BREEDERS' CUP NOTES
|Contact: Jim Gluckson, NTRA, (212) 907-9284
Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Newsletter
DISTAFF DIVISION IN ACTION AT DELAWARE PARK & BELMONT PARK THIS WEEKEND ON ESPN'S "ROAD TO THE WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS"
The 65th running of $600,000 Delaware Handicap, a 1¼-mile race for fillies and mares, will be the centerpiece of a live "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" series telecast on ESPN2 Sunday from 5:00-6:00 p.m. ET. The program also will feature the $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Tape-delay coverage of Saturday's $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park and $250,000 Delaware Oaks are also on the program schedule. Both the Delaware Handicap and the Coaching Club American Oaks are likely to produce contenders for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Arlington Park.
Sunday's Delaware Handicap is expected to attract a deep and accomplished field led by Joseph Graffeo's TWO ITEM LIMIT, George Krikorian's STARRER, Herbert Schwartz's CRITICAL EYE and one or more of trainer Mark Hennig's prospects, most likely Edward P. Evans's SUMMER COLONY. Official Equibase Past Performances for TWO ITEM LIMIT; STARRER; CRITICAL EYE; SUMMER COLONY
Hennig's other nominees include Evans's WITH ABILITY, TAP DANCE and UNRESTRAINED. Summer Colony may be the strongest of the group, as the four-year-old daughter of Summer Colony comes off a strong second-place finish in the Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park on June 29, behind Atelier, with Spain third. Official Equibase Past Performances for WITH ABILITY; TAP DANCE; UNRESTRAINED
Summer Colony closed out her 2001 season with a victory in the Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct in December and won her first start this year in the La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita in early February. In the La Canada, she defeated Azeri, who went on to be top-ranked in the Distaff Division of the World Thoroughbred Rankings, with four consecutive Grade I victories.
Two Item Limit is back for another campaign after finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Belmont last fall as a 32-to-1 longshot, beaten only 1¼ lengths by Unbridled Elaine. Trained by Stephen L. DiMauro, four-year-old Two Item Limit finished third last out behind Mark Hennig-trained Raging Fever in the Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont on June 22.
Starrer finished fifth in the Distaff last year behind Atelier in fourth, beaten less than three lengths. Winner of the Bayakoa Handicap in mid-December, the four-year-old daughter of Dynaformer was later transferred from trainer David Hofmans to John Shirreffs. In her first and only start this year, she finished third behind Azeri and Affluent in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 22.
Critical Eye finished eighth in the Distaff last fall for trainer Scott Schwartz, beaten by only eight lengths. A five-year-old daughter of Dynaformer, Critical Eye won the Hempstead Handicap at Belmont last year, but finished sixth in the 2002 renewal of the same race, which has since been renamed for the late Ogden Phipps.
Other possible starters in the Delaware Handicap include WinStar Farm's POMPEII, Skara Glen Stables' QUIET LAKE, Eugene Ford's local favorite YOUR OUT and one of three Sam-Son Farms nominees-DANCETHRUTHEDAWN, CATCHTHERING and MOUNTAIN ANGEL. Official Equibase Past Performances for POMPEII; QUIET LAKE; YOUR OUT; DANCETHRUTHEDAWN; CATCHTHERING; MOUNTAIN ANGEL
ROAD TO THE WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS
A listing of the upcoming major stakes races this weekend:
ROAD TO THE BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC
July 20 - $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown. Run at 1 1/8 miles for 3yos.
ROAD TO THE JOHN DEERE BREEDERS' CUP TURF
July 21 - $250,000 Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park. Run at 1½ miles on turf for 3yos & up.
July 20 - $225,000 American Derby at Arlington Park. Run at 1 3/16 miles on turf for 3yos.
July 21 - $300,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes at Woodbine. Run at 1 3/8 miles on turf for 3yos & up.
July 21 - $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup Stakes at Delaware Park. Run at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3yos.
ROAD TO THE BREEDERS' CUP DISTAFF
July 21 - $600,000 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park. Run at 1¼ miles for fillies and mares (see preview above).
July 20 - $250,000 Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park. Run at 1 1/16 miles for 3yo fillies.
July 20 - $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park. Run at 1½ miles for 3yo fillies.
