Countdown to the Breeders' Cup World Championships Newsletter - October 1
Advisory: This is the fifth of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar. For more information, please visit BreedersCup.com. The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live on NBC and NBCSN. 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.
Santa Anita, ParisLongchamp Open the Floodgates on Huge Challenge Weekend
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series hits its zenith this weekend, with 14 “Win and You’re In” automatic qualifiers spread out at Santa Anita Park outside of Los Angeles, Belmont Park on Long Island, and ParisLongchamp in France. Santa Anita will host half of the 14, with the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) offering the ninth and final automatic starting berth into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), while ParisLongchamp has five of its own, with the clear highlight being the historic Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), with a berth into the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) on the line. Toss in a pair of 2-year-old qualifiers at Belmont and the biggest Challenge weekend of the year surely won’t disappoint.
Awesome Again Comes Up Strong, Leads the Way at Santa Anita
Tripoli leads the Awesome Again at Santa Anita
Eclipse Sportswire Photo
While Santa Anita opens Friday with a trio of Challenge races, it’s the “Win and You’re In” Awesome Again (G1) on Saturday that rates as a can’t-miss event, as several of those entered in the compact field have serious designs on the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The field is led by Hronis Racing’s TRIPOLI, who already earned a berth into the Classic when he won Del Mar’s Aug. 21 “Win and You’re In” TVG Pacific Classic (G1) for trainer John Sadler. The 4-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy made the first 11 starts of his career on turf but has transformed into a new horse on dirt, as he won a local optional-claimer in June then was second in Del Mar’s San Diego Handicap (G2) in July before securing his signature win to move to 4-for-14 lifetime. Initially, Sadler was planning going straight from the Pacific Classic to the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Tripoli but his plans changed for the better.
“It was either train him into the Breeders’ Cup Classic, or run him, and he’s telling me go ahead and run,” Sadler said. In 2018, the Sadler-trained Accelerate won the Awesome Again and the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Calvin Nguyen’s IDOL hasn’t been seen since winning the March 6 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) for trainer Richard Baltas but the 4-year-old son of 2007 Classic winner Curlin is 3-for-6 lifetime and has a world of upside, while Zedan Racing Stables’ MEDINA SPIRIT finished first in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and his comeback in Del Mar’s Aug. 29 Shared Belief and will garner plenty of support, as will MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm’s TIZAMAGICIAN, second in the Pacific Classic. EXPRESS TRAIN, who beat Tripoli in the San Diego but was a disappointing sixth as the favorite in the Pacific Classic, is also entered, as are AZUL COAST, MIDCOURT, and STILLETO BOY.
Rodeo Drive, Sprint Championship Anchor Awesome Again Undercard
While the Awesome Again rightfully takes center stage Saturday at Santa Anita, the $300,000 “Win and You’re In” Rodeo Drive Stakes on turf (G1), which will award and automatic starting berth into the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), and the $200,000 “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2), which will offer a starting berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), both drew strong fields.
The Rodeo Drive, at 1 ¼ miles, gives Abbondanza Racing, Medallion Racing, and MyRacehorse’s GOING TO VEGAS a chance to further distance herself from the rest of the Californians. The 4-year-old daughter of two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Goldencents won the local Santa Ana Stakes (G3) in March and Del Mar’s Sept. 4 John C. Mabee (G2) for trainer Richard Baltas. Going to Vegas is 6-for-21 lifetime.
LNJ Foxwoods has two entrants in DOGTAG, who has been second in all four starts this year — all stakes — for trainer Richard Mandella and is 5-2-3-0 locally, and LUCK, who won her U.S. debut impressively in an optional-claimer Aug. 7 at Del Mar for Baltas. CRYSTALLE, FAST JET COURT (BRZ), MAGIC ATTITUDE (GB), NEIGE BLANCHE (FR), RED LARK, and RIDEFORTHECAUSE are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Rodeo Drive.
The Santa Anita Sprint Championship, at 6 furlongs, drew a small field of six but came up exceptionally strong, with Red Baron’s Barn, Rancho Temescal, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, and William Branch’s DR. SCHIVEL headlining. The 3-year-old son of Violence, 4-for-6 lifetime, already qualified for the Sprint when he won Del Mar’s July 31 “Win and You’re In” Bing Crosby (G1) for trainer Mark Glatt.
