Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Newsletter - September 10
Advisory: This is the third of nine weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 37th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 at Keeneland. 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.
Ghaiyyath, Magical Clash with Turf Bid on the line in Irish Champion
A scintillating matchup between GHAIYYATH (IRE) and MAGICAL (IRE) is ontap Saturday at Leopardstown in the 1 ¼-mile, $1.408 million “Win and You’re In” Irish Champion Stakes (G1), with an automatic starting berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) lying in the balance. Ireland takes center stage this weekend, as Leopardstown, just south of Dublin, and The Curragh, in County Kildare, will offer five “Win and You’re In” contests for Breeders’ Cup turf races, while stateside Kentucky Downs will offer one as well.
Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath is widely considered the best turf horse in the world off a 4-for-4 campaign for trainer Charlie Appleby, which includes a trio of Group 1 wins in the Coronation at Newmarket in June, the Coral-Eclipse over Enable (GB) at Sandown in July, and the Juddmonte International over Magical at York Aug. 19. The International was a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but Appleby is likely to keep Ghaiyyath, a 5-year-old son of Dubawi (IRE) who is 9-for-12 lifetime, on the turf.
“If we’re lucky enough to win -- or run a very big race -- in the Irish Champion Stakes, one could then decide whether to go to Ascot for the (Oct. 17) Champion Stakes (G1) or whether you would potentially look at a Breeders’ Cup,” Appleby said.
"We've got the Arc, we've got Champions Day at Ascot and we've got Breeders' Cup in the picture as well,” Appleby said. “We will do what's right for the horse. The signs are good so far."
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the Irish Champion nine times and sends three starters against Ghaiyaath, though it’s Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier’s and Michael Tabor’s MAGICAL who is far and away the most accomplished. The 5-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) has been an all-world performer throughout her career and was second to Enable in the Turf at Churchill Downs in 2018. Since then Magical, who is 11-for-24 lifetime, has won five Group 1’s, including last year’s Irish Champion, and a win could once again propel her to the Turf at Keenland. O’Brien also has entered the 4-year-old JAPAN (GB), the 2019 Juddmonte International winner, who will try to improve upon his third-place finish behind Enable and stablemate Sovereign (IRE) in the “Win and You’re In” George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Ascot on July 25, and the 3-year-old ARMORY (IRE), winner of the Royal Whip Stakes (G3) at The Curragh on Aug. 14.
France will be represented in the Champion Stakes by White Birch Farm’s 4-year-old SOTTSASS (FR), winner of the Prix Ganay (G1) at Chantilly in June, and second by a neck last out in the Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club (G3) at Deauville on Aug. 14 for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The field is completed by Zhang Yuesheng’s 4-year-old LEO DE FURY (IRE), trained by Jessica Harrington, who won the Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes (G2) at about 1 ¼ miles in June.
Earlier on the card, the $394,492 Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron (G1) will award an automatic starting berth into the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Run at 1-mile, the Matron drew 11 starters, and is led by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier’s FANCY BLUE (IRE), a 3-year-old daughter of Deep Impact (JPN) who is 4-for-5 lifetime for trainer Donnacha O’Brien, which includes the Nassau (G1) at Glorious Goodwood July 30.
Tabor, Smith and Magnier’s PEACEFUL (IRE), for Donnacha O’Brien’s father, Aidan, will have a big say, as the 3-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) won the Irish 1,000 Guineas (G1) at The Curragh in June and is 2-for-5 lifetime. A strong challenge should also come from the Niarchos Family’s 3-year-old ALBIGNA (IRE), winner of last year’s Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) at ParisLongchamp, and recently second in the Snow Fairy Fillies (G3) at The Curragh on Aug. 25.
An automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) is on the line in the $169,068 “Win and You’re In” KPMG Champions Juvenile (G2). Run at 1-mile, the race attracted 10 starters, including the Jessica Harrington-trained CADILLAC (IRE), who broke his maiden by 9 lengths over the Leopardstown course in July and was second in the Aug. 22 Futurity Stakes (G2) at The Curragh as the 4-5 favorite. VAN GOGH (IRE), trained by Aidan O’Brien, finished second by a neck in the 7-furlong Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes (G3) over the course on Aug. 6.
