Cocoa Beach and Music Note have been here before. In 2008, at the end of long campaigns, they were still able to finish second and third, respectively, to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
The sun was barely visible over the mountains shortly after 5 a.m. (Pacific Time) Nov. 1 when Regal Ransom went to the track at Santa Anita for final preparations for the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The presence of classy Europeans Mastercraftsman and Sweet Hearth to the pre-entry field for the $1-million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) on Nov. 7 gives the runners from the powerful Godolphin stable the prospect of some tough competition.
A total of 166 horses were pre-entered Oct. 26 for the 2009 Breeders' Cup World Championships to be run Nov. 6 and 7 at Santa Anita.
Godolphin's big year continued Oct. 24 when odds-on choice Vineyard Haven burst through along the inside in deep stretch to capture the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) over a sloppy track at Laurel Park.
Last weekendfs racing helped to clarify the Breedersf Cup picture for runners from Godolphin Racing, including Gayago, Girolamo, and Cocoa Beach.
Godolphin's good fortune leading up to the Breeders' Cup continued at Santa Anita Oct. 11 when 6-5 choice Gayego stormed down the center of the track to register a one-length win in Oak Tree's $300,000 Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I).
Godolphin Racing's highly-touted 3-year-old Girolamo overwhelmed Kensei after a brief stretch duel and scored the $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) by 1 1/4 lengths Oct. 11 at Belmont Park in his first stakes appearance of the season.
Manuel Andrade has acquired complete interest in multiple graded stakes winner Two Step Salsa from Godolphin Racing and will stand him at his Get Away Farm near Reddick, Fla.
There was a time not too long ago that a meeting among the nation's best fillies and mares in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I) was a distinct possibility. But with Rachel Alexandra on the sideline, Zenyatta staying in California for the Lady's Secret (gr. I), and Icon Project now heading to Keeneland's Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I), the Beldame has lost some of its appeal.
With Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and Ventura, familiar standbys like Forever Together and Music Note, and rapidly rising stars Icon Project, Careless Jewel, and Swift Temper, as well as Goldikova in Europe, this is truly a special year for fillies.
Concerns about Regal Ransom's readiness coming into the $750,000 Super Derby (gr. II) proved inconsequential when the well-bred Godolphin colt rolled to a front-running victory at Louisiana Downs Sept. 19.
Godolphin's Midshipman, last year's champion 2-year-old colt who hasn't run since his victory in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), returned in top form Sept. 18, winning a competitive allowance/optional claimer at Belmont Park by 3 1/2 lengths.
The eagerly anticipated 3-year-old debut of 2008 champion juvenile male Midshipman will occur Friday, Sept. 18, in the third race at Belmont Park, a 6 1/2-furlong conditioned allowance that represents his first start over a conventional dirt track.
The Godolphin team continued its winning hot streak as Mastery overpowered stablemate Kite Wood in the closing strides to take the Ladbrokes St. Leger Stakes (Eng-I) at Doncaster Sept. 12.
It's time to accept the fact that Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta are not going to meet. As the cliche goes, that ship has sailed.
Pyro, one of the favorites in last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), captured his first stakes in more than a year when he came from off the pace and out-finished Kodiak Kowboy in the $300,000 Forego (gr. I) Sept. 5 at Saratoga.
Summer Bird secured his place atop the 3-year-old male division with his resounding victory in the slop in the $1-million Shadwell Travers Stakes.
Godolphin's Music Note repelled a bid from Indian Blessing at the top of the stretch and sloshed home for a 5 1/4-length upset victory in the $300,000 Ballerina (gr. I) Aug. 29 at Saratoga.
Sara Louise, the last horse to defeat superstar filly Rachel Alexandra, returned from a nine-month layoff in sparkling fashion, coming from off the pace to score the $110,000 Victory Ride (gr. III) Aug. 29 at Saratoga.
Sara Louise will race for the first time since November in the $100,000 Victory Ride (gr. III) Aug. 29 at Saratoga. She is the last horse to defeat Rachel Alexandra.
Kent Desormeaux climbed aboard Summer Bird Aug. 15 as the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner put in his first serious work for the $1 million Shadwell Travers (gr. I) over the main track at Saratoga.
Godolphin Stable's Seventh Street continued her dominance over an off track, as she wore down Spritely in mid-stretch and went on to win the $300,000 Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 2 at rainy Saratoga. It was the fifth victory in eight starts for the 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry, who became a multiple graded stakes winner.
The Godolphin shopping spree continued July 21 with the purchase of Long Branch Stakes winner Atomic Rain from George and Lori Hall. There are no immediate plans for the son of Smart Strike, who had been pointing for the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 2.
