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Updated: 8 hours 11 sec ago

Bar of Gold Continues String of Upsets, Posts 66-1 Shocker in F/M Sprint

Sat, 2017-11-04 16:27

Bar of Gold (Medaglia d’Oro) entered the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint as a complete outsider without a previous career victory on a fast dirt track. The Chester and Mary Broman homebred, a last out sixth as the 9-5 favorite in the Keeneland slop in the 1 1/8-miles GI Juddmonte Spinster S. Oct. 8, had other ideas, apparently, and took advantage of a perfectly timed ride to get up in the last stride and score a colossal 66-1 upset.

“We knew it was in there somewhere,” winning trainer John Kimmel said. “She pulled it out at the right moment. She’s brushed on greatness a few times, and she’s gotten better as the years have gone on.”

Kimmel continued, “She is getting to the end of her career and here we are. I’ve always liked horses cutting back in distance, especially in a sprint, and a seven-eighths sprint. I’ve won the Test a couple of times with that tactic. She showed up today, and Irad [Ortiz Jr.] gave her a great, great trip.”

Settling near the rear up the backstretch behind a blistering :21.84 opening quarter established by heavily favored ‘TDN Rising Star’ Unique Bella (Tapit), Bar of Gold started to advance after a half-mile in :44.35, angled six deep turning for home and kept on coming in the final furlong to nail ‘TDN Rising Star’ Ami’s Mesa (Sky Mesa) in the final jump. It was another length back to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Carina Mia (Malibu Moon) in third. Unique Bella tired to finish seventh.

All six of Bar of Gold’s previous career victories came over sloppy tracks (5) or grass (1). The 2015 GI Test S. runner-up was one for eight this term, capturing Saratoga’s grassy Yaddo S. Aug. 25 and finishing second to Ami’s Mesa in the GII Presque Isle Downs Masters S. over the synthetic Sept. 18. The 2017 GII Ruffian S. runner-up was beaten 11 1/2 lengths in her aforementioned attempt in Lexington most recently.

“I got a perfect trip,” Ortiz Jr. said. “She broke good, put me in good position and I just saved her. She made a good run on the inside and when I took her to the outside, she responded pretty good.”

The Masters has produced a long list of this race’s winners since its inception in 2007, including Informed Decision (2009), Dubai Majesty (2010), Musical Romance (2011) and Groupie Doll (2012-13).

Winning owner/breeder Chester Broman is president and CEO of Clifford Broman & Son, Inc., a contract trucking firm. The Bromans own a 300-acre farm in Chestertown, N.Y., where they house their 54 mares. They have also campaigned standouts like 2004 GI Florida Derby winner Friends Lake (A.P. Indy) and 2014 GI Ballerina S. heroine Artemis Agrotera (Roman Ruler).

Pedigree Notes:

Bar of Gold is the first foal out of Broman homebred Khancord Kid, heroine of the grassy 2010 GIII Herecomesthebride S. She had a Giant’s Causeway colt in 2016, an American Pharoah colt this year and was bred back to Medaglia d’Oro. Bar of Gold’s unraced second dam Confidently, a full-sister to Yankee Gentleman, brought $1 million from the Bromans while in foal to Mr. Prospector at the 2000 KEEJAN sale. Medaglia d’Oro is also the sire of fellow Breeders’ Cup winners Songbird and New Money Honey. Bar of Gold joins New York-breds Dayatthespa (FMT, 2014) and London Bridge (MAR, 2013) to capture Breeders’ Cup races.

Saturday, Del Mar
BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY AND MARE SPRINT-GI, $920,000, DMR, 11-4, 3yo/up, f/m, 7f, 1:22.63, ft.
1–BAR OF GOLD, 124, m, 5, by Medaglia d’Oro
1st Dam: Khancord Kid, by Lemon Drop Kid
2nd Dam: Confidently, by Storm Cat
3rd Dam: Key Phrase, by Flying Paster
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. O/B-Chester & Mary R. Broman (NY); T-John C. Kimmel; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $550,000. Lifetime Record: 25-7-6-4, $1,551,000.2–Ami’s Mesa, 124, f, 4, by Sky Mesa
1st Dam: Victorious Ami (GSW, $167,343), by Victory Gallop
2nd Dam: Secret Ami, by Secret Claim
3rd Dam: Sybelle Ami, by Alwasmi
O-Ivan Dalos; B-Tall Oaks Farm (ON); T-Josie Carroll. $170,000. 3–Carina Mia, 124, f, 4, by Malibu Moon
1st Dam: Miss Simpatia (Arg), by Southern Halo
2nd Dam: Miss Peggy (Arg), by Fitzcarraldo (Arg)
3rd Dam: Miss Bimba (Arg), by Our Talisman
($410,000 Ylg ’14 KEESEP). O-Three Chimneys Farm; B-Spendthrift Farm LLC (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $90,000. Margins: NO, 1, 2HF. Odds: 66.70, 18.10, 20.20.
Also Ran: Skye Diamonds, Princess Karen, Paulassilverlining, Unique Bella, Finest City, Finley’sluckycharm, By the Moon, Highway Star, Proper Discretion, Curlin’s Approval, Constellation.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Stormy Liberal Upsets Turf Sprint in 1-2 Finish for Miller; Lady Aurelia 10th

Sat, 2017-11-04 15:47

Saturday, Del Mar
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT-GI, $920,000, DMR, 11-4, 3yo/up, 5fT, :56.12, fm.
1–STORMY LIBERAL, 126, g, 5, by Stormy Atlantic
1st Dam: Vassar, by Royal Academy
2nd Dam: Dixie Fine, by L’Emigrant
3rd Dam: Luv Luvin’, by Raise a Native
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($165,000 RNA Ylg ’13 FTSAUG; $100,000
2yo ’14 OBSOPN). O-Rockingham Ranch; B-Dapple Bloodstock & Gryphon Investments LLC (KY); T-Peter Miller; J-Joel Rosario. $550,000. Lifetime Record: 22-8-6-1, $983,570. *Full to Coast 1/2 to Garifine (Belong to Me), SP, $177,811; Coast Guard, GISP, $182,180; Shimmering Moment (Afleet Alex), SW-Ire, MGSP-US, $164,545. Werk Nick Rating: F. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Richard’s Boy, 126, g, 5, Idiot Proof–Marissa’s Joy, by Cee’s Tizzy. O-Rockingham Ranch; B-Harold Tillema & Pamela Tillema (CA); T-Peter Miller. $170,000.
3–Disco Partner, 126, h, 5, Disco Rico–Lulu’s Number, by Numerous. O-Patricia A. Generazio; B-Patricia Generazio (NY); T-Christophe Clement. $90,000.
Margins: HD, HF, HF. Odds: 30.20, 13.90, 5.10.
Also Ran: Bucchero, Pure Sensation, Marsha (Ire), Holding Gold, Washington DC (Ire), Cotai Glory (GB), Lady Aurelia, Hogy, Mongolian Saturday. Scratched: Paquita Coqueta (Chi), Guns Loaded.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Double-digit longshot Stormy Liberal (Stormy Atlantic) led home a one-two finish for trainer Peter Miller and owner Rockingham Ranch in Saturday’s GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, besting stablemate Richard’s Boy (Idiot Proof) by a head with heavily favored Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy) no where to be found in 10th. Dismissed at 30-1 here, Stormy Liberal saved ground in sixth, to the inside of Lady Aurelia, as New York raider Pure Sensation (Zensational) cruised through an opening quarter in :21.98. Tipped out a path to launch his bid at the top of the lane, Stormy Liberal surged away from the chalk–who remained one-paced and was quickly swallowed up by the field–and charged up to greet Richard’s Boy in the final strides, eeking out a narrow victory. It was the first Breeders’ Cup win for Miller and the seventh for rider Joel Rosario, who won the Turf Sprint in 2014 with Bobby’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy). This is also the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch.

