November arrived this week and it's time for Breeders' Cup Saturday. The action at Santa Anita Park certainly dominates the headlines and gets all the attention, but the show goes on all over the world and we've got it covered in this week's Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud.
Gone are the days when tracks would run early or coordinate post times to avoid the Breeders' Cup races; so if you're looking for action in between the real action you're in luck.
The New York Racing Association shifted to Aqueduct this week, Churchill Downs opened its meet and Santa Anita runs a few stakes leading into the nine Breeders' Cup races. All that and more in this week's primer. Good luck.
Wincanton. Race 3. 9:35 a.m. High-octane Shantou Village tries to make it three in a row over fences for Neil Mulholland.
Aintree. Race 3. 10:05. The irascible Holywell makes his return after crashing in the Grand National in April. Shutthefrontdoor returns as well, the veteran finished ninth in the Grand National.
Wincanton. Race 4. 10:10. Surely, Richard Hutchinson will be at his local, watching the odds for the Elite Hurdle.
Doncaster. Race 5. 10:25. Growl chased The Tin Man in the British Champions Sprint Stakes. The 4-year-old son of Oasis Dream looks strong in the Wentworth Stakes.
Down Royal. Race 4. 10:35. Top-drawer chasers return to action in the Grade 1 Champion Chase. Welcome back Don Poli, Silviniaco Conti, The Last Samuri and Valseur Lido and good luck to our old friend Sean Flanagan aboard Monksland.
Aintree. Race 4: 10:40. Veteran Zarkandar, rated 153, returns from a 517-day layoff. Un Temps Pour Tout, rated 158, returns from a 211-day freshening.
Auteuil. Race 5 10:50. The Grand Prix D'Automne Hurdle. Grade 1 stakes going 3 miles attracts British raiders Ptit Zig, Reve De Sivola and Aubusson. The latter missed by a nose in this race last year - at a cool 46-1 - and we bet him.
Doncaster. Race 6. 11:00. Jim Bolger raids England with Ceol Na Nog in the Gillies Fillies Stakes. Gaelic, the name means music of youth.
Down Royal. Race 5. 11:05. The Titanic Belfast Chase. The Grade 2 stakes has a name befitting its luster. Start taking Cheltenham notes on the likes of Outlander, Zabana, Le Mercurey and Sub Lieutenant.
Aintree. Race 5. 11:10. Mr. Mole has been away 309 days. The accomplished chaser makes his debut for Ben Haslam after spending his career with Paul Nicholls.
Wincanton. Race 6. 11:20. The Young Master chased Thistlecrack in January and Un Temps Pour Tout in March. By April, he was on his own, winning a Grade 3 chase at Sandown. He returns from a 196-day layoff.
Doncaster. Race 7. 11:35. The Betfred November Handicap gives proper turf horses their last chance to bolster winter coffers. Progressive 3-year-olds Prize Money, Cape Cova and Qassem take on their elders.
Gulfstream Park West. Race 1. Noon. Claiborne Farm's Seize, second at Saratoga three back and a winner at Kentucky Downs two back, tries to get back on track in 5-furlong turf allowance.
Aqueduct. Race 1. 12:20 p.m. Welcome to the Big A. The doors opened in Ozone Park this week and the NYRA circuit will stay there through April. Starter allowance worth $58,000 opens the Saturday card.
Santa Anita Park. Race 1. 1:15. Early post on the West Coast for $100,000 Juvenile Turf Sprint. Thank goodness this isn't a Breeders' Cup race - at least not yet. Con Te Partiro didn't get in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and takes on the boys - and four fillies - in 6 1/2-furlong turf dash down the hill.
Gulfstream Park West. Race 3. 1:18. The $75,000 Showing Up draws field of seven, including three who ran in graded stakes last time. We'll lean toward Keystoneforvictory of that trio in 1-mile turf stakes.
Aqueduct. Race 3. 1:21. Celtic Chaos shortens up for state-bred allowance while John's Island goes first off claim for Steve Asmussen and Curious Cal does the same for George Weaver.
Woodbine. Race 2. 1:39. There used to be a Breeders' Cup Marathon, and a stakes going long remains on the undercard for the big day. Here's another if you're game, a 1 3/4-mile starter allowance on the Tapeta.
