Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’sVerrazano (More Than Ready - Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway), winner of last year’s GI Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct and GI William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park, has been retired from racing and will stand at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud next season.
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Stonestreet Stable’s homebred Tara’s Tango was backed down to odds-on early in the wagering, touched 7-5 on the drift and settled at 6-5 to open her account at first asking in a very strong-looking Del Mar maiden Sunday.
Tonalist’s Belmont victory last weekend is another feather in the cap of Gainesway’s 2014 Leading North American Sire Tapit. With 2014 progeny earnings now over $6.7-million, he is nearly $2.7-million clear of the Darley duo of Medaglia d’Oro and Street Cry, with WinStar’s Speightstown a close-up fourth (all right around the $4-million mark.
Two days after a nationally televised outburst about how fresh horses had deprived horse racing of a Triple Crown champion, Steve Coburn, a co-owner of California Chrome, apologised to the connections of the Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and to the horse racing world at large.
This is America, so Steve Coburn, the co-owner of California Chrome, has every right to have his say, even if his say came across as bitter and irrational.
It will be at least 37 years between Triple Crown sweeps as California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit)’s dream run through the spring Classics came to a crushing end in front of a crowd of 102,199 at Belmont Park Saturday.
Visionaire left a handful of foals in the USA.
Nine winners to date, two have earned their stripes in black-type races.
The Art Sherman-trained 3-year-old California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) proved unbeatable in the Preakness Stakes Saturday, the second leg of the Triple Crown, staged at Pimlico Racecourse.
An extremely foggy and misty morning greeted the GI Preakness Stakes contenders two days before the main event.
Steven Coburn and Perry Martin’s GI Kentucky Derby hero California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) hit the track at Pimlico for the first time yesterday morning ahead of Saturday’s G1 Preakness Stakes.
At the peak of America’s ascendency, the centre of the thoroughbred universe also shifted westwards, to the point Kentuckians labelled themselves the “Horse Breeding Capital of the World”, a designation to which they were more than entitled during the era of the legendary stallions Nasrullah, Royal Charger, Bold Ruler, Round Table and Princequillo initially, and thereafter that of Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Danzig, Lyphard, Riverman, Blushing Groom and Seattle Slew.
The rise of international racing in all corners of the world, with big money, big media and big stars flashing over new horizons, could lead to the reinvention of a “World Series Of Racing” concept, as well as focused cross promotion of championship events.
Sitting outside his barn one day many years ago during the Keeneland September sale, Bob Courtney said, “A good horse can come from anywhere.” Asked if he was speaking about the sales or the races and his answer was short and succinct. “Both.”
California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) kept his winning streak alive yesterday when collecting his fifth straight win, his first outside California, in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby crowning trainer Art Sherman at 77, the oldest handler to train a Kentucky Derby winner.
The first blockbuster classic weekend of 2014 kicks off Friday with Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable (Tapit), who won her two races at Fair Grounds this winter (GIII Rachel Alexandra Stakes and GII Fair Grounds Oaks) by a combined 17 lengths, likely to go off at nearly even-money in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. Saturday morning U.S. time sees the G1 English 2000 Guineas at one mile at Newmarket.
Barry Howard Irwin is the founder and CEO of Team Valor International. A racing journalist, successful bloodstock agent, owner, breeder and above all, racing enthusiast, Barry has embraced and helped promote the South African Thoroughbred like few others.
BEAUMONT STAKES (Grade 2)
Keeneland, Polytrack, 7 Furflongs
13 April 2014
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’sReady To Act (USA) (More Than Ready) overcame an erratic stretch run to win Sunday’s GII Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland.
Outfooted in the early going, the grey filly trailed the field of seven down the backstretch as Richies Party Girl (USA) (Any Given Saturday) took the field through fractions of :23.41 and :47.47. The 9-5 favorite bounded into contention while racing five wide on the turn and was in front with a furlong to run, but began lugging in significantly.
Under an energetic Javier Castellano and with her head turned to the outside, she began inching clear late to best Sweet Whiskey (USA) (Old Fashioned) by a half length, with Katie’s Eyes (USA) (Leroidesanimaux) 3/4 lengths back in third.
“Javier did a great job once again keeping her straight,” said winning trainer Chad Brown. “As you can see, she’s a work in progress. We still have some things to work out with her, but if we do get her running straight down the lane, she’s probably going to gain a few lengths.”
Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News
(Photo : Greig Muir)
…BUT HINDSIGHT IS “20/20”
Visionaire had only a handful of foals in the States. But he’s quickly making a fistful of it. Already Bacopa Breeze is a Stakes winner, and Outlook has racked up two Stakes-performing places. Now Trident Hero comes rattling home again. For the third time.
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SANTA ANITA DERBY (Grade 1)
Santa Anita Park, Dirt, 1810m
5 April 2014
Perry Martin and Steve Coburn’sCalifornia Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) turned heads and dropped jaws Saturday in the GI Santa Anita Derby, galloping away from his competition with uncommon ease to solidify his spot as the favorite for next month’s GI Kentucky Derby.
GII Rebel Stakes winner Hoppertunity (Any Given Saturday) was 5 1/4 lengths back in second after a perfect trip, while GII Robert B. Lewis Stakes hero Candy Boy (Candy Ride) held on for third.
“Right now, he’s kind of freaky and I’m enjoying it,” said winning trainer Art Sherman. “I can’t believe the races I’ve been seeing. A length or two might have been alright with me.”
The 77-year-old was the exercise rider for 1955 Kentucky Derby and Santa Anita Derby winner Swaps - a Cal-bred just like California Chrome - but would be saddling his first-ever runner in the Churchill Classic.
“He’s my Swaps, let’s put it that way,” said Sherman of California Chrome. “If all goes well, we’ll ship to Kentucky probably a week before the Derby.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
“Britain prides itself with having the best racing in the world, but Japan,
Hong Kong and South Africa are making us all sit up and take notice”
London - The Breeders Cup in the US is a wonderful race meeting, but while the Americans persist with dirt rather than a synthetic surface they will never attract a truly international galaxy of equine stars, and Dubai showed the Yanks just how it can be done last weekend.
Two winners each for Japan and Hong Kong, a home-bred one-two for South Africa, plus victories for Britain, Ireland and Godolphin in the World Cup itself made Meydan a night to remember - and if that was not enough we had Jennifer Lopez topping the bill after racing. It just doesn’t come any better than that.
Ironically, success in the richest race on the globe for Godolphin’s African Story, who has shown himself to be a tapeta specialist and led a clean sweep for the home nation, was met with muted applause - turf stars Military Attack and Ruler of the World clearly failed to fire on the surface - and was hardly the result that Sheikh Mohammed would have liked.
However, we were not short of international fireworks earlier, with Variety Club, South Africa’s Horse of the Year for the last two seasons, enjoying a soft lead out in front in the Godolphin Mile, holding off fellow Springbok Soft Falling Rain to give Joey Ramsden his biggest training triumph.
Mike de Kock will take Soft Falling Rain to Europe, with the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot being the prime target, and, despite having been beaten into third place behind Hong Kong flying machine Amber Sky in the Al Quoz Sprint, stablemate Shea Shea will also be on the plane to Britain, the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting again being the aim.
Christophe Soumillon asked a huge question of Shea Shea, who did not jump as smartly from the gate as De Kock would have liked, but Amber Sky’s electric early pace had everything on the stretch from a long way out, and it was no surprise to hear that he had shaved Shea Shea’s track record.
The turf sprinters look stronger than their dirt counterparts, though Hong Kong again had plenty to celebrate in the Golden Shaheen, in which the stronger stamina of Sterling City kicked in during the last 150 metres, enabling him to wear down his countryman Rich Tapestry, who is arguably better at 1000m and did well to go so close from his outside draw.
Sterling City, a second winner on the night for Hong Kong-based Brazilian superstar Joao Moreira, who also rode Amber Sky, is a possible for the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot, but he will probably take in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore beforehand.
Dual Japan Cup heroine Gentildonna overcame traffic problems to win the Sheema Classic for the “Land of the Rising Sun”. She is an exceptional mare, and she had to be to come from such an uncompromising position 400 metres from home, having been held in by Christophe Soumillon on the 2012 winner Cirrus Des Aigles.
Ryan Moore, who rode Gentildonna, was lucky to find an escape route in time, and the filly duly got him out of jail, but, while we would love to see her at Royal Ascot, the prize money in Japan is so big that both she and Just A Way, undoubtedly the most impressive winner of the night in the Dubai Duty Free, are likely to stay at home.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Trev was rated the best horse in the world last year, but she is in danger of being toppled from her pedestal by Just A Way, who remember had hammered Gentildonna by four lengths in the Tenno Shen earlier in the year.
Mike de Kock’s Vercingetorix produced a career-best performance to finish second, but he had no answer to the gear change of Just A Way, who took a phenomenal 2.41sec off the course record. The Ascot executive have been courting Just A Way for several months and still hope to tempt him to Britain, with a mouth-watering clash with Trev in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes being the bait, but the Yasuda Kinen, which is run around the same time, carries an even more valuable purse and is on his doorstep. So unless Just A Way’s connections opt for prestige over the yen it ain’t going to happen.
Not to be outshone by Moreira, former British champion jockey Jamie Spencer also helped himself to two winners on the card, a shock 33-1 celebration on Irish-trained Certerach in the Dubai Gold Cup, in which Godolphin’s Cavalryman was a desperately unlucky runner-up, being stopped more times than a taxi driver on Sheikh Zayed Road, and following up on Jamie Osborne’sToast of the York in the UAE Derby.
Osborne does not have another horse in his Lambourn yard rated above 80, but for weeks he has been telling anybody who would listen that Toast of New York is “the real deal”, and, having blown the opposition away by the time they had reached the home straight, the trainer feels that it is well worth owner Michael Buckley stumping up the £8,000 next week to supplement the colt for the Epsom Derby.
However, having seen Godolphin avoid a whitewash with a seven-year-old gelding and Coolmore, who mounted their strongest raid yet on Dubai, not managing to get a horse in the first three, one left Dubai on Monday morning feeling that racing’s shift of power was edging towards the Far East.
Britain prides itself with having the best racing in the world, but Japan, Hong Kong and South Africa are making us all sit up and take notice - and long may it continue.
Extract from Tab News