“it was just a surreal experience to see Richard’s Boy look like he was going to win,” Miller said. “And I’ve watching Joel, and I’m rooting for Joel, and I’m like just one of you win, just one of you win. Somebody win, you know? And to run one-two here for my first Breeders’ Cup and here at home, I live ten minutes away in Encinitas, is special. And to win with Joel Rosario, who I consider a good friend and who rode a lot for me when he was out here, just one of the best riders in the world. And for Gary Hartunian and Rockingham Ranch, who is my largest owner.”

“I just break out of the gate, and I asked my horse a little bit,” Rosario said. “Peter told me don’t, just get your position, and he has a lot of speed, but he wanted me to just like follow and save some ground and just stay on the inside. And that worked out perfect.”

“This is the first time I didn’t give instructions to the jockey, so,” Hartunian said. “I was running down saying, ‘I want to talk to you, Joel’, and he jumped on the horse, so I was so upset. Then I said, you know, I’m going to go bet Richard’s Boy now, and that’s what I did.”

As for the beaten favorite Lady Aurelia, jockey John Velazquez said, “I had a perfect trip. There were a couple speed horses so I let them go. I got into a spot I wanted at the 3/8-pole and she was just flat down the lane.”

Claimed for $40,000 out of a winning effort last October, Stormy Liberal won his first four starts this term, all of which were stakes, including the GIII Daytona S. at Santa Anita May 27. The bay was last seen fading to eighth in Belmont’s GIII Jaipur S. June 10, a race in which Disco Partner (Disco Rico) set a world record.

Pedigree Notes:

Stormy Liberal is a full to GISP Coast Guard; and a half to SW & MGSP Shimmering Moment (Afleet Alex). His dam is responsible for a juvenile colt by Majestic Warrior. Her 2016 foal by Distorted Humor passed away and she did not produce a foal in 2017, but was bred back to that WinStar stalwart this year. The winner also traces his lineage back to GISWs Insight (Fr) (Sadler’s Wells); and Beethoven (Ire) (Oratorio {Ire}).


Caledonia Road Much the Best in Juvenile Fillies

Sat, 2017-11-04 15:16

Caledonia Road (Quality Road) covered no fewer than 27 ft. (approx. 3 1/4 lengths) more than every one of her rivals in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies according to Trakus data, but the wide trip certainly didn’t seem to bother her as she kicked home impressively as a 17-1 outside. Up-close Alluring Star (Exchange Rate) fought on for second while Blonde Bomber (Fort Larned) further spiced up the trifecta at 30-1.

“This filly has come into her own this fall and her timing was impeccable,” said winning conditioner Ralph Nicks. “This run down the stretch is kind of her style. This is my first win [in the Breeders’ Cup] and it’s on my third try. It’s just amazing.”

He later added, “Growing up the way I did, and working for [Bill] Mott for 13 years with the champions there, and getting to witness it and be part of it on that stage and get to do it for myself, it’s very, very special.”

Saturday, Del Mar
14 HANDS WINERY BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES-GI, $1,840,000, DMR, 11-4, 2yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:45.05, ft.
1–CALEDONIA ROAD, 122, f, 2, by Quality Road
1st Dam: Come a Callin, by Dixie Union
2nd Dam: Twilight Service, by Horse Chestnut (Saf)
3rd Dam: Sunset Service, by Deputy Minister
WIN. ($140,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Zoom & Fish Stable Inc.,
Charlie Spiring & Newtown Anner Stud; B-Vegso Racing Stable
(FL); T-Ralph E. Nicks; J-Mike E. Smith. $1,100,000. Lifetime
Record: 3-2-1-0, $1,229,800. Werk Nick Rating: A++.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Alluring Star, 122, f, 2, by Exchange Rate
1st Dam: Spring Jump, by Jump Start
2nd Dam: Meg’s Answer, by West Acre
3rd Dam: Spring Hill Answer, by Springhill (Ire)
($125,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $850,000 2yo ’17 OBSMAR).
O-Baoma Corporation; B-Woods Edge Farm, LLC (KY); T-Bob
Baffert. $340,000.3–Blonde Bomber, 122, f, 2, by Fort Larned
1st Dam: Girl Can Rock, by El Prado (Ire)
2nd Dam: Yanks Music, by Air Forbes Won
3rd Dam: Traipsing, by Darby Creek Road
O-Arindel Farm; B-Arindel (FL); T-Stanley I. Gold. $180,000.
Margins: 3 1/4, NK, 1 3/4. Odds: 17.30, 8.30, 30.20.
Also Ran: Separationofpowers, Piedi Bianchi, Wonder Gadot, Moonshine Memories, Princess Warrior, Gio Game, Stainless, Heavenly Love, Maya Malibu, Tell Your Mama. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

A debut winner going seven furlongs in the Saratoga slop Sept. 3, Caledonia Road split Separationofpowers (Candy Ride {Arg}) and Maya Malibu (Malibu Moon) when second in the GI Frizette S. going a one-turn mile at Belmont Oct. 8.

Away well enough from the 12 hole, Caledonia Road was unable to tuck in into the first turn and was hung widest while sitting three or four deep in midpack. Dropping back slightly down the backside, the bay was scrubbed on to keep up behind a :46.72 half. She came alive rounding the home bend, picked off horses rapidly, and was up into fourth when they hit the quarter pole. Alluring Star kept on deteriminedly under left-handed encouragement, but couldn’t deny Caledonia Road’s powerful rush in the final sixteenth.

“She was dynamite,” offered Hall of Fame pilot Mike Smith, who was winning a record third renewal of this race. “She was much more forwardly placed than I expected her to be, to be honest. She was up there intent on getting into the game and running good. She was in a good rhythm, breathing well. I gave her a breather from the half-mile pole to the three-and-a half because she kind of wanted one. When I stepped on the accelerator again, man, she jumped back on it and I knew I was going to be live from that point on.”

This was the first time Smith had ridden Caledonia Road–Junior Alvarado had been aboard for her first two starts.

“Well, oddly enough, this is the first horse that Mike has ridden for me,” Nicks noted. “But when I was 16 and I was an apprentice jockey [at Louisiana Downs], we rode together and have been good friends since then. So we have a lot of stories and a lot of back history as kids growing up.”

Caledonia Road was campaigned by Zoom and Fish Stable and Charlie Spiring for her first two starts, and Maurice and Samantha Regan’s Newtown Anner Stud bought in before the Breeders’ Cup.

“Exhilaration. Total, complete exhilaration,” said Nick Sallusto, Newtown Anner’s bloodstock representative along with Hanzly Albina. “Everything that goes into this behind the scenes, and of course all the hopes and wants of my good clients like Maurice and Samantha Regan, that means the world to us.”

Maurice Regan added, “It’s always good to have a dream, isn’t it? We’ll enjoy the this ride today and look forward to the next day.”

Pedigree Notes:

Young sire Quality Road was himself scratched from the 2009 GI Breeders’ Cup Classic after acting up during the gate load, but was also represented by 2014 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hootenanny in his first crop. His daughter Abel Tasman anexed the GI Kentucky Oaks, GI Acorn S. and GI Coaching Club American Oaks S. this year and is the probably the favorite for champion 3-year-old filly honors after finishing quickly for second in Friday’s GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The Quality Road–Dixie Union cross has been a potent one, and also produced last year’s Grade I-winning ‘TDN Rising Star’ Klimt as well as this term’s MGISP GII Gulfstream Park Oaks heroine Salty. Caledonia Road’s dam is a half to multiple stakes-winning juvenile and GSP Citizen Advocate (Proud Citizen). She hails from the family of Grade I winners Hymn Book (Arch) and Data Link (War Front). Come a Callin has a yearling filly by Majestic Warrior. She was barren to Lemon Drop Kid before being bred to Blame this past season.


