Breeders’ Cup 2018: Early Week Workouts include Yoshida

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Monday, Oct. 22, 2018) – On a blustery Monday morning beneath the historic Twin Spires, Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade I) hopeful Yoshida (JPN) worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 in preparation for the 1 ¼-mile race on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs.

Yoshida, the two-length winner of the Woodward Stakes (GI) on Sept. 1 at Saratoga, began his work at the five-furlong pole in company with 2017 Kentucky Downs maiden special weight winner Morocco through eighth-mile splits of :13.20, :25.60, :37 and :49 prior to galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 and seven furlongs in 1:28, according to Churchill Downs’ clocker John Nichols. Morocco completed his breeze after a half-mile in :50.

“He’s just doing great,” Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. “We’ve been really happy with him since we got to Churchill last Thursday. Even though he’s a Grade I winner on the grass (in the May 5 Old Forester Turf Classic), we thought the Classic is the best route.”

Yoshida has won five starts in his 11-race career with purse earnings of $1,289,770 for owners WinStar Farm, China HorseClub International, SF Racing and Head of Plains Partners.

“We’re just very fortunate to be in the spot we are,” WinStar Farm’s President and Racing Manager Elliott Walden said. “It was a great work this morning. We were all so thrilled on Derby Day to get his first Grade I win in the Old Forester and then return over the summer to win the Woodward on the dirt was very special as well.”

Mott has won the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice before with Cigar (1995) and WinStar Farm’s Drosselmeyer (2011).

“I think going into this year’s Classic Yoshida has a better chance than Drosselmeyer did,” Walden said.

In the barn adjacent to Mott on the Churchill Downs backstretch is fellow Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Mind Your Biscuits, who was pre-entered to run in the Classic as his first option but could also pre-enter in either the Dirt Mile or the Sprint as a second option, according to trainer Chad Summers.

Breeders' Cup Trophy, Churchill Downs

copyright All Star Press.com

Pre-entries for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races were due at noon (all times Eastern) Monday. The pre-entry announcement will take place on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

The stream of the pre-entry announcement, which will be hosted by Caton Bredar and Churchill Downs’ Joe Kristufek will be available on the Breeders’ Cup website,

Official Mobile App and Facebook page.

The Official Breeders’ Cup mobile app can be downloaded via the links below:

iTunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breeders-cup-mobile/id1297424320?ls=1&mt=8

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yinzcam.venues.breederscup

Locally, the event will take place in The Parlay’s Media Briefing Room at Churchill Downs and media are welcome to attend. Breeders’ Cup Limited President and CEO Craig Fravel and Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery will be on hand to answer media questions following the Pre-Entry announcement.

Other Breeders’ Cup hopefuls on the Churchill Downs work tab Monday included Longines Distaff (GI) contender Midnight Bisou, who worked five furlongs in 1:00 outside of two-time winning 3-year-old colt Principe Guilherme, and Sprint candidate Switzerland, who breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60.

Source: Churchill Downs

5 storylines as the 2018 Breeders’ Cup approaches at Churchill Downs

5 storylines as the 2018 Breeders’ Cup approaches at Churchill Downs.

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America’s Best Racing Full coverage: 5 storylines as the 2018 Breeders’ Cup approaches at Churchill Downs

Breeders’ Cup 2018: 2yo Stars Work

For trainer Kenny McPeek, Darley Alcibiades (G1) winner Restless Rider and Princesa Carolina, fifth in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2), breezed in tandem at Keeneland Friday morning in advance of their Nov. 2 engagements in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.

Working after the morning renovation break, the duo stopped the clock in 1:01.40 for 5 furlongs. According to Keeneland clockers, they galloped out well in hand in 1:14.40 with splits of :12.40, :24.40, :36.20 and :48.80.

Exercise rider Danny Ramsey was aboard Restless Rider, and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. rode Princesa Carolina.