Santa Anita. Race 2. 1:50. State-breds get their chance on the big stage in $200,000 Golden State Juvenile. California Diamond is 4-for-6 with two seconds for Peter Miller and looks tough in 7-furlong stakes.
Chelmsford City. Race 4. 2:10. Funny how careers ebb and flow. Jamie Spencer nearly won the Breeders' Cup Classic aboard Toast Of New York two years ago. This year? He's riding Curbyourenthusiasm in the "Your Breeders' Cup Guide at Attheraces.com/Breederscup Handicap" at Chelmsford City.
Santa Anita. Race 3. 2:25. Hoped to see Lady Shipman draw into the Turf Sprint - and should secured a spot from an advantageous outside post - but connections opt instead for Grade 3 Sen. Ken Maddy going down the hill. She drew outside here, too, and takes on the likes of Fair Point, Mehronissa, Most Beautiful and Acapulco.
Woodbine. Race 4. 2:42. Full field of 14 for $100,000 River Memories. Chad Brown ships New York-bred Neck Of The Moon, while Roger Attfield sends our Internal Bourbon and Mark Casse goes with Conquest Strate Up.
Aqueduct. Race 6. 2:53. All On Read tries the classics - the Queen's Plate and Prince Of Wales in Canada - and starts over in 1-mile allowance on the main track for a new barn.
Laurel Park. Race 6. 3:00. Phil Schoenthal goes back to the grass with Fly, fourth in Selima Stakes two back and fifth in Grade 3 Matron at Belmont last time. Daughter of Brilliant Speed looks good in 5 1/2-furlong grass allowance.
Santa Anita. Race 4. 3:05. The $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Santa Anita. Race 5. 3:43. The $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.
Woodbine. Race 6. 3:57. Ontario-bred 2-year-olds take their turn in $150,000 Clarendon. Mark Casse sends out three of the seven, including 2-1 favorite State Of Honor.
Churchill Downs. Race 4. 4:01. Streamline, runner-up to Forever Unbridled in Grade 1 Apple Blossom and close in two other graded stakes at Oaklawn, starts again in 6-furlong allowance for Brian Williamson. Small field also features Finley'sluckycharm, Meshell and So You Say.
Aqueduct. Race 8. 4:07. Two-year-old fillies not quite there for the Juvenile Fillies look to punch ticket to Demoiselle later this month in Grade 3 Tempted. Cursor impressed winning 7-furlong maiden race last month at Belmont for Mark Hennig.
Santa Anita. Race 6. 4:21. The $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Santa Anita. Race 7. 5:05. The $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
Woodbine. Race 8. 5:12. The Breeders' Cup Classic isn't the only graded stakes going 10 furlongs on the main track Saturday. Consider the Grade 3 Maple Leaf, a $150,000 stakes for fillies and mares. Neil Drysdale was enticed to keep Energia Fribby at Keeneland to prep for this before returning to California.
Churchill. Race 6. 5:25. Now is the time for Torrent. Third and fourth at Saratoga, he couldn't quite last going 7 furlongs last time at Keeneland.
Santa Anita. Race 8. 5:43. The $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Gulfstream Park West. Race 10. 5:59. Full field of 14 for $75,000 Cellars Shiraz for fillies and mares going 1 mile on the grass.
Penn National Race Course. Race 1. 6:00. Settled into the Breeders' Cup card? Need a diversion for a few minutes? Here's a 2-year-old maiden special weight going 5 1/2 furlongs. Six of the eight are first-time starters.
Santa Anita. Race 9. 6:22. The $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf.
Churchill. Race 8. 6:45. Sage Hall looked like a filly with great promise winning debut in July 2015 at Saratoga. Cape Blanco filly went to sidelines for a bit after two starts this spring and returns in 1 1/16-mile allowance on the grass for Bill Mott.
Santa Anita. Race 10. 7:01. The $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
Churchill. Race 9. 7:25. Right between the Filly and Mare Sprint and the Mile, the Grade 2 Chilukki. Ian Wilkes tore it up at Keeneland and sends out Sweetgrass in $200,000 stakes going 1 mile on the main track. Kiss To Remember ships in from Florida while Dale Romans sends out Grade 1 winner Birdatthewire and Engaginglee.
Santa Anita. Race 11. 7:40. The $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile.
Santa Anita. Race 12. 8:35. The $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic.