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Updated: 11 hours 18 min ago

Quality Road Filly Takes Debut at Aqueduct

Sun, 2019-11-03 12:25

1st-Aqueduct, $70,000, Msw, 11-3, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.99, ft.
AUTONOMOUS (f, 2, Quality Road–Circumspect, by Discreet Cat) came from just off the pace to win by an easy four-length margin going six furlongs at Aqueduct Sunday. Settled behind Amazing Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) through an opening quarter in :22.73, the $300,000 KEESEP yearling purchase took over nearing the quarter pole, inched ahead through the turn and drew off late to score over Bay Jewel (New Year’s Day). A half-sister to Grade I winner Monba (Maria’s Mon), Circumspect produced a stakes-placed 3-year-old half-brother by Astrology named Aspect. Sales history: $300,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $38,500. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Blackstone Farm LLC (PA); T-Chad C. Brown.

The post Quality Road Filly Takes Debut at Aqueduct appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

The TDN’s Ben Massam Passes Away

Sat, 2019-11-02 21:46

It is with great sadness that the TDN family announces the passing Friday evening of Ben Massam, the TDN‘s News and Features editor, after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 31 years old.

Massam is survived by his parents, Brad and Barbara. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Massam joined the TDN team in 2014 as an assistant editor, and was promoted to News and Features editor in 2017, where he was responsible for overseeing the TDN‘s editorial content and managing the contributions from freelance writers.

Massam was a longtime New Jersey resident who fell in love with Monmouth Park when he was young. He graduated from The College of William and Mary in 2011, where he was a Division I track and field and cross country athlete, winning a national championship and several state championships. He received his Master’s Degree in History from Drew University in 2013.

But it was racing that was his true love. Editor-in-Chief Jessica Martini recalled the office’s first impression of Ben.

“Five years ago, I had just sat down at my desk in the TDN offices when Sue Finley found me and said, `There’s a kid coming in for an interview. We don’t really have anything for him, but let’s talk to him just in case. Maybe we can find a spot for him.’

“It was Breeders’ Cup week and there was a fair bit going on, so I wasn’t completely sold on interviewing some kid for a non-existent job. And of course, Ben walked in just as news hit that Wise Dan was injured and out of the Mile. An inauspicious beginning. I steeled myself for a perfunctory interview and a quick `Thanks for coming in.’

“Ben’s passion and knowledge of racing was readily apparent, but I’ll admit my mind was elsewhere for the first part of the interview. But then there was this moment. The moment I asked, `So, tell me an up-and-coming sire.’ And, without hesitating, this kid who had never had a job in racing said, `Kantharos.’ That was the moment Sue and I looked at each other and I know we were both thinking the same thing. He’s one of us. And he was. He totally was. Maybe the best of us. His passion and his commitment were so genuine, his loyalty unshakeable.

“Ben’s desk is next to mine. The stack of 10 empty mint containers sits right where he left them. Still no idea why.

“It’s Breeders’ Cup day, but something is missing at the TDN.”

“I had the pleasure of working closely with Ben on a day-to-day basis, particularly since his promotion to News and Features editor in 2017,” said TDN Publisher Sue Finley. “It was characteristic of his personality that when he came in to discuss the promotion with me, his major concern was whether or not his colleagues would think he was letting them down by giving up the work he had been doing. He insisted on continuing to be the one to put out the paper on Sunday nights so that nobody would have to work an additional late night. That was vintage Ben. Other people always came first.”

His coworkers are devastated to lose such a close friend and colleague.

“It really hit me earlier this week while handicapping the Breeders’ Cup,” said the TDN‘s Racing Editor, Brian DiDonato. “Ben and I would go over who we liked every week, and shared plenty of nice hits and bad beats together. It’s crushing to know that back and forth has come to an end. He was one of the smartest people I’ve known, and as selfless as anyone I’ve met–almost to a fault. Even as he’d gotten progressively sicker, he’d still apologize for not responding to a text right away because he was in treatment or seem more concerned with how things were going on your end. The last piece he wrote for the TDN back in August was so good–I don’t know how he mustered the strength to write it, but I know it was a nice escape for him back into what he loved. He was as big a fan of racing as anyone, especially Monmouth Park, of which he knew every piece of trivia and had every handicapping angle mastered. We never got to take the camping trip to Assateague Island that we decided one night at a bar would make for a good story, and we never had our match race (Ben was a world class runner and I, most assuredly, am not) because we couldn’t agree on a distance or the weights. But every time I crack open a set of past performances, or go to Saratoga or Monmouth, or see anything mango flavored (his favorite), I’ll miss my dear friend.”

That sentiment was a common one in the TDN offices Saturday.

“It was my distinct pleasure to work alongside Ben for the last five years and the loss we feel today, as a publication, but more than that, on a human level, is immeasurable,” said the TDN‘s Managing Editor, Alan Carasso. “Ben literally never had a cross word to say about anyone. He was the proverbial beacon of light, surrounded by an aura of positivity. A smile, his trademark infectious laughter.

“On a personal level, I will miss dearly discussions that had little to do with racing, but with life and with sports. We recently exchanged texts about the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears. It was good to talk about nothing at all, really.

“On a professional level, Ben was the consummate pro. Articulate, thoughtful, driven and, most of all, passionate. He lived and breathed Monmouth Park, he could rattle off details about the most obscure Jersey-bred around, his knowledge was that encyclopedic. And he was one hell of a handicapper.

“Ben was also a storyteller, his writing eloquent and alluring. When Ben wrote something, you didn’t just want to read it–you had to read it.

“The story to which my colleague Brian DiDonato refers is how I will remember Ben. He took us back to his Virginia roots in this truly excellent piece about the return of racing to the Commonwealth. His love for the sport, his love for his trade pour right out of it.

“To his family and to those who knew Ben best, my deepest sympathies on the loss of a truly remarkable young man who had the world at his doorstep and has been taken from all of us entirely too soon.”

Christie DeBernardis cited his genuine, caring nature. “There is no one who was more passionate about Monmouth Park or New Jersey racing than Ben Massam,” she said. “On his days off during racing season, he could always be found trackside or at his favorite spot beneath the trees in the paddock that he loved so much. There was no fact or trivia related to New Jersey racing that was too obscure for Ben, though that applied to much of racing in general. Ben not only loved the sport of racing, but also just loved horses and always strove to learn more about them. He was one of my favorite people to talk racing with and life in general. You would be hard pressed to find a more genuine, caring or kind person than Ben. I am honored to call him my friend and will miss him dearly.”

Heather Anderson also recalled the story of his hiring and his compassion for others.

“Ben was always classy and positive and I’ll never forget in his hiring interview how the first sire to trip off his tongue was Kantharos when asked who he thought was a sire to watch out for,” said Anderson. “I remember thinking, ‘This guy knows his business.’ I was fortunate enough to share a love of running and the great outdoors with Ben. I’m from out West, and somehow he always seemed to know when I was a bit homesick and we’d discuss the national parks we’d both been to and where we were going to check out next. In typical Ben fashion, even though he was seriously ill, he somehow found the time to send a sympathy card when my father-in-law died suddenly. He had his own major issues to deal with and he found the compassion to help me deal with mine. That was Ben and I will miss my friend.”

Rachel McCaffrey recalled Ben as `the blue-eyed guy with the big smile.’

“When I first met Ben, some of the most notable things about him were his big blue eyes, sharp intellect and a wide, toothy grin,” she said. “They were aspects of him that I always noticed–going over projects at work, hanging out with a few friends at the Dublin House, watching the races at Monmouth Park, even when we visited him at the hospital. He was upbeat, positive and appreciated a good joke. Despite the hand he was dealt, he was that incredibly smart, blue-eyed guy with the big smile. I am glad that even through the end, he never lost those things. That is how I will remember him, always.”

Advertising director Alycia Borer sat directly across from Ben. “I can honestly think of only positive things to say about Ben,” said Borer. “He was one of those people whom everyone truly likes. He was incredibly nice, thoughtful, willing to help with whatever anyone needed, and was always so quick to laugh. This is such a terrible loss in every way. We will all miss Ben so much.”

Added advertising assistant Alexa Reisfield, one of Ben’s closest friends in the office, “Ben was the first co-worker that befriended me when I started at the TDN 3 years ago. He was one of those people that was naturally easy to get along with, he had a wonderful upbeat personality no matter what was going on. He was one of the most selfless people I have ever met, always putting others before himself. Monmouth Park was one of Ben’s favorite places, and we enjoyed many days at the races poring over a form, only to end up betting by the seat of our pants. I hit the exacta having Ben as not just a co-worker, but also as a friend. He is going to be incredibly missed.”