MAJOR STAKES RECAP JULY 13-14
Race: $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (GI), 3yo & up, 1¼ miles
Road to the Breeders' Cup Classic - Sunday's 63rd running of the Hollywood Gold Cup looked like an opportunity for Stronach Stable's five-year-old MILWAUKEE BREW to confirm the form of his victories in the Santa Anita Handicap and Californian this year. However, the Bobby Frankel-trained son of Wild Again will have to wait for another day after finishing third behind Ren-Mar Farm's SKY JACK, who won a hard-fought nose victory over John P. Reddam's MOMENTUM. Trained by Doug O'Neill, Sky Jack is a six-year-old California-bred gelding by Jaklin Klugman that survived several surgeries and a life-threatening illness that sidelined him for 14 months. The charismatic roan/gray finished last of 14 in the Santa Anita Handicap in his second start back. Nine weeks later, Sky Jack won the Mervyn LeRoy at Hollywood on May 12 in his last start. Craig Dollase trains four-year-old Momentum, a son of Nureyev that finished third to Milwaukee Brew last out in the Californian. Momentum's bold bid in the Gold Cup was unsuccessful against Sky Jack and Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., who was looking for his record ninth Gold Cup victory. For Dollase, it was another tough loss in the Gold Cup: Last year, Futural crossed the wire first for Dollase but was disqualified and placed third behind the Frankel-trained entry of Aptitude and Skimming. Milwaukee Brew, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, lagged well behind the field until the far turn, and his mild bid left him three lengths behind the top two at the finish. Official Equibase Past Performances for MILWAUKEE BREW; SKY JACK; MOMENTUM
Race: $500,000 Swaps Stakes (GII), 3yos, 1 1/8 miles
Road to the Breeders' Cup Classic - Trudy McCaffery, John Toffan and partners' three-year-old CAME HOME didn't seem to miss regular saddle partner Chris McCarron when he won Sunday's Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park. Jockey Mike Smith guided the homebred son of Gone West to a score over Columbine Stable's LIKE A HERO in the field of seven three-year-olds. Came Home has been beaten only twice in 10 career starts: In last year's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile he placed seventh, and in the 2002 Kentucky Derby he came in sixth. The Kentucky homebred bounced back from the Derby for a solid tally in the Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood on June 23 in a prep for the Swaps. Came Home became the third winner of the Swaps for trainer Paco Gonzalez and owner-breeders Toffan and McCaffery, following Bien Bien in 1992 and Free House in 1997. Gonzalez indicated future options to be considered were the Jim Dandy (Aug. 4) and King's Bishop (Aug. 25) at Saratoga or a turf stakes. Official Equibase Past Performances for CAME HOME; LIKE A HERO
Race: $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (GII), 3yo & up, 1 3/8 mile (turf)
Road to the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf - Michael and Lynn Shanley's four-year-old WHITMORE'S CONN posted the biggest victory of his career Saturday under Shaun Bridgmohan with a 15-to-1 upset in the Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park. Juddmonte Farms' four-year-old STAGING POST, trained by Bobby Frankel, finished 1 3/4 lengths back in second in his first start since finishing second in the San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita on April 21. Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum's MOON SOLITAIRE (IRE) finished third, with Allen Paulson Living Trust's STARTAC fourth in his East Coast debut for trainer Bill Mott. Whitmore's Conn is trained by Randy Schulhofer, who is looking ahead to a possible invitation to the 12-furlong Sword Dancer at Saratoga on Aug. 10. Official Equibase Past Performances for WHITMORE'S CONN; STAGING POST; MOON SOLITAIRE (IRE); STARTAC
Race: $500,000 Virginia Derby, 3yo, 1¼ miles (turf)
Road to the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf - Peter Vegso's ORCHARD PARK and Fusao Sekiguchi's FLYING DASH (GER) have been the most accomplished three-year-olds on turf this season and were the clear favorites in Saturday's Virginia Derby going 1¼ miles at Colonial Downs Saturday. With Orchard Park's regular rider Jerry Bailey in Miami for the Princess Rooney Handicap (see below), Edgar Prado got the call from trainer Bill Mott and rallied to a convincing 1½-length tally over Neil Drysdale-trained Flying Dash. A Florida homebred son of Hennessy, Orchard Park reeled off three straight wins at Gulfstream Park early in the season before his lone setback when third in the Crown Royal American Turf at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day. In his last start prior to Saturday's victory, he rallied from off the pace to capture the Jefferson Cup at Churchill. Flying Dash won two of four starts in Germany last year before being purchased by Sekiguchi, who campaigned 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus with Drysdale. In just two U.S. starts, the son of Dashing Blade won the Transylvania at Keeneland and the Hawthorne Derby in Chicago. Official Equibase Past Performances for ORCHARD PARK; FLYING DASH (GER)
Race: $150,000 Lexington Stakes (GIII), 3yos, 1¼ miles (turf)
Road to the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf - There seems to be no bottom to the well of turf talent in trainer Bobby Frankel's stable this year. Sunday at Belmont Park, Juddmonte Farms' CHISELLING took every inch of the 10 furlongs in the Lexington Stakes to get up for a nose victory over Dogwood Stable's FINALITY in the field of eight three-year-olds. A son of Woodman out of Grade I stakes-winning Toussaud, Chiselling is a three-quarters brother to Juddmonte's 2000 Arlington Million winner and current stablemate Decarchy and half-brother to the outstanding filly Honest Lady, runner-up to Kona Gold in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Sprint. The Lexington was Chiselling's stakes debut in only his sixth career start. Official Equibase Past Performances for CHISELLING; FINALITY
