Breeders' Cup Classic

Hot Rod Charlie Tunes Up for Breeders' Cup

Trainer Doug O'Neill's Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) began tightening the screws for the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic with a four-furlong move at Santa Anita Saturday morning. Out at 7:45 a.m., the popular dark bay, known for his gritty style, had Mike Smith in the irons. The Hall of Famer was filling in for regular rider Flavien Prat, who was riding at Keeneland Saturday. "He went a half-mile in 48 and change and galloped out in 1:01 and three," said O'Neill. "He looked good. It was his first piece...

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Medina Spirit Cruises in WAYI Awesome Again

For 110 seconds on an unseasonably hot Saturday afternoon in Southern California, all was right in the world of Zedan Racing Stables' Medina Spirit (Protonico). Having given last Saturday's GI Pennsylvania Derby a miss, the blue-collar colt was rerouted to Saturday's GI Awesome Again S. and a first try against some accomplished older horses. With a berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic on the line, the Florida-bred once again displayed the tenacity and raw ability that carried him past the post first in the GI Kentucky Derby, leading every...

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Knicks Go All Alone in Final Classic Prep

Going...going... gone. Leading older horse Knicks Go (Paynter), as expected, punched his ticket to the GI Breeders' Cup Classic with a facile victory in Saturday's GIII Lukas Classic S. at Churchill Downs. The overwhelming 1-9 favorite took his usual spot on the front end and led the field of six through very manageable fractions of :23.53 and :47.27. Joel Rosario hit the gas entering the far turn, and Knicks Go responded in spades. He passed the quarter pole as the one to catch, cornered for home in the four path...

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Medina Spirit Takes On Accomplished Elders in Awesome Again

Medina Spirit (Protonico) looks to secure his spot in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic as he faces his elders Saturday in the GI Awesome Again S. at Santa Anita. Winner of the GIII Robert B. Lewis S. here in January, the Florida-bred was second in both the Mar. 6 GII San Felipe S.--won by his former stablemate and recent GII Kelso H. victor Life is Good (Into Mischief)--and Apr. 3 GI Santa Anita Derby. The dark bay went wire to wire in the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby, a win...

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Knicks Go Lays Over Field in Lukas Classic

The inaugural running of the GIII Lukas Classic in 2013, contested as the Homecoming Classic, was won handily by the previous year's GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero Fort Larned (E Dubai), who would go on to finish a hard-trying fourth in defense of his Classic title five weeks later. This year's renewal goes through Korea Racing Authority's Knicks Go (Paynter), who is expected to cement his status as the favorite for the championship day feature Saturday afternoon. An imperious winner of last year's GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile over a...

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Cox Classic Contenders Breeze at Churchill

Brad Cox-trained divisional leaders and GI Breeders' Cup Classic-bound runners Knicks Go (Paynter) and 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit) each breezed Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. The former, last seen running away with the GI Whitney S. at Saratoga last month, was clocked in 1:00.80 (17/61) for five panels. The Korea Racing Authority colorbearer is expected to go postward a heavy favorite in next Saturday's GIII Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs. Last year's champion juvenile and leading sophomore Essential Quality, meanwhile, went a half-mile in :50.60 (87/102). Most recently...

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No Catching Knicks Go in Whitney

Korea Racing Authority's even-money favorite Knicks Go (Paynter) ran off from a strong field in Saturday's GI Whitney S. to earn an automatic spot in the starting gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic and reassert himself at the top of the handicap division. Last seen posting a 10 1/4-length bounce-back victory in the GIII Cornhusker H. July 2 after settling for fourth at odds-on in the GI Metropolitan H., the grey opened up some five or six lengths on his competition down the Saratoga backside through a half in...

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Knicks Go Meets Maxfield in Star-Studded Whitney

For a race that offers just a five-horse field, Saturday's GI Whitney S. at Saratoga will nevertheless feature plenty of intrigue, as two of the handicap division's top stars will meet the one-two finishers from the GI Metropolitan H. and a certain champion filly whose trainer called an audible to enter her in the meet centerpiece for older horses, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic. Given the morning-line at 6-5 is the Korea Racing Authority's enigmatic star speedball Knicks Go (Paynter). A shocking...

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Mandaloun 'Sound, Happy' After Eventful Haskell Win

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--Shortly after GI Haskell S. winner Mandaloun (Into Mischief) arrived at his barn at 10 a.m. Sunday morning following his trip north from Monmouth Park, trainer Brad Cox said it was too early to say what will be the next test for the Juddmonte homebred. Mandaloun reached the wire second in a Haskell, beaten a nose by Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow). Within minutes, though, the stewards awarded him the victory by disqualifying Hot Rod Charlie for causing Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) to stumble in the stretch, unseating jockey...

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Honor Code's Max Player Upends Suburban

The betting public had Saturday's GII Suburban S. down to a battle between a pair of 'TDN Rising Stars': in one corner, Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper), whose victory in the G1 Dubai World Cup made him favored at 85 cents on the dollar, and in the other, Happy Saver (Super Saver), who got the better of Mystic Guide when first they eyeballed one another in last year's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and the clear second choice at 8-5. Max Player (Honor Code) had yet to beat a horse of the...

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Maxfield Reigns Supreme in Stephen Foster

Godolphin homebred Maxfield (Street Sense) put on a show at Churchill Downs yet again with a dazzling victory in the GII Stephen Foster S., a "Win and You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Running off the fence early, the 2-5 chalk settled in sixth as longshots Empty Tomb (Speightstown) and Sprawl (City Zip) duked it out through opening splits of :23.33 and :46.88. Making an eye-catching move up the outside on the backstretch run, the dark bay swiftly picked off rivals, flying up to take charge at the...

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Champion Accelerate Stamping His First Crop of Yearlings

David Ingordo has undoubtedly inspected thousands of yearlings, many of whom went on to become Ingordo-purchased success stories, since he saw Accelerate (Lookin at Lucky) at the 2014 Keeneland September Sale. Nevertheless, the well-respected agent has a vivid memory of seeing Hip 1162 at the Bluewater Sales consignment, a May-foaled son of the stakes-placed Awesome Again mare Issues. "When a horse first walks out, you get an impression--at least, that's what it is for me," Ingordo said. "And he was an extremely well- balanced horse, plenty of substance to him....

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