World Thoroughbred Championships
Workout Photos and Friday Races
On the eve of the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park, a number of entrants braved the chilly conditions to put in their final gallops in preparation for the big card on Saturday. After the workout session, the track was scraped and the work crew was testing the cushion depth as they went, so expect fast times on Cup day. Unfortunately, early in the day it was announced that Fleet Renee, Slew Valley, and Numerous Times would have to be scratched from their races. Fleet Renee tied, a recurring problem for her, and Slew Valley coughed after a morning canter. Both were still at Michael Dickinson's farm in Maryland and scheduled to make the trip to Belmont this morning. Numerous Times apparently wrenched an ankle overnight, possibly in his stall.
Today's pre-Breeders' Cup card at Belmont included five Graded stakes races plus the All Star Announcer's Day where each race was called by the announcer from another track. After the workout photos is info on these events.
European invader Galileo went for a gallop around the main track. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "Galileo is very happy. He's a horse with a very high cruising speed and he seems to be handling the dirt well."
Aidan O'Brien also sent out Black Minnalouche for a gallop. He said, "We have a lot of horses (7) with chances this year and we'd be over the moon if any of them won."
Also from the O'Brien barn is Johannesburg in the Juvenile, who galloped a lap around the track. Jockey Michael Kinane said, "The race is going to be a tough one. I think he'll handle the dirt but it's a question of stamina. I'm quietly confident he'll run a big race."
Juvenile hopeful Repent walked to the starting gate and then galloped past the finish line. Trainer Ken McPeek said that Repent "has such a huge, long stride and has a good turn of foot. He's a horse that just keeps coming at you and coming at you."
Juvenile entry Ibn Al Haitham went out for a 1 1/4 mile gallop under exercise rider Lara Robinson to the satisfaction of trainr Eoin Harty.
Godolphin's Mile hopeful Noverre went for a gallop around the track. Racing manager Simon Crisford said, "He'll love the firm ground. There'll be plenty of pace and the race should set up well for him."
Satish Sanan and Susan Magnier's BC Mile entry Bach galloped a lap around the track for trainer Aidan O'Brien. O'Brien said, "He galloped just to the finish line so he will know where he is going tomorrow."
Juvenile Fillies entrant Sophisticat galloped once around the track. Jockey Michael Kinane feels this is the best group of European horses ever at the Breeders' Cup, adding "I think we'll do well, but I think winning one race will be a [positive] result for us."
Arc fifth-place finisher Milan galloped once around the main track in preparation for his start in the Turf tomorrow. Rider Michael Kinane said, "I have to depend on a lot of pace to help me through the race, but I think he can run a big race."
Canadian Turf invader Lodge Hill galloped 1 1/2 miles on the main track. Groom Shaun Sinclair said, "He's pretty rambunctious normally. He's behaving himself here though."
Kalypso Katie, entered in the Filly and Mare Turf, went out for a gallop under exercise rider Stephen Jackson. Gary Stevens gets the call tomorrow from post 7.
Distaff hopeful Two Item Limit jogged and galloped this morning. She will be trainer Stephen L. DiMauro's first BC starter, but he has experience working with his father Stephen A. DiMauro who raced four starters in 1989 and 1990.
Sprinter Peeping Tom was back again for a 1 1/2 mile gallop. Trainer Pat Reynolds said, "All these guys are going to see we're not giving up without a fight."
Today was All-Star Announcers Day at Belmont Park, with track announcers from across North America taking turns calling the races and giving regular Belmont announcer Tom Durkin a rest before the big day. From left to right, the guests were Dave Johnson (Meadowlands), Dan Loiselle (Woodbine), Larry Collmus (Monmouth Park), Charles Pinnell (Thistledown), Robert Geller (Emerald Downs and Sunland Park), Luke Kruytbosch (Churchill Downs), and Trevor Denman (Santa Anita and Del Mar). Also participating but not pictured was Mike Battaglia (Turfway Park).
First of the five stakes on the card was the first division of the Grade 3 Athenia at 1 1/16 miles on turf for older fillies and mares. Verruma won the race easily under jockey John Velazquez.
Next was the Grade 3 Nashua for 2 year olds over a mile on the main track. Listen Here continued his unbeaten streak under jockey Jerry Bailey, beating Monthir by 1/2 a length.
We return to the turf course for the second division of the Athenia, won by Chilean-bred Babae under Jorge Chavez. She stalked the early pace and then took command, drawing off to a 2 1/2 length win.
Next was the Grade 2 First Flight Handicap for older fillies and mares over 7 furlongs on the main track. The race featured stars Dream Supreme and Finder's Fee. However, Shine Again lived up to her name with a head victory over Dream Supreme, under jockey Jean-Luc Samyn.
The final stakes race of the day was the Grade 2 Knickerbocker Handicap for 3 year olds and up over 1 1/4 miles of turf. Bobby Frankel trainee Sumitas took the event by a neck over Manndar in 2:02 2/5. Maybe a sign of things to come for Frankel tomorrow?
Breeders' Cup links:
- Final Entries and Post Positions - everything you need to know about the entrants NEW
- Vote! - who do you think will win this year? NEW
- Thursday Workouts - photos and comments for over 20 horses! NEW
- Belmont Weather - Will it be cold or wet on Saturday? NEW
- Breeders' Cup Tickets
- Breeders' Cup Links - my full list
- Breeders' Cup Advanced Edition - from DRF with lifetime performances of all the pre-entered horses.
- TV Schedule - for all the preps and other programming leading up to the big day
- Breeders' Cup Challenge - online contest from Breeders' Cup where you can win $1,000,000.
- Points Standings - from the Breeders' Cup with supplements and injuries indicated DRF Coverage - news, rankings, stats, and more
- European News - the latest on the Euro contenders from Sporting Life
- Thoroughbred Times Coverage - Contenders, preps, and history
- Countdown to the Cup - Contenders, news, history and more from the Blood Horse
- Saddletude coverage - nice resouce with online video of many of the important prep races
- Breeders' Cup Supplemental Entries - all past supplements and how they fared
On the Forum:
Photos ©2001, Cindy Pierson Dulay and Terence Dulay, licensed to About. Breeders' Cup logo courtesy of the Breeders' Cup Limited