Flavien Prat, atop Flightline, looks between his legs for the rest of the field after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic at the Breeders' Cup Championships at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday. Photo by Mark Abraham/UPI | License Photo
LEXINGTON, Ky., Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The Breeders' Cup is in the rearview mirror and the star of the show, Flightline, has been retired to stud duty, but there's plenty of excitement yet to come from many of this year's participants.
While Flightline settles in at Lane's End in Versailles, Ky., which hosted Queen Elizabeth II during her Kentucky visits, other stars of the weekend battles at Keeneland will be soldiering on around the globe, including at least two of the three horses who finished closest behind Flightline in Saturday's $6 million Classic.
Bill Mott, who had two wins, a second and a third from eight Breeders' Cup starters, said Sunday he awaits ownership decisions about the future of Classic runner-up Olympiad, Sprint winner Elite Power and Dirt Mile winner Cody's Wish, adding, "It's going to be a pretty empty stable if they leave."
But Mott said War Like Goddess, third in the $4 million Turf while bucking a tidal wave of European success, will return for a 2023 campaign.
Bob Baffert said Santa Anita Derby winner Taiba, third in the Classic, also will be kept in training. Ditto for Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, who finished fourth, trainer Eric Reed said Sunday morning.
Others moving forward to next year's battles include Filly & Mare Sprint winner Good Night Olive and many of the also-rans from the 14 Championship races, beaten favorites and longshots alike.
Among the international contingent, Coolmore trainer Aidan O'Brien said Stone Age, runner-up in the Turf, is headed for the Japan Cup at the end of the month, and he expects to be represented in the Longines Hong Kong International Races in December.
Godolphin's Charlie Appleby said all of his runners will take the rest of the year off, but at least one of them, Turf winner Rebel's Romance, will be back to run again as he's a gelding.
Of course, the winners of the top 2-year-old events, Forte in the Juvenile and Wonder Wheel in the Juvenile Fillies, now are firmly on the "Road to the Roses" and the path to the Kentucky Oaks.
They're joined on that quest by many others who came up short in the big races and a few others from Baffert's barn.
Baffert said Sunday he was disappointed in Cave Rock's performance in finishing second in Friday's Juvenile. But the silver-haired trainer fared better when Arabian Knight, a $2.3 million yearling purchase, won his first start Saturday at Keeneland by 7 1/4 lengths.
As it does every year, the Breeders' Cup overshadowed some nice racing around the globe. Here's some of that:
Next jumped right to the lead at the start of Friday's $350,000 Grade II Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes and held that advantage through the whole 1 5/8 miles, eventually drawing clear to win by 6 1/4 lengths.
Heywoods Beach and Bal Harbour trailed in second and third as Next, a 4-year-old Not This Time gelding, finished in 2:42.59 with Luan Machado riding.
Wakanaka rallied from last of six to win Saturday's $350,000 Fall Harvest Stakes for fillies and mares, covering 1 mile on the turf in 1:35.37 with Joel Rosario up. The Irish-bred filly is trained by the aforementioned Mott, who got his third win of the day.
Battle Bling led all the way in Friday's $150,000 Grade III Turnback the Alarm Stakes for fillies and mares and survived a late bid by Nostalgic to win by a neck. It was another 13 3/4 lengths to the odds-on favorite, First to Act.
A 4-year-old Vancouver filly, Battle Bling ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:53.60 with Kendrick Karmouche up.
Vacation Dance led from gate to wire in Saturday's $120,000 Atlantic Beach Stakes for 2-year-olds, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over No Nay Hudson and Moonage Daydream was victorious in the $120,000 Stewart Manor Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Both were run at 6 furlongs on the turf.
Champions Dream and Moonlight Madness ran by pacesetter Prove Right in the stretch run of Sunday's $150,000 Grade III Nashua Stakes for 2-year-olds and battled on to finish first and second in that order, separated by 3/4 length.
A Justify colt, Champions Dream finished 1 mile on a fast track in 1:39.14 with Irad Ortiz Jr. up for trainer Danny Gargan.
Good Sam, the odds-on favorite, stalked the pace in Sunday's $150,000 Tempted Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, assumed command in the lane and won off by 3 1/2 lengths over Foggy Night.
Good Sam, a daughter of Good Samaritan, ran 1 mile on the fast track in 1:38.69 with Irad Ortiz Jr. riding the Chad Brown trainee.
Hal, an Accelerate gelding, dueled to the lead in Saturday's $125,000 (Canadian) Display Stakes for 2-year-olds and ran on to win by 1/2 length over Ticker Tape Home.
Collecting Flatter posted a game, 3/4-length victory over Forever Dixie in the $125,000 (Canadian) Glorious Song Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.
Velocitor took the early lead from an outside gate in Sunday's $250,000 (Canadian) Coronation Futurity for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, opened a daylight lead in the stretch and held on to score by a neck over Twin City. The favorite, Philip My Dear, was third.
A Mor Spirit colt, Velocitor ran 1 1/8 miles on the all-weather track in 1:52.00 with Justin Stein riding.