War Front Half to Honor Code Flies Late to Take Juvy Turf Sprint

Sat, 2017-11-04 14:35

QATAR JUVENILE TURF SPRINT S., $202,415, DMR, 11-4, 2yo, 5fT, :57.23, fm.
1–DECLARATIONOFPEACE, 120, c, 2, by War Front
1st Dam: Serena’s Cat (SW, $131,391), by Storm Cat
2nd Dam: Serena’s Tune, by Mr. Prospector
3rd Dam: Serena’s Song, by Rahy
($2,600,000 Wlg ’15 KEENOV). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-Mrs
John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; B-Dell Ridge
Farm, LLC & Hill N Dale Equine Holdings Inc (KY); T-Aidan P
O’Brien; J-Ryan L Moore. $120,000. Lifetime Record: 8-3-0-2,
$151,155. *1/2 to Honor Code (A.P. Indy), Ch. Older Horse &
MGISW, $2,518,260; and Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song),
MGSW & GISP, $492,222.2–Sound And Silence (GB), 120, c, 2, Exceed And Excel (Aus)
Veil of Silence (Ire), by Elusive Quality. O-Godolphin Stable
Lessee; B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charles Appleby. $40,000.
3–Out of The Flames (GB), 117, f, 2, Showcasing (GB)–Primo
Lady (GB), by Lucky Story. (30,000gns RNA Wlg ’15 TATFOA;
37,000gns Ylg ’16 TAOCT; £190,000 2yo ’17 GOFBRE). O-Qatar
Racing Ltd.; B-Mr Gary Hodson & Mr Peter Moule (GB);
T-Richard Hannon. $24,000.
Margins: HD, HF, 1 1/4. Odds: 14.20, 3.30, 19.00.
Also Ran: Corinthia Knight (Ire), March X Press, Elizabeth Darcy (Ire), Treasuring (GB), Fairyland, El Dulce, Majestic Dunhill, Count Alexander, McErin. Scratched: Factorofwon, Burnside, Mourinho, Good Guy Bad Guy.

Declarationofpeace, the second-most expensive weanling buy in the 2015 Keeneland November sale at $2.6 million, came with a furious stretch rally to get up in the shadow of the wire and upset the Qatar Juvenile Turf Sprint S. in a 1-2-3-4 finish for European shippers at Del Mar. Graduating at second asking over the Dundalk synthetic track May 10, the dark bay finished last of 22 in the Windsor Castle S. June 20 at Ascot and was seventh in a pair of Group 1 tries before taking an allowance Oct. 6 back at Dundalk and running third in the Al Basti Equiworld Mercury S. there Oct. 20. Let go at 14-1 in this spot, Declarationofpeace settled near the rear of affairs behind a :22.34 quarter. Tipping out into the clear under Ryan Moore at the top of the stretch, he flew home in the final sixteenth to just nail favored Sound And Silence (GB) (Exceed And Excel {GB}) on the wire by a head. Out of The Flames (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) did well to be third after missing the break and Corinthia Knight (Ire) (Society Rock {Ire}) completed the superfecta. The winner’s dam, a half to MGSW Vocalised (Vindication), foaled colts by Tapit in each of the last two seasons and was bred to Curlin this spring. Third dam is Hall of Famer Serena’s Song, who produced G1SW Sophisticat (Storm Cat) and three other graded winners. Click for the chart or f2VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Forever Unbridled Rallies Strongly To Win Longines Distaff

Fri, 2017-11-03 19:56

Charles Fipke’s Forever Unbridled (Unbridled’s Song), who chased home Beholder (Henny Hughes) and Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) when third in an epic 2016 GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, staved off a late rally from GI Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman (Quality Road) to win the race’s 2017 renewal Friday at Del Mar and complete a perfect three-for-three season.

“I’m just blessed,” said winning trainer Dallas Stewart, who captured the 2001 Distaff with another daughter of Unbridled’s Song, Unbridled Elaine. “She’s such a great filly. A championship was on the line and she’s three-for-three. She ran great and I’m proud of Johnny [Velazquez] and how he rode her.”

Of a rider controversy that will have Fipke paying both Velazquez and Joel Rosario, who had the original call on the mare in the race, Stewart added, “Joel is a great rider and those are two great jockeys, but I’m focused on the horse. She’s had that spacing and she’s been very successful with that.”

Forever Unbridled was racing third-last out of the stretch for the first time as 2016 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Champagne Room (Broken Vow) took them along at what appeared to be a pedestrian tempo, with ‘TDN Rising Star’ Paradise Woods (Union Rags) her closest pursuer.

Forever Unbridled, sixth in the early going, was taken out into about the four path at midway for a clear shot when push came to shove. John Velazquez hit the gas at the three-eighths and the homebred mare showed her trademark acceleration, rolling up outside of a hard-ridden favorite Elate to challenge Paradise Woods for the lead. Shooting to the front from there, she was a bit wayward late, but the wire came in time as Abel Tasman closed well from second-last. Paradise Woods held for third.

“The whole key was I wanted to save ground on the first turn and I was able to do that,” said winning rider John Velazquez. “I got her in a comfortable position where I thought she was going well. At the three-eighths pole I followed Jose Ortiz’s horse [Elate] and all of a sudden she stopped and I had to go a little sooner than I wanted to. I got to the lead a little too soon for me but, I mean, it was perfect.”

Trainer Bob Baffert was proud of the runner-up effort of Abel Tasman.

“Down the backside I was a little bit worried, but down the stretch she tried hard and she ran her race,” Baffert said. “She just got beat by a really good filly today. Dallas Stewart had her ready today and in the paddock, the winner looked like the horse to beat. We’re so proud of our mare. She gave us the biggest thrill winning the Kentucky Oaks and she showed up again today but just came up a little bit short. She ran her heart out but just came up second. Sometimes second is good.”

Jose Ortiz, who finished fourth aboard Elate, said of the beaten favorite, “It was a good race for her. She broke well and we got a good position. She went well all the way around there. But when it came time in the stretch, it just wasn’t there. She ran out of gas. But she’s only a 3-year-old and she’ll come back next year and be even better.”

Stellar Wind (Curlin), the 3-1 second choice in the Distaff, bobbled at the break, but recovered to chase the early pacesetters. In tight quarters nearing the stretch, she was forced to steady slightly before retreating to last.

“We were in a good spot,” jockey Victor Espinoza said of Stellar Wind. “But, today just wasn’t her day.”

Forever Unbridled won last year’s GI Apple Blossom H. and GI Beldame Invitational before her third-place effort in the 2016 Distaff. She had made only two previous 2017 starts, winning the June 17 GII Fleur de Lis H. before tackling champion Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) late in the Aug. 26 GI Personal Ensign S.

“She had an injury, not a bad injury, after the last Breeders’ Cup, and we did surgery on her,” Stewart said of the long layoff. “Chuck could have retired her. She was already a Grade I winner, but it wasn’t severe, and Chuck said, ‘I want to keep going with her, and he did. A lot of people–I mean, nine out of 10 guys, I think, would have retired her. But Chuck, being the guy he is, a sportsman and loves racing, and wanted to see this happen for her, and he did it.”

Pedigree Notes:

Dallas Stewart purchased Lemons Forever for $140,000 as Keeneland September Yearling and trained and co-owned the 47-1 2006 GI Kentucky Oaks upsetter with Willis Horton. Charles Fipke purchased the mare for $2.5 million at the 2007 Keeneland November sale. Her third foal is 2014 GI Ballerina S. winner Unbridled Forever. She produced a filly by Medaglia d’Oro in 2016 and, with no foal reported in 2017, she was bred back to that stallion.

