OTB Race Previews
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The world's best grass milers compete in this race around two turns on the turf course for horses 3-years-old and older.
The $2 million FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1) is shaping up to be arguably the deepest of any of the 14 Breeders' Cup races, with Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners, Robert LaPenta and Bethlehem Stables' defending champion Uni (GB) leading the way.
Trained by Chad Brown, Uni took the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland in her last start, which was her first win of the year in three starts. A top competitor from Canada is Blue Heaven Farm's 7-year-old mare Starship Jubilee, a former claiming horse who has won five of six races this year.
Trained by Kevin Attard, the Florida-bred daughter of Indy Wild earned a free starting position into the FanDuel Mile by winning the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) on Sept. 19. Stud RDI and Bonne Chance Farm's 4-year-old Ivar (BRZ) won Keeneland's "Win and You're In" Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on Oct. 3.
From Europe, Qatar Racing's Kameko won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas (G1) in June and captured the Shadwell Joel Stakes (G2) at Newmarket on Sept. 26 for trainer Andrew Balding.
Flaxman Holdings, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Circus Maximus (IRE), who earned a free berth into the Mile by taking the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot in June, finished fourth in the Mile last year for trainer Aidan O'Brien.
Roy and Gretchen Jackson's One Master (GB), who won the Prix de la Foret (G1) at ParisLongchamp, also has been pre-entered.
Race 9 at Keeneland on Saturday, November 7 - Post 3:15 PM
|1||Circus Maximus (IRE)||12-1||Ryan Moore
|3||Lope Y Fernandez (IRE)||30-1||Lanfranco Dettori
|5||Digital Age (IRE)||8-1||Javier Castellano
|6||Safe Voyage (IRE)||15-1||Jason Hart
|7||Casa Creed||20-1||Junior Alvarado
|8||March to the Arch||15-1||Tyler Gaffalione
|9||One Master (GB)||12-1||Pierre-Charles Boudot
|11||Ivar (BRZ)||4-1||Joseph Talamo
|12||Uni (GB)||5-1||Joel Rosario
|13||Factor This||8-1||Florent Geroux
|14||Raging Bull (FR)||8-1||Jose Ortiz
|15||Order of Australia (IRE)||30-1||Christophe Soumillon
Halladay gave his connections a reason to celebrate, earning his first graded stakes win in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga, a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge Series race, and therefore a spot in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile presented by PDJF. He beat defending champion Got Stormy, who set a course record in the 2019 running, by 1 1/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion.
"He likes to be on the lead and likes to run free and that was the key," jockey Luis Saez said.
The Fourstardave lengthened a streak for trainer Todd Pletcher, who is 53. He has won at least one Grade 1 race for 22 consecutive years. The conditioner was named the Eclipse Award Outstanding Trainer a record seven times, has 11 Breeders' Cup victories and is approaching 5,000 career wins.
"He's gotten really good and we've seen it in the mornings in his training," Pletcher said. "He's been going great and we were confident going in that he was at his very best."
Prior to the Fourstardave, the 4-year-old finished a game forth in Saratoga's Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2), 1 1/2 lengths behind winner Somelikeithotbrown, after rallying for second.
The gray colt previously won two unlisted stakes at Gulfstream Park: the Tropical Park Derby Dec. 28 and the Sunshine Forever Stakes May 9. With more than $500,000 in purse earnings, he has finished in the top three in t12 of his 14 starts.
Halladay is owned by Harrell Ventures, which has oilman Curtis Harrell at the helm. He is following in the footsteps of his father, Eddie Harrell, who was in the same industry and campaigned Materiality, who won the 2015 Florida Derby (G1) and finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Curtis's son, Conner, played minor league baseball for the Detroit Tigers. Halladay is named for Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay, an ace for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. He died in a plane crash in 2017 at age 40.
Halladay's mother, Hightap, won the 2009 Iowa Oaks. Her father, Tapit, is one of North America's leading sires.
Unraced as a 2-year-old, millionaire turf specialist Raging Bull (FR) launched his 3-year-old season in April 2018 with the first of two straight wins. He stepped up to stakes company in his third start, finishing second in Belmont Park's Manila Stakes. Continuing to race nearly once a month, he followed with back-to-back graded wins at Saratoga: the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) in August and the Saranac Stakes (G3) in September.
Two races later, after an off-the-board finish in the Hill Prince Stakes (G2) at Belmont, Raging Bull crossed the country to win his first Grade 1, the 2018 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. Displaying his trademark style-a patient, usually ground-saving early trip and strong late kick-he won by half a length.
Raging Bull began his 4-year-old season after a five-month break. Again racing almost monthly from April to September and only in Grade 1 races, he was winless for the year, but never far from the trophy. He was fourth in both the 2019 Maker's Mark 46 Mile at Keeneland and the Old Forester Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, beaten less than two and four lengths, respectively.
He placed in his last three starts of the season, first finishing third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths, in the Manhattan Stakes at Belmont behind the year's eventual Horse of the Year and Champion Turf Male, Bricks and Mortar. He next was an impressive second in the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga; still more than 18 lengths off the lead after four of the race's eight furlongs, he ended just 2 1/2 lengths back. Raging Bull finished his 2019 campaign with a third-advanced from fourth by disqualification-in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes, just 1 1/4 lengths behind despite traffic trouble early and late.