Restless Rider, owned by Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm, will be entered in the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Fillies Juvenile (G1), while Princesa Carolina, who campaigns for Three Chimneys, is aiming for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

“Restless Rider just needed a nice maintenance breeze,” McPeek said. “Next week they will work again together here, but it was a nice maintenance work. I’m happy enough.”

McPeek said the fillies will remain at Keeneland before shipping to Churchill Oct. 29 or 30.

Restless Rider, a Keeneland sales graduate, won her career debut and the Debutante at Churchill in June prior to finishing second in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 2. She was a 2½-length winner of the Darley Alicibiades on Oct. 5 in her only other start.

Princesa Carolina won her second career start at Saratoga on Sept. 3 before making a late rally to be fifth in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine on Oct. 10.

McPeek reported that Alabama (G1) winner Eskimo Kisses, seventh as the favorite in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Oct. 7, will bypass the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Nov. 3.

KRA Stud Farm’s runaway 5½-length Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Knicks Go completed his major training for the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs by working 5 furlongs in :59.20 over a fast track Friday morning.

Working on his own after the morning renovation break, the colt by Paynter produced fractions of :11.60, :23.20, :35.20, :46.80 and out 6 furlongs in 1:11.80.

The time is the fastest of 19 works at the distance.

“He worked well and that was the last work for him before the Breeders’ Cup,” trainer Ben Colebrook said. “It is the same thing I did with him before the Breeders’ Futurity, working two weeks before.”

Colebrook, who saddled two maiden winners on Thursday’s program including K Choice for KRA Stud Farm, said Knicks Go would remain at Keeneland “until the last minute. He has to be there Tuesday (Oct. 30) and I will probably train him here that morning before going over.”

Scheduled to work Saturday morning after the renovation break for Colebrook is Katherine Ball’s Limousine Liberal, who is expected to be pre-entered Monday in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

Source: Keeneland

Breeders’ Cup Debuts Digital Series Today

Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international events, today announces its first-ever digital docuseries. Titled “ALL IN: The Road to the Classic,” the seven-part series will debut on Facebook Watch on October 22 with subsequent episodes premiering over the following days. The docuseries will offer an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the competitive and career-making journeys of the owners, trainers, breeders and horses who strive to compete in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will take place on November 3 at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Official Trailer for “ALL IN” is now available for viewing on the show’s Facebook Watch page at Facebook.com/RoadToTheClassic.

“While hundreds of horses start out the horse racing season each spring, only 14 can enter the starting gate at the Breeders’ Cup Classic. With ‘ALL IN,’ we wanted to give fans a never-before-seen look at what it takes to make it to the starting gate and compete in one of the best races in the world, all from an entirely new perspective and on a different platform than what has been previously available,” said Craig Fravel, president and CEO of Breeders’ Cup. “Along with our television partnership with NBC Sports and our growing digital and social media channels, ‘ALL IN’ is yet another form of content we are creating for new and existing fans so that they can enjoy the sport in new and innovative ways. As the first step in a multi-year plan, we look forward to showcasing this docuseries and offering our fans additional content in the seasons to come.”

Breeders CupExecutive produced by celebrity chef and Thoroughbred owner and breeder Bobby Flay and his Rock Shrimp Productions co-founder Kim Martin, along with Hennegan Brothers Creative and Shelly Schulze, the docuseries will usher viewers through the most pivotal moments of the 2018 racing season leading up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, including Justify’s retirement after his Triple Crown victory and major Classic division races such as the Haskell, Whitney and Travers.

“While the Breeders’ Cup is well known to many fans as the most exciting two days in horse racing, even the most passionate followers are not necessarily aware of everything that it takes to get to the Classic,” said Bobby Flay. “Showcasing the personal stories of the fascinating characters involved is what makes ‘ALL IN: The Road to the Classic’ such an interesting project to me, and I think will make it an engaging series for both longtime fans and newcomers to the sport alike.”

The Road to the Classic Debuts Today Online

“ALL IN” will take viewers beyond the racetrack and behind the scenes into the personal narratives of both prominent industry figures, including Ken Ramsey and Barbara Banke, as well as newer contenders like Uriah St. Lewis, owner and trainer of Discreet Lover, and Chad Summers, part owner and trainer of Mind Your Biscuits.

