BREEDERS' CUP NOTES
|Contact: Jim Gluckson, NTRA, (212) 907-9284
Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Newsletter
MILWAUKEE BREW TOPS HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP SUNDAY AT HOLLYWOOD PARK AS 'ROAD TO THE WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS' SERIES ON ESPN NETWORKS GETS UNDERWAY
Stronach Stable's five-year-old MILWAUKEE BREW is expected to be the star attraction in Sunday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park when the 1 1/4-mile test for three-year-olds and up is featured on a one-hour telecast from 6:00-7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Official Equibase Past Performances for MILWAUKEE BREW
This 63rd running of the Gold Cup is the focus of the first of 16 programs scheduled for the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" series on ESPN Networks, showcasing major events leading up to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Arlington Park in Chicago.
Milwaukee Brew, fourth in the latest Classic Division World Thoroughbred Rankings, has flourished in California this year since being placed with Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, winning the Santa Anita Handicap in early March by four lengths and earning a hard-fought victory in the Californian at Hollywood Park on June 15.
The son of Wild Again campaigned in the East the last two seasons with Stronach trainers Joe Orseno and Tino Attard but raced in the shadow of stablemate stars Macho Uno, Red Bullet, Thunder Blitz and Perfect Sting. Milwaukee Brew's first start for Frankel came at Fair Grounds in February, finishing sixth in the Whirlaway Handicap after a layoff of more than six months.
Milwaukee Brew still has to prove his standing in the Classic division, which also includes Frankel-trained stars Lido Palace (CHI) (see Suburban Handicap below) and Strub Stakes winner Mizzen Mast.
Milwaukee Brew is expected to face a new challenge Sunday in Gary and Mary West's four-year-old DOLLAR BILL, traveling from Kentucky for the Gold Cup. Trained by Dallas Stewart, the son of Peaks and Valleys finished second last out to division leader Street Cry (IRE) in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Official Equibase Past Performances for DOLLAR BILL
Other accomplished rivals are expected to include Ren-Mar Thoroughbred's SKY JACK, the 5 1/2-length winner of the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap at Hollywood on May 12, and Paul Reddam's MOMENTUM, third in the Californian, beaten only a head and a length by Milwaukee Brew. Official Equibase Past Performances for SKY JACK; MOMENTUM
Craig Dollase trains Momentum, a four-year-old Nureyev colt that raced in England last year, and, in his second U.S. start, won the Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood, defeating Stronach Stable's Euchre.
Dollase sent out Futural to finish first in last year's Gold Cup, with Bobby Frankel-trained Aptitude and Skimming second and third. Futural was disqualified and placed third for bothering Skimming in the stretch run. Other Gold Cup winners during the Breeders' Cup era include Ferdinand, Marquetry, Best Pal, Cigar, Gentleman, Skip Away and Real Quiet.
Sunday's telecast also will include taped coverage of the $500,000 Swaps Stakes, featuring Santa Anita Derby winner Came Home.
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ROAD TO THE WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS
A listing of the upcoming major stakes races this weekend:
ROAD TO THE BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC
ROAD TO THE JOHN DEERE BREEDERS' CUP TURF
ROAD TO THE BREEDERS' CUP FILLY & MARE TURF
ROAD TO THE BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT
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MAJOR STAKES RECAP JULY 4-7
Race: $500,000 Suburban Handicap (GII), 3yo & up, 1 1/4 miles
Road to the Breeders' Cup Classic - Godolphin Racing, Inc.'s four-year-old E DUBAI went wire-to-wire to win Saturday's Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park. Jockey John R. Velazquez let E Dubai bound out on the lead early, setting a moderate pace (48 3/5, 1:12 4/5) as favorites LIDO PALACE (CHI) and MACHO UNO took up rating positions within striking distance. E Dubai had plenty left in the tank when they made their bids nearing the stretch, holding both off for the three-quarter-length victory over Amerman Stables' Lido Palace, with Stronach Stable's Macho Uno another length back in third. E Dubai finished a dull fourth in the Brooklyn Handicap on a sloppy track in his last outing and wasn't considered for the Suburban until Brooklyn winner Seeking Daylight was forced out of the race by injury. Second in the Travers and Super Derby last year, the son of Mr. Prospector was making only his second start of the season and is racing in the shadow of Godolphin stablemate Street Cry (IRE), the Stephen Foster Handicap winner being pointed for the Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 3. Assistant trainer Tom Albertrani suggested that the two Godolphin handicap stars will be kept apart for the immediate future. Bobby Frankel-trained five-year-old Lido Palace, winner of the Whitney and Woodward Stakes last year, was making only his second start this year and first since Santa Anita in early February. Trainer Joe Orseno attributed Macho Uno's defeat to a racing surface that he feels gave an unfair advantage to front-runners. Macho Uno won the Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs last out on June 1. Both Lido Palace and Macho Uno are expected to point toward a clash with Street Cry in the Whitney. Official Equibase Past Performances for E DUBAI; LIDO PALACE (CHI); MACHO UNO
Race: $150,000 Dwyer Stakes (GII), 3yos, 1 1/16 miles
Road to the Breeders' Cup Classic - For the second time over the weekend at Belmont Park, jockey John R. Velazquez took advantage of a mount with early speed and a racing surface that favors front-runners. First came E Dubai in the Suburban Handicap on Saturday, and on Sunday it was Edward P. Evans' three-year-old GYGISTAR in the Dwyer Stakes. Taking command early in the 1 1/16-mile test, the son of Prospector's Music opened up a six-length lead in mid-stretch and held on for a half-length victory over William Condren's NOTHING FLAT. The Dwyer was Gygistar's first trip beyond seven furlongs, extending the gelding's record to five victories and one second in six starts. Prior to the Dwyer, he won the Hallandale Breeders' Cup Handicap at Gulfstream and the Riva Ridge Stakes on Belmont Day. Hennig indicated that Gygistar would make his next start in the seven-furlong King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24, while he did not rule out a possible start around two turns before that. Official Equibase Past Performances for GYGISTAR; NOTHING FLAT
Race: $500,000 United Nations Handicap (GI), 3yo & up, 1 3/8 miles (turf)
Road to the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf - Augustine Stable's seven-year-old gelding WITH ANTICIPATION finished first by a head in Monmouth's United Nations Handicap last summer, but was disqualified and Bobby Frankel-trained Senure declared the winner. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard sent With Anticipation out for another try at the United Nations Saturday, and he got to the wire first again, this time by a neck over Flaxman Holdings' four-year-old DENON, trained by Bobby Frankel. This time, the result stood official, putting With Anticipation on the road to the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, a race in which he finished seventh last year. A son of Relaunch, With Anticipation was a main track performer earlier in his career and has found new life the last two years in grass distance races. With Anticipation set a course record with the victory over Denon, winner of the Hollywood Derby last year and the Charles Whittingham Handicap most recently at Hollywood Park. With Anticipation won Saratoga's 12-furlong Sword Dancer Invitational last summer and will be pointed for the renewal on Aug. 10. Official Equibase Past Performances for WITH ANTICIPATION; DENON
Race: $500,000 (est.) Coral Eclipse Stakes, 3yo & up, 1 1/4+ mile (turf)
Road to the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf - Mrs. John Magnier's three-year-old HAWK WING was Coolmore trainer Aidan O'Brien's top hope for the English classics this spring and was favored in both the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Epsom Derby. Both times the Kentucky-bred son of Woodman had to settle for second behind Coolmore-owned, O'Brien-trained stablemates: Rock of Gibraltar (IRE) in the Guineas and High Chapparal (IRE) at Epsom. Saturday at Sandown, Hawk Wing won the Coral Eclipse by 2 1/2 lengths over stablemate SHOLOKHOV (IRE). A $300,000 Saratoga yearling purchase, Hawk Wing, fifth in the John Deere Turf Division of the World Thoroughbred Rankings, might be seen next in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot on July 27 and/or the Juddmonte International at York on Aug. 20. Official Equibase Past Performances for HAWK WING; SHOLOKHOV (IRE)
Race: $224,625 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Handicap (GIII), 3yo & up, 1 1/2 miles (turf)
Road to the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf - A field of nine older horses got a chance Saturday to try the course and 12-furlong distance of the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf to be run at Arlington Park. Eight-year-old CETEWAYO appears to have found his best form in several years, rallying from well off the pace to win a neck victory under jockey Rene Douglas in the Stars and Stripes Handicap. Trained by Michael Dickinson, the Kentucky homebred son of His Majesty also set a course record on firm ground in his fifth start this year. Winless in four starts last year after making only two in 2000, Cetewayo came out running early this season with a tally in the Gulfstream Breeders' Cup Handicap in mid-February. In his three starts before Saturday, the confirmed stretch-runner finished second in the Pan American at Gulfstream, third in the Elkhorn at Keeneland and won the Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park. Cetewayo, who was running for a $13,000 claiming price on dirt as a three-year-old in 1997, was switched to turf and became a major player in the division the next year, winning the Bowling Green at Belmont and the Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Second in the Turf Classic that fall, he finished sixth behind Buck's Boy in the 1998 Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs. He now will be pointed for another run at the Sword Dancer on Aug. 10, four years after he won the race. Official Equibase Past Performances for CETEWAYO