Like the rest of the TDN staff, Senior Vice President Gary King struggled with how to sum up the loss. “It’s very difficult to put something like this into words,” said King. “From the very start it was clear that Ben was gifted and dedicated to his chosen craft. He had the unique ability to be a quiet leader, and someone we all sought advice from. Most importantly Ben was a remarkable human being, and had the respect and admiration of everyone he met. Inside and outside of the office. The TDN was a far better place with him and he will be sorely missed by all.”

Social Media Director Justina Severni recalled Ben as a dear friend. “Ben wasn’t only one of the best people I’ve ever known, he was what horse racing is about. His love of racing, especially Monmouth Park, was contagious. His knowledge of racing and his adoration of Jersey-bred runners was unparalleled. In our last conversation, Ben told me he would start looking at Breeders’ Cup pre-entries after he had finished handicapping the Meadowlands card, which is so perfectly Ben. I lost one of my dear friends, and racing lost one of its biggest champions, but we are both better for having known him, even briefly. I will remember Ben every Haskell Day and put a few bucks on the local horse in his honor.”

Said Customer Service Director Vicki Forbes, “Ben was an instant TDNer, on day one. He was a most-welcomed member to the team, and his relaxed, easy-going manner was wonderfully contagious. I loved him, and he’ll be so sorely missed.”

TDN Associate Editor Joe Bianca remembered Ben from Santa Anita, where he covered Breeders’ Cup weekend and said: “There are so many things that made Ben such a wonderful person to know and be around. The first is his generosity. He was the second-newest person at TDN when I started and he showed me the ropes. We barely knew each other, but his obvious kindness and empathy made me trust him entirely, and he was always there to answer any question I had. He was an extremely loyal person. His unwavering support of his home track of Monmouth, and his devoted fandom of the Chicago Bears and New Jersey Devils through thick and thin showed that. He was a hard worker, who took our newly created news editor position and ran with it, the only downside of which was that he had less time to write, because he was an absolutely brilliant writer. One of the best in the business. He was incredibly witty and made me laugh basically every day. But the most important thing to know about Ben is he was one of those people who you literally couldn’t picture flying off the handle or being nasty or mean, ever. He did everything the right way and we are all devastated that this could happen to him. I am so sorry to his family and everyone who loved him, which includes everyone at the TDN. He deserved so much better than this unbelievably tragic hand he was dealt, but because of how he spent the time he did have, he’ll never be forgotten by any of us.”

Senior Editor Steve Sherack was also in L.A. covering the Breeders’ Cup when he was given the news. “Whether it was a day off at the races at Saratoga, a night out grabbing drinks to watch a game at the Dublin House, or a long day in the trenches in the office, there wasn’t a better guy to be around or work with than Ben,” said Sherack. “All of racing and anyone whoever crossed paths with him lost a great friend today. I know I did. Nothing but winning photo finishes and wins by the Bears from here on out, buddy.

“RIP, Big Ben.”

The post The TDN’s Ben Massam Passes Away appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Curlin’s Vino Rosso Dominates BC Classic

Sat, 2019-11-02 21:11

ARCADIA, CA – The wine will be flowing in Southern California tonight.

After having his number controversially taken down in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park Sept. 28, Repole Stable and St Elias Stable’s Vino Rosso (Curlin) got his redemption with a powerhouse 4 1/4-length decision over ‘TDN Rising Star’ McKinzie (Street Sense) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. Higher Power (Medaglia d’Oro) was third.

As previously announced, Vino Rosso will begin his career at stud at Spendthrift Farm in 2020.

The Classic field of 11 was away in good order to the roar of 67,811 as the sun began to set beneath the stunning backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The striking chestnut Vino Rosso, who had tipped his hand in the mornings at Santa Anita throughout the week, broke well from post 10 and chased from a three-wide fourth as GI Preakness S. winner War of Will (War Front) led through fractions of :23.09 and :47.16.

MGISW McKinzie, who had to tap on the brakes rounding the first turn, made the first move to hit the front after sitting a stalking trip as Mongolian Groom (Hightail) and War of Will were the first to blink rounding the far turn.

Vino Rosso, meanwhile, began to rumble beneath Irad Ortiz, Jr. with an eye-catching sweeping move of his own approaching the quarter pole and the stage was set.

Or so it seemed.

Vino Rosso, off as the 9-2 third choice, quickly inhaled favored McKinzie as that one’s tail began to swoosh into the stretch, and with Vino Rosso running up the score late, track announcer Frank Mirahmadi put it into words perfectly.

“Vino Rosso–like father, like son. The son of Curlin romps in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic!”

The race was marred when GI Awesome Again S. upsetter Mongolian Groom was pulled up abruptly in deep stretch. He was vanned off with a serious fracture to his left hind ankle and was later euthanized.

Vino Rosso becomes trainer Todd Pletcher’s 11th win at the Championships and his first victory in the Classic. Mike Repole won the 2010 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with the brilliant Uncle Mo while Vinnie Viola co-campaigned 2015 GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile hero Liam’s Map.

“It really wasn’t about the last race,” Pletcher said. “It was about winning a Classic, especially for Mike and Vinnie and their families. We just felt like the last five weeks the horse had been training unbelievably well. I’ve been anxious for the race to get here and just nervous about it. It’s been a while since I came into a race of the magnitude with a horse doing this well. Every indication in his works, the way he shipped in, the way he galloped over the track. Everything was there indicating he was sitting on a lifetime best performance. So you always worry, did we ship in at the right time, but every indication was he was sitting on a big one and when it actually happens, it’s very rewarding, very fulfilling, very emotional. We always felt he would be a better 4-year-old than 3-year-old. Just happy it turned out to be right.”

Repole added, “This is unbelievable. Indescribable. We’ve won so many graded stakes, but this one feels different. Winning with Uncle Mo [in the Juvenile] was amazing and I knew it would take a special race to get a feeling even bigger than that. This is the one. This is the pinnacle. I think it’s more that we had unfinished business [than vindication]. I remember saying that that loss will make this win feel 10-times better. And it really did. You have to go through adversity, and that was pretty low, to reach the highest of highs. It’s a great feeling.”

Vino Rosso’s 4-year-old campaign and career was previously highlighted by a win over a track-and-trip score in the GI Gold Cup at Santa Anita S. May 27.

Vino Rosso began the year with a win in the one-mile Stymie S. at Aqueduct Mar. 9, then was fourth in the seven-furlong GI Carter H. Apr. 6. A well-beaten third in the GI Whitney S. Aug. 3, he outgamed Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) by a nose in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but was disqualified for interference in the stretch and placed second. Last year’s GII Wood Memorial S. winner and GII Jim Dandy S. third-place finisher was off the board in the 2018 GI Kentucky Derby, GI Belmont S. and GI Travers S.

Pedigree Notes:

Vino Rosso becomes the second Breeders’ Cup winner for the mighty two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who captured the 2007 GI Breeders’ Cup Classic at Monmouth Park. Curlin becomes just the second horse to both win the Classic and sire a winner of the race. Vino Rosso was selected by the eagle eye of the late Jimmy Crupi for $410,000 as a KEESEP yearling. Like Triple Crown hero Justify (Scat Daddy), Vino Rosso was bred by John Gunther, who purchased the mare Mythical Bride for $42,000 at the 2011 KEENOV Sale. Vino Rosso is a half-brother to So Alive (Super Saver), third in this year’s GIII Sam F. Davis S. and to the Irish-based juvenile Ramesses the Great (Pioneerof the Nile), a $350,000 Keeneland November weanling turned $575,000 Keeneland September yearling. Vino Rosso’s dam Mythical Bride is a half-sister to MGSW and 2014 GI Belmont S. runner-up Commissioner (A.P. Indy) as well as GSW Laugh Track (Distorted Humor), second in the 2013 GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. Dam of a yearling colt by Uncle Mo, Mythical Bride foaled a full-brother to Vino Rosso this year.