Two Turf Bids Up for Grabs at The Curragh
The “Win and You’re In” action shifts to The Curragh Sunday, with a berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint available in the $450,847 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five (G1). Run at five furlongs, the Derrinstown Stud could see as many as 17 starters, with Bearstone Stud Limited’s GLASS SLIPPERS (GB) trading as a tepid favorite among European punters. The 4-year-old daughter of Dream Ahead was second to superstar Battaash (IRE) in Glorious Goodwood’s July 31 King George (G2) for trainer Kevin Prendergast and is 5-for-14 lifetime.
Mrs. Anne Elliot’s QUE AMORO (IRE) is also taking action for trainer Michael Dods after running second to Battaash in York’s Aug. 21 Coolmore Nunthorpe (G1), which was also a “Win and You’re In” for the Turf Sprint. A’ALI (IRE), winner of the Sapphire Stakes (G2) over the course, and recently fourth in the Coolmore Nunthorpe, KURIOS (GB), LOPE Y FERNANDEZ (IRE), MAKE A CHALLENGE (IRE), and SONAIYLA (IRE) could also start in the “Win and You’re In” Derrinstown Stud Flying Five.
The $450,847 Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1), run at 7 furlongs, will award an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. An overflow field of 18 could meet the starter with ANGLE PALM (GB), AUNTY BRIDY (IRE), DIVINELY (IRE), MORE BEAUTIFUL, MOTHER EARTH (IRE), TERESA MENDOZA (IRE), and THUNDER BEAUTY (IRE) among the possible starters.
Turf Sprint Bid on the Line at Kentucky Downs
Kentucky Downs carries the “Win and You’re In” torch stateside this weekend, as the $700,000 Runhappy Turf Sprint (G3) will award an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). Run at 6 furlongs, the Turf Sprint drew an overflow field of 16, with a maximum of 12 to meet the starter.
Breeze Easy’s IMPRIMIS has been one of the better turf sprinters in the country the past few seasons for trainer Joe Orseno. The 6-year-old son of Broken Vow is 7-for-14 lifetime and enters off a much-the-best win, only to be disqualified and placed second for stretch interference, in Saratoga’s Aug. 8 Troy (G3). Imprimis was fourth in the Turf Sprint last year before running sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
West Point Thoroughbreds’ KATHAKA will be a stretch danger for trainer Graham Motion, as the 5-year-old son of Jimmy Creed was second, beaten a neck, in Belmont Park’s Jaipur (G1) June 20, in what was his first start in almost 13 months. Susan and Jim Hill’s TOTALLY BOSS won the Turf Sprint over Imprimis last year for trainer Rusty Arnold and figures a leading contender again. Trainer Wesley Ward’s BOUND FOR NOWHERE has run well in several graded stakes, while McShane Racing’s STUBBINS, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last year for trainer Doug O’Neill, will also have a major say.
AMERICAN ANTHEM, ARCHIDUST, BOMBARD, BON RAISON, FRONT RUN THE FED, RENAISANCE FROLIC, RICHIESINTHEHOUSE are also entered for the “Win and You’re In” Runhappy Turf Sprint, while TIGER BLOOD, FAST BOAT, HOLLIS, and ADMIRAL LYNCH are on the also-eligible list.
NEWS AND NOTES
Simply Ravishing Dominates P.G. Johnson, Eyes Dirt Path to Breeders’ Cup
Harold Lerner, Magdalena Racing, and Nehoc Stable’s SIMPLY RAVISHING took the off-the-turf $93,000 P.G. Johnson at Saratoga Sept. 3 and could use the race as a springboard to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies later this fall. The 2-year-old daughter of Laoban broke her maiden in her debut on turf at Saratoga Aug. 2 for trainer Kenny McPeek but showed no issues with the surface switch, while getting the seven furlongs in a swift 1:21.85 over a fast main track. The New York-bred was a $50,000 yearling purchase and has co-owner Harold Lerner looking towards the future.
"Ken (McPeek) and I talked about it and we're going to send her down to Kentucky to him and we're going to take a look at the Alcibiades at Keeneland,” Lerner said. “We're hopeful she'd be up for the next step. She's nominated now to the Breeders' Cup, and after what I saw today, I think we're going to roll the dice and just keep going with her."
COUNTDOWN TO THE BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
A listing of the upcoming major stakes races this weekend
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF
September 12 – $1.408 million Irish Champion (G1) at Leopardstown. Run at 1 ¼ miles on turf for 3yos & up.
September 12 – $1 million Kentucky Cup Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs. Run at 1 ½ miles on turf for 3yos & up.
September 12 – $931,000 St Leger (G1) at Doncaster. Run at about 1 ¾ miles on turf for 3yos.
September 13 – $788,983 Irish St Leger (G1) at The Curragh. Run at 1 ¾ miles on turf for 3yos & up.
September 13 – $280,280 Grosser Preis Von Baden (G1) at Baden-Baden. Run at 1 ¼ miles on turf for 3yos & up.
MAKER’S MARK BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY & MARE TURF
September 12 – $500,000 Ladies Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs. Run at 1-mile on turf for fillies & mares.
September 12 – $394,492 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron (G1) at Leopardstown. Run for fillies & mares on turf at 1-mile.
September 12 – $250,000 Canadian (G2) at Woodbine. Run at 1 1/8 miles on turf for fillies & mares.
September 13 – $676,271 Prix Vermeille (G1) at ParisLongchamp. Run at 1 ½ miles on turf for fillies & mares.
BIG ASS FANS BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE
September 10 – $100,000 Longacres Mile (G3) at Emerald Downs. Run at 1-mile for 3yos & up.
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT
September 12 – $700,000 Turf Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs. Run at 6 furlongs on turf for 3yos & up.
September 12 – $500,000 Ladies Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs. Run at 6 ½ furlongs on turf for fillies & mares.
September 13 – $450,847 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five (G1) at The Curragh. Run at 5 furlongs on turf for 3yos & up.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE TURF
September 13 – $450,847 Vincent O’Brien (G1) at The Curragh. Run at seven furlongs on turf for 2yos.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
September 13 – $450,847 Moyglare Stud (G1) at The Curragh. Run at seven furlongs on turf for 2yo fillies.
MAJOR STAKES RECAP | Sept. 4-6
A review of the major global races in the corresponding Breeders’ Cup divisions from last week. Winning jockeys’ names are in parenthesis in each recap. The top Breeders’ Cup Points' leaders and Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners by division are listed at the end of each section. Breeders’ Cup Point earners are limited to horses who finish first, second or third in Graded Stakes races. Horses based outside of the U.S., who have not won a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, are selected into World Championships races by the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel at the Pre-Entry stage, Oct. 26. An asterisk in the points section denotes a foreign contender. A complete Breeders’ Cup Points list is available here.
Countdown to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic – Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing’s AUTHENTIC (John Velazquez) held off odds-on favorite TIZ THE LAW by 1 ¼ lengths to win Churchill Downs’ $3 million Kentucky Derby. Bob Baffert trained the winner, a 3-year-old son of Into Mischief who entered off a win in Monmouth Park’s July 18 TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1), which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and gave his trainer a record-tying sixth win in America’s most famous race. Authentic won for the fifth time in six career starts, which also includes the Santa Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita in March, and will likely head to Pimlico for the Oct. 3 Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown and also a “Win and You’re In” for the Classic. Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law was heavily favored off a trio of Grade 1 wins in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in April, the first leg of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (G1) in June, and Saratoga’s Runhappy Travers Aug. 8, but didn’t have his usual stretch kick and lost for only the second time in eight career starts. Trainer Barclay Tagg indicated the son of Constitution will likely train up to the Classic, though the Preakness remains an outside possibility. Video
Countdown to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic – Sagamore Farm and WinStar Farm’s GLOBAL CAMPAIGN (Luis Saez) broke running and never looked back en route to a 1 ¾-length win over TACITUS in Saratoga’s $480,000 Woodward (G1). The 4-year-old son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin entered off a win in the Monmouth Cup (G3) on July 18 for trainer Stanley Hough and added to a resume that also includes Belmont Park’s Peter Pan (G3) last year. Global Campaign is now 6-for-9 lifetime and will likely to train up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. "We're hoping if everything stays good that we can take him to the Breeders' Cup," Hough said. "We have 60 days, so the timing is good." Juddmonte Farm’s Tacitus was favored off his win in the Suburban (G2) at Belmont July 4 for trainer Bill Mott but the 4-year-old son of Tapit didn’t get any pace help while failing for the sixth time in Group/Grade 1 company. Mott indicated Tacitus will run next in Belmont’s Oct. 10 Jockey Club Gold Cup, which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Classic. Video
Countdown to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic – Allied Racing Stable’s BY MY STANDARDS (Gabriel Saez) kicked clear late for a 1 ¾-length win over OWENDALE in Churchill Downs’ $400,000 Alysheba (G2). Bret Calhoun trained the winner, a 4-year-old son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Goldencents who continues to be one of the top handicap horses in the country and added to a resume that already included wins in this year’s New Orleans Classic (G2) at Fair Grounds in March and Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in May. By My Standards entered off consecutive second-place finishes in a pair of “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup Classic: the local Stephen Foster (G2) in June and Saratoga’s Whitney (G1) Aug. 1. He’s now 6-for-12 lifetime, including the Louisiana Derby (G2) last year at the Fair Grounds , and has Calhoun thinking of the Classic in what is already a wild 2020. “It’s kind of weird to think the Alysheba is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic but we’re going to go with it and hope to get there in November,” Calhoun said. Mike Pegram, Paul Watson, and Karl Weitman’s defending champion MCKINZIE, who was second in last year’s Classic at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert, was fourth as the favorite after running fifth as the favorite in his last start, Belmont Park’s July 4 Metropolitan Handicap (G1), a “Win and You’re In” for the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. The 5-year-old son of 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Street Sense, who was also 12th in the 2018 Classic at Churchill, is now 8-for-18 lifetime. Video
Countdown to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic – Godolphin’s homebred MYSTIC GUIDE (Jose Ortiz) closed from last for a three-quarter length win over LIVEYOURBEASTLIFE in Saratoga’s $150,000 Jim Dandy (G2). Trainer Mike Stidham added blinkers and the 3-year-old son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper got his first career stakes win after running third in the local Peter Pan (G3) July 16. Mystic Guide is now 2-for-5 lifetime and will likely head to the Pimlico for the Oct. 3 Preakness, which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. St Elias Stable’s DR POST, who was odds-on for trainer Todd Pletcher, spun his wheels and finished a disappointing fourth, putting the son of Quality Road’s Preakness status in question. Video
Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
- January 8, 2022
Jet Dark Successfully Defends Title in L'Ormarins Queen's Plate in South Africa and Gains Automatic Berth into FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile
Messrs. C.T. Crowe & N. Jonsson’s 4-year- Jet Dark (SAF) successfully defended his title in Saturday’s 1-mile R1.5 million L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth Racecourse with a 2 ¼-length win over favored Kommetdieding (SAF).
- January 7, 2022
Defending Champion Jet Dark Headlines Saturday's L'Ormarins Queen's Plate in South Africa for Automatic Berth into FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile
Messrs. C.T. Crowe & N. Jonsson’s 4-year-old defending champion Jet Dark (SAF) is slated to face 10 rivals entered for Saturday’s 1-mile R1.5 million L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town.
- December 11, 2021
Village King Dominates Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini in Argentina and Gains Automatic Berth into 2022 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf
Haras El Angel De Venecia’s 7-year-old Village King (ARG) took the lead with two furlongs remaining and cruised to a 9-length victory Saturday in the 1 ½-mile Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini-Internacional (G1) at Hipódromo de San Isidro.