Race: $250,000 New York Handicap (GII), f & m, 1 1/4 miles (turf)
Road to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf - Arthur Hancock III's four-year-old homebred filly OWSLEY looked hopelessly trapped and last of seven nearing the stretch of the New York Handicap on July 4 at Belmont. However, jockey Edgar Prado found a seam and drove his mount through to score by a neck over Joseph Allen's favored VOLGA (IRE). Trained by Randy Schulhofer, Owsley made the same late bid last out in the Sheepshead Bay Handicap on June 1 but finished fourth, beaten only a half-length. In the New York Handicap, Jed Cohen's mare JANET (GB), running for trainer Darrell Vienna, held a slim lead at the furlong mark and finished third, beaten a half-length by the runner-up. This victory is the first in a New York stakes race since 40-year-old Randy Schulhofer took over from his Hall of Fame father Scotty, who retired last year. Randy indicated that the options ahead for the daughter of Harlan include the Diana Handicap at Saratoga on July 27 or the Beverly D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 17. A daughter of Caerleon trained by Christophe Clement, Volga rallied for fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf behind Banks Hill (GB). The New York Handicap was only her second start back this year. Volga also will be pointed to the Diana or Beverly D. Official Equibase Past Performances for OWSLEY; VOLGA (IRE); JANET (GB)
Race: $500,000 American Oaks, 3yo fillies; 1 1/4 miles (turf)
Road to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf - With her victory in Saturday's first running of the American Oaks at Hollywood Park, Michael Bello's three-year-old filly MEGAHERTZ (GB) remained undefeated in five U.S. starts this year for trainer Bobby Frankel. However, the daughter of Pivotal (GB) needed help from the stewards to maintain her perfect American slate. The judges determined that Michael Klein and San Gabriel Investments' DUBLINO had come out to bother Megahertz as she tried to pass on the inside in the stretch. Megahertz has won only one moderate race at Deauville in eight starts in France but has embraced American racing since joining the Frankel barn this winter. Megahertz's race was all the more impressive considering she was racing last of 14 after the first quarter of the 10-furlong test. Dublino, trained by Laura De Seroux, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Lear Fan, was making only her third career start and her American debut. Under Andre Fabre's tutelage, she won her debut last fall in France at Saint-Cloud and finished second in the Prix de la Grotte at Longchamp in mid-April. Dublino may have been disqualified in the American Oaks, but the Breeders' Cup prospects for De Seroux's stable remain bright. Dublino's stablemates include Azeri, the four-year-old filly now a heavy favorite for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, and six-year-old Astra, a leading contender for the Filly & Mare Turf, a race that also might be the target for Dublino. Official Equibase Past Performances for MEGAHERTZ (GB); DUBLINO
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Race: $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap (GII), 3yos & up, seven furlongs
Road to the Breeders' Cup Sprint - Michael Tabor's five-year-old LEFT BANK finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont Park last fall, hitting the wire only 2 1/2 lengths behind winner Squirtle Squirt. The son of French Deputy is on top of his game this year, winning the Tom Fool Handicap on July 4 by more than six lengths in a track record for seven furlongs under jockey John R. Velazquez. Left Bank won the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct last November. Left Bank, fourth in the Sprint Division of the World Thoroughbred Rankings, returned to competition this year on May 11 by winning the six-furlong Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont. In his only other start prior to the Tom Fool, the confirmed stalker got into a speed duel early in the Metropolitan Handicap and tired to fifth. The versatile winner of nearly $1 million captured the nine-furlong Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct late in his three-year-old campaign, and trainer Todd Pletcher indicates that an option for the summer might be the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 3 at 1 1/8 miles. On the Tom Fool, Albert Fried, Jr.'s eight-year-old Breeders' Cup veteran AFFIRMED SUCCESS made a good bid nearing the stretch in the Tom Fool but had to settle for second. Official Equibase Past Performances for LEFT BANK; AFFIRMED SUCCESS
Race: $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Hcp. (GII), 3yo & up, 7 fur.
