BREEDERS' CUP NOTES
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Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Newsletter
INCLUDE & MACHO UNO BACK ON TRACK TOWARD ANOTHER BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC BID; TO CLASH IN MASSACHUSETTS HANDICAP; BANKS HILL FINISHES THIRD IN RETURN
While the three-year-old division is the central focus of the Thoroughbred world at this time each year, the older horses are beginning to gear up for campaigns designed to take them to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Arlington Park.
The $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs on Saturday, June 1, is shaping up as a significant early stop on the road to the Breeders' Cup Classic with a field led by Robert E. Meyerhoff's five-year-old INCLUDE and Stronach Stable's four-year-old MACHO UNO. Official Equibase Past Performances for Include; Macho Uno
Include finished seventh in the Classic last fall at Belmont Park while Macho Uno finished fourth behind Tiznow, beaten less than five lengths. Both horses have won their only starts this year: Include easily won the Jennings Handicap on April 20 at Pimlico, and Macho Uno took an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on March 23.
Include won the nine-furlong Massachusetts Handicap by four lengths last year under jockey Jerry Bailey, who will have the mount again for trainer Bud Delp. Bailey rode the son of Broad Brush five times last year, including his score over Albert The Great in the Pimlico Special, but opted for Bobby Frankel-trained Aptitude in the Classic, finishing eighth.
"Jerry's committed to him (Include) for just the one race," said Delp Sunday morning from his Laurel Park headquarters. "That's all I expected. He's come back great. Some things didn't exactly go well last year. After the Massachusetts race, he got beat in the Suburban (third). He wasn't treated fairly in the weights.
"There was a six-pound shift in the weights from the Pimlico Special with Albert the Great, who was nearly unbeatable over the Belmont track. In the race, my horse aggravated an old splint over that hard track and forced us to miss some time (nearly three months).
"We got him back in time to use the Meadowlands Cup as a last prep for the Breeders' Cup, and he ran well but was unlucky not to win. He had a terrible trip in the Breeders' Cup," said Delp, reiterating how unhappy he was with new jockey John R. Velazquez' rail trip ride against the trainer's objections.
Delp added that either the Suburban, on Saturday, July 6, or the Hollywood Gold Cup, on July 14 probably would be Include's next stop. The Whitney at Saratoga might also be on his schedule. Delp will be inducted into Racing's Hall of Fame in late July.
Jockey Gary Stevens rode Macho Uno in his last three starts last year, including the Classic, and will be back aboard for the Massachusetts Handicap, according to trainer Joe Orseno. "We also considered the Hawthorne Gold Cup Saturday (May 18) or the Met Mile (May 27) but decided the race at Suffolk was best suited to our plans for the rest of the year," said Orseno Sunday morning from his Belmont Park headquarters.
"The Hawthorne race involved a long trip. While we think he can be very effective going a one-turn mile (Met Mile), a two-turn race (Suffolk Downs) with less travel is better for the long-term goals, despite the fact that it will be 69 days since his last race. If all goes well, it would be on to the Suburban."
A Kentucky homebred son of Holy Bull, Macho Uno won the 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs with 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given second, to seal an Eclipse Award.
After being returned to training early last year at Gulfstream, the colt's connections decided he was not mature enough to undergo the rigors of a Triple Crown campaign and sent him back to Adena Springs South in Ocala.
Orseno sent Macho Uno back to the track on July 25 in an allowance race at Saratoga, which he lost by a nose on July 25. "That was the best nose loss I've ever had. It caused me to put blinkers on him, which made a world of difference. He won the Pennsylvania Derby in a gallop and was very unlucky not to have won the Ohio Derby (third). Then we lost a little time in his training with colic, but I couldn't have been more pleased with his race in the Classic. He beat all the other three-year-olds in the race."
Macho Uno rallied to win the one mile and 70 yards allowance at Gulfstream in March 2002 by a half-length over Hail the Chief (GB), who has won the National Jockey Club Handicap at Sportsman's Park and Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup in his last two starts.