Saturday, Santa Anita
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC-GI, $5,520,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, 1 1/4m, 2:02.80, ft.
1–VINO ROSSO, 126, c, 4, by Curlin
1st Dam: Mythical Bride, by Street Cry (Ire)
2nd Dam: Flaming Heart, by Touch Gold
3rd Dam: Hot Lear, by Lear Fan
($410,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable;
B-John D. Gunther (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr.
$3,300,000. Lifetime Record: 15-6-1-3, $4,803,125. Werk Nick
Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–McKinzie, 126, c, 4, Street Sense–Runway Model, by
Petionville. ($170,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O- Karl Watson, Michael
Pegram & Paul Weitman; B-Summer Wind Farm (KY); T-Bob
Baffert. $1,020,000. TDN Rising Star’
3–Higher Power, 126, c, 4, Medaglia d’Oro–Alternate, by
Seattle Slew. ($250,000 4yo ’19 KEEAPR). O-Hronis Racing LLC;
B-Pin Oak Stud, LLC (KY); T-John W. Sadler. $540,000.
Margins: 4 1/4, 4 1/4, 2 1/4. Odds: 4.60, 2.90, 9.80.
Also Ran: Elate, Math Wizard, Seeking the Soul, Code of Honor, Yoshida (Jpn), War of Will, Owendale, Mongolian Groom. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The post Curlin’s Vino Rosso Dominates BC Classic appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Giant’s Causeway’s Bricks and Mortar Reigns Supreme in BC Turf

Sat, 2019-11-02 20:03

With Mitole (Eskendereya)’s victory in the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint a couple hours earlier and with Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) tasting defeat for the first time in 2019 in the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff, the ball was in the court of Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway) as he was looking to complete an unblemished season in Saturday’s $4-million GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. The task at hand was daunting at face value, as the 5-year-old was trying a mile and a half for the first time against a group of seasoned distance rivals and a couple of European raiders with strong resumes. Sent off the even-money favorite, Bricks and Mortar found clear sailing in the stretch and managed to fight off a stubborn United for the victory, leading home a 1-2 finish for his late stallion, himself runner-up in the 2000 GI Breeders’ Cup Classic when trying the dirt for the first time. Anthony Van Dyck (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), this year’s G1 Investec Derby hero, ran on for third.

Bricks and Mortar jumped without incident and took up a midfield position, racing between the rail-skimming United and Channel Maker (English Channel) as Acclimate (Acclamation) took them through the opening half-mile in a sensible :48.44. Tracking Bandua (The Factor) through down the backstretch while still racing inside of chief market rival Old Persian (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) just ahead of mid-division, Bricks and Mortar followed the move of United into the stretch and found clear sailing four off the inside at the three-sixteenths. Producing the same turn of foot that he used to such good effect at shorter trips this season, he collared United inside the final 100 yards and proved narrowly best. Anthony Van Dyck was held up for running room when trying for a gap between Bandua and United outside the eighth pole and stayed on well from there to be third.

“This is a special horse,” said jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., winning his third Breeders’ Cup race of the weekend, with a bigger prize yet to come. “He might be the best I’ve ever ridden. Today, he was a little keen with me, so we were closer to the pace than normal. So I just tried to get him to relax. When I asked him to run, I looked behind me and saw we were clear. He saw that other horse in front of us and he fought all the way to the wire. I knew it was very close, but I thought we won it. I’m so happy!”

The winner of 10 of his 12 career starts and his last six in a row since returning from a 14-month injury-enforced absence, the $200,000 Keeneland September graduate won the inaugural GI Pegasus World Cup Turf in January and gamely added the GII Muniz Memorial in March despite being forced to race more prominently than is his custom in a race void of any pace. His reliable late turn of speed had since carried him to wins in the GI Old Forester Turf Classic, the GI Manhattan S. and the Aug. 10 GI Arlington Million in which he defeated recent G1 Cox Plate fourth Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) for the second time this season.

For trainer Chad Brown, it was a first win in the Turf a few races after accepting the trophy for the Mile for the first time. He also won his first Juvenile Turf with Structor (Palace Malice) Friday afternoon and now sits on 15 Breeders’ Cup wins, having registered his first in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita in 2008.

“It takes a remarkable team of really talented men and women to hold a horse together like this,” said the former Bobby Frankel protege. “I can’t say enough about the individuals who worked with this horse throughout this campaign. Without them we wouldn’t be here.

“We just went race to race and when we got through each one it was, ‘OK, what are we going to do next? There were a lot of things to decide. A mile and a half, do we run him after the Arlington Million, can I get this horse ready after 13 weeks? I just reached down and talked to Bobby. I have to thank him, too. We found the knowledge. I wouldn’t be here right now without Bobby Frankel. He launched me and to get to a training fest like this, you have to go into his textbook and pull out bits and pieces that maybe he used in the past. It certainly helped me today.”

Pedigree Notes:

Though many were willing to oppose Bricks and Mortar on his ability to stay the Turf trip, his dam was a French listed winner over a mile and a half and placed in the 12-furlong GIII Bewitch S. in this country. His half-sister Emerald Beech (Maria’s Mon) won Saratoga’s Waya S. at 12 panels and the GIII Glens Falls S. at a mile and three-eighths.

Furthermore, second dam sire Exceller won the G1 Prix Royal Oak (French St Leger) over 15 furlongs before his repatriation to the U.S. Under the care of Charlie Whittingham, Exceller added the 1977 GI Canadian International S. (then run over a mile and five-eighths) and later defeated Seattle Slew in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, at that time a mile-and-a-half race. Stage Door Johnny, sire of Bricks and Mortar’s third dam, was victorious in the 1968 Belmont S.

Beyond the Waves is the dam of a Runhappy colt foaled Apr. 24 and was covered by both that sire and Uncle Mo this past breeding season. Bricks and Mortar is the third Breeders’ Cup winner for Giant’s Causeway, all at Santa Anita (Man of Iron, 2009 Marathon; Take Charge Brandi, 2014 Juvenile Fillies).

Bricks and Mortar enters stud at Shadai Farm in 2020.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF-GI, $3,680,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, 1 1/2mT, 2:24.73, fm.
1–BRICKS AND MORTAR, 126, h, 5, by Giant’s Causeway
1st Dam: Beyond the Waves (SW & MGSP-Fr, GSP-US, $187,752), by Ocean Crest
2nd Dam: Excedent, by Exceller
3rd Dam: Broadway Lullaby, by Stage Door Johnny
($200,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc. & William
H. Lawrence; B-George Strawbridge (KY); T-Chad C. Brown;
J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $2,200,000. Lifetime Record: 13-11-0-2,
$7,085,650. *1/2 to Emerald Beech (Maria’s Mon), GSW,
$269,338; Sir Ector (Dynaformer), GSP-Ire, $348,403; Beyond
Smart (Smart Strike), MSW, $389,729. Werk Nick Rating: F.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–United, 126, g, 4, Giant’s Causeway–Indy Punch, by Pulling
Punches. ($240,000 Wlg ’15 KEENOV; $300,000 Ylg ’16
FTSAUG). O-LNJ Foxwoods; B-Rosemont Farm LLC (KY);
T-Richard E. Mandella. $680,000.
3–Anthony Van Dyck (Ire), 122, c, 3, Galileo (Ire)
Believe’N’Succeed (Aus), by Exceed And Excel (Aus). O-Mrs.
John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor & Derrick Smith; B-Orpendale,
Chelston & Wynatt (IRE); T-Aidan P. O’Brien. $360,000.
Margins: HD, 1 1/4, HF. Odds: 1.00, 51.60, 5.20.
Also Ran: Zulu Alpha, Alounak (Fr), Mount Everest (Ire), Channel Cat, Arklow, Acclimate, Bandua, Old Persian (GB), Channel Maker. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The post Giant’s Causeway’s Bricks and Mortar Reigns Supreme in BC Turf appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Pure Prize’s Blue Prize Upsets Midnight Bisou in the Distaff

Sat, 2019-11-02 19:17

ARCADIA, CA–Making a sustained blitz on the far turn, Merribelle Stable’s Blue Prize (Arg) (Pure Prize) and Joe Bravo took command in midstretch and held off a stout late bid from presumptive champion Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) to upset the GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff Saturday at Santa Anita.

Called the “best filly I ever trained” by legendary Argentinian conditioner Jorge Mayansky Neer, Blue Prize was a Group 1 winner in her native land, but took six starts to taste victory after being sent to the U.S. in 2017, eventually putting it all together with a dominant score in the GII Falls City H. at Churchill. Notching three more black-type triumphs in her next five starts, she reached a career high in the states when capturing the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. last fall at Keeneland. Winless in her next four outings, including a fourth-place run in last year’s Distaff at Churchill, she got back on track in the Summer Colony S. Aug. 18 at Saratoga and defended her title in the Spinster last out Oct. 6 when besting odds-on Elate (Medaglia d’Oro).