“The night I bought [Lemons Forever] was the night I actually met Dallas,” Fipke said. “The thing is I had looked at all of the mares, and I always like to buy the best-conformed mare, and the best-conformed mare in the whole place was Lemons Forever, who had won the Kentucky Oaks. And just before she sold, they showed a picture of her winning the Kentucky Oaks, and she won by a big margin. I thought to myself, this is going to be expensive. And it was.”

Unbridled Forever produced a colt by Medaglia d’Oro this year and was also bred back to the Darley stallion.

Friday, Del Mar
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF-GI, $1,840,000, DMR, 11-3, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:50.25, ft.
1–FOREVER UNBRIDLED, 124, m, 5, by Unbridled’s Song
1st Dam: Lemons Forever (GISW, $648,940), by Lemon Drop Kid
2nd Dam: Critikola (Arg), by Tough Critic
3rd Dam: Hola Keats (Arg), by Keats
O/B-Charles Fipke (KY); T-Dallas Stewart; J-John R. Velazquez.
$1,100,000. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 17-8-3-4, $3,186,880.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick
Rating: A+++.2–Abel Tasman, 121, f, 3, by Quality Road
1st Dam: Vargas Girl, by Deputy Minister
2nd Dam: Wheatly Way, by Wheatly Hall
3rd Dam: Family Way, by Cyane
($65,000 RNA Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-China Horse Club
International Ltd. and Clearsky Farms; B-Clearsky Farms (KY);
T-Bob Baffert. $340,000.3–Paradise Woods, 121, f, 3, by Union Rags
1st Dam: Wild Forest, by Forest Wildcat
2nd Dam: Uforia, by Zilzal
3rd Dam: Long Legend, by Reviewer
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Steven Sarkowsky, Martin & Pam Wygod
B-Herman Sarkowsky (KY); T-Richard E. Mandella. $180,000.Margins: HF, 3, 1. Odds: 3.70, 4.90, 5.30.
Also Ran: Elate, Mopotism, Champagne Room, Romantic Vision, Stellar Wind. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

KEESEP Topper Mendelssohn Scoops the Juvenile Turf For Ballydoyle

Fri, 2017-11-03 19:10

Mendelssohn (c, 2, Scat Daddy–Leslie’s Lady, by Tricky Creek), a half-brother to multiple Breeders’ Cup and Eclipse Award winner Beholder (Henny Hughes) and the $3-million topper at the 2016 Keeneland September sale, sat the box seat in Friday’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, popped off the fence to challenge for the lead three-sixteenths of a mile from home and found the wire first as the lukewarm and somewhat surprising 9-2 favorite. ‘TDN Rising Star’ Untamed Domain (Animal Kingdom) was spun wide at the top of the lane and kicked on gamely for second ahead of Voting Control (Kitten’s Joy) who took a multiple-horse photo for third. Mendelssohn becomes the first Breeders’ Cup winner for the late Scat Daddy and his dam joins Primal Force (Macho Uno/Awesome Again), Sweet Life (Sweet Catomine/Life Is Sweet) and Hasili (GB) (Banks Hill/Intercontinental) as the only mares in the history of the Breeders’ Cup to produce multiple winners. Aidan O’Brien was tallying a 12th winner on championship weekend and fourth Juvenile Turf win since 2011. Ryan Moore was riding his ninth Breeders’ Cup winner, having been aboard this barn’s Wrote (2011), George Vancouver (2012) and Hit It a Bomb (2015) previously. Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-0. O-Smith, Magnier & Tabor. B-Clarkland Farm (KY). T-Aidan O’Brien.


‘TDN Rising Star’ Battle of Midway Takes Dirt Mile Thriller

Fri, 2017-11-03 18:21

Battle of Midway (Smart Strike) outbattled a game Sharp Azteca (Freud) down the stretch to eke out a narrow victory in the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Friday at Del Mar. Let go at a generous 14-1, WinStar Farm and Don Alberto Stable’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ was left no choice but to sit a trip three and four wide for the opening five-eighths of a mile, advanced entering the lane. He engaged pacesetting Sharp Azteca in upper stretch and outfought that one in a stride-for-stride battle to the wire. Awesome Slew (Awesome Again) tracked inside and ran on late for third, just outfinishing Practical Joke (Into Mischief).

“I talked to Flavien [Prat] and we agreed there was a lot of speed in the race,” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who was winning his third Breeders’ Cup race and second Dirt Mile, said. “At the break he was able to follow John Sadler’s horse [Accelerate] and got a good position. This horse has always been a fighter and he showed that today. He showed a lot of courage in winning this race.”

Prat was doubling his Breeders’ Cup win tally, having won the Turf Sprint aboard Obviously {Ire}) (Choisir {Aus}) at Santa Anita last fall.

“I let him break and find position and was wide early,” Prat said of his winning trip. “I thought there would be more pace. Then down the backside he relaxed well and gave me a really good kick. He was training really well in the morning.”

Favored Mor Spirit (Eskendereya), making his first start since a towering success over Sharp Azteca in the GI Met Mile in June, had run his race by the time they’d reached the quarter pole and finished well back.

“I was afraid that with Mor Spirit going in that I couldn’t get enough into him,” admitted trainer Bob Baffert, who also saddled Dirt Mile 10th-place finisher Cupid (Tapit). “He just got tired. I was disappointed in Cupid. Maybe it was too short for him. He chased a little bit. If they don’t show up, they don’t show up. I’m happy for Jerry Hollendorfer. I’m a big fan of his, so I’m happy for him.”

Battle of Midway graduated on debut at Santa Anita Jan. 21 for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm and was third in the Feb. 12 GII San Vicente S. before winning a Mar. 9 optional claimer in Arcadia. In his final outing for Porter, the bay colt was second, beaten a half-length by Gormley (Malibu Moon), in the Apr. 8 GI Santa Anita Derby. Making his first start for WinStar and Don Alberto at Churchill on the first Saturday in May, Battle of Midway came home third behind Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) in the GI Kentucky Derby.

Battle of Midway won the June 24 GIII Affirmed S. and was a troubled sixth in the July 30 GI Haskell Invitational. In his only previous start at Del Mar, the colt romped home a 6 1/4-length winner of the Aug. 26 Shared Belief S. He was coming off a runner-up effort in the Sept. 24 GIII Oklahoma Derby.

Hollendorfer said, “Our horse finally found himself here at Del Mar in the Shared Belief Mile and ran a huge race, winning by six and running a big number. So we felt all along that we could run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile with him liking the racetrack and him looking like he could be a pretty good miler. We used the Oklahoma Derby as a prep for this race, and we got a little bit unlucky in the first turn. He got bounced around, but he still ran a very game race and never gave up. So we never gave up on him either.”

Explaining how the deal to purchase the Derby contender this past spring came about, WinStar’s Elliott Walden said, “[Don Alberto advisor] Fernando Diaz was the one who put it together. Fernando and I have done a few deals together with [Don Alberto principal] Carlos Heller. Fernando called me and said that Jerry Hollendorfer really believed in this horse, and Mr. Porter was selling him, and Jerry wanted to keep him. He felt like he was a really, really good horse. So I called Jerry, and Jerry, we haven’t done a lot of business together, but it’s been a great experience, and we’ll do some more.”

Heller, whose family will be represented Saturday by GI F/M Sprint favorite Unique Bella (Tapit), added, “This has been a dream come true. I love this sport, and I’m absolutely delighted that I have this beautiful partnership, and we’re excited about tomorrow also. Such a beautiful race.”

Pedigree Notes:

Battle of Midway, a $410,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, was giving his late sire his fourth Breeders’ Cup winner and second Dirt Mile success, adding to that of Furthest Land over the Santa Anita all-weather back in 2009.