Owner-breeder Frank Stronach won the 1998 Breeders' Cup Classic with Awesome Again and may have a very strong hand for this year's renewal. In addition to Macho Uno, he could be represented by the stable's five-year-old MILWAUKEE BREW, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (March 2) for trainer Bobby Frankel, and five-year-old RED BULLET, soon to come back into Orseno's Belmont barn from Adena Springs South. Official Equibase Past Performances for Milwaukee Brew; Red Bullet
Red Bullet, best known for his mild upset of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus in the Preakness at Pimlico that spring, has run three times this year at Gulfstream with mixed results. The son of Unbridled finished a close-up second in his season debut, beaten a half-length in the Skip Away Handicap in January with some trouble in the race.
The Kentucky homebred came back as the favorite in the Donn Handicap and again finished second, beaten a neck under jockey Jerry Bailey, with an even worse trip. "Anybody that saw that race knows he should have won," recalls Orseno. "It was just insult on injury when they disqualified him to fourth. It wasn't his fault."
Things went from bad to worse when Red Bullet trailed in last of five in the March 30 Gulfstream Park Handicap. "I assume full responsibility for that one. We were fighting problems with his feet and using glue-on shoes. One came off in a workout before the race. I was probably better off stopping on him then.
"Two days after the race, we found he had a serious abscess in one of his feet. It had to have affected him in the race. We sent him back to (Adena Springs) Ocala and gave him plenty of time for the foot to heel. They do a great job there and should be ready to come back to me soon.
"So far, it looks like he is on schedule to make the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs (June 15) if everything goes just right. He'll be here soon and will have had enough training on the farm that I won't have to do too much to get him ready. If he isn't up to that race, we've already talked about options a little later on."
Also looming importantly on the road to the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington are Godolphin's team of five-year-olds, STREET CRY (IRE) and SAKHEE, first and third last out, respectively, in the Dubai World Cup on March 23. The two international stars trained by Saeed bin Suroor will be taking separate routes to the Breeders' Cup. Official Equibase Past Performances for Street Cry (IRE); Sakhee
Sakhee, beaten a nose by Tiznow in the memorable renewal of the Classic at Belmont last fall, will continue his campaign in the major 10-furlong events on turf in Europe from Godolphin's White Lodge yard in Newmarket. Godolphin has announced his next probable target as the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on July 6.
Street Cry is a Breeders' Cup veteran as well, having finished third to Macho Uno and Point Given in the 2000 Juvenile after being developed for Godolphin in California by trainer Eoin Harty. The son of Machiavellian raced only three times last year for bin Suroor, twice in Dubai and finally a runner-up effort in the Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct in late October.
Street Cry was very impressive winning the World Cup by more than four lengths and will campaign in the United States this summer and fall on his way to the Classic. Godolphin has sent a powerful contingent to Belmont Park since the Dubai season, and Street Cry is expected to start there next in the Brooklyn Handicap on June 15.
A highly respected newcomer to the handicap ranks this year will be Stonerside Stable's CONGAREE, who is expected to make his season debut in the Lone Star Park Handicap on May 27 for trainer Bob Baffert. Winner of the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct over Monarchos in only his fourth career start last spring, the now four-year-old chestnut by Arazi finished third in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Official Equibase Past Performances for Congaree
He appeared headed toward a strong second half of the season after easily winning the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park in his next start. In his only other start since, the Kentucky homebred finished third as the 1-to-2 favorite in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga.
BANKS HILL THIRD IN SEASON DEBUT AT LONGCHAMP SUNDAY
The much-anticipated season debut of Juddmonte Farm's 2001 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner BANKS HILL (GB) came Sunday at Longchamp against male rivals in the Prix d'Ispahan with only three lining up to face the four-year-old daughter of Danehill. Official Equibase Past Performances for Banks Hill (GB)
Sent away as the 3-to-5 favorite in the about nine-furlong Group 1 fixture, Banks Hill finished third behind Godolphin's seasoned five-year-old BEST OF THE BESTS (IRE), although the favorite was beaten by only 1½ lengths. Official Equibase Past Performances for Best of the Bests (IRE)
Trained by Andre Fabre, Banks Hill was among the leading lights on Breeders' Cup Day at Belmont Park, romping home a 5½-length winner in the Filly & Mare Turf under jockey Olivier Peslier. The performance was sufficient to earn Banks Hill an Eclipse Award for her lone American appearance.
At 1¼ miles, the Filly & Mare Turf was her first try at a distance beyond one mile. Winner of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, she made her final two starts before the Breeders' Cup in France's two most important events for milers. A close third with trouble in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville was followed by a runner-up performance in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp in early September prior to her trip to New York.
Best of the Bests, an accomplished Group stakes performer last year in Europe, had run twice this year in Dubai for winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor, finishing seventh last out behind stablemate Street Cry (IRE) in the Dubai World Cup on March 23. The son of Machiavellian was to be pointed next to the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 9.
A spokesman for Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms indicated that the 10-furlong Prince of Wales also was the likely target for Banks Hill's next start. Godolphin's Breeders' Cup Turf hero and Eclipse champion Fantastic Light won the Prince of Wales last spring.
FOUR 2001 SPRINT VETERANS SEE ACTION RECENTLY
David Lanzman's Breeders' Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse champion SQUIRTLE SQUIRT continues to recover from minor knee surgery performed after finishing second in the Palos Verde Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 27. Trainer Bobby Frankel has indicated the four-year-old son of Marquetry should be ready to return at Saratoga. Official Equibase Past Performances for Squirtle Squirt
In the meantime, the next four horses to finish behind Squirtle Squirt in the hotly contested Sprint at Belmont saw action over the weekend of May 11-12 on both coasts in the United States and in Singapore.
Kenneth Taylor, John Salzman, Sr. and partners' four-year-old filly XTRA HEAT, a game second in the Sprint, and Michael Tabor's five-year-old LEFT BANK, fifth, both won stakes impressively at Belmont Park. Official Equibase Past Performances for Xtra Heat; Left Bank
Xtra Heat bounced back from a third-place finish in the Golden Shaheen in Dubai to post a solid one-length victory over rival fillies and mares in the Genuine Risk Handicap on Sunday, May 12, spotting considerable weight to her rivals.
Voted Eclipse champion three-year-old filly for 2001 despite competing strictly in sprint races, the daughter of Dixieland Heat has now won 20 of 26 career starts and earned more than $1.7 million. Trainer John E. Salzman, Sr. has indicated that her next start is likely to be the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap, going six furlongs at Calder on July 13.
Left Bank made his first start since winning the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct late last year in the six-furlong Bold Ruler Handicap on Saturday, May 11, and rallied through the stretch for a one-length victory.
A son of French Deputy, Left Bank was beaten only a little more than two lengths in the Sprint. Trainer Todd Pletcher plans to bring Left Bank back in the Metropolitan Handicap going one mile at Belmont Park on Memorial Day, May 27.
Theresa McArthur and Carolyn Chapman's five-year-old gelding CALLER ONE finished third in the Sprint beaten less than a length. The James K. Chapman-trained son of Phone Trick won Dubai's Golden Shaheen in 2001 and returned in late March of this year to claim another lucrative payday in that race, with Xtra Heat third. Official Equibase Past Performances for Caller One
With Caller One's career bankroll now expanded to more than $3 million, his connections continued his world tour with a trip to Singapore for the $550,000 Singapore Airlines Sprint at Kranji Racecourse on May 11.
Jockey Gary Stevens flew over for the mount in the six-furlong test on turf, a surface Caller One had never tried in a race. After pressing the early pace, he retired to last of 12 at the finish, with Stevens indicating his mount didn't care for the going where he raced on the inside.
However, Chapman said after the race that Caller One's globetrotting was not over, and plans are to take him next to England and a start in the Group 1 Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 22.
Also on May 11, John Paul Reddam's five-year-old SWEPT OVERBOARD, fourth in the Sprint beaten only one length, finished third as the even-money favorite in the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap. He was beaten by two lengths by Mrs. Barton Heller and trainer William J. Morey, Jr.'s seven-year-old local hero MELLOW FELLOW. Official Equibase Past Performances for Swept Overboard; Mellow Fellow
Trained by Craig Dollase, Swept Overboard was a solid third choice in the Sprint at Belmont after defeating Kona Gold in the Ancient Title Handicap at Santa Anita. The son of End Sweep had finished fifth in the San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita on April 21 in his only other start this year.
BREEDERS' CUP WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS OFFICIAL LEADING POINT EARNERS THROUGH 05-19-2002
BREEDERS' CUP TURF DIVISION
MILE (TURF) DIVISION
F&M TURF DIVISION
(s9%) Not Nominated to the Breeders' Cup- 9% Supplement Fee # # #
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