Win and You're In, Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Update: 6 Tickets Punched ...

As the 'Win and You're In' Breeders' Cup Challenge Series heats up, we have little more than a month to go ... Turfwriter J.N. Campbell will have regular updates about all those that have punched their ticket to Del Mar come November ...
As the "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge Series heats up, we have little more than a month to go ... Turfwriter J.N. Campbell will have regular updates about all those that have punched their ticket to Del Mar come November ...

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The Breeders' Cup Challenge Series presented by America's Best Racing comprises some of the greatest contests from around the globe. The “purple” and “white” honors each winner by waiving the $150k in entry fees, plus it provides a $10k nomination award and $10k travel allowance for horses stabled outside of California to the Breeders' Cup World Championships. As they like to say … “Win and You’re In” …

At HorseRacing.net/us, we will be reporting on those that earn their spot in early November. Not only will we have you covered with all the selections, but our crack analysis team will offer juicy long shots, along with all the stories from Del Mar! Stay tuned …

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Saturday @ Belmont …

Race 10: Turf, 1½, Jockey Club Derby Invitational S., $1 Million, 3

“Win and You’re In” … Yibir (GB), BC Turf (G1), $4 Million

With a tough set of European runners invading, this BEL distance test looked to be Bolshoi Ballet’s (IRE) #8 race; since favoritism swung Aidan O’Brien’s way in the end. Ryan Moore just needed to “settle” his mount early. Throughout the contest his colt was caught wide for most of the race. Too much “hurry” was unleashed a tad too early … With Tango Tango Tango #1 and Flavien Prat serving as the speedometer, it was Charlie Appleby and the Godolphin homebred, Yibir (GB) #2 who took his time under the patient-handling of Jamie Spencer. Rating towards the rear, the chestnut colt out of Dubawi (IRE) was primed for a sweeping run down the lane, and that is exactly what he delivered a 2+ length victory at odds of 5/2. It was Christophe Clement’s Soldier Rising #4 and Brad Cox’s Slicked Back #7 who rounded out the field. Now, Appleby and Godolphin have options, as they weigh this talented colt’s chances in the celebrated BC Turf.

Already In: Cool Day (ARG), Love (IRE), Chrono Genesis (JPN), Adayar (IRE), Astronaut, Gufo, and St. Mark's Basilica (FR), Imperador (ARG) ...

Races Left: Oct. 3rd L'Arc de Triomphe @Longchamp ...

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Saturday @ Woodbine …

Race 10: Turf, 1 Mile, Ricoh Woodbine Mile S. (G1), $1 Million, 3+

“Win and You’re In” … Town Cruise, BC Fan Duel Turf Mile (G1), $2 Million

In one of North America’s “signature” turf races, one would presume that barns like Mark Casse’s, Brad Cox’s, or Chad Brown’s would have a legitimate chance to win the Grade 1 “Mile” at Woodbine--precedence. On Saturday, it was not to be. Taking money shortly before post time, Town Cruise #1 actioned from 20/1 down to 8/1 before the bell. Breaking nicely, was Daisuke Fukumoto aboard the gelding who went gate-to-wire in fine style. Brandon Greer, who trains, owns, and co-bred this Ontario son of Town Prize was quite the outsider. Setting some honest fractions, Daisuke wrestled the lead away from his competitors, settled on the engine, and took it to the house. Now, needing to be supplemented in order to compete at Del Mar, it will be interesting to see what his home-grown connections decide. As for Casse, Cox, and Brown … being a superb turf trainer … it doesn’t always assure victory.

Already In: Jet Dark (SAF), Succeso (CHI), Smooth Like Strait, Damon Kingly (JPN), Palace Pier (GB) 2x, Alcohol Free (IRE), Got Stormy …

Races Left: Oct. 9 Keeneland Turf Mile @Keeneland …

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Saturday @ Churchill Downs …

Race 8: Dirt, 1 1/16th, Pocahontas S. (G3), $300k, 3F

“Win and You’re In” … Hidden Connection, BC Juvenile Fillies (G1), $2 Million

The 1st of several races, specifically geared for young fillies, the Saturday Night Churchill card saw a good group of 2-yr-olds compete in this Grade 3 for a trio of prizes; namely, purse money, a trip to the BC Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Del Mar, and KY Oaks Points, 10-4-2-1. From the outset, it looked as though Mark Casse’s Lemieux #10 would set the pace in this one. However, it was Bret Calhoun’s Hidden Connection #9 who dogged her track, placing herself just off the lead. Jockey Reylu Gutierrez, a rider whose stock continues to rise at regional tracks from New York to Texas, knew he had a horse under him. At the top of the lane, with the cue given, it was over as the filly, out of Connect for Hidden Brook Farm and Black Type Thoroughbreds, bounded home. The romp paid $5.60 for a $2 win bet, with Mama Rina #2, and Goddess of Fire #2 rounding out the minors. Calhoun said this past week, despite breaking her maiden 1st out at Colonial Downs, that her inexperience would be her greatest weakness. It was no problem for her or Gutierrez in the end, who celebrated his 1st win under the “Twin Spires.” More to come from this talent … on all counts!