Road to the Breeders' Cup Sprint - KONA GOLD's trainer and co-owner Bruce Headley said, "That's what weight does," after the eight-year-old finished sixth as the 4-to-5 favorite in the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap on Saturday at Hollywood Park. The 2000 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse champion, shouldering topweight of 126 pounds in the seven-furlong test, tired in the final furlong as David and Rita Milch's 16-to-1 longshot DISTURBINGTHEPEACE went wire-to-wire for a three-length victory under jockey Victor Espinoza in a fast time of 1:21. Fog City Stable's D'WILDCAT finished second, with Sid and Jenny Craig's seven-year-old MELLOW FELLOW third. Kona Gold is heading for a possible fifth start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. The son of Java Gold won his season debut carrying 125 pounds in the six-furlong Los Angeles Handicap on June 2, but the weight and additional distance may have conspired against him in the Triple Bend. Disturbingthepeace scored his fourth straight victory for trainer Darrell Vienna. It was the four-year-old gelding's first start in a stakes race. Milch and Vienna have another top-class sprinter in Echo Eddie, runner-up to Caller One in the rich Golden Shaheen in Dubai and a probable starter in next Saturday's Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder in Miami. Official Equibase Past Performances for KONA GOLD; DISTURBINGTHEPEACE; D'WILDCAT; MELLOW FELLOW
Race: $292,500 Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap (GII); 3yos & up, one mile (turf)
Road to the Breeders' Cup Mile - Flaxman Holdings, Ltd.'s GOOD JOURNEY came to the United States in 2000 as a maiden after three starts in France for trainer Jonathan Pease. The lightly raced son of Nureyev is making up for lost time this year, winning the Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs on the Fourth of July by 1 1/4 lengths under jockey Pat Day in only his 11th career start. Mike Cloonan's turf sprint star MORLUC finished second, as Sam-Son Farms' favored STRUT THE STAGE never threatened, finishing in a dead-heat sixth. Six-year-old Good Journey got good late last year for California-based trainer Wally Dollase, winning the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park over Decarchy in late November. Dollase didn't bring him back again until he ran a mile at Churchill on June 15. A half-brother to Breeders' Cup Sprint prospect Aldebaran, Good Journey is targeted for the Breeders' Cup Mile with only a start or two before, possibly including the Atto Mile at Woodbine on Sept. 8. Official Equibase Past Performances for GOOD JOURNEY; MORLUC; STRUT THE STAGE
Race: $111,200 Poker Handicap (GIII), 3yo & up, one mile (turf)
Road to the Breeders' Cup Mile - Amherst Stable and Spruce Pond Stable's four-year-old colt VOLPONI ran well in five starts on turf earlier in his career but won only once. However, his victory in Friday's Poker Handicap, going one mile over a very firm turf course in 1:32 1/5, seems to indicate he's developed an affinity for the turf. His time, which is three-fifths faster than Elusive Quality's record from 1998, also is the world record for the distance on any surface. Trained by Hall of Famer Phil Johnson, Volponi won the Pegasus Handicap last fall on the main track at Meadowlands and several times has shown promise of being a top-tier runner. Winner of a seven-furlong allowance at Belmont in his season debut, the son of Cryptoclearance finished a dull fourth last as the favorite going a mile on the main track at Belmont. The Poker was his first try on turf since finishing fourth in the Lexington at Belmont a year ago. Juddmonte Farms' five-year-old SHIBBOLETH, trained by Bobby Frankel, was the 1-to-2 favorite in the Poker after a brilliant tally in the seven-furlong Jaipur Handicap over the course on May 27. However, the son of Danzig faded in the late going to finish fifth. Johnson said he planned to keep Volponi on turf for the immediate future, with the Bernard Baruch (July 26) or Sword Dancer Invitational (Aug. 8) at Saratoga under consideration. Official Equibase Past Performances for VOLPONI; SHIBBOLETH
WORLD THOROUGHBRED RANKINGS
(through July 7, 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 8.
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 breeders and jockeys, go to www.ntra.com.
JOHN DEERE TURF DIVISION
FILLY & MARE TURF DIVISION
*(T) next to a ranking indicates a tie.
Changes in World Thoroughbred Rankings from June 30 to July 7
LIDO PALACE MOVES UP IN CLASSIC RANKINGS
LEFT BANK SURGES IN SPRINT DIVISION
CLASSIC - Lido Palace (CHI) moves into the Top 10, following his second-place finish in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park. Macho Uno, third in the Suburban, drops out of the Top 10.
JOHN DEERE TURF - With Anticipation takes ninth place by himself with his win in the United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park. Zindabad falls to 10th place.
DISTAFF - With the retirement of Spain, Bella Bellucci moves back into Top 10, tied for ninth place with Summer Colony.
SPRINT - Left Bank improves from eighth to a fourth-place tie with Swept Overboard after his impressive victory in the Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont Park. Affirmed Success, second in the Tom Fool, falls from fifth to seventh place. Kona Gold drops from a second-place tie to sixth place after finishing sixth in the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup at Hollywood Park. Malhub drops from seventh to eighth place.
FILLY AND MARE TURF - Unchanged
MILE - Unchanged
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