Breeders’ Cup Latest News
Accelerate, Diversify Lead in Race to Classic Glory
Classic division stars ACCELERATE and DIVERSIFY lead the way over an aspiring group 3-year-olds as the field for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic November 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville figures to become much more defined over the next five weeks. The 1 ¼-mile Classic rates as the centerpiece of a two-day extravaganza that heads to Churchill for the ninth time and offers 14 races worth over $30 million in purses and awards.
Hronis Racing’s Accelerate, a 5-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky, rates as the clear divisional leader for trainer John Sadler off a 4-for-5 mark this season that is highlighted by a Grade I sweep of Southern California’s three premier races for older horses, the Santa Anita Handicap in March, Gold Cup at Santa Anita in June and “Win and You’re In” TVG Pacific Classic—by 12 ½ lengths—August 18. Accelerate, who is 8-for-20 lifetime, which includes a ninth-place finish in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar, earned one of seven automatic starting berths for the Classic at Del Mar and figures to have his final prep in Santa Anita’s September 29 Awesome Again (GI), which is the last-of-seven “Win and You’re In” races for the Classic this year.
Ralph M. Evans and Lauren Evans’ Diversify secured a Classic berth when he wired Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Whitney (GI) August 4 and brings a devastating blend of speed and stamina to the proceedings. Rick Violette trains the 5-year-old New York-bred son of Bellamy Road who is 3-for-4 this year, which also includes a dominant wire-to-wire win in Belmont Park’s Suburban (GI) at 1 ¼ miles in July. Diversify is 10-for-15 lifetime and could have his final Classic prep in Belmont’s Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI), the sixth of the “Win and You’re In” races for the Classic.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s classy dup of WEST COAST and COLLECTED are back in training and could make the Classic. The former, a 4-year-old son of Flatter who recently returned to the worktab, was third in the Classic last year and was second to Gun Runner in the Pegasus World Cup (GI) at Gulfstream Park in January and second in the Dubai World Cup (GI) at Meydan in March. The latter, a 5-year-old son of City Zip, was second in last year’s Classic but was sixth in the Pegasus in his only start this year, though he too is gearing up for a return.
Accelerate dominated the TVG Pacific Classic.Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire
The Classic division got a much-added boost Saturday when YOSHIDA (JPN) won Saratoga’s Woodward (GI, see race recap below)) in his dirt debut for trainer Bill Mott, who indicated he’ll point the 4-year-old son of Heart’s Cry (JPN) to the race. PAVEL, who secured a berth in the race when he won Churchill’s “Win and You’re In” Stephen Foster (GI) in June for trainer Doug O’Neill; MIND YOUR BISCUITS, second to Diversify in the Whitney in his two-turn debut for trainer Chad Summers; and GUNNEVERA, who closed to be second in the Woodward and was fifth in last year’s Classic for trainer Antonio Sano, are also eying the race.
The retirement of Triple Crown winner Justify has left the 3-year-old division looking for a new leader and Bob LaPenta, Madaket Stable, Twin Creeks Racing Stable and Sienna Farm’s CATHOLIC BOY has appeared to take the baton off back-to-back Grade I wins in the Belmont Derby on turf in July and Saratoga’s Travers August 25. The son of More Than Ready was perceived to be better on the turf but impressed winning the Travers with ease for trainer Jonathan Thomas and has his sights set on going 1 ¼ miles at Churchill Downs. Catholic Boy beat the Coolmore conglomerate of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier’s MENDELSSOHN, a son of Scat Daddy and the reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner who has long been pointed toward the Classic by trainer Aidan O’Brien. Catholic Boy will likely head back to the turf to prep for the Classic in Belmont’s October 6 Hill Prince (GII), while Mendelssohn is a candidate for Parx Racing’s Pennsylvania Derby (GI) September 22.
The remainder of the division is looking up at Catholic Boy, though GOOD MAGIC, who was a disappointing ninth as the heavy favorite, putting his Classic participation in jeopardy, did qualify for the race when he won Monmouth Park’s “Win and You’re In” Haskell (GI) in July for trainer Chad Brown. HOFBURG and BRAVAZO have flashed talent on their best day and are also pointing to the race for trainers Bill Mott and D. Wayne Lukas, respectively.
Instagrand Casts Daunting Juvenile Shadow
While the road to the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is sure to have several surprises along the way, there’s little doubt who the leader is, as OXO Equine’s Instagrand has wowed in his winning his two career starts by a combined 20 ¼ lengths for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The 2-year-old son of Into Mischief broke his maiden at Los Alamitos by 10 lengths in June then won Del Mar’s Best Pal by 10 ¼ lengths August 11 to firmly establish himself as the leader of the West Coast juvenile division. Instagrand will likely prep for the Juvenile in Santa Anita’s September 29 American Pharoah Stakes (GI), (formerly the FrontRunner) which is a two-turn “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile.
Trainer Bob Baffert holds a heavy hand with Gary and Mary West’s GAME WINNER, who won Monday’s Del Mar Futurity (GI, see race recap below) and Speedway Stable’s ROADSTER, who was third as the favorite. The former, a son of Candy Ride (ARG), improved to 2-for-2 while the latter, a son of Quality Road, was game in defeat after a sharp debut win at Del Mar. Both horses are candidates for a trio of grade I “Win and You’re In” races for the Juvenile; the FrontRunner, Keeneland’s October 6 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Belmont Park’s October 7 Champagne.
Game Winner takes the Del Mar FuturityPhoto by Alex Evers, Eclipse Sportswire
The Champagne could offer a rematch between Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stable’s MIND CONTROL and Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s homebred MUCHO, the 1-2 finishers of Monday’s Hopeful (GI, see race recap below) at Saratoga. The former, a son of Stay Thirsty trained by Greg Sacco, upset the heavily favored latter, a son of 2010 Breeders’ Classic winner Blame trained by Bill Mott, and both figure major players for the Juvenile going forward.
The rest of the division will need some sorting out, though there is plenty of talent waiting in the wings, including impressive maiden winners CALL PAUL, COMPLEXITY, DREAM MAKER and TALE OF THE UNION, as well
Instagrand, with Drayden Van Dyke up, wins the Best Pal
Photo by Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire
Instagrand Favored in Breeders’ Cup Future Wager
It was no surprise that Instagrand was the 7-2 favorite in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Future Wager, which closed Sunday. The wager, which offered 23 individual betting interests and “All Others,” gave bettors an opportunity to play their favorite 2-year-olds in the hope of getting a more attractive price then when they potentially make the starting gate at Churchill Downs later this fall. The wager is a precursor to Future Stars Friday, as all five Breeders’ Cup Day One races will be held for juveniles.
Instagrand was one of only two individual horses at under 10-1, with ROADSTER, third in the betting after closing at 6-1. CALL PAUL (10-1), MUCHO (12-1), TALE OF THE UNION (14-1), DREAM MAKER (17-1) and GUNMETAL GRAY (18-1), were next, as the only other runners under 20-1. Value hunters are sitting pretty, as Del Mar Futurity winner GAME WINNER closed at 22-1 and, considering he’s trained by Bob Baffert, figures to be a leading contender at much shorter odds.
The weekend also offered the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sires Future Wager, with “All Others” (4-1) rating a slight favorite over Into Mischief (9-2), who is the sire of Instagrand. Quality Road (8-1) and Tapit (11-1) were next, with 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame (15-1) and Medaglia d’Oro (15-1) also well respected.
Bellafina Tops Juvenile Fillies Contenders Off Debutante Win
Kaleem Shah’s BELLAFINA won a star-studded renewal of Saturday’s Del Mar Debutante (GI, see race recap below) with ease to forge her way to the top of a division that figures to go through a serious sorting out process over the coming weeks as the definitive two-turn preps pave the way to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. The 2-year-old daughter of Quality Road broke her maiden by 4 ¼ lengths in the local Sorrento (GII) in her second start August 5 and has a pedigree that suggests she’s only get better with more distance and another turn. She figures the horse to beat in Santa Anita’s September 29 Chandelier (GI), a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Fillies.
The East Coast division was in a bit of disarray after Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Spinaway (GI) at Saratoga, as Lee Pokoik’s SIPPICAN HARBOR went last-to-first to post a 17-1 upset and win a berth into the Juvenile Fillies. The daughter of Orb entered off a 17-length off-the-turf maiden win for trainer Gary Contessa and has a running style that says she’ll appreciate two turns. Sippican Harbor, who is 2-for-3 lifetime, is expected to train up to the Juvenile Fillies.