Already In: N/A …

Races Left: Oct. 1 Chandelier Stakes @Santa Anita, Oct. 3 The Frizette @Belmont, Oct. 8 Darley Alcibiades @Keeneland …

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Race 9: Dirt, 1 1/16th, Iroquois S. (G3), $300k, 2

“Win and You’re In” … Major General, BC Juvenile (G1), $2 Million

While the female version of this race ended in a punctuating performance, the 2-yr-old colts who contested the Grade 3 Iroquois S. witnessed a different result. Entering the starting gate, the connections knew that not only was a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on the line, but also coveted points that will be applied for entry into the 2022 Kentucky Derby (10-4-2-1). From the outset, it looked as though support for Steve Asmussen’s Stellar Tap #6 would carry his charge through. Jockey Ricardo Santana stuck close to the pair of leaders, but when the time came, he was empty (unlike his maiden victory @The SPA). In the post-script, the runner who had the most mustard was Winstar and Siena Farm’s Major General #8. Trained by HOF-er Todd Pletcher and ridden by veteran Javier Castellano, the colt settled into an excellent striking position near the front. Waiting for the proper time, when the signal was given, the colt out of Constitution responded in-kind. Though an objection was raised by Santana, it was rapidly dispensed with, and Pletcher’s potential prize reigned supreme. Going off at odds of 5/1, he netted his backers the tidy sum of $11.80 for a $2 bet. Is a rematch between these 2 colts scheduled in the future? Just wait …

Already In: N/A …

Races Left: Oct. 1 American Pharoah @Santa Anita, Oct. 2 The Champagne @Belmont, Oct. 9 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity @Keeneland …

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Sunday @ Woodbine …

Race 8: Turf, 1 Mile, Natalma S. (G1), $400k, 2F

“Win and You’re In” … Wild Beauty (GB), BC Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), $1 Million

There were a number of invading jockeys who came to Woodbine over the weekend, but none was as strong when it mattered, as the internationally known Frankie Dettori. Per tradition, he goes “aerial” when he scores, leaping from his mount in the winner’s circle like a kid on a playground. On Sunday afternoon, clad in the “Blue” of Godolphin his job was to guide the Charlie Appleby-trainee Wild Beauty (GB) #5. Going off at 7/5 on the tote, she “hopped” at the start, spotting the field at least ½ a furlong. However, ridden ably by Dettori, he shifted the daughter of Frankel (GB) to the outside, and went to work, picking off competitors. Initially, it was Cardio Princess (JPN) #9 who led for some of the 1:23.11 that it took for this to unfold. Advancing like a freight train, Appleby’s filly rolled up into the 5-path, and was clearly best. The Bobby Flay homebred, Pizza Bianca #2, at odds of 3/1, piloted by Joel Rosario, ended up 2nd. Eminent Victor #10 at 5/1, with Flavien Prat in the irons, was 3rd. Now, Godolphin kicks on to Del Mar … looking sharp for the Breeders’ Cup, even though Dettori did not get to make his leap. Look out juvenile turf fillies ‘cause “Flying Frankie” is coming …

Already In: Discoveries (IRE) …

Races Left: Sept. 24 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes @Newmarket, Oct. 3 Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac @Longchamp, Oct. 13 Jessamine Stakes @Keeneland …

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Race 9: Turf, 1 Mile, Summer Stakes (G1), $400k, 2

“Win and You’re In” … Albahr (GB), BC Juvenile Turf (G1), $1 Million

Godolphin, an international brand with staying power, came to Woodbine looking to take home a series of victories in the weekend stakes action. They did not disappoint … Going off as the “deserving favorite” in this race, a ticket to the Juvenile Turf (G1) was on the line. In the end, it was Albahr #4 at odds of 3/5 who made quick work of this 2-yr-old field, bringing bettors a paltry $3.30 for $2 wager. As for the minors, it was Grafton Street #3 and Degree of Risk #6 who cleaned up the scraps. Frankie Dettori celebrated with his signature post-race flying leap, proving yet again, that he is one of the best riders in the sport. Trained by Charlie Appleby, Godolphin’s lead conditioner, the gelding out of Dubawi (IRE) netted his 4th win in-a-row, after a couple of scores at Haydock Park and Salisbury in the UK. Now, it is on to Del Mar, and the “Big Blue” is rolling into SoCal with quite a line-up of runners of varying ages in many of the big events. It is going to be more than just a little interesting!

Already In: Atomic Jones (FR) …

Races Left: Sept. 25 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes @Newmarket, Oct. 3 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere @Longchamp, Oct. 10 Bourbon Stakes @Keeneland …

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It’s the Breeders’ Cup … as the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club once again hosts! Enjoy …

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