First Mission

Mission Breeders' Cup: Stephen Foster Leads Saturday Graded Racing

With the Breeders' Cup a little over four months away, the 'Win and You're In' tickets to the signature event, the GI Longines Classic, are definitely numbered. The road to Del Mar currently goes through Churchill Downs on Saturday as Classic hopefuls enter the starting gate for the GI Stephen Foster Stakes. Looking to punch his ticket to the seaside oval is Godolphin homebred First Mission (Street Sense). The 'TDN Rising Star' certainly burned brightest when he took home the GIII Essex Handicap by five lengths at Oaklawn Park in...

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Godolphin's Highland Falls Takes Blame

He may not have had a black-type win to his name coming into Saturday's GIII Blame S. at Churchill Downs, but some strong efforts and a 104 Beyer figure in his last out, a runner-up performance in the Apr. 20 GII Oaklawn H., were enough to convince the betting public HIGHLAND FALLS (c, 4, Curlin--Round Pond, by Awesome Again) belonged. They were right. The 4-5 choice got rolling late to catch last-out Keeneland allowance winner Cagliostro (Upstart) just before the wire, while former $975,000 Keeneland yearling and GI Pennsylvania Derby...

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First Mission Headed To Stephen Foster

Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense), impressive winner of the GII Alysheba S. at Churchill Downs May 3, will take the next logical step in the $1-million GI Stephen Foster S. beneath the Twin Spires Saturday, June 29. "He ran a huge race," trainer Brad Cox told the Churchill media office. "We're very proud of his effort, Down the lane, it seemed like he was getting stronger as he got closer to the wire." Favored at just over even-money in the 8 1/2-furlong Alysheba, the homebred sat handy...

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'Rising Star' First Mission Splashes Home First in Alysheba

LOUISVILLE, KY-Offering a preview of what may be to come in Churchill's next two day's Classics, 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense) continued a power-charged run for trainer Brad Cox when taking the GIII Alysheba S. The win was the second graded win of the afternoon for Cox, who also took the La Troienne S. with Idiomatic (Curlin), and it was the third straight win for jockey Florent Geroux, who also won with Idiomatic and Ova Charged (Star Guitar) in the GIII Unbridled Sidney S. T O Saint Denis...

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History Astride As Pegasus Card Promises Once Again To Slay Graded Weekend

Named for the owner, an immigrant from Scotland who realized a Carnegie-kind of American Dream, it began as a 12-furlong turf race. Five years later in 1964 it was cut back to nine and moved to the dirt. The roll call of Donn H. winners through 2016 at Gulfstream Park reflects a roster of unique equine and human personalities, which is peppered with some magnificent performances that shouldn't be forgotten. Hall of Fame jockey Braulio Baeza won his first of three victories in 1969 aboard Funny Fellow and took home...

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First Mission Completes Pegasus Preparations in Big Easy

'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense) breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 (2/52) Saturday morning at the Fair Grounds in preparation for next Saturday's $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. at Gulfstream Park. The 4-year-old colt, who was put through his paces by exercise rider Kevin Perez, was clocked in 1:13.60 for six furlongs, according to trainer Brad Cox. "He's been doing very well week after week," Cox said of the Godolphin homebred, a latest second to the re-opposing Trademark (Upstart) in the GII Clark S. at Churchill Downs...

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Saffie Joseph-Trained Invitees Breeze for Pegasus World Cup

Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator) and O'Connor (Chi) (Boboman), multiple graded stakes winners trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr., breezed at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning in preparation for scheduled starts in the $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational Jan. 27. Skippylongstocking and O'Connor were joined on the worktab at Gulfstream Park's satellite training facility by Ny Traffic (Cross Traffic), who is on the reserve invitational list for the Pegasus World Cup. Skippylongstocking breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.25 (1/21) ahead of his first start since finishing third in the Nov. 4 GI Breeders'...

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First Mission Fires Pegasus Bullet

'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense) worked a five-furlong bullet in 1:00.20 (1/48) Friday morning at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans in preparation for the $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park Jan. 27. The GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. winner and GII Clark S. runner-up worked shortly before 6 a.m. with exercise rider Kelvin Perez aboard. "It was a really, really good breeze," trainer Brad Cox said. "I know that's typical trainer talk but he's a good work horse. He was by...

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Cox, Baffert, Pletcher Aiming For More Pegasus Glory

Trainers Brad Cox, Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher all have victories to their credit in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. and each of the three champion trainers will have an opportunity to add to those numbers in this year's $3-million feature Saturday, Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park. Cox, who won the the 2021 renewal with Knicks Go (Paynter), looks set to be represented by a pair of entrants in the nine-furlong contest. Saudi Crown (Always Dreaming), front-running winner of the GI Pennsylvania Derby last September, will seek to...

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Trademark On the Right Side Of the Photo in the Clark

Having come out on the losing side of a couple of tight photos in graded-stakes company earlier this season, BBN Racing's Trademark (Upstart) was finally on the winning end of things Friday after dropping his nose down on the line just ahead of 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense) in the GII Clark S. at Churchill Downs. The consistent Il Miracolo (Gun Runner) was a distant third. The 13-1 chance, drawn five in a field reduced to nine by the scratching of Happy American (Runhappy), Trademark broke cleanly and...

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First Mission Looks to Get Back on Track in Clark

For those eschewing shopping in favor of racing on Black Friday, Churchill Downs obliges with a pair of graded events, while Aqueduct and Del Mar offer graded stakes of their own on either coast.    'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense) looked poised to join the upper echelon of the sophomore class with his win in the GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. in April, but the Godolphin homebred was knocked out of the GI Preakness S. and was sidelined until returning with a gritty allowance tally at Keeneland Oct. 14....

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'Rising Star' First Mission Returns Victoriously at Keeneland

10th-Keeneland, $120,000, Alw (NW2$X), Opt. Clm ($80,000), 10-14, 3yo/up, 1 1/16m, 1:45.63, ft, neck. FIRST MISSION (c, 3, Street Sense--Elude, by Medaglia d'Oro), making his first start since winning this track's GIII Lexington S. during the April meeting, validated 2-5 favoritism--if only just--to give Godolphin a sweep of the late Daily Double. Off alertly from the inside stall, the homebred allowed himself to be taken back to sit in the second flight of horses behind a pace that was slow to materialize. Up into third and remaining glued to the...

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