Three Chimneys Farm and Fern Circle Stable’s RESTLESS RIDER was second in the Spinaway for trainer Kenny McPeek and looms a leading contender for Keeneland’s October 5 Darley Alcibiades (GI), also a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Fillies, while George Bolton’s MOTHER MOTHER and OXO Equine’s BRILL, second and fourth, respectively, in the Debutante, showed high talent in easy Del Mar debut wins for trainer Bob Baffert and Jerry Hollendorfer, respectively.
NEWS AND NOTES
Army Mule Back in Training, Targets Churchill
Vinnie Viola’s tremendously talented but equally fragile ARMY MULE is on the comeback trail in what his connections hope will lead to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile later this fall at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old son of Friesan Fire has won his three career starts by a combined 22 ¼ lengths but is unraced since winning Aqueduct’s Carter (GI) April 7 by 6 ¼ lengths.
Army Mule, trained by Todd Pletcher, was training for Belmont Park’s Metropolitan Handicap (GI), a “Win and You’re In” for the Dirt Mile, in June when he developed an undisclosed issue and was forced to the sidelines. He went three furlongs in 39.88 seconds in his first work back since winning Aqueduct’s Carter (GI) in April, and while Pletcher admitted “(the Dirt Mile) is a long ways away,” he’ll train Army Mule with the hopes of making the race.
Summering Eyes Juvenile Fillies Turf After Del Mar Win
Glen Hill Farm’s homebred SUMMERING made it 2-for-2 after a win in Monday’s Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf and could be poised for a trip to Churchill Downs and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf later this fall. The 2-year-old daughter of War Front backed up a local 5-length maiden win July 29 for trainer Tom Proctor and looks like a star in the making. Glen Hill’s Craig Bernick mentioned a start in Santa Anita’s October 8 Surfer Girl, and if all goes well, a trip to Churchill will be in the cards.
“We’ll go on to Santa Anita and if she wins again we’d consider the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies Turf) but she’d have to win well,” Bernick said. One step at a time.”
COUNTOWN TO THE BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
A listing of the upcoming major stakes races this weekend:
BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
September 8 – $150,000 British Columbia Derby (GIII) at Hastings Park. Run at 1 1/8 miles for 3yos.
BREEDERS’ CUP MILE
September 9 – $537,611 Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (GI) at Longchamp. Run at 1-mile on the turf for 3yos & up.
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF
September 8 – $750,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Cup (GIII) at Kentucky Downs. Run at 1 ½ miles on the turf for 3yos & up.
MAKER’S MARK BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY & MARE TURF
September 8 – $500,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (GIII) at Kentucky Downs. Run at 1-mile on the turf for fillies & mares.
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT
September 8 – $500,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (GIII) at Kentucky Downs. Run at six and a half furlongs on the turf for 3yos & up.
September 8 – $450,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint (GIII) at Kentucky Downs. Run at six and a half furlongs on the turf for fillies & mares.
September 8 – $405,800 Sprint Cup (GI) at Haydock. Run at six furlongs on the turf for 3yos & up.
Yoshida surges to the front in the Woodward
Photo by Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire
MAJOR STAKES RECAP August 29-September 3
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., and Canada 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. 22. An asterisk in the points section denotes a foreign contender. A complete Breeders’ Cup Points list is available at: https://members.breederscup.com/championships/pointsleaderboard.aspx
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Classic – WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, SF Racing and Head of Plains Partners YOSHIDA (JPN) (Joel Rosario) took to the dirt with aplomb and announced his candidacy as a major contender for the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a 2-length win over GUNNEVERA in Saratoga’s $750,000 Woodward (GI). Bill Mott trained the winner, a 4-year-old son of Heart’s Cry (JPN) who won the Turf Classic (GI) at Churchill Downs in his seasonal debut in May but was making his first start on dirt after 10 tries on the turf to start his career. Yoshida, who won Belmont Park’s Hill Prince (GIII) at 3, was trying the main track after a disappointing fifth as the heavy favorite in the local Fourstardave (GI) August 11 and moved his lifetime record to 5-for-11, which also includes a close fifth-place finish in Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne (GI) in June. Mott indicated that Yoshida’s year-end goal is the Classic and he could simply train up to the race. “We’ll definitely talk about our options, after seeing this, the Breeders’ Cup Classic would have to be on the table you’d think,” Mott said. “He’s a grade 1 winner going a mile and an eighth on the turf. We haven’t won going a mile and quarter, but after today you’d have to start thinking of his options.” Margoth’s Gunnevera once again put in his patented late run for trainer Antonio Sano and was valiant in defeat, and the 4-year-old son of Dialed In will also be pointed to the Classic, a race he was fifth in last year at Del Mar.Video: The Woodward
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Classic – Michael Langford’s LIMITATION (Dean Seanz) pulled clear late for an easy 5 ¾-length win at 26-1 over LONE SAILOR in Louisiana Downs’ $300,000 Super Derby (GIII). The 3-year-old son of Alteration was making his graded stakes debut for trainer Steve Asmussen but easily handled the rise, which was in stark contrast to his first stakes start in his last start, when he was a distant ninth in the Ellis Park Derby August 12. Limitation won for the third time in eight starts.
Video: The Super Derby
Breeders’ Cup Classic – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Mile – Shadwell Stable’s QURBAAN (Irad Ortiz) made his US debut a winning one when he prevailed in a frantic three-horse finish over FORGE (GB) and PROJECTED (GB) by a neck in Saratoga’s Bernard Baruch (GII). Kiaran McLaughlin trained the winner, a 5-year-old son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Speightstown who made his first 13 starts in Europe for trainer Francois Rohaut before coming stateside earlier this year. Qurbaan was 5-for-13 for his former trainer but had never won a stakes, though he clearly relished his new surroundings. McLaughlin indicated Keeneland’s October 6 Shadwell Turf Mile (GI), a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, will likely be next. Barry Schwartz’s heavily favored homebred VOODOO SONG saw his unbeaten streak over the Saratoga turf course end at five, as he was a surprising last-of-5 at odds-on for trainer Linda Rice. The 4-year-old son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner English Channel entered off a local win in the Fourstardave (GI) August 11 but came up empty at 3-5, though he is still a candidate for the Mile.
Video: Bernard Baruch Stakes
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Mile – Pin Oak Stable’s homebred SYNCRONY (Joe Bravo) won his second consecutive Monmouth Park turf stakes with a 1 ½-length win over ABIDING STAR in the $100,000 Red Bank (GIII). The 5-year-old son of Tapit entered off a win in the July 29 Oceanport (GIII) for trainer Mike Stidham and built on an underrated season that also includes a win in Fair Grounds’ Muniz Memorial (GII) in March. Synchrony is now 7-for-16 lifetime and has Stidham thinking big later this fall. “We needed to see something like today to give us confidence to run in the Shadwell Mile and hopefully the Breeders’ Cup,” Stidham said. Keeneland’s October 6 Shadwell Turf Mile (GI) is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.Video: Red Bank
Breeders’ Cup Mile – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
Countdown to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf – Peter Brant’s RAGING BULL (FR) once again delivered a powerful late kick and ran down pacesetting UP THE ANTE to win Saratoga’s $300,000 Saranac (GIII) by 1 ¼ lengths. Chad Brown trained the winner, a 3-year-old son of Dark Angel (IRE) who doubled up on his local win in the Hall of Fame (GII) August 3. Raging Bull is now 4-for-5 lifetime and figures to start next in Belmont Park’s Hill Prince October 6.
