Champions galore entered in 30th Breeders' Cup
Led by an international cast that includes Game On Dude, defending Breeders'
Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, European stars Declaration of War and The Fugue,
and Horse of the Year Wise Dan, 162 horses (one also-eligible), including 16 European-trained runners, were
entered Monday for the 30th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita
Park to be run Friday and Saturday.
|Wise Dan is one of seven defending champions, and nine total BC winners, coming back for more at Santa Anita
Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious global event with 71 Grade or Group 1
winners among those entered, the Breeders' Cup consists of 14 races worth a
total of $27 million in purses and awards, and will be run at Santa Anita for
the seventh time with five races Friday and nine Saturday to be televised on NBC
Sports network and NBC.
Janis Whitham's Fort Larned and Reeves Thoroughbreds' Mucho Macho Man
finished one-two in the 2012 edition of the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at
Santa Anita with Diamond Pride LLC and Lanni Family Trust's Game On Dude a
disappointing seventh as the favorite. The trio leads the talented field of 12
drawn for Saturday's renewal of the 1 1/4-mile test over the same track and
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has ridden Game On Dude to victory in four of
his five starts this year and will be back aboard Saturday as the 8-5 morning
line favorite breaking from post 9. The six-year-old gelded son of 1998
Breeders' Cup Classic winner Awesome Again with earnings of $5.6 million was
never more impressive than winning the Pacific Classic by 8 1/2 lengths at Del
Mar last out August 25 with Martin Garcia filling in for Smith as he traveled to
New York that day for the mount on champion Royal Delta at Saratoga.
Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man also were very impressive in their final
Classic tune-ups with Fort Larned capturing the Homecoming Classic at Churchill
Downs for trainer Ian Wilkes and 'Macho Man' posting a 4 1/4-length score in the
Awesome Again Stakes over the Santa Anita track for trainer Kathy Ritvo. Fort
Larned breaks from post 7 under regular jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. and Hall of
Fame veteran Gary Stevens will be aboard Mucho Macho Man for the second time
leaving the gate from post 6 as the 5-1 second choice.
|Fort Larned (right) and Mucho Macho Man fought out the finish of the 2012 Classic
Other leading contenders include Dogwood Stable's three-year-old Belmont
Stakes hero Palace Malice prominent among trainer Todd Pletcher's team of eight
Breeders' Cup runners with jockey John Velazquez. Mrs. John Magnier's
four-year-old Irish-trained challenger Declaration of War leads trainer Aidan
O'Brien's Coolmore team and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has the veteran duo
of Preston Stable's seven-year-old Flat Out and Brous Stable and partners'
six-year-old Ron the Greek, third and fourth in the Classic last year,
Mott sends out Besilu Stable's five-year-old mare Royal Delta to highlight
Friday's card as she bids for a "three-peat" in the $2 million Distaff (known as
Ladies' Classic in 2011-12) in a field of six. Mott also saddles Juddmonte
Farm's three-year-old Close Hatches in the 1 1/8-mile test. Smith will take his
regular seat on Royal Delta, the 8-5 morning line favorite, as she bids to
reverse the result of a runner-up finish behind King of Prussia Stable's
three-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar in the Beldame Stakes last out at
Belmont Park on September 28.
Pletcher guided Princess of Sylmar to six wins from seven starts this year,
including the Kentucky Oaks and Alabama Stakes prior to the Beldame. Javier
Castallano rides the daughter of Majestic Warrior as the 9-5 second choice while
Pletcher also will be represented by Padua Stable's six-year-old mare
Authenticty in the race with strong credentials of her own.
|Royal Delta is attempting a three-peat in the Distaff
Beholder, last year's Juvenile Fillies winner, is back to try the Distaff.
The Richard Mandella filly just beat Authenticity in the September 28 Zenyatta
over this track.
Priscilla Vaccarezza's six-year-old gelding Little Mike is also among the
seven 2012 Breeders' Cup champions defending their titles as he breaks from post
4 with jockey Smith in the saddle in a field of 12 drawn for the $3 million Turf
on Saturday run at 1 1/2 miles. Trained by Dale Romans, the son of Spanish Steps
posted a 17-to-1 upset in the race last year over Phipps Stable's favored Point
of Entry. Little Mike looked good winning the Turf Classic at Belmont last out
for his first victory in five starts since the Breeders' Cup, including two
subpar races in Dubai to begin the season.