Let go as the distant third choice in this attempt at Distaff redemption, the chestnut broke a step slowly from her outermost draw, but found her footing relatively quickly going by the wire for the first time and traveled third-last as the field hit the clubhouse turn with GI Kentucky Oaks victress Serengeti Empress (Alternation) leading the charge. Heading three wide around that bend as Midnight Bisou found a midpack spot along the rail in seventh, Blue Prize tugged slightly at Bravo turning down the backside as the half-mile fraction went up in a swift :46.68 over the tiring track.

Nudged along heading into the far turn, the Ignacio Correas trainee came alive with an eye-catching move and quickly drew within striking distance of the leaders after three-quarters in 1:10.83. Midnight Bisou had yet to uncoil while kept on the inside, and Blue Prize built a four to five-length cushion on the favorite as heads pointed towards home. Picking off the tiring Serengeti Empress past the furlong grounds, Blue Prize looked poised to run away with affairs, only for Midnight Bisou to produce one last potent punch in the center of the track. But it was not to be for the Horse of the Year contender, as Blue Prize kept on finding in deep stretch and drove home a comfortable 1 1/2-length winner under a jubilant Bravo, who earned the first Breeders’ Cup success of his decades-long career. Serengeti Empress did well to hold third. The winner, while benefitting from the head start she got on the runner-up, nevertheless covered 22 more feet than her rival, according to Trakus.

“She’s so unique,” said Correas. “She was thriving. But it’s difficult to say when you have a filly like Midnight Bisou in there. She has beaten Elate and Midnight Bisou in two months, what else do you want to ask of a horse? She’s a champion and all the credit is for her. We have been blessed to have her. It’s been a great ride. We have great owners who let us plan and execute. But it’s all about this filly.”

“The trip was great. She broke a little slower than I expected, but she was moving up on the backside nice,” said Bravo. “I looked over and saw Mike Smith kind of asking Midnight Bisou a little soon. Blue Prize was really running her race. When we turned for home, she went on with it.”

As for the vanquished favorite, trainer Steve Asmussen offered, “Nothing Midnight Bisou does for us is disappointing. She had a tremendous amount to overcome with all the dirt she took early. A quality filly beat her and got first run on her around the turn. It took Mike quite a bit to get her out and it just left her too much to do. The filly came back completely covered [in dirt] and she’s such a champion that she never gave up. She continued to run and I’m unbelievably proud of her. She’s unbelievable. There is no give-up in her. For her to keep coming under those circumstances is unbelievable because around the turn she looked hopeless. But, she just showed her class. She kept coming.”

“It would have been nice to have been in the clear and taken a long run at it. I was bottled up,” said Smith. “The kickback is awful. I’m covered. She took a lot of it, where the winner was clear and got a good long run on me. It’s just hard to come back and catch them on this track right now. It’s safe, which is a good thing, it’s the main thing, but it’s hard to make up ground. Going into the far turn, she had already had enough of that kickback and was struggling a bit. But, she’s just got so much class. When I finally got her out she took another big breath and gave it a go. She tried hard. I was proud of her.”

On winning his first Breeders’ Cup race, Bravo said, “Inside the last sixteenth of the mile, it was just a dream come true. It really was. It got so for real for me. It was time like stopped, and Ignacio got me my dream … I’ve been riding for over 30 years. I win a lot of races. This is not a race. That was my World Series. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight.”

Correas, on the significance of Blue Prize, who’s scheduled to sell as Hip 98 Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton November, added, “It’s been a great ride. Probably be sad to see her go, but they’re going to take good care of her. And it’s the horse of a lifetime. So I don’t know if I’m going to have one like her again, but at least I was blessed to have one. And that, in a trainer’s career, is a lot to say.”

Pedigree Notes:
Blue Prize is one of 87 stakes winners, 46 graded/group stakes winners and 17 Grade I/Group 1 winners for 21-year-old Pure Prize, a GSW in America who stood at Vinery Stud and shuttled to Argentina before relocating there permanently in 2013 to stand at Haras Carampangue. She is the lone black-type winner out of six foals to race out of Argentinian MGSW Blues for Sale, a full-sister to SW/MGSP Cure for Sale. She has an unraced 3-year-old filly by Orpen in Argentina named Blue Orchid (Arg).

Saturday, Santa Anita
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF-GI, $1,840,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:50.50, ft.
1–BLUE PRIZE (ARG), 124, m, 6, by Pure Prize
1st Dam: Blues for Sale (Arg) (MGSW-Arg),
by Not For Sale (Arg)
2nd Dam: Key Cure, by Cure the Blues
3rd Dam: Dancer’s Key, by Key to the Mint
O-Merriebelle Stable LLC; B-Bioart S.A. (ARG); T-Ignacio
Correas, IV; J-Joe Bravo. $1,100,000. Lifetime Record: G1SW-
Arg, 23-10-8-3, $2,692,253. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Midnight Bisou, 124, f, 4, by Midnight Lute
1st Dam: Diva Delite, by Repent
2nd Dam: Tour Hostess, by Tour d’Or
3rd Dam: Counsel’s Gal, by High Counsel
($19,000 RNA Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $80,000 2yo ’17 OBSAPR).
O-Bloom Racing Stable, LLC, Madaket Stables LLC & Allen
Racing LLC.; B-Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Steven M.
Asmussen. $340,000.
3–Serengeti Empress, 121, f, 3, by Alternation
1st Dam: Havisham, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Love Dancing (Arg), by Salt Lake
3rd Dam: Le Midi (Arg), by Fitzcarraldo (Arg)
($25,000 Wlg ’16 KEENOV; $70,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Joel
Politi; B-Tri Eques Bloodstock, LLC (KY); T-Thomas M. Amoss.
$180,000.
Margins: 1HF, 3 1/4, 1 1/4. Odds: 8.90, 1.00, 10.40.
Also Ran: Ollie’s Candy, Dunbar Road, Mo See Cal, Wow Cat (Chi), Street Band, Secret Spice, La Force (Ger), Paradise Woods.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The post Pure Prize’s Blue Prize Upsets Midnight Bisou in the Distaff appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

More Than Ready’s Uni Leads Home Female Exacta in the Mile

Sat, 2019-11-02 18:39

In the previous 35 runnings of the GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile, distaffers had defeated their male counterparts no fewer than nine times, for an admirable strike rate of 25.7%. Never in the history of the event had females occupied the top two spots, but that all changed in the course of 92 seconds Saturday afternoon, as Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) outfinished her GI Fourstardave H. conqueror Got Stormy (Get Stormy) to score by 1 1/2 lengths. John and Tanya Gunther’s 2018 G1 St James’s Palace S. hero Without Parole (GB) (Frankel {GB}) flew home late to snag third, just ahead of this year’s St James’s Palace victor Circus Maximus (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

Supplemented for $100,000, Uni is the first Breeders’ Cup Mile winner trained by Chad Brown.

The Saturday morning defection of Bolo (Temple City), the expected speed, left a murky pace scenario a fair bit cloudier. When GI Woodbine Mile upsetter El Tormenta (Stormy Atlantic) went up to press Hey Gaman (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) passing the 6 1/2-furlong marker, it was clear that the Mile would be run at a genuine clip after all. The leading duo clicked off the opening two furlongs in :22.78, with Uni settled fourth-last, and she was niggled along just a bit to take closer order while slipstreaming Circus Maximus at the half-mile pole. The pace remained very much on–the second sectional was clocked in a demanding :22.54–and Uni caught the eye with an electric move three-eighths from home, following Circus Maximus on the turn before wheeling five wide outside of Got Stormy at the entry to the lane. Shaken up by Rosario in upper stretch, Uni hooked up with her fellow chestnut, heads apart streaking into the final furlong, but Uni had the superior finishing kick and won clear. With stablemate Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire})’s defeat in the GI Filly & Mare Turf, Uni greatly enhanced her chances for the female turf Eclipse Award.

“She broke right with the first pack and then they ran away from her,” said Brown, who later won the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf with Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway). “Joel did exactly what we planned, which was to break as well as you can and let her find herself in the first turn. Luckily Without Parole moved to the rail for us and we were in the two path and sort of raced as a team down the backside. I just loved where my spot was. Yes, the Turf seems to be very firm, but when they threw that fraction up, I absolutely loved where we were. Joel fits her so well. Hats off to him. Obviously, he’s a world-class jockey and has won a lot of races, but the relationship between him and this horse is about as strong as you can get.”

