Breeders’ Cup 2018: Next Shares to the Turf

Next Shares, upset winner of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), will be spending a few more weeks here at Keeneland to prepare for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.

“We talked about it last night and the plan is to stay here until the last minute,” said Aimee Dollase, assistant to trainer Richard Baltas. Breeders’ Cup horses have to be on the grounds at Churchill Downs 72 hours prior to their races.

Next Shares and stablemate Insta Erma, sixth in the First Lady (G1) after stumbling badly at the start, have been in Kentucky since early September when both won stakes at Kentucky Downs.

“They both ran so well at Kentucky Downs, we decided just to come here to train rather than ship back to California,” Dollase said, reporting that Next Shares came out of his winning effort fine.

The gelding received a ground-saving trip from Tyler Gaffalione, who notched his first Keeneland graded-stakes victory with the 3¼-length score.

Breeders CupNext Shares races for Michael Iavarone, Jules Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Christopher T. Dunn, William Marasa, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor. At last year’s Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, he sold to David Meah, agent, for $190,000 from the consignment of ELiTE.

M and J Thoroughbreds and Riverside Bloodstock’s Great Wide Open (IRE), who finished second in the Shadwell Turf Mile at 81-1, could make his next start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“He ran so hard yesterday that I really expected him to be tired for a few days, but he was fresh this morning,” said trainer and co-owner Conor Murphy, whose stable is based at Trackside training facility near Churchill. “If he continues showing the form he showed going into the Shadwell Mile, he certainly will be under consideration for the Breeders’ Cup.”

Source: Keeneland

Breeders’ Cup 2018: Plans for Catholic Boy

With regular rider Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano aboard, multiple Grade 1 winner Catholic Boy breezed four furlongs in 49.07 seconds on Belmont’s main track Sunday morning, marking his second workout since winning the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers on August 25 at Saratoga.

Deciding to train up to his expected next start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 3 at Churchill Downs, trainer Jonathan Thomas said the 3-year-old More Than Ready colt has continued to progress since notching his first Grade 1 win on dirt in the Mid-Summer Derby after capturing the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational on turf. Thomas reported that Catholic Boy has settled into his new surroundings at Belmont, where he will remain and is expected to have two more workouts before shipping to Churchill in advance of the race.

“Today was just a kind of maintenance work,” Thomas said. “It was his second breeze back since the Travers, after which we gave him 10 days off just to let him get a little break. We came down here about two weeks ago and he’s settled in really nicely.”

Catholic Boy kicked off his 2018 campaign with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis before running fourth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream. He then returned to the turf, recording victories in both the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge and Belmont Derby.

“Obviously, we’ll let the weather determine our schedule, but it’s a factor for everybody,” said Thomas. “We plan to train with maybe two more works here, and then we’ll go to Churchill, where we’ll either have one or two breezes.”

Thomas said he is looking forward to continued success competing in New York after posting three wins from six starts at the Belmont fall meet through Sunday 9/30, including a victory with 3-year-old filly Tesora in the Christie Cat on September 7.

“Everything’s good,” Thomas said. “We’ve been very lucky and had a very good last couple months and look forward to running a couple horses and staying here through the fall.”

Seeking The Soul to the Cup?

The smile on trainer Dallas Stewart’s face was hard to miss last Sunday morning at Churchill Downs following Seeking the Soul’s gutsy 1 ¼-length victory in the $100,000 Ack Ack Presented by GE Appliances (Grade III) Saturday night. Now, the six-time winner is likely headed to the Breeders’ Cup, according to Stewart.

“That was a legit race with a legit final time,” Stewart said. “He ran the mile in (1:35.01) and showed a great effort at a track we know he loves. I’m pumped as ever with this horse. We have our options open a bit between the Dirt Mile (GI) and the Classic (GI). Mr. Fipke and I will get together to talk things over about where to head. He’s doing great this morning after the race.”

Prior to the Ack Ack, Seeking the Soul finished 13th in the $750,000 Woodward (GI) over 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga on Sept. 1. After running third in last year’s Lukas Classic, Seeking the Soul won a 1 1/16-mile condition allowance at Keeneland and then scored in the $500,000 Clark Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs in late November.

Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Seeking the Soul rallied from a couple lengths off the early pace before drawing clear inside the eighth pole.

“I think the slower pace helped me,” Hernandez said following the race. “I was able to keep up close to the pace and the leaders didn’t get away from me.”

Seeking the Soul is scheduled to remain in Barn 37 at Churchill Downs through the Breeders’ Cup.

Source: Press Releases

Breeders’ Cup 2018: The Other 5 Races on Saturday

Stars Aplenty Expected for Remainder of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Card

While the Classic, Distaff, Mile and Turf will rightfully garner the majority of the Saturday headlines, the other five Breeders’ Cup races will be filled the very best equine talent, with several championships lying in the balance.

The Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, run at 1 3/8 miles, is expected to be led by Peter Brant’s divisional leader SISTERCHARLIE (IRE), who qualified for the race when she won Arlington Park’s “Win and You’re In” Beverly D. (GI) August 11 for trainer Chad Brown, who could also start FOURSTAR CROOK and SANTA MONICA (GB). Sunderland Holdings’ SEA OF CLASS (IRE) won the “Win and You’re In” Darley Yorkshire Oaks (GI) August 23 at York to gain an entry for trainer William Haggas and rates the best of a European contingent that could also include EZIYRA (IRE), MAGIC WAND (IRE) and WILD ILLUSION (GB).

Breeders' Cup Trophy, Churchill Downs

copyright All Star

The one-turn Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile is shaping up as a tremendous race, as Hronis Racing’s CATALINA CRUISER, who earned a berth into the race when he won Del Mar’s “Win and You’re In” Pat O’Brien (GII) August 25 for trainer John Sadler and has won his four career starts by 18 ½ lengths, rates as one of the most talented horses in training. Waiting in the wings is multiple Grade I winner CITY OF LIGHT and the undefeated ARMY MULE, on the comeback trail after suffering a minor injury shortly after winning Aqueduct’s Carter (GI) by 6 ¼ lengths April 7. Defending Dirt Mile winner BATTLE OF MIDWAY made his return from retirement and was second in the Pat O’Brien and is also pointing to the race.

The six-furlong TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint is expected to be led by Ray Mamone’s IMPERIAL HINT, who aired in Saratoga’s Alfred Vanderbilt (GI) July 28 for trainer Luis Carvajal, while LIMOUSINE LIBERAL and RANSOM THE MOON qualified for the race with wins in this summer’s “Win and You’re In” Belmont Sprint Championship (GII) and “Win and You’re In” Del Mar’s Bing Crosby (GI), respectively. Defending Sprint winner ROY H is also expected, as are Grade I winners PROMISES FULFILLED and WHITMORE and multiple graded stakes winner X Y JET.

The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, run at seven furlongs, looks to have a solid favorite in Cicero Farm’s MARLEY’S FREEDOM, who earned a berth into the race with her win in Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Ballerina (GI) August 25 for trainer Bob Baffert. STORMY EMBRACE earned a berth into the race in the “Win and You’re In” Princess Rooney (GII) in June, while multiple graded stakes winners AMERICAN GAL, FINLEY’SLUCKYCHARM, LEWIS BAY and MIA MISCHIEF are also pointing to the race.

The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, run at five furlongs, is expected to draw a deep field, with Patricia Generazio’s homebred DISCO PARTNER, who qualified for the race when he won Belmont’s “Win and You’re In” Jaipur (GII) in June for trainer Christophe Clement, looking to better his third-place run in last year’s renewal at Del Mar. Defending champion STORMY LIBERAL headlines the rest of an American contingent that could also include BELVOIR BAY (GB), BUCCHERO, LADY ALEXANDRA, PURE SENSATION, and VISION PERFECT, while the Europeans could send BLUE POINT (IRE), CORINTHIAN KNIGHT (IRE), EL ASTRONAUTE (IRE).

Source: Breeders’ Cup

Breeders’ Cup 2018: Will the Euros Own the Turf Races?

Breeders’ Cup Mile & Turf Figure Ripe for the Euro Taking

The Europeans have long been major players in both the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf and this year figures to be no different, as the American contingent has been sorting itself out all year in both divisions. Any European participation is still to be determined but any number of potential shippers would warrant serious looks, should they come for either race.

Qatar Racing’s LIGHTNING SPEAR (GB) qualified for the Mile when he won the “Win and You’re In” Sussex (GI) at Glorious Goodwood in August for trainer David Simcock. The 7-year-old son of Pivotal (GB), who is 7-for-25 lifetime, has been a stalwart on the European Group I scene in recent years and would be a huge threat should he make the trip to Louisville, while Sarl Darpat France’s RECOLETOS (FR), who won the Prix de Moulin de Longchamp (GI) September 9 for trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias, has proven European Group I form and 7-for-13 lifetime.

The Americans are led by Amerman Racing’s homebred OSCAR PERFORMANCE, who won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita and earned an automatic Mile berth when he won Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” Ricoh Woodbine Mile (GI, see race recap below). The 4-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy is 8-for-14 lifetime for trainer Brian Lynch and should relish a two-turn mile.

Multiple Grade I winner HEART TO HEART gives Lynch a serious 1-2 punch, while HUNT (IRE) earned an automatic Mile berth when he won the “Win and You’re In” Shoemaker Mile (GI) at Santa Anita in May for trainer Phil D’Amato, and Delta Prince, a half-brother to two-time Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Royal Delta who was a close fourth as the favorite in the Woodbine Mile for trainer Jimmy Jerkens also has plenty of talent. CATAPULT, RAGING BULL (FR), SYNCRONY and VOODOO SONG are also pointing for the Breeders’ Cup Mile for the Americans, while ANNA NERIUM (GB), EXPERT EYE (GB), PLUMATIC (GB) and SUEDOIS (FR) could come from Europe.

The Longines Turf, run at 1 ½ miles, would have a pair of imposing favorites should ROARING LION and POET’S WORD (IRE) ship in from Europe, which is no guarantee at this point. The former, a 3-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy, stands as Europe best turf horse after a win in Saturday’s “Win and You’re In” QIPCO Irish Champion (GI, see race recap below) at Leopardstown for trainer John Gosden. Roaring Lion had already qualified for the Turf with his win in York’s “Win and You’re In” Juddmonte International (GI) in August and is 7-for-11 lifetime. While he is likely to run next in the Champion Stakes (GI) October 20 at Ascot, his connections have flirted with the idea of running in the Turf all year. Poet’s Word, a 5-year-old son of Poet’s Voice (GB), qualified for the Turf when he won Ascot’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Sponsored by QIPCO (GI) in July for trainer Sir Michael Stoute and the 7-for-17 lifetime runner was last seen running second to Roaring Lion in the International.

The Americans will be led by a trio of “Win and You’re In” qualifiers in Little Red Feather Racing and Marsha Naify’s FASHION BUSINESS (GB), who won the Del Mar Handicap Presented by the Japan Racing Association (GII) August 18 for trainer Phil D’Amato, Matthew Schera’s GLORIOUS EMPIRE (IRE), who wired Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Sword Dancer (GI) August 25 for trainer Chuck Lawrence, and Convento Viejo’s ROBERT BRUCE (CHI), who won the Arlington Million (GI) August 11 for trainer Chad Brown. The former could prep for the Turf in Santa Anita’s John Henry Turf Championship September 30 while the latter pair could run in Belmont Park’s September 29 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (GI), which is also a “Win and You’re In” for the Turf.

Godolphin’s defending Turf champion TALISMANIC (GB) is gearing up for a title defense. The 5-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, who is 8-for-21 lifetime, including an upset win in the Turf last year at Del Mar, was recently second in the Prix Foy (GII) September 16 at Longchamp for trainer Andre Fabre. LA EXTRANA DAMA (ARG) and QUARTETO DE CORDAS (BRZ) won “Win and You’re In” races in Argentina and Brazil, this spring, respectively, and could run in the Turf, as could Americans ARKLOW and CHANNEL MAKER.

Eziyra Points to Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

The Aga Khan’s homebred EZIYRA (IRE) won Sunday’s Blandford (GII) at The Curragh and will step up in class for her next two starts, which trainer Dermot Weld hopes ends with a run in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. The 4-year-old daughter of Teofilo (IRE) improved off a third-place finish in York’s August “Win and You’re In” Darley Yorkshire Oaks (GI), an automatic qualifier for the Filly & Mare Turf. Eziyra is 6-for-11 lifetime and will head to North America to embark on an ambitious late-season double.

“I’ve had it in my mind to go to Canada for the E.P. Taylor (GI, October 13) and that would be possible for her next race,” Weld said. “And then we’ll go on for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.”

Source: Breeders’ Cup

Breeders’ Cup 2018: Diversify On Target for Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup

Lauren Evans and Ralph M. Evans’ multiple Grade 1 winner Diversify wrapped up his major preparations for his title defense in the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park with a five-furlong breeze Friday morning (9/21), covering the distance in 58.97 seconds, his second bullet work in as many weeks.

Diversify worked solo under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. over the main track shortly after the renovation break. The breeze was the fastest of 16 at the distance. NYRA clockers caught the 5-year-old New York-bred gelding by Bellamy Road galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 4/5.

Friday’s move was the fourth work for Diversify, the expected favorite for the 1 ¼-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic qualifier on Super Saturday, September 29, since recording a 3 ½-length victory in the Grade 1 Whitney on August 4 at Saratoga Race Course. Last Friday, Diversify breezed five furlongs in a bullet 58.88 seconds, his first appearance on the Belmont work tab since shipping from Saratoga earlier this month for trainer Rick Violette, Jr.

“It was another great breeze,” said Violette’s assistant Melissa Cohen. “We were planning on going a little slower, but he was very happy to do what he did and he couldn’t have done it any easier. We’re happy, he came back happy, barely blowing a match. He’s happy, relaxed.

“It was almost an exact replica of last week, so I think he’s telling us he’s ready,” she added. “All systems go.”

Diversify is coming into the Gold Cup off three straight wins, including the one-mile Commentator for New York-breds in May and the Grade 2 Suburban at 1 ¼ miles on July 7 prior to the Whitney. Last year, he won a pair of New York-bred stakes, capped by an 11 ½-length romp in the Evan Shipman at Saratoga, and successfully stretched out to 1 ¼ miles for the first time with a gutsy one-length victory in the 2017 Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Cohen said Diversify will jog Saturday morning and walk Sunday as part of his normal post-work routine.

Source: NYRA

Breeders’ Cup 2018: Veteran Runner Pay Any Price heading to Turf Sprint

Averill Racing and Matties Racing Stable’s Pay Any Price withstood top weight of 130 pounds and a bold stretch challenge to capture the $75,000 Tamiami Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Sunday 9/16, taking huge strides toward a planned start in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.

The 8-year-old gelding, who set a world record for five furlongs on turf (53.61 seconds) at Gulfstream last year, carried between 12 and 15 pounds more than his six rivals in the five-furlong turf handicap while winning his fourth straight race and 11th of his last 16 starts.

“He’ll get one more race and then we’re planning on going to Churchill,” said trainer Georgina Baxter following her first career stakes victory.

Pay Any Price broke alertly under Edgard Zayas to show the way while being pressed by Phantom Ro past fractions of 21.64 and 43.94 seconds. Turning into the homestretch, Phantom Ro pulled alongside the gelded son of Wildcat Heir, but the 2-5 favorite fought back under strong urging and pulled away to a 1 ½-length triumph.

The Breeders' Cup horse racing“He handled the 130 pounds well,” Zayas said. “I was a little worried because that’s a lot of weight. But he handled it well and when the other horse got to him he was game like he always is and kept on going and fought back.”

Phantom Ro, a stakes winner making his first start on turf, finished second while carrying 115 pounds, including jockey Tyler Gaffalione. Tenacity Zip and jockey Paco Lopez finished a head third.

Pay Any Price, who ran five furlongs in 55.57 seconds, was making his first start since capturing the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint on the June 30 Summit of Speed program at Gulfstream.

“I was kind of worried because he was coming off a bit of a layoff and carrying a lot of weight. He was giving 15 pounds to some of the horses,” Baxter said. “He dug in good today. He’s dug in before, but today he surprised me. He really dug in. He was training really well.”

Pay Any Price has overcome chronic foot issues and behavioral issues to establish himself as a star stakes performer and fan favorite in South Florida.

“That’s my project,” Baxter said. “I get on him every day. It’s no secret he’s a hard horse to train.”

Source: Gulfstream Park