Home Of The Brave (Ire)

Home of the Brave (IRE)

In his 4-year-old season, Home of the Brave (IRE) has been extremely consistent for trainer Hugo Palmer, who conditions the son of Starspangledbanner for Godolphin. The chestnut colt has two wins and two runner-up finishes in four 2016 starts, including a win three back in the Timeform Jury John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park in England.

Home of the Brave has only attempted the mile distance once in his 12 career starts, finishing sixth of 18 in the 2000 Guineas of 2015, the first leg of the English Triple Crown. He has raced in six consecutive seven-furlong events, and should appreciate the firm ground expected at Santa Anita. It is worth noting that he will be able to race with six less pounds in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, after having carried 132 in the Bettered Hungerford Stakes last out at Newbury on Aug. 13. Another thing he has going for him is that 4-year-olds have won the Mile more than any other age — 13 times since 1984.

While Godolphin has only won with five of its 82 starters on racing’s biggest weekend, the global operation leads by a significant margin in purses earned with more than $11.6 million. It has yet to claim a Mile for its own, but principal Sheikh Mohammed was a part owner in 1994 victor Barathea.

Palmer, a Newmarket-based former assistant to top Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse, will be starting his first Breeders’ Cup runner in Home of the Brave. Two years ago he was scheduled to do so with Aktabantay in the Juvenile Turf — also at Santa Anita — but the colt turned up lame in his hind end the Thursday prior to the race. Palmer has had a big year in 2016, striking at 17% with more than 100 winners already and a classic winner with Galileo Gold in this year’s 2000 Guineas and a third-place finish earlier this month in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland with German 1000 Guineas winner Hawksmoor.

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