Altamira Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, Gary Barber and Tom Kagele’s C Z ROCKET is the defending champion and used the 2020 race as a springboard to a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year at Keeneland for trainer Peter Miller. C Z Rocket was third, beaten just a neck in the Bing Crosby, while Lane’s End Racing and Hronis Racing’s FLAGSTAFF won the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) in May for trainer John Sadler. COLLUSION ILLUSION, COLT FICTION, and VERTICAL THREAT are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
Juveniles Friday, Zenyatta Sunday Bookend Opening Weekend
The Great Race Place opens Friday and the layout of the Santa Anita main track offers 2-year-olds an important chance at running two turns on the dirt. The $300,000 “Win and You’re In” American Pharoah Stakes (G1) and $200,000 “Win and You’re In” Chandelier Stakes (G2), both at 1 1/16 miles, drew two lightly raced fields long on talent and pedigree.
The American Pharoah could mark the coming-out party of Speedway Stables’ CORNICHE, a son of Quality Road who won his debut Sept. 4 at Del Mar by 4 ½ lengths at 1-2, and figures tough to catch from his inside draw. SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable, and Siena Farm’s ROCKEFELLER, a son of Medaglia d’Oro, was equally impressive winning on debut Aug. 28 at Del Mar. FINNEUS, FLYING DRUMMER, JOKER BOY, OVIATT CLASS, and PAPPACAP are also entered for the “Win and You’re In” American Pharoah.
Willow Grace Farm and Michael Lund Petersen’s GRACE ADLER, a filly by 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Curlin who parlayed a perfect trip into an 11 ¼-length win in the Sept. 5 Del Mar Debutante (G1), headlines the Chandelier, while Old Bones Racing Stable, Michael Lombardi, and Joey Platts’ AIN’T EASY, a daughter of Into Mischief, settled early and kicked home late by 5 ¼ lengths on debut Aug. 21 at Del Mar and rates a long look. CENSORSHIP, DANCE TO THE MUSIC, DESERT DAWN, ELECTRIC RIDE and ELM DRIVE are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Chandelier.
The undercard includes the $100,000 “Win and You’re In” Speakeasy at 5 furlongs, with the winner earning a berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2). Seven were entered, with CJ Thoroughbreds’ MISS ALACRITY leading the way for trainer Wesley Ward. The daughter of Munnings is 2-for-2 and won her turf debut Aug. 1 in Monmouth Park’s Colleen Stakes. Patricia’s Hope and Richard Ravin’s ONE TIMER won both starts over the Tapeta surface at Woodbine, including the July 31 Victoria for trainer Larry Rivelli, while MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm’s FORBIDDEN KINGDOM leads the locals off a fast Aug. 21 Del Mar debut win on the main track for trainer Richard Mandella. ANMER HALL, BLAME IT ON ROSE, ROCK THE BELLES, and TIME TO PARTY are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Speakeasy.
Sunday’s $200,000 “Win and You’re In” Zenyatta Stakes (G2) at 1 1/16 miles will offer an automatic starting berth into the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier’s AS TIME GOES BY, winner of the local Santa Margarita (G2) in April and Santa Maria (G2) in May headlines a field of eight that also drew CALIFORNIA KOOK, LADY KATE, MISS MIGLY, MISS STORMY D, PRIVATE MISSION, SAMURAI CHARM and STELLAR SOUND.
Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Mrs.’ John Magnier’s AS TIME GOES BY won the local Santa Margarita (G2) in April and Santa Maria (G2) in May and would be worth consideration, while MISS MIGLY, MISS STORMY D, PAIGE ANNIE, PRIVATE MISSION, SAMURAI CHARM could also start in the “Win and You’re In” Zenyatta.
- November 23, 2021
Godolphin Wins Fourth Consecutive John Deere Award as Outstanding Breeder of the 2021 Breeders' Cup World Championships and Challenge Series
Strengthened by victories from homebreds Modern Games (IRE), Space Blues (IRE) and Yibir (GB), for the fourth consecutive year Godolphin has won the John Deere Award, honoring the outstanding breeder of the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
- November 18, 2021
Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Knicks Go departed Taylor Made Farm Nov. 17 for Brad Cox’s barn at Churchill Downs in Louisville to ready for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.
- November 6, 2021
Nailing a $33,000 win wager on Knicks Go in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Matt Miller, an attorney for a health care consulting firm from Chicago, won last Saturday’s 2021 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC).