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Thursday, October 30, 2014

European Report for Thursday

Aktabantay Declared from Juvenile Turf; Faithful Creek Draws In
V. I. Araci’s 2yo Aktabantay has been withdrawn from Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf because of a sore foot. TrainerHugo Palmer has expressed his deep disappointment at having to make the decision to take him out of the race.


“He worked and moved really well this morning and I was growing in confidence about his chances in Friday’s race. Unfortunately, that confidence did not last long as he was found to have a sore foot when he returned back to the barn and I had to make the decision to scratch him.”


“He will be absolutely fine and we are now looking forward to the spring and we will be aiming him at the 2,000 Guineas,” Palmer added.


The defection of Aktabantay allows Decadent Racing’s Faithful Creek to draw in for trainer Brian Meehan with jockey Kieren Fallon slated to ride.


The son of Bushranger has been kept up to his work since his arrival at Santa Anita and has pleased Meehan who has been trackside for the past two days.


“We all feel deeply sorry for Hugo Palmer and his team it is all very disappointing when something like this happens,” Meehan said. “We are obviously pleased to be getting a run but not in circumstances like this. Kieren Fallon who will be on board tomorrow got on the horse this morning and said that he gave him a really nice feel and we have the horse in really great shape.”





Toast of New York – Jamie Osborne was trackside Thursday morning to see his Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Toast of New York do a routine canter on the main track. Osborne who arrived in California Wednesday night, was happy with what he saw and reported the horse to be in good shape.



“I guess we won’t know until Saturday how he is going to handle the track, but he seems comfortable on it. He is a big horse and weighs 550 kilos which is 30 kilos more than he was when he won the UAE Derby in March.


“That has been a gradual progression and a sign of his growing maturity. Fitness-wise he is where I want him and that is my job. Jamie (Spencer) will do the steering and I will leave the race tactics up to him. I guess there will be plenty of pace in the race and ‘Toast’ will sit handy off the pace, but if the race turns out differently Jamie can adapt.”


Longines Distaff


L’Amour De Ma Vie – Pia Brandt could not be more happy which her 5yo mare L’Amour De Ma Vie who jogged half a circuit with a pony before doing a steady canter around a circuit of the track.


“She seems to really like the dirt out here and she actually prefers it to the sand back at home. She is obviously very relaxed as she seems to sleep a lot in her barn. She is behaving very well out on the track even when being passed by hundreds of colts,” Brandt said.     


Longines Turf


Telescope – Michael Stoutewas at Santa Anita for the first time this week to see Highclere Thoroughbred’s Telescope, the mount of Ryan Moore, stretch his legs on the turf track at Santa Anita under regular exercise rider Kevin Bradshaw. Highclere boss Harry Herbert was also at the track with several of the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing syndicate members to see their horse go through his routine.


“Everything seems to be fine, and everyone is looking forward to a big run on Saturday,” Herbert said.


Chicquita – Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien was also on hand at Santa Anita as his Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf hope Chicquita, winner of the Irish Oaks in 2013 made her first appearance on the track on Thursday morning. She did no more than a jog and light canter as she familiarized herself with her new surroundings.  Chicquita is now O’Brien’s sole representative in the Turf, following the scratch of Magician on Wednesday morning.


O’Brien said, “She’s a lovely filly and I wouldn’t be worried that she got a little warm this morning – that’s just her. What happened to Magician was unfortunate, but with the fast ground here running him was not a chance we could take.”


Brown Panther – The Tom Dascombe-trained Brown Panther, who is part owned and was bred by former England international footballer Michael Owen, went out on the main track for a regulation canter under regular exercise rider Chris Ely, who reported that everything was fine with his horse.


“Nothing new to report, we are just keeping him ticking over,” he said


His trainer and Owen arrive in California later Thursday.


Flintshire – The Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire, who comes into the Turf off a second-place finish in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, continued his regular routine that he has been following all week, cantering on the main track.


Teddy Beckett, racing manager to owner Prince Khaled Abdulla, said, “He seems to have come out of his race in the Arc very well, and he ran very well to finish second to Treve in that. We think he’s in good order, and he’s had a relatively light season, so I am hopeful that he’ll go well on Saturday.”


Filly & Mare Turf


Secret Gesture – Trainer Ralph Beckett was once again on hand to supervise the exercise of his challenger Secret Gesture who ventured out on to the main track and put in a circuit and a half of a steady canter before returning to the barn. The daughter of Galileo looked comfortable in her work and all the connections were happy.


Dank – Michael Stoute was trackside for the first time to see both his horses stretch their legs. Defending champion Dank went out on to the turf with regular work rider Marie Doe inthe saddle. The 5yo daughter of Dansili did not do any serious work and just did a gentle canter around one lap of the track before heading home through the paddock.


Just The Judge – Jamie Spencer, who will be riding Just the Judge in Saturday’s race, once again climbed aboard for her exercise and asked the Charlie Hills’ filly to go at a steady canter out on the grass. The 4yo daughter of Lawman will be trying to follow up on her success in the E.P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine earlier in the month.


Fiesolana – Willie McCreery was also at trackside and requested that his Matron Stakes winner Fiesolana be allowed to go out and have a look at the hill at Santa Anita. The daughter of Aussie Rules with jockey Billy Lee in the saddle went out at 9:55 and cantered down the hill before doing a 3f breeze.


“Everything went very well today and I am very happy with my filly” said McCreery.


Lee, who will have the mount in Saturday’s race reported the filly to be “A1.”




Karakontie – Jonathan Pease, trainer of this year’s Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) winner Karakontie, was at Santa Anita on Thursday morning to see his charge visit the turf course for the first time this week.


Flaxman Holdings’ racing manager Alan Cooper said after Karakontie’s solid gallop on the turf track, “The horse is very well, he’s back to his racing weight after his trip over here and is thriving here at the track. His trainer couldn’t be more happy with him.”


Anodin – Trainer Freddy Head, successful in this race as both a jockey and as a trainer on three occasions was again at the track to supervise Anodin’s preparations, and remains upbeat about his horse.


After jogging on the main track Anodin put in no more than a routine canter around 8:15 a.m. Head remains happy with his horse, “I have been pleased with him all week, he is relaxed and doing everything right. I think he should go well.”


Mustajeeb – Irish trainer Dermot Weld was at Santa Anita for the first time this week to supervise Mustajeeb’s turf work Thursday morning. His horse put in a pleasing piece of work in the company of a horse from local trainer Paddy Gallagher’s barn. His big race jockey Pat Smullen was again aboard Mustajeeb for the work.


Afterward Weld said, “I was very happy with him this morning. He went well on the track and changed his leads, which is important. I think he’s ready to run a big race.”


Smullen concurred with his trainer, “He’s in very good shape, and felt good out there.”


Veda – Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Aga Khan-owned runner Veda, a 3yo daughter of Dansili, continued her preparations by going out on the track in the company of the other French challengers Anodin (Mile) and Flintshire (Turf). She put in the strongest canter of the three, without being asked to do too much.


Toronado – With trainer Richard Hannon in attendance, the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the Mile again looked well as he went through the gates with his big race jockey Richard Hughes aboard before putting in a regulation canter on the main track.


“Everything is good with the horse, and I’m very happy with him,” he said. “I thought he was maybe a little quiet yesterday, but he was on his game today.”


Trade Storm – Newmarket trainer David Simcock saddles England’s other runner in the race, Trade Storm, who comes to Santa Anita off an international success in the Woodbine Mile in Toronto in September. Simcock was at Santa Anita for the first time on Thursday morning to see Trade Storm and his Turf Sprint hope Caspar Netscher warm up on the main track before breezing on the turf under Jamie Spencer.


Afterward Simcock said, “Both horses had a blow this morning and I couldn’t be happier with them. They are in great form. Ian (Russell) has done a great job with them out here. All we need now is a bit of luck, they are both live contenders.”


With regard to Trade Storm, Simcock added, “The track may be a bit tight for him, we’ll have to see, but they should go a good pace which will really suit him.”



Xpressbet Sprint


Wind Fire – David Brown’s Wind Fire with former jockey Kevin Darley in the saddle put in her strongest piece of exercise since arriving in California. She went out on to the main track shortly after 7 a.m. and galloped from the 4f-pole down the home stretch.  


“I couldn’t be more pleased with her. She is in tremendous form, really tremendous. I asked her to do a little bit more today and she did it really nicely. She loves the dirt out there and has taken to it really well.” Brown said


Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile


The Great War – The only European challenger in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is the Aidan O’Brien-trained The Great War who Thursday morning saw the Santa Anita racetrack for the first time. The 2yo followed exactly the same pattern as his stable companions and did a gentle canter out on the dirt.


“Saturday’s race will be his first run on the dirt and we will just have to see how he handles it,” said O’Brien.


Juvenile Turf


Commemorative – James Doyle was once again asked to ride Commemorative in his exercise. The solidly built son of Zamindar stretched out nicely in a routine canter out on the Turf. Charlie Hills who was successful in last year’s race with Chriselliam was happy with his charge and reported that everything was, “OK.”


Wet Sail – Charlie Fellowes’ hope Wet Sail did an almost identical piece of work to Wednesday. In the hands of regular rider Claire Mackay the son of Henrythenavigator stretched out in a strong canter down the stretch on the Turf.


War Envoy – Having cleared quarantine Wednesday, the Aidan O’Brien-trained War Envoy joined his stable companions out on the dirt track Thursday morning. Jogging half a circuit with his pony, the son of War Front then did a gentle canter down the stretch.


O’Brien was pleased with the condition of War Envoy and said, “ I am happy with him and I am pretty sure that he will get the trip on Friday.”  


Juvenile Fillies Turf


Osaila – Frankie Dettori was once again on board the Richard Hannon-trained Osaila as she did a steady canter of half a circuit before walking and then going another half circuit also at a canter.


Prize Exhibit - Jamie Osborne’s Prize Exhibit, the other English challenger for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf took to the turf Thursday morning and went a steady canter before returning back to the barn through the paddock area.


Qualify – Aidan O’Brien’s raider saw the Santa Anita track for the first time Thursday having cleared quarantine Wednesday afternoon. The Weld Park Stakes winner trotted half a circuit of the main track with her pony before turning around and doing a very gentle canter down the stretch to the winning line. O’Brien reported that he was happy with the condition of his filly.


Turf Sprint


Caspar Netscher – David Simcock reported Caspar Netscher to be in good form ahead of his attempt to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Simcock saw his 5yo do a steady canter out on the turf course Thursday morning. Casper Netscher will be trying to take his career earnings over the $1 million barrier when he lines up in Saturday’s race with Irish Champion jockey Pat Smullen in the saddle.




Thursday, October 30, 2014

BC Classic Notes for Thursday

Bayern – Bayern, a candidate for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, has picked up a major endorsement for an event that already shaped up as, to borrow a political phrase, a real ‘horse race.’


Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who’ll make his riding comeback in the two-day Championships barely three months after knee replacement surgery, has cast his vote for Bayern, the 6-1 fourth choice on the morning line behind Shared Belief (9-5), California Chrome (4-1) and Tonalist (5-1).


            “I’m rootin’ for him,” Stevens said Thursday morning at Clockers’ Corner. “I’m part of the team, you know. His last three works have been unbelievable and I’ll be rootin’ for him just the same as I would have Beholder if she were running.”


            Stevens was aboard the 3yo son of Offlee Wild, owned by Kaleem Shah Inc. and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, for victories in his first two career starts in January and February at Santa Anita and again for a 7 1/2-length victory in the Woody Stephens in June at Belmont Park.


            Martin Garcia has been aboard for Bayern’s last three starts, among them wire-to-wire wins in the Haskell Invitational and Pennsylvania Derby which promote the thought that Bayern might be the Classic pacesetter. A notion with which Stevens does not agree.


            “He won’t be on the lead, Moreno will,” Stevens said. “He doesn’t have to have the lead. If I was on him I’d ride him just like I rode Beholder (in winning the Distaff) last year.”


Stevens had Beholder in third, a length and a half off the pace, before advancing nearing the three-quarter marker and pulling away to a 4 1/2-length win.


        Bayern jogged 1 1/2 m Thursday morning.   


California Chrome – Trainer Art Sherman said the 3yo colt is in peak form during a press conference with rival trainer and long-time friend Jerry Hollendorfer, conditioner of morning-line favorite Shared Belief, at Santa Anita Thursday morning.


“California Chrome is actually training better than he did before the Santa Anita Derby,” said Sherman after the colt galloped 1 ¾ m with regular exercise rider Willy Delgado. “He’s right on his game.


            “He seems really happy,” added Sherman, wearing a straw hat and blue Los Alamitos windbreaker. “Of course, he loves Santa Anita. He has always trained well here. I  hope we all have a safe trip.


            “He needed his last race,” said Sherman in reference to a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 20, his first start in three months. “He didn’t have the best trip. I think you will see a different horse Saturday.”


            Sherman repeated his relief in drawing an outside post, 13 in a field of 14, after a series of inside draws. “I’m sure happy with the post,” said Sherman. “I hate to make excuses, but I rode for 23 years, and there is trouble you can get into getting crammed in there. Maybe this time I can get a better break. I just want to be clear turning for home, and let the best horse win.”


            “Jerry (Hollendorfer) and I go back 35 years, and it’s really cool to think we could hook up at the top of the stretch,” said Sherman of the race with Horse of the Year ramifications. “It’s ironic, after all these years, that two Northern California boys could be hooking up.”


            Sherman and Hollendorfer, both long-time San Francisco-area residents and avid San Francisco Giants baseball fans, celebrated the Giants’ 3-2 victory over Kansas City Wednesday night to win the World Series.


“Go, Giants!” said Sherman as he left the podium. The 77-year-old trainer was feted at the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters 55th annual Award Dinner at the Derby restaurant in Arcadia Wednesday night when the Giants played. Sherman received the Mr. Fitz Award typifying the spirit of racing.


Candy Boy – Candy Boy, a 3yo son of Candy Ride owned by the CRK Stable, jogged 1 1/2 m at 5 a.m. in what trainer John Sadler termed a “routine” exercise.


CRK Stable is the nom de racing of Lee and Susan Searing and reflects the first letters in the names of their three children -- Christina, Richard and Katherine. The Searings have been clients of Sadlers for around 15 years, own several horses, and Candy Boy is out of their mare, She’s an Eleven, who was trained by Sadler.


“I saw Candy Boy when he was in the paddock as a baby and have just been around him all along,” Sadler said. “He’s a real homebred for me. 


“I met (the Searings) through a mutuel friend,” Sadler said.  ”Lee’s brother, Jerry Searing, used to train back in the day. They were under a different name then, Bent Tree Stable, and that group kind of broke up. I met Lee and we talked, got a couple horses and we’ve been together ever since.”


Lee Searing and his brother Jim operate Searing Industries.  


Cigar Street – Jake Ballis and Rashard Lewis’ 5yo Cigar Street has turned heads this week with his morning gallops. The son of Street Sense out of a half-sister to Cigar is making his third start off a 17-month layoff for Lewis, a longtime NBA player, and his longtime friend Ballis.


            “He looks great and he’s doing fine,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “It looks like he’s moving very well over the track. I was very pleased with him.”


           Mott smiled when it was mentioned that Cigar Street was attracting attention in a race in which much of the buzz has been about the 3yo standouts.


            “They’ve looked at him,” he said, chuckling. “They saw him. He’s a big, good-looking horse.”


            One of Cigar Street’s assets is his speed. He and jockey John Velazquez will leave from post 2 in the field of 14 and Mott said they ought to be effective from that inside position.  


            “I’ve got a good rider on him and he’s got to ride him from whatever post,” Mott said. “There is some speed in there. I don’t think he’ll be challenging anybody for the lead. It looks like Bayern and Moreno have that real early zip.”


            The prospect of a sharp early pace in which others are doing the work is fine with Mott.


            “That would be good. I don’t see a problem with that,” Mott said. “You’d almost like to see the field string out a little bit. Sometimes everybody gets a little better shot when that happens.”


Footbridge – Eoin Harty continues to show confidence in his Breeders’ Cup Classic longshot Footbridge.  The Godolphin Racing-owned son of Street Cry put in a routine gallop Thursday morning two days out from the Classic and three days after a final preparatory work over the Santa Anita main track.


            “He’s doing very well,” Harty reported.  “Today he went to the gate and galloped the better part of two miles.”


            Impressing many onlookers with his appearance, Footbridge will have to improve upon his third-place effort last out in the Awesome Again Stakes to Classic morning line favorite Shared Belief. 


            “He’s happy, relaxed, his coat looks good and he’s the perfect weight for when he has run his best races all year.  These are all the things you want to see,” Harty continued.  “He always showed me early on that he has tons of talent and he’s matured a lot over the year.  As good as he was at three, he’s a hell of a lot better now.  I expect a big performance.”


Imperative – KM Racing Enterprise Inc.’s Imperative had a new morning partner Thursday when he galloped on the main track at Santa Anita: Frankie Dettori. 


“We just galloped around and I got a chance to know him,” said Dettori, who will ride Imperative in Saturday’s Classic. “(Trainer) George (Papaprodromou) wanted me to get a feel for him and it went well.”


Dettori, a winner of 10 Breeders’ Cup races, scored his lone victory in the Classic in 2008 at Santa Anita Park with Raven’s Pass.


For Imperative, all the heavy lifting has been completed for Saturday.


“We’re done,” Papaprodromou said. “He will walk in the morning and not go to the track Saturday morning.”


Majestic Harbor – Majestic Harbor moved a day closer to Saturday’s date in the Classic by galloping his normal 1 1/2m on Santa Anita’s main track. “He did it just great,” trainer Sean McCarthy said. “He couldn’t be doing any better. Forty-eight hours to go.”


Exercise rider Jack Stack joined in with “awesome” when asked for his evaluation.


McCarthy said Majestic Harbor schooled in the paddock during the races Wednesday and performed like a perfect gentleman.


Moreno – After jogging his usual 2m under exercise rider Neri Eno Thursday, Moreno was given a ‘thumbs up’ by trainer Eric Guillot. The Louisiana native believes his 4yo gelded son of Ghostzapper owned by Southern Equine Stable is moving toward the Classic just the way he wants him to.

            Moreno will school in the paddock during the racing day Thursday.


Prayer for Relief – Trainer Dale Romans knows a thing or two about pulling a major upset in the Breeders’ Cup. In 2011, his Court Vision upset three-time Mile winner Goldikova at a shocking 64-1. He sees some similarities between his longshot Classic hopeful Prayer for Relief and Mile winner Court Vision.


            “I feel the same way about Prayer for Relief as I did about Court Vision,” said Romans. “He’s also an older horse on a major uptick. When these horses build their resumes that get them into this type of race, it causes a lot of wear and tear. Some of them may be tailing off a little and we’re headed in the right direction.”


Shared Belief – Jungle Racing (Jim and Janet Rome), KMN Racing (Kevin and Kim Nish), Jason Litt, George Todaro and Alex Solis II’s Shared Belief had his first morning on Santa Anita’s main track this week when he galloped 1 1/2m under exercise rider Sal Martinez.


The undefeated morning-line favorite for the Classic had arrived from his home base at Golden Gate Fields late Tuesday afternoon.


“He had a nice gallop and stood in the gate,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “He will go to the paddock this afternoon and he will stand in the gate again tomorrow. The gate is something that I do with all of my horses.”


The week got off to a banner start for the Hollendorfer barn when Notorious won Wednesday’s eighth race and returned a fat $97.20 to win.


“I stay pretty even keel all the time,” Hollendorfer said. “People ask me if I ever get nervous, but I’d be nervous if I didn’t have a horse in a big race.”


Toast of New York – see European report


Tonalist – Although the Christophe Clement-trained Tonalist may have defeated older horses in the Jockey Club Gold Cup when competing outside of his age group for the first time, he isn’t one of those sophomores who have caught up to their elders at this time of the year in terms of  maturity.


“He’s still learning. I would say there is much more to come,” said Christophe Lorieul, the assistant to Clement, of the 3yo son of Tapit.  “He’s still a big baby. I just hope he never realizes how big he is. He’s right above 17 hands so he’s a big horse. He’s got a real personality and is really a lot of fun to be around.”


Tonalist went to the track with the barn’s second set and galloped 1 1/2m on Thursday morning and then visited the paddock, where he showed off some of that personality.


“He was a little fresh in the paddock today, but then he settled down and behaved perfectly. It was nothing of any great excitement. Everything is good and we are very happy with him,” said Lorieul, who also supervised the training of Mile hopeful Summer Front and Filly & Mare Turf starter Irish Mission.  “Now we just need to make sure they are all happy and sound and get used to their new surroundings.”


V. E. Day – Magalen O. Bryant’s V. E. Day stood in the starting gate and galloped 1 1/4m Thursday morning at Santa Anita Park.


The New York-based winner of the Travers Stakes is scheduled to be ridden for the first time by Southern California-based Joe Talamo, whom trainer James Jerkens thinks will suit his colt’s late-running style.


“His name just popped into my head. I just thought he’d fit him for some reason,” Jerkens said. “Not that I follow California racing that close either. He just struck me as a guy who wouldn’t worry about it too much if he was far out of it. I think he blends into his way of going. I also like a jock with a good left hand. He has that. I think it’s a big thing in the stretch.”


Zivo – Thomas Coleman’s homebred Zivo started his journey to the Breeders’ Cup the first week of July with his victory in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont.


Thirteen of his first 14 starts had been against New York-breds - who he was dominating - but Coleman and trainer Chad Brown decided it was time to step out and try Graded company. Making his typical charge from the back of the field, he beat Moreno by three lengths at 13-1.

            “There was kind of a gap in the schedule of what we were thinking about doing with him,” Brown said. “The mile and a quarter was a little bit of a jump, but we took a shot and it paid off.”


There were other New York-bred opportunities ahead, topped by the Empire Classic in October, but they didn’t offer the same purse value and prestige as open handicap races that could be steps toward America’s richest event.     


“Races like that looked like they would have fit him very well,” Brown said. “It was time to take a shot. The owner wanted to take a shot and he was right.”


Suddenly, the Breeders’ Cup Classic seemed like a logical goal. “He ran terrific and we started to think about this race and maybe we can get there,” Brown said, “so we started to work backwards from it. We had to sit one of the races out and the Whitney seemed like the logical race to sit out. We were using the Woodward as a prep for the Jockey Club in turn as a prep for this race.”


Zivo was fourth in the Woodward - his lone off-the-board finish in his career - and finished second to Tonalist in the Jockey Club Gold Cup that was marred when Wicked Strong clipped heels and unseated jockey Rajiv Maragh.

Zivo galloped about 1 1/2m Thursday morning. 


Big Cazanova – Trainer Peter Miller remained on the outside looking in with the only also-eligible for the race and hoping for a scratch. The conditioner Thursday repeated that he would wait as long as possible for scratch deadline Friday and if no scratches occur, run him instead in the Las Vegas Marathon, in which he is also entered on the Friday card.


            The 5yo Argentine-bred ridgling galloped 1 ½ m at Santa Anita Thursday with exercise rider Martin Contreras after being shipped north from San Luis Rey Downs Wednesday.



Thursday, October 30, 2014


Fresh off of collecting his 2,000th career win on Wednesday at Churchill Downs, jockey Julien Leparoux will depart for California upon the conclusion of Thursday’s local racing action to compete in his ninth Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park on Friday and Saturday.


“It’s the world championships,” said Leparoux, who has five Breeders’ Cup mounts over the two days. “Everyone in the world comes and it’s a fun event. I remember watching it as a kid and it’s something that is just really fun and cool to be a part of now.”


Leparoux has won five Breeders’ Cup races in his career: Nownownow (2007 Juvenile Turf), champion Forever Together (2008 Filly & Mare Turf), Furthest Land (2009 Dirt Mile), champion Informed Decision (2009 Filly & Mare Sprint) and champion She Be Wild (2009 Juvenile Fillies).


His three-peat at Santa Anita in 2009 won him the Bill Shoemaker Award as the top jockey at that year’s Breeders’ Cup.


“Obviously, 2009 was my best year,” Leparoux said. “That was a year where we went into it with a lot of good shots and everything sort of came together. We won three so that was definitely my best memory.”


Leparoux’s first Breeders’ Cup mount of 2014 will be in the first race of the Breeders’ Cup, Friday’s Juvenile Turf (GI) aboard Donegal Racing’s Danny Boy for trainer Dale Romans. Leparoux’s first mount on Danny Boy came Oct. 5 in the Bourbon (GIII) at Keeneland where he finished second, beaten a half-length.


“He ran very well at Keeneland,” Leparoux said. “That was the first time on him for me and he closed well. He was still a little green and tried to lay on horses a little bit but the great thing is that now I know him a little bit better. The tough part is the post; we drew the far outside so that’s something that can be very difficult to overcome but I expect him to run well anyway.”


In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI), also on Friday, Leparoux will ride Three Chimneys Farm’s Lady Zuzu for Hall of Fame conditioner D. Wayne Lukas. This will be Leparoux’s first mount on the 2-year-old filly who is a daughter of Dynaformer.


“She was impressive at Keeneland and D. Wayne Lukas just keeps telling me how good she is and how great she’s been doing so I’m excited about her,” Leparoux said.


On Saturday, Leparoux will get the call in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (GI) on Ashbrook Farm’s Southern Honey, whom Leparoux has ridden in seven of her eight starts. The most impressive outing for the 3-year-old filly came in the May 26 Winning Colors (GIII) at Churchill Downs, where she faced and defeated older mares for the first time. Southern Honey followed that with a ninth-place effort in the Aug. 2 Test (GI) at Saratoga, and most recently finished third and second in her last two starts, both Grade II events.


“There were no real excuses for her in the Test,” Leparoux said. “She was making some noise early in the race, and I think that’s part of the reason why she didn’t run any good that day. But she was so big in the earlier part of this year; she beat older mares here at Churchill and she’s bounced back from that Test race with two solid efforts. If she can come back and duplicate what she was doing earlier in the year I think she can be a great filly. But I guess it ultimately depends on how she’s doing on Saturday.”


In Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (GI), Leparoux will ride Lael StablesAgeless, who was listed as an “also eligible” contender when the initial entries were released. She made the field of 14 after Free as a Bird was scratched from the race.


“We’re excited that she got in,” Leparoux said. “This is a filly that has run great all year. I think the worst she’s finished this year is third. So really she’s been doing all we’ve asked of her and she’s been doing great. The trainer (Arnaud Delacour) tells me she hasn’t missed a beat and I think she’s going to like this race going six-and-a-half furlongs.”


Ageless will have to break from the far outside in post position 14, which Leparoux does not mind.


“I think the outside is probably more preferable than the inside in her race because you are going right in the first part of the race (down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course) so it’s more like being on the inside when you draw the outside,” Leparoux said.


Finally, Leparoux will be on Shadwell Stable’s Sayaad for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI). Leparoux’s only mount on Sayaad came in his last start where he finished third beaten 1 ¼ lengths in the Oct. 4 Turf Mile (GI) at Keeneland. He will break from post position 11 in the Mile with morning line odds of 30-1.