Mike Repole and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners teamed up to buy Battle of Midway’s yearling half-brother by Medaglia d’Oro for $900,000 at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale from breeders Eric and Pavla Nygaard’s Thor-Bred Stables. The Nygaards purchased Rigoletta for $35,000 at the 2010 OBS April sale and the filly won that year’s GI Oak Leaf S. in their colors. The mare produced a colt by Empire Maker this year and was bred back to Tapit.

Rigoletta’s dam Almost Aprom Queen is a half-sister to the dam of 2011 champion female sprinter Musical Romance (Concorde’s Tune), who, like Rigoletta and Almost Aprom Queen, was bred by Ocala Stud. The O’Farrells’ operation purchased Rigoletta’s third dam Victorious Meg (Soy Nomero Uno) for $20,000 at the 1985 OBS October sale.

Friday, Del Mar
LAS VEGAS BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE-GI, $920,000, DMR, 11-3, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:35.20, ft.
1–BATTLE OF MIDWAY, 123, c, 3, by Smart Strike
1st Dam: Rigoletta (GISW, $184,070), by Concerto
2nd Dam: Almost Aprom Queen, by Montbrook
3rd Dam: Romantic Dinner, by Who’s for Dinner
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($410,000 Ylg ’15 FTSAUG). O-Don Alberto
Stable and WinStar Farm LLC; B-Thor-Bred Stables, LLC (KY);
T-Jerry Hollendorfer; J-Flavien Prat. $550,000. Lifetime Record:
10-5-2-2, $1,249,949. Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree
2–Sharp Azteca, 126, c, 4, Freud–So Sharp, by Saint Liam.
($35,000 Ylg ’14 OBSAUG; $220,000 2yo ’15 OBSAPR).
O-Gelfenstein Farm; B-Cloyce C. Clark (KY); T-Jorge Navarro.
3–Awesome Slew, 126, c, 4, Awesome Again–Slewfoundmoney,
by Seeking the Gold. O-Live Oak Plantation; B-Live Oak Stud
(FL); T-Mark E. Casse. $90,000.
Margins: HF, 4 1/4, HF. Odds: 14.20, 2.90, 14.10.
Also Ran: Practical Joke, Iron Fist, Giant Expectations, Gato Del Oro, Mor Spirit, Accelerate, Cupid. Click for the RACE=7&BorP=P&TID=DMR&CTRY=USA&DT=11/03/2017&DAY=D&STYLE=EQB”> chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.



Rushing Fall Too Tough in Juvenile Fillies Turf

Fri, 2017-11-03 17:42

Rushing Fall solidified her status as the top 2-year-old turf filly in the country and took her record to a perfect three-for-three with a powerful performance in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar Friday. Away well from the 11-hole, the crowd’s second-choice bided her time in mid-pack as 37-1 shot Moon Dash (Malibu Moon) clocked early fractions of :23.04 and :47.23. Making steady progress up the outside on the back stretch run, the $320,000 FTSAUG buy ranged up menacingly down the center of the course turning for home and powered clear in the lane to provide her connections with their second straight victory in this race, following 2016 winner New Money Honey (Medaglia d’Oro). Fellow New Yorker Best Performance was second. Ballydoyle’s September walked out of the gate and trailed down the backstretch, but came with a strong rally down the center of the track for third. September’s stablemate Happily (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the 2-1 favorite, raced towards the rear and was blocked some in the lane before finishing tailed off.

The win is the fourth overall in the Breeders’ Cup for More Than Ready, also the sire of Juvenile Turf winner Pluck and Juvenile Fillies Turf victress More Than Real. It was an eighth Breeders’ Cup for jockey Javier Castellano and the ninth for trainer Chad Brown.

“Javier [Castellano] rode a great race,” Brown said. “The key was going out of that post and getting a spot in the first half of the field which he accomplished. From there, with a nice pace in front of us, he was comfortable where he was and he moved when he felt the time was right. She has a devastating move when you turn her loose.”

“We had a little bit of a rough trip going into the first turn, but I was lucky to be able to save some ground in the first turn and then get to the outside,” Castellano said. “I had a perfect trip after that.”

Of the beaten favorite, jockey Ryan Moore said, “She took too long to find a gear and by then it was too late and there was some horses in front of her.”

Rushing Fall earned the “TDN Rising Star” nod for her ultra-impressive last-to-first victory on debut going a mile over the Belmont lawn Sept. 16. She followed suit with another dominant score going this distance in Keeneland’s GIII Jessamine S. Oct. 11.

Pedigree Notes:

Rushing Fall is a half to stakes winner and three-time graded stakes-placed Milam (Street Sense). Her dam is also responsible for a yearling filly by Candy Ride (Arg) and was bred to Frosted this spring. Second dam Marie J. (Mr. Prospector) was graded stakes-placed, and this is also the family of GISW Albert the Great (Go For Gin).


Friday, Del Mar
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES TURF-GI, $920,000, DMR, 11-3, 2yo, f, 1mT, 1:36.09, fm.
1–RUSHING FALL, 122, f, 2, by More Than Ready
1st Dam: Autumnal, by Forestry
2nd Dam: Marie J, by Mr. Prospector
3rd Dam: In My Cap, by Vice Regent
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($320,000 Ylg ’16 FTSAUG). O-e Five Racing Thoroughbreds; B-Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding (KY); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Javier Castellano. $550,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $685,000. *1/2 to Milam (Street Sense), SW & GSP, $239,651; Autumn Song (Colonel John), MSP. Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Best Performance, 122, f, 2, by Broken Vow
1st Dam: Give My Regards, by Smart Strike
2nd Dam: Broadway Hoofer, by Belong to Me
3rd Dam: Broadway Star, by Broadway Forli
($185,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $300,000 2yo ’17 FTFMAR). O-West
Point Thoroughbreds, Tango Uniform Racing LLC and Robert
Masiello; B-Mercedes Stables LLC (KY); T-Christophe Clement.
$170,000.3–September (Ire), 122, f, 2, by Deep Impact (Jpn)
1st Dam: Peeping Fawn, by Danehill
2nd Dam: Maryinsky (Ire), by Sadler’s Wells
3rd Dam: Blush With Pride, by Blushing Groom (Fr)
O-Michael B. Tabor, Mrs John Magnier, and Derrick Smith;
B-Orpendale and Chelston (IRE); T-Aidan P. O’Brien. $90,000.Margins: 3/4, 1, 3/4. Odds: 3.00, 15.80, 5.30.
Also Ran: Significant Form, Fatale Bere (Fr), Dixie Moon, Capla Temptress (Ire), Now You’re Talking (Ire), Orbolution, Moon Dash, Juliet Capulet (Ire), Ultima D, Madeline (Ire), Happily (Ire). Scratched: Retro, Goodthingstaketime (Ire).

Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


Blame’s Daisy Remains Unbeaten in the Tempted

Fri, 2017-11-03 14:23

Stretching out to the one-turn mile off a smashing eight-length debut success over a sloppy main track at Parx Oct. 9, Fox Hill Farms’ Daisy (Blame) showed some intestinal fortitude to beat back pace-pressing Oldfashioned Style (Old Fashioned) at the eighth pole and strode home to remain perfect in Friday’s GIII Tempted S. at Aqueduct.

Fast into stride, the $80,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga graduate headed off her five rivals linking up with the main track while racing well away from the rail and she and Oldfashioned Style had the race to themselves for all intents and purposes. Never allowed a breather through fractions that were comfortable, but pressured, Daisy, the 5-2 second choice may even have surrendered the lead approaching the final furlong, but battled back gamely inside and kicked away to score by about four lengths. Sweet Candy Dance (Twirling Candy) was an even third ahead of a 2-5 Navajo (Union Rags), who never reached serious contention and finished a lackluster fourth.