A walk down the Godolphin shedrow at Belmont Park reveals a "Who's Who" of major stakes horses, many of whom are just coming back off layoffs and getting ready for the Saratoga meet.
Jealous Again, five-length winner of the group II Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, has been sold to Godolphin and will be shipped back to England over the weekend to prepare for upcoming stakes.
Rachel Alexandra, who when last seen was making history by winning the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I), will make her return to the racetrack in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park. The Horse of the Year candidate will face only four rivals in the nine-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies.
Donativum, making his first start since winning the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last fall, finished fourth in the listed King Charles II Stakes at Newmarket on May 23.
Frankie Dettori guided Godolphin's Mastery to a comfortable 1 1/2-length win in the Derby Italiano Better (Ity-II) at Rome's Capannelle racecourse May 9, setting up a possible return in the Investec Derby (Eng-I) next month.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up West Side Bernie, who finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been purchased by Godolphin from George and Lori Hall for an undisclosed amount and will be pointed for next year's Carnival events in Dubai, Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Thursday.
Desert Party, who finished 14th in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will have surgery to remove a bone chip in his left front ankle
Alan Porter takes a closer look at Desert Party and Regal Ransom, the pair of Dubai-based horses in this year's Kentucky Derby.
Desert Party was the second of two Godolphin Racing horses on the track at Churchill Downs April 25 to complete his works for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and his :59 3/5 timing for five furlongs was second only behind stablemate Regal Ransom's bullet work of :59 1/5.
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Monday that Regal Ransom and Desert Party are both scheduled to run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
A day after his smashing victory March 28, record-breaking Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Well Armed was in "fantastic" condition, according to his assistant trainer.
Godolphin's Two Step Salsa, formerly based in the United States, broke sharply and made most of the pace en route to a comfortable victory in the $1-million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) to kick off the Dubai World Cup program March 28 at Nad Al Sheba race course.
Godolphin's Regal Ransom held off stablemate Desert Party by a half-length to post a 13-1 upset in the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II) March 28 at Nad Al Sheba.
Desert Party, who leads the three-strong Godolphin challenge in the $2-million UAE Derby (UAE-II), will go for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) as long as he runs well March 28 at Nad Al Sheba.
Topped by 36 entries from trainer Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore Stud connections, a total of 138 horses remain nominated for the 230th running of the Epson Derby (Eng-I) at the first scratching deadline.
Last year's champion 2-year-old Midshipman will miss the Triple Crown after he sustained a minor soft tissue injury to his left fore leg during routine exercise at Godolphin's Al Quoz Stables in Dubai Feb. 28.
Godolphin Racing's 2008 champion juvenile colt Midshipman highlights an all-star list of 183 3-year-olds nominated to Keeneland's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), to be held April 11.
The Godolphin Racing duo of Desert Party and Regal Ransom finished first and second Feb. 12 in the Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-III) at Nad al Sheba in Dubai as both colts continued on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Midshipman and Vineyard Haven, the two leading juveniles of 2008, are both making excellent progress in Dubai and are nearing their 3-year-old debuts, said Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford, who added that it's possible one of them will return to the U.S. to prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Kiaran McLaughlin has been training horses for the Maktoum family for 16 years, so when he was asked to "babysit" Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Gayego for a few weeks he had no problem at all. On Jan. 2, McLaughlin confirmed that Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Stables had recently purchased the 4-year-old son of Gilded Time and he will be pointed to the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) later this year.
The combination of owners Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor have 72 early entries between them for the 2010 Epsom Derby (Eng-I) that will be run June 5, 2010, at Epsom Downs. A total 388 entries were made for the classic, which will have a purse of Â£1,250,000.
Following their final breeze at Keeneland on Saturday, Godolphin's precious cargo of 2-year-olds will depart for Dubai on Monday, Dec. 15, assistant trainer Rick Mettee said.
Favored Cocoa Beach staged a furious rally through the homestretch to nab pacesetter Precious Kitten in the final strides, winning Hollywood Park's $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) on the grass by three-quarters of a length Nov. 30.
Chilean-bred Cocoa Beach, runner-up to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) last out, makes her return to the track to face a loaded field of nine fillies and mares in the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) Nov. 30 on the Hollywood Park turf.
Everyone knows by now that Sheikh Mohammed wants to win the Kentucky Derby, as evidenced by the amounts of money he's spending for ready-made Derby horses. But that's not entirely correct. He wants to win the Kentucky Derby with a horse trained in Dubai.
Vineyard Haven, winner of the grade I Champagne and Hopeful Stakes, has been sold to Godolphin for an undisclosed price by Bobby Frankel, who was majority owner of the colt, in partnership with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre and Louis Lazzinnaro.
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