“All year, even before the Shadwell Mile, he’s been running decent races,” Leparoux said. “The only one I think he won this year was going seven eighths, but he’s been running good races against very good horses. I don’t think 30-1 is that big of a deal, I mean this is one of the toughest races in the whole Breeders’ Cup so we’ll see. I’ve only ridden him once but from that start and what I’ve seen it seems like he gives everything every race so we’ll see.”  Churchill Downs Communications Department

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Jockey Julien Leparoux rode In My Time to a one-length win in Wednesday's ninth race at Churchill Downs to secure his 2,000th career win.

 It took Leparoux, a 31-year-old native of Senlis, France, 18 attempts to land the milestone since capturing win No. 1,999 at Keeneland on Oct. 24.

 "I'm glad we got it out of the way; now we can focus on the next wins and the Breeders' Cup," said Leparoux, who has five Breeders' Cup mounts on Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita aboard Danny Boy (Juvenile Turf), Lady Zuzu (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Southern Honey (Filly & Mare Sprint), Ageless (Turf Sprint) and Sayaad (Mile).

  "For the past nine years that I've been riding it's been an interesting journey. I've been able to ride so many good horses and have won so many races. The main thing is to stay safe and healthy and try to keep winning races - that's it."

 Leparoux, the son of the late jockey and trainer Robert Leparoux, dreamed of becoming a jockey while growing in Chantilly, France. He rode competitive hunter/jumpers until his father allowed him to begin a racing career at age 18.

 In January 2003, Leparoux came to the United States and worked as an exercise rider for trainer Patrick Biancone. As Leparoux's riding talents became evident, the French trainer made Leparoux his first-call rider in August 2005 at Saratoga when he took out his jockey's license.

 Leparoux rode his first winner in his third mount on Aug. 18, 2005 aboard Easter Guardian in a Saratoga maiden special weight. In nine years, he's ridden in 10,674 races, won 163 graded stakes events and his mounts have amassed $109,741,659.

 Leparoux first rode at Churchill Downs in the fall of 2005 and has won 619 races beneath the Twin Spires - which ranks 10th all time - and nine local riding titles.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

European Report for Wednesday

Toast of New York – Jamie Osborne’s challenger for the Breeders’ Cup Classic once again stretched his legs out on the main track Wednesday morning under regular work rider James McCarthy. The 3yo was on his toes as soon as he got on the track but McCarthy soon had him settled down and he then walked half a circuit with his pony before turning round and doing a steady canter all the way to the winning post before returning back to the barn through the paddock. Osborne is expected to arrive in California later Wednesday.


Longines Distaff


L’Amour De Ma Vie – Pia Brandt’s 5yo looked well at ease as she did a steady canter around a circuit of Santa Anita’s dirt track Wednesday morning. The gray mare, who will be the mount of Maxime Guyon in Friday’s race will be trying to give Brandt her first taste of success in America. Guyon has a good record on board the daughter of Dansili and has been successful in two of her three wins including the Balanchine Stakes at Meydan this year.    


Longines Turf


Magician – Defending Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf Champion was scratched from the race on Wednesday morning without ever setting foot on the track. He was found to be lame on his off foreleg in the Quarantine Barn when trotting in the barn. Trainer Aidan O’Brien said, “He was acutely lame in his off fore this morning, and it was an instant decision to take him out of the race.”


Magician will be retired and will take up stud duties at Ashford Stud, Kentucky.


Telescope – Highclere Thoroughbred’s Telescope, trained in Newmarket by Michael Stoute, and the mount of Ryan Moore, stretched his legs on the turf track at Santa Anita under regular exercise rider Kevin Bradshaw on Wednesday morning in the company of Stoute’s other Breeders’ Cup runner the defending Filly & Mare Turf champion Dank.



Chicquita – Despite the scratching of Magician, Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien will still be represented in this year’s renewal of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, by the 4yo Chicquita, winner of the Irish Oaks in 2013.  Chicquita traveled in the O’Brien contingent of five horses that arrived at the Quarantine Barn at around 8:30 on Monday night, and should clear quarantine in time to appear on the track on Thursday morning. Frankie Dettori will retain the ride on the filly


Brown Panther – The Tom Dascombe-trained Brown Panther, who is part owned and was bred by former England international footballer Michael Owen, went out on the turf track for a gallop under regular exercise rider Chris Ely, who reported that everything was fine with his horse.


“He breezed about five furlongs and enjoyed himself out there, I just let him do his own thing and he was fine. He has taken to the pony that has been accompanying him at exercise really well, and this was the first time that he’s been on his own since he got here, but he was no problem whatsoever,” Ely reported.


Brown Panther missed his intended last start in the Canadian International, when he became unruly and bolted during the race preliminaries, unseating his regular jockey Richard Kingscote.


Flintshire – The Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire comes into the Turf off a second-place finish in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe to the outstanding race mare Treve. He continued with the training routine that he has been following all week, namely a steady canter on the main track, but this time with a slight increase in tempo at the end of his exercise.



Filly & Mare Turf


Dank, Fiesolana, Just The Judge and Secret Gesture – Secret Gesture with Pat Smullen in the saddle was the first of the European horses to go out on to the main track at 6:30 Wednesday morning. Accompanied by her trainer Ralph Beckett on a pony the daughter of Galileo jogged for 3f before stepping up a gear with a steady canter down the home stretch. Beckett is no stranger to big-race success as he saddled the first two home in last year’s Epsom Oaks.


Smullen, who was sitting on Secret gesture for the first time said, “She was fine and she felt very well, and I hope she is coming back to her best and at her best she is a nice filly.”


Dank, Fiesolana and Just The Judge all went out on to the Turf Course and stepped up on the exercise that they did Tuesday. Dank, with Ryan Moore on board did a far more serious canter Wednesday morning and went at three-quarter pace for half a circuit. Moore was happy with the defending champion’s progress.


Michael Stoute’s travelling head lad James Savage reported, “She was a little bit fresh this morning, but that’s OK, better to be that way than flat.”



Willie McCreery’s Fiesolana, with raceday jockey Billy Lee in the saddle, also went for a slightly quicker spin on the Turf. A gentle canter followed by a slightly quicker one was the order of the day. Recent E.P. Taylor Stakes winner Just The Judge also went through some routine work out on the turf under the guidance of retiring jockey Jamie Spencer. A gentle canter followed by a slightly stronger spin was all that was asked of the filly.   




Anodin, Karakontie and Veda – The three French representatives in this year’s renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, again all went out together at around 8:15 a.m. for a canter on the main track, and then stepped up the tempo into a stronger canter at the end of their exercise.


Trainer Freddy Head, successful in this race as both a jockey and as a trainer on three occasions was again at the track to supervise Anodin’s preparations, and remains upbeat about his horse Anodin.


“Everything has gone according to plan,” he said. “The horse is in good form, and we will see how he goes on Saturday.”


His fellow trainer from France Jonathan Pease, who saddles this year’s Poule d’Esssai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) winner Karakontie, has yet to arrive in Santa Anita. In his absence Flaxman Holdings Ltd. racing manager Alan Cooper reported all to be well with the horse.


Mustajeeb – Irish trainer Dermot Weld is another overseas trainer who is yet to arrive at Santa Anita, but Mustajeeb continued his preparations with his big race jockey Pat Smullen aboard the horse on the main track a little after 7 a.m.


Smullen said of Mustajeeb who is bidding to give his trainer a first Breeders’ Cup success, “I’d say the horse is in good form, and this race has been the plan or him for a while. He ran well last time, and I’d hope will come on for that run. He didn’t do a lot today, but I’m happy enough with him.”


Toronado – Toronado, trained by Richard Hannon, and the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the race, again looked imposing as he stepped on to the turf track with England’s 2014 champion jockey Richard Hughes aboard. The winner of the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot was asked to do not much more than a steady canter on the turf, but Toronado has continued to impress work watchers with his well-being and general demeanor. Al Shaqab Racing’s representative Harry Herbert reported that everything about the horse was good as they moved towards Saturday’s test.


Trade Storm – Newmarket trainer David Simcock saddles England’s other runner in the race, Trade Storm, who comes to Santa Anita off an international success in the Woodbine Mile in Toronto in September. Simcock is due to arrive at Santa Anita Wednesday and will be at the track on Thursday morning to supervise the horse’s final preparations according to his travelling head lad Ian Russell.


Trade Storm galloped on the turf under his regular exercise rider Laura Pike, and Russell said afterwards, “Everything is good with both him and our other horse Caspar Netscher (Turf Sprint), they

are both in good form.”


Xpressbet Sprint


Wind Fire – Wind Fire was the last of the Europeans out on the main track Wednesday morning with regular rider Claire Murray on board. The daughter of Distorted Humor stretched her legs with a steady canter in full view of trainer David Brown and owner Sheikh Fahd (Qatar Racing Limited).


“She’s looking really well” said Brown. “All she wants do is to get on with things.”


Juvenile Turf


Aktabantay, Commemorative and Wet Sail – A total of 13 Europeans went out on to the Santa Anita Turf Wednesday morning and three of that contingent were the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf contenders Aktabantay, Commemorative and Wet Sail.


The Charlie Fellowes-trained Wet Sail was the first to get on to the turf and Claire Mackay wasted no time in getting the son of  Henrythenavigator to go at a steady canter around a circuit of the track.


“He was so cool going out on to the track this morning and is taking in everything incredibly well. I have always liked him, but he was a bit tricky to handle early on so we gelded him, and since then, he has been a different animal.” said Fellowes.


James Doyle who rode Commemorative in yesterday’s exercise once again was in the saddle and Charlie Hills’s 2yo looked in very good condition as he did a strong canter on the grass which allowed him to stretch his legs.


Hugo Palmer was trackside to witness Aktabantay do a similar piece of work to both Commemorative and Wet Sail. Palmer who is having his first Breeders’ Cup said, “It is nice to be able to have a runner good enough to run in the Breeders’ Cup, and I hope that this is the first of many.”  


War Envoy – Aidan O’Brien’s challenger for the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf is expected to clear quarantine later Wednesday and is likely to put in an appearance out on the track in the morning.


Juvenile Fillies Turf


Osaila and Prize Exhibit – Richard Hannon’s Osaila with Frankie Dettori in the saddle went out on to the turf course in preparation for Friday’s Juvenile Fillies Turf. The effervescent Dettori looked very pleased to be back at Santa Anita and put in a steady piece of work aboard the daughter of Danehill Dancer.


Prize Exhibit, trained by Jamie Osborne went out on to the main track and did exactly the same as stable companion and Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Toast Of New York.   


Qualify – The daughter of Fastnet Rock and the winner of this year’s Weld Park Stakes at The Curragh, who has been allocated the wide draw (14) in this year’s event is expected to be seen out on the track in the morning having cleared quarantine.  


Turf Sprint


Caspar Netscher – Caspar Netscher increased the tempo on Tuesday’s work when cantering a circuit of the turf track under regular work rider Daryl McLaughlin. The son of Dutch Art looked at ease on the Santa Anita turf and is looking to follow up on his Nearctic Stakes win at Woodbine this month. Trainer David Simcock is due to arrive in California later Wednesday.







Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BC Classic Notes for Wednesday

Bayern – Bayern galloped 1 1/2 m on the training track Wednesday morning. A victory in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic would be a happy ending to a Breeders’ Cup week that has not started well for the Bob Baffert stable with its contingent having dropped from eight to six, most recently with the withdrawl of Juvenile favorite American Pharaoh on Tuesday due to a foot bruise.

        “After (American Pharaoh) went out, Bayern is carrying so much (emotional) weight right now,” Baffert said Tuesday morning.

        “If we were coming into this race off the Travers, when he went to the lead and stopped (10th, beaten 20 lengths), they might leave him alone on the lead for a while, but since he went wire to wire in (winning) the Pennsylvania Derby, that’s probably not going to happen.

        “We’re going to let him run his race. He can get the mile and a quarter, but at a certain pace. Not going 22 to the quarter, and they might be doing that.”

Big Cazanova – Trainer Peter Miller said the only also-eligible for the Classic was shipped from San Luis Rey Downs to Santa Anita Wednesday morning after jogging 2m and going to the gate.

            Miller reiterated that he would wait as long as possible Friday in hopes of the Argentine-bred getting into the Classic with a scratch. If not, he is also entered in the Las Vegas Marathon Friday and would run there instead.

California Chrome – “He galloped 1 5/8 miles at 6:30 this morning,” said assistant Alan Sherman, son of trainer Art Sherman, beaming with the way the 3yo colt looked under regular exercise rider Willie Delgado.

            “He stood in the gate and was perfect,” continued Sherman. “All systems are go.

“He’s performed so well on this track in the past, I’m not worried about the surface,” added Sherman, who said the California-bred colt will gallop up to the race. “He will go to the paddock tomorrow and jog the morning of the race.”

            Visitors to the stall of the superstar in Barn 56 included members of the Anaheim Ducks NHL hockey team.

            Grooming the colt has provided a thrill of a lifetime for Raul Rodriguez. “It’s like a dream,” said the veteran, who has been California Chrome’s groom since the colt joined the Sherman barn as a 2yo last year.

            “It is very exciting and makes me feel proud,” said Rodriguez of seeing the development of the racing star. “I knew he was very different from other horses from the first time I saw him. Just the way he galloped, I knew he was going to be a good racehorse.”

            Rodriguez said California Chrome has a good temperament around the barn. “He’s a really calm horse,” he said. “If you don’t mess with him, he doesn’t get aggressive.”

Rodriguez, 57, was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and was exposed to horses while growing up on his father’s ranch. He came to the United States when he was 17 and started on the racetrack in 1982. He worked for trainers Jerry Fanning and Allen Severinsen before joining the Sherman stable 12 years ago.

            Rodriguez groomed several of Sherman’s other major stakes winners, including Siren Lure, eighth-place finisher in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

            Rodriguez said he had handled several nice horses but nothing like California Chrome. “The horse is ready,” he said firmly with a voice of caution to Classic rivals.

Candy Boy – Candy Boy galloped 1 1/2 m at 5 a.m. Wednesday and will school in the paddock during the first race of the afternoon program.

        “He looked good,” trainer John Sadler said of the 3yo son of Candy Ride, one of several progeny of the Argentine champion that Sadler has trained.

        “Candy Rides come in all different shapes, sizes and looks, but they’re all nice horses,” Sadler said. “The thing they have in common is that they all can run. I had one of Candy Ride’s first Group winners in Evita Argentina, and she was a skinny chestnut filly. Then I had those beautiful colts Twirling Candy and Sidney’s Candy. One was (dark) bay and one was brown. I look for them and I recommend that breeding to many of my clients.

        “I trained the mother of Candy Boy (She’s an Eleven), so he’s a real homebred for us.”

Cigar Street – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said that his Classic contender Cigar Street had a good morning of training Wednesday. The 5yo horse owned by NBA veteran Rashard Lewis and his buddy Jake Ballis galloped 10f and stood in the gate.


Lewis and Ballis watched their horse on the track and spent time talking with Mott back at the barn. It is the second Breeders’ Cup runner for the friends, who have one young horse and seven in training with Mott and Todd Pletcher. Ballis, Lewis and partners have owned horses for several years. Their Join in the Dance was seventh in the 2009 Kentucky Derby and was last of seven in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint that year.


            Lewis said he feels fortunate to have a horse in the Classic.


“This is just like making the Derby; it’s very hard to do,” Lewis said. “A lot of people don’t get the chance to run in it, not only being in the Breeders’ Cup but running in the biggest race. I’m so excited about it. And this is my first time to attend it, so I’m even more excited about that.”


            Lewis, 35, is recovering from surgery on his right knee and does not expect to play this season, though he hopes to play two more years. He said it was easy to draw comparisons of the emotions he experiences with top-level racing and the NBA finals.


           “It’s very, very similar,” he said, “You’re pretty relaxed and calm during warmups, but when you get in the locker room right before the game that’s when the nerves start kicking in and you’re thinking about the game. It’s pretty much the same way when those horses are ready to get into that gate and you’re thinking about the race and what kind of trip are they going to have?  Or is he going to have it today? Is he not going to have it today coming around that last turn? It’s just like an adrenalin rush when those horses are running around the track.”


Footbridge – Godolphin Racing’s Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Footbridge continued to work forwardly for trainer Eoin Harty on Wednesday morning. 

            “He’s doing great and is on the muscle,” Harty reported.  “He jogged a mile and a half today.”

            A winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2001 Tempera, Harty has never won a Classic – though he did finish fifth and sixth in 2008 and 2009 (both at Santa Anita), respectively, with WinStar Farm’s Colonel John. 

            “He is coming in as well or better than most (Breeders' Cup horses) I've had,” Harty said.  “I am just really happy with how he’s doing.”

            Despite his success with younger horses, Harty has often been conservative with his charges.  After Footbridge had a subpar race in last year’s Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in his fifth career start, Harty gave the bay colt a vacation for the remainder of 2013.  Returning in January, he capped a gradual ascent of the allowance ranks with placings in three stakes including two Graded events.

“All his best races have been over Santa Anita’s track and I don’t have to ship,” Harty said.  “He was only beaten two lengths by the favorite in his last start and he has just become better and better all year.  If there’s ever a time to take a shot – this is the time to take it.”

Harty trained the 4yo colt’s sire, Dubai World Cup winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile third Street Cry, during the early part of his career and sees similarities between the two.

            “Most of the Street Crys are similar.  Usually calm in the barn and then they can get a bit emotional once you put the tack on them,” Harty said.  “Like basically all horses, if you keep them sound – the older they get, the better then get – and that’s the case with both.”

Imperative – KM Racing Enterprise Inc.’s Imperative had a scheduled walk day Wednesday.

Trainer George Papaprodromou said the 4yo gelding would return to the track to gallop Thursday morning.

            Imperative was claimed in December with an idea of running on the dirt after an almost exclusive career on turf and synthetic surfaces.

            “He had run once on dirt a couple of years ago and that did not turn out so well,” Papaprodromou said of Imperative who finished 10th in the FrontRunner at Santa Anita. “We thought we would give it a shot and were very pleased with his first start on dirt (a runner-up finish in the San Antonio).”

            Imperative would not be the first horse to make a successful transition to dirt from grass. For example, 1995 Classic winner Cigar made the move.

            “We’ve got a long way to go to get there,” Papaprodromou said with a laugh.

Majestic Harbor – Majestic Harbor returned to Santa Anita’s main track Wednesday morning to gallop 1 1/2m. Trainer Sean McCarthy said of the exercise under stable rider Jack Stack, “He’s looking really good and training well.”

            McCarthy explained the return to the main track from the training track on Tuesday thusly, “I always like to jog him there after a workout. It’s much quieter there.”

Moreno – It was a day like any other day for Moreno on Wednesday – a 2m jog before first light. That’s trainer Eric Guillot’s routine and he’s sticking to it. He did alter things a bit by sending the 4yo son of Ghostzapper to the paddock later in the morning.

            “I may school him in the paddock during the races later today,” Guillot said.

Prayer for Relief – Trainer Dale Romans has only had Prayer for Relief in his barn since April, but he feels the 6yo horse is doing better than he ever has.

“I couldn’t ask for him to be doing any better,” said Romans. “Like a lot of older horses do, he’s had a resurgence (in form). He came into our barn in great shape and all his races have been decent this year. The race at Pimlico (when second in the Pimlico Special in May) was a great race and his last race in the Woodward (when third) was good. He looked like he was getting there and just couldn’t.

            “He’s going to run his best race. Whether that’s good enough to win, I don’t know, but I do know he’ll run his best and maybe some of the others won’t.”

Shared Belief – Jungle Racing (Jim and Janet Rome), KMN Racing (Kevin and Kim Nish), Jason Litt, George Todaro and Alex Solis II’s Shared Belief arrived at Santa Anita at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday after vanning south from his home base at Golden Gate Fields.

            “He shipped fine and just walked this morning,” said Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “He will go to the gate and stand Thursday and gallop and will be going out at 6:45.”

            Shared Belief, seeking to become the first 3yo to win the Classic since Raven’s Pass here in 2008, will be ridden by Mike Smith.

            Smith, who has won a record 20 Breeders’ Cup races that include three in the Classic (Skip Away, 1997; Zenyatta, 2009; and Drosselmeyer, 2011), has ridden the undefeated Shared Belief in his past three starts.

            “The first time I ever got on him was the Los Alamitos Derby because he trains up north and Russell (Baze) works him,” Smith said. “The initial thing I noticed about him was his length.

            “He is extremely long and has great balance. He is very unique in that he can adapt during a race. That ability is really a huge plus.”

Toast of New York – see European report

Tonalist – Tonalist arrived on the grounds Tuesday evening as part of trainer Christophe Clement’s three-horse brigade for this year’s Breeders’ Cup and was out on the track Wednesday morning for an easy jog once around the oval followed by a visit to the paddock under exercise rider Lee Vickers.

“The trip across the country went fine,” reported Christophe Lorieul, Clement’s longtime top assistant. “We’re in good shape.”

The handsome bay son of leading sire Tapit has earned just shy of $1.8 million in his sophomore season and has finished in the money in all seven of his 2014 starts. His victories in the Peter Pan Stakes and the Belmont Stakes against horses his age and in the Jockey Club Gold Cup against older have all come at Belmont Park, but his connections don’t think he needs to bring his racetrack with him.

V. E. Day – Magalen O. Bryant’s V. E. Day walked Wednesday morning at Santa Anita, where the 3yo colt breezed 4f in 48 3/5 on Tuesday.

            The son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf champion English Channel began his career on turf at Gulfstream Park last winter, finishing second in his second start before winning an off-the-turf maiden race at Belmont in May. A return to turf for his next start resulted in a two-length entry-level allowance victory. Yet, Jerkens made a decision to try V.E. Day on dirt at the beginning of the Saratoga meeting, and his trainee responded with an upset victory in the Curlin Stakes that was followed by a 19-1 upset score in the Travers.

            “He’d worked too well on the dirt to think that he wouldn’t be useful on the dirt. I didn’t think he’d actually win the Travers. I can’t say that, but I thought it was the perfect time to see what he could do in the Curlin against the restricted 3yos, not the real tough ones,” Jerkens said. “He was fit enough for the mile and an eighth because he’s long-winded naturally. He had the nice win (at 1 1/8m) on the turf before that, so we weren’t worried about the distance. How do you not give the Travers a try after that?”

            A victory in the Travers was hardly expected for the Kentucky-bred colt after finishing fifth in his debut after trailing the field for much of the 1 1/8m race last January.

            “He didn’t really start coming around until after his first start in Florida. He lacked speed. He still doesn’t show a lot of speed, but he came from way, way out of it. He’d run his first quarter in 27 seconds. The second start on turf made us think he was coming around and when we brought him back to New York he was a different horse.”

Zivo – Trainer Chad Brown liked what he saw Wednesday morning when Zivo and nine of his other runners galloped 10f on the track. Brown’s battalion had an easy morning on Tuesday because they arrived late Monday evening from New York.

Brown said the 5yo New York-bred horse has made a smooth transition to his first coast-to-coast journey. The Classic will be his first start outside of New York.

            “He’s travelled well,” Brown said. “He glided over the track today. He arguably had the best gallop of any of my horses.”

            Brown said he is very excited about how Zivo is coming into the race.

            “This horse is training so well,” Brown said. “I know it’s going to be a difficult race. I’m concerned about the track and if he can transform that form outside of Belmont. Is the track going to be playing fair on Saturday or is it going to be speed-favoring like most big race days, it seems like everywhere? Can he work a trip out from behind? There needs to be enough pace up front. He couldn’t be doing any better.”

            Zivo, a son of True Direction bred and owned by Thomas Coleman, graduated to open-company stakes this summer and won the Suburban Handicap at 10f. He was fourth in the Woodward at Saratoga and ran second to Tonalist in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The fourth in the Woodward was the only time Zivo missed hitting the board in 17 career races.

            “We always liked the horse,” Brown said. “I know he’s not by a sire who’s really known, but the bottom side of the pedigree is solid for distance on dirt. We thought he would be a solid New York-bred horse and we have allowed him to work his way up. He’s come from the bottom but we’ve never run him for a tag, either. We’ve always run him against New York-breds and he’s earned his way through the allowance ranks and the stakes ranks. It’s been a pleasure to watch him develop.”



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

European Report for Tuesday

Toast of New York – Toast of New York took everything in his stride when he gained his first experience of the main track Tuesday morning when doing a hack canter of a couple of circuits under the guidance of James McCarthy.


“He was really good today and I was really pleased with him” McCarthy said.


Trainer Jamie Osborne is expected in California Wednesday evening.


Longines Distaff


L’amour De Ma Vie – Pia Brandt’s L’Amour De Ma Vie followed a similar pattern to Monday. She jogged with her pony for three-quarters of a circuit before breaking into a gentle canter.


Longines Turf


Telescope – Highclere Thoroughbred’s Telescope, trained in Newmarket by Michael Stoute, and the mount of Ryan Moore, put in his first appearance on the track on Tuesday morning, following his arrival in the Quarantine Barn at Santa Anita last Saturday. The 4yo son of Galileo did no more than a very light canter on the turf, but Highclere’s Harry Herbert was happy with what he saw.


“Everything has gone to plan with the horse so far. Sir Michael has a great record in preparing a horse for this race, and this has been the plan for some time. I wondered at one point whether we should be running the horse in the Arc’ (the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp), but Sir Michael was adamant that we should stick to the plan and come here. We will see how things go, but my hope is that he will stay in training next year and be campaigned internationally again,” Herbert said.


Magician and Chicquita – Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is two-handed in this year’s renewal of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, in which he saddles the defending champion Magician and the 4yo Chicquita, winner of the Irish Oaks in 2013. Both horses traveled in the O’Brien contingent of five horses that arrived at the Quarantine Barn at around 8:30 on Monday night. They can be expected to make an appearance on the track Thursday morning.


Brown Panther – The Tom Dascombe-trained Brown Panther, who is part owned and was bred by  former England international footballer Michael Owen, went out for a jog and a canter on the main track accompanied by a pony throughout.


Brown Panther missed his intended last start in the Canadian International, when he became unruly and bolted during the race preliminaries, unseating his regular jockey Richard Kingscote. In contrast, his behavior at Santa Anita has been exemplary thus far for his regular work rider Chris Ely.


Flintshire – The Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire comes into the Turf off a second-place finish in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe to the outstanding race mare Treve. He continued his quiet preparations for Saturday’s race, going out onto the main track in the group of five French Breeders’ Cup runners, who all had a gentle canter on Santa Anita’s main track.


Filly & Mare Turf


Dank, Fiesolana, Just The Judge and Secret Gesture – All the European contenders for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf stretched their legs for the first time Tuesday morning. Dank, Fiesolana and Just The Judge all went out on to the turf track at 7:30 while Secret Gesture’s connections decided to keep her on the dirt.


The three fillies on the turf all walked for half a circuit before slightly quickening up into a gentle canter until the winning post, and then slowed back down to a walk before returning to the barn via the paddock.


Secret Gesture did nothing strenuous and did a gentle canter on the dirt.


Willie McCreery, Fiesolana’s trainer arrived in California Monday night and was trackside to see the daughter of Aussie Rules at first hand.


He was pleased with his filly and when asked about his draw in post six he said, “The draw is grand and we will be riding her to get home in the race.”


Charlie Hills was also at the track to see Just The Judge go out for the first time since arriving at Santa Anita from Woodbine and expressed his delight at what he saw. “Everything is absolutely tip top,” he said.


English jockey James Doyle got the leg up on Just The Judge and was very happy with the way his filly went.