“[Trainer] John [Servis] just told me to ride her right out of the gate,” winning jockey Kendrick Carmouche said. “She broke real sharp. With the inside being a little deep, I just wanted to get outside a little. At the quarter-pole, I hit her and she reacted right away and just leveled off. She responded real good when I asked her at the top of the lane. Thanks to John Servis [the trainer] and Mr. [Rick] Porter [the owner], it looks like they have a good one.”

Servis sent out countless graded stakes winners for Fox Hill in the early 2000s, including Zonk, Rockport Harbor, Jostle and future GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Round Pond (who was trained to her victory in 2006 by Michael Matz).

Pedigree Notes:
Daisy was bred in Pennsylvania by Jonathan Sheppard, who has a four-decade relationship with the winner’s female family. The Hall of Fame conditioner trained Daisy’s third dam-a foal of 1976-and while she didn’t amount to much as a racehorse, she became a reliable broodmare, producing Sws Ratings (Caveat), She Can Add (Robellino) and Tada (Tasso) for George Strawbridge. A two-time graded winner, Ratings carried on the family tradition and became the dam of SW Smart Growth (Gone West) and GSW Recording (Danzig) and the granddam of three stakes winners. Lovely Stay was a winner at the races in 2012 and was given to Sheppard, for whom she foaled a full-sister to Daisy in 2016. Lovely Stay was most recently bred to Shanghai Bobby.

Friday, Aqueduct
TEMPTED S.-GIII, $150,000, AQU, 11-3, 2yo, f, 1m, 1:37.13, ft.
1–DAISY, 117, f, 2, by Blame
1st Dam: Lovely Stay, by Flower Alley
2nd Dam: Ratings, by Caveat
3rd Dam: T. V. Ad, by T. V. Commercial
’16 FTSAUG). O-Fox Hill Farms, Inc.; B-Jonathan Sheppard (PA);
T-John C. Servis; J-Kendrick Carmouche. $90,000. Lifetime
Record: 2-2-0-0, $127,800. Werk Nick Rating: D.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Oldfashioned Style, 115, f, 2, Old Fashioned–Smartybegone,
by Smarty Jones. ($27,000 Ylg ’16 FTKJUL). O-Leonard C. Green;
B-Angela Ingenito (FL); T-Gary C. Contessa. $30,000.3–Sweet Candy Dance, 117, f, 2, Twirling Candy–Dancing Rage,
by Sligo Bay (Ire). ($15,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $40,000 2yo ’17
OBSAPR). O-Happy Tenth Stable; B-Annuncio Stanchieri (FL);
T-Alfredo Velazquez. $15,000.Margins: 4 3/4, 5HF, 2. Odds: 2.50, 9.20, 17.00.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Baffert Seeks Fourth Straight Classic

Thu, 2017-11-02 19:02

DEL MAR, CA–Bob Baffert has already made Breeders’ Cup history winning the last three renewals of the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, starting with Bayern (Offlee Wild) in 2014, Horse of the Year American Pharoah in 2015 and Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) last year. The Hall of Famer looks to continue that hot streak Saturday at Del Mar when he saddles four very strong chances in the $6 million feature race, including defending champion Arrogate.

Standing outside Del Mar’s Barn BB as Arrogate was being hand walked following his morning gallop, Baffert reflected on his Classic success, “I really thought Silver Charm could have won [the 1998 Classic]. It was frustrating [when he finished second to Awesome Again]. I’ve won it with really good horses. That is what it is. I have never won it with a slow horse.”

A devastating winner of the GI Travers S. in record time, Arrogate bested Horse of the Year California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) in last year’s Classic and was appropriately named the year’s champion 3-year-old male. Making a mockery of the $12 million GI Pegasus World Cup with a facile 4 3/4-length victory in January, the “TDN Rising Star” went from last-to-first in seemingly impossible fashion to score another decisive win in the G1 Dubai World Cup in March (video).

The gray has not seemed quite the same since, finishing a lackluster fourth in this venue’s GII San Diego H. in July, but improved last time with a runner-up effort to stablemate and fellow Classic runner Collected (City Zip) in the GI Pacific Classic here Aug. 19.

“I thought we were in good shape with him, but then he ran that bad race,” Baffert said. “I don’t know what got into him here, but he has been training well. He looked good over the track [Thursday].”

The trainer continued, “He looked good all summer. He just didn’t run well here the first time. I know it was a new surface, he was far behind and he just didn’t run. The second race wasn’t a bad race. He didn’t get beat by a bad horse. Collected is really nice. It is tighter turns here, so I think that has a lot to do with it. He is a big, long-striding horse. I think he loses a little bit on the turns. He likes those bigger, wide turns like down at Gulfstream and Saratoga This is really narrow. It is a small track.”

Arrogate drew the rail Saturday, the same post he had in both the Travers and Pegasus. When asked his thoughts on the post, Baffert said, “We don’t know til the race. You guys have seen him run. Nothing has changed.”

Arrogate and Collected will bookend the field as the latter will break from the far outside post in this 11-horse affair. Winner of the GIII Lexington S. last term, Collected was shelved after a disappointing 10th in the GI Preakness S. last May.

“He didn’t need surgery or anything. We just kicked him out at the farm,” Baffert explained. “He needed a break. He’s back and now he is doing great.”

Great is a bit of an understatement. Collected has been perfect in 2017 with four dominant victories from four starts this term. An easy winner of the Santana Mile Apr. 1, he captured the GII Californian S. Apr. 22 with similar ease. Wiping the floor with his competition with a 14-length romp in the GIII Precisionist S. June 24, the 4-year-old went gate-to-wire to best Arrogate by a half-length in the Pacific Classic last time (video).

“He has matured,” Baffert said. “They are all tough, but Collected has a little edge here. He loves this track and has run well here. One thing about this track, is the horses I have run here in the past move way up here. Some move way up and are more effective here and he is one of them, so he will be tough.”

All three of Baffert’s previous Classic winners captured the elite test as 3-year-olds and he has another talented sophomore in his arsenal this year in West Coast (Flatter). Winning the Easy Goer S. on a banner day for Baffert on the GI Belmont S. undercard in June, the bay captured the Travers next out Aug. 26 and followed suit with a dominant 7 1/4-length win in the GI Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 23, the same race Bayern won prior to his Classic victory (video).

“He was a little bit late to the party [not making his first start until February of this year], but he has really matured,” the conditioner said. “He has changed a lot since his first race this year. I can see a big difference in him. I wanted to run him in the Belmont, but his race before, we just didn’t see it. We changed it up a little bit and now he has the confidence. He looks good. He is a horse that is stepping it up now with these older horses. The 3-year-olds have done it before for me.”

Rounding out Baffert’s Classic quartet is a relatively fresh face in the barn in Mubtaahij (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). Previously based in Dubai with Mike de Kock, the 2015 G2 UAE Derby hero was transferred to Baffert after finishing fourth in the Dubai World Cup. The bay has made just one start for the four-time Eclipse-winning conditioner, and it was a successful one, scoring a career high in the GI Awesome Again S. Sept. 30 (video).

“He is a fighter,” Baffert said. “I don’t know that much about him. I threw him in [the Awesome Again] because he worked really well. He wasn’t really ready for it and he won. Since then he has been training well. I think he is a good horse.”

Baffert will saddle seven other Breeders’ Cup contenders prior to the Classic, including one of the heavy hitters in Friday’s GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Abel Tasman (Quality Road). Springing a mild upset with a powerful last-to-first victory in the GI Kentucky Oaks in May, the China Horse Club and Clearsky Farm runner followed suit with wins in Belmont’s GI Acorn S. in June and Saratoga’s GI CCA Oaks July 23 (video), but her hot streak ended last time at Parx when second in the GI Cotillion S. Sept. 23.

