Thursday, October 27, 2005 Contact: Breeders’ Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017
Rookie Horsemen Continue to Be Big Presence at Breeders’ Cup
Being named Rookie of the Year in America’s round of professional sports is always a hallowed moment for the recipient, but numerous trainers and jockeys have their minds set on being Rookie of the Day during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Saturday at New York’s Belmont Park Saturday.
Rookie honors will go to any trainer or jockey who wins in his or her first start in the Breeders’ Cup. In the running are 10 trainers and four jockeys, all taking their first shots on America’s premier racing day of any year.
Any trainer who wins in an initial effort this year will join a long list of rookie winners from the inception of the Breeders’ Cup in 1984 that includes Bill Badgett Jr., Pascal Bary, Clive Brittain, Patrick Byrne, Laura de Seroux, Jim Ryerson, John Gosden, Roger Laurin, Richard Small, Vincent O’Brien, John Oxx and last year’s Don Chatlos Jr. and Jeremy Noseda, both winners with their only entrants.
Chatlos’ Singletary captured the Mile and is back to defend his title in this year’s renewal, and Noseda’s Wilko was the surprise winner of the Juvenile. Overall, there have been 27 trainers who have saddled a winner in their first try.
In jockey ranks, the number is dramatically smaller. Only eight riders have managed a victory in their first outing: Walter Guerra, Don MacBeth, John Murtaugh, Craig Perret, Yves Saint-Martin, Ray Sibille, Thierry Thulliez and last year’s Javier Castellano, who booted home Ghostzapper in the Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge.
On the trainer side, there will be at least one first-timer in six of the eight races. Only the Mile and the Turf will be rookie-less, and the Turf was on the list before Motivator, trained by Michael H. Bell, went on the shelf with an injury. Here’s the way the races break down:
Juvenile Fillies: Ralph Ziadie, Along the Sea; Anthony Mitchell, Original Spin.
Filly & Mare Turf: David Wachman, Luas Line.
Sprint: Charles Simon, Battle Won; Kristin Mulhall, Imperialism; Gary Mandella, Taste of Paradise. Two of the rookies here – Mulhall and Mandella – would be newsmakers if they were to win. Mulhall, at 23, would become the youngest trainer to win, supplanting Craig Dollase, who won at age 27 with Reraise in the 1998 Sprint; and only the third woman trainer in the winner’s ranks. Mandella would be half of the father-son team that is headed by Richard Mandella, winner of six Breeders’ Cup races. The younger Mandella also would become the first analyst-turned-trainer to win, in contrast to Frank Lyons, who went from backstretch to broadcasting.
Distaff: Andrew Leggio Jr., Happy Ticket; Richard Violette Jr., Yolanda B. Too.
Classic: Catherine Day-Phillips, A Bit O’ Gold; Gerard Butler, John Sullivan.
Jockeys who are trying to win in their first try are Chris De Carlo, Stewart Elliott, Thierry Gillet, and Jono Jones.