“Everything was fine and she felt really well.” He said. “Santa Anita is a lovely track,” and when asked about the condition of the turf course stated, “Although I only did a gentle canter, it is quite quick but not firm, and there is a lovely cushion of grass. It is different grass to back home but it is absolutely fine.”


James Savage, traveling head lad for Michael Stoute was delighted with Monday’s draw for the Filly & Mare Turf, “We would take stall three any day of the week” he said.



Anodin, Karakontie and Veda – France is strongly represented in this year’s renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, and their three representatives all went out together at around 8.00am for a jog and a light canter on the main track.


Trainer Freddy Head, who was successful in the race as a jockey aboard Miesque and as a trainer on three occasions with the great Goldikova was again at the track to supervise Anodin’s preparations.


He said of his charge, “Everything has gone well with the horse, he has run consistently well all season, and was unlucky in his last race. I think this track and the ground will suit him, and with luck I think he can run a big race.”


His fellow trainers from France Jonathan Pease, who saddles this year’s  Poule d’Esssai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) winner Karakontie, and Alain de Royer-Dupre who runs HH the Aga Khan’s Veda, have yet to arrive at Santa Anita.


Mustajeeb – Irish trainer Dermot Weld, who has enjoyed plenty of international success in his distinguished career, including a Belmont Stakes with Go and Go, and two Melbourne Cup wins in Australia with Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle, but who has yet to win a Breeders’ Cup race, sends out Mustajeeb in an attempt to correct that omission on his resume.


His big race jockey Pat Smullen was on board Tuesday morning for a light piece of exercise on the main track shortly after 7 a.m.  Smullen, who also has the rides on Caspar Netscher in the Turf Sprint and on Secret Gesture in the Filly & Mare Turf, was happy enough with his horse.


“Mustajeeb seems in good form and I think this race will suit him. His best trip is at seven furlongs back at home, (the distance at which he won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in June), and an easy mile here should be what he needs,” he said.


Toronado – England’s best hopes of success in the Mile would appear to rest with Toronado, trained by Richard Hannon, who is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the race. Winner of the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, and not disgraced in his two most recent runs behind Kingman in the Sussex Stakes and Charm Spirit in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, Toronado, a 4yo son of High Chaparral, is giving his connections hope that he can go out on a high on Saturday in what will be his last race before he retires to stud.


Representing the horse’s Qatari owners Al Shaqab Racing, their racing manager Harry Herbert said at the morning track work after seeing Toronado put in a light canter on the main track, “The horse seems very well. Sean Levey who rides him every day says the horse has never been better. He has had a relatively light campaign this year as the owners also have Olympic Glory and we have kept the two of them apart. He has got a good draw (Post 5) and that gives his jockey (Richard Hughes) options in the race. These races take a lot of winning, but we are hopeful going into Saturday.”


Trade Storm – Newmarket trainer David Simcock saddles England’s other runner in the race, Trade Storm, who comes to Santa Anita off an international success in the Woodbine Mile in Toronto in September. Trade Storm had a quiet canter on the main track Tuesday morning shortly after 8 a.m., and is pleasing his regular exercise ride Laura Pike.


“He felt absolutely fine this morning. He’s an experienced traveler, having been to Canada and Dubai twice. He takes everything in his stride and this trip has been no different,” she said.


Xpressbet Sprint

Wind Fire – Wind Fire, the sole European representative in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint took a while to get used to his new surroundings in the hands of regular rider Claire Murray when out on the main track Tuesday morning.


He was doing a gentle canter out on the dirt, but when entering the home stretch took a keen hold and started looking around at everything, that was going on, but to Murray’s credit she soon had him under control.


The son of Distorted Humor will be trying to give Qatar Racing Limited its first Breeders’ Cup success and a second European success in the race with the last win coming back in 1991 with Sheikh Albadou.


Juvenile Turf

Aktabantay, Commemorative and Wet Sail – Aktabantay, Commemorative and Wet Sail all saw the Santa Anita turf track Tuesday morning and stretched their legs for the first time in the California sunshine.


Aktabantay’s trainer, Hugo Palmer, who flew in to Los Angeles late Monday night was here to see his 2yo son of Oasis Dream do a very gentle canter on the turf with Angela Davis in the saddle.


Wet Sail will be trainer Charlie Fellowes’ first Breeders’ Cup runner and took to the turf, but first jogged half a circuit of the dirt before doing a gentle canter.


Charlie Hills’ Commemorative also went out on to the turf but a lot later than the other European horses and under the guidance of jockey James Doyle jogged a circuit of the track with a pony before doing a gentle canter before returning home. Doyle reported the colt to be in good form.


War Envoy – The remaining challenger for this year’s Juvenile Turf is the Aidan O’Brien-trained War Envoy, who will be the mount of Ryan Moore in Friday’s race. He arrived in the quarantine barn Monday night and will not be seen out on the track until Thursday.


Juvenile Fillies Turf

Osaila and Prize Exhibit – Osaila and Prize Exhibit, two of the European challengers in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, both gained experience of Santa Anita Tuesday morning, but restricted their exercise to the main track. Both horses cantered but it was the Jamie Osborne-trained Prize Exhibit who found it more difficult to adapt to to her new surroundings.


“She was OK this morning but was a bit keen,” said her rider Lucy Barry.


Al Shaqab’s racing manager Harry Herbert said of Osaila “She’s has improved physically over the last few months and is getting stronger all the time. She has probably got to improve again, but I am looking forward to seeing her run.”


Qualify, who will be the mount of Ryan Moore and who drew Post 14, will be seen for the first time out on the track on Thursday morning once she has cleared quarantine.


Turf Sprint

Caspar Netscher – Caspar Netscher with regular work rider Daryl McLaughlin in the saddle once again took to the dirt and did a routine canter on the main track. Ian Russell, who is overseeing the preparation of the son of Dutch Art until trainer David Simcock arrives on Wednesday night said. “We did a regular canter today and everything was all right.”




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Breeders' Cup Classic Notes for Tuesday

Bayern – The 3yo son of Offlee Wild jogged once around the track Tuesday morning, the second day after working 5f in 59 4/5 in his final exercise for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.


         Trainer Bob Baffert said he was pleased with the No. 7 post position and the way he's training. Bayern trained at Del Mar before shipping to Monmouth Park to win the Haskell Invitational in July and trained at Santa Anita before shipping to a victory in the Pennsylvania Derby in September.


         “He's happy and doing fine, he just needs things to go his way (in the race),” Baffert said. “If not, they run these things every year, right?”


Big Cazanova – Trainer Peter Miller said from his training base at San Luis Rey Downs that he hoped the Argentine-bred ridgling would draw in from the also-eligible list for the Classic Saturday.


“We wanted to run and would love to run from the outside,” said Miller, hoping for one defection from the 14 entrants. “We will wait as long as we can wait Friday (for a scratch),” said Miller, who also entered the horse for the Las Vegas Marathon Friday in case of no Classic scratches at deadline that day.


            Miller said the horse returned in good order from a work Monday and would be one of four Breeders’ Cup entrants shipping to Barn 44 at Santa Anita Wednesday.  


California Chrome – “The morning report is that California Chrome is training great,” said assistant Alan Sherman, son of trainer Art Sherman, during a press briefing.


            “He was dragging Wille (Delgado) around this morning,” said Sherman of a morning gallop on the Santa Anita main track with his regular exercise rider. “We took him to the paddock and he was walking on his hind legs. He’s pretty happy right now.”


            Sherman repeated the happiness of drawing post 13 in a field of 14 after a series of inside draws in recent races. “Out there, you can dictate your own race,” said Sherman. “It looks like Moreno and Bayern are going to be out there. Hopefully we can be sitting a length or two behind them. Hopefully at the quarter pole, we can get the lead and keep going.”


            The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Santa Anita Derby winner was moved from his Los Alamitos base to Barn 56 at Santa Anita Sunday with groom Raul Rodriguez. Sherman said the California-bred colt would gallop up to the race. He also planned to stand him in the gate Wednesday and return to the paddock Thursday or Friday.


            Sherman said that co-owners and co-breeders Steve Coburn and Perry Martin may visit the stable Thursday.


Candy Boy – The 3yo son of Candy Ride galloped 1 1/2 miles three days after a final major work of 7f in 1:25 flat handily. "He's doing well and I think the distance will suit him well," jockey Corey Nakatani said. "When I rode him in the West Virginia Derby, I thought I won the race (narrowest of nose losses to Tapiture), so I'm glad to be riding him again." 


Cigar Street – The Classic runner with the tallest owners, NBA veteran Rashard Lewis and his longtime friend Jake Ballis, shipped from New York Monday and had an easy morning Tuesday at Santa Anita.


Since the flights were delayed and his horses did not get into their stalls in Barn 78 until after midnight, trainer Bill Mott called for light exercise, jogging and light gallops for his runners.


Cigar Street missed 17 months recovering from surgery on a rear ankle. He returned to competition this summer and earned his fifth victory in eight career starts on Sept. 27 in the Homecoming Classic at Churchill Downs.


“Physically he’s doing well,” Mott said. “He’s come back off a long layoff and he’s had two races. Some handicappers like the third start off a layoff best; if you subscribe to that theory. He’s a relatively fresh horse. He hasn’t had a hard year. He’s had two races and he should be fit. It’s the toughest competition that he’ll have ever been in, but he’s a nice horse and we’ll just have to give him his chance.”


