Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Newsletter - October 3
Advisory: This is the seventh of nine weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 at Santa Anita. For more information, please visit www.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.
Keeneland, Longchamp Bookend Biggest Challenge Weekend Ever
Bigger will certainly be better this weekend, as a record 20 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races will serve as final auditions for Santa Anita, including the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and eight others over the three-day Opening Weekend at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., and five on Sunday at ParisLongchamp in France, highlighted by ENABLE’S (GB) quest to make history as the first three-time winner of the historic Arc de Triomphe (G1). Add in four more automatic qualifiers at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York and a pair at Santa Anita, in Arcadia, California, and the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series undoubtedly hits an apex.
Keeneland’s “Fall Stars” weekend surely won’t disappoint, as all nine Challenge races figure to have a major impact next month at Santa Anita. Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” action is led by the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (GI), which will award an automatic starting berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile, though the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (GI, TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile), First Lady (GI, Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf) and Thoroughbred Club of America (GII, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint) are all “Win and You’re In” qualifiers that are expected to lure deep and competitive fields and could serve as showcase races in their own right.
The Shadwell Turf Mile, along with the Breeders’ Futurity will be shown on a one-hour telecast on NBCSN from 5:30-6:30 p.m. ET as a part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In’ – Presented by America’s Best Racing.”
The Shadwell Turf Mile drew an overflow field of 16, 14 of which can start, including a handful of Europeans, and sees Calumet Farm’s BANDUA as one of the leading contenders in a race where the favorite could be as high as 5-1. The 4-year-old son of The Factor was third in the Aug. 10 Arlington Million (G1), a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, for trainer Jack Sisterson and will cut back. Bandua is 3-for-13 lifetime, which includes a win in the Arlington Handicap (G3) two-back.
VALID POINT, for e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, was a late addition and will try older horses for the first time for trainer Chad Brown, and the 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy is undefeated in three starts, including the Secretariat (G1) at Arlington Park Aug.10, while Gunpowder Farm and Brereton Jones’ veteran DIVISIDERO is still flashing graded stakes form at 7 for trainer Kathy Rubley, and Agave Racing Stable and Madaket Stable’s BOWIES HERO won Del Mar’s Eddie Read (G2) in July for trainer Phil D’Amato.
The Euros are led by Godolphin’s VINTAGER (GB), who won the Rennen (G2) at Baden-Baden Sept.1 for trainer Charley Appleby, while ROBIN OF NAVAN (FR), SUEDOIS (IRE), and VAN BEETHOVAN all have group stakes form oversees. ADMISSION OFFICE, DIAMOND OPS, FIRST PREMIO, MARCH TO THE ARCH, NEXT SHARES, and REAL STORY are also entered for the “Win and You’re In” Shadwell Turf Mile, while GET WESTERN and EMARAATY (GB) are on the also-eligible list.
Breeders’ Futurity, First Lady Anchor Shadwell Undercard
While the Shadwell Turf Mile is the centerpiece of the meet, Saturday’s trio of other “Win and You’re In” races are led by the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at 1 1/16 miles. Team Valor International and WinStar Farm’s GOUVEREUR MORRIS was rumored to be a good thing on debut Sept. 2 at Saratoga and didn’t disappoint, winning by 9 lengths. The son of Constitution steps up and stretches out for trainer Todd Pletcher but appears to have a bright future, is bred to relish two turns, and catches a field without a lot of proven commodities.
Shadwell Stable’s homebred AJAAWEED impressed winning his second start at Belmont Park on Sept. 11 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and the son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin should love the added turn he gets, while Anderson Stable’s BY YOUR SIDE won Saratoga’s Sanford (G3) two-back for trainer Eddie Kenneally, and Live Oak Plantation’s homebred TAP IT TO WIN was an impressive Saratoga maiden winner in his second start Aug. 24, and first on dirt, for trainer Mark Casse. AMERICAN BUTTERFLY, ENFORCEABLE, JANUARY WON, KING THEO, LIFE ON THE ROAD, and MAXFIELD are also entered for the “Win and You’re In” Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity.
