The first wave of serious Breeders’ Cup prep races came and went this past weekend and everyone knows a little more – or less – about who they might like come November 2-3 at Churchill Downs.
We do know Accelerate and West Coast are legit, but we probably already did, based off their 1-2 finish in the Grade 1 Awesome Again. Same for Mind Your Biscuits, who landed that two-turn victory in the Grade 3 Lukas Classic under the lights at Churchill Saturday.
And what about Discreet Lover? If there ever were a horse for The Saratoga Special he’s the one. Shame he’s always been a bit overlooked, by the likes of Gun Runner, Mind Your Biscuits and Diversify when he ran at the Spa. The 5-year-old son of Repent went overlooked again Saturday and sprang the upset of the year winning the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup to return $93.
We offer a slightly abbreviated edition of our Here & There Monday wrap-up this week, with a monster weekend ahead with more preps at Belmont, Santa Anita and Keeneland. There’s more jump racing this weekend, too, and we’ll continue coverage of all that and more. Enjoy.
Doc Cebu improved to 6-for-8 over timber Saturday with a victory in the $25,000 Brown Advisory Legacy Chase to highlight the Races at Shawan Downs program in Hunt Valley, Md.
Owned by Charles Fenwick Jr., Michael Hankin and Charles Noell, Doc Cebu won the 3 ½-mile open timber allowance by 3 1/2 lengths over Top Man Michael with Kings Apollo third in the field of eight. Doc Cebu, an 8-year-old by Hard Spun trained by Jack Fisher, had not been out since winning the Willowdale Steeplechase Stakes May 13. Hadden Frost rode the winner, who improved to 12-for-39 lifetime over jumps and on the flat.
Fisher also sent Duodecim Stable’s All For Us out to a victory in the $30,000 Sodexo Allowance Hurdle two races before Doc Cebu. All For Us, a 7-year-old son of Tiz Wonderful who hadn’t been out since October 2016, won by 1 3/4 lengths over Go Get The Basil under Michael Mitchell.
Irv Naylor’s Elucidation, making his second start in the U.S. and first over jumps, won the first division of a 2-mile maiden, the $30,000 Roundtop Mountain Resorts Maiden Hurdle. Ridden by Darren Nagle for trainer Cyril Murphy, the 4-year-old Irish-bred by Oasis Dream won by 6 1/2 lengths over Quality Song.
Ann Jackson’s homebred Flash Jackson won the second division, the $25,000 Howard P. Colhoun Family Foundation Maiden Hurdle. The 4-year-old Maryland-bred son of Get Stormy won by 1 1/2 lengths over Khafayya under Eric Poretz for trainer Todd Wyatt.
Other winners on the card were Lee Pokoik’s Roller Rolls On for trainer Doug Fout and jockey Barry Foley in the opening $20,000 GBMC Maiden 3-year-old Hurdle, Rosbrian Farm’s Indigo Heart for trainer Ricky Hendriks and jockey Archie MacAuley in the $15,000 Herman & Walter Samuelson Foundation Gwathmey Apprentice Rider and Noble Stable’s Kingofalldiamonds for trainer Neil Morris and jockey Kieran Norris in the $15,000 maiden timber finale.
The TIHR handicappers didn’t fare well over the seven-race card. Sean managed to pick two winners – Elucidation and Doc Cebu – to wrest the autumn season lead from Joe, who was blanked. Sean heads to Sunday’s Foxfield Fall Races in Charlottesville, Va., with three wins. Tom also picked Elucidation and improves to two wins on the season, tied with Joe for the second spot.
By the Numbers
2:40.18: Rocketry’s winning time in Sunday’s 1 5/8-mile Temperence Hill Invitational, breaking Man o’ War’s 98-year-old record of 2:40.80.
7: Victories for trainer Tom Amoss during Churchill Downs’ September meet, one more than Brad Cox and enough for the training title.
18: Wins for Corey Lanerie at Churchill September, providing his 16th riding title in Louisville.
20: Victories in Florida Sire Stakes races for trainer Stanley Gold after Arindel’s Cookie Dough won the $400,000 My Dear Girl at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
$54.60: Win price for Doctor Mounty in Saturday’s Grade 3 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup Stakes at Laurel Park.
21,130: Number of live foals for 2018 according to The Jockey Club Live Foal Reports, down 2.3 percent from last year (the reports are approximately 90 percent complete).
$9.852 million: Total handle for Saturday’s FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Series card at Gulfstream, up 23.4 percent from last year.
“All I want to do is go cash my ticket.”
Owner-trainer Uriah St. Lewis after his Discreet Lover upset the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Saturday and paid $93
“It's kind of sad, that’s for sure. The great Man o’ War. But like I told Maggie (Wolfendale), I don't think they've probably ran it (the distance) four times since Man o’ War ran it. But, when they run it again next year, his name will be in the program.”
Jimmy Jerkens after Rocketry broke Man o’ War’s track record at Belmont (see By the Numbers)
“I don’t keep count, because they’re all very special.”
Trainer Kathleen O’Connell after the With Distinction gelding Well Defined provided her and owner-breeder Gilbert Campbell’s Stonehedge LLC their 11th victory in the Florida Stallion Series in the $400,000 In Reality division
“Breeders’ Cup is obviously next up. We’ll train here at home and then go and follow Bob Baffert over there to Churchill about a week before. We’ll kind of walk behind Bob (Baffert) and creep up on him.”
Trainer John Sadler after Accelerate topped the Baffert-trained West Coast in Saturday’s Awesome Again at Santa Anita Park
“Obviously everybody was running for second in there.”
Trainer Ben Colebrook after doing just that to Imperial Hint with Mr. Crow in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Saturday at Belmont
“I’ve been in the horse business about 40 years. All days are not like this one.”
Gary West after his and wife Mary’s Game Winner captured Saturday’s Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita Park
The Best of the Saturday Special (sort of)
We wrote: "Belmont. Race 10. Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes. Grade 1. 5:50. Diversify looks to stretch win streak to four in defense of title in race that remains important despite changes to the nationwide stakes schedule for older horses. He won on the lead last year and figures to try and do the same against the likes of Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow and Mendelssohn – who like it on the front – and closers Gronkowski, Discreet Lover and Patch."
Discreet Lover indeed closed from the back and upset the field to pay $93.
On the lookout
Follow @BetKeeneland on Twitter to see when This Is Horse Racing’s and The Saratoga Special’s Tom Law will be a Handicapper of the Day Series during the Keeneland fall meeting that opens Friday. The guest handicappers will share their daily picks and recommended wagers with a $200 bankroll to benefit the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.