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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2014

Breeders' Cup News & Notes

California Chrome posts 'unbelievable' move for BC Classic

California Chrome looked sharp in his five-furlong blitz and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12 (Courtesy of Los Alamitos via Twitter)
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome had his final major prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic Saturday at his Los Alamitos headquarters, going five furlongs in :59 3/5 under regular rider Victor Espinoza.

Sherman Racing Stables tweeted that their star zipped in :58 3/5.

"Unbelievable" is how Alan Sherman summed up the move. "He's ready to roll. We're really happy with him."

Los Alamitos head clocker Russ Hudak echoed Alan Sherman's sentiments on the workout.

"I would agree with him," Hudak said. "California Chrome has really moved forward. This was a step up, the best he's done since coming back from Philadelphia (where finished sixth in the Pennsylvania Derby on September 20)."

California Chrome's fractional times, according to the teletimer observed by Hudak, were :24 1/5 and :48, with a six-furlong gallop out of 1:12.

The son of and assistant to trainer Art Sherman said California Chrome is scheduled to leave Los Alamitos around 5 a.m. (PDT) Sunday and arrive at Santa Anita about an hour later.

"The Classic should be a great race," he added.

California Chrome is one of four three-year-olds who are grabbing all the headlines in the Breeders' Cup Classic, along with Shared Belief, Tonalist, and Bayern.

Jerry Hollendorfer is pleased with Shared Belief as the undefeated male two-year-old champion of 2013 awaits the Classic, with potential Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old honors on the line for the Candy Ride gelding.

"It's been a long journey, but we're right on our schedule, so we'll just see if we can follow through," the Hall of Fame trainer said.

Candy Boy disposed of his workmate in a strong seven-furlong move (Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com)
Another talented sophomore, Candy Boy, is being overlooked in the Classic, but that's OK with his trainer John Sadler.

The Robert B. Lewis winner worked seven furlongs at Santa Anita Saturday morning in company in 1:25. His workmate Candy Anniversary finished up in 1:26 1/5.

"Very good" is how Sadler termed the drill.

The son of Candy Ride has never been worse than fourth in 11 career starts for Lee and Susan Searing's C R K Stable, and his lone disappointing effort came in a troubled Kentucky Derby.

"He's got one placing ahead of California Chrome (when third) in the Pennsylvania Derby and he was second to Shared Belief in the Los Alamitos Derby," Sadler reasoned. "His form is his form. He's been good and steady. He hasn't shown that he's the best three-year-old, but he's in the upper group."

Candy Boy usually gains ground in the homestretch, so the 1 1/4 miles of the Classic should be to his liking.

"He had a terrible trip in the Kentucky Derby (finishing 13th of 19 after taking up sharply at the seven-eighths marker)," Sadler said. "He was essentially eliminated on the first turn. But otherwise, he's been remarkably consistent.

"We're running on his home track at a mile and a quarter and he's doing well, so we're looking forward to the race."

In other Breeders' Cup news:

Stonetastic fired a bullet in :46 for the F&M Sprint (Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com)
Other Breeders' Cup workers at Santa Anita Saturday included Big Macher (Sprint), who went four furlongs for Richard Baltas with Tyler Baze up in :47 2/5.

"He was just cruising," Baltas said of the California-bred son of Beau Genius. "Tyler had him three or four (lanes) off the rail and was just sitting on him.

"It wasn't as impressive as his last work (a bullet :58 3/5 last Sunday) but that was kind of by design. He finished up great and he came out of it good. He went the last eighth in 11 flat. Tyler is really happy with the horse. The horse's weight is better; he looks good."

Santa Anita Sprint Championship winner Rich Tapestry worked five furlongs in 1:01 under exercise rider Vincent Sit.

"I'm very happy; he went very smooth," said trainer Leonard Powell, deputizing for trainer Michael Chang who is due in Monday from Hong Kong.

Fed Biz (Dirt Mile) worked four furlongs in company for Bob Baffert in :46 4/5 with Martin Garcia up. Workmate Declassify was caught in the same time.

Also for Baffert, Tiz Midnight (Distaff) drilled five-eighths in :59.

The Kelly Breen-trained Stonetastic (Filly & Mare Sprint) sizzled in a bullet :46, tying for the fastest of 59 moves at the half-mile trip.

Prayer for Relief (Classic) went four furlongs for Dale Romans in :47 2/5; Texas Red (Juvenile) covered the same ground in :50 for Keith Desormeaux; Daddy D T (Juvenile Turf) worked five furlongs for Sadler in 1:02; Golden Ticket (Dirt Mile) went five furlongs for Ken McPeek in :59; Cristina's Journey (Juvenile Fillies), five furlongs in 1:00 for Romans; Valiant Emilia (Distaff) also went in 1:00 for Gary Mandella; and Home Run Kitten (Turf Sprint) five furlongs in :59 2/5 for David Hofmans with Joe Talamo in the irons.

On Santa Anita's firm turf course, Obviously (Mile) went five furlongs in a bullet :58 2/5 for Phil D'Amato, who also sent Big John B (Turf) the same distance in 1:02 2/5; Danny Boy (Juvenile Turf) went five furlongs in :59 3/5 for Romans, while Mark Casse sent Conquest Harlanate (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Conquest Typhoon (Juvenile Turf) five furlongs in the identical time of 1:00 3/5; Lawn Ranger (Juvenile Turf) went five furlongs in 1:03 1/5 for McPeek and the Marty Jones-trained Ambitious Brew (Turf Sprint) was caught in 1:00 1/5; Luck of the Kitten (Juvenile Turf) toured four furlongs in :51 2/5 for Wesley Ward and Marchman (Turf Sprint) posted :50 for Desormeaux.

She's Complete has been withdrawn from BC consideration (Benoit Photos)
There was a Breeders' Cup withdrawal on Saturday, as trainer Leandro Mora announced that She's Complete would not line up in Friday's Juvenile Fillies Turf.

"She's Complete has been withdrawn from running in the Breeders' Cup this year," Mora said in a Facebook post. "The owners have decided to not put her to such a big test this early in her career. We are looking forward to a strong three-year-old season with She's Complete."

She's Complete was also pre-entered in next Saturday's Juvenile Fillies on dirt, but as a second preference.

Victorious in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar two back, the Irish-bred was runner-up to Her Emmynency in the October 5 Surfer Girl at Santa Anita. Her Emmynency has since been sidelined as well, coming down with colitis.

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Classic contender Tonalist breezes at Belmont

Tonalist appeared to go easily in his solo spin (NYRA/Adam Coglianese/Susie Raisher)
At Belmont Park on Saturday, Belmont Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Tonalist turned in his final breeze ahead of next Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic.

Striding along on his own, the Tapit colt was credited with a five-furlong move in 1:01 4/5 on the good main track. Trainer Christophe Clement tweeted that Tonalist actually worked six furlongs in 1:14 2/5.

"Nice work," Clement reported.

Tonalist is in line for a divisional Eclipse Award, and potentially Horse of the Year, if he can prevail over fellow sophomores Shared Belief, California Chrome and Bayern and older foes in the $5 million Classic. Last week, it was announced that Lane's End had acquired a share in the Robert S. Evans colorbearer.

Breeders' Cup Mile hopeful Sayaad sped a half-mile in a bullet :48, the best of 12 at the distance. Most recently third in the Shadwell Turf Mile, the Kiaran McLaughlin charge was first on the oversubscribed list, but will get in after Fiesolana was confirmed for the Filly & Mare Turf.

Three Breeders' Cup pre-entrants took to Belmont's good training track.

Filly & Mare Sprint contender Artemis Agrotera, coming off scores in the Ballerina and Gallant Bloom, negotiated five panels in 1:00 4/5.

Distaff hopeful Stanwyck, a distant fourth in the Beldame last out, also clocked 1:00 4/5.

Juvenile Fillies Turf contender Isabella Sings, a valiant runner-up in the Natalma, toured four furlongs in :48 3/5.

Over at Aqueduct, Distaff runner Belle Gallantey covered five-eighths in 1:02 4/5 on the fast track.

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Grand Arch, Southern Honey get in final works at Keeneland

Grand Arch is bound for California after his completing his final preparatory work at Keeneland (Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Grand Arch put the finishing touches on his major preparations for next Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile by working five furlongs on the dirt in 1:00 2/5 in company after the Saturday morning renovation break at Keeneland.

With jockey Julien Leparoux up, Grand Arch posted fractions of :35 4/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 1/5. Grand Arch started about a half-length in front of Classic Brew, a three-year-old maiden, and finished an expanding four lengths in front at the finish line.

"That was his last serious work (for the Breeders' Cup)," trainer Brian Lynch said of Grand Arch, who is scheduled to ship to Santa Anita on Tuesday. "He's ready to go out and enjoy some of that California sunshine."

Grand Arch finished second to reigning two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile on October 4. He worked an easy half-mile in :52 1/5 last Saturday.

A five-year-old gelding by Arch, Grand Arch will represent the first Breeders' Cup starter for Lynch, who said John Velazquez would have the mount next week.

"He will jog Wednesday, gallop Thursday and jog again Friday," Lynch said of the game plan for the Breeders' Cup. "I will probably take him to the paddock once, but not the gate. He doesn't need that; he is the ultimate professional."

Southern Honey, second in the Thoroughbred Club of America on October 4 in her most recent start, worked a half-mile in :49 under exercise rider Jose Cortez after the renovation break.

"That was much better," trainer Rusty Arnold said. "I didn't need to do too much with her today after last week."

The three-year-old Colonel John filly worked a best-of-88 half-mile in :46 4/5 last Saturday as she began her major work for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.

Clockers caught Southern Honey's first quarter-mile in :25 and had her galloping out five furlongs in 1:03 3/5.

"She will go back to the track here to gallop Monday and Tuesday," Arnold said. "She doesn't leave from Louisville until Tuesday afternoon on a late flight that gets in out there around 6:30 p.m. (PDT).

"I like to take my horses out to jog the day after they ship and then she would gallop Thursday and Friday and I may take her out Saturday morning."

Julien Leparoux, who has ridden Southern Honey in her past seven races, will have the mount in the Breeders' Cup.

Arnold has a paddock schooling session slated for Thursday for the filly at Santa Anita.

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Work All Week posts final local move for Sprint

Work All Week readied for his BC Sprint engagement with a sharp move at Hawthorne (Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc.'s Work All Week, the reigning Illinois Horse of the Year, posted his final local workout early Saturday morning in preparation for next weekend's Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park.

The five-year-old son of City Zip officially worked four furlongs under regular rider Florent Geroux, who had flown in from Kentucky just for the move. He went :12 2/5, :24 2/5 and :36 before finishing up in :47 3/5. Work All Week galloped out in hand.

Clocker Bobby Belpedio's comment about the work was "well in hand," and trainer Roger Brueggemann was very pleased with the exercise.

"We made it through this step. Now we need to make it through his next one," Brueggemann said.