Race: $500,000 (est.) Irish Oaks (G1), 3yo fillies, 1½ miles (turf)
Road to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf - Before Sunday's Irish Oaks at The Curragh, handicappers had virtually conceded the race to QUARTER MOON (IRE) as just another in the growing string of classic and big race wins for the Coolmore team trained by Aidan O'Brien. Owned by Susan Magnier and Mrs. Richard Henry, Quarter Moon (IRE), runner-up in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and English Oaks at Epsom, was 4-to-5 favorite in the tote. However, Mrs. Jim Bolger's MARGARULA (IRE) rallied past the favorite in the late going for a one-length upset at 33-to-1 under jockey Kevin Manning. A daughter of Doyoun (IRE), her best showing previously was a fourth-place effort in the Group 2 Pretty Polly at The Curragh. Trainer Jim Bolger indicated the longshot winner would likely be seen next in the Yorkshire Oaks at York on Aug. 21, a race open to older fillies and mares. Official Equibase Past Performances for QUARTER MOON (IRE); MARGARULA (IRE)
Race: $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (GII), f & m, six furlongs
Road to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint - Ken Taylor and partners' four-year-old filly XTRA HEAT lost little if any of her following in defeat Saturday in the Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder Race Course when she came in second to Edward P. Evans's GOLD MOVER. Xtra Heat, the 2-to-5 favorite, had beaten four-year-old Gold Mover in each of three previous meetings going back to their juvenile campaigns, the last time by a neck in the Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont at 6½ furlongs on June 9. Trained by co-owner John E. Salzman, Sr., Xtra Heat carried top weight of 127 pounds in the Vagrancy to Gold Mover's 115. The same spread was in play for the Princess Rooney Saturday, but Xtra Heat, ridden by Harry Vega, was pushed through a fast first quarter in :21 2/5 by Robert Bakerman's VAGUE MEMORY with Jerry Bailey third on Gold Mover. Xtra Heat showed her remarkable second spurt at the top of the stretch, but this time Gold Mover's late surge was enough to wear down the Eclipse champion. Salzman reported his charge appeared none the worse for wear for the effort in which the weight spread and very hot and humid conditions may have come into play. Trained by Mark Hennig, Gold Mover was the clear second choice and has been a top-level runner throughout her career. The Kentucky homebred daughter of Gold Fever came into the Princess Rooney off a first-place finish in the Grade I Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Derby Day before being disqualified. Hennig, whose arsenal of talented older fillies this year also includes Summer Colony, Raging Fever, With Ability, Mystic Lady, Tap Dance and others, indicated that the seven-furlong Ballerina at Saratoga on Aug. 25 could be a target for Gold Mover and Raging Fever. Salzman also has mentioned the Ballerina as a possible summer goal for Xtra Heat, who has won more than $1.9 million since being purchased at auction as a two-year-old for $5,000. Official Equibase Past Performances for XTRA HEAT; GOLD MOVER; VAGUE MEMORY
Race: $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap, 3yo & up, six furlongs
Road to the Breeders' Cup Sprint - Overbrook Farm's four-year-old Snow Ridge was an early season leader in the Sprint Division for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas before injury forced the son of Tabasco Cat into retirement. But Lukas still has a leader in the division in Bob and Beverly Lewis' versatile four-year-old ORIENTATE, who won Saturday's Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder by six lengths under jockey Mike Smith over David and Rita Milch's five-year-old gelding ECHO EDDIE. Carl Grether's four-year-old CRAFTY C.T. was the 9-to-10 favorite under jockey Jerry Bailey in the six-furlong dash but could do no better than third in a photo behind Darrell Vienna-trained Echo Eddie. Orientate finished next to last in the Breeders' Cup Classic last fall at Belmont after winning the Indiana Derby. Following Orientate's win in the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup going seven furlongs on the main track at Keeneland in April, Lukas put him on turf for two starts, one of which resulted in a fourth-place finish in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park. Just two weeks before his tally in the Smile, the $250,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase was turned back to 6½ furlongs on the main track for the Aristides Handicap at Churchill, which he won by 4½ lengths. Assistant trainer Mike Maker indicated he expected for Orientate to be kept in sprints in the immediate future. Official Equibase Past Performances for ORIENTATE; ECHO EDDIE; CRAFTY C.T.
WORLD THOROUGHBRED RANKINGS
(through July 14, 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 July 7 to July 14
GOLD CUP WINNER SKY JACK RISES IN CLASSIC RANKINGS
XTRA HEAT, SQUIRTLE SQUIRT TIED ATOP SPRINT DIVISION
CLASSIC - SKY JACK bolts to a fifth-place tie with Belmont Stakes winner Sarava, following his courageous win in the Hollywood Cup. CAME HOME, winner of Sunday's Swaps Stakes, retains the sixth spot, now tied with Buddha, Medaglia d'Oro and Milwaukee Brew, the latter falling two spots after finishing third in the Gold Cup. Harlan's Holiday drops out of the Top 10.
JOHN DEERE TURF - UNCHANGED
DISTAFF - UNCHANGED
SPRINT - With Caller One sidelined, XTRA HEAT and SQUIRTLE SQUIRT now share the top ranking in this division. Following his victory in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder, ORIENTATE moves from eighth to a sixth-place tie with AFFIRMED SUCCESS and CONTINENT (GB), the latter winning the group I July Cup at Newmarket on July 11. DISTURBINGTHEPEACE, winner of the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup on July 6, enters the Top 10 for the first time, tied for ninth place with Nuclear Debate.
FILLY AND MARE TURF - Unchanged
MILE - Unchanged
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