The First Lady, at one mile, is shaping up as a duel between E Five Thoroughbreds’ RUSHING FALL and All Schlaich Stables, Gatto Racing, George Todaro’s, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s VASILIKA, who combined have won 19-of-24 starts over the past two seasons. The former, a 4-year-old daughter of More Than Ready, won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar in 2017 for trainer Chad Brown and is 4-for-4 locally, including the Jenny Wiley (G1) in April. The latter, a 5-year-old daughter of Skipshot, has won 13-of-16 since being claimed for $40,000 in February 2018, including eight graded stakes. Vasilika is 18-for-34 lifetime and won Santa Anita’s Gamely (G1) in May.
The Coolmore team of Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith’s JUST WONDERFUL was third for trainer Aidan O’Brien in a star-studded renewal of Leopardstown’s Sept. 14 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron (G1), another “Win and You’re In” for the Filly & Mare Turf, while Juddmonte Farm’s homebred JULIET FOXTROT (GB) was a nose behind Vasilika in Del Mar’s John C. Mabee (G2) Aug. 3 for trainer Brad Cox, and Michael Dubb, and Robert LaPenta’s UNI (GB) won the Matriarch (G1) last December at Del Mar for Brown. AWESOMETANK (GB), CONQUEST HARDCANDY, HANALEI MOON, INDIAN BLESSING (GB), MARINA’S LEGACY, MITCHELL ROAD, MS BAD BEHAVIOR, SIMPLY BREATHLESS, and STORM THE HILL are entered for the “Win and You’re In” First Lady.
The Thoroughbred Club of America, at six and a half furlongs, will led by Lael Stable’s CHALON, who was second in the race last year and also the Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs for trainer Arnaud Delacour. The 5-year-old daughter of Dialed In 7-for-17 lifetime and enters off a win in the Roamin Rachel at Parx Racing Sept. 2.
Bad Boy Racing’s DANUSKA’S MY GIRL brings some California speed for Hollendorfer, as the 5-year-old daughter of Shackleford has wired a trio of graded stakes, including the Rancho Bernardo (G3) at Del Mar Aug.11, while Bill and Corrine Heilligbrodt’s MIA MISCHIEF won the Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill in May for Asmussen. DAWN THE DESTROYER, OURS TO RUN, PRETTY GREELEY, RAZORBACK LADY, SPICED PERFECTION, and TALK VEUVE TO ME are also entered for the “Win and You’re In” Thoroughbred Club of America.
Alcibiades, Phoenix Open Meet
Keeneland opens Friday with a pair of “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup qualifiers, with the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) offering a berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, while the $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) will award an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
The Alcibiades, at 1 1/16 miles, could have a strong favorite in Tracy Farmer’s PERFECT ALIBI, who rates as the East Coast’s best 2-year-old filly off her win in Saratoga’s Adirondack (G2) in August and Spinaway (G1) Sept. 1 for trainer Mark Casse. The daughter of Sky Mesa is 3-for-4 lifetime and has a pedigree and stalking gear that suggest two turns could improve her form even more.
Helen Alexander and Helen Groves’ homebred ALANDRA was a game debut winner Sept. 1 at Saratoga for trainer Shug McGaughey and the daughter of 2010 Breeders’ Classic winner Blame appears long on talent, while The Elkstone Group, Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable, and Madaket Stable’s BRITISH IDIOM did the same for trainer Brad Cox, as the daughter of Flashback won on debut at Saratoga Aug. 15 by 3 ½ lengths, while. HEIR OF LIGHT, HOW IRONIC, GONE GLIMMERING, MICHELINE, SEQUIN, SPITEFULNESS, THREE D FLAG, and WESTERN TAFFY are also pointing to the “Win and You’re In” Darley Alcibiades.
The Phoenix lured a strong field, led by Robert Barons’ defending champion PROMISES FULFILLED, who was fourth in the Sprint last year at Churchill Downs for trainer Dale Romans. The 4-year-old son of Shackleford won Belmont Park’s John Nerud (G2) in July and is 7-for-16 lifetime.
Something Special Racing’s HOG CREEK HUSTLE has really turned the corner since cutting back to sprints in his last two, as the 3-year-old son of Overanalyze won Belmont’s Woody Stephens (G1) in June and was second, beaten just a nose, in Saratoga’s Allen Jerkens (G1) Aug. 24 for trainer Vickey Foley.
