Horsemen and racing fans were not alone making a quick getaway from sunny Southern California Sunday morning after taking in the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.
Several participants from the 14 races run Friday and Saturday were on planes headed for Kentucky and on the grounds at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland in Lexington and being shown by the time most of the East Coast ate lunch Sunday in advance of the fall mixed sales that open Monday afternoon. Two standouts who defended their respective titles Saturday at Santa Anita – Mizdirection and Groupie Doll – led the group of what now appears to be seven from the Breeders’ Cup to sell either at Fasig-Tipton Monday or at Keeneland Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Fasig-Tipton sale gets the season underway at 4 p.m. ET Monday, followed by the first of 10 sessions at Keeneland at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Breeders’ Cup starters still cataloged at Fasig-Tipton are Great Hot (Filly and Mare Sprint, Hip 57), Mizdirection (Filly and Mare Sprint, Hip 104), Summer Applause (Filly and Mare Sprint, Hip 164) and Authenticity (Distaff, Hip 206). Breeders’ Cup starters at Keeneland are Street Girl (Distaff, Hip 54), Lady of Shamrock (Filly and Mare Turf, Hip 171) and Groupie Doll (Filly and Mare Sprint, Hip 350). …
Speaking of the Breeders’ Cup, returns from the event look fairly strong from a business standpoint and the team that puts together the event’s daily news and notes added some interesting tidbits Sunday morning.
Business first. Preliminary common-pool handle figures showed that $160,704,877 was bet over the two days, up nearly $16 million from a year ago and almost to the level put through the windows for the 2011 edition at Churchill Downs. Attendance for the two days was 94,628, including 58,795 Saturday. The two-day crowd was nearly 5,000 more than last year but smaller than those in 2011 and 2010 at Churchill and 2009 at Santa Anita.
Fun facts from the notes team and elsewhere:
– Owners Waratah Thoroughbreds (London Bridge), W C Racing, Dave Kenney and RAP Racing (Goldencents), Willie Carson, Chris Wright and Emily Asprey (Chriselliam), Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable Inc. (Ria Antonia), James Wigan (Dank), Gary and Mary West (New Year’s Day) and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing (Mucho Macho Man) won their first Breeders’ Cup races.
– Five trainers – including Jo Hughes, Charles Appleby, Charles Hills and Jeremiah Englehart, who won with their first starters – won their first Breeders’ Cup races. The fifth was Kathy Ritvo, who saddled Mucho Macho Man to win the Classic.
– Bob Baffert added two victories to bring his Breeders’ Cup total to 10. He passed Shug McGaughey, who’s been second or tied for second for years behind D. Wayne Lukas, and Bill Mott, to move into the second spot.
– Ballydoyle’s Aidan O’Brien won the Turf with Magician, his fourth win in the race and eighth overall since 2001. He’s won at least one race three of the last four years.
– Richard Mandella won his eighth Breeders’ Cup race Friday with Beholder. All of Mandella’s wins have come in Southern California.
– Mike Smith, who won a tight vote over Gary Stevens for the Bill Shoemaker Award as the event’s top jockey, padded his lead in the wins and earnings standings. He won three races to give him 20 overall and added $1,975,000 in purses to bring his career total to $25,614,260.
– Jockeys Martin Garcia (New Year’s Day in the Juvenile) and Richard Hughes (Chriselliam in the Juvenile Fillies Turf) won their first Breeders’ Cup races.
– Kentucky-breds won eight of the races with two apiece from England and Ireland and one each from Florida and New York.
– No stallions were represented by multiple winners.
– Stallions who stand or stood under the Darley banner were represented by five winners – Outstrip (by Exceed and Excel), Chriselliam (Iffraaj), Beholder (Henny Hughes), Ria Antonia (Rockport Harbor) and New Year’s Day (Street Cry). The only other operation with more than one was Claiborne Farm with two – London Bridge (Arch) and Secret Circle (Eddington).
– The disqualification of She’s a Tiger in the Juvenile Fillies was the first of a winner since Fran’s Valentine won the inaugural Juvenile Fillies and was placed 10th in 1984. Other disqualifications include Palace Music from second to ninth in 1985 Mile and Sam Who from fourth to 13th in 1989 Sprint. Wait a While was disqualified from third-place purse money and placed 10th in the 2008 Filly and Mare Turf after a medication issue was detected in post-race tests.
– Five post-time favorites won Breeders’ Cup races but the best performance by a member of the handicapping team from This Is Horse Racing and The Saratoga Special was a three-bagger. Sean, Joe and John all picked three winners, with Chad correctly selecting two and Tom just one.
The National Steeplechase Association standings remain unchanged after a busy weekend at Montpelier, Callaway Gardens and the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Jack Fisher got a little closer in the trainer standings with wins over the weekend by Worried Man in an allowance timber in Unionville and Seer in a maiden timber at Callaway Gardens. The trainer’s race is 19-17 with Jonathan Sheppard holding the edge by races won. Sheppard also leads the money list at $782,650.
Bill Pape continues to lead the owner’s race by money won, $534,150 to Irv Naylor’s $489,850.
Paddy Young rode one winner – Worried Man for Fisher – to tighten the jockeys’ race to a single victory. Darren Nagle holds the edge by races won, 14-13. Young leads Nagle by purses, $517,000 to $483,900.
– Winners were tough to come by for the TIHR handicapping trio yet Joe was still able to increase his lead with four wins at Montpelier (Prime Prospector, Awesome Pearl, Decoy Daddy and Beamer), two at Callaway Gardens (Kisser N Run, Seer) and two at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup (Foyle, Address Unknown). He’s got 51 on the season. Sean and Tom both picked six winners Saturday and Sunday and are at 44 and 40, respectively, on the season.
Plenty of other quality racing around the country, led by Romansh’s 9 1/4-length victory over Norumbega in the Grade 3 Discovery run at Aqueduct and in between the Juvenile Fillies and Filly and Mare Turf out in California.
The Discovery was the second stakes win for the Bernardini colt who was elevated to first with the disqualification of fellow Darley Stables runner Transparent in the Curlin at Saratoga. Tom Albertrani’s been high on Romansh ever since he got him shortly before the New Year
“He’s a horse that got our attention early down at Palm Meadows before he even started,” Albertrani said earlier this summer. “It took him a couple races to put things together.”
Read about Romansh and Transparent.
Stopchargingmaria, third in the Grade 1 Frizette last time but held out of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, romped in the Grade 3 Tempted going a mile Sunday. The Tale of the Cat filly, second in the Spinaway two starts back, won by 10 3/4 lengths in 1:38.77.
Cairo Prince was impressive winning his debut a month ago at Belmont and impressive again winning the Grade 2 Nashua going the same distance as the Tempted. The Pioneerof the Nile colt spurted clear at the top of the stretch and won by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:37.59 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.