BREEDERS' CUP NOTES
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Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Newsletter
SAKHEE AND STREET CRY TOP CLASSIC DIVISION OF WORLD THOROUGHBRED RANKINGS; MACHO UNO A MAJOR CONTENDER
Maktoum family runners secured the top two spots in the Classic division of the World Thoroughbred Rankings with STREET CRY (IRE)'s win in Saturday's Stephen Foster Handicap. Based on his 6 1/2-length win under jockey Jerry Bailey, four-year-old Street Cry has taken over second place in the rankings, while stable mate Sakhee, second to Tiznow in the Classic last fall at Belmont, remains in first place. Sakhee will launch his 2002 Breeders' Cup bid with a European campaign. Street Cry is based at Belmont Park with no firm plans set for his next start. Official Equibase Past Performances for STREET CRY (IRE); SAKHEE
The 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster attracted the strongest field of older horses assembled this year for a race in North America, and second-choice Street Cry was making his first start since capturing the Dubai World Cup under Bailey on March 23. Stonerside Stable's favored CONGAREE faded to sixth after a bold bid in the far turn. Official Equibase Past Performances for CONGAREE
Street Cry is trained by Saeed bin Suroor. As a two-year-old in California being developed by Eoin Harty, the homebred son of Machiavellian lost photo decisions in the 2000 Del Mar Futurity and Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita before posting a third-place finish behind Macho Uno and Point Given in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.
Street Cry was on target for the 2001 Kentucky Derby but was sidetracked by an injury and spent an idle summer in New York. He came back to make his first start in seven months at Aqueduct in late October, finishing second as the odds-on favorite in the Discovery Handicap, his third and final start as a three-year-old.
After winning his 2002 debut in Dubai in February, Street Cry stormed to victory in the World Cup over an international field that included stable mate Sakhee (see below in Turf Division), who finished well back in third.
Stronach Stable's four-year-old MACHO UNO defeated Street Cry to win the 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs and finished fourth behind Tiznow in the Classic last fall at the end of an abbreviated campaign. Trainer Joe Orseno has announced that the son of Holy Bull will be a major player in the Classic division this year. Official Equibase Past Performances for MACHO UNO
After winning a prep race at Gulfstream Park on March 23, Macho Uno made only his second start of 2002 in the Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs on June 1 against a strong field. Guided by jockey Gary Stevens, he was trapped behind horses on the inside in the upper stretch but maneuvered outside in time to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths.
Joseph Grant and T.J. Kelly's EVENING ATTIRE finished second and Robert E. Meyerhoff's INCLUDE, the slight favorite and high weight, was third in his second start this year. Evening Attire beat Street Cry last fall in the Discovery at Aqueduct. Official Equibase Past Performances for EVENING ATTIRE; INCLUDE
The first three from the Suffolk Downs race are expected to clash again in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park on July 6. They likely will be joined by Edward P. Evans' four-year-old SEEKING DAYLIGHT, the 8¼-length winner of Saturday's Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont over a sloppy track. Official Equibase Past Performances for SEEKING DAYLIGHT
Trained by Mark Hennig, Seeking Daylight was making only his seventh career start after missing his three-year-old season because of a fractured cannon bone. Godolphin's four-year-old E DUBAI was the solid favorite in the Brooklyn but finished fourth over the very sloppy going. Official Equibase Past Performances for E DUBAI
A third important test for older horses on Saturday was the Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park, in which Stronach Stable's five-year-old MILWAUKEE BREW won a head victory over John Toffan and Trudy McCaffery's BOSQUE REDONDO. Official Equibase Past Performances for MILWAUKEE BREW; BOSQUE REDONDO
A son of Wild Again, Milwaukee Brew won the Santa Anita Handicap on March 2 in his previous start and appears to have thrived since being placed in California with trainer Bobby Frankel this year. He is expected to start next in the Hollywood Gold Cup on Sun., July 14.
Despite his unsuccessful bid for a Triple Crown sweep, The Thoroughbred Corp.'s WAR EMBLEM remains the country's top three-year-old. After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the son of Our Emblem lost the Belmont Stakes to New Phoenix Stable and Susan Roy's 70-to-1 longshot SARAVA. Trainer Bob Baffert reports that War Emblem came out of the Belmont with no apparent injuries resulting from his stumble leaving the gate. Official Equibase Past Performances for WAR EMBLEM; SARAVA
War Emblem has been returned to California to rest up before setting out on the second half of the season.
This year's "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" series of telecasts on ESPN networks begins with the running of the $500,000 Swaps Stakes for three-year-olds on Sun. July 14, a race Baffert and others have used as a return from the rigors of the Triple Crown campaign.
Baffert won the race last year with Congaree and with Captain Steve the year before, the latter defeating Tiznow, who would go on to win his first Classic at Churchill Downs that fall. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won the 1999 renewal of the Swaps with Cat Thief, who would go on to an upset victory in the Classic at Gulfstream Park that fall.
AZERI EMERGES AS EARLY LEADER OF DISTAFF DIVISION
Trainer Laura de Seroux had considerable Breeders' Cup experience during her years working for Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham. Now training on her own, de Seroux could make an auspicious Breeders' Cup training debut this fall with Allen Paulson Living Trust's four-year-old filly AZERI, currently top-ranked in the Distaff Division, and six-year-old stable mate Astra, one of America's best hopes in the Filly & Mare Turf Division (see below).
As last year's World Thoroughbred Championships was being run at Belmont Park, Azeri was still a few days away from making her career debut at Santa Anita on Nov. 1. The Kentucky homebred daughter of Jade Hunter easily won that day and her next two starts as well. Official Equibase Past Performances for AZERI
Making her stakes race debut in her fourth career start in the La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 9, 2002, she suffered her first and only defeat when second to Edward P. Evans' SUMMER COLONY. Since then, Azeri has swept three straight Grade I scores. Official Equibase Past Performances for SUMMER COLONY
Azeri won the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita by three lengths over The Thoroughbred Corp.'s 2000 Distaff winner and 2001 runner-up SPAIN (see below) and then shipped to Arkansas for another score in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park. Most recently, Azeri added Hollywood Park's Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 25 to her resume. She is targeted next for the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood on Sat., June 22. Official Equibase Past Performances for SPAIN
In the east, the Distaff Division is highly competitive, with Summer Colony among the leaders. Trained by Mark Hennig, the four-year-old daughter of Summer Squall was winning her sixth consecutive race when posting the mild upset over Azeri by a length in the La Canada.
Summer Colony's streak ended when she ran second to Debby Oxley's top-class FOREST SECRETS in the Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream Park on March 2. In her lone start since then, Summer Colony won a nose victory over Sam-Son Farm's four-year-old filly DANCETHRUTHEDAWN in the Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff on May 17. Summer Colony's next probable start is the Molly Pitcher Handicap at Monmouth Park on June 29. Official Equibase Past Performances for DANCTHRUTHEDAWN; FOREST SECRETS
Saturday at Churchill Downs, the remarkable five-year-old mare Spain added another major prize to her wonderful record with a 3¼-length victory in the Fleur de Lis Handicap over the course and distance of her 2000 Distaff victory.
The daughter of Thunder Gulch appeared to be going the wrong way earlier this year when second to Azeri in the Santa Margarita and fourth to that rival again in the Apple Blossom. After that race, trainer D. Wayne Lukas brought her back to Churchill Downs and the decision was made to breed Spain. In foal to Storm Cat, she was sent back to Lukas to continue racing. She won the Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap on Kentucky Oaks Day to become the all-time money-winning filly or mare. Saturday's Fleur de Lis tally brought her career earnings to more than $3.5 million.
Edward P. Evans' four-year-old A.P. Indy filly WITH ABILITY finished second to Spain in the talented field, with Dancethruthedawn third as the favorite and Forest Secrets fourth. Spain's connections have not revealed how long she will continue her campaign this year. Official Equibase Past Performances for WITH ABILITY
Six three-year-old fillies have won the Distaff, including Spain and Unbridled Elaine the last two years. Among this year's crop, the division leaders include Select Stable's TAKE CHARGE LADY, Jose de Camargo and partners' FARDA AMIGA, Michael Tabor's BELLA BELLUCCI and Edmund Gann's YOU. Official Equibase Past Performances for TAKE CHARGE LADY; BELLA BELLUCI; FARDA AMIGA; YOU
FRANKEL DEEP IN JOHN DEERE TURF DIVISION, LED BY BEAT HOLLOW; EUROPEAN SEASON HITTING HIGH GEAR
The John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf has been won by European-trained champions nine times in the 18-year history of the Championships, including the last three renewals: Fantastic Light in 2001, Kalanisi (IRE) in 2000 and Daylami (IRE) in 1999.
Last fall at Belmont, Godolphin's Fantastic Light led Irish-trained Milan (GB) home by three-quarters of a length. The closest American-trained rival was Edmund Gann's Timboroa (GB), who finished well back in third after leading by two lengths at the top of the stretch.
Timboroa was trained by Bobby Frankel, and it appears that the trainer's deep and powerful stable might represent America's best chance to turn back another strong team of European-trained raiders in Chicago.
Leading the Frankel-trained Turf prospects is Juddmonte Farms' five-year-old BEAT HOLLOW (GB). The homebred son of Sadler's Wells has stormed to the top of the division this spring with impressive victories in the Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs on Derby Day and the Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Day, only his eighth career start. Official Equibase Past Performances for BEAT HOLLOW (GB)
Beat Hollow was developed in England by trainer Henry Cecil and finished third behind Sinndar (IRE) and Sakhee in the 2000 Epsom Derby. He won the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp later that month but was not seen under silks again until 19 months later, when he won an allowance race at Santa Anita for Frankel in January. In only his other start prior to the Woodford Reserve, he lost a neck decision as the favorite in the Explosive Bid Handicap at Fair Grounds in late March.
Finishing second, two lengths behind Beat Hollow in the Manhattan, was Arthur Appleton's seven-year-old FORBIDDEN APPLE (see Mile Division below), making his first start since Hong Kong in December. Sam-Son Farm's four-year-old STRUT THE STAGE, winner of the Dixie Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Day in his previous start, finished third, a half-length behind the runner-up. Official Equibase Past Performances for FORBIDDEN APPLE; STRUT THE STAGE
Beat Hollow's next major goal will be the Arlington Million at Arlington Park on Aug. 17. At Hollywood Park Saturday, the Frankel team strength was on display in the Charles Whittingham Handicap. He sent out Flaxman Holdings' four-year-old DENON to win the 1¼-mile test by 1¼ lengths and Juddmonte's five-year-old SKIPPING (GB) to finish a close-up third as the uncoupled favorite. Official Equibase Past Performances for DENON; SKIPPING (GB)
Among the biggest surprises of the Breeders' Cup week at Belmont last fall came on Wednesday's entry day when Godolphin opted to enter Sakhee in the Classic rather than the Turf. Now five years old, the Kentucky homebred son of Bahri had never before run on dirt but ran a tremendous race, losing a nose decision in Tiznow's repeat bid.
Sakhee would certainly have been a short-priced favorite over his highly accomplished stable mate Fantastic Light and others in the Turf had he gone in that race. He had won all three of his previous starts that season by wide margins, including the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp by six lengths.
Sakhee has not run since his third-place finish behind Street Cry in the Dubai World Cup. With his stable mate firmly in place as the early favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Godolphin team has the option of pointing Sakhee for the Turf after preparation and racing from the stable's Newmarket yard in England.
The emerging stars of the new crop of European three-year-olds appear to be Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier's entry of HIGH CHAPARRAL (IRE) and HAWK WING, who finished one-two for trainer Aidan O'Brien in the English Derby at Epsom on June 8. The same team won this race last year with Galileo (IRE), who would later finish sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont as the second choice. Official Equibase Past Performances for HAWK WING; HIGH CHAPARRAL (IRE)
The French Derby six days before at Chantilly produced an upset with the Niarchos family's SULAMANI (IRE), a son of Hernando, winning at odds of nearly 20-to-1 and giving trainer Pascal Bary his fifth victory in the race. Gerald Leigh's ACT ONE (GB), trained in France by Jonathan Pease, was the odds-on choice and finished second by 1 1/2 lengths. Official Equibase Past Performances for SULAMANI (IRE); ACT ONE (GB)
Candidates for the John Deere Turf and other World Thoroughbred Championships races are likely to be in action this week in several events to be run during the Royal Ascot meet, June 18-22.
XTRA HEAT, SWEPT OVERBOARD & KONA GOLD WIN ON ROAD BACK TO THE SPRINT AT ARLINGTON PARK
Kenneth Taylor, John E. Salzman, Sr. and partners' four-year-old filly XTRA HEAT, Paul Reddam's SWEPT OVERBOARD and Irwin and Andrew Molasky and trainer Bruce Headley's KONA GOLD finished second, fourth and seventh, respectively, in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last fall at Belmont Park. Official Equibase Past Performances for XTRA HEAT; SWEPT OVERBOARD; KONA GOLD
With David Lanzman's 2001 Sprint winner SQUIRTLE SQUIRT still on the sidelines until later this summer, each of the above won major stakes recently as they gear up for another Breeders' Cup bid at Arlington Park. Xtra Heat, beaten only a half-length by Squirtle Squirt after leading to deep stretch at Belmont, has won four of five starts this year. Official Equibase Past Performances for SQUIRTLE SQUIRT
Purchased as a two-year-old for only $5,000, Xtra Heat won the Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park on the day after the Belmont Stakes (June 9), scoring by a neck under top weight of 127 pounds. The victory was her 21st in 27 career starts and brought her earnings to more than $1.8 million. The daughter of Dixieland Heat is expected to run next in the Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder on July 13.
Swept Overboard rallied from last of 14 early in the Sprint to finish fourth, beaten only one length by Squirtle Squirt. Trained by Craig Dollase, the five-year-old End Sweep horse won the Metropolitan Handicap going one mile at Belmont Park on Memorial Day (May 27).
Now eight years old, Kona Gold also rallied in the Sprint at Belmont but had to settle for seventh, beaten four lengths by Squirtle Squirt. The son of Java Gold was making his fourth start in the Sprint after finishing third (1998), second (1999) and setting a track record when winning the race at Churchill Downs in 2000.
Co-owner and trainer Bruce Headley looks forward to Kona Gold making a record fifth start in the NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint. The Kentucky-bred bay started the season on Sun., June 2 at Hollywood Park by rallying to win the Los Angeles Handicap by 1¼ lengths under top weight of 125 pounds, for his 13th win in only 24 career starts.
Carolyn Chapman and Theresa McArthur's CALLER ONE finished third in the Sprint at Belmont, beaten three-quarters of a length. Trained by James K. Chapman, Jr., the five-year-old son of Phone Trick had won the Dubai Golden Shaheen Stakes early last year and made a return trip in March to capture that race again this year. Official Equibase Past Performances for CALLER ONE
Caller One continued his world tour to Singapore in early May but finished unplaced in his career debut on grass in a sprint at Kranji Race Course on May 11. Jockey Gary Stevens indicated Caller One didn't handle the footing on that course.
The unique route for Caller One's road to the Sprint this year continues in England, with a possible start in the Jubilee Stakes at the Royal Ascot meet on Saturday, June 22. A minor foot problem has left his status for that six-furlong turf dash questionable.
BANKS HILL ON COURSE FOR FILLY & MARE TURF REPEAT BID; ASTRA LEADS WIDE-OPEN AMERICAN DEFENSE TEAM
Juddmonte Farm's BANKS HILL (GB) turned in one of the most compelling performances of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont last fall when the three-year-old filly dashed away to a 5 1/2-length victory in the Filly & Mare Turf under champion French jockey Olivier Peslier. (At press time, Banks Hill finished third behind Grandera [IRE] and Indian Creek [GB] in Wednesday's Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.) Official Equibase Past Performances for BANKS HILL (GB)
The daughter of Danehill is trained in France by legendary horseman Andre Fabre and returned to competition this year at Longchamp on May 19 against male rivals in the Prix d'Ispahan as the 3-to-5 favorite. She ran well but finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the seasoned five-year-old Godolphin runner Best of the Bests (IRE).
Banks Hill is prominent in a particularly strong group of older fillies and mares campaigning in Europe this season that also includes the older fillies REBELLINE (IRE) and AQUARELLISTE (FR) and Godolphin's undefeated three-year-old filly KAZZIA (GER), winner of the English Oaks. Official Equibase Past Performances for REBELLINE (IRE); AQUARELLISTE (FR); KAZZIA (GER)
Lady O'Reilly's four-year-old filly Rebelline, trained by Kevin Prendergast, burst on the world stage this year with her upset victory over Johannesburg in the Gladness Stakes at the Curragh in April. The daughter of Robellino then captured the Tattersalls Gold Cup on May 26 at the Curragh over proven world class male rivals Bach (IRE) and Nayef.
Ecurie Wildenstein's four-year-old filly Aquarelliste was a star last year, winning the French Oaks and finishing second to Sakhee in the Arc for trainer Elie Lellouche. The homebred daughter of Danehill returned to competition on April 28 and beat colts in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp. She is targeted next for the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 30.
The early leader among the American-trained Filly & Mare Turf prospects is Allen Paulson Living Trust's six-year-old mare ASTRA. The daughter of Theatrical (IRE) was a leading candidate for the race last year before a ninth-place finish on soft turf in the Beverly D Stakes at Arlington Park as the odds-on favorite. Official Equibase Past Performances for ASTRA
Trained through last year by Simon Bray, Astra returned this year with trainer Laura de Seroux. Third in her season debut in the Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita in March, Astra then won the Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita in impressive fashion.
Most recently, Astra earned a hard-fought head victory over Bobby Frankel's STARINE (FR) in the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 27 with Green Hills Farm's VOODOO DANCER third, another length behind. This was Astra's second Gamely in a row and her 10th victory in 14 career starts. She is being pointed for another chance in the Beverly D. Official Equibase Past Performances for STARINE (FR); VOODOO DANCER
Voodoo Dancer is a four-year-old daughter of Kingmambo trained by Christophe Clement, who chose not to send her to the 2001 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf but was represented in the race by the favorite, Edouard de Rothschild's ENGLAND'S LEGEND, and Joseph Allen's VOLGA (IRE). England's Legend finished 11th of 12, while Volga rallied from last to finish fifth. Official Equibase Past Performances for ENGLAND'S LEGEND (FR); VOLGA (IRE)
Clement has both Volga and England's Legend in training this year for another possible Breeders' Cup run as well as Voodoo Dancer and other prospects for the Filly & Mare Turf. Volga is a four-year-old daughter of Caerleon and won her season debut in allowance company last week at Belmont Park. England's Legend, a five-year-old mare by two-time Mile winner Lure, won the Beverly D last year and is expected to make her 2002 return soon.
THE 'ROCK' RISES IN EUROPE; FORBIDDEN APPLE RETURNS; MILE DIVISION WIDE OPEN AS USUAL
Of the six divisions open to older horses at the World Thoroughbred Championships, candidates for the Mile seem to be the most difficult to identify by late spring or early summer, particularly since few of the major events for the division's older horses have been run in America or Europe.
In Europe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Susan Magnier's three-year-old colt ROCK OF GIBRALTAR (IRE) completed a rare sweep of the English and Irish 2000 Guineas in his last two starts. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, the son of Danehill added another major prize to his resume Tuesday in the St. James Palace at Royal Ascot. Official Equibase Past Performances for ROCK OF GIBRALTAR (IRE)
Arthur Appleton's seven-year-old FORBIDDEN APPLE appears to be setting out on a similarly unique course toward another Breeders' Cup. Last year he finished second in the Mile to Val Royal (FR) at Belmont.
Trained by Christophe Clement, Forbidden Apple won his 2001 season debut in the 10-furlong Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Day and surfaced again this year in the race, finishing second to Beat Hollow in his first start since the Hong Kong Mile in mid-December.
The son of Pleasant Colony, effective at 10 furlongs, has failed to demonstrate he can go the 12-furlong distance of the Turf. The half-brother to Paradise Creek and Wild Event may be pointed to the Arlington Million but could be turned back in distance in time for the Mile in the fall.
Two older horses in Europe who contested the Mile last year are expected to make another bid in the race at Arlington. Godolphin's NOVERRE was favored under Frankie Dettori but finished seventh. Susan Magnier and Satish Sanan's BACH (IRE) was third as a longshot under Michael Kinane, beaten less than a length for the place. Official Equibase Past Performances for NOVERRE
Other American-trained veterans of the 2001 Mile expected to go for another appearance include Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum's IRISH PRIZE (4th). Jayeff "B" Stables' NAVESINK (5th), Gary Tanaka's SARAFAN (8th) and possibly Albert Fried, Jr.'s AFFIRMED SUCCESS (11th). Official Equibase Past Performances for IRISH PRIZE; NAVESINK; SARAFAN; AFFIRMED SUCCESS
BREEDERS' CUP WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS OFFICIAL LEADING POINT EARNERS THROUGH JUNE 16, 2002
The following are World Thoroughbred Rankings for the top 10 horses in each racing division for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, to be held October 26 at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. The World Thoroughbred Rankings are established by an international panel of racing secretaries and handicappers. Rankings are determined by an analysis of the horses' past performances in graded and group stakes races around the world through the date of ranking. The rankings will be published weekly through October 15.
The rankings will be part of the criteria used to determine horses' qualifications to participate in the World Thoroughbred Championships. In the event that a Breeders' Cup race is oversubscribed, the rankings will complement the Breeders' Cup point system for performance in American graded stakes races in establishing the fields of runners.
The rankings currently reflect six of the eight Breeders' Cup divisions: Distaff, Filly & Mare Turf, Mile, Sprint, Turf and Classic. The Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies divisional rankings will commence in late summer.
For a rankings list that includes owners, breeders and jockeys, go to www.ntra.com.
JOHN DEERE TURF DIVISION
FILLY & MARE TURF DIVISION
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