Mott has handled the horse for Lewis and Ballis since late 2012, but the son of Street Sense went on the extended time away from the track following his victory in the Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream Park in March 2013. He has returned running.


“We’ve always thought that he was this kind of horse,” Mott said. “There was a time, earlier on, the connections and not only me, believed that he was this type of horse. He showed that early his career that he was pretty nice. We’ve run him five times and he’s won four and been second once. He’s done nothing wrong.”


Cigar Street drew post two in the 14-horse field and will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.


Footbridge – The Godolphin Racing-owned 4yo son of Street Cry exited his Monday work in pleasing order, according his trainer Eoin Harty. 


“He’s great today,” said Harty.  “He just walked today and will probably jog tomorrow.”


Imperative – KM Racing Enterprise Inc.’s Imperative galloped Tuesday morning at Santa Anita with regular exercise rider Mary Donald aboard for the exercise at 8 o’clock.


Trained by George Papaprodromou, Imperative joins Prayer for Relief as the only Classic entrants to have raced for a claiming tag.


“These are new owners and we were shopping around,” said Papaprodromou, who will be saddling his first Breeders’ Cup starter. “I liked the pedigree, by Bernardini, and saw him in for $50,000 and we took him.”


That was in December and the new owners quickly recouped the purchase price with a runner-up finish in the San Antonio Handicap in February and then hit the jackpot with a $1 million check for winning the Charles Town Classic.


In that race Imperative defeated Breeders’ Cup Classic rival Moreno and it is a performance Papaprodromou would like to see repeated Saturday.


“He has been training great and I just hope my horse runs his race,” Papaprodromou said. “I want him to run back to the Charles Town race and run them down at the end.”


Frankie Dettori will have the mount Saturday.


“I just called him up, because his style suits this horse coming from off the pace,” Papaprodromou said. “(Jockey) Kent (Desormeaux) had gotten hurt and we could not wait until the last minute to see if he would be able to ride.”  


Majestic Harbor – After jogging twice around Santa Anita’s training track Tuesday morning, the 6yo bay son of Rockport Harbor was declared “doing super” by trainer Sean McCarthy.


“We’ll probably take him through the paddock on the way home (to the barn) tomorrow (Wednesday) and then school him in the paddock during the races that afternoon.”


            As for how his post 14 choice resounds, McCarthy said, “It’s a nice 3f run to the turn so there’s no need to panic. We will need to have some racing luck in a field this big and this talented. But Tyler (jockey Baze) knows the horse really well and he’ll guide him into good position.”


Moreno – Known for his tight-lipped responses to the media, trainer Eric Guillot Tuesday morning offered, “He jogged two miles.”


Implying Moreno is not an easy horse to train, Guillot said, “If people knew what it has taken for me to get him this far, they’d give me a medal as big as those mountains over there,” pointing to the San Gabriel Mountains that provide a picturesque backdrop for Santa Anita.


He said that jogging will be the regular routine heading up to the Classic for the 4yo gelded son of Ghostzapper.


Prayer for Relief – Trainer Dale Romans says his Classic hopeful is as good as he’s ever seen him, but whether he’s good enough to win the Classic won’t be known until after Saturday’s race.


            “He’s sharp, he’s eager to train,” said Romans. “He’s as good or better than he’s been all year. The mile and a quarter is good and the race should set up good for him, but the question is whether or not he’s good enough.”


            Like many other Classic trainers with older horses in the race, Romans feels the toughest competition for Prayer for Relief will likely come from the 3yo’s.


            “This is a strong group of 3-year-olds,” said Romans. “But, they are all going to have to step up against the older horses. Shared Belief is probably the one to beat, but he did show he was beatable in his last race.”


Shared Belief – Shared Belief, the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Classic, completed his major training Tuesday morning at Golden Gate Fields by working 4f in 52 2/5 with Russell Baze aboard at 7 o’clock.


“After the work, Russell said it was awesome,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “He said there is a lot left in the tank.”


Owned by Jungle Racing (Jim and Janet Rome), KMN Racing (Kevin and Kim Nish), Jason Litt, George Todaro and Alex Solis II, Shared Belief is scheduled to arrive at Santa Anita around 6 p.m. Tuesday.


Undefeated in seven starts, Shared Belief passed his only Santa Anita test in his most recent start, the Awesome Again Stakes on Sept. 27. Tuesday’s work over the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate was his fourth since the Awesome Again with two of the drills being bullet works.


“He will walk tomorrow and then gallop Thursday and Friday,” said Hollendorfer, whose lone previous Classic starter was Nonios who finished sixth in the 2012 renewal here. “He won’t go to the track Saturday morning.”


Toast of New York – Toast of New York took everything in his stride when he gained his first experience of the main track Tuesday morning when doing a hack canter of a couple of circuits under the guidance of James McCarthy.


“He was really good today and I was really pleased with him,” McCarthy said.


His trainer, Jamie Osborne, is expected in California Wednesday evening.


The lightly raced 3yo and winner of this year’s UAE Derby was in very good spirits when he came off the track pleased McCarthy on his return to the barn


Tonalist – Christophe Clement’s Breeders’ Cup horses were embarking on a Federal Express flight bound for California at approximately noon Tuesday.  Tonalist galloped 1¼ miles over Belmont’s main track Tuesday morning.


“They are all doing well,” he said.  “We couldn’t be happier.  They had a good morning training and we are set for the trip to the Breeders’ Cup.”


V. E. Day – The 3yo son of English Channel breezed 4f Tuesday morning at Santa Anita, in 48 3/5 under exercise rider Kelvin Pahal.


            “He went really good. We weren’t looking for a whole lot. He had worked a half-mile before we left for here,” trainer James Jerkens said.


            V. E. Day is coming off a troubled sixth-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Sept. 27.


            “I usually don’t kid myself about giving horses excuses, but I thought he had a lot of them that day,” Jerkens said. “We were going to call it a year or run in the Discovery, but we got to thinking, ‘you know what? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.’ The more I watched the race, he would have had to be Citation to win that race. He got hung out so wide.”


            V. E. Day had won his previous four races, including an upset over stablemate Wicked Strong by a nose in the Travers Stakes. He has been victorious on turf and dirt.


            “He’s a beautiful, big, long horse with a beautiful, absolutely gorgeous shoulder. He just has the mechanics to cover the ground,” Jerkens said. “He’s got the same way of going on both surfaces.”


Zivo – At this time last year, Thomas Coleman’s homebred was being prepared for the $100,000 Move It Now, a New York-bred stakes at Aqueduct. Nine races - six of them wins - later trainer Chad Brown has him ready for the Classic.


            A win in the Suburban in July and a runner-up finish to Tonalist in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 27 have carried Zivo to the richest race in America.


            Zivo arrived at Santa Anita Monday evening after the flight from New York was delayed. Like the other nine horses from Brown’s barn that shipped Monday, he jogged Tuesday morning.


            “He’s doing really well,” Brown, 35, said. “He’s earned his way up the ladder. He’s doing super. I’ve never seen this horse look as good as he does now. The horse is really peaking physically.”


            Zivo, a son of True Detective, comes from off the pace and has had success in the Suburban and the Gold Cup at the 1 1/4m Classic distance. Brown said that it might be his best distance.


            “That’s what it’s starting to look like, as he’s gotten older,” Brown said. “Horses change and he really seems to have appreciated the extra distance as we’ve given him the opportunity.”


            Coleman, a hedge fund manager from Westchester County, N.Y., said the horse is named after an artist he and his wife met in France.


Zivo drew post eight in the Classic and will be ridden by Jose Lezcano, who has been aboard for his last three starts.






Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Live online chat with Hall of Fame Jockey John Velazquez

Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez will answer questions from racing fans live this Wednesday, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on You can follow the live chat at This unique live chat comes on the eve of the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships (scheduled for October 31 & November 1 at Santa Anita Park) where Velazquez will be riding a number of strong contenders. The live chat will give racing fans a unique opportunity to gain insight on the Breeders’ Cup races from one of the industry’s preeminent riders.

Anyone can ask Velazquez a question either in advance or during the live chat by emailing, posting to JockeyTalk's Facebook page, or by sending a text to 817-992-0609. Questions sent in advance will have a greater chance of being used in the chat.

The live chat is a new feature for, a new website offering a unique blend of news, features, social media and statistics that appeal to racing's casual fans, as well as seasoned handicappers.


A member of Thoroughbred racing Hall of Fame, and the current President of the Jockeys’ Guild, Velazquez is Thoroughbred racing all-time leading money winning jockey, with lifetime earnings well in excess of $300 million. He has won over 5,000 races during his illustrious career.


Velazquez learned to ride in his native Puerto Rico and won his first race there in 1990. Later that year, under the guidance of Angel Cordero Jr., he moved to New York where he has won two dozen riding titles. He’s won ten Breeders’ Cup races and has won the Bill Shoemaker Award for top Breeders’ Cup performance by a jockey, as well as the George Woolf Memorial Award.

JockeyTalk360 collaborates with the Jockeys' Guild and other industry partners to bring fans closer to racing's talented and fearless athletes. A majority of the revenue generated by the site is earmarked for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.


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