial."
Exogenous, who flipped and caught her foot in the winner's circle rail prior to the Distaff, and Jump Start, who suffered a broken leg during the stretch run of the Juvenile, are recovering from their injuries, according to Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith.
In true classic fashion and eerily similar to last year's victory, Tiznow rallied stoutly in the lane to defeat Sakhee by a nose in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). This time however, he had to run down his rival, whereas a year ago he held off Giant's Causeway at Churchill Downs. He becomes the first horse in history to win back-to-back Classics.
Yonaguska completed a chalky Daily Double on the Breeders' Cup undercard Saturday at Belmont Park. He won the second race, the Sport Page (gr. III), under Chris McCarron. He was 7-5 and first race winner Graeme Hall was 4-5.
Graeme Hall stalked the pacesetters and then blew by to take the Stuyvesant (gr. III) with ease to open the Breeders' Cup card Saturday at Belmont Park.
Odds are this is the first time in this country that racing fans walked into a track with armed guards on the roof. But this is also the first time racing's biggest day has been held in the same area where a terrorist attack occurred just six weeks earlier.
Globeform editors are picking Aptitude to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Senure, the multiple grade I stakes winner who was not entered in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), is on the sidelines for several months because of a "little spot on a cannon bone," according to trainer Bobby Frankel.
Breeders' Cup Daily Notes
The long-awaited appearance of the Coolmore horses finally took place just before 9:30 Friday morning, and there were a few interesting moments. Galileo schooled fine in the gate, but did get wet under his saddlecloth, despite the cold temperatures and brisk winds. Coolmore's other Classic hopeful Black Minnaloushe was stubborn getting in the gate, and it took quite a while to load him.
The European contingent for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships arrived in good order this year despite some concerns over international travel in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In fact, this year's shippers are said to make up one of the strongest groups ever.
All eyes will be on Michael Kinane when he rides the 3-year-old Galileo in the Breeders' Cup Classic on World Thoroughbred Championships Day. But Kinane will have six other bullets in his holster on Saturday, and he's pretty confident about the quality of his mounts. Kinane has had 12 previous mounts on Cup Day.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships lost three starters on Friday when stewards were notified that Fleet Renee, Slew Valley, and Numerous Times would be scratched.
While many of the dams of Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship contenders are owned by famous breeders who have carefully developed their broodmare bands over decades, the dam of Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) favorite You is owned by a financially strapped university in Louisiana that is ready to cash in on her success.
You can handicap the eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races all you want, and you're still going to come away befuddled. There's simply too many good horses who can win, and very few horses with major weaknesses who can be dismissed. What we're going to attempt is to point out longshots who might be huge overlays, and horses who have impressed us with their training and their appearance.
Jerry Bailey is the only jockey with a mount in all eight World Thoroughbred Championships races Saturday. And that's OK with him for some not-so-obvious reasons.
Arlington Park is no cinch as the site of next year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Though Breeders' Cup officials have designated the suburban Chicago track as the desired location for the 2002 races, Arlington still needs at least three external approvals.
A major interest in Guided Tour, who runs in Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), has been purchased by Buckram Oak Farm. The 5-year-old horse has been owned by a group led by majority partner Morton Fink of Chicago. He will be listed in the program on Saturday as owned by Buckram Oak and Fink and run in Fink's colors.
A day after the World Thoroughbred Championship races are run, Belmont Park will give away a free photo of the Breeders' Cup Classic winner to fans attending the races. ... Also, Breeders' Cup simulcasting and advance wagering information as well as other track promotions.
The troubled state of world politics will keep Prince Ahmed bin Salman at home in Saudi Arabia for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
There is no question that You has proven the most so far among the nine entries in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). But the beauty of handicapping 2-year-old races is that some young horses improve by leaps and bounds in a matter of a few weeks, while others who matured may already have reached their best form.
On Tuesday night, most people were convinced Godolphin would run Fantastic Light in the Breeders' Cup Classic and Sakhee in the Turf. On Wednesday morning, those people were proven wrong when the Godolphin braintrust pulled a switcheroo that sent a shockwave of disbelief rippling through the backstretch.
Juddmonte Farms' Aptitude, 10-length winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, has been installed the 2-1 morning- line favorite for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic.
The work tab for Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships was still busy Wednesday, with more of the contenders working on grass than on the main track.
Nineteen horses were pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), Oct 17, headed by Europe's probable champion miler, Godolphin's Noverre, and two California runners, Sheikh Maktoum's Irish Prize and David Milch's Val Royal.
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