Winner of the Perfect Sting S. off a near seven-month absence at Belmont Park June 29, the chestnut was the 9-5 favorite facing the boys for the first time in Saratoga’s GI Fourstardave H. Aug. 10. As many as 17 lengths behind a loose leader after a half-mile, she whooshed home her final two furlongs in :22.54, but had been left too much to do and settled for third to Got Stormy, whose handier trip made the difference in the end. Uni was back in against her peers when last spotted in Keeneland’s GI First Lady S. Oct. 5, and while she received a gorgeous set-up, she produced another eye-catching finish, rolling home in :22.68 to score decisively.

Added Rosario, winning his second race on the afternoon and his 11th Breeders’ Cup win overall, “We had a perfect trip. The speed got away from me a little on the backstretch, but she was comfortable and in a good spot, so I just sat still with her. I asked her at the three-eighths pole and she gave me a strong run. That’s when I knew we would win. But when we got alongside [Got Stormy], she fought back a little. For a minute I thought ‘Uh-oh,’ because she’s a very nice filly who beat us this summer. But, my filly still had more left and we pulled clear of her in the last sixteenth.”

According to part-owner Sol Kumin, Uni will train on as a 6-year-old in 2020.

Pedigree Notes:

It has been a tremendous Breeders’ Cup weekend for the outstanding dual-hemisphere shuttler More Than Ready-the sire of 24 Grade I/Group 1 winners-who serves as the broodmare sire of Friday’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Structor (Palace Malice) and of GII Juvenile Turf Sprint hero Four Wheel Drive (American Pharoah). Uni is bred on a cross over Danehill or his stallion sons that has been responsible for the likes of Australian G1SWs Prized Icon (Aus), Sebring (Aus), Perfectly Ready (Aus) and Benicio (Aus). Produced by a half-sister to Italian Group 3 winner Whazzis (GB) (Desert Prince {Ire}), Uni is a half-sister to the 2-year-old colt Bring Him Home (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}) and a colt foal by Almanzor (Fr). With the victory, More Than Ready becomes the leading sire of Breeders’ Cup winners with seven, one better than Sadler’s Wells and Unbridled’s Song.

Saturday, Santa Anita
TVG BREEDERS’ CUP MILE-GI, $1,840,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, 1mT, 1:32.45, fm.
1–UNI (GB), 123, m, 5, by More Than Ready
1st Dam: Unaided (GB), by Dansili (GB)
2nd Dam: Wosaita (GB), by Generous (Ire)
3rd Dam: Eljazzi, by Artaius
(€40,000 Ylg ’15 ARAUG). O-M. Dubb, Head of Plains Partners
LLC, R. LaPenta & Bethlehem Stables LLC; B-Haras d’Etreham
(GB); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Joel Rosario. $1,100,000. Lifetime
Record: SW-Fr, 18-10-3-3, $2,347,880. Werk Nick Rating: A+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Got Stormy, 123, f, 4, Get Stormy–Super Phoebe, by Malabar
Gold. ($23,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $45,000 2yo ’17 EASMAY).
O-Gary Barber; B-Mt. Joy Stables, Pope, Pope Jr. & Marc
McLean (KY); T-Mark E. Casse. $340,000.
3–Without Parole (GB), 126, c, 4, Frankel (GB)–Without You
Babe, by Lemon Drop Kid. (650,000gns RNA Ylg ’16 TATOCT).
O-John D. & Tanya Gunther; B-John Gunther (GB); T-Chad
C. Brown. $180,000.
Margins: 1HF, 1 1/4, NO. Odds: 3.60, 3.10, 8.20.
Also Ran: Circus Maximus (Ire), Bowies Hero, El Tormenta, Hey Gaman (GB), Space Traveller (GB), Lord Glitters (Fr), True Valour (Ire), Lucullan, Trais Fluors (GB), Next Shares. Scratched: Bolo, Caribou Club, Suedois (Fr). Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Eskendereya’s Mitole Registers Mighty Victory in BC Sprint

Sat, 2019-11-02 17:53

ARCADIA, CA – William and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s Mitole (Eskendereya) put an exclamation point on a championship season with a thrilling 1 1/4-length decision over Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) was along for third.

Mitole, off as the 9-5 second-choice, chased on the outside in fourth beneath Ricardo Santana, Jr. as the speed demon 3-year-old Shancelot threw down the gauntlet, blazing the way through fractions of :21.47 and :44.04. Mitole hit the gas with a three-wide move with a quarter mile remaining, and, after switching to his right lead in the stretch, quickened impressively to reel in the favored pacesetter and win going away.

Mitole’s brilliant campaign this season has also included authoritative wins in the GI Churchill Downs S. May 4, GI Runhappy Metropolitan H. June 8 and GI Forego S. Aug. 24. His lone loss from seven trips to the post in 2019 came when a well-beaten third over a notoriously dead rail after drawing the fence in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga in late July.

Mitole is slated to begin his career at stud at Spendthrift Farm for the 2020 breeding season.

“I think that he is so easy to be around, nothing but class and the ability he has is just tremendous,” Hall of Fame trainer and seven-time Breeders’ Cup-winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. “Bill and Corinne being in racing as long as they have, it’s a difficult position to be in, especially with a horse that had done so much earlier in the year with the Met Mile being such an important and marquee race for this horse going forward. And for him to regroup from there and then to prove that he’s the fastest horse in the world today, just what an unbelievable horse that he is.”

The Heiligbrodts have campaigned standouts such as MGISW Lady Tak (Mutakddim), GISW Appealing Zophie (Successful Appeal), GISW Mia Mischief (Into Mischief), MGSW Bwana Charlie (Indian Charlie), MGSW Posse (Silver Deputy), et al.

“Well, I have to just say amen to what Steve said,” Bill Heiligbrodt said. “But I do want to say one thing: I know this horse. I know horses. My wife knows horses. We buy our horses. We sweated getting this horse, but I’m going to tell you here today nobody would have or could have trained this horse other than Steven Asmussen. To have a horse this fast, it’s like an athlete. Like if you played football, and you have to play every week, when you get to the last game, it’s really, really difficult. And of all these fast horses Corinne and I have had, it’s very difficult to keep them at that level of performance.”

Runner-up Shancelot posted one of the most impressive performances of the season this summer, running away with Saratoga’s GII Amsterdam S. by 12 1/2 lengths with an eye-popping 121 Beyer Speed Figure. He ran a heartbreaking second to Omaha Beach (War Front) in the GI Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. last time.

“Look at the horse who beat us,” trainer Jorge Navarro said.

“He’s the top sprinter in the nation, probably the world. I’m very proud of him. I feel like a winner. He’s had an amazing year for us and he’ll be by himself next year, so we’re happy about that. This race was a big one for him. We’re going to do what’s best for the horse and there’s next year for him.”

Pedigree Notes:

Mitole, a $140,000 OBSAPR juvenile purchase by these connections following a :10 breeze, is one of two Grade I winners for his sire along with Mor Spirit. The late Edward Cox, Jr., bred and raced Mitole’s dam Indian Miss, who never found the winner’s circle. The bay colt is her second foal and she has since produced the unraced 3-year-old Tipperary Jack (Violence), a juvenile filly by Creative Cause and a yearling filly by Oxbow, who brought $110,000 from Dennis O’Neill at last month’s FTKOCT Sale. WinStar purchased the half-sister to GSW Live Lively (Medaglia d’Oro) for $240,000 carrying a foal by Into Mischief at the 2018 Keeneland November Sale as part of the Cox dispersal. Indian Miss foaled a filly by Into Mischief May 26. For more, see Mitole: A Memento to Ed Cox.

Saturday, Santa Anita
BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT-GI, $1,840,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, 6f, 1:09.00, ft.
1–MITOLE, 126, c, 4, by Eskendereya
1st Dam: Indian Miss, by Indian Charlie
2nd Dam: Glacken’s Gal, by Smoke Glacken
3rd Dam: Lady Diplomat, by Silver Deputy
($20,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $140,000 2yo ’17 OBSAPR). O-William and Corinne Heiligbrodt; B-Edward A. Cox (KY);
T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Ricardo Santana, Jr. $1,100,000.
Lifetime Record: 14-10-2-2, $3,104,910. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++
*Triple Plus*.
2–Shancelot, 124, c, 3, Shanghai Bobby–True Kiss, by Is It True.
($50,000 Ylg ’17 FTSAUG; $245,000 2yo ’18 OBSMAR).
O-Crawford Farms Racing; B-Charles Muth & Patrick Murphy
(KY); T-Jorge Navarro. $340,000.
3–Whitmore, 126, g, 6, Pleasantly Perfect–Melody’s Spirit, by
Scat Daddy. O-Robert V. LaPenta, Southern Springs Stables and
Head of Plains Partners LLC; B-John Liviakis (KY); T-Ron
Moquett. $180,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 2 1/4, HF. Odds: 1.80, 1.50, 19.00.
Also Ran: Engage, Firenze Fire, Hog Creek Hustle, Catalina Cruiser, Matera Sky. Scratched: Landeskog, Imperial Hint. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

 

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Ruler of the World’s Iridessa Fends off Vasilika in F/M Turf

Sat, 2019-11-02 17:09

ARCADIA, CA–After getting shut out on day one of the World Championships at Santa Anita, Team Europe got on the board in the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf Saturday, as 3-year-old Iridessa (Ire) (Ruler of The World {Ire}) took charge in the final furlong and held off a game Vasilika (Skipshot) to post a 13-1 upset. The victory was the first in the Breeders’ Cup as a trainer for Joseph O’Brien, who captured the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf aboard St. Nicholas Abbey (Montjieu {Ire}) in 2011 and becomes the second person, after Freddy Head, to win Breeders’ Cup races as both a jockey and trainer.

Conquering the G1 Bet 365 Mile in her fourth start at two last fall at Newmarket, Iridessa took a few outings to find her best form as a sophomore before scoring a convincing tally in the

G1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly S. June 28 at The Curragh. Never factoring when seventh in the G1 Kerrygold Irish Oaks there July 20, the bay bounced back to annex the G1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron S. Sept. 14 at Leopardstown and was third in the G1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot S. last out Oct. 5 back at Newmarket.

Drifting up from her 8-1 morning-line quote here, Iridessa came away well from her inside stall and showed good tactical speed to find her way into the pocket in third as Mirth (Colonel John) led them along through the stretch for the first time through a :23.45 quarter. That one started to widen her lead on the clubhouse turn while clicking off a :46.45 half and opened up a half-dozen lengths soon after straightening onto the backstretch before bumping the margin to near double digits past three-quarters in 1:09.68.

Continuing to save ground on the far turn, Iridessa came off the fence nearing the lane as odds-on favorite Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}), who had traveled in fifth through the first mile, had to loop four wide while advancing. That one floated out further at the top of the lane and Iridessa took command a furlong from home as Mirth began to hit the wall. Appearing ready to kick clear, she encountered a stubborn foe in local win machine Vasilika to her inside, and those two squared off through the final sixteenth with Iridessa just edging her valiant rival by a neck on the wire. Sistercharlie finished an even third.

“It’s very special. Obviously I’ve been coming here a number of years, and I know how hard it is to compete here,” said O’Brien. “I have been supported by some fantastic owners since I started training. And obviously with that, I’ve had some very good horses. It hasn’t sunk in yet that we’ve had a winner here.”

“The best thing about riding for Joseph, he gives you instructions, but he never ties you down, and just he told me: ‘Get your filly comfortable,'” said Wayne Lordan, winning his first Breeders’ Cup race before jetting off to Australia to ride the Aidan O’Brien-trained Il Paradiso (Galileo {Ire}) in Tuesday’s G1 Lexus Melbourne Cup. “So sitting third or fourth was my ideal position. And once she was comfortable, I was happy. I knew if I got her comfortable for the first half, she would finish out well. And that’s the way it worked out.”

As for beaten favorite Sistercharlie, Chad Brown commented, “Johnny [Velazquez] said it might have been a little too firm for her. They weren’t really coming back today. But, not a bad trip. I loved her spot on the first turn. She ran a great race. I think the two horses who finished ahead of her ran outstanding. I don’t have any major excuses other than it seems like it’s a pretty firm turf and if you’re not in the mix turning for home, it’s going to be hard to win on it. This was her first time running here and this might not be her course. Not taking anything away from the top two runners. They were really finishing through the wire.”

Pedigree Notes:

Iridessa is the lone black-type winner thus far for Coolmore’s second-crop sire Ruler of The World (Ire), victor of the 2013 G1 Epsom Derby. She is the sixth foal to race and first black-type horse out of unraced Senta’s Dream (GB), a daughter of Starine (Fr), who captured this very event at Arlington in 2002. Senta’s Dream is responsible for a juvenile Australia (GB) colt in Ireland named Order of Australia (Ire) and a yearling filly by Camelot (GB). Ruler of the World will stand at Haras de Bouqetot in France in 2020.

Saturday, Santa Anita
MAKER’S MARK BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY AND MARE TURF-GI, $1,840,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/4mT, 1:57.77, fm.
1–IRIDESSA (IRE), 120, f, 3, by Ruler of The World (Ire)
1st Dam: Senta’s Dream (GB), by Danehill
2nd Dam: Starine (Fr), by Mendocino
3rd Dam: Grisonnante (Fr), by Kaldoun (Fr)
O-Mrs. C. C. Regalado-Gonzalez; B-Whisperview Trading Ltd
(IRE); T-Joseph O’Brien; J-Wayne Lordan. $1,100,000. Lifetime
Record: MG1SW-Ire, G1SW-Eng, 12-5-0-3, $1,988,198.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Vasilika, 124, m, 5, by Skipshot
1st Dam: La Belle Marquet, by Marquetry
2nd Dam: Good for Her, by Topsider
3rd Dam: Please Try Hard, by Nashua
O-All Schlaich Stables LLC, Janet Hollendorfer, Gatto Racing,
LLC & George Todaro; B-Mikhail Yanakov (KY); T-Dan Ward.
$340,000.
3–Sistercharlie (Ire), 124, m, 5, by Myboycharlie (Ire)
1st Dam: Starlet’s Sister (Ire), by Galileo (Ire)
2nd Dam: Premiere Creation (Fr), by Green Tune
3rd Dam: Allwaki, by Miswaki
(€12,000 Ylg ’15 AR15). O-Peter M. Brant; B-Ecurie Des
Monceaux (IRE); T-Chad C. Brown. $180,000.
Margins: NK, 2 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 13.20, 4.60, 0.80.
Also Ran: Fanny Logan (Ire), Just Wonderful, Mirth, Villa Marina (GB), Billesdon Brook (GB), Mrs. Sippy, Castle Lady (Ire). Scratched: Fleeting (Ire), Thais (Fr). Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Hard Spun’s Spun to Run Goes Gate-to-Wire in BC Dirt Mile

Sat, 2019-11-02 16:25

ARCADIA, CA – Parx invader Spun to Run (Hard Spun) shot out to the front from his inside draw and never gave them a chance, powering home to a 2 3/4-length victory over favored Omaha Beach (War Front) in the GI Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Korean raider Blue Chipper (Tiznow) outran his odds to finish third.

On the engine through fractions of :23.05 and :46.51 with Blue Chipper tracking from second, the 9-1 chance passed the quarter pole in command and kept rolling down the stretch while wandering some, despite several right-handed reminders from Irad Ortiz, Jr., to pull off the upset.

After leaving the stalls a bit slow, Omaha Beach, as far back as seventh, began to wind up five wide beneath Mike Smith off the far turn, but left himself with too much to do over a track carrying speed, and was never a threat to the winner.

Spun to Run broke his maiden in career start number five at Parx this January. A well-beaten third at 34-1 while making his stakes debut with first-time blinkers in the GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S. at Monmouth July 20, he followed up with a game decision in the GIII Smarty Jones S. at Parx Sept. 2. A close fifth after a wide trip in the GI Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 21, Spun to Run cut back in distance for a runaway decision in the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile S. at Parx Oct. 12, good for a gaudy 110 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest two-turn rating earned by a sophomore in 2019.

“This is a dream come true for me, this means everything to me,” trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero said after saddling his first career Grade I winner at the Championships.

“Since the minute we got him, he’s been a special horse to us. He’s so good about everything. He loves to run. He’s a dream horse. When I put the full cup blinkers on him [before the Haskell], the next day he galloped so perfect I thought ‘Wow, this is going to be a fun road with him.’ He was a different horse after I put the blinkers on. I really expected him to go wire-to-wire today. I just wanted my rider to let him run and show how he can run. This means so much to me. It puts me at a different level as a trainer.”

Omaha Beach, meanwhile, so impressive in his GI Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. comebacker Oct. 5 after being forced to miss the GI Kentucky Derby with an entrapped epiglottis, is expected to return in next month’s GI Malibu S. at Santa Anita. Spendthrift Farm acquired the breeding rights to the MGISW earlier this spring.

“Very proud, very much so,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said. “Just had a little bad luck at the start. But, throughout this whole summer, if we didn’t have bad luck, we wouldn’t have had any luck at all. You could see he didn’t get out of there running with good momentum. Mike [Smith] did the right thing, he let him get it together, didn’t try to rush him off his feet. And, he came on and ran a great race. The winner ran a great race also. In the Breeders’ Cup, you don’t get many second chances in these races. These are champions going in.”

Mandella continued, “We’ll let [the owners] talk about that [possibility of staying in training for next year]. Right now, we’ll probably point to the Malibu S. the day after Christmas.”

Pedigree Notes:

Spun to Run is the first Breeders’ Cup winner and 12th Grade I winner for sire Hard Spun, runner-up in the 2007 GI Breeders’ Cup Classic at Monmouth Park. Spun to Run was purchased by Bob Donaldson for $64,000 after breezing an eighth in :10 1/5 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Spun to Run is a half-brother to the stakes winner Tap It All (Tapizar). The stakes-winning New York-bred Yawkey Way is also responsible for a Frosted filly of 2018 (brought $180,000 from Hartley/DeRenzo at KEESEP) and a Practical Joke colt of this year. She was bred back to Malibu Moon. Yawkey Way brought $200,000 from David Seguias in foal to Violence at the 2014 KEENOV Sale.

Saturday, Santa Anita
BIG ASS FANS BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE-GI, $920,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:36.58, ft.
1–SPUN TO RUN, 123, c, 3, by Hard Spun
1st Dam: Yawkey Way (SW, $127,400), by Grand Slam
2nd Dam: Is Kylie Good, by Touch Gold
3rd Dam: Assombrie, by Timeless Moment
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($64,000 2yo ’18 EASMAY). O-Robert P.
Donaldson; B-Sabana Farm, LLC (KY); T-Juan Carlos Guerrero;
J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $550,000. Lifetime Record: 11-5-1-3,
$1,010,520. *1/2 to Tapit It All (Tapizar), SW. Werk Nick
Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Omaha Beach, 123, c, 3, War Front–Charming, by Seeking
the Gold. ($625,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Fox Hill Farms,
Inc.; B-Charming Syndicate (KY); T-Richard E. Mandella.
$170,000.
3–Blue Chipper, 126, g, 4, Tiznow–Dixie City, by Dixie Union.
($95,000 RNA Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Byungboo Choi; B-Diamond A
Racing Corp. (KY); T-Kim Young-Kwan. $90,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, 1 1/4, 3 1/4. Odds: 9.10, 1.00, 16.10.
Also Ran: Snapper Sinclair, Improbable, Coal Front, Mr. Money, Diamond Oops, Ambassadorial, Giant Expectations. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

 

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Equiano’s Belvoir Bay Wires the BC Turf Sprint

Sat, 2019-11-02 15:50

ARCADIA, CA–Though his two-time defending champion couldn’t complete the three-peat, trainer Peter Miller still asserted his dominance over the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Saturday at Santa Anita, as hard-knocking 6-year-old mare Belvoir Bay (GB) (Equiano {Fr}) led home a one-two finish for the powerhouse barn while obliterating the five-furlong course record.

Coming over from Europe in the fall of 2015, the bay didn’t take long to make an impact, romping by 7 1/4 lengths in the local Blue Norther S., the first of nine stakes wins since resettling in America. Starting this 6-year-old season with victories in the Las Cienagas S. on dirt and Wishing Well S. over grass here, she was a dynamite second to superstar Blue Point (Ire) (Sharmadal) in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint Mar. 30 in Dubai before returning home to run second in the GIII Monrovia S. and fourth in the GI Jaipur Invitational S. when last seen June 8 at Belmont.

Overlooked a bit at 14-1 in this first Breeders’ Cup try, Belvoir Bay broke sharply from her outermost draw and was aggressively handled by Javier Castellano to be a somewhat surprising early leader after expected pace player Pure Sensation (Zensational) missed the break and was steadied early. Dictating terms through a reasonable :21.47 quarter, she inched clear on the latter half of the turn while moving strongly as her closest pursuers started to come under pressure. Straightening for home in total control, Belvoir Bay remained clear past the furlong grounds and held sway for a 1 1/4-length success, stopping the timer in a sizzling :54.83. Om (Munnings) won a head-bob with Shekky Shebaz (Cape Blanco {Ire}) to complete the Miller exacta, while Stubbins (Morning Line), the only horse to make up significant ground in the stretch, edged an unlucky Pure Sensation for fourth. Stormy Liberal (Stormy Atlantic), seeking his third straight Turf Sprint crown, showed speed before fading to finish eighth.

“Watching it unfold, I was watching all three of [my horses] at the start because I had the two in the 11 and 12 post and the six in the middle, and they all broke great. When I saw them all break great, I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s the first release,'” said Miller. “And then it looked like the other speed, Pure Sensation, didn’t get away from there good. When we made the lead like that, I didn’t look at the fractions because I know this filly, she’s tough as nails. She’s 900 pounds soaking wet, and it’s all heart. She’s unbelievable.”

“This horse just rocketed out of the gate, and the break is so important in these races,” said Castellano. “She relaxed for me around the turn and it gave me confidence that we were going to win. Peter told me the horse was training great and he had confidence in me. I’m very lucky and happy to be part of this horse.”

“Peter did an amazing job getting her ready after five months’ layoff. But that’s his specialty. He told me, ‘We’ll get her ready,” added winning owner Gary Barber. “And he was amazing. Javier Castellano rode a brilliant race. The 12 hole, I was worried about being very wide. He got over, got to the fence. Once she got to the fence on the lead, she’s done that three times before, and I knew that [at] five furlongs, it would be tough to catch her. It was a tremendous feeling for my whole family, my children, my mother, my sisters and my brothers, everybody. So I’m thrilled and couldn’t be happier.”

Belvoir Bay’s victory held additional significance for her connections because she was one of the horses affected by the devastating San Luis Rey fire two years ago.

“Peter was literally driving down the freeway telling me, ‘There’s a major fire. I’m running straight there.’ He didn’t care about anything but the horses,” said Barber. “And I must have spoken to him about 20 times that day. Unfortunately we couldn’t find five or six of our horses. Belvoir was one of them, and we didn’t find her until a couple days in. Fortunately she was safe and someone had her, but she was all mixed up. She went to the clinic for two, three weeks. We gave her hyperbaric treatment and really nursed her back. Pete did a masterful job.”

“It was harrowing, we couldn’t find her,” said Miller. “She was injured and had some burns and needed to be at the clinic for three weeks. And so [that’s] part of the emotion with her. She’s just special.”

Pedigree Notes:

Belvoir Bay, who hammered for $625,000 last year at Fasig-Tipton November and is back in the same sale next week as Hip 96, is one of 17 stakes winners and 11 graded/group stakes winners for Equiano (Fr), who won renewals of the G1 King’s Stand S. in 2008 and 2010 before retiring to Newsells Park Stud in England in 2011 and subsequently being relocated to Australia. With the Turf Sprint victory, she becomes his second top-level winner, following three-time G1SW The Tin Man (GB). She’s the first black-type horse for dam Path of Peace (GB), a half-sister to GSW Please Sing (GB) (Royal Applause {GB}). Second dam Persian Song (GB) is a full-sister to French champion and 1986 GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Bold Arrangement (GB), while third dam Arrangement (GB) is a half to English champion Lindsay (GB) (Dante {GB}).