“She is one of our favorites in the barn,” Baffert said with a fond smile. “She is so sweet. She has the temperament of American Pharoah. She needs pace. She needs a lot of pace to run at. She doesn’t get the pace then she is in trouble. I think the one filly [Champagne Room (Broken Vow)] is fast and Paradise Woods (Union Rags), she’s fast. Speed is dangerous here. They keep going. It’s hard.”

Baffert also sends out a pair of talented sprinters in champion Drefong (Gio Ponti) and Grade I winner Constellation (Bellamy Road). Capturing last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint en route to an Eclipse award, Drefong made his seasonal bow in Del Mar’s GI Bing Crosby S. July 29, where he veered sharply left at the break, dropping jockey Mike Smith. The “TDN Rising Star” made amends last time at Saratoga with a dominant success in the GI Forego S. Aug. 26 (video).

“Drefong is stuck in the two-hole,” Baffert said. “I drew horrible. I wanted to throw up after the draw. He had the two when he ducked, but he was pushed into there. Hopefully that doesn’t happen and he is past that.”

Heroine of the GI La Brea S. last term, Constellation has finished second in all four of her previous starts this season, most recently completing the exacta behind the reopposing Skye Diamonds (First Dude) in the GIII Rancho Bernardo H. Aug. 13. Previously trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the “TDN Rising Star” will be making her first start for Baffert in the GI Breeders’ Cup F/M Sprint.

“She is training well,” Baffert said. “It looks like it is a pretty tough race. There are some serious, salty fillies in there. I’ve been watching that Unique Bella (Tapit) train. She is pretty fast. She is freaky.”

The Arizona native sends out a pair of intriguing competitors in the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in Mor Spirit (Eskendereya) and Cupid (Tapit). The former was last seen scoring a career-high at Belmont June 10 with a decisive 6 1/4-length victory in the GI Metropolitan H. (video) and has been on the bench since.

“Mor Spirit, if he shows up, is a monster,” Baffert said. “He was a little bit erratic when he came back up after the [Met Mile]. It has taken him a long time to get back into the swing of things. But, his last works have been good. He didn’t want to train there for a little bit, but now he is doing well.”

Kicking off this term with a seemingly effortless victory in the GI Gold Cup at Santa Anita off an eight-month layoff May 27 (video), Cupid took the one-mile Harry Brubaker S. at Del Mar next out Aug. 23, but could only manage fourth last time in the Awesome Again.

“Cupid is a tweener, like a mile and an eighth,” Baffert said. “I am hoping if they go extremely fast early, he can come get them.”

Completing Baffert’s Breeders’ Cup contingent are his two juvenile runners Solomini (Curlin) and Alluring Star (Exchange Rate). A debut winner here Sept. 2, the former was a well-beaten second behind race GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) last time in the GI FrontRunner S. at Santa Anita Sept. 30.

“He is a nice horse,” Baffert said. “The favorite is pretty tough. He is improving, but he is just a grinder.”

Alluring Star broke her maiden at the Seaside oval just one day after Solomini and checked in second behind undefeated Moonshine Memories (Malibu Moon), who headlines the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, last time in the GI Chandelier S. in Arcadia Sept. 30.

“She is fast,” Baffert said. “I didn’t like her post [nine]. I would have liked to have been in the two or three with her. I don’t think she can get an easy lead, but her weapon is her speed.”

Baffert has saddled some prestigious Breeders’ Cup winners in the past, such as fellow Hall of Famer Silverbulletday; champions Indian Blessing and Midnight Lute; and, of course, American Pharoah, who completed what is being called the “Grand Slam” when following his Triple Crown success with a win in the Classic (video).

“I knew I was taking base on balls [in American Pharoah’s Classic],” Baffert quipped. “Nobody was going to touch him. He was just so good. I never was nervous at any time in the race.”

With 11 chances to add to his list of Breeders’ Cup victories, which currently stands at 14, the Hall of Famer took a moment to reflect on his best Breeders’ Cup memories.

“Man, I’ve had a lot of them,” Baffert said. “My first one was really special with Thirtyslews [in the 1992 Sprint] because I thought I’d never win another Breeders’ Cup. I really think Arrogate last year running down California Chrome when it looked like an impossible task turning for home. That was probably my most exciting Breeders’ Cup Classic (video).”

Saturday will be the last time Baffert saddles Arrogate as North America’s richest Thoroughbred is scheduled to retire to Juddmonte Farm after the Classic.

“I think it was tougher to saddle American Pharoah for the last time,” Baffert said. “That was the toughest. Pharoah loved human contact and was like your pet. While this guy, you can’t really get that close to him. You don’t like to see any of them retire because they are so much fun and bring you so many memories. I just hope he runs his race. I feel the pressure. I just want him to lay it out there and see the real Arrogate and what he has.”

Record Aggregate Posted At Tatts

Thu, 2017-11-02 15:28

NEWMARKET, UK–Day four of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale got off to a strong start when Red Baron’s Stable & Ranch Temescal paid the day’s top price 70,000gns for lot 1261, River Boyne (Ire). He is a son of Dandy Man (Ire), who stood at a career-high fee of €10,000 in 2017 in Ireland. The 2-year-old has run since the catalogue was printed, finishing second in a Class 2 conditions race on the all-weather at Newcastle last week. Alastair Donald signed on behalf of the buyers, as they are on their way back to U.S. to watch their Breeder’s Cup Turf runner Itsinthepost (Fr) (American Post {GB}), and he said “He’s going to California for Red Baron’s Stable. The team saw him earlier in the week and liked him. He was a good second the other day, so he can run straight into a $50,000 maiden out there, and he should be hard to beat.” The colt is from the family of Group 2 winner Ventiquattrofogli (Ire). He was sold through Gordon Elliot’s Cullentra Stables, for whom he ran. Elliott, who is better known as a successful jumps trainer, has made a foray into the flat this year, and runs Beckford (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar tomorrow.

There was a new record turnover of 26,857,300gns for this sale achieved on Thursday, with continued international presence shored up the top-end. The session featured more moderate racehorses, but nonetheless four lots made over 50,000gns, with competition for 3-year-old jumping prospects, and horses with appeal to the Middle East finding buyers aplenty. There were 242 horses offered, 41 more than last year, for an aggregate of 1,788,500gns. The average took a 7% decline, whilst the median fell from 7,000gns to 5,500gns. There was a slight drop in the clearance rate from 92% last year to 88%.

Les Arceaux (Ire) (Arcano {Ire}) (lot 1283) was knocked down to Mags O’Toole for 60,000gns and will be changing disciplines to continue his racing career over jumps. She said, “He’s got the right profile and he’ll go hurdling. He loves the soft ground. I don’t know who’ll train him yet.” The 3-year-old gelding was coming here off two consecutive wins. All three of his career victories have come on very soft or heavy ground, and he won easily on his most recent start by 4 1/2 lengths at Fairyhouse on the Oct. 24 for trainer and owner Johnny Murtagh. His dam, Amoureux (Deputy Minister), is a half-sister to champion 2-year-old in France, Passion For Gold (Medaglia d’Oro), now standing at stud.

Lot 1329, the Cacique (Ire) 2-year-old filly Celestin’s (GB) is to head to Spain. She was purchased by the country’s leading trainer, Guillermo Arizkorreta who is based in Madrid. Arizkorreta is no stranger to Newmarket, having previously done time with trainer Luca Cumani. He said “She will come to Spain to race. We were looking for a nice 2-year-old filly to run in the Classic races. She should stay, and she is still a maiden, so she also has that option open to her. The owner has some mares, so she could be kept for breeding later.” The filly is out of the stakes-placed Veenwouden (Gb) (Desert Prince {Ire}), and came from the stable of William Haggas. She has run three times, and was narrowly beaten in a mile maiden at Windsor three weeks ago.