Who's the Star came from last of 10 to win Sunday's $175,000 (Canadian) Grade II Autumn Stakes by 1/2 lengths from War Bomber. Novo Sol was third.
A 4-year-old Tonalist gelding, Who's the Star ran 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather surface in 1:41.10 for jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson.
Bow Bow Girl started near the back of the field in Friday's $100,000 Treasure Chest for fillies and mares, moved up along the rail and was along in time to win by 2 1/4 length, going away. The Oxbow filly covered 1 mile on a muddy track in 1:40.10.
Dreamer's Disease led from gate to wire in Saturday's $100,000 Delta Mile, scoring by 1 length over Dust Em. Dreamer's Disease, a Leoban gelding, got the 1 mile on a fast track in 1:39.59.
Miss You Ella was along late to post a game victory by 3/4 length in Friday's $70,000 Cellars Shiraz Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The Declaration of War filly ran 1 mile and 70 yards on the all-weather track in 1:43.81.
Night Jumper stalked the pace in Saturday's $70,000 Showing Up Stakes for 3-year-olds, moved to the lead in upper stretch and won by 3/4 length, finishing the 1 mile and 70 yards of all-weather track in 1:41.29.
Navy Sword worked to the lead a furlong from home in Saturday's $70,000 My Sister Pearl Stakes for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares and held on doggedly to win by a head from Seneca Rocks.
A 5-year-old Bodiemeister mare, Navy Sword ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:55.88 under Marshall Mendez.
Golden Gate Fields
I'mgonnabesomebody showed the way in Saturday's $50,000 Joseph T. Grace Stakes and held on to win by 3/4 length. The 4-year-old Will Take Charge gelding toured 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather track in 1:41.95 after the race was taken off the turf.
Around the world, around the clock
Golden Sixty and California Spangle, top local prospects for next month's Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile, missed a scheduled confrontation in a trial heat Friday as Golden Sixty was withdrawn to work solo. California Spangle then won the trial over a wet dirt course.
Trainer Francis Lui said he opted for a solo work because the track was "terrible" after days of rain. Both he and California Spangle's trainer, Tony Cruz, said their horses will be ready for the the HK$5 million G2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile on Nov. 20 at Sha Tin, the traditional lead up to the HK$30 million big race Dec. 11.
On Sunday, Money Catcher won the Group 3 Sa Sa Ladies' Purse Handicap at Sha Tin Racecourse, ending a frustrating series of close losses for trainer Frankie Lor.
Zero for 13 in Hong Kong before the race, but with four seconds, four thirds and a fourth, the victory now has Lor thinking about the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup in December.
Money Catcher's frustrations gave him a 20-pounds weight break in Sunday's race over the runner-up and favorite, Beauty Joy, 115 pounds to 135.
"Maybe, maybe. But I'll still have a look over the next few days," Lor said of a potential Group 1 try for the New Zealand-bred 5-year-old.
Meydan Racecourse kicked off the 2022-23 season Friday with a seven-race card with a glimpse of some potential future stars. Chief among those is Sharp Army, a 2-year-old Sharp Azteca colt trained by Ahmad Bin Hamash.
Jockey Ray Dawson found a way to overcome a draw that parked Sharp Army widest of all, getting him up to win by 1 length. "You can probably 'up' the run a bit from that draw," Dawson said. "First time out, they have to know their job so I'm delighted with that as he was very professional."
Uruguayan import Upper Class, unbeaten in South America, but slow to get started in the desert, finally got the job done in Dubai. The 5-year-old controlled the 1,200-meter Emirates.com Handicap and won by 7 3/4 lengths.
"Finally, he's showed us what he's capable of here," said Julio Olascoaga, assistant to winning trainer Antonio Cintra.
Juncture, a 3-year-old Juddmonte filly, posted an impressive 2 3/4-lengths victory in Friday evening's Cooley Fillies' Stakes at Dundalk, a Fast-Track Qualifier for the All-Weather Fillies & Mares Championships next Good Friday.
The victory, with first-time blinkers, got the Dark Angel filly over a hump that saw her second in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown and third in the Group 3 Snow Fairy Stakes at the Curragh.
"I've been begging for blinkers for a while now and we finally got our way," jockey Colin Keane said.
Roch 'N' Horse, at 20-1 odds, handed the once invincible Nature Strip another setback in Saturday's Group 1 Darley Champions Sprint at Flemington. The New Zealand-bred edged Nature Strip into second at the end of the 1,200 meters in a blanket finish.
Nature Strip now is 1-for-3 since winning the Group 1 King's Stand at Royal Ascot.
Alligator Blood got the better of Tuvalu at the end of the Group 1 Kennedy Champions Mile with Cascadian finishing fifth and the favorite, Private Eye, seventh. Alligator Blood won his second Group 1 of the season, following on the Underwood Stakes in September.
Zaaki took the third Group 1 on the program, the 2,000-meters TAB Champion Stakes, by 1/2 length over Mo'unga, who also was second to Alligator Blood in the Underwood.
A British-bred 6-year-old by Leroidesanimaux, Zaaki was coming off a fourth in the Cox Plate, won by Anamoe. Anamoe was fourth as the favorite in Saturday's heat.