Video: The Saranac
Countdown to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf – John Oxley and My Meadowview Farm’s RIDE A COMET (Drayden Van Dyke) defeated the best California had to offer with a 1 ½-length win over KAZAN (IRE) in the $250,000 Del Mar Derby. The 3-year-old son of Candy Ride (ARG) shipped west after running third in Saratoga’s Hall of Fame (GII) August 3 for trainer Mark Casse and was rewarded with his first career stakes win. Ride a Comet won Woodbine’s Charley Barley in June and is now 5-for-10 lifetime.Video: Del Mar Derby
Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
Countdown to the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf – Godolphin’s homebred LADY MONTDORE (Manny Franco) led every step of the way en route to a 2 ¼-length win over SANTA MONICA (GB) in Saratoga’s $250,000 Glens Falls (GII). Tom Albertrani trained the winner, a 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who won once in five starts last year in Europe for trainer Andre Fabre before coming to the US this year and winning her first start for her new barn in a local optional-claimer August 6. Lady Montdore is now 3-for-7 and looks to be on the fast track to Churchill Downs. “I thought she had the talent that we could bring her back, and I’m looking big like the (Maker’s Mark) Breeders’ Cup (Filly & Mare Turf),” Albertrani said. “That’s one of the reasons we brought her back to this race. Maybe the Flower Bowl (GI) is next. We’ll see how the timing works out.” The Flower Bowl, to be run October 7 at Belmont Park, is a “Win and You’re In” for Filly & Mare Turf. Juddmonte Farm’s Santa Monica, who entered off a win in Woodbine’s Dance Smartly (GII) June 30, ran well in defeat as the stiff favorite and could also be a candidate for the Flower Bowl for trainer Chad Brown, though she could also return to Canada for the E.P. Taylor (GI) October 13.Video: Glens Falls
Countdown to the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf – All Sclaich Stable and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s VASILIKA (Flavien Prat) kicked clear from defending champion CAMBODIA for a 1 ½-length win in Del Mar’s $200,000 John C. Mabee (GII). The 4-year-old daughter of Skipshot won for the sixth straight time, though she was making her first start in a graded stakes and therefore had a stiff class test to answer. Vasilika has come a long way since being claimed for $40,000 at Santa Anita this winter and is now 7-for-8 for her new connections and 11-for-25 overall and rates a leading candidate for Santa Anita’s September 29 Rodeo Drive (GI), which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Winter Quarter Farm’s Cambodia, who entered off a local win in the Yellow Ribbon (GII) August 4 for trainer Tom Proctor and was third in last year’s Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar, ran well in defeat and is also expected for the Rodeo Drive.Video: John C. Mabee
Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint – Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ DREAM TREE (Mike Smith) remained undefeated in five career starts with a sharp 4 ¼-length win over MIA MISCHIEF in Saratoga’s $250,000 Prioress (GII). Bob Baffert trained the winner, a 3-year-old daughter of 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo who was making her first start since winning the Las Virgenes (GII) at Santa Anita in February. Dream Tree was one of the more accomplished 2-year-old fillies in the country last year, going 3-for-3, including a win in the Starlet (GI) at Los Alamitos to close out her campaign.
Video: The Prioress
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
Trainer Greg Sacco following the HopefulPhoto by Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire
Countdown to the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stable’s MIND CONTROL (John Velazquez) upset heavily favored MUCHO by three quarters of a length to win Saratoga’s $350,000 Hopeful (GI). The 2-year-old son of Stay Thirsty invaded off a maiden win at Monmouth Park August 12 for trainer Greg Sacco and won for the second time in three starts. Mind Control was second on debut at Delaware Park to the well-regarded Call Paul and has only gotten better as the distances have increased, which gives Sacco reason for optimism as the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile looms later this fall. “I’ll have to discuss it (running in the Juvenile) with the owners, but I would think so,” he said. “I don’t think the distance will give him limitations. The way he’s trained and galloped out last race, he’s just a genuine horse. He has a ton of ability.” Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s homebred Mucho was game in defeat and figures a major Juvenile contender going forward for trainer Bill Mott. The son of 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner was heavily favored off a local 9 ¾-length maiden win in his second career start and is another who figures to relish another turn and some added ground. Both horses are candidates for Belmont Park’s October 7 Champagne (GI), a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile, though Mucho could also point to Keeneland’s October 6 Claiborne Farm Breeders’ Futurity (GI), also a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile.
