English Channel

This Side Up: Some Processions and a Funeral

Though yielding to few other Englishmen in stubbornly championing the merits of the speed-carrying dirt horse, I must admit that I have been somewhat less voluble over the past week. After so much anticipation, it felt like there were just too many Breeders' Cup races decided within strides of leaving the gate. Obviously track surface and configuration can often be a factor, but perhaps the proliferation of methods introduced from Quarter Horse training has also contributed to the times when dirt racing can appear lacking in subtlety. The GI Distaff,...

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Perennial Leading Turf Sire English Channel Succumbs to Illness

Calumet Farm's perennial leading turf sire English Channel (Smart Strike--Belva, by Theatrical {Ire})'s health rapidly declined in the past 24 hours under the care of top equine specialists at Rood and Riddle and he passed away Thursday morning. "English Channel certainly went out on top," a release from Calumet Farm read. "He was the number one turf sire for the past two years and you could consistently find his progeny on the board in the top turf races across the country. English Channel has meant so much to Calumet throughout...

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Leading Sire English Channel Likely to Miss 2022 Season

Calumet Farm's leading sire English Channel (Smart Strike) has been diagnosed with multiple health issues and is unlikely to cover mares during the upcoming 2022 breeding season, the farm announced Wednesday morning. "This is an unfortunate blow for a stallion that was rising to the peak of his career and finally getting the respect he deserved," said a representative of Calumet in the press release. "However we, at Calumet, strive to provide the best care for all our horses and will always put the horse's health, safety, and well-being first....

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How Goddess Channels Value and Viability

Once again, the Breeders' Cup reminds us how our whole business hinges on a delicate equilibrium. On the one hand, we need the kind of big plays made on barnmates Gamine (Into Mischief) and Corniche (Quality Road), who changed hands for $1.8 million and $1.5 million respectively, to come off sufficiently to keep the big spenders in the game. But we also need those Goliaths to be humbled, from time to time, by a little guy with a sling. If the Derby were won by a sale-topper every year, the...

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War Like Goddess Rolls to Fourth Straight in Flower Bowl

The meteoric ascent of George Krikorian's War Like Goddess (English Channel) continued in Saturday's GI Flower Bowl S., contested at Saratoga for the first time and lengthened to 11 furlongs. Coincidentally, the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf will be contested over that exact trip the first weekend of November and with the victory, the 4-year-old has earned an all-expenses-paid trip to Del Mar, where she figures to take plenty of beating. Four of the bay filly's prior starts had come at a mile and three furlongs and farther,...

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'Hugh'-e Upset In Mr. D.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL--Hugh Robertson has started close to 10,000 horses in a journeyman career, but celebrated his biggest--and likely most bittersweet--victory when Two Emmys (English Channel), a 5-year-old gelding he also owns in partnership, went wire-to-wire to cause a massive upset in Saturday's Mister D. S., ostensibly the final Grade I race to be run at historic Arlington Park. "I never thought I'd have a horse in the Million, and then when I do, it's not a million [dollars]," the long-time Chicago-based conditioner told TVG's Scott Hazelton following his neck...

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Belmont a Weathervane for Calumet

The mystique around Calumet is such that it aptly discloses a nearly perfect anagram for "Camelot." Both words evoke, not just an idealized past, but a yearning for the restoration of standards eroded during our unchivalrous times. Of course, Calumet has itself had its modern lapses, but there's no mistaking the wholesome intentions animating its latest ownership. True, the methods of Brad Kelley and his team sometimes strike the orthodox observer as idiosyncratic, to put it mildly. But it makes sense to write a new chapter, in their own hand,...

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English Channel's Channel Cat Steals the Man o'War

Johnny V. did it again. A week after wiring the GI Kentucky Derby aboard Medina Spirit (Protonico), John Velazquez sent Calumet Farm homebred Channel Cat (English Channel) to the front in Saturday's GI Man O' War S., and just held on by a nose over favored Gufo (Declaration of War). Channel Cat, off at 8-1, dueled from the inside through an opening quarter in an eye-catching :22.69 in this 1 3/8-mile affair. He began to shake clear rounding the clubhouse turn and slowed it down some to a testing half...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021: Established Stallions

So here we are at last, rounding the home turn. This series has unfolded in familiar fashion, with an initial stampede of unproven young stallions progressively thinned out by the impatience of a commercial sector operating in ever decreasing cycles. Today we finish with a selection from those admirable stallions who have survived the ruthless attrition, and created a viable niche at various levels of the market. The odds they have overcome, to get here, are such that the long-term health of the breed is clearly being treated as something...

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Rushing Fall and Channel Maker Win Eclipse Awards in Turf Divisions

Second in the balloting for champion 2-year-old filly of her generation in 2017, 'TDN Rising Star' Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) joined the likes of former Chad Brown stablemates Lady Eli (Divine Park, 2017), Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}), 2018) and Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) to become the stable's fourth Eclipse Award-winning turf female in a row and second in succession for her legendary sire. To do so, she outpointed GI Breeders' Cup Turf heroine Tarnawa (Ire) (Shamardal) and Audarya (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), who defeated Rushing Fall by a...

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This Side Up: A Channel of American Merit

It doesn't make me mad anymore. Maybe it's just the idealism of youth ebbing away. But I have also begun to understand the virtue of markets. If people want to breed to unproven stallions, that's their prerogative. I can always buy a mare, send her to a sire of runners, and see y'all in the starting gate. If I'm right, the odds are in my favor; I get value from the market. And if I'm wrong, well, no need to be angry. Even in setting all that aside, however, it's...

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Bravazo Joins Stallion Ranks at Calumet

Bravazo (Awesome Again--Tiz o' Gold, by Cee's Tizzy), who bankrolled over $2 million over the course of four seasons at the track, will enter stud in 2021 at his owner's Calumet Farm. He will stand for $6,000. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Bravazo was second in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at two and earned his way onto the Triple Crown trail with an upset victory in the GII Risen Star S. in 2018. He would go on to finish second, beaten a half-length by eventual Triple Crown hero Justify...

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