Robert LaPenta’s WHITMORE won the Phoenix in 2017 and was second last year, before running second in the Sprint, for trainer Ron Moquett. AMERICAN PASTIME, COVE BLUE, DIAMOND OPS, ENGAGE, HEARTWOOD, LEXITONIAN, RECRUTING READY, and ZIPP ON BY are also expected for the “Win and You’re In” Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix.
Spinster Closes Opening Weekend
Opening Weekend’s traditional Sunday closer, the $500,000 “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte Spinster (G1), will once again offer an automatic starting berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, though Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s homebred and heavy favorite ELATE may actually be using the race as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro earned a Distaff berth when she won Churchill Downs’ “Win and You’re In” Fleur de Lis (G2) in June but is 3-for-3 at 1 ¼ miles, which includes a win in the Delaware Handicap (G2) in July, and that record has trainer Bill Mott possibly considering the Classic. Elate, who is 7-for-17 lifetime, was fourth as the favorite for the Distaff at Del Mar in 2017.
Peter Brant’s DUNBAR ROAD could vault to the top of the 3-year-old filly division with a win for trainer Chad Brown. The daughter of Quality Road won Belmont Park’s Mother Goose (G2) in June and Saratoga’s Alabama (G1) Aug. 17 and is 4-for-5 lifetime, while Merribelle Stable’s BLUE PRIZE (ARG) won the Spinster last year for trainer Nacho Correas and was a close fourth in the Distaff at Churchill. Grade 1 winner SHE’S A JULIE and stakes winner VEXATIOUS are also entered for the “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte Sprinter.
The $250,000 “Win and You’re In” Bourbon (G2), at 1 1/16 miles, will offer an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is led by Walking Thoroughbreds’ FIGHTING SEABEE, who is 2-for-2 for trainer Kenny McPeek, including Saratoga’s With Anticipation (G3) Aug. 28, while JSM Equine’s PEACE ACHIEVED won the Gainesway Farm Juvenile at Kentucky Downs Aug. 31 for trainer Mark Casse, ART COLLECTOR, DEVIANT, DOC BOY, ETE INDIEN, FIELD PASS, GEAR JOCKEY, KID MERCURY, NETTLETON, PEACE ACHIEVED, PRINCE OF THIEVES, THE THIRD SECRET, and VITALOGY (GB).
The Spinster, along with the Bourbon, will be shown as part of a 90-minute broadcast on NBC from 4:30-6:00 p.m. ET as a part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In – Presented by America’s Best Racing.”
The $200,000 “Win and You’re In” Indian Summer, at five and a half furlongs, will offer an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and Live Oak Plantation’s homebred OLD CHESTNUT could go favored for Casse off his win in Woodbine’s Ontario Racing Sept. 15. Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ MYSTIC LANCEALOT impressed on debut at Saratoga for trainer Todd Pletcher and should like the return to a sprint after he didn’t fire when ninth in Woodbine’s Sept. 15 “Win and You’re In” Summer (G1), an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. AXIOMO, CHIMNEY ROCK, FAST SCENE, JOHNNY UNLEASHED, KIMARI, OLD CHESTNUT, ROCKCREST and SHIPPINGPORT are also entered.
Enable winning 2018 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf
Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire Photo
Enable Looks to Make History in Arc
The historic $5.765 million Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (GI) takes on added significance this year, as, in addition to Enable’s quest at history, it will be run as a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, and highlights Europe’s biggest day, as there are eight group 1’s on the card, five of which are “Win and You’re In” automatic qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup. While the Arc is clearly the top attraction, the $567,577 Prix de l’Opera Longines (GI), which will award a starting berth into the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, the $403,604 Prix de L’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1, Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint), the $461,261 Qatar Prix de Jean Luc Lagardere (GI, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf), and the $461,261 Qatar Prix de Marcel Boussacs (GI, Breeders’ Juvenile Fillies Turf), all figure to showcase some of Europe’s best and prove as key springboards to Santa Anita.