Trainer Chad Brown has two top contenders in the Turf in Kenneth and Sarah
Ramsey's pair of five-year-old Big Blue Kitten, beaten nose last out by Little
Mike in the Turf Classic with a head-bob, and four-year-old Real Solution,
third, beaten only a length for it all in the Turf Classic after winning the
Arlington Million (on disqualification) with Little Mike sixth. Both of the
Ramseys' stars are by his leading North American stallion Kitten's Joy. Jockey
Joe Bravo retains the mount on Big Blue Kitten and Javier Castellano will ride
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey brings back five-year-old Point of Entry
in the Turf in his first start since the homebred son of Dynaformer won the
Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Day, June 8, emerging from the victory with a condylar
fracture in his left hind cannon bone. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez was
his regular rider before he went to the sidelines and will be back aboard
Saturday. They fell a half-length short of catching Little Mike in the Turf last
|Little Mike (right) just lasted from Point of Entry (center) in last year's Turf
European-trained runners have had major success in the Turf over the years,
and their hopes are led by Andrew Lloyd-Webber's four-year-old English-bred
filly The Fugue to be ridden by regular partner William Buick for trainer John
Gosden. The daughter of Dansili finished third in the Filly & Mare Turf over the
course last year and comes here this season after scores in the Yorkshire Oaks
and Irish Champion Stakes, the latter against colts.
Another high point of the Saturday card will be the return of Morton Fink's
six-year-old gelding Wise Dan in defense of his stunning tally in last year's $2
million Mile, a performance that sealed his Horse of the Year
campaign. Velazquez has ridden the son of Wiseman's Ferry to victory in three of
his last four starts this year and retains the mount Saturday as they break from
post 8 as the even-money morning line favorite in the field of 10.
Trained by Charles LoPresti, Wise Dan had won nine straight races, all turf
course stakes going back to summer of 2012, until being upset last out when
second behind Mark Bacon and Dana Wells' four-year-old Silver Max after the
Shadwell 'Turf' Mile at Keeneland was forced off grass and run on the Polytrack
surface at 1 1/16 miles.
A son of Badge of Silver trained by Dale Romans, Silver Max went into the
Shadwell after victories in the Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park and Bernard
Baruch at Saratoga. Winner of the Virginia Derby among five turf stakes last
year, Silver Max will have regular rider Robby Albarado in the saddle as they
break from post 3.
Also back from last year's renewal of the Mile will be Anthony Fanicola and
Joseph Scardino's five-year-old gelding Obviously with jockey Joe Talamo aboard
for trainer Mike Mitchell. The Irish-bred son of Choisir led the field past the
furlong marker last year before giving way late, beaten only two lengths for it
all by Wise Dan with 2011 Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom between them in
|Groupie Doll seeks to keep her Filly & Mare Sprint crown
Sheik Joaan bin Hamad al Thani's three-year-old Irish-bred Olympic Glory and
Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Cristoforo Colombo
represent Europe in the Mile. Another son of Choisir trained by Richard Hannon,
Olympic Glory won the Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot last out on October 19 after
solid runner-up efforts in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp and Prix Jacques Le
Marois at Deauville.
The European team also will be well represented in Saturday's $2 million
Filly & Mare Turf with James Wigan's four-year-old English-bred filly Dank
leading the way after already winning a major U.S. prize this year in the
Beverly D. at Arlington International Racecourse last out on August 17 for
trainer Sir Michael Stoute. Jockey Ryan Moore will be back aboard the daughter
of Dansili in the 1 1/4-mile test breaking from post 1 in the field of 10.
The most fancied American-trained hopes include Richard Santulli's
five-year-old Irish-bred mare Laughing riding a four-race win streak, including
the Flower Bowl Invitational last out at Belmont for trainer Alan Goldberg;
Pamela Ziebarth's Tiz Flirtatious and Glen Hill Farm's Marketing Mix,
five-year-olds that finished one-two last out in the Rodeo Drive Stakes over the
Santa Anita course and distance on September 28. A daughter of Medaglia d'Oro,
Marketing Mix finished second in the Filly & Mare Turf last year for trainer Tom
Proctor, beaten less than a length by Zagora.
The Ramseys' Kitten's Dumplings and Martin Schwartz's French-bred Alterite
just finished one-two last out in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at
Keeneland on October 12. Alterite flies the flag for the Schwartz-Brown team
that won the race last year with Zagora.
Two other returning 2012 Breeders' Cup champions defending their titles
Saturday will be Fred and William (Buff) Bradley's five-year-old homebred mare
Groupie Doll in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint and Sherry Racing's
four-year-old Trinniberg in the $1.5 million Sprint, both acclaimed
Eclipse champions for the season.
|Mizdirection, who bested Unbridled's Note and Reneesgotzip a year ago, meets them again in the Turf Sprint
Groupie Doll was installed the 5-2 favorite in the field of 12 drawn for the
race with regular partner Rajiv Maragh aboard for trainer Buff Bradley and
Maragh also rides Trinniberg for trainer Shivananda Parbhoo in a field of 12 in the
Sprint as an 8-1 outsider as he bids to bounce back from a subpar prep when last
of seven in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship here on October 5.
Good Friends Stable's Private Zone was made the 3-1 morning line favorite for
the wide-open Sprint breaking from post 7. His rivals include Secret Circle, who
captured the 2011 Juvenile Sprint.
Also on Saturday, Jim Rome's Mizdirection returns to defend her title in the
$1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. The daughter of Mizzen Mast was installed
as the 4-to-1 morning-line favorite in the field of 14.
Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com
Send this article to a friend