After an eight-month break, Raging Bull returned in May 2020 to start his 5-year-old season with his second Grade 1 win, the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1). Six weeks later he was third in the Maker's Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland, beaten a nose and a neck. Raging Bull next was fifth in his second attempt at the Fourstardave Handicap (G1), only the fourth time in his 15-race career he finished out of the top three.
All of Raging Bull's races have come at a mile or more on the turf.
Raging Bull is owned by Peter Brant, chair and CEO of White Birch Paper Company. He is trained by Chad Brown, the Eclipse Award top trainer for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
|2020||Order of Australia||Christophe Soumillon||Aidan O'Brien||1:33.73|
|2019||Uni||Joel Rosario||Chad Brown||1:32.45|
|2018||Expert Eye||Frankie Dettori||Sir Michael Stoute||1:39.80|
|2017||World Approval||John Velazquez||Mark Casse||1:34.55|
|2016||Tourist||Joel Rosario||Bill Mott||1:31.71|
|2015||Tepin||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse||1:36.69|
|2014||Karakontie||Stephane Pasquier||Jonathan Pease||1:32.88|
|2013||Wise Dan||Jose Lezcano||Charles Lopresti||1:32.47|
|2012||Wise Dan||John Velazquez||Charles Lopresti||1:31.78|
|2011||Court Vision||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||1:37:05|
|2010||Goldikova||Olivier Peslier||Freddy Head||1:35.16|
|2009||Goldikova||Olivier Peslier||Freddy Head||1:32.26|
|2008||Goldikova||Olivier Peslier||Freddy Head||1:33.40|
The Breeders' Cup Mile (Grade 1) has created an interesting pattern of sorts in that, for this $2 million series on turf of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, good things have come in two's. Four Mile events of the Breeders' Cup races have had repeat winners. Also, the Mile has had three horses who have posted two victories each.
Miesque, bred by owner Stavros Niarchos' Flaxman Holdings Ltd., sparkled in the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1987 at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, and conquered a significantly slower surface at Churchill Downs in Louisville the following year. Trained by Francois Boutin, the remarkable filly won by 3-1/2 lengths in California and by 4 lengths in Kentucky - the largest winning margins in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships race's history.
On the strength of her single North American victories, Miesque was voted champion grass female in 1987 and 1988. The Niarchos family also campaigned Mile winners Spinning World (1997), Domedriver (Ireland; 2002), and Six Perfections (France; 2003) in the name of Flaxman Holdings, Ltd.
In 2003, 5-1 shot Six Perfections, a 3 year old filly taking on boys, stayed in between horses back in eighth early, then came on strong down the stretch splitting rivals to win by 3/4 length over 12-1 shot Touch of the Blues. The time for the mile distance on the firm turf course was 1:33 4/5. It was a neck back to 39-1 longshot Century City. 3-1 favorite Peace Rules set the early pace but had nothing left turning for home, fading badly and finishing last.
At the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile, Singletary emerged as the champion at 16.50 odds with jockey David Romero Flores. Antonius Pius with jockey Jamie Spencer won second at 31.40 odds while France's Six Perfections with jockey Jerry Bailey placed third at 5.90 odds.
Goldikova, based in France, won the Breeders’ Cup Mile back to back in 2008 and 2009with jockey Olivier Peslier. In her second win in 2009 she was second last for much of the race and at the top of the stretch she was forced to go 5 wide. It looked like she was going to lose, but then she changed leads again and blasted past Coragious Cat to win in 1:32.26, 0.8 seconds off of the world record held by Mr. Light.
Claiborne Farm's homebred Lure, arguably one of the most accomplished horses never to win a year-end championship, also scored two daylight victories, winning by 3 lengths in the 1992 Breeders' Cup Mile at Gulfstream Park, and by 2 ¼ lengths in the following year at Santa Anita Park for trainer Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey III.
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While not necessarily possessing talent to equal Miesque's or Lure's, Da Hoss became a two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner by virtue of his courage and the innovative training regimen of Michael Dickinson. In 1996, Dickinson had his assistant, Joan Wakefield, test the Woodbine turf course in high heels to determine the best path for the Gone West gelding, who won by 1 1/2 lengths.
Da Hoss missed the entire following season of the Breeders' Cup races due to injury and came back to run in the 1998 Breeders' Cup Mile with only one start in two years. He rallied on a firm Churchill Downs turf course to overtake Hawksley Hill (Ireland) and win the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Mile race by a head.
Also experiencing consistent success in the Breeders' Cup Mile are the European-based horses. Nine of the Mile's first 20 winners had been based with European trainers prior to their wins.
Most remarkably, the Breeders' Cup Mile has also seen the domination of the Northern Dancer sire line. Although the great Windfields Farm stallion did not sire a winner himself, six of his sons and two of his grandsons have sired winners, accounting for 12 victories in the Mile's first 20 years. His sons Danzig and Nureyev have each sired three winners.
|Breeders' Cup Race||Grade||Purse||Date|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint||II||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||I||$2,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||I||$2,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile||I||$1,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf||I||$2,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint||I||$2,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Mile||I||$2,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Distaff||I||$2,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Turf||I||$4,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Classic||I||$6,000,000||November 7|
|Race Tracks||Time (EST)|