Video: The Hopeful
Countdown to the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Gary and Mary West’s GAME WINNER (Mario Gutierrez) wore down stubborn pacesetter ROWAYTON to win the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity by 1 ½ lengths. Bob Baffert trained the winner, a 3-year-old son of Candy Ride (ARG) who made it 2-for-2 to go along with a convincing 5 ¾-length maiden win over the track August 18. Game Winner was purchased for a bargain $110,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September Sale and figures a leading contender for Santa Anita’s September 29 American Pharoah (GI), which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. OXO Equine’s Rowayton was game in defeat after sprinting off to a big early lead but could be headed out of town, as stablemate and divisional leader Instagrand could be trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s FrontRunner representative. Potential landing spots could be Keeneland’s October 6 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (GI) or Belmont Park’s October 7 Champagne (GI); both races are also “Win and You’re In” qualifiers for the Juvenile. Speedway Stable’s ROADSTER, who went favored on the basis of a snappy 4 ¼-length local maiden win in his debut July 29, was a close third to his stablemate and could be pointed to any one of the aforementioned “Win and You’re In” races.
Video: Del Mar Futurity
Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Lee Pokoik’s SIPPICAN HARBOR (Joel Rosario) used a last-to-first move to beat RESTLESS RIDER by 2 lengths in Saratoga’s $350,000 “Win and You’re In” Spinaway (GI) and earned an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. The 2-year-old daughter of Orb entered off a monstrous 17-length track and distance maiden win August 12 in a race that was taken off the turf, three weeks after running fifth on debut over the Spa’s turf course. Sippican Harbor was purchased for $260,000 at the Fasig Tipton Saratoga Yearling sale and has already been a quick return on investment, with potentially a lot more to come. “Today she stamped herself. She’s legit, so were looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup. These are real horses, these are the best of the best,” Contessa said. “We’re just going to work; I’m not going to run her again (until Churchill). She deserves a break. I ran her 20 days apart to get her ready. Two months to get her to the Breeders’ Cup? Piece of cake. Fern Circle Stable and Three Chimneys Farm’s Restless Rider saw her unbeaten streak end at two but ran well in defeat for trainer Kenny McPeek. The daughter of Distorted Humor won Churchill Downs’ Debutante June 30 and has long been pointed to the Juvenile Fillies, with her final prep likely coming in Keeneland’s October 5 Darley Alcibiades (GI), a “Win and You’re In” for the race. The Spinaway was not without a major disappointment, as Summer Wind Equine’s CHASING YESTERDAY was a flat seventh for trainer Bob Baffert off a stellar Del Mar debut win July 26. The daughter of Tapit is a half-sister to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah but struggled from the start of the Spinaway.
Video: The Spinaway
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Kaleem Shah’s BELLAFINA (Flavien Prat) dominated a sterling renewal of the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (GI) en route to a 4 ¼-length win over MOTHER MOTHER. Simon Callaghan trained the winner, a 2-year-old daughter of Quality Road who entered off a main win in the local Sorrento and has now established herself as the leader of the California juvenile filly division. Bellafina was purchased for $800,000 in March at the Fasig Tipton March 2-Year-Old in Training Sale and has proven a quick return on investment. Callaghan indicated she’ll make her next start in Santa Anita’s September 29 Chandelier, which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. OXO Equine’s BRILL was a disappointing fourth at odds-on for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro built quite a following off a local maiden win July 18 but couldn’t deliver in the Debutante. Brill, as well as George Bolton’s Mother Mother, could both have another crack at Bellafina in the Chandelier.
Video: Del Mar Debutante
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint – Patricia Generazio’s homebred PURE SENSATION (Kendrick Carmouche) repeated in Parx Racing’s $300,000 Turf Monster (GIII) when he was up in time for a neck win over VISION PERFECT. The 7-year-old son of Zensasional made it 5-for-6 over the Parx grass for trainer Christophe Clement and reestablished himself as one of the better turf sprinters in the country. Pure Sensation, who was a close fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar last year, entered 0-for-3 this year but had hit the board in every start, including a third-place finish behind Vision Perfect in the Parx Dash (GIII) July 7 and is now 10-for-29. Last year he trained up to the Turf Sprint after winning the Turf Monster, which could be in the cards again.
Video: Turf Monster
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – Cheyenne Stables and Gaillardia Racing’s OPRY (Javier Castellano) picked the right time to break his maiden with a 1 ½-length win over SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN in Saratoga’s $150,000 With Anticipation (GII). Todd Pletcher trained the winner, a 2-year-old son of Declaration of War who was a fast-closing third on debut in a local off-the-turf maiden August 11. Opry was purchased for $180,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale and figures a leading contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf going forward.
Video: With Anticipation Stakes
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.