The end of the jump racing season is closing fast with the Colonial Cup on tap for Saturday, two weeks removed from the conclusion (for the most part) of the North American flat season. Training in Saratoga comes to an end Tuesday and things are slowing down a bit in Fair Hill, too. Sure signs of winter for sure.
We wrap the book on the Breeders' Cup World Championships and gear up for the Colonial Cup in this week's Here & There, along with some tidbits from near and far. Time to buy the turkey and gear up for the arrival of family and friends for Thanksgiving next week.
"Don't you worry about that Dave." - Austin Trites, assistant to trainer George Weaver, after Saratoga clocker Dave Lynett suggested he put a significant wager on $71 debut winner Fleet Irish at Aqueduct last Sunday
"Evidently you had a good weekend." - Saratoga clocker Joe Williams to trainer Roy Lerman, who saddled his first graded stakes winner when Evidently won the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct last Sunday
"I wouldn't be involved in this industry if I wasn't hopeful." - Owner and breeder Hank Nothhaft, who bred Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Finest City
"I live in Saratoga, too. Saratoga, California." - Nothhaft to TIHR's Saratoga Springs-based Tom Law
"They can't call you a superstar, Reince, unless we win, because you can't be called a superstar - like Secretariat - if Secretariat came in second, Secretariat would not have that big, beautiful bronze bust at the track at Belmont." -President Elect Donald Trump about Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and 1973 Triple Crown winner during acceptance speech early Wednesday morning; though, Mr. President Elect should probably get out to Belmont a little more often; it's more than a bust.
"I clearly understood why she was in there, why Graham was taking a shot. ... But she had just broken her maiden and I thought maybe she'd go in an allowance race. When I saw that entry pop up on my email, wow, that was a cool thing." - David DiPietro, breeder of Darley Alcibiades winner Dancing Rags, when he found out the Union Rags filly was entered in the Grade 1 stakes last month at Keeneland
Some of the year-end races are decided for the steeplechase season, but a few are still in doubt. We'll preview the races and some of the contests for the human honors later in the week, but in the meantime here's some data to chew on.
8: Naylor-owned runners Saturday - Hooded (Race 1), One Lucky Lady (Race 4), Rawnaq, Jamarjo and Charminster (Race 5, Colonial Cup), Lake Champlain and River Rush (Race 6) and Stormy Alex (Race 7).
Did You Notice?
Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien brushing show lines across the hips of Intelligence Cross before the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (guy could go far in pony club).
1: Post-time favorite to win in 13 Breeders' Cup races - Obviously in the Turf Sprint at odds of nearly 4-1.
2: Horses with three Breeders' Cup victories - Beholder (Juvenile Fillies and twice in the Distaff) and Goldikova (three in the Mile).
3: Jockeys who won their first Breeders' Cup races - Jose Ortiz (Oscar Performance), Seamus Heffernan (Highland Reel) and Flavien Pratt (Obviously).
4: Trainers who won their first Breeders' Cup race last weekend - Brian Lynch (Oscar Performance), Peter Eurton (Champagne Room), Phil D'Amato (Obviously) and Ian Kruljac (Finest City).
25: Career Breeders' Cup victories for Mike Smith after three last weekend.
72,811: On-track attendance for Breeders' Cup Saturday, the largest crowd at Santa Anita Park in 31 years.
118,574: Attendance for the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita, up 25.3 percent from 94,652 last year at Keeneland.
$21,241,095: On-track handle for the Breeders' Cup, up 2.8 percent from last year's $20,663,054 at Keeneland.
$24,770,000: Purses earned at the Breeders' Cup by Bob Baffert, who passed former leader D. Wayne Lukas thanks to victories by Arrogate in the Classic and Drefong in the Sprint.
$34,280,605: Breeders' Cup purses won by Mike Smith, more than $11 million more than John Velazquez on the all-time list.
$159,991,831: Total handle for the two-day Breeders' Cup, up 22.7 percent from last year's $130,369,022 at Keeneland and up 3.2 percent from the last time the event was held at Santa Anita in 2014.