Saturday, Santa Anita
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT-GI, $920,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, 5fT, :54.83, fm.
1–BELVOIR BAY (GB), 123, m, 6, by Equiano (Fr)
1st Dam: Path of Peace (GB), by Rock of Gibraltar (Ire)
2nd Dam: Persian Song (GB), by Persian Bold (Ire)
3rd Dam: Arrangement (GB), by Floribunda (GB)
1ST GRADE I WIN. (20,000gns Ylg ’14 TAOCT; $625,000 5yo ’18
FTKNOV). O-Gary Barber; B-Mrs R. D. Peacock (GB); T-Peter
Miller; J-Javier Castellano. $550,000. Lifetime Record: G1SP-
UAE, 28-12-6-2, $1,699,787.
2–Om, 126, h, 7, Munnings–Rare Cat, by Tabasco Cat. ($60,000
Ylg ’13 KEESEP; $125,000 2yo ’14 BARMAR). O-Sareen Family
Trust; B-Lavin Bloodstock, Bernie Sams & William S. Farish, Jr.
(KY); T-Peter Miller. $170,000.
3–Shekky Shebaz, 126, g, 4, Cape Blanco (Ire)–Rose Ransom, by
Red Ransom. ($5,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $72,000 RNA 2yo ’17
FTKHRA). O-Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables LLC & Bethlehem
Stables LLC; B-Ashford Stud, Tammy Barnes & Dr. Bernard
Vertuca (KY); T-Jason Servis. $90,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, NO, 1 3/4. Odds: 14.80, 15.00, 5.40.
Also Ran: Stubbins, Pure Sensation, Imprimis, Leinster, Stormy Liberal, Final Frontier, Totally Boss, Eddie Haskell, Legends of War. Scratched: Girls Know Best, Double Touch (GB). Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

 

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Into Mischief’s Covfefe Proves Best in F/M Sprint

Sat, 2019-11-02 15:14

She had some anxious moments, but favored Covfefe (Into Mischief) ultimately proved superior to her elders and held off a fellow Grade I-winning 3-year-old in the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint to get the World Championships action underway Saturday at Santa Anita.

Debuting as a heavy chalk last September at Churchill, the $250,000 Keeneland September buy ran to her hype with a

9 1/4-length romp, but was soundly beaten when fourth at odds-on in the GI Frizette S. Laid up for the winter, the bay returned with a workmanlike allowance score Apr. 6 in Lexington before announcing her arrival with a devastating, track record-shattering romp in the GIII Adena Springs Miss Preakness S. May 17 at Pimlico. Upset at 2-5 when third in the Roxelana S. June 22 at Churchill, she bounced back with her first top-level success after winning a scintillating stretch battle with GI Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress (Alternation) in the GI Longines Test S. Aug. 3 at Saratoga, and repeated with an eight-length tour de force in the Dogwood S. last out Sept. 21 at Churchill, defeating next-out GII Lexus Raven Run winner Bell’s the One (Majesticperfection).

Opening up a little chilly on the board at 3-1 before eventually having her price cut in half by post, Covfefe was not away all that sharply from her rail draw, but recovered quickly and avoided any early traffic to find a comfortable pocketed spot in the second flight as longshots Danuska’s My Girl (Shackleford) and Heavenhasmynikki (Majestic Warrior) went on with it through a :22.13 quarter. Angling off the inside heading into the turn, she advanced in the three path with Spiced Perfection (Smiling Tiger) ranging up to her outside to make it four in a line seven-sixteenths out.

Taking command soon after passing a :44.78 half, Covfefe opened up in early stretch and was asked to close the deal by rider Joel Rosario. Bellafina (Quality Road), however, had enjoyed a perfect ground-saving trip from behind the speed under Flavien Prat, and emerged past midstretch as the only realistic threat to the favorite. Those two had it to themselves in the final furlong and Bellafina gradually ate into her deficit, but Covfefe held firm to prevail by a hard-fought three-quarters of a length.

“She’s a champion, hopefully,” said trainer Brad Cox, who picked up his second win of the weekend after capturing the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with British Idiom (Flashback) Friday. “I feel like championship honors were on the line for champion filly and mare sprinter. I hope she locked that up. Two Grade Is, two very prestigious races. She overcame a lot today, too. I know this race hasn’t been around a long, long time but I think eight Test winners maybe have tried this and not been able to break through. One, two and three were all holes horses hadn’t performed well from, 3-year-olds hadn’t performed well in the race. The list went on of all these things which hadn’t been done. But I didn’t waver. I thought there was no shot of her not running her race. I knew she was going to run her race. You just stay optimistic and know your horse is doing well and the rest will take care of itself.”

“Coming out of the one hole, there were a couple horses that showed more speed out of there,” added Rosario. “I was able to work my way out and get her in the clear. After that, she did all the work.”

Of her fan favorite filly, owner Jaime Roth said, “I think as most people know, I got into sport because as a fan of Rachel Alexandra. So to have a horse that’s now a Breeders’ Cup champion that so many people love, it just means the world to share a really special horse with fans. And for them to get to see the performance, especially in California–a lot of people don’t get to see her often because she’s on the East Coast, it’s pretty cool … This moment right now is the best moment I’ve ever had as a horse owner. This is what it’s all about.”

Pedigree Notes:

Covfefe, one of 58 stakes winners, 25 graded stakes winners and five Grade I winners for her superstar sire, is the second black-type winner out of six foals to race for 21-year-old Unbridled dam Antics, following Japanese MGSW/MG1SP Albiano. Antics comes from a deep female family, being a half-sister to GISW and stalwart sire Arch (Kris S.) and GISW Acoma (Empire Maker). Covfefe’s third dam is 1983’s champion 2-year-old filly Althea, who beat the boys in the GI Arkansas Derby the following spring while equaling Oaklawn’s nine-furlong track record. She also produced Japanese champion Yamanin Paradise (Danzig). Antics is responsible for a yearling Nyquist filly named Caper and produced a colt by Violence this season before being bred to Karakontie (Jpn).

Saturday, Santa Anita
BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY AND MARE SPRINT-GI, $920,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, f/m, 7f, 1:22.40, ft.
1–COVFEFE, 122, f, 3, by Into Mischief
1st Dam: Antics, by Unbridled
2nd Dam: Aurora, by Danzig
3rd Dam: Althea, by Alydar
($250,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-LNJ Foxwoods;
B-Alexander-Groves Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Joel
Rosario. $550,000. Lifetime Record: 8-6-0-1, $1,110,025.
*1/2 to Albiano (Harlan’s Holiday), GSW & MGISP-Jpn,
$1,567,617. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Bellafina, 122, f, 3, by Quality Road
1st Dam: Akron Moon, by Malibu Moon
2nd Dam: Akronism, by Not For Love
3rd Dam: Jerry Bomb, by Explosive Bid
($220,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP; $800,000 2yo ’18 FTFMAR).
O-Kaleem Shah, Inc.; B-JSM Equine LLC (KY); T-Simon
Callaghan. $170,000.
3–Dawn the Destroyer, 124, m, 5, by Speightstown
1st Dam: Dashing Debby, by Medaglia d’Oro
2nd Dam: Marquet Rent, by Marquetry
3rd Dam: Fantasy Cat, by Cougar II
O-Stonestreet Stables LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred
Holdings LLC (KY); T-Kiaran P. McLaughlin. $90,000.
Margins: 3/4, 7 3/4, HF. Odds: 1.50, 4.80, 22.10.
Also Ran: Spiced Perfection, Danuska’s My Girl, Come Dancing, Selcourt, Lady Ninja, Heavenhasmynikki. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

 

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Breeders’ Cup Bulletin: Saturday

Sat, 2019-11-02 14:06

Dennis’ Moment (Tiznow), who stumbled badly at the start of Friday’s GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before finishing eighth as the 4-5 favorite, came out of the mishap unscathed.

“He has no scrapes or anything like that,” Jason Loutsch, racing manager for owner Albaugh Family Stables, said Saturday morning. “I saw the pictures [of the stumble]. I only watched the replay once, it was too tough to watch, but so far it looks like we dodged a bullet [with injury]. He’s a tough horse and it’s amazing that he even continued to run on, it’s amazing.”

Suedois, Fleeting Withdrawn From Mile, FM Turf…

Suedois (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}) and Fleeting (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) were scratched from the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile and GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, respectively. Neither horse passed a Saturday morning veterinary examination and were withdrawn.

“There’s nothing much to it at all,” trainer David O’Meara said, saying that Suedois had developed a minor infection in a hoof. “If the race had been tomorrow, he’d have been fine. It was just a question of timing.”

Ryan Moore, who was originally booked on Fleeting, was rerouted to Just Wonderful (Dansili {GB}), replacing William Buick.

 

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Imperial Hint Scratched From BC Sprint

Sat, 2019-11-02 13:30

MGISW Imperial Hint (Imperialism) was a late scratch from the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint Saturday morning due to a minor foot issue.
“Sadly, Imperial Hint was scratched from the Breeder’s Cup Sprint,” trainer Luis Carvajal, Jr. tweeted. “We were definitely looking forward to this race. Unfortunately, he had minor issue. He will be back to Florida in a couple days where he’ll resume training. The ‘Little Rocket’ will race by the end of the year and 2020.”
The dark bay was coming into the World Championships off of back-to-back wins in Saratoga’s GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt S. July 27 and Belmont’s GI Vosburgh Invitational S. Sept. 28.

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