Breeders’ Cup Advance is now available and on sale at Canterbury and all outlets. This BC preview contains past performances for all pre-entered horses for both days of BC.
News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled by NTRA Communications.
ZENYATTA, GOLDIKOVA TOP BREEDERS’ CUP PRE-ENTRIES
Continuing her quest for perfection in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the undefeated Zenyatta leads the list of a record 184 horses pre-entered, 26 from overseas, for the 2010 Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 5-6, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. A total of 14 Cup races will be run over the two days, with aggregate purses of $26 million.
In perhaps the most dramatic moment in Breeders’ Cup history, Zenyatta came from last to first to win the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic, becoming the first female to capture the race, and the first horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races. (In 2008, she was the winner of the Ladies’ Classic.) Brought out of a brief retirement by her owners Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta returned as a 6-year-old mare this year and has won all five of her starts to increase her unbeaten streak to 19 consecutive races. Under the care of trainer John Shirreffs, Zenyatta captured the Santa Margarita at Santa Anita, the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park, the Vanity at Hollywood Park, the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar and most recently the Lady’s Secret by a half-length at the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park. Tiznow, in 2000 and 2001, is the only horse to win back-to-back Classics.
If Zenyatta is to repeat on Nov. 6, she will have to do it against one of the strongest Classic fields ever assembled. Among the 16 horses pre-entered for the 1 ¼ mile race is Blame, winner of the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs and the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, before finishing second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup; the Bob Baffert-trained Lookin at Lucky, the nation’s top 3-year-old, who won the Preakness Stakes, the Haskell Invitational and the Indiana Derby; the 4-year-old Quality Road, who had to be scratched at the gate prior to last year’s Classic, but returned this year with sparkling victories in the Donn Handicap, the Metropolitan Handicap and the Woodward Stakes, and the versatile 5-year-old Gio Ponti, who finished second to Zenyatta in last year’s Classic and was both champion older male and champion turf horse of 2009. Trained by Christophe Clement, Gio Ponti has two grade I stakes victories on turf this year in the Man O’ War at Belmont and the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.
Zenyatta is not the only superstar shooting for an unprecedented third consecutive Breeders’ Cup win on Nov. 6. Alain and Gerard Wertheimer’s 5-year-old Goldikova is seeking her third consecutive $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf, leading the charge of overseas participants in this year’s Breeders’ Cup. In 2009, European horses won six Breeders’ Cup races. Goldikova, trained by Freddie Head, has won four of five starts this year, three of them over males in the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp, the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, and most recently, the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp. Challenging Goldikova will be Juddmonte Farms’ 5-year-old mare Proviso, who has won her last four starts on the turf this year for trainer Bill Mott, including the Frank Kilroe Mile over males at Santa Anita Park; Woodbine Mile winner Court Vision, who was fourth in last year’s TVG Mile and Paco Boy, a formidable rival to Goldikova this year, having lost the Prix de la Foret to her by just a half-length. Gio Ponti is also pre-entered in the Mile as a second preference.
The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live on ABC/ESPN and in more than 130 foreign countries.
ZENYATTA GALLOPS INTO “60 MINUTES”, “SPORTS ILLUSTRATED”
Undefeated supermare Zenyatta will be the subject of a segment during this week’s edition of the popular CBS news magazine show “60 Minutes”. Airtime is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET. The correspondent for the segment will be 26-time Emmy award winning journalist, Bob Simon, who spent much of the past week at Zenyatta’s barn at Hollywood Park.
Zenyatta is also the subject of a feature in the current, November 1 edition of Sports Illustrated.
Meanwhile, Zenyatta’s trainer, John Shirreffs, has been receiving good luck wishes from fans around the world, including one item that particularly caught his eye.
“It was a campaign medallion from a medic back from Afghanistan,” said Shirreffs. “He said a lot of the soldiers in his unit are Zenyatta fans and will be rooting for her.”
RANDY MOSS TO HOST COMPREHENSIVE BREEDERS’ CUP PREVIEW ON NTRA.COM WEBCAST SATURDAY
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s (NTRA) Website, NTRA.com, will present a special edition of its NTRA Live! Webcast series this Saturday, October 30 at 12:00 noon (ET) when ESPN/ABC analyst and NFL Network host Randy Moss hosts an in-depth preview of all 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races to be run at Churchill Downs on November 5-6.
Saturday’s Webcast, which will not conclude until all 14 races are fully covered, will include video analysis of key prep races, an interview with Goldikova’s trainer Freddie Head from his barn in France, and Moss’s top five picks for each race. Moss will be joined on the Webcast by NTRA.com’s Eric Wing, who will discuss each race with Moss and relay questions to him from a concurrent live Web chat on NTRA.com.
“We feel that Randy Moss is one of horse racing’s most insightful and respected observers, and that this Webcast will provide fans with the type of comprehensive analysis unavailable in other media due to time or space constraints,” said Keith Chamblin, Senior Vice President of the NTRA. “Fans have responded very positively this year to our many NTRA Live! Webcasts of important Breeders’ Cup preps, and Saturday’s interactive preview show will get them well prepared for the exciting action on November 5th and 6th.”
The NTRA Live! Webcasts are sponsored by Breeders’ Cup and Daily Racing Form. The series’ Executive Producer is Tim Turrell, who has produced numerous telecasts on horse racing and other sports for ESPN, The Golf Channel and others. Access to the Webcast is free.