Work All Week will be shipped to Kentucky Monday and catch a flight to California Tuesday along with other Breeders' Cup hopefuls.

The chestnut gelding has been victorious in 11 of his 14 races, along with two second-place finishes, and has bankrolled $532,571. His lone finish out of the money came in his only race at two when trying turf for the first, and only, time.

Work All Week is nine-for-nine on dirt, including a victory in the Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland last out that earned him an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

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All systems go for Maker's BC trio

Trainer Mike Maker's trio of Breeders' Cup hopefuls -- International Star (Juvenile Turf), Thank You Marylou (Filly & Mare Sprint) and Vicar's In Trouble (Dirt Mile) -- were scheduled to depart Louisville, Kentucky, for Southern California on Saturday. All owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

Maker has secured Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez to ride all three mounts.

International Star is coming off a victory in the Grade 3 Grey on October 5 over Woodbine's synthetic Polytrack, and Maker thinks going back to turf should be no problem for the Fusaichi Pegasus juvenile.

"I'm not concerned about the turf," Maker said. "It should be a harder turf course so no worries there. He's shown up in every race and I look forward to him doing that next weekend, too."

International Star took his maiden debut on turf at Belmont and finished second on grass in the Grade 2 With Anticipation on August 22 at Saratoga.

Thank You Marylou, third in the Grade 3 Raven Run at Keeneland on October 18, will face older fillies and mares for the first time in the Filly & Mare Sprint, and Maker thinks she needs an outside post position to be at her best. She broke from the inside post 1 in the Raven Run.

"She came out of the last race fine," Maker said. "She got stuck on the inside in that last one and she runs a lot better with an outside post position, so hopefully we can get lucky with the draw and be in good shape."

Thank You Marylou was a 6 1/2-length winner in the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs prior to the Raven Run, where she broke from the 6-hole in the seven-horse field.

Vicar's In Trouble is coming off a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby in his last outing on October 4 , and also will face older horses for the first time in the Dirt Mile.

"It's always tough taking on older horses for the first time," Maker said. "But then again, he runs his race every time so we figured we'd give him a shot."

Vicar's In Trouble has won four of 10 starts, including the Grade 2 Super Derby prior to the Indiana Derby, and has banked $1,228,292 lifetime.

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Breeders' Cup modifies Convicted Trainer Rule

The Board of Directors of Breeders' Cup Limited has unanimously voted to modify its Convicted Trainer Rule to prohibit the pre-entry or entry of any horse found to have tested positive for any substance listed under Class One or Class Two, Penalty Category A, in the twelve month period preceding the Championships.

As part of the Board revision of the Convicted Trainer Rule, Breeders' Cup will also implement rule modifications prohibiting the participation in the Breeders' Cup World Championships by assistant trainers or other employees that affected trainers may transfer horses to following the imposition of sanctions under the rule.

The rule modifications will be implemented for the 2015 Breeders' Cup and all subsequent Championships.

In announcing the rule changes, William S. Farish Jr., Chairman of the Breeders' Cup, stated that, "Our Board is strongly committed to the principle that the most important asset of the Breeders' Cup is integrity, and there is no place in the Championships for those who are unable to comport with the rules prohibiting the administration of prohibited substances."

While the contemplated changes will not be applicable for the 2014 event, Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup President and CEO, indicated that the goal of the rule changes is to put owners and trainers on notice that serious medication violations will have consequences at the highest level of the sport.

"We are hopeful that in selecting a trainer, owners will exercise the utmost care to assure themselves that a horse in that trainer's care will not be treated improperly. A commitment to playing by the rules is vital to the future of the sport," Fravel said.

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Features

BREEDERS' CUP FEATURE

OCTOBER 26, 2014

Sophomores lead the way in Classic

by James Scully

Three-year-olds have won nine of the previous 30 runnings of the Breeders' Cup Classic and the sophomore division could easily dominate in 2014, with Shared Belief, California Chrome, Tonalist and Bayern expected to be the top four betting favorites.

All four will be vying for Horse of the Year honors with a victory.

In Classic history, three-year-olds have gone favored nine times previously, with Street Sense (5-2) the most recent example in 2007. His classmate Any Given Saturday left the starting gate as the 7-2 co-second favorite that year at Monmouth Park and three-year-olds also accounted for the top two betting choices twice before: Easy Goer (1-2) and Sunday Silence (2-1) in 1989, and Medaglia d'Oro (5-2) and War Emblem (4-1) in 2002.

On two previous occasions, three-year-olds swept the top four finishing positions: Concern-Tabasco Cat-Dramatic Gold-Soul of the Matter in 1994; and Tiznow-Giant's Causeway-Captain Steve-Albert the Great in 2000.

The Classic promises to be an exciting race and I'll take a look at the pros and cons for the leading contenders:

SHARED BELIEF

Pros: Don't underestimate the accomplishments of this budding superstar -- if Shared Belief captures the Breeders' Cup Classic, he will have won more major stakes races open to older horses in the U.S. than any three-year-old champion since Secretariat, the greatest American racehorse of modern times. The champion two-year-old male of 2013, Shared Belief is unbeaten from seven career starts, earning BRIS Speed ratings as high as 111 (top figure in this year's Classic field) with his dynamic turn of foot. And the gelding's stalk-and-pounce run style could prove favorable given the speed-laden complexion of the race. The possibility exists that he's far superior to his rivals.

Cons: Two concerns, however minor, can be identified. A) Distance -- Needs to prove the Polytrack at Del Mar didn't help carry him 1 1/4 miles in Pacific Classic (he relishes synthetic tracks) and doubters will suggest 10 furlongs on dirt is beyond his scope; and B) Fear of a regression -- Shared Belief was essentially on his belly the final half-mile last time, posting a narrow victory in the September 27 Awesome Again, a hard race in which he was forced to travel wide throughout, and supporters hope that doesn't flatten him out given his light frame (small and athletic) and limited racing experience.

TONALIST

Pros: Belmont Stakes winner rebounded from a pair of setbacks at Saratoga with a convincing score in the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, a strong performance that bodes well for his Classic chances. Trainer Christophe Clement removed blinkers last time and Tonalist displayed a new dimension relaxing well off the pace, netting a 105 BRIS Speed following a bold rally. Ran well outside of New York in a pair of starts at Gulfstream Park earlier this year and looks capable of a serious challenge if he takes to Santa Anita's track.

Cons: Late bloomer has recorded all three stakes wins over a deeper track at Belmont Park and New York shippers do not possess a good record in Breeders' Cup main track races at Santa Anita. And Tonalist dropped back to last during the early stages of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, rating a dozen lengths off the early action. He could get away with that at Belmont but those tactics may not work at Santa Anita. Tonalist has also shown a propensity to travel wide; no guarantee he'll take to the track or receive a favorable trip at Santa Anita.

CALIFORNIA CHROME

Pros: The first California-bred Kentucky Derby winner since 1962, California Chrome established himself as a fan favorite over the winter/spring with a trio of impressive stakes triumphs at Santa Anita and carried his outstanding form forward with victories in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Probably needed his last start -- a troubled sixth in the Pennsylvania Derby -- following a lengthy freshening and is eligible to move forward significantly off the tightener. California Chrome can be a major player if he shows up with his best.

Cons: After winning six straight races, he's posted consecutive unplaced finishes and may not be sharp enough presently to deliver his best -- the Triple Crown (three races in a five-week period) can exact an extreme toll upon horses. California Chrome won't be the first to be over the top for the remainder of his three-year-old season after a strenuous early-season schedule and Santa Anita has resurfaced its main track since his eye-catching performances last spring, so that advantage is potentially minimalized.

BAYERN

Pros: Spectacular when on his game, winning the Woody Stephens by 7 1/2 lengths, the Haskell Invitational by 7 1/4 lengths and the Pennsylvania Derby by 5 3/4 lengths, Bayern earned outstanding BRIS Speed numbers for those efforts and is the speed of the speed in the Classic field. And Santa Anita can play extremely favorable to front-running types in late fall. If he gets the trip -- a comfortable lead where he's not running head-to-head with another rival(s) the blossoming colt rates as a serious threat to give them the slip.

Cons: Ten furlongs is a legitimate concern. Faltered badly to last when stretching out to 1 1/4 miles in the Travers and Bayern was under consideration for both the Sprint and Dirt Mile before his Pennsylvania Derby tour-de-force. May be the quickest but certainly not lone speed; the other front-runners will be looking to strike before he reaches the top of the stretch. Could be softened up by the latter stages.

Graded Recaps

Pick of the Litter catches Departing in Fayette

Pick of the Litter was registering his first stakes win in the Fayette (Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Pick of the Litter found a seam between favorites Departing and Long River inside the final sixteenth and was just up to defeat the former by a neck in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Fayette, the closing day feature of the Keeneland fall meet.

Under Corey Lanerie, Pick of the Litter enjoyed a ground-saving trip only a few lengths behind the dueling pair of Long River and Call Me George, who took turns holding a narrow lead through splits of :24 1/5 and :48 1/5. Departing also entered the fray around the far turn and the three were separated by a half-length when Call Me George passed six furlongs in 1:12 1/5.

In the stretch, Departing opened up a one-length lead over the wide-traveling Long River, but Pick of the Litter was in close pursuit hugging the rail. When Lanerie spotted the gap between the top pair, he shifted the eventual winner off the inside and in between rivals to nab the win in a time of 1:49 2/5 for nine furlongs on a fast track.

The 7-1 fourth choice in a field of eight, Pick of the Litter paid $16.60 to win. He is owned by Crossed Sabres Farm and is trained by Dale Romans.

"I had a great trip," Lanerie said. "My horse broke really good. My plan was to try to get behind Departing; I thought he was the horse to beat and to try not to let him get out of my sights. I wanted to stay kinda close to him and see what I had turning for home, see if I had enough to go by him or not."

Departing, the 2-1 favorite, finished second by a length over Long River, who was a neck ahead of Code West. Mister Marti Gras, Call Me George, Coltimus Prime, and Stephanoatsee completed the order of finish.

This was the third career stakes appearance for Pick of the Litter, a four-year-old colt by Kitten's Joy. He finished fourth earlier this year in both the July 27 Monmouth Cup and the September 27 Homecoming Classic at Churchill Downs. In between those two outings, he was half-length allowance winner at Saratoga over Breeders' Cup Classic-bound Cigar Street, who turned the tables on Pick of the Litter in the Homecoming Classic. Pick of the Litter's record now stands at 18-5-4-2, $392,662.

"This horse has always shown in the past that he had the potential to be a really good horse," Lanerie said. "For some reason, it wouldn't just all click at one time. Dale and I kept talking, 'We know he's a good horse.' We didn't know why he's just not getting there, but we knew he could do it. Today he put it all together."

A $150,000 Keeneland September purchase, Pick of the Litter was produced by the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Eagle Sound, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Wild Syn, who famously upset the 1995 Blue Grass at Keeneland. Also hailing from this extended family are the Grade 1-winning juveniles Competitive Edge, All Fired Up, and Awesome Humor; Grade 1 scorer Awesome Humor, and Group 2 winner Spring Party.

Pick of the Litter was bred in Kentucky by Gabriel Duignan, Crosshaven Bloodstock, and Vision Thoroughbreds.

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Salutos Amigos scores first stakes in Bold Ruler

Salutos Amigos may be heading to the Breeders' Cup Sprint next Saturday after his 3 1/4-length victory in the Bold Ruler (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Southern Equine Stable LLC and trainer David Jacobson's Salutos Amigos had his connections thinking about wheeling him back in one week for the Breeders' Cup Sprint after he captured his first stakes in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont.

"His performance was spectacular; I think we made the right move staying home," Jacobson said. "Now we're going to make some phone calls and see if we can go to the Breeders' Cup (Sprint). I don't know if it's still an option, but if it is, we're going to be on a plane Monday to go to California. I was just waiting for a spectacular performance, and we got it.

"He had a lot of trouble. There were some real nice horses in here, and they had him blocked in, so (jockey) Cornelio (Velasquez) had to go very wide. With this kind of performance, and knowing the way I trained him into the race, he's going to be ready to run next Saturday."

Salutos Amigos set in midpack near the inside as even-money favorite River Rocks posted opening fractions of :22 4/5 and :45 4/5 before fading in the stretch.

Salutos Amigos stalked the frontrunners in behind a wall of horses before losing ground around the far turn. As the field turned for home, the four-year-old gelding briefly found himself in last and had to angle out wide for his stretch run. Once he had clear running room, the 7-2 second choice grabbed the lead with about a sixteenth to go and kicked away in the final yards to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths.

"I broke good and stayed in good position," Velasquez said. "I stayed behind the speed and I waited, waited, waited. At the three-sixteenths pole, I had a chance to put him into gear, and I had a lot of horse. He won easy today."

Salutos Amigos covered seven furlongs in 1:21 4/5 over the good main track and returned $9.10 to his supporters for the victory.

Confrontation got up by a neck over Romansh in third. River Rocks, Cease, Sage Valley and Joe Tess completed the order under the wire.

Salutos Amigos raced once as a juvenile, finishing runner-up on the grass at Hollywood Park and broke his maiden over the dirt at Santa Anita in his third career start. The bay came in fifth in his stakes debut in the San Felipe and finished off the board against graded company in his next five starts.

The son of Salute the Sarge captured back-to-back allowance races at Aqueduct in April and then scored in an optional claiming race the following month at Belmont. He closed to finish third in both the True North in June and Belmont Sprint in July. The bay was exiting a a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational last month at Belmont. Salutos Amigos banked $120,000 for the win to increase his bankroll to $447,406 from a 22-5-2-4 career line.

Bred in Kentucky by Joan Hadley Thoroughbreds, Salutos Amigos is out of the Argentinean Group 2 winning Luhuk mare Sarasota. The bay is a half-brother to Grade 2 scorer Sarah's Secret and his third dam is Argentinean Group 3 winner Sarawak. His female family also includes Argentinean Group 2 scorer Sardinia.

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Racing Headlines

Elm Park proves best in Racing Post Trophy

In Sheikh Fahad's Qatar silks, Elm Park managed to subdue the listed winner Nafaqa in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket on lively ground that would have compromised him, and had conditions to fully suit for the first time since his Newbury maiden score as he brought up the distinguished Royal Lodge-Racing Post Trophy double on Saturday in the latter Group 1 feature at Doncaster.

Never troubled on the front end as Andrea Atzeni kept him rolling, he was able to stretch his rivals and turn the screw without fully extending himself from the three to the furlong pole. With his greatest threat Celestial Path cracking in the last furlong, he was pushed out with hands and heels to cruise to the line by 2 3/4 lengths with his laboring rivals strung out behind.

On his first three starts, Elm Park wore the black-and-gold silks of the late Paul Mellon, which were given to the Baldings for their homebreds to sport, and he proved more than worthy of the honor without suggesting he could hit these heights. Third behind Godolphin's potentially smart Latharnach over seven furlongs on debut at Sandown July 30, he put up the type of green but honest first performance typical of a hybrid middle-distance colt and built on that to score with authority at that distance at Newbury August 15.

A fortnight later, the bay -- who looks to be the pick of all those bred at Kingsclere Stud so far -- showed a professional manner that was to become a trademark quality by making all in the Stonehenge Stakes stepped up to this trip at Salisbury August 29.

"He is very straightforward and traveled beautifully, so I kept it simple and it was like a piece of work," his rider explained. "He has a great attitude and will get better with age."

Sheikh Fahad added, "We just needed time as an operation, but we have plenty of nice two-year-olds this year and the emphasis is on quality rather than quantity. We have a great team and this is a great day.

"We have the best two-year-olds going forward of any operation and this horse is definitely a Derby horse," Sheikh Fahad added. "His calmness and mental ability as a two-year-old are his great assets and he just glides through that ground."

Leopardstown

Introduced in the Flame of Tara Stakes over a mile at The Curragh at the end of August, Steip Amach was not disgraced when fourth behind Jack Naylor and the subsequent Fillies' Mile winner Together Forever before filling the same spot behind the latter and Cocoon in the Staffordstown Stud Stakes October 12. Only third when favored for a maiden at Navan 10 days later, the homebred responded to a three-day turnaround to overhaul Ballydoyle's red-hot market-leader Royal Navy Ship in a weak renewal of Saturday's Group 3 Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.

Settled at the back of the quartet early by Kevin Manning as Seamie Heffernan made the running on the 1-6 pick, the bay -- who was the outsider of the field -- was delivered wide to edge ahead of that rival with 150 yards remaining and stay on to secure the upset.

"She got bogged down in Navan and the ground was a bit better here," Bolger told Irish Racing Online. "Seven furlongs or a mile doesn't really matter to her. She'll probably start off next year in a Classic trial back here."

Newbury

Running out of stamina when third behind Racing Post Trophy third Celestial Path in the Ascendant Stakes over a mile at Haydock in September, Smaih showed the benefit of a drop to seven furlongs for Saturday's Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury to secure a first black-type win in a below-par renewal of the race, which has enjoyed varying degrees of prestige down the years.

Staying close to the early pace set by King of Normandy, Smaih was committed by Frankie Dettori approaching the furlong pole and asserted to hold Fox Trotter comfortably.

"When he went to Deauville we realized he loves soft ground," Al Shaqab's racing advisor Harry Herbert said. "It's a big thrill for all concerned with Paco Boy, who was a real favorite of the Hannons and he stands at Highclere. Frankie said he was loving the ground and is a very willing and honest horse with a huge heart.

"That's it for this year and if conditions are right, we might have a go at the Greenham in April and stay away from quick ground. At this stage, everything is on the table and he's bred to be at least a miler with stout German blood in his pedigree."

Starting out over five furlongs at Windsor June 2, Smaih was second in a decent conditions test there before getting off the mark upped a panel at Chepstow 11 days later. Last of eight in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket July 12, the bay was reverting to six when third in a conditions event back there a fortnight later before making all in a 6 1/2-furlong contest at Deauville August 19.

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Adelaide gives O'Brien historic win in Cox Plate

Coolmore's globetrotting sophomore Adelaide arrived in Australia for Saturday's Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley with an aura of intrigue on the back of a victory in the Secretariat at Arlington Park and a troubled but fast-finishing third in the Prix Niel at Longchamp, but a sense of doubt settled in after Tuesday's barrier draw, when the Irish invader landed in post 13 of 14. Adelaide shrugged that off as a minor inconvenience, however, charging from dead last to hand jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Aidan O'Brien their first Australian Group 1 wins.

Off a half-step slow from the barriers, Adelaide was immediately eased back and taken over to the rail by Moore on the short run into the first turn, settling last while the beloved Tasmanian invader The Cleaner -- the lone horse to break outside him -- rushed up to vie for the lead while four-wide around the turn.

The Cleaner established a clear lead passing the 1200-meter mark, and shortly thereafter Adelaide and Moore began picking off rivals. They sat about third, about five wide, as the field swung into the straight, with favored Fawkner holding a slender advantage. That lead would be short-lived, however, as Adelaide and Moore, storming down the middle of the short straight, grabbed the lead approaching the 50-meter mark and won by a lengthening head from the Caulfield Stakes winner, with the multiple Group 1-winning mare Silent Achiever also closing resolutely to be third.

The final time of 2:03.76 was just a shade off Might and Power's stakes record set in 1998.

"He did it the hard way, but he's a high-quality colt and I believed that if he brought his best form, he was probably the best horse in the race," Moore said. "He's had to go around the whole field and come from last. But he still won."

Moore, who was fresh off another major overseas victory on Hillstar in the Canadian International last weekend, added, "It's quite an atmosphere. We've got some tracks like this back home, but not as many people. It's a lovely race to win."

Debuting a year ago, Adelaide was a cozy 2 1/2-length winner at Leopardstown. His first overseas voyage came in his second start and sophomore bow when he was second to Free Port Lux in the Prix Hocquart May 11, and it was back to Ireland two weeks later, where Adelaide scored his first black-type victory in The Curragh's Gallinule Stakes.

Second as the favorite in Royal Ascot's King Edward VII Stakes after a wide trip, Adelaide finished a gallant second, beaten just a head, after stalking the pace in Adelaide's stateside debut in the Belmont Derby July 5. Reunited with Moore for the Secretariat six weeks later, Adelaide would reverse his fortunes, coming wide off the turn to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

The dark bay was the victim of a horrid trip in the Prix Niel four weeks later. Bottled up on the rail until the very late stages of that Longchamp feature, Adelaide and Moore came flying when at last finding daylight to be an unlucky third.

Despite being a three-year-old, Adelaide did not enjoy the benefit of the weight-for-age scale; given his Northern Hemisphere birthdate he was considered a four-year-old, and therefore shouldered 14 pounds more than the three Australian-bred sophomores in the race, and just seven pounds less than his elder heavyweights. That mattered little, however, after he handed trainer Aidan O'Brien his first win Down Under in the trainer's first venture to the country since 2008.

The victory was a true feat for O'Brien, who has been pioneering Adelaide's Australian voyage from afar. O'Brien was not on hand to witness the victory, and Coolmore Australia's Tom Magnier remarked, "To Aidan O'Brien and all the team at Ballydoyle, I'm thrilled for them. I'm sure Aidan would be really enjoying this one."

Coolmore's Australian Racing Manager James Bester told Racing and Sports, "It has been a wonderful feat. He has been trained from Ireland with Aidan directing everything to the minutest detail. He had the best trainer in the world and the best jockey in the world."

Adelaide is expected to remain in Australia and switch to the care of Sydney's leading trainer Chris Waller. Bester added that Adelaide's travels are not finished, however.