“ALL IN: The Road to the Classic” will premiere on October 22 on Facebook Watch and will also be available on the Breeders’ Cup YouTube channel. Fans can Follow the “ALL IN: The Road to the Classic” show page on Facebook Watch now to be notified when new episodes are released.

Breeders’ Cup 2018: Classic Contenders Work

The Breeders' Cup horse racingWith less than two weeks until the Breeders’ Cup World Championships returns to Churchill Downs for a record-equaling ninth nine, locally-based contenders Mind Your Biscuits, Seeking the Soul, Thunder Snow (IRE), Whitmore and Wonder Gadot logged their penultimate breezes for the Nov. 2-3 championship event on a chilly Friday morning beneath the historic Twin Spires.

Mind Your Biscuits, who has been based on the backstretch of Churchill Downs in Barn 18 since early September, worked six furlongs in 1:15 with jockey Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle and in company with possible Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade I) contender Imperative (1:16.40) through splits of :13.40, :26.60, :39.40 and :51.80, before galloping out seven furlongs in 1:28 and one mile in 1:41.20, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

“That was perfect ‘T,’” trainer Chad Summers said over the radio to Gaffalione. “Absolutely perfect.”

Mind Your Biscuits, the richest New York-bred in history with $4,279,566 in earnings, is targeting either the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), Dirt Mile or TwinSpires Sprint (GI), according to Summers.

“We’re just keeping our options open as we have been all year,” Summers said. “It was a really strong breeze and he’s doing great here at Churchill. The work itself may have started a bit too slow but I think visually it was good. The pre-entry deadline is Monday and we’ll go from there. We saw in the (1 1/8-mile) Lukas Classic he can stretch out and go long. We’ll just see what happens.”

Mind Your Biscuits, a 5-year-old chestnut-son of Posse, has eight victories through 24 starts including two victories in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (GI) and, most recently, a win in the Lukas Classic (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

One of the contenders Mind Your Biscuits could face should he enter the Classic is Godolphin’s Dubai World Cup (GI) winner Thunder Snow, who worked one mile in 1:42.20 through eighth-mile splits of :14.20, :26.60, :39.60, :51.80, 1:04.20 and 1:16.80, according to Nichols.

“We’re very happy with the way he’s doing,” Godolphin’s travelling manager Tommy Burns said. “We gave him an extra blow today since he’s been pretty fresh. We’re very pleased with how it went.”

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor is expected to arrive to Louisville the week of the Breeders’ Cup, according to Burns.

Thunder Snow, a 4-year-old colt by Helmet (AUS), most recently finished second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) behind fellow Breeders’ Cup Classic-contender Discreet Lover.

Also on the Friday morning work tab at Churchill Downs was Charles Fipke’s Clark Handicap (GI) winner Seeking the Soul, who worked five furlongs in 1:01 at 5:45 a.m.

“It was a really solid work,” trainer Dallas Stewart said. “I’m a big believer in following patterns. When I worked with Wayne (Lukas) through three of the Derby wins we had the same work pattern and it obviously worked out. I like breezing on Fridays to give us an extra day wiggle room in case of bad weather. That way if we have to push the work back, we’re not on top of the race if it’s on a Saturday, like the Classic is. We just hope we can get in the Classic.”

Source: Churchill Downs+

Breeders’ Cup 2018: Catholic Boy Works Maintenance Drill

Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano did not have much time to celebrate his 5,000th-career win on Saturday at Belmont Park before catching a plane to Louisville to work Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) contender Catholic Boy five furlongs in 1:02.60 at 5:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) Sunday at Churchill Downs.

“It’s really amazing to think how much riders truly mean to a work,” trainer Jonathan Thomas said. “Javier is great and I’m glad we’ve got him.”

Castellano and Catholic Boy broke from Thomas’ stable pony at the six-furlong pole and started the five-furlong move through splits of :13.40, :26, :38.20 and :50.60 prior to galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.40 and seven furlongs in 1:28, according to Churchill Downs’ clocker John Nichols.

“I thought everything went really well,” Thomas said. “He broke off kindly from the pony. He started the work slowly but really picked it up from there. It was more of an endurance-building work this morning. He ran two tough races over the summer (in the July 7 Belmont Derby and Aug. 25 Travers) so we didn’t really need anything too speedy. This was probably the most major work prior to the Classic and we’ll likely come back with something easy next weekend.”

Castellano, who is named to ride Catholic Boy in the Classic, nearly echoed Thomas after he returned to Barn 41.

“He broke off really nicely today,” Castellano said. “He feels really good and really galloped out well. He really picked it up well down the lane and galloping out.”

Catholic Boy, a 3-year-old son of More Than Ready, has won three-consecutive graded stakes races on both the turf and dirt: the June 2 Pennine Ridge (GIII) at 1 1/8 miles on turf; Belmont Derby (GI) at 1 ¼ miles on turf and Travers at 1 ¼ miles on dirt.

Nearly four hours later, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI) contender Channel Maker worked a half-mile in :49.20 inside of stablemate Prompt through opening fractions of :12.60 and :24.80. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.

“I wasn’t too sure whether to work him on the dirt or not,” Mott said. “I thought it was a good breeze on the inside of (Prompt). We thought about working him on the turf (Tuesday) but this was a good breeze this morning. I’m happy with it.”

Also on the Saturday work tab was South Florida-based owner/trainer Juan Carlos Avila’s Champagne Stakes (GI) fifth-place finisher Trophy Chaser, who breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 with Castellano aboard in preparation for the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI).

“He went well,” Castellano said following the work. “It was a nice, easy breeze.”

Trophy Chaser, a 2-year-old colt by Twirling Candy, was an eye-popping 15 ¾-length winner in his second-career start at Gulfstream Park on Aug. 25 prior to the Oct. 6 Champagne.

One of Trophy Chaser’s likely competitors for the Juvenile is Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s Iroquois (GIII) runner-up Tight Ten, who blitzed five furlongs in :59.60 in company with stablemate Wilmington (five furlongs, 1:00.20).

Tight Ten, owned and bred by Winchell Thoroughbreds, started about three lengths back of Wilmington, an 0-for-2 maiden, through opening splits of :12.20 and :35.80 before hitting the wire together and galloping out five furlongs in 1:13.60, according to Nichols.

Rounding out the Sunday work tab was 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Toast of New York, who breezed an easy half-mile in :53.60 for trainer Jamie Osborne.

The now 7-year-old gelding, who was the second-place finisher behind Mind Your Biscuits in the Sept. 29 Lukas Classic (GIII) at Churchill Downs, could target the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the 1 ¾-mile Marathon Stakes (GII) on Friday, Nov. 2, according to Osborne’s assistant Jimmy McCarthy.

“He did really well this morning,” McCarthy said. “We went about 24 seconds for the final two furlongs of the work and I think Toast needed that little blow out.”

Training hours at Churchill Downs will remain 5:30-10 a.m. daily until Saturday when the track will open at 5:15 a.m. There will be turf training available Tuesday from 9:45-10 a.m. and daily beginning Sunday, Oct. 28. For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/2PeXuHY.

Stakes Action on Saturday

Know thy Keeneland TrainersMichael Tabor, Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith’s Moonshine Memories heads a field of 14 3-year-old fillies and two also-eligibles entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 20th running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2).

The 7-furlong main track test will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 5:30 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.

Trained by Simon Callaghan, Moonshine Memories won her first three races as a 2-year-old, including the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Chandelier (G1).

The Lexus Raven Run represents her third trip east from her Southern California base. Moonshine Memories finished fourth in the Acorn (G1) at Belmont in June and in her most recent start was third in the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga on Sept. 2.

Mike Smith has the mount and will break from post position nine.

Oklahoma Classics Cup Night

If Shotgun Kowboy is going to make his mark on Oklahoma Classics history Friday night at Remington Park, he will have to defeat four rivals while breaking from the outside post position, number five, in the 1-1/16 miles event.

Shotgun Kowboy is attempting to win his third $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup, the richest event on the $1,000,000 Oklahoma Classics Night of stakes events for eligible Oklahoma-bred Thoroughbreds. Bred, owned and trained by C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla., Shotgun Kowboy won the Classis Cup in 2015 and in 2017. A third victory in the race would put him alongside Mr Ross (1999-2001) and Zee Oh Six (2002, 2005-2006), as the only horses to capture the top event in the series three times.

Jockey David Cabrera receives the call on Shotgun Kowboy for the first time in the 6-year-old gelding’s career. A son of Kodiak Kowboy from the Siphon (Brz) mare Shotgun Jane, Shotgun Kowboy has earned $1,267,501 overall with 12 wins (seven at Remington Park), five times finishing second and another five races where he was third. He will make his 31st career start when he leaves the gate on Friday night.

Shotgun Kowboy is the first horse to win the Grade 3, Oklahoma Derby (2015) and then win the Oklahoma Classics Cup. The Classics series started in the fall of 1993, shortly after the legendary Oklahoma-bred Clever Trevor had retired. Clever Trevor is the only other Oklahoma-bred horse to have won the Oklahoma Derby, known as the Remington Park Derby in 1989, when he took the inaugural edition of the top event in Oklahoma.

Shotgun Kowboy seeks his fourth career victory in the Oklahoma Classics. He started his career in the state-bred series with a win in the $100,000 Classics Juvenile in 2014. Only four horses have won four or more Oklahoma Classics races in its history. Highland Ice won five Classics races with Notable Okie, Okie Ride, and She’s All In each winning four.

Shotgun Kowboy enters the Classics Cup off a third-place effort in the $175,000 Governor’s Cup behind Hence on Sept. 30. Earlier this year, Shotgun Kowboy, won the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, defeating Mubtaahij, out of National Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s barn. Mubtaahij was the winner, by eight lengths, of the Grade 2, $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai in 2015. He then competed in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby and finished fourth to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes that year.

Tuff Kid is among those trying to spoil Shotgun Kowboy’s party Friday night. Tuff Kid raced second, beaten 5-1/4 by Shotgun Kowboy, in the Classics Cup last year. He was fourth in the 2016 edition of the race behind winner Phantom Trip, when Shotgun Kowboy skipped the event.

Claimed on August 31 for $30,000 for new owner GK Racing of Driftwood, Texas and new trainer Karl Broberg, Tuff Kid is normally a deep closer in his best efforts and will add blinkers for the first time in his career for the Classics Cup. A 5-year-old gelding by Don’t Get Mad from the Wild Again mare Tuff Chick, Tuff Kid will be ridden by Ramon Vazquez for the first time in his career.

Hyper Drive is the only other contestant in the Classics Cup to have started previously in the race, finishing seventh behind Phantom Trip in 2016. Owned by Henry Thilmony of Minneapolis, Minn. and trained by Randy Oberlander, Hyper Drive last won on April 16 at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla. in a starter allowance race at the same 1-1/16 miles distance of the Classics Cup.

Making his first start in the Classics Cup will be Rowdy The Warrior, a 4-year-old trained by Donnie Von Hemel, the all-time leading trainer by wins in the Oklahoma Classics with 26. Also entering the race for the first time is Night Strike, a 3-year-old trained by Bret Calhoun who won an Oklahoma-bred allowance race at 1 mile-70 yards at Remington Park on Sept. 6.

The field for the Oklahoma Classics Cup by post position and program order, with trainer and jockey:

1. Night Strike – Bret Calhoun, Jamie Theriot

2. Hyper Drive – Randy Oberlander, Lindey Wade

3. Rowdy The Warrior – Donnie Von Hemel, Luis Quinonez

4. Tuff Kid – Karl Broberg, Ramon Vazquez

5. Shotgun Kowboy – C.R. Trout, David Cabrera

The Classics Cup is the sixth of 10 races on Oklahoma Classics Night and will start at approximately 9:25pm. The other stakes events during the evening include:

Race 1, 7:07pm: $130,000 Distaff Turf, fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1-1/16 miles (turf)

Race 4, 8:31pm: $130,000 OKC Turf Classic, 3 and up, 1-1/16 miles (turf)

Race 5, 8:58pm: $130,000 Sprint, 3 and up, six furlongs

Race 7, 9:52pm: $130,000 Distaff Sprint, fillies and mares, 3 and up, six furlongs

Race 8, 10:19pm: $145,000 Distaff, fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1 mile-70 yards

Race 9, 10:45pm: $100,000 Juvenile, 2-year-olds, six furlongs

Race 10, 11:26pm: $100,000 Lassie, 2-year-old fillies, six furlongs

The Primetime Pick 4 wager (races 7-10) on Oklahoma Classics Night will carry a guaranteed minimum betting pool of $100,000. The wager is comprised of all stakes events for the evening.

Source: Press Releases

2018 Breeders’ Cup: Oscar Performance Works

Amerman Racing’s four-time Grade 1 winner Oscar Performance continued his preparations for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3 by working 5 furlongs in company in 1:01 over a fast main track Wednesday morning at Keeneland.

Working with Teryn It Up, a 3-year-old maiden, Oscar Performance edged in front at the wire as he completed his final quarter-mile in :24 with regular rider Jose Ortiz up.

“I am happy with it,” trainer Brian Lynch said. “I wanted him to go in around 1:01 or 1:01 and change.”

Oscar Performance, winner of the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) in his most recent start Sept. 15, on Oct. 7 worked a half-mile in :52.20 on a turf course labeled good. He was scheduled for another grass work this past Sunday, but rainy conditions curtailed any turf activity.

“You do what you can,” Lynch said of the missed grass work. “But he has worked well on the dirt, and this year he has never lost when I have worked him on the dirt before a race.

“He worked on dirt before Woodbine and before the race at Belmont (the Grade 3 Poker in June).”

Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita in 2016 and ninth in last year’s 1½-mile Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Del Mar after setting the pace, Oscar Performance likely will have his final Breeders’ Cup work on the turf at Churchill Downs Oct. 28.

Source: Keeneland

Breeders’ Cup and Univ. of Louisville Team Up

LEXINGTON, Ky. (October, 2018) – Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred horse racing’s most prestigious international events, and University of Louisville are collaborating on a new communications course, COMM 510, which is being offered as part of the university’s Fall 2018 curriculum. Designed to provide students with practical experience and industry-level knowledge of the social media and public relations fields, the course tasks 16 undergraduate and graduate students with marketing the upcoming 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, taking place in Louisville, Kentucky on November 2 and 3.

“We are excited to collaborate with the University of Louisville to provide this unique opportunity for students looking to build their practical knowledge and experience in the competitive field of communications,” said Bryan Pettigrew, Chief Marketing Officer of Breeders’ Cup. “Every year we seek out interesting ways to collaborate with the local community, and together with our social media agency, Grand Slam Social, we are particularly excited to engage with local students. We look forward to seeing what they come up with to help promote this world-class event.”

During the semester, students have studied and analyzed literature related to strategic planning, influencer marketing, public relations and social media management and communication, among additional topics. Students have been divided into two teams to develop a strategic approach for covering both the Breeders’ Cup Festival and the World Championships on November 2-3. Students have been engaging in a myriad of roles including creative ideation, social listening, content creation, run of show development, influencer management, social media publishing, event attendance and data analysis.

Early this month, students will be presenting their recommendations for social media coverage and will play a key role in implementing their strategy both onsite at Churchill Downs, and remotely. By the end of the course, students will present a final report demonstrating how successfully goals were reached and providing key takeaways for future Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

“We, the students of #FrebergPR, are thrilled to be working with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships this semester,” said Candice Champlin and Megan McLeroy, group leaders of the Fall 2018 course. “This opportunity goes above and beyond the normal scope of classroom learning, providing us with invaluable real-time skills and experience. We cannot thank Breeders’ Cup and Dr. Freberg enough for allowing us this incredible opportunity. Our hands and minds are already fast at work, and we hope to make you all proud!”