Run at 1 ½ miles, the Arc will offer Juddmonte Farm’s immortal homebred Enable a chance to add to her legend as she bids to become the first horse to win the race three times. The 5-year-old daughter of Nathaniel (IRE) is 13-for-14 in her career for trainer John Gosden, including the Arc in 2017 when it was held at Chantilly, but cemented her status as one of the titans of the turf when she became the first horse ever to win the Arc and the Breeders’ Cup Turf when she did it last year at Longchamp and Churchill Downs. Enable was slowed by a few minor ailments last year and made just three starts, but hasn’t missed a beat this year, as she’s 3-for-3, with wins in the Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown in July and then the “Win and You’re In” King George VI and Queen Elizbeth at Ascot (G1) later that month and the “Win and You’re In” Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) August 22. Enable earned a Turf bid in the King George and a Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf bid in the Yorkshire Oaks, but Gosden has been non-comital about a trip to Santa Anita this year and a possible final career start, as an Arc “threepeat” has long been the goal.
Enable is trading as a stiff 8-11 favorite in what is shaping up as a 12-horse Arc, with the challengers led by Coolmore’s JAPAN (GB), who earned a berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic when he won the “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte International (G1) August 22 for trainer Aidan O’Brien. The 3-year-old son of Galileo (IRE) lost his first two starts of the year but has rattled off three straight, including the local course and distance Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (G1) in July, and is 5-for-8 lifetime. Japan (9-2), along with White Burch Farm’s SOTTSASS (FR) (6-1), are the only two horses under 12-1 in the early betting. The latter, a 3-year-old son of Siyouni (FR), won the local course and distance prep, the Sept. 15 Prix Niel (G2), and is 4-for-6 lifetime for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Coolmore and O’Brien will also run MAGICAL (IRE), a 4-year-old daughter of Galileo who has been second to Enable three times, including the Turf last year. BLAST ONEPIECE (JPN), FIEREMENT (JPN), FRENCH KING (GB), GHAIYYATH (IRE), KISEKI (JPN), NAGANO GOLD (GB), SOFT LIGHT (FR), and WALDGEIST (GB) also all passed the final entry stage for the “Win and You’re In” Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Enable may be the biggest name Sunday at Longchamp, but the quartet of “Win and You’re In” undercard races will attract plenty of stars in their own right who could have a major impact at Santa Anita.
The Prix de l’Opera Longines (GI), at 1 ½ miles, has long been an important springboard to the Filly & Mare Turf and drew a field of 13, with Emirates Park’s MEHDAAYIH (GB) trading as the 5-2 favorite for Gosden. The 3-year-old daughter of Frankel (GB) is 4-for 8 lifetime. She who won the Prix de Malleret (G2) at Saint-Cloud two races back and enters off a second in the Nassau (G1) at Glorious Goodwood Aug. 1.
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya of Jordan’s TEREBELLUM (IRE), who won the Prix de Nonette (G2) Aug. 17 for Gosden and is 2-for-3 lifetime, while George Strawbridge’s homebred WITH YOU (GB), second in both the Prix Rothschild (G1) and Prix Romanet (G1) in her last two starts for trainer Freddy Head, are both 6-1 or less in the early betting. CARTIEM (FR), COMMES (FR), EDISA, who won the Jockey Club Oaks at Belmont Park, ETOILE (FR), FLEETING (IRE), GODDESS, LIGNE D’OR (GB), PINK DOGWOOD (IRE), VILLA MARINA (GB), and WATCH ME (FR) are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Prix de l’Opera Longines.
The Prix de L’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines, at five furlongs, drew 17 runners, though it’s clearly all about Shadwell Stable’s BATTAASH (IRE), who is the 4-6 favorite and is seemingly invincible when he delivers his best. The 5-year-old son of Dark Angel (IRE) has been a bit of an enigma in his career for trainer Charley Appleby but has turned the corner in his last two when winning the King George (G2) at Glorious Goodwood (G) Aug. 2 and then earning a Turf Sprint bid when he won York’s Aug. 23 “Win and You’re In” Coolmore Nunthorpe (G1) by a devastating 3 ¾ lengths. Battaash is 10-for-19 lifetime, including the l’Abbaye when it was at Chantilly in 2017.
David Armstrong’s MABS CROSS (GB), at 6-1, is the only other horse trading at 10-1 or less. The 5-year-old daughter of Dutch Art (GB) won the l’Abbaye last year for trainer Michael Dods and is 7-for-18 lifetime, but has lost five straight. EL ASTRONAUTE (IRE), FAIRYLAND (IRE), FINSBURY SQUARE (IRE), GLASS SLIPPERS (GB), GOLD VIBE (IRE), INVINCIBLE ARMY (IRE), JOLIE (FR), KEN COLT (IRE), RECON MISSION (IRE), SESTILIO JET (FR), SHADES OF BLUE (IRE), SOLDIER’S CALL (GB), SO PERFECT, and SPINNING MEMORIES (IRE) are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” The Prix de L’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines.