"We have a plan in place," Bester said. "He will have a spell and then be aimed at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at The Championships in the Sydney autumn. Then we would like to take him to Royal Ascot. He is a wonderful traveler. This is the fifth country he has raced in."

It was also a monumental win for part owner John Ingham, who bought into Adelaide's new Australian partnership. Ingham is the former owner of the famed Woodlands Stud, purchased in its entirety by Darley for a reported $415 million in 2008, and his father, Bob Ingham, campaigned Octagonal to win the Cox Plate in 1995.

Ingham told Racing and Sports, "We won a Cox Plate with Octagonal but and it's been a long time for another one."

Adelaide becomes the fifth Australian Group 1 winner for his unparalleled sire, Galileo. Adelaide is the first foal out of the Queen Mary Stakes winner Elletelle, who died last year. Elletelle is also represented by a two-year-old full-brother to Adelaide, Puissant, who broke his maiden at Redcar last week for Puissant Stable and trainer Marco Botti.

Prominent Australian owner Lloyd Williams' quest for the Cox Plate continues after his stable star Fawkner could manage only second as the favorite, but Williams' son, Nick, was not downbeat about the seven-year-old gelding's effort.

"As you can see by the time, they were only two-tenths outside the record," Nick Williams told Racenet.com.au. "The field has all finished so close together and that's why it's the great race it is.

"(Fawkner) is a marvelous horse and we couldn't be happier with him. He's run his heart out and he's met a better one on the day. If they meet again I'm sure it will be close again."

Trainer Roger James was also pleased with the third-place effort of his mare Silent Achiever, who won three Group 1s last season but has taken time to find her best form this season.

"I'm proud of her," the New Zealand-based conditioner told Racing and Sports. "It was a great ride by Nash Rawiller. She was just beaten by two better horses and barrier 11 didn't help her."

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Tac de Boistron seeks repeat in Prix Royal-Oak

Breaking through into the big time when successful in Longchamp's Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak 12 months ago, Tac de Boistron returns to the Bois de Boulogne on Sunday to re-launch his truncated season.

Despite having won the 2012 Prix Maurice de Nieuil here, it was not until he beat the dual subsequent St Simon Stakes and John Porter Stakes scorer Cubanita by eight lengths in Chester's Stand Cup over an extended 12-furlong trip in September that the gray was taken seriously. Second in the Prix du Cadran over 2 1/2 miles on Arc day here, he was imperious when annexing this prize by five lengths later in October and looked a potential star stayer when returning to defy a seven-pound penalty in the two-mile Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in April.

Not seen since finishing runner-up in the Yorkshire Cup at York May 16, trainer Marco Botti is hoping he has him back at a peak.

"He had a fall earlier in the year and bruised his ribs, which can be very painful. We had to stop with him and give him plenty of time to recover," he told PA Sport. "We had to push him a little bit harder than normal to get him ready for this weekend, but he's an older horse, he has taken his work well and I'm very pleased with him. As it worked out, we would not have run him much this summer anyway because the ground would have been against him.

"He seems happy and in good form, his fitness is nearly 100 percent and the ground should suit him on Sunday, so we are looking forward to the race."

Tac de Boistron's compatriot High Jinx returns to the scene of his career-best win in the October Prix du Cadran and trainer James Fanshawe is hoping that performance has not taken its toll.

"He seems in good form at home. He's been well and bright since the Cadran," he told PA Sport. "You never know with horses at this time of year quite how they are, but he seems well and we're looking forward to running him. The ground will be softer than it was at Longchamp, but he has good form in softer ground. That said, it's a tough race and I think there is probably more strength in depth than there was in the Cadran."

His Highness The Aga Khan enjoyed success with the three-year-old filly Ebadiyla in 1997 and looks to Zarkava's half-sister Zarshana to emulate that achievement. After a brace of wins in the Prix de Thiberville at Longchamp and the Prix Minerve at Deauville, she looked in need of this kind of trip when third in the Prix de Royallieu over 12 1/2 furlongs on October 4. On that occasion, she was a short neck and a head behind Frine, and that rival is on six-pounds better terms here.

Another with major claims is Lonsdale Cup heroine Pale Mimosa, who did not stay the 2 1/2 miles of the Cadran when third behind High Jinx last time and finally gets the testing ground she relishes here.

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Breeders' Cup News & Notes

'Absolutely amazing' California Chrome set for final BC drill

Martin: California Chrome will be retired if he doesn't run well in the Classic (Lauren Pomeroy/Horsephotos.com)
As the regular rider of Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, Victor Espinoza has more than a vested interest in the California-bred colt. But when the 42-year-old jockey says the popular chestnut is ready to rebound in the Breeders' Cup Classic on November 1 from two disappointing losses, it might be worth taking heed.

"His last work was great," said Espinoza, who was aboard at Los Alamitos Saturday when California Chrome blazed six furlongs in 1:12 1/5. "He's going in the right direction this time. If he's like he was before (the Triple Crown run), he'll be tough in there. Forget about those last two races. We'll start all over again. He's been working absolutely amazing."

Co-owner/breeder Perry Martin told the Sacramento Bee Friday that he too is thrilled with the way his star colt is training, but he also injected a cautionary note: a poor effort would prompt retirement.

"Race by race now," Martin told the Bee's Debbie Arrington. "A good BC Classic and we'll keep going -- clunker and he's off to the breeding shed.

"He's getting super sharp," Martin added. "We expect his best ever."

California Chrome is scheduled to have his final pre-Classic breeze Saturday at Los Alamitos before shipping to Santa Anita Sunday for schooling and last-minute preparations.

Also scheduled to have his final major workout Saturday is Santa Anita Sprint Championship winner Rich Tapestry, according to Leonard Powell, who is hosting the six-year-old world traveler in his barn. The Sprint contender's trainer, Michael Chang, is due to return from his Hong Kong base this weekend.

Whitney winner Moreno, who figures to make his presence felt on the pace in the Classic, worked six furlongs in company Friday morning for trainer Eric Guillot.

With Tyler Baze in the saddle, Moreno was timed in 1:12 3/5, while workmate Elle Rain dawdled home in 1:16 2/5.

"The company couldn't keep up with him," Guillot said. "I got him galloping out (seven furlongs) in 1:26 1/5."

Defending Dirt Mile winner Goldencents went five furlongs for Leandro Mora in :59 2/5 under regular rider Rafael Bejarano, while Big Bane Theory (Mile) worked the same distance for Carla Gaines in :59 3/5 under Joe Talamo.

Conquest Eclipse (Juvenile Fillies) went four furlongs for Mark Casse in :49 1/5.

In other Breeders' Cup news:

Gary Stevens pictured last year with Mucho Macho Man and trainer Kathy Ritvo (Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com)
It's close to a year since Gary Stevens climaxed his comeback at the age of 50 after a seven-year hiatus and won the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic by a thrilling nose on Mucho Macho Man.

Now 51 and fully recovered from replacement surgery of his right knee on July 25, the unsinkable Stevens will return to his passion -- race riding -- when Santa Anita hosts the Breeders' Cup World Championships next weekend, October 31-November 1.

It will mark his first competitive action since July 6, when he rode at Monmouth Park, hard by the Jersey shore in Oceanside, New Jersey. Stevens, a 10-time Breeders' Cup winner, rides Sivoliere for trainer Chad Brown in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf next Friday.

"I feel great," Stevens said before sunup at Santa Anita Friday morning. "If I was hurting at all, I wouldn't be attempting this right now. The knee feels great, but I've got to let my actions on the track speak for themselves.

"No matter what I say, I've got to go out and perform, and that's the case. Every time I've had an injury throughout my career, and then after coming back after the long retirement, it seems like in this game you constantly have to keep proving yourself.

"That kind of applies from day to day. You're only as good as your last ride. I've got to re-prove myself. The fortunate thing is I've got a lot of great people, great owners and trainers who have supported me over the years and continue to support me during my long comeback.

"The same guys are there for me right now, but I've got to show up for them."

Stevens was spotted guiding Sprint contender Fast Anna through a five-furlong drill in 1:01 at Santa Anita last Sunday.

Fast Anna is trained by Kathy Ritvo, who made history last year by becoming the first woman trainer to win the Classic with Mucho Macho Man.

"He's a littler superstar," the trainer said of Fast Anna. "He's done nothing wrong, he's real smart and he deserves to be here."

Jockey Aaron Gryder will sign autographs for Breeders' Cup fans at the Ralphs supermarket, 211 E. Foothill Blvd. in Arcadia on Tuesday.

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Midnight Lucky retired; WinStar buys into Daredevil

Midnight Lucky didn't work to Bob Baffert's satisfaction (Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com)
Major news regarding the careers of two Breeders' Cup pre-entrants broke on Friday: Filly & Mare Sprint threat Midnight Lucky was retired after Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was reportedly not pleased with her final work, and unbeaten Juvenile contender Daredevil had a change in ownership, with  Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm acquiring a half-interest from Let's Go Stable.

Midnight Lucky was expected to be a leading player in the Filly & Mare Sprint. Last seen dominating the May 3 Humana Distaff off a nearly year-long layoff, the daughter of sprint champ Midnight Lute had been freshened in advance of the seven-furlong test November 1.

With Martin Garcia aboard for her Friday work at Santa Anita, Midnight Lucky went six furlongs in a bullet 1:11 4/5, best of 19 at the distance. Baffert told Daily Racing Form, however, that she was not showing what she needed to in order to tackle the Breeders' Cup. He decided to call an end to the four-year-old filly's brief, but brilliant, career.

Midnight Lucky retires with a mark of 5-4-0-0, $565,022. A 7 1/4-length debut winner sprinting at Santa Anita early in her sophomore year, Watson, Pegram and Weitman's filly stretched out and crushed the 1 1/16-mile Sunland Oaks in a track-record 1:41. She suffered her only loss when fifth in last season's Kentucky Oaks, rebounded with a 6 1/4-length conquest of the Acorn. The gray was shelved until the Humana Distaff on Kentucky Derby Day, where she rolled by 4 1/2 lengths.

On a happier front, Daredevil will continue his racing career for the new partnership of WinStar with Let's Go Stable, which had originally purchased the colt for $260,000 at Keeneland September.

Daredevil will eventually stand alongside sire More Than Ready (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
The deal calls for the undefeated Champagne winner to stand alongside his sire, More Than Ready, at WinStar Farm near Versailles, Kentucky, at the close of his promising racing career.

"We had been patiently looking for a top son of our leading sire More Than Ready to bring alongside in the WinStar stallion ranks, and we believe Daredevil is the most exciting one to come along yet," said Elliott Walden, President, CEO, & Racing Manager at WinStar.

"He is a Grade 1 winner on dirt, and extremely fast. His 107 Beyer winning the Champagne in hand makes him the fastest two-year-old colt since Uncle Mo. I love the fact that there are five Grade 1 winners under his first two dams.

