Countdown to the Breeders' Cup World Championships Newsletter - October 11, 2016
Advisory: This is the last of nine weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 33rd Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 at Santa Anita. For more information, please visit www.breederscup.com. The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network. You can follow all the contenders’ activity leading up to the Breeders’ Cup with Equibase’s free “Road to the Breeders’ Cup” Virtual Stable notification service.
California Chrome’s Daunting Shadow, a Distaff for the Ages and The Presence of Tepin Make for a Tantalizing 33rd Breeders’ Cup
Pre-Entered fields to be announced on Wednesday, October 26
With all but one of the 81 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races completed, as part of a series that started in January in Cape Town, South Africa and ends Wednesday in Lexington, Kentucky, the book of contenders that is the 33rd Breeders’ Cup is all but complete. Within its pages contain a bevy of racing superstars, including stalwarts CALIFORNIA CHROME, BEHOLDER, SONGBIRD and TEPIN, all who are sure to make racing’s championship weekend November 4-5 in Arcadia, California one of the most anticipated in the event’s rich and storied history.
Any discussion of this year’s 1 ¼-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic and Horse of the Year clearly begins with California Chrome, who has, somewhat amazingly for a horse who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness at 3, blossomed as a 5-year-old for trainer Art Sherman. The son of Lucky Pulpit is undefeated in six starts and seemingly better than ever, as evidenced by his two most recent “Win and You’re In” grade I wins in the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar in August and Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita October 1, which both garnered him an automatic starting berth into this year’s Classic. California Chrome, who is owned in partnership by Perry Martin and Taylor Made Farm, is 15-for-24 lifetime in a Hall of Fame career, with a North American earnings record of $13.4 million, and will likely be odds-on to better his third-place finish in the 2014 Classic at Santa Anita.
Godolphin’s FROSTED rates as the East Coast’s leading Classic contender, as he earned a berth into the race with his win in Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Whitney (GI) in August for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The 4-year-old son of Tapit also earned a berth into the Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile with his win in Belmont Park’s “Win and You’re In” Metropolitan Handicap (GI) in June but is more likely to run in the Classic. Frosted is 6-for-18 lifetime and will need to rebound from a surprising odds-on loss in Saratoga’s Woodward (GI) September 3 to have a chance at posting the upset.
Together, California Chrome and Frosted won three of the eight automatic qualifiers for the Classic, and they’ll meet Tarabilla Farm’s MELATONIN, who earned a berth into the race with his “Win and You’re In” Gold Cup at Santa Anita (GI) in his last start, which came June 25 in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (GI). The speedy 5-year-old son of Kodiak Kowboy battled foot issues after the race but has been training great for David Hofmans and is 5-for-13 lifetime, which includes a win in the track and distance Santa Anita Handicap (GI) in March.
Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s HOPPERTUNITY earned the last Classic berth with his win in Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI, see race recap below) at Belmont. The 5-year-old son of Any Given Saturday has finished behind California Chrome three times this year, including a third in the World Cup, but has run well at the 1 ¼ miles and could add to a 6-for-22 lifetime record that has seen him earn over $3.5 million.
Joseph Sutton’s BRADESTER, who won the “Win and You’re In” Stephen Foster (GI) at Churchill Downs in June for trainer Eddie Kenneally, is more likely for the Dirt Mile, while Big Chief Racing and Head of Plains Partners’ EXAGGERATOR, who won the “Win and You’re In” Haskell Invitational (GI) at Monmouth Park in July for trainer Keith Desormeaux, has been taken been retired.
Tri-Bone Stable’s homebred Effinex, who was second in last year’s Classic at Keeneland and was second to Hoppertunity in the Gold Cup, is also expected for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, as is his stablemate, Stronach Stable’s homebred SHAMAN GHOST, who upset Frosted in the Woodward, while Kaleem Shah’s DORTMUND, who has been second or third to California Chrome in his last three starts for Baffert and most recently was second in the Awesome Again, could also try the favorite one more time in the Classic, or possibly reroute to the Dirt Mile.
The 3-year-olds have proven to be a mixed bag and have taken turns beating each other all year, but the group could have a potential superstar in Juddmonte Farms’ ARROGATE, who set a Saratoga track record when he won the Travers (GI) by 13 ½ lengths, while getting the 1 ¼ miles in 1:59.36 August 27 for Baffert. The son of 1995 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Unbridled’s Song made his stakes debut in the Travers and simply ran the field off their feet to move his lifetime record to 4-for-5. Whether Arrogate can back up that performance remains to be seen, but his brilliant early speed could pose a direct hindrance to California Chrome.
Reddam Stable’s NYQUIST, who won the Kentucky Derby but has struggled since for trainer Doug O’Neill, is still under consideration for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, as is Winchell Racing’s fellow 3-year-old GUN RUNNER, who was third in the Derby and most recently second in Park Racing’s Pennsylvania Derby (GII) September 24 for trainer Steve Asmussen, though both are more likely to run in the Dirt Mile, should they show up at Santa Anita.
Longines Distaff Could be Best Ever
How good is this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, you ask? Consider that SONGBIRD, the undefeated reigning 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and 2-year-old filly champion, could be no better than third choice on the morning line. That’s because stalwarts STELLAR WIND and BEHOLDER, champions in their own right, could dominate the betting when they renew their budding rivalry in the 1 1/8-mile Distaff.
Hronis Racing’s Stellar Wind has forged to the division lead in her last two starts for trainer John Sadler, as she’s beaten Beholder in both “Win and You’re In” races; Del Mar’s Clement L. Hirsch (GI) in August and Santa Anita’s Zenyatta (GI) October 1. Both wins earned her an automatic starting berth into the Distaff, a race the 4-year-old daughter of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin finished second in last year at Keeneland. Stellar Wind, who was voted champion 3-year-old filly last year, is 7-for-11 lifetime and would earn another championship with a Distaff win.
Spendthrift Farm’s Beholder may enter with a three-race losing streak, but she hasn’t ducked a challenge this year for trainer Richard Mandella, as she’s sandwiched her second-place runs to Stellar Wind with a second to California Chrome in the “Win and You’re In” TVG Pacific Classic (GI) at Del Mar in August. The 6-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita in 2012 and the Distaff there the next year to cap off a pair of championship campaigns, and she won another divisional title last year in a surefire Hall of Fame career that has seen her win 17-of-25 career starts.
Stonestreet Stable’s CAVORTING has answered every question trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has asked of her this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Bernardini was thought to be a one-turn sprint specialist early in her career, which included a fourth-place finish as the favorite in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita, but has taken her game to new heights this year. Cavorting earned a pair of Distaff berths in her last two starts, Belmont Park’s “Win and You’re In” Ogden Phipps (GI) in June, and Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Personal Ensign (GI) August 27, but really garnered attention in the latter, as it was her first two-turn attempt and came at 1 1/8 miles too. Cavorting is 8-for-13 lifetime and would also likely win a championship with a Distaff win.
Fox Hill Farm’s Songbird has proven nothing short of extraordinary in her career for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, as she’s not only undefeated in 11 starts, but has won them by a combined 60 ½ lengths. The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro will tackle older fillies and mares for the first time in the Distaff, but her stunning performances this year, including a trio of recent lopsided grade I wins in Saratoga’s Coaching Club American Oaks in July and Alabama in August and Park Racing’s Cotillion September 24, say she should have no problem bridging the gap. Songbird streaked to her championship last year when she easily won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland and is odds-on to cement the 3-year-old filly title, regardless of the Distaff outcome.
Grayson Farm’s I’M A CHATTERBOX earned a berth into the Distaff with her win in Sunday “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte Spinster (GI, see race recap below) for trainer Larry Jones. The 4-year-old daughter of Munnings has been a consistent stakes performer all year, which includes a win in the Delaware Handicap (GI) at Delaware Park in July, and is 8-for-16 lifetime. Klaravich Stable and Bill Lawrence’s PAID UP SUBSCRIBER was a distant second in the Spinster but earned a berth into the Distaff with her win in Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Fleur de Lis (GII) in June for trainer Al Stall, though the 4-year-old daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) has not yet committed to the race.
FOREVER UNBRIDLED, who won Belmont’s Beldame (GI) October 1 for trainer Dallas Stewart and was second in Phipps and third in the Personal Ensign, and CURALINA, who won Churchill’s La Troienne (GI) in May and was second in the Personal Ensign for trainer Todd Pletcher, are also pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, as if South American filly CORONA DEL INCA, who won the Gran Premio Criadores (G1) at Palermo in Argentina on May 1.
Tepin’s Surprising Loss Makes Mile Much More Intriguing
Robert Masterson’s TEPIN, long perceived as an odds-on proposition to defend her title in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, may have an aura of vulnerability now after suffering a shocking loss when second in Saturday’s First Lady (GI, see stakes recap below) at Keeneland for trainer Mark Casse. The 5-year-old daughter of Bernstein saw her eight-race winning streak end, but still rates as a heavy Mile favorite off wins in Royal Ascot’s historic Queen Anne (GI) in June in the United Kingdom and the “Win and You’re In” Ricoh Woodbine Mile (GI) to earn a Mile berth in September. Tepin is 13-for-22 lifetime in a Hall of Fame career, but, in her last two starts after the Royal Ascot run, has not shown the brilliance she displayed early in the season, which could leave several would-be usurpers to her throne at Santa Anita.
Tepin’s biggest challenge could come from The Club Racing, Allen Rosenblum and Sagamore Farm’s MISS TEMPLE CITY, who has dodged the defending champion all year and won a pair of grade I’s against males because of it for trainer Graham Motion. The 4-year-old daughter of Temple City is 5-for-14 lifetime and will enter off a win in Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Shadwell Turf Mile (GI, see race recap below) at Keeneland, which earned her an automatic berth into the race. Miss Temple City also won Keeneland’s Maker’s 46 Mile (GI) in April in her only other start against males.
The West Coast contingent will be led by Venneri Racing and Little Red Feather Racing’s MIDNIGHT STORM, who earned an automatic berth into the Mile with his win in the “Win and You’re In” Shoemaker Mile (GI) in June for trainer Phil D’Amato. The 5-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile has won three straight, including the Del Mar Mile (GII) August 21, and is 8-for-18 lifetime.
IRONICUS, who flew home to be second in the Shadwell for trainer Shug McGaughey and rates a long look, as that was his first start since running second to Flintshire (GB) in the “Win and You’re In” Manhattan (GI) at Belmont June 11; TOURIST, who was third in the Shadwell, also figures to come back for trainer Bill Mott, and his win in Saratoga’s Fourstardave (GI) in August stamps his as a major contender and VYJACK, who set a course record winning Saturday’s City of Hope (GII, see race recap below) at Santa Anita for D’Amato, also rate as major Breeders’ Cup Mile contenders.
The European contingent is still up in the air but Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s Mondialiste (IRE) figures a leading contender for trainer David O’Meara. The 6-year-old son of Galileo (IRE) is 6-for-22 lifetime and was a close fourth in the Shadwell. Mondialiste, who was second in last year’s Mile, earned an automatic starting berth into this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf with his win in the “Win and You’re In” Arlington Million (GI) in August, but is more likely to stick to a mile, as opposed to stretch out to 1 ½ miles.
Coolmore’s star 3-year-old filly ALICE SPRINGS (IRE) would warrant heavy consideration should she make the trip from Europe for trainer Aidan O’Brien. The 3-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) won the Sun Chariot (GI) at Newmarket October 1 and earned an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf with her win in the “Win and You’re In” Fastnet Rock Matron (GI) at Leopardstown September 10, but is more likely for the Mile. Alice Springs is 5-for-15 lifetime and already showed she can compete on American turf, as she was second in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland last year.
Flintshire, Found Clash Looming in Turf
A mouth-watering confrontation between Juddmonte Farm’s homebred and divisional leader FLINTSHIRE (GB) and Coolmore’s defending Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf winner FOUND (IRE) is sure to make this year’s 1 ½-mile Turf a race to remember, as both horses have had sterling careers and appear destined to tower over the rest of the prospective field.
Flintshire will need to rebound from a rare loss, when he was defeated as much by the yielding turf as by ECTOT (GB) in Belmont Park’s “Win and You’re In” Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (GI) October 1 for trainer Chad Brown. The 6-year-old old son of Dansili (GB) failed to secure a Turf berth in the Hirsch, but had one already off his win in Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Sword Dancer (GI) in August, and also won Belmont’s Manhattan (GI) in June and Saratoga’s Bowling Green (GII) in July. Flintshire, who was second in the Turf at Santa Anita in 2014 when trained by Andre Fabre, has won 8-of-23 career starts in a globe-trotting career that has seen him earn over $8.9 million.
Found added to her legend in her last start for trainer Aidan O’Brien when she won the historic Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (GI) October 2 at Chantilly. The 4-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) upset last year’s Turf at Keeneland and snapped a streak of five straight second-place finish in European group I’s when she won the Arc. Found, who is scheduled to run in Saturday’s Champion Stakes (GI) at Ascot, is 6-for-19 lifetime and is following the same schedule as last year, when she went Arc-Champion Stakes-Turf.
Al Shaqab Racing and Normand Augustin’s Ectot was the main beneficiary of the yielding ground in the Joe Hirsch, when he led every step of the way to secure a Turf bid for trainer Todd Pletcher. The 5-year-old son of Hurricane Run (IRE) was a group I winner in Europe in 2013 for trainer Elle Lellouche but went off form and was sent to Pletcher. Ectot has won half of his 14 career starts, with the Joe Hirsch his one win from three starts in North America, and will have to prove he’s just as sharp on the expected firm ground at Santa Anita.
Coolmore and O’Brien could also send HIGHLAND REEL (IRE), who secured a berth in the Turf with his win in Ascot’s “Win and You’re In” King George VI & Queen Elizabeth (GI) in June. The 4-year-old son of Galileo (IRE) was second to his stablemate in the Arc and seems to be rounding back into form after a seventh place finish in another “Win and You’re In” for the Turf, the QIPCO Irish Champion (GI) at Leopardstown in September. Highland Reel is 6-for-18 lifetime and would rate a major contender if he can improve on his Arc run.
ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR, who won the local John Henry Turf Championship (GII) October 2 for trainer Peter Eurton is the best of the home team, while TWILIGHT ECLIPSE, who was sixth and third, respectively, in the Turf in 2013 and 2014 at Santa Anita and eighth in the race last year, could also start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf or trainer Tom Albertrani.
Juveniles to Sort Themselves out at Santa Anita
Though both the race for 2-year-old champion and 2-year-old filly champion is still wide open, the past two weekends went a long way in sorting out the contenders for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, respectively, and both 1 1/16-mile races are figure to draw large fields.
The Juvenile’s East Coast contenders will be led by Klaravich Stable and Bill Lawrence’s PRACTICAL JOKE, who remained undefeated in three starts and earned a berth into the race with a win in Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Champagne (GI, see race recap below) and John Oxley’s CLASSIC EMPIRE, who secured a berth with his win in Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (GI, see race recap below) at Keeneland. The former, a 2-year-old son of Flatter, also won Saratoga’s Hopeful (GI) in September for trainer Chad Brown, while the latter, a son of Pioneerof the Nile, won Churchill Downs’ Bashford Manor (GIII) in July for trainer Mark Casse.
The West Coast group will be led by Ann and Jerry Moss’ GORMLEY, who earned a berth into the Juvenile with his win in Santa Anita’s “Win and You’re In” FrontRunner (GI) October 1 for trainer John Shirreffs. The 2-year-old son of Malibu Moon stepped up off his debut win at Del Mar in September and beat Kaleen Shah’s heavy favorite KLIMT, who entered as the divisional leader for trainer Bob Baffert off wins in Del Mar’s Best Pal (GII) in August and Futurity (GI) in September. The son of Quality Road should improve off his first two-turn start in the FrontRunner and has every right to be a major contender.
Albaugh Family Stable’s homebred NOT THIS TIME looked awesome earning an automatic starting berth into the Juvenile with his win in Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Iroquois (GIII) September 17 for trainer Dale Romans. The son of Giant’s Causeway won off by 8 ¾ lengths, which doubled up on his 10-length maiden win at Ellis Park in August.
SYNDERGAARD, who was second in the Champagne, beaten just a nose after dueling through intense early fractions for trainer Todd Pletcher, is expected to head to Santa Anita for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, as could Breeders’ Futurity runner-up LOOKIN AT LEE for trainer Steve Asmussen.
The Juvenile Fillies may not have the star power of the Juvenile, but in turn the race may draw an overflow field of 14, all who are looking to secure a championship in a wide open division. Baffert could have the favorite in Speedway Stable’s NOTED AND QUOTED, if for no other reason than she starts for the home team and earned an automatic starting berth into the race with her win in the track and distance “Win and You’re In” Chandelier (GI) October 1. The daughter of The Factor is 2-for-4 lifetime, but clearly relished getting two turns for the first time in the Chandelier.
This past weekend saw Chadds Ford Stable’s DANCING RAGS and China Horse Clubs YELLOW AGATE earn a berth into the Juvenile Fillies with wins in Friday’s “Win and You’re In” Darley Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland and Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Frizette (GI) at Belmont, respectively. The former, a daughter of Union Rags, went from maiden winner to grade I winner for trainer Graham Motion, which is the same path the latter, a daughter of Gemologist, took for trainer Christophe Clement. Normandy Farm’s homebred DADDYS LIL DARLING, who earned a berth into the Juvenile Fillies with her win in Churchill’s “Win and You’re In” Pocahontas (GII) in September for trainer Kenny McPeek, impressed when a wide second in the Alcibiades, and the daughter of Scat Daddy looms as one of major contenders for the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Lady Eli Highlights the Rest of the Cup Contenders
The stars are sure to be out at Santa Anita for the remainder of the seven Breeders’ Cup races, though Sheep Pond Partner’s LADY ELI will be the overwhelming feel-good story of the weekend, as she’s battled back from a severe case of laminitis that almost cost her her life, to be in position to win a championship should she win the 1 ¼- miles Filly & Mare Turf. The 4-year-old daughter of Divine Park secured a berth into the race with her win in Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Flower Bowl (GI, see race recap below) at Belmont Park and figures to be a strong favorite off not only her incredible comeback story, but her 7-for-8 lifetime record for trainer Chad Brown.
The Filly & Mare Turf could also lure AVENGE, who won the local prep and earned a berth into the race with her win in the “Win and You’re In” Rodeo Drive (GI) October 1 for trainer Richard Mandella, as well as SENTIERO ITALIA and SEA CALISI (FR), who ran 2-3 in the Flower Bowl for trainers Kiaran McLaughlin and Brown, respectively. The latter already secured a berth in the race with her win in Arlington Park’s “Win and You’re In” Beverly D. (GI) in August. CATCH A GLIMPSE, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf for trainer Mark Casse and earned a berth into the race with her win in the Belmont Oaks (GI) in July, could also run in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, as could graded stakes winner DACITA (CHI) and TIME AND MOTION. South African filly SMART CALL, winner of the Main Chance Farms Paddock Stakes (G1) in South Africa back in January is another potential intriguing starter.
The six-furlong TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint is expected to attract an all-star field, with several heavyweights going for a championship. Spendthrift Farm’s LORD NELSON earned his second berth into the race with his win in Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship (GI, see race recap below) for trainer Bob Baffert, while Green Lantern Stable’s homebred A.P. INDIAN did the same with his win in Friday’s “Win and You’re In” Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (GII, see race recap below) at Keeneland for trainer Arnaud Delacour. Jay Em Ess Stable’s lightly raced MASOCHISTIC figures a leading contender for trainer Ron Ellis off his win in Del Mar’s August 27 “Win and You’re In” Pat O’Brien, which netted him a berth into the Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, though he’ll stick in the Sprint, as does owner-trainer Charlton Baker’s JOKING, who earned a berth into the race with his “Win and You’re In” score in Belmont’s Vosburgh (GI) October 1, while Charles Chu’s DREFONG impressed wiring the King’s Bishop (GI) August 27 for Baffert and could prove the one to catch in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
The seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint figures to lure a deep and competitive field, with older graded stakes winners HAVEYOUGONEAWAY and IRISH JASPER, who earned automatic berths into the race off wins in the “Win and You’re In” Ballerina (GI) at Saratoga August 27 for trainer Tom Morley and Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Thoroughbred Club of America (GII, see race recap below) for trainer Chad Brown, respectively, taking on classy 3-year-old grade I winners CARINA MIA and CATHRYN SOPHIA, while stakes winners LEWIS BAY, OFF THE TRACKS, LUCY N ETHEL, PAULASSILVERLING, STONETASTIC and TARA’S TANGO, would add plenty of depth, as would defending champion WAVELL AVENUE, should they start.
The Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, run around two turns, figures to draw a crowd, with Joseph Sutton’s BRADESTER, who earned a berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Stephen Foster (GI) in June, expected to cut back for trainer Eddie Kenneally. Graded stakes winning 3-year-olds GUN RUNNER and TOM’S READY could also run, as could older stakes veterans ANCHOR DOWN, POINT PIPER, TAMARKIZ and UPSTART.
The six and a half furlong Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, run down the hillside turf course, is expected to be led by Mongolian Stable’s defending champion MONGOLIAN SATURDAY, who won the race last year at Keeneland and returned to the U.S. and won Saturday’s Woodford (GIII, see race recap below) there for trainer Enebish Ganbat, though a full field of 14 is expected, and could include AMBITIOUS BREW, GREEN MASK, GUNS LOADED, HOLY LUTE, MISSISSIPPI DELTA, OBVIOUSLY (IRE), PASSION FOR ACTION, PURE SENSATION and UNDRAFTED,
The 1-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and sister race, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, also figure to fill up, with the both divisions still largely undefined at this point. The Juvenile Turf is expected to draw China Horse Club’s GOOD SAMARITAN, who earned an automatic berth into the race with his win in Woodbine’s “Win and You’re In” Summer (GII) September 18 for trainer Bill Mott, as well as Gary Barber’s KEEP QUIET (FR), who earned a berth with his win in Sunday’s “Win and You’re In” Dixiana Bourbon (GIII, see race recap below) for trainer Mark Casse. Stakes winners MADE YOU LOOK, OSCAR PERFORMANCE and J.S. CHOICE are also likely for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
The $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf figures to be led by Live Oak Plantation’s VICTORY TO VICTORY, who earned a berth into the race with her win in Woodbine’s “Win and You’re In” Natalma (GI) September 18 for Casse, while Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s SPAIN BERG (FR), who earned a berth into the race with her win in the “Win and You’re In” Shadwell Rockfel (GII) at Newmarket September 23 for trainer Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte, could also make the trip. Stakes winner COASTED could also see action in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, as could BEAT THE BENCHMARK, RYMSKA (FR) STORMY PERFECTION and WITH HONORS.
Jessamine to Offer Final ‘Cup Bid
The final Breeders’ Cup Challenge race of the year takes place at Keeneland Wednesday, when the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (GIII) is run, with an automatic starting berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on the line. Run at 1 1/16 miles, the Jessamine drew a full field of 14, with Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s LULL the morning line favorite off a win in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies September 3 for trainer Christophe Clement. The 2-year-old daughter of War Front is 2-for-3 lifetime but faces a stiff test from John Oxley’s LA CORONEL, who got to the turf at Saratoga September 5 and ran off to a 4-length maiden win for trainer Mark Casse. The daughter of Colonel John is 1-for-3 lifetime, but clearly relished the turf.
Allen Peterson’s MAJESTIC GALE, who romped in the Happy Ticket at Louisiana Downs September 10 for trainer Joe Sharp also warrants respect, as do stakes-placed runners SENORA ACERO and MAJESTC BONNIE, while maiden winners, DIVINE HUMOR, LIBERALE (FR), LIPSTICK CITY, QUEEN DEL VALLE, RUM GO, SWEEPING PADDY, TAPA TAPA TAPA, WICKED LUCK and ZERO ZEE are also entered for the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine.
The Breeders’ Cup again thanks Brian Nadeau for his writing prowess this year on the Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Newsletter.
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Nonkono Yume (JPN) Wins February Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse and Gains First Automatic Berth for 2018 Breeders' Cup Classic
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February Stakes on Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse is First Automatic Qualifier for 2018 Breeders' Cup Classic
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