The Prix de Jean Luc Lagardere, at one mile, will have eight, with Godolphin’s seemingly endless supply of top 2-year-olds on display, as their homebred VICTOR LUDORUM (GB) is the 2-1 favorite, even though he is no better than third-best among superstar Pinatubo (IRE) and Earthlight (IRE), who are both 5-for-5 this year. Victor Ludorum, a son of Shamardal, is 2-for-2 for trainer Andrew Fabre, with a debut win over the course Sept. 1 and the Prix des Aigles at Chantilly 13 days later.
Coolmore’s ARMORY (IRE), a son of Galileo (IRE), is 3-for-5 for O’Brien, including a win in the Futurity (G2) at The Curragh in August, while the Wertheimer Brother’s homebred ECRIVAIN (FR) is 2-for-2, including the local course and distance prep, the Prix des Chenes (G3), Sept. 8 for trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias, and are both taking significant early action. ALSON (GB), CHACHNAC (FR), HELTER SKELTER (FR), KENWAY (FR), and SURF DANCER (IRE) are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Qatar Prix de Jean Luc Lagardere.
The Prix de Marcel Boussac, the sister race to the Lagardere, also drew a field of 10, with Masaaki Matsushima’s SAVARIN (JPN) the 2-1 favorite off a pair of wins to start her career for Fabre. The daughter of Deep Impact (JPN) won on debut at Deauville in August then took the course and distance prep, the Prix d’Aumale, Sept. 8.
The Niarchos Family’s homebred ALBIGNA (IRE) is 2-for-3 lifetime for trainer Jessica Harrington and is attracting plenty of support, as the daughter of Zoffany (IRE) won the Airlie Stud (G2) at The Curragh in June, while Cuadra Mediterranaeo’s MARIETA (FR), Godolphin’s BIONIC WOMAN (IRE) are at 5-1 and 6-1, respectively. FEE HISTORIQUE (FR), FLIGHTY LADY (IRE), KENLOVA (FR), NUNZIA (FR), PLEGASTELL (FR), and TANGO (IRE) are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Qatar Prix de Marcel Boussacs.
Champagne, Flower Bowl Highlight Busy Challenge Weekend at Belmont Kicks
Belmont Park wraps up the final preps for the New York-based runners with Breeders’ Cup designs with four “Win and You’re In” qualifiers over the weekend, with Saturday’s $500,000 Champagne, which will offer an automatic starting berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and Sunday’s $500,000 Flower Bowl (G1, Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf), $400,000 Frizette (G1, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies), and $150,000 Futurity (G3, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint).
The Champagne, at one mile, will be led by Stronach Stable’s undefeated homebred GREEN LIGHT GO. The 2-year-old son of Hard Spun won on debut locally in July for trainer Jimmy Jerkens then took the Saratoga Special (G2) Aug. 10 and has turned several heads, as he’s an imposing colt that already looks physically like a 3-year-old.
Paul Pompa’s ALPHA SIXTY SIX won on debut at Belmont Aug. 7 for trainer Todd Pletcher and the son of Liam’s Map appears to have plenty of potential, as does Gary Barber and Zayat Stable’s GOZILLA, third as the Favorite in Saratoga’s Hopeful (G1) Sept.2 for trainer Steve Asmussen. BIG CITY BOB, THREE TECHNIQUE, TIZ THE LAW, and TRUCULENT are entered in the “Win and You’re In” Champagne.
Peter Brant’s champion and defending winner of the Filly & Mare Turf SISTERCHARLIE (IRE) figures in the 1-5 range when she takes on a short field in the Flower Bowl at 1 ¼ miles. The 5-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie (IRE) has been virtually unbeatable for trainer Chad Brown since coming to his barn during the summer of her 3-year-old campaign after making the first five starts of her career in Europe for trainer Henri-Alex Pantall. Sistercharlie is 9-for-13 overall and cemented her championship last year with a Filly & Mare Turf win at Churchill Downs in November and hasn’t missed a beat this year, as she won the Diana (G1) at Saratoga in her return in July and then earned a Filly & Mare Turf bid when she won Arlington Park’s Aug. 10 “Win and You’re In” Beverly D. (G1).
Andrew Stone’s homebred MRS. SIPPY appears to be the only danger, as she won her U.S. debut in the Glens Falls (G2) Aug. 31 at Saratoga for trainer Graham Motion, while BEAU BELLE, FERDINANDA, and THAIS look like extreme longshots in the “Win and You’re In” Flower Bowl.
The one mile FRIZETTE is expected to draw a field of 2-year-old fillies long on talent but short on accomplishments, including Allen Stable’s homebred MRS. DANVERS, who easily won her second career start Aug. 18 at Saratoga, and the daughter of Tapit has attracted plenty of tote support in both career starts. Gold Square’s DAPHNE MOON was another debut winner at Saratoga, as the Cairo Prince filly ran off by 3 ¼ lengths Aug. 4 for trainer Jeremiah Englehart, while Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s WICKED WHISPER, a daughter of Liam’s Map, delivered as a heavy favorite on debut at Saratoga Aug. 25 for trainer Steve Asmussen. CEE’S OVERTURE, ICE PRINCESS, MISS MARISSA, and SWEET KISSES could also run in the “Win and You’re In” Frizette.
The six-furlong Futurity is expected to draw a deep field, with Leonard and Jonathan Green’s ANOTHER MIRACLE a major player off his Saratoga stakes win in the Skidmore Aug. 16 for trainer Gary Contessa. EMBOLDEN, FLY AWAY, FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, FREEWHEELER, KING SNAKE, ME AND MR. C, NETTLETON, and SO STREET could also run.
Omaha Beach Returns at Santa Anita
Sprinters will take center stage at Santa Anita, as Saturday’s $300,000 “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1)—which pits star 3-year-olds OMAHA BEACH and SHANCELOT—will offer an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and Sunday’s $100,000 “Win and You’re In” Speakeasy will award a spot into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
The Sprint Championship, at six furlongs, marks the return of Fox Hill Farm’s Omaha Beach, who was scratched as the morning favorite from the Kentucky Derby by trainer Richard Mandella with an entrapped epiglottis. The 3-year-old son of War Front won the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) this winter at Oaklawn Park and has been given plenty of time to make it back to the races. Omaha Beach is 3-for-7 lifetime and has been in steady training for the last month, and could use the Sprint Championship as a springboard to either the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Ivan Rodriguez and Michelle and Albert Crawford’s Shancelot set the racing world abuzz when he won Saratoga’s Amsterdam (G2) by 12 ½ length and set a track record in the process for trainer Jorge Navarro. The 3-year-old son of 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby regressed in his next start, when third in Saratoga’s Allen Jerkens (G1) Aug. 24, but his devastating early speed could be right at home at Santa Anita. Shancelot is 3-for-4 lifetime and should like cutting back a furlong from the seven-furlong Jerkens. CALIFORNIA STREET, HORSE GREEDY, FLAGSTAFF, and ONE FLEW SOUTH are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
The Speakeasy, at five furlongs, figures to have a large field, with Andre Farm’s ALFIE OLOMONS rating as an intriguing prospect for trainer Wesley Ward. The 2-year-old son of Kantharos won on debut at Kentucky Downs Sept. 12 and starts for one of the top juvenile sprint trainers in the country. ARDENLEE STAR, COMMANDER (FR), ÉCLAIR, GINOBILI, GREG’S DIVA, RAGING WHISKEY, SQUARE DEAL, and WAR BEAT could also start.
- September 20, 2021
Churchill Down’s Fall meet has commenced, and this past Saturday’s “Downs After Dark” program had fans tracking ascending stars.
- September 18, 2021
At its meeting last night, the Breeders’ Cup Board of Directors unanimously elected Barbara Banke as Board Chairman. Owner of Stonestreet Farms in Lexington, Ky., Banke becomes the first woman to Chair Breeders’ Cup Limited.
- September 17, 2021
$1 Million Ricoh Woodbine Mile Headlines Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Races on Saturday and Sunday in Canada on NBCSN
The “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” will be at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto for two live programs of outstanding turf racing on Saturday, Sept. 18 on NBCSN (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET).