Canada's FATAL BULLET is a strong 2nd in the BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT to the super-horse MIDNIGHT LUTE..(check out Cindy Pierson Dulay and Terence Dulay's photos and notes on www.horse-races.net)
Now THAT was a lot of racing - a lot of great, great racing.
Whether you were at the track, an OTB or at home watching the long ESPN show (and most that I knew were doing just that), it was superstar horses overload, big priced winners that, if you didn't cash you felt like you were missing something and just a whole lot of fun.
From a CANADIAN STANDPOINT - we got ourselves a
CHAMPION SPRINTER and possible HORSE OF THE YEAR
, we got a QUEEN'S PLATE FAVOURITE,
and we ushered out one of the top fillies we've seen in recent years (SealyHill yesterday).
Here's some thoughts and notes:
SHOOTING BULLET - CANADIAN OWNED GELDING 2ND!
Locks up Champion sprinter in Canada...perhaps HORSE OF THE YEAR...
Not bad for a $27,000 purchase...
Lots of 2nd place finishes for the Canadians at the 14 Breeders' Cup extravaganza.
SEALY HILL'S runner-up showing in the Filly and Mare Turf was super on Friday - she ran a life time best Beyer Figure of 104.
Yesterday's run by Bear Stables' FATAL BULLET was arguably the best of any Canadian in a while, however. The 3yo, meeting older horses for the first time in a while, led all the way to the early stretch in the Spring before the giant, imposing black horse MIDNIGHT LUTE (who won the race last year) got past him in 1:07 and change for 6 furlongs.
Fatal Bullet's Beyer was 107.
Trainer READE BAKER, after the race, said he was a bit concerned when his gelding came into the paddock having already bit his tongue, or something like that, as he was bleeding from the mouth.
"He's never done that before," said Baker.
But as many who knew the gelding thought, the lead was his for the taking and under a light hand of jockey Eurico Da Silva, Fatal Bullet zipped into the Sprint stretch clear of his rivals.
"I thought he was gone at that point," said Baker.
But Midnight Lute, patched up foot and all, holder of a Beyer in the past of 123 (!), was too much for the young Bear-cub.
Fatal Bullet won $400,000 for his 2nd place finish.
After the race, Da Silva was grinning ear to ear and reportedly beamed to outrider/reporter Caton Bredar on ESPN "I love this horse!"
Fatal Bullet was bred by Frank Stronach's Adena Springs (in Florida) and was sold through it's 2yo sale last year. He was a heavy son of Red Bullet from the Regal Classic mare Sararegal so he was gelded as a 2yo.
Sararegal raced at Woodbine for Herbert Chambers and trainers Scotty McCulloch and Dave MacLean. She was stakes placed.
Sararegal was bred by Jurgen Schemmer in Ontario.
Sararegal is no longer in the Stronach fold - she was sold in foal to MACHO UNO for $14,000 at the 2007 Keeneland Nov. sale to DAVID LAVOIE.
That filly is called WICKED SPEED.
The mare has a yearling by Milwaukee Brew ($70K yearling sale to Elite Bloodstock) and is in foal to Trippi.
LOTS TO CROW ABOUT - RAVEN'S PASS BEATS CURLIN
110 Beyer, Curlin below his best form
What? Okay, so from this viewer it was hard to forsee that result...surely ELUSIVE QUALITY has to be considered one of the world's premier stallions of the last decade now.
RAVEN'S PASS blew by the field in mid-stretch to win the Classic for Princess Haya of Jordan, who won 2 races on the Breeders' Cup along with trainer John Gosden.
Curlin? Ya, well, he moved way too soon for sure - full throttle while widest..would he have won with a later move? Don't think so.
Raven's Pass, one of those STONERSIDE horses that was sold in the giant package by Bob McNair to the Sheiks, is a half brother to former Woodbine runner GIGAWATT.
(Photo by Cindy Pierson Dulay)
from the Press Association...
Raven's future up in the air
The future of Breeders' Cup Classic hero Raven's Pass has yet to be decided.
The three-year-old shocked the racing world at Santa Anita on Saturday night by upsetting hot favourite and defending champion Curlin to take the feature race under Frankie Dettori for trainer John Gosden and owner Princess Haya of Jordan.
Gosden said: "I think we will just sit down and see whether the horse races next year, or whether he retires to stud. Those are decisions to be discussed with Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed. And they will be done. It will be thought about all angles up-and-down."
Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya's racing spokesman John Ferguson said the owners had not addressed the issue to date.
He said: "It hasn't been discussed purely and simply because nobody wants to tempt fate. Now obviously he's won the Breeders' Cup Classic. John and I will sit down with Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya, and talk through the many, many different options."
Gosden said the mile-and-a-quarter Classic on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride Polytrack, had always been the target for Raven's Pass.
"We'd been thinking about this race all year, because it was switching to synthetic. It's always been in our minds.
"To run in the Mile would have proved nothing either way and this was the big challenge, and this is what we had to do. We had a problem early in the year. He was drawn badly in the Guineas, and the race went very wrong.
"We put him away, brought him back for the St James's Palace at Ascot where he came a little late. We were just settling the horse.
"Suddenly in the second half of the year into the autumn, he's got bigger and stronger. He's one of the best I've trained and I've been lucky to train a few good ones. He's the top of the tree now and he deserves it because he's that good."
(Photo at right, LEAPIN' LIZARDS! GOLDIKOVA is a freak, Cindy Pierson Dulay photo)
EDDIE IS SECOND - 89 BEYER IN THER JUVENILE
The early favourite for the QUEEN'S PLATE is SQUARE EDDIE, Kinghaven's Farms' bred 2yo by Smart Strike who ran a brave race on the rail to be 2nd in the Juvvy yesterday...
from Canadian Press...
ARCADIA, Calif. — Midshipman won a duel with Canadian-bred Square Eddie to capture the US$2-million Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday.
Jockey Garrett Gomez earned his second win Saturday - and third of the two-day event - guiding Midshipman to a 1 1/4-length victory over Square Eddie, an Ontario-bred horse by Kinghaven Farms and owned by J. Paul Reddam of Windsor, Ont.
The two horses were the co-favourites at 7-2, although about $1,000 more was bet on Square Eddie.
Midshipman paid $9.20, $4.40 and $3.20. Square Eddie returned $5 and $3.80, while Street Hero was another half-length back in third and paid $4.40.
Mine That Bird, a horse that was based at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack and ridden by Chantal Sutherland, was also in the field. Mine That Bird was sold privately to American interests earlier this month.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Midshipman ran 1 1-16 miles in 1:40.94, a stakes record on the new synthetic surface at Santa Anita.
It was Baffert's sixth Breeders' Cup win and his second in the Juvenile.
NOTES FROM CANADIAN PRESS
Longshot horses trigger huge payoffs at Breeders' Cup competition
ARCADIA, Calif. — David Hofmans is king of the long-shot winners at the Breeders' Cup.
The veteran trainer did it again Saturday, saddling 36-1 shot Desert Code to victory in the US$1-million Turf Sprint on the second day of the season-ending championships at Santa Anita. Desert Code paid $75 to win.
Muhannak was the day's first long-shot winner, capturing the $500,000 Marathon at 12-1 odds that generated a $26.80 win payout. Both inaugural races were close, with Desert Code winning by a half-length and Muhannak scoring by a head.
Storm Treasure, based out of Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack and trained by Steven Asmussen, was third in the Turf Sprint.
At 6-1, Albertus Maximus continued the trend of big payoffs, rallying from mid-pack to win the $1-million Dirt Mile by 1 1/4 lengths and return $14.60.
Hofmans, based in Southern California, earned his third Breeders' Cup victory at long odds. He saddled 19-1 Alphabet Soup to victory in the 1996 Classic, triggering a $41.70 win payout. Hofmans trained 40-1 Adoration, the 2003 Distaff winner, who paid $83.40.
"We'd like to have a 7-2 shot once in a while," Hofmans said. "But they've all been long shots. I like all three of them myself."
Desert Code ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:11.60 under Richard Migliore, who also notched his first Breeders' Cup win. Diabolical was second, while Storm Treasure was another three-quarters of a length back.
Migliore recalled walking into Hollywood Park when he was riding in California regularly and reintroducing himself to Hofmans, whom he had ridden for previously.
"I came away feeling that something good's going to happen with this man," the jockey said. "I'm going to win a big race for this guy.
"And here it is, two years later, and I won a big race for this guy."
Muhannak charged to the lead in mid-stretch and held off a big late run by Church Service in the Marathon.
Ridden by Patrick Smullen, Muhannak covered 1 1/2 miles on the new synthetic surface in 2:28.24.
Ireland-bred gelding Muhannak gave Europe its first victory of the two-day event. It was the first Breeders' Cup win for Smullen and trainer Ralph Beckett.
"It's fair to say our tickets are booked, and we're ready to come back. It's very exciting," said Australian owner Richard Pegum, making his first trip to the United States.
WOW - GOLDIKOVA is a monster!
ARCADIA, Calif. — Goldikova burst through a hole along the rail to win the US$2-million Breeders' Cup Mile by 1 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita.
The Ireland-bred filly's fourth consecutive victory gave Europe its second win at the season-ending championships Saturday.
Ridden by Olivier Peslier, Goldikova ran the distance on the turf in 1:33.40 and paid $5.60, $4 and $2.80 as the 9-5 wagering favourite. It ended the string of long-shot upsets that began the day.
Kip Deville, the defending champion trained by Rick Dutrow who lost for the first time in five starts on Santa Anita's turf course, returned $4.80 and $3.40.
Kip Devil was a disappointing fifth in this year's Woodbine Mile on Sept. 7 after finishing second in the event in 2007.
Whatsthescript, also bred in Ireland, was another 2 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show.
Funny stuff, good stuff.
It was a long show but what a comprehensive job ESPN, simply awesome.
Some weird things though...
WELL ARMED was pronouned the winner of the Dirt Mile before the horses were in the paddock by all the analysts. They talked to jockey Aaron Gryder on track and said 'we look forward to talking to you after the race"
Ouch, Well Armed was always outrun.
BOB BAFFERT, celbrating MIDSHIPMANS'S win as he crossed the finish line. The cameras turned to him leaping and jumping and hugging a nice blonde looking lady - "There's Bob celebrating with his wife Jill, oops that's not Jill"
MICHAEL IAVARONE comes on in mid card and tells ESPN that he was threatened by someone in Florida to not let anything happen to Big Brown in the Belmont. He had police escorts for that entire day.
DONATIVUM, the Juvenile Turf winner, could not race in a straight line until he was gelded 5 months ago. He's unbeaten since then.