George Krikorian

Channel Maker Back for More at the Breeders' Cup

Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R. A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing's Channel Maker (English Channel) will be looking to regain his best form while making a record-setting sixth Breeders' Cup appearance in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Saturday at Keeneland. "The owners are very excited to give him an opportunity to run and I think he would be the first to run six times, a record, at the Breeders' Cup," said trainer Bill Mott. "How's he doing? Well, he's doing fine...he's doing great...but is he at his best from...

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Taking Stock: Donato Lanni's (Almost) Perfect Weekend

I called the elite bloodstock agent Donato Lanni last Wednesday only to tell him I'd call him again Sunday and to expect my call. I was fortunate he picked up, because he was on a golf course enjoying a rare day off following a busy Keeneland September sale where he'd purchased a number of million-dollar yearlings among many others. When we made plans to speak again, neither of us mentioned why I'd be calling. I didn't want to jinx him, with Cave Rock (Arrogate), War Like Goddess (English Channel), and...

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Mr. Big Filly Tops 'Solid' Fasig-Tipton California Sale

by Dan Ross & Jessica Martini POMONA, CA - The Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings and Horses of Racing Age Sale, held Tuesday at Fairplex in Pomona, produced 14 six-figure lots, led by a filly by Mr. Big who sold for $250,000 to Todd Tomazic. Numbers declined from last year's lively renewal of the auction, with 205 head grossing $6,257,100 and the average falling 22% to $30,522 and the median dipping 15% to $17,000. The buy-back rate was 25.7%. It was 24.4% in 2021. "It was a very solid session," Fasig-Tipton...

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Eyeing a Championship with War Like Goddess

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--With a sterling race record that befits her very distinctive name all wrapped in an engaging story, War Like Goddess (English Channel) is an impossible-to-ignore race mare bidding for a championship. Though her late sire was a champion on the track and a top turf stallion for many years, the first foal out of Misty North (North Light {Ire}) brought a mere $1,200 at auction as a weanling and did not draw a single bid at the 2018 Keeneland September yearling sale. At the June 2019 OBS sale,...

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Cal-bred Horse of the Year Mucho Unusual Retired

George Krikorian's homebred Mucho Unusual (Mucho Macho Man--Not Unusual, by Unusual Heat), 2020's California-bred Horse of the Year, champion older female and turf horse thanks to a campaign that included a victory in the GI Rodeo Drive S. that September, has been retired at the age of six. "The decision has been made to retire G1 winner and Cal-Bred Horse of the Year Mucho Unusual," tweeted trainer Tim Yakteen. "We are sad to see her leave the barn, she has been so special to and for all of us. She...

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Going to Vegas Ready to Roll in the Buena Vista

Trainer Richard Baltas sends out expected favorite GI Rodeo Drive S. winner Going to Vegas (Goldencents) in Saturday's GII Buena Vista S. at Santa Anita. Last seen finishing 11th in a 12-horse field after setting the early pace in the GI Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Going to Vegas shook off the rust with a five-furlong drill in 1:00 (2/20) Feb. 26 in Arcadia. Flavien Prat, who won the GII John C. Mabee S. aboard the 5-year-old mare last September, has the mount. To win, she'll have...

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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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Mr. Big Relocated to Legacy Ranch

Successful California-bred sire Mr. Big (Dynaformer--Fashion Delight, by Fappiano) has been relocated to Pete and Evelyn Parrella's Legacy Ranch in Clements, Ca. He most recently stood at Rancho Temescal in Piru, Ca. for a $4,500 fee. His 2022 stud fee will be announced at a later date. "We thoroughly enjoyed standing Mr. Big at Rancho Temescal and watching his foals find great success in 2021," stated Tim Cohen President of Rancho Temescal. "We have decided to stop breeding and foaling going forward, Rancho Temescal will continue to provide care for...

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Mucho Unusual Named Cal-Bred Horse of the Year

George Krikorian's homebred Mucho Unusual (Mucho Macho Man), winner of last year's GI Rodeo Drive S., was named California-bred Horse of the Year for 2020 during Monday's annual awards presentation by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. The mare was also named the state's champion older female and turf horse. Other Cal-bred champions announced during Monday's teleconference were: Big Fish (Mr. Big) and Good With People (Curlin to Mischief) (tied for 2yo male); Governor Goteven (Govenor Charlie) (2yo female); El Tigre Terrible (Smiling Tiger) (3yo male); Warren's Showtime (Clubhouse Ride) (3yo...

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Mucho Unusual Coast To Coast in Rodeo Drive

George Krikorian's homebred Mucho Unusual went wire-to-wire to win the GI Rodeo Drive S. at Santa Anita Saturday and earn an automatic berth in the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Turf. Tonahutu took the lead from her inside post in the early strides, but Mucho Unusual strode past her down the stretch for the first time. The bay filly loped along through pedestrian splits, scampered further clear rounding the final bend and resolutely held off Maxim Rate late, while late-closing favorite Lady Prancealot did her best to close into the slow...

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