"I also love that Todd Pletcher picked him out as a yearling; nobody knows More Than Ready better than Todd, Mr. Scatuorchio, and the guys at Let's Go Stable. We are grateful to be partners with Let's Go in this promising young star, and we hope to share in all of the success they have had in such a short amount of time. We can't wait to race Daredevil, and eventually add him to our stallion roster."

Daredevil was assigned a 104 Brisnet Speed rating for covering the Champagne's mile in 1:36 3/5, finishing in hand the final sixteenth of a mile to soundly defeat an accomplished field of two-year-olds. A month prior, Daredevil scored an impressive 6 1/4-length debut win at Belmont, zipping six furlongs in 1:09 4/5.

The chestnut colt is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Albertus Maximus, hero of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and 2009 Donn Handicap. They were produced by the Forty Niner mare Chasethewildwind, herself a half-sister to Group 1-winning highweight King Charlemagne.

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Distaff contenders Don't Tell Sophia, Ria Antonia top Kentucky worktab

Don't Tell Sophia is four-for-five this campaign (Keeneland/Coady Photography)
At Keeneland on Friday morning, Spinster winner Don't Tell Sophia completed her major work for next Friday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita by working a half-mile in :48 under jockey Joe Rocco Jr.

Working on her own after the renovation break, Don't Tell Sophia posted fractions of :12 2/5 and :24 1/5 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.

"She was doing a two-minute lick to the half-mile pole and I got her in like :48 and 3 or 4 and out in 1:01," co-owner and trainer Phil Sims said. "We are just trying to maintain what we have."

Don't Tell Sophia had worked a half-mile in :48 4/5 last Saturday and followed that with a strong gallop Wednesday. Don't Tell Sophia is scheduled to fly out of Louisville Sunday morning to Santa Anita.

Sims flies out the same day to prepare for his second Breeders' Cup experience. His previous starter was Hot Cha Cha, who finished fifth in the 2010 Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs.

"I may take her to the gate one day to let the gate crew get the chance to know her and may take her through the paddock once just to see it," Sims said.

Sims said he has not taken an in-depth look at the Distaff that drew 12 pre-entries, but at first glance he noticed a lot of speed for the 1 1/8-mile race over a track that tends to play toward speed.

"I am just concentrating on my horse, but (a speed-favoring track) is always a concern. We are not going to take her out of her element," Sims said of the late-running six-year-old daughter of Congaree. "There seems to be a lot of speed in there, which is good for us. She'll run her race."

Loooch Racing Stable and Christopher Dunn's Ria Antonia, whose most recent victory came via disqualification in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, prepared for her California return Friday morning by working a half-mile in :47 3/5 under exercise rider Mario Orantes for trainer Tom Amoss. The move was the fastest of 42 at the distance.

Working on her own after the renovation break and wearing blinkers, Ria Antonia produced a first quarter-mile in :23 1/5 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00 2/5.

"It was very good," Amoss said. "She did it in hand and the key thing was the rider was just sitting on her. That was exactly what we were looking for."

Runner-up to Don't Tell Sophia in the Spinster in her most recent start, Ria Antonia will ship to Santa Anita on Tuesday from Louisville and be ridden in the Breeders' Cup Distaff by Paco Lopez. Amoss will join her in California the following day.

It was the second work at Keeneland since the Spinster for Ria Antonia. Last Friday, she shared a bullet, five-furlong work in :59 4/5 in blinkers.

Over at Churchill Downs, Friday morning marked the final preparations for Charles Fipke's Unbridled Forever, who is pre-entered in the Distaff for trainer Dallas Stewart, and Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Top Decile, pre-entered in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies for trainer Al Stall Jr.

Coming off a runner-up effort in the Indiana Oaks, Unbridled Forever covered five furlongs in 1:02 1/5.

"She had a great work," Stewart said. "She was cruising at a high speed and galloped out nicely. One of her great qualities is that she doesn't own her track. Whether it's Churchill, Fair Grounds, Saratoga or Belmont she's run well. So I expect her to run really well at Santa Anita."

Stewart acknowledged that while facing older fillies and mares for the first time would be no easy feat, he has confidence in Unbridled Forever's abilities to compete.

"She ran well in Indiana, too," Stewart said. "We ended up second best (to Tiz Windy) that day but she seems like she's improved every day since. She's more up on it every day on her gallops and hasn't backed out of the feed tub a bit. We're in good shape."

Stewart said Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez would get the Distaff mount on Unbridled Forever. Velazquez's 12 Breeders' Cup victories are the third most of any rider and second among active jockeys.

"She's got a great rider in Johnny Velazquez so we'll leave the trip up to him," Stewart said. "But I'd guess she'd be somewhere in the middle; you can't get too far back at Santa Anita."

Top Decile (right) was a terrific second to the sidelined Peace and War in the Alcibiades (Keeneland/Coady Photography)
Top Decile, who was second to Peace and War in the Alcibiades at Keeneland on October 3, breezed a half-mile in :49 4/5 beneath the Twin Spires Friday.

"She went in :49 and change, galloped out (five furlongs) nicely in 1:03 and just did it the right way," Stall said.

Stall seemed pleased with Top Decile's last effort despite having a little trouble getting out of the gate.

"She came up big to get second in that last race, especially since she didn't really break at all," Stall said. "Seeing that she'll likely face another full field in the Breeders' Cup we can't let that happen. I believe she'll break better. Ideally we'd like her to lay off the speed a little bit. There's a lot of speed in that race so hopefully she sits tight behind the leaders and can close late. We'll see what happens but we're excited."

Stall said Rosie Napravnik would ride Top Decile in the November 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Napravnik's lone Breeders' Cup victory came in the 2012 Juvenile aboard Shanghai Bobby.

Also at Churchill, Michael Langford's Carve completed his final work ahead of next week's $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile with a half-mile breeze in :49 Friday.

"His work this morning was great," trainer Brad Cox said. "He went a half-mile in :49 and galloped out really well."

Carve is scheduled to fly to Southern California on Saturday morning, and 34-year-old Cox said he's eager to start his first horse in the Breeders' Cup.

"It's exciting," said Cox, who has won with 23.7 percent of his career starters since 2004. "The horse is doing as well as he can do and we expect him to run well. Obviously we're running to win, but I will be happy as long as he shows up. I honestly think he has what it takes to compete with these horses.

"I think we ran him back a little too quickly from the (September 6) Ack Ack to the (September 27) Homecoming Classic, so hopefully giving him an extra week or so should ensure that he'll be at his best."

Carve finished second in the Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs but was fifth in the Homecoming Classic three weeks later. Prior to the Ack Ack, Carve won three straight races including the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap and $200,000 West Virginia Governor's Stakes. The other victory was an allowance on June 14 at Churchill in which Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith was at the reins. Smith will ride Carve for the second time in the Dirt Mile.

"It's a huge advantage to have Mike Smith as our rider," Cox said. "He rode him to a victory here at Churchill in June and just the fact that he knows Santa Anita so well makes me feel a little better since our horse has never seen that track before."

Smith's leads all jockeys in career Breeders' Cup wins with 20.

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14 Hands Winery becomes title sponsor for BC Juvenile Fillies

The Breeders' Cup announced Friday an agreement making 14 Hands Winery an official partner of the Breeders Cup World Championships and the name-in-title sponsor of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at this year's World Championships.

The Juvenile Fillies will send two-year-old fillies 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Santa Anita Park on November 1. Since its inception in 1984, 26 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winners have been voted champion two-year-old filly.

"We are delighted that 14 Hands Winery has joined us as an official partner and the name in title sponsor of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies," said Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup president and CEO. "The high quality and standards of brand excellence exhibited by 14 Hands are a perfect fit for our Championships and offer enhanced marketing and experiential platforms at events throughout Breeders' Cup week."

"Partnering with the Breeders' Cup is a great fit for our brand given our namesake celebrates the unbridled spirit of wild horses that once roamed eastern Washington, and that sense of history and adventurous spirit are embodied in the Breeders' Cup," said Martin Johnson, senior vice president of marketing at 14 Hands Winery. "We are excited to showcase 14 Hands' universal appeal at this prestigious event, including our bold, fruit-forward reds and crisp, juicy whites."

As part of this agreement, 14 Hands and the Breeders' Cup will collaborate to develop media and entertainment programs designed to support the event on a local and national level.

14 Hands wines will be prominently served to the international guests attending the Breeders' Cup at all officially sanctioned events on location at Santa Anita Park and in the surrounding areas.

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HRTV, HRRN offer extensive BC coverage

HRTV, the Network for Horse Sports, will present comprehensive live coverage leading into, and continuing through, the 31st running of the Breeders' Cup, Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious worldwide event, on Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, at Santa Anita.

The Breeders' Cup consists of 13 races over the two days, with purses totaling $26 million.

On both days, the network will televise all of the Breeders' Cup races live (which will also be available via www.hrtv.com), with the exception of the Breeders' Cup Classic, to racing fans as the only domestic horse racing cable channel of the event.

"The Breeders' Cup is an unmatched showcase for the sport's greatest performers," said Scott Daruty, President of HRTV. "We are delighted to give racing fans high-quality, comprehensive coverage of this spectacular event. Our coverage will keep racing fans up-to-date on everything they need to know as the event approaches, and culminates with two brilliant days of racing from Santa Anita Park."

HRTV's coverage will be similar to its in-depth production of major races, including paddock updates, full post parades, up-to-date information, and expert race-by-race analysis. It will mobilize its well-respected stable of hosts/analysts, as well as additional correspondents, to handle all angles of racing's two-day extravaganza.

For the third consecutive year, HRTV will serve as the official simulcast partner of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and the preferred Horse Racing Network provider of the event. HRTV will again produce and simulcast the Breeders' Cup Players' Show (formerly the simulcast show) and air all Breeders' Cup races to off-track wagering sites around the globe, and streamed live on www.hrtv.com and breederscup.com.

In support of its live racing telecast and simulcast presentations, HRTV will also provide expansive programming leading up to the Breeders' Cup.

The network will offer the live telecast of the Breeders' Cup Post Position Draw, in two separate parts on Monday (1 p.m. and 4 p.m. PT). Its "Fasig-Tipton Pursuit of the Cup, presented by Twinspires" show, which has chronicled the road to the Cup and is currently on a twice-weekly basis, will be live from Santa Anita and expand to a daily show on Saturday (8 a.m. PT), offering the latest on Cup entrants, including live workouts and exclusive interviews.

"Pursuit of the Cup" will also offer quick recap shows after each Cup racing day, as well as complete wrap-up show on Sunday, November 2 (8 a.m. PT).

Also, during Breeders' Cup week, HRTV will offer its popular "The Player" on a special, extended Wednesday-Sunday basis during its new time slot (9 a.m. PT). Special Cup-related presentations of the network's weekly staples -- "The Edge," "Against The Odds," and "Across The Board" -- will air throughout the week. Additionally, its daily "Race Day America" show will be presented prominently during Cup week.

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, Kentucky, announced Friday they will return to Santa Anita to provide 17 hours of live Breeders' Cup coverage beginning October 29.

HRRN will host national radio coverage of racing's championship days for the eighth consecutive year. Coverage begins Wednesday morning with the first of three Breeders' Cup Countdown shows hosted live from Santa Anita's Clockers' Corner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (EDT). The Breeders' Cup Countdown may be heard each morning Wednesday through Friday and features interviews with jockeys, trainers, owners, handicappers, and various industry professionals, as well as real time reports and updates as Breeders' Cup contenders appear on the track.

HRRN returns with exclusive coverage of all 13 Breeders' Cup races on October 31 and November 1. The October 31 broadcast begins at 4 p.m. with a special Breeders' Cup edition of the network's weekly handicapping show which will lead into live coverage of the day's Breeders' Cup races from 5-8 p.m. A full slate kicks off on November 1, including coverage of all nine Breeders' Cup races from 3-9 p.m. The broadcasts will feature pre- and post-race interviews, analysis and track announcer Trevor Denman's live call of every Breeders' Cup race.

HRRN broadcasts will be aired throughout North America on SiriusXM satellite radio as well as on terrestrial affiliates throughout the country. Coverage will also available worldwide via live streaming provided on both the HRRN and Breeders' Cup websites. A complete listing of affiliates and SiriusXM channel information can also be found on the network's website.

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Conquest Tsunami, Far Right face off in Street Sense; Rags to Riches draws 11

Conquest Tsunami is seeking a return to the winner's circle in the Street Sense (WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Churchill Downs will raise the curtain on its 26-day fall meet on Sunday and focus its racing spotlight on Thoroughbred racing's rising stars in the first of two popular "Stars of Tomorrow" racing cards devoted exclusively to two-year-olds. Ten races are scheduled on the program and a pair of $58,000, one-mile stakes -- the Street Sense for colts and geldings and the Rags to Riches for fillies -- headline the action.

Racing fans and horsemen enthusiastically welcomed the "Stars of Tomorrow" concept when it was introduced in 2005. The second of the meet's racing days comprised solely of races for horses that could emerge as contenders for next spring's Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks is scheduled for November 29.

Conquest Tsunami and Far Right, both exiting graded events, head a field of seven colts entered in the Street Sense. The pair will meet for the second time in their young careers after running first and second, respectively, at Keeneland on April 25 in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race that served as the respective career debut for both colts.

Conquest Tsunami rolled to 6 1/4-length victory for trainer Mark Casse over Keeneland's former Polytrack surface that day, then traveled to Woodbine for three consecutive victories that included wins in the Victoria and Colin Stakes over Polytrack and an allowance win on turf. He suffered his first loss in five career outings when finishing sixth on Keeneland's new dirt surface in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Futurity (G1) three weeks ago.

The son of Stormy Atlantic finished 14 lengths behind the winner in that 12-horse field, but assistant trainer Norman Casse said Conquest Tsunami has trained well since that setback.

"We really thought he ran a solid race in the Breeders' Futurity," Casse said. "We figured he was going to get a little tired; being his first start on the dirt going two-turns. But we think we'll get a truer gauge on what he really is by running him in the Street Sense."

Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan will ride Conquest Tsunami, who shoulders the high weight of 122 pounds, from post 6.

The Ron Moquett-trained Far Right brings a 1-2-0 record from four races into the Street Sense, including a fourth-place run in the Grade 2 Futurity on October 5 at Belmont Park. Moquett said his colt was the victim of a moderate pace in the Futurity, but he expects better from son of Notional at Churchill Downs, where Far Right was a maiden winner on September 13.

"You can't give those types of horses 23-second quarters and think that you can catch them at the end," Moquett said. "He made a mental move to try and make up some of it and he was able to make up about five lengths toward the end, but it just wasn't enough to punch on through after giving those guys that kind of easy first half."

Others that figure to attract solid backing in the Street Sense include Handy Candy and Instant Replay.

Handy Candy, a dark bay son of Candy Ride, recorded two runs during the September meet for trainer Ian Wilkes comprising a 33-1 upset win in his career debut and a fourth-place effort in a one-mile allowance race. Instant Replay, a Lemon Drop Kid bay colt, won at first asking for trainer Wayne Catalano on September 23 at Parx Racing.

The Street Sense field is completed by Nun the Less, a Candy Ride colt who broke his maiden on Arlington's Polytrack by six lengths prior to a half-length score over Keeneland's dirt on October 3; Risetotheoccasion, a 6 1/2-length maiden scorer at Indiana Grand last out on September 23; and Jumps for Bucks, who will be making his first start for trainer Ben Delong after breaking his maiden under Derrick Bright's tutelage at Indiana Grand on October 7.

Catalano, who earned his first leading trainer title at Churchill when he tied for that honor in the recent September meet, trains three -- West Coast Belle, Movie Mystery and Four Inch Heels -- of the 11 fillies entered in the Rags to Riches.

The members of the Catalano-trained trio in the Rags to Riches are each coming off a victory in their lone career start. Two of the fillies -- West Coast Belle and Four Inch Heels -- were winners at Monmouth Park, while Movie Mystery was victorious at first asking at Parx Racing. The trainer said there was a chance that one of his trio could be scratched, though all could be competitive.

"West Coast Belle is a nice filly," Catalano said. "She only went five-and-a-half furlongs in her first start but I think she's ready to handle going a little further. But I like her a lot and she's been training great. Four Inch Heels is a similar story. She's been doing everything right."

Channing Hill was named as the rider for both West Coast Belle and Movie Mystery, and Florent Geroux will ride Four Inch Heels. If both West Coast Belle and Movie Mystery run, they will compete as a coupled entry.

While Catalano has strength in numbers, a filly from the high-powered stable of trainer Todd Pletcher could attract strong support in the Rags to Riches. Hopefaithjoy comes into the race off a 3 3/4-length maiden romp going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland after a solid third-place run in the mud in her racing debut at Saratoga. The daughter of Lookin at Lucky will break from the outside post as she turns back to a one-turn mile distance. Jockey Rosie Napravnik will ride.

Another contender could be Silver Allure, who was an easy winner at Indiana Grand in July before she finishing a good second to Paige in a roughly run allowance at Churchill in September.

"She did really well in that last allowance race here," trainer Steve Hobby said. "The filly that beat her, Paige, came back and ran third in the (Grade 1) Alcibiades at Keeneland, so that kind of made us feel better about getting beat there. She seems to like Churchill; her works since the last race have been excellent and we're looking forward to seeing what she can do here Sunday."

Streetheart finished in a dead-heat for the victory in a seven-furlong maiden race on September 27 under the Twin Spires, and could be among the fans' choices in Sunday's race. The daughter of Street Sense is trained by Eddie Kenneally and keeps Julien Leparoux in the irons.

Another possible contender in the Rags to Riches is Winding Bay, an unbeaten Malibu Moon filly co-owned by trainer Wesley Ward and Kent Spillman. She was a 7 1/2-length winner at Indiana Grand in her only career start but is cross-entered in the Chelsea Flower at Belmont Park on Saturday.

Tiz Sexy Now, Taylor S, Simply Confection and Flexible Ethics -- all maiden winners -- complete the field.

The 2014 Churchill Downs fall meet consists of 26 days of racing through its conclusion on November 30. Post time for Sunday's "Stars of Tomorrow I" opening day is set for 12:45 p.m. (EDT) and admission gates are scheduled to open at 11:30 a.m. The track will operate on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule during the last of its three 2014 racing sessions.

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Brown, Pletcher each enter pair in Turnback the Alarm

Endless Chatter has finished worse than third only once in her career (NYRA/Adam Mooshian/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Chad Brown, who entered the weekend atop Belmont Park's trainer standings, looks to close out a successful fall meet on Sunday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap, the final stakes before racing moves to Aqueduct.

Brown entered four-year-old Endless Chatter and three-year-old Catch My Drift in the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares, which drew a total of eight runners.

Endless Chatter is exiting a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Beldame, her first graded appearance. Prior to that, the daughter of First Samurai won three straight, including the restricted Summer Colony on August 18 at Saratoga.

"This is a filly that really came around this summer, particularly at Saratoga," Brown stated. "I'm real proud of her. She's a horse who stayed here all winter and kind of went around in circles for a while. When she finally hit a bit of a growth spurt, she really came on this summer.

"Her last race was a third in the Beldame behind a horse (Belle Gallantey) who's going to the Breeders' Cup (Distaff) and that was a really good showing. This is more of her class level. Two turns is more her preference but it looks like a good fit, class-wise, for her."

Joel Rosario will be aboard Endless Chatter, who is 7-2 on the morning line, when they leave from post position 6.

Should Brown elect to run her, Catch My Drift would be going for her fourth victory in five starts in the Turnback the Alarm. Her only loss came when she was seventh in the Grade 1 Alabama at 1 1/4 miles in her lone stakes appearance.

"I don't think the 1 1/4 miles was too far a distance; I think it was too high of a jump (in class) for her," Brown said of the Pioneerof the Nile filly. "She really couldn't handle that. We backed up and regrouped with her and she won a nice allowance race at Parx Racing. She really did well. She's run well there; she needs to translate that form to here.

"I do believe she's a horse that could get to the (Grade 3, $400,000) Comely (on November 29 at Aqueduct) if she continues to develop the way she has been."

Hall of Famer John Velazquez has been named to ride Catch My Drift, 6-1 on the morning line. The pair will leave from the far outside post 8.

Todd Pletcher will be well-represented in the Turnback the Alarm with 3-1 morning-line favorite Teen Pauline and Dame Dorothy, who sits at 4-1.

Teen Pauline is perfect thus far in 2014 from three starts (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Teen Pauline has not raced since last winter, when she won the Affectionately, Ladies Handicap and Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct by a combined margin of 17 1/4 lengths.

"She got a bit of a freshening after her winter campaign, and this is sort of where she landed," Pletcher said of the four-year-old Tapit filly. "I'm not sure that she is at her best around one turn, but we are looking forward to getting her back underway."

The lightly raced Dame Dorothy, undefeated in three starts, will be making her first start in a graded stakes. The three-year-old Bernardini miss broke her maiden last November at Aqueduct, took an off-the-turf optional claimer over a sloppy, sealed track at Gulfstream Park by 12 lengths in January and returned in August to win the Malvern Rose on Presque Isle Downs' synthetic Tapeta.

"She's a filly we've always thought a lot of," Pletcher noted. "She's had some spacing between her starts and we're hoping to get a little more consistent schedule with her. There are limited options, and this is a bit of an ambitious placing for her. But we think highly of her and this should set her up for the Comely, which would be back against straight three-year-old fillies."

Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on Teen Pauline, who drew post 5, while Javier Castellano will be holding the reins on Dame Dorothy when the pair leave from post 2.

Tapit's World, the co-second choice at 7-2, will be making her Belmont bow in the Turnback the Alarm for new trainer Michelle Nevin. The four-year-old Tapit filly, who drew the rail under Jose Ortiz, was headed in the Grade 3 Gardenia at Ellis Park during the summer, and before that was 12th in the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial on the turf at Delaware Park.

Rounding out the field are Grade 1-placed multiple stakes winner Toasting, who was sixth in the Beldame last out; Grade 3 runner-up Moment in Dixie, third in the West Virginia President's Cup two back; and Flores Island, second most recently in the Musical Romance.

Earlier on Belmont's Sunday card, 10 juveniles will go a mile on the Widener Turf in the $100,000 Awad, including Vision Perfect and Offering Plan, the respective second and third in the Grade 3 Pilgrim on September 28.

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Churchill Downs opens doors on 125th fall meet

Cooler temperatures and the leaves changing colors signify the return of live horse racing to the Louisville, Kentucky, area as Churchill Downs, the historic home of the Kentucky Derby, readies to open its 125th fall meet on Sunday.

The popular 26-day stand, which covers a five-week stretch through November 30, kicks off in style Sunday with the 10th annual "Stars of Tomorrow I" program, which is entirely devoted to hopeful two-year-old stars who have aspirations of trail-blazing their way to next year's Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.

The 11-race opening day program is headlined by a pair of one-mile $58,000 overnight stakes -- the Street Sense and Rags to Riches for fillies. Both races serve as local steppingstones to the Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod for fillies, a pair of $200,000, 1 1/16-mile contests scheduled for the "Stars of Tomorrow II" program on November 29. The Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod are part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks series which award points to the top four finishers.

The successful Stars of Tomorrow events have helped launch the careers of numerous graded winners, including 33 Grade 1 winners and 19 millionaires led by 2010 Kentucky Derby victor Super Saver; 2011 Preakness and 2012 Met Mile and Clark Handicap winner Shackleford; 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra; 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic and 2013 Stephen Foster Handicap hero Fort Larned; 2012 Kentucky Oaks vixen Believe You Can; and 2013 champion three-year-old male Will Take Charge.

Last year's renewals included future stakes stars such as Grade 2 winners Tapiture, Stonetastic and Tiz Windy; Grade 3 scorers Albano and Southenr Honey; Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve; Preakness second Ride On Curlin; Grade 1-placed stakes winners General a Rod and Unbridled Forever.

First post Sunday, as is the case for most of the meeting, is 12:40 p.m. (ET). The National Weather Service forecast for Louisville calls for ideal fall conditions on Sunday, sunny skies with a high near 68.

There's a special treat for the kids, too, on Sunday as track mascot "Churchill Charlie" will lead a Halloween "Trick or Treat" Costume Parade around the facility starting at Gate 17 at 2:30 p.m.

Over the course of the meet, horsemen will have ample opportunities to uncork promising juveniles or seek year-end graded glory. All told, 13 stakes races cumulatively worth $2.032 million -- which includes a quartet of overnight stakes -- will be run during the fall stand. Meanwhile, bettors are certain to be challenged by the competitive fall meet racing that typically pits the fastest and battle-tested horses against the recently freshened year-end bloomers.

With a compact 26-day schedule and not as many competing race meets at year's end, the fall meet traditionally offers larger fields. Last fall, the average field size was 8.84 horses per race compared to the 7.29 and 7.70 at this year's spring and September meets, respectively.

The anchor of the lucrative stakes program comes on "Black Friday," November 28, with the 140th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Clark Handicap. The 1 1/8-mile test for three-year-olds and up annually lures some of the top older horses in North America and is one of five stakes events to be contested over Thanksgiving weekend.

After Sunday's opener, live racing will be conducted on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule with dark days on Mondays and Tuesdays. Most race days will begin at 12:40 p.m. and feature 10 live races. Eleven-race programs are scheduled for opening day and November 14. Twelve-race cards are scheduled for November 27-29.

Churchill Downs will have special post times for October 31 (Halloween) and November 1 so the races coincide, but don't overlap, with a simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Championships from Santa Anita Park. The October 31 card will begin at 2 p.m. while the November 1 action will commence at 2:15 p.m. All Breeders' Cup races will be shown between live races on Churchill Downs' Big Board, the world's largest 4K ultra-high definition video board, and $2 Bud/Bud Light and $3 Stella Artois drink specials will be offered throughout most of the facility on both days.

The November 14 program is "Downs After Dark" -- the lone night racing program of the fall meet with a first post of 4:30 p.m. and nod to James Bond films.

The only other special post time is an 11:30 a.m. early start for Thanksgiving Day at Churchill Downs -- a Louisville tradition since 1969 where more than 7,000 turkey dinners are served with all the trimmings, making it the largest number anywhere in the region.

Other special events throughout the fall meet include Pigskins and Ponies every Saturday (except November 1) in the Plaza with college football games on the Plaza video board, drink specials ($2 Bud/Bud Light, $3 Stella Artois and $1 Pepsi products and bottled water) and tailgate-style food from the Plaza Grill. Churchill Downs will offer free admission to college students every Saturday with a current student I.D.

Family Adventure Day, which was a hit for families during the spring and September meets, returns November 9 with plenty of games and activities for children while the adults enjoy an exciting day of horse racing.

The "Who's the Champ? Betting Challenge" returns for the final three Sundays of the fall meet (November 16, 23 and 30) with lucrative prizes being awarded to the top three entrants with the most profitable $2 win/place mythical wagers on the 3RD-8TH races. The challenge is $35 to enter ($30 for TSC Elite members).

Lastly, Churchill Downs will conclude its meet on November 30 with Fan Appreciation Day featuring $1 draft Bud/Bud Light, $1 22-ounce Pepsi products, $1 bottled water and $1 hot dogs. Also, the first 5,000 fans through admission gates will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for a free 2015 calendar that features classic Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby imagery.

Jockey Julien Leparoux could enter the fall meet with a chance to collect his 2,000th career win (he began Thursday's action at Keeneland with 1,995 victories). Also, Robby Albarado is just five wins shy of becoming only the third rider to win 1,000 races at Churchill Downs. He has 995 local wins and only trails Pat Day (2,482) and Calvin Borel (1,167) in the all-time standings.

Meanwhile, record-breaking owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who collected their 22nd Churchill Downs leading owners' title in September, are two wins away from their 400th local victory.

The defending fall meet champs are jockey Corey Lanerie (36 wins), trainer Mike Maker (16) and the Ramseys (18).

Larry Collmus will describe action in what will be his final meet as track announcer at Churchill Downs (in addition to being the voice of Gulfstream Park's winter meet he'll be the NYRA announcer starting in April 2015). While Collmus is attending to Breeders' Cup duties for NBC, Mike Battaglia, the voice of Churchill Downs from 1978-96, will substitute October 29 through November 2.

General admission to Churchill Downs is $3 ($1 for senior citizens age 60 and up; $10 for Downs After Dark). Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is free in the Longfield Avenue lot (Gates 10 & 12) and $3 in all other lots. Valet parking is $5.

Free seating is available daily on a first-come, first-serve basis in sections 113-118. Premium reserved seats in the Matt Winn Dining Room, Third Floor Box Seats, Millionaires Row, Jockey Club Suites, Finish Line Suites and Skye Terrace may be purchased online at ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets, in person at the Gate 1 box office (open most race days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or by calling 502-636-4400.

For more information, call 502-636-4400 or visit churchilldowns.com.

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In brief

Beholder (Henny Hughes), declared from the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) Sunday due to a fever, is improving but no date has been set for her trip to Kentucky where she is scheduled to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton Sale on November 3. "She's still here and the fever's been gone a couple days," Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said of the two-time Eclipse Award winner, as champion two-year-old filly in 2012 and three-year-old filly last year. "There are a couple different flights, but she is our first concern. The flights are secondary. In the next few days, we'll figure out which one of the flights to take, but she wouldn't be going until the last minute. She's not going to be getting on an early flight. We want to make sure she's well enough."...

Sunday's 259,240,000 Kikuka Sho (Jpn-G1) at Kyoto Racecourse marks the final Japanese classic of the season, and with Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) (Jpn-G1) hero Isla Bonita (Fuji Kiseki) sitting this one out in preference for the November 2 Tenno Sho Autumn (Jpn-G1), only Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (Jpn-G1) winner One and Only (Heart's Cry) stands a chance to become a dual classic winner this year. Off for three months after his classic score, One and Only picked up right where he left off, besting the re-opposing Sounds of Earth (Neo Universe) in the 2400-meter Kobe Shimbun Hai (Jpn-G2) on September 28. That rival could manage only 11th in the Japanese Derby, but was reportedly suffering a physical issue, and is reported to be improved now. One and Only's greatest challenge could perhaps come from To the World (King Kamehameha), who had a four-race win streak snapped when second as the favorite in the Japanese Two Thousand Guineas. Fifth in the Japanese Derby, he was most recently second, again behind Isla Bonita, off the layoff in the September 21 St. Lite Kinen (Jpn-G2). Tagano Grandpa (King Kamehameha) looks to hand trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda -- known for his handling of classic fillies like Buena Vista, Harp Star and Marcellina -- his first colt's classic win. Tagano Grandpa searches for his first win at the highest level, having taken the Chunch Sprint (Jpn-G3) going 6 1/2 furlongs on March 22, but he showed his ability to handled added distance when fourth in the Japanese Derby and third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the St. Lite Kinen...

Leopardstown's 60,000 Killavullan (Ire-G3) has proved a happy hunting ground for Aidan O'Brien, whose record tally of 10 winners includes Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1) hero Footstepsinthesand 10 years ago. In a disappointing turnout for the seven-furlong contest, the master of Ballydoyle supplies easily the most interesting runner in Michael Tabor's Royal Navy Ship (War Front), who beat his Racing Post Trophy (Eng-G1)-bound stablemate Jacobean (High Chaparral) in his October 12 debut at The Curragh. Also from Rosegreen is Susan Magnier's Cocoon (Galileo), who chased home her subsequent Fillies' Mile (Eng-G1)-winning barnmate Together Forever (Galileo) when three-lengths second to her in the listed Staffordstown Stud going a mile on the same card that Royal Navy Ship was making his racecourse bow...

A field of 11, including one main-track only runner, has been entered to go five grassy furlongs at Gulfstream Park West Saturday in the $90,000 Gin Rummy Champ, and Speechify (Harlan's Holiday) will be trying turf for the first time while making his first start in nine months. The four-year-old colt's grassy bow, originally scheduled to come in the Silks Run Stakes at Gulfstream Park on February 26, was postponed due to a condylar fracture that he sustained during morning training hours and that required a screw to be inserted into his right front leg to aid in the healing process. "He's training well, doing well," trainer Ralph Nicks said. "He's a helluva horse that we can do pretty much anything with. I breezed him on grass before the injury. We were going to run him on grass before he got injured." Nicks is confident that Speechify, who launched his career while winning in a romp, can make a strong showing in his stakes and turf debut off the shelf. "I don't think it's a concern, but it's obviously different company than maidens and he's going to a different surface," said Nicks, whose trainee is rated at 6-1 and is scheduled to be ridden by Hall of Famer Edgar Prado. Speechify has overcome more imposing obstacles. Afflicted with a constriction of the esophagus, a condition that requires a strict dietary regime that does not include hay, the four-year-old has already achieved more than Team Valor's Barry Irwin had expected of him. "It's kind of hard to believe, to tell you the truth. We've seen him at his worst. The fact that he even made a race, I think is a plus," Irwin said in the Gulfstream winner's circle following Speechify's second victory. "The fact that he's doing this is off the charts." Nicks added, "You have to be careful with him for the rest of his life." Speechify also must deal with the far-outside post position in the Gin Rummy Champ, while Determinato (Closing Argument), the 5-2 morning-line favorite, has drawn the rail. Determinato is a seasoned performer on turf and at the five-furlong distance, having won six of 16 starts at five furlongs on turf and finishing in the money 11 times...

Surtsey (Heatseeker) seeks a second straight stakes win in Saturday's C$100,000 River Memories at Woodbine. Trained by Kevin Attard, the four-year-old chestnut arrives in the one-mile turf stakes for distaffers off a half-length win in the grassy Avowal on September 20. The Avowal score came as the lone win in four starts this season for Surtsey, although the classy turf miss performed admirably when a close fifth in the Nassau (Can-G2) and sixth in the Dance Smartly (Can-G2) to open the year. Luis Contreras retains the mount. A total of seven were entered in the River Memories, and Dance Again (Awesome Again) will break from the far outside under Patrick Husbands. The Sam-Son Farms homebred posted her lone win of 2014 against optional claiming rivals in early June. Trained by Malcolm Pierce, the four-year-old bay has plenty of back class having captured the Carotene last season and taking the Mrs. Revere (G2). Joy (Pure Prize) was next to last in the Lady Baltimore most recently, but the Graham Motion filly was third in the All Brandy prior to that and captured the Perfect Sting at Belmont Park over the summer. Silent Star (Silent Name) enters the River Memories off a second-place finish in the Classy 'N Smart on September 28 over Woodbine's Polytrack. The David Bell-trained dark bay should appreciate a return to the same lawn over which she captured the Victoriana on July 30. Stakes-placed Blessed One (North Light) and Savvy Hester (Heatseeker) are both looking for a first black-type score in the River Memories, while Industrial Policy (Harlan's Holiday) completes the field in an effort to add some stakes credit to her resume...

Multiple Grade 3 scorer River Seven (Johannesburg) is seeking the first win of his four-year-old campaign in Sunday's co-featured C$100,000 Labeeb at Woodbine. the Nick Gonzalez trainee has made six starts thus far this season, all against graded company, but could only garner a third in the Nijinsky (Can-G2) on July 19. However, his effort last time out when fourth, defeated just 2 1/4 lengths in the Woodbine Mile (Can-G1), was a deceptively good effort when traveling 30 feet farther than the winner, Breeders' Cup bound Trade Storm (Trade Fair), according to Trakus charts. "In the Mile, he gave us a big thrill when he struck the lead (in the stretch)," assistant trainer Martha Gonzalez said. "He was only beat a length and a half. He can never disappoint us, he tries every time." A more forgiving E.P. Taylor Turf Course, rated as good on Mile day, may have helped River Seven. "This summer we were plagued with firm turf courses and it's just not as forgiving," Gonzalez explained. "I don't think he relishes it as much as he does when it has a little give to it." A move way from graded company should benefit River Seven on Sunday. "It's lighter company and he's enjoyed the break," Gonzalez noted. "He's better with time between his races and it's looking like it could rain again on Saturday so he could get a nice forgiving turf. He really seems to blossom in the fall. He's doing well right now." To defend his Labeeb title, River Seven will take on a field of seven that includes Connaught Cup (Can-G2) winner Excaper (Exchange Rate), who is wheeling back just one week after his fourth-place run in the Nearctic (Can-G2). Excaper entered the Nearctic from a 10-week layoff after skipping the Woodbine Mile. One race earlier on Woodbine's Sunday card, the C$150,000 Fanfreluche features a half-dozen Ontario-bred juvenile fillies going six furlongs on the Polytrack, including Starless Night (Grand Slam) and Pohdi Pohdi (Old Forester). The former miss makes her return following a troubled 11th-place finish in the Natalma (Can-G2). "She got hit with something and came back with a gash on the side of her face," trainer Gonzalez explained. "(Jockey) Emma(-Jayne Wilson) thought she bled which is why she pulled her up, but she was probably hit with a shoe or something." Pohdi Pohdi brings a perfect two-for-two mark into the race, including a five-length romp in the Victorian Queen two weeks ago...

Alexis Tangier (Tiznow) and Diversy Harbor (Curlin) head a field of 14 entered in Saturday's $100,000 Autumn Miss (G3) at Santa Anita. Only 10 will be allowed to start in the one-mile turf test for three-year-old fillies, with four runners on the also-eligible list, and Alexis Tangier brings a two-race win streak into the race for Richard Mandella, capturing her stakes debut most recently, the September 27 Unzip Me. Victor Espinoza has the mount. Diversy Harbor opened her racing career with a pair of victories earlier this year, including the China Doll at Santa Anita in early March, and followed with three straight stakes placings. Runner-up in the American Oaks (G1) three starts back, the Tom Proctor-trained lass will look to turn things around following a couple of unplaced efforts versus stakes foes at Del Mar. Mike Smith rides. Lexie Lou (Sligo Bay), winner of the Queen's Plate on Polytrack three starts back, also rates as a serious contender for trainer Mark Casse...

Eight juveniles will line up in Saturday evening's $200,000 Jean Lafitte S. going a mile at Delta Downs in preparation for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) on November 22. Only three in the field have prior stakes experience, with Waha Wild (Offlee Wild) breaking his maiden in the Evangeline Downs Star last out on August 30, Sharon's Boy (Scrimshaw) finishing fourth in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile and sixth last out in the Sunday Silence and Big Big Easy (Midshipman) fading to ninth in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile two back. The remainder of the group is comprised of three maiden winners and two still seeking a first career victory...

Goffs announced the appointment of three new international representatives. Kentucky native Gatewood Bell of Cromwell Bloodstock will represent Goffs in North America. Goffs will be represented in Japan by Takaya Kimura, whose involvement in the Japanese industry includes his role as jockey's agent to several high profile international riders when in Japan including Oliver Peslier, Christophe Soumillon, Douglas Whyte, Craig Williams, William Buick and more. Kimura takes over the Goffs agent role from Takashi Kodama, who will concentrate on his training operation while still maintaining strong links with Goffs. Juan Pablo Sullivan, of Chilean bloodstock agency Sullivan Bloodstock, has been appointed as Goffs representative in South America. "These appointments clearly demonstrate Goffs' desire to reach all corners of the globe," Chief Executive Henry Beeby said. "All three are industry leaders in their region and their addition to our strong network of established international agents will ensure yet more overseas buyers come to Goffs to buy Ireland's best." Those three join Mark Player (Australasia), Jamie Osborne (United Kingdom), Angelo Robiati (Italy), Filip Zwicky (Scandinavia), Azamat Kappushev (Russia), Matthias Seeber (Germany) and Inigo Ballestero (Spain) as Goffs international agents.

Carryover Watch

For Saturday or Next Raceday

HAWTHORNE:   High 5 -- $43,293
SANTA ANITA:   Pick 6 -- $34,949
    High 5 -- $17,909
LAUREL:   Pick 5 -- $16,695
BELMONT:   Pick 6 -- $15,537

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

SPOT PLAYS

For Saturday

TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
Belmont Park   (2nd) Greywalls, 5-1
    (7th) Street Jersey, 3-1
Charles Town   (3rd) Emblem's Purge, 4-1
    (8th) Six Storms, 10-1
Delta Downs   (2nd) Forest Pegasus, 6-1
    (5th) Blushing Ruler, 6-1
Finger Lakes   (5th) Our Brave Warrior, 7-2
    (8th) Aspree, 5-1
Golden Gate Fields   (1st) Stealth Drone, 7-2
    (5th) Brighton Star, 5-1
Gulfstream Park West   (7th) Angel Falls, 3-1
    (8th) Va Banque, 5-1
Hastings Park   (4th) Texas Buccaneer, 7-2
    (5th) Swiss Arrogant, 5-1
Hawthorne   (1st) Spanish Ambassador, 6-1
    (6th) Hoist the Colors, 4-1
Keeneland   (1st) Defer Heaven, 4-1
    (6th) Indian Red, 7-2
Laurel Park   (8th) Mystical Terp, 7-2
    (11th) Perfectly True, 10-1
Meadowlands   (3rd) Sonyador, 4-1
    (4th) Hyman Roth, 5-1
Mountaineer   (6th) Crown Polis, 3-1
    (7th) Stunt Double, 3-1
Parx Racing   (5th) Sunny Mills, 5-1
    (9th) Giroux, 7-2
Penn National   (2nd) Noah n' Jacob, 4-1
    (9th) Dixieland Nell, 4-1
Remington Park   (3rd) Painted Slew, 9-2
    (7th) The Rock Rolls, 3-1
Retama Park   (2nd) King Arathas, 3-1
    (9th) Boston Humor, 6-1
Santa Anita   (6th) Back Off Buddy, 4-1
    (7th) Eddie's First, 3-1
Thistledown   (3rd) Jody's Power, 3-1
    (8th) All of Olives Love, 4-1
Turf Paradise   (6th) Among the Stars, 9-2
    (8th) Cara Has It, 3-1
Woodbine   (7th) September Square, 6-1
    (9th) Lynnessa, 10-1

HIGHLIGHTS

For Saturday

BELMONT PARK (12:50): $200,000 Bold Ruler H. (G3), 3&up, 7f (3RD); $100,000 Chelsea Flower S., 2yo, f, 1mT (8TH)
DELTA DOWNS (6:50): $200,000 Jean Lafitte S., 2yo, 1m (9TH).
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (3:45): $75,000 Pike Place Dancer S., 2yo, f, 1mT (6TH).
GULFSTREAM PARK WEST (1:05): $90,000 Gin Rummy Champ S., 3&up, 5fT (9TH).
KEENELAND (1:05): $200,000 Fayette S. (G2), 3&up, 1 1/8m (9TH).
SANTA ANITA (4:00): $100,000 Autumn Miss S. (G3), 3yo, f, 1mT (8TH).
THISTLEDOWN (12:55): $50,000 Diana S., 3&up, f&m, 6f (7TH).
WOODBINE (1:00): $100,000 River Memories S., 3&up, f&m, 1mT (8TH).

*all times Eastern

HANDICAPPER'S EDGE is compiled by Bloodstock Research Information Services. This newsletter may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Copyright 2011, Bloodstock Research Information Services. Information as to the races, race results and earnings was obtained from Equibase Company LLC and is utilized herein with the permission of the copyright owner, Equibase Company LLC.

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