Continuing along the international theme, Evening Hill (GB) (lot 1423), who is by Harbour Watch (GB), will head to Saudi Arabia. He was bought by owner Daham Bin Tawlah for 62,000gns, and he said, “He has good form and he will suit Saudi Arabia.” The 3-year-old colt has won twice since the catalogue was printed for former champion jockey turned trainer, Richard Hughes.

Dual-purpose trainer Ian Williams, who sold Monday’s top lot, The Statesman (GB) (Zoffany {Ire}), will be training War Brigade (Fr) (Manduro {Ger}) (lot 1441) with Richard Ryan signing on his behalf at 40,000gns. This lightly raced colt should be competitive on the flat and over hurdles, as he is effective on soft ground and from a smart staying family. He was sold by Jamie Railton on behalf of Qatar Racing.

A Galileo (Ire) colt, Orsino (Ire), (lot 1370) from the stable of Andrew Balding was sold privately after not making his reserve is the ring. He was bought by Ronald Postlethwaite for 50,000gns. Postlethwaite has horses in training with Yorkshire trainer Neville Bycroft. The 3-year-old is a winner, and has been placed four times. His dam, Birmanie (Aldebaran), has a perfect record having produced four winners from four runners.

Notable US-Breds in Japan: Nov. 3-5, 2017

Thu, 2017-11-02 14:57

In this ongoing series, Alan Carasso takes a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for this weekend running at Tokyo and Kyoto Racecourses, including the top-priced juvenile for one of 2017’s first-crop stallions:

Saturday, November 4, 2017
5th-TOK, ¥13,400,000 ($117k), Newcomers, 2yo, 1300m
MR MELODY (c, 2, Scat Daddy–Trusty Lady, by Deputy Minister), bought back on a bid of $75K as a KEENOV weanling in 2015, fetched $100K as a KEESEP yearling last year and made $400K at OBSAPR this spring after breezing an eighth of a mile in :10 flat. A half-brother to GSP Trendy Lady (Unbridled’s Song), the March foal is out of an unraced daughter of MGSW & MGISP Klassy Kim (Silent Screen). B-Bell Tower Thoroughbreds (KY)

RYONO TESORO (c, 2, Justin Phillip–Town Belle, by Speightstown), a $45K KEENOV purchase, was resold for $80K as a KEESEP yearling and was the most expensive of 16 first-crop juveniles for his sire when selling for $300K at BARMAR earlier this year (under-tack breeze). The first foal from a full-sister to SP Nefertiti, the bay is a maternal grandson of MGSW Clearly a Queen (Lucky North). B-Highland Yard LLC (KY)

6th-TOK, ¥13,400,000 ($117k), Newcomers, 2yo, 1600mT
SYMBOLI ATOM (c, 2, Giant’s Causeway–Vacare, by Lear Fan) is the latest foal to make the races for his dam, winner of the 2006 GI QE II Challenge Cup and $2.8-million graduate of that year’s FTKNOV sale. Vacare, a five-time GSW, was purchased by Narvick International for $410K carrying this foal in utero at KEENOV in 2014. Symboli Atom was retained for racing after being led out unsold on a bid of $135K at KEESEP in 2016. The female family also includes SP Captivating Moon (Malibu Moon). B-Narvick International (KY)

Sunday, November 5, 2017
4th-KYO, ¥9,550,000 ($84k), Maiden, 2yo, 1800mT
AMERICAN WORLD (c, 2, Kitten’s Joy–Limonar {Ire}, by Street Cry {Ire}) makes his second trip to the post, having finished a creditable fourth over a rain-affected Kyoto turf Oct. 21 (video, post 3). The $350K KEESEP purchase, a half-brother to Sheikh Hamdan’s SW & GSP Mokarris (More Than Ready), is out of a stakes-winning half to Grade I-winning turfer Talco (Fr) (Pivotal {GB}). B-St Elias Stables LLC (KY)

6th-KYO, ¥13,400,000 ($117k), Newcomers, 2yo, 1400mT
CAT TONGUE (f, 2, Tapit–Wile Cat, by Storm Cat), a half-sister to GSW & Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint runner-up Shumoos (Distorted Humor), cost $300K as a KEESEP yearling in 2016, while her full-sister fetched $700K at Keeneland this year. The filly’s dual Grade I-winning second dam Strategic Maneuver (Cryptoclearance) is responsible for GSWs Cat Fighter (Storm Cat) and Ishiguru (Danzig). Another of Strategic Maneuver’s daughters, Lynnette (Johannesburg), produced this year’s GIII Royal North S. upsetter Jennifer Lynnette (Elusive Quality). B-Brushwood Stable (PA)

Op/Ed: Tom Gentry and Converging Storylines

Thu, 2017-11-02 14:53

Ever watch a movie where there are multiple storylines that converge at the end?

That sort of happened for me this week, though not on the big screen.

In Washington D.C., representatives of Facebook, Google and Twitter testified before Congress on their advertising policies, trying to explain how millions of Americans saw placements from Russian-backed groups.

In Kentucky, horseman Tom Gentry died. Those two items do not seem related. Stay with me.

The next morning, on National Public Radio, Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group for the online advertising industry, spoke about social media and government oversight.

Discussing the ads placed by Russian-backed groups, Rothenberg said, ” … I find us veering perilously close to the idea that we ought to verify truth and we ought to eliminate propaganda when, you know, propaganda is part of the essence of what made America.”

A few moments later, Rothenberg added, “But, as I’m saying, you don’t necessarily have to say, OK, well, we’re in the truth business because that is not the business of media, and that’s not the business of government.”

Back to the other storyline.

Thirty years ago, Gentry wanted to run an ad in Daily Racing Form, stating a filly he bred was a “champion.”

She was … sort of. Having raced in Pomona on the California fair circuit, she was named a champion of that race meet.

Though the ad director’s job was, of course, to sell ads, the publication had rules and standards governing advertisements.

One of those was that use of the word “champion” implied an Eclipse Award winner, or in European countries, a highweight.

Gentry acquiesced, though not without a fight. After all, he was a flamboyant personality and consummate salesman.

There is a reason they call it a horse sale. It is about selling. Whether it is tires, clothes or horses… it involves selling a product.

And where there is selling, there is advertising, promotion, and marketing.

It should be noted that Gentry was the son of a top horseman (Olin Gentry) and he bred more than 50 stakes winners and sold numerous high-priced yearlings.

He was many things, among them a top salesman.

A few years after the discussion with Gentry in the Kentucky Daily Racing Form office, this writer became Research Director at The Blood-Horse. At the time, the magazine had several employees whose jobs it was to verify information in every single ad placed to run in print.

If an ad said a stallion had sired 47 stakes winners, it was verified. If an ad said a sire had 22 juveniles who broke their maiden in their first starts, they were listed and counted. I changed that.

Not because, as Rothenberg said, the media is not in the truth business. Rather because farms and ad agencies were taking advantage of the system: guessing at numbers, or just leaving them blank, knowing the magazine would verify them.

It was the job of the publication to sell the ads, not to fact check them.

Yes, of course, there is a major difference in a farm or sale consignor advertising stallions or yearlings and Russian-backed shills trying to influence a presidential election.

But it converges with the notion that the media and government are not in the truth business.

In the Thoroughbred business, we expect sale catalogs and past performances to be truthful and accurate. Same for repositories, drug-test results, live foal reports, etc. Ads, well we hope so. They are truthful until we point out they aren’t.

Can’t blame Tom Gentry for trying. He was, after all, just being a salesman.


Download Breeders’ Cup Special Editions Here

Thu, 2017-11-02 11:22

The Breeders’ Cup is upon us, and we’ve got in-depth previews of each championship event plus plenty of other content to get you ready for the big weekend. Download Friday’s special edition here, and Saturday’s here.