Channel Maker

Channel Maker Arrives at Old Friends

Fan-favorite Channel Maker (English Channel), the 2020 Eclipse Award-winning turf male who made a record six appearances at the Breeders' Cup, has taken up residence at Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky. The 9-year-old was donated to the farm by Adam Wachtel and his fellow owners. Bred in Ontario by Ivan Dalos's Tall Oaks Farm, Channel Maker was a stakes winner at two for trainer Danny Vella and took the 2017 Breeders' S. He was a Grade I winner each year from 2018 to 2020, scoring his first such victory in...

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Turf Champion Channel Maker Retired

MGISW and 2020's Eclipse Champion Turf Male Channel Maker (English Channel) has been retired from racing, his connections said Saturday. The announcement came one day after the 9-year-old gelding finished next to last in the GIII Sycamore at Keeneland. "It's time," part-owner Adam Wachtel said. Channel Maker ran a record six times in the Breeders' Cup. "I've never had a horse that's run at the highest level against the toughest competition from 2 through 9," Wachtel said. "I love what Bill had to say about him after the Bowling Green;...

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Long Weekend, Keeneland's Haggin Turf Course Hosts A Trio Of Graded Races

Keeneland's lawn debuted during the 1985 Fall meet in an era when American turf courses were just coming into vogue. According to a back issue of the track's media guide, through 2016 they had two names for their grass course. The Keeneland Course referred to the one with rail up, while the normal configuration with it down was called the Haggin Course. Named for Louis Lee Haggin II, who was not only Keeneland's President from 1940-1956, but the decade before had purchased the 550-acre Sycamore Farm in Woodford County. Serving...

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Classy, Durable Channel Maker Ready For Sixth Sword Dancer

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--On the subject of the resilience of 9-year-old Channel Maker (English Channel) approaching his sixth-consecutive start in the GI Sword Dancer S. Saturday, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott made his point in a few words. "I can't say enough," he said. Mott was smiling, but he wasn't joking. "What can you say?" Mott said. "He sort of seems like an oddity in this day and age that he's able to stay around and still be in somewhat close to top form." Channel Maker has stood the tests...

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Channel Maker Excels with Help from a Friend

NYRA's post parade program coordinator scoffed when she typed out the morning-line odds on Channel Maker (English Channel). 20-1 for the 9-year-old gelding going into the GII Bowling Green S. The Bill Mott trainee hadn't won a race in over a year and he'd finished a distant tenth in his last start in the GII Belmont Gold Cup S. But the racing pundits and handicappers didn't know what she knew: that the hard-knocking old man looked just as good, maybe even better, coming into the Bowling Green than he had...

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Stars Come Out To Play on Travers Day

It's a bit of Christmas in August Saturday at venerable Saratoga Race Course, which plays host to no fewer than five Grade I events for horses of all ages--on dirt and on turf--topped by the main event on the summer calendar, the $1.25-million GI Travers S. While the fields are short on numbers, they are long on quality, as three of the races have attracted reigning Eclipse Award winners, none of whom are anything close to a cinch in their respective heats. Champion and 'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence) has...

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Bullet Drill for Scotland Ahead of Travers

LNJ Foxwoods' Scotland (Good Magic), last-out winner of the July 21 Curlin S., tuned up for Saturday's GI Travers S. with a four-furlong move in :47.60 (1/68) over the Oklahoma training track Sunday in Saratoga. "It was a good, useful work," said trainer Bill Mott. "He galloped out well and seemed to have good energy and to be moving well. It was fast enough. I think we're fit enough." A debut winner at Gulfstream in March, Scotland was nosed out of an allowance victory at Keeneland in April before taking...

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War Like Goddess Defends Turf In Glens Falls

The influence of Champion grass horse and MGISW English Channel both on the racetrack and in the breeding shed cannot be overstated. After stints at Hurricane Hall, Lane's End and finally, Calumet, we sadly lost him late in 2021, but he still has an active group that continues to carry home his legacy. Who is his most successful offspring? Maybe it's Chicago's own, MGISW The Pizza Man? Or how about MGISW Channel Maker, who just added another graded trophy to his collection last weekend at the ripe old age of...

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Red Knight Earns Grade I Glory In Man o' War S.

By the age of nine, most racehorses have left their best days well behind them. However, 5-1 shot Red Knight (Pure Prize) clearly did not get that memo, pulling off the most important victory of his career in Saturday's GI Man o' War S. at Belmont. Breaking from the inside gate under Irad Ortiz, Jr., the chestnut trailed the field early while racing inside of favored 3-5 European import Warren Point (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who was caught napping at the start with Frankie Dettori in the irons. Up front, Channel...

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Gary Barber Appointed to TOC Board

The Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) unanimously named Gary Barber to fill the board vacancy created by the recent resignation of Bill Strauss. Barber is a long-time Thoroughbred owner, both on his own and in partnership with others, whose stars include Grade I-stakes winners/champions: War of Will, Got Stormy, Belvoir Bay, Salty, The Deputy, Wonder Gadot, Lexie Lou, Comma to the Top, Tourist, Catch a Glimpse, Becrux, Cost of Freedom, Jack Milton, Channel Maker, Get Her Number, Vequist, and Gretzky the Great. In addition to...

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Veteran Channel Maker Wins The Grand Couturier S.

Though he hasn't displayed the form that saw him named champion turf male in 2020, Channel Maker is still showing he can be competitive on the track in his 8-year-old season. Given five months off following his fifth-place effort behind Yibir (Dubawi {Ire}) in last November's GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf, Channel Maker returned sharp off the layoff to take the GII Elkhorn S. at Keeneland Apr. 23. When last seen, he was never part of the race after blowing the start, coming in ninth in Belmont's GI Resorts World...

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Sword Dancer Top Two Rematch in Joe Hirsch

The first two across the line in a thrilling renewal of this summer's GI Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer S. will face off once more in a seven-horse renewal of the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic S. over 1 1/2 miles on the Belmont turf Saturday. Otter Bend Stables' Gufo (Declaration of War) has yet to be out of the trifecta in 12 career outings and picked up stakes scores in the GI Belmont Derby Invitational S., GIII Kent S. and English Channel S. last year as a sophomore to...

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