“As a working professional in communications and a student in University of Louisville’s Master’s in Communications program, it’s exciting to take part in a project that goes far beyond the classroom. Partnerships like these are real-world examples of the power of public relations and media and the importance of curated content on a global scale,” said Berry Franklin IV, class team leader. “Our class is looking forward to helping the Breeders’ Cup make the races this November a success.”

The graduate-level course is being offered through the Department of Communication in the College of Arts & Sciences and is led by Karen Freberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Strategic Communications. An industry expert, Freberg has more than five years of experience teaching social media and strategic communications courses at University of Louisville. Portions of this year’s class are based on a textbook she authored titled Social media for strategic communication: Creative strategies and researched based applications. Past students of the course have subsequently secured internships and full-time roles at organizations such as Team USA, General Motors, Cision, Kentucky Derby, YUM! Brands, Adidas and Twitter.

“To have the opportunity to work with Breeders’ Cup is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to help bridge the gap between education and the industry. Our students are expected to have hands on experience and applied skills as they graduate and enter the workplace, and in a span of four months, our students here at the University of Louisville will be able to work on one of the biggest global horse racing events in the industry,” said Dr. Karen Freberg. “The city of Louisville is known for horse racing, and it is exciting for students to have the chance of not just learning about the key aspects of social media strategy and PR, but to actually implement these ideas through creative executions. I am very grateful to have this partnership between our class at the University of Louisville and The Breeders’ Cup.”

About Breeders’ Cup

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.

About University of Louisville

Founded in 1798, the University of Louisville is a state-supported research university located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area. The university serves more than 22,000 students each year through undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in 12 colleges and schools. The university has been recognized and honored for efforts in research, community engagement initiatives and commitment to diversity. UofL is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference for both academics and athletics. For more information, visit louisville.edu.

Press Release

There’s No Question Who the Best Real-Money Tournament Player Is

Tommy Massis relaxing back home at Woodbine

It’s This Guy

I was one of the guys who got crushed by The Hammer, the best real-money tournament player in the country.  Tommy Massis of Toronto is not only the King of Keeneland Contests but also the one to fear most in any real-money tournament.  On Sunday (10/14/18) in Lexington Kentucky, he placed a $1,000 win bet on 19-1 shot Bella Noire in Keeneland’s 4th race to claim another real-money victory at Keeneland.  Tommy’s winning total of $20,800 bested 2nd place finisher Blake Jessee by nearly $8,000.

Tommy loves Keeneland, with good reason.  He won the Breeders’ Cup Betting Championship (BCBC) at Keeneland in 2015, and this is his second win in a big Keeneland live money contest.  For his most recent victory, in addition to his final bankroll, he takes home $30,000, a fully paid $10,000 berth in the BCBC at Churchill Downs, and a fully paid entry plus expenses into the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) in Las Vegas.

According to the Keeneland press release, Tommy played the tournament from the Green Room at Keeneland, and when Bella Noire stormed down the stretch he jumped up and declared, “You have a new leader!”

The $3,000 buy-in tournament drew 167 entries and awarded BCBC and NHC spots to the top five finishers, NHC spots to places 6 through 8, and prize money to 15th place.

Three years ago I got the pleasure of interviewing The Hammer, so check out the link below to view Tommy’s insight into his first real-money tournament score at Keeneland:

Interview with Tommy Massis

Months after this interview, The Hammer turned around and won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Betting Championship (BCBC) by absolutely crushing the exacta in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.  A couple weeks later he won the Del Mar real-money tournament, taking down another grand prize and leaving his competition in the dust.

It was truly the year of The Hammer, and this past weekend proved that he is still pounding his competition, and making some men (like myself) look like boys.  Great job Tommy!

 

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