Hidden Connection

Derby and Oaks Workers Active on Both Coasts

A trio of GI Kentucky Derby contenders put in their final works ahead of next weekend's Run for the Roses. The only one of the three to work at Churchill Downs was GI Toyota Blue Grass S. winner Zandon (Upstart). Working on his own at 7:30 a.m. over a fast track with regular morning partner Kriss Bon aboard, the Chad Brown pupil completed the five furlongs in 1:00.40 (7/43). Churchill Downs clockers caught Zandon in fractions of :12.80, :25, :36.80, 1:00.40 and out in 1:12.80 and 1:26.40. "I just didn't...

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Echo Zulu Returns in FG Oaks

Undefeated champion and 'TDN Rising Star' Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) makes her highly anticipated seasonal bow Saturday in the GII Fair Grounds Oaks. Flashing her talent with an impressive debut at Saratoga July 15, the $300,000 KEESEP acquisition had things her own way from start to finish in that venue's GI Spinway S. Sept. 5, winning by four lengths. She took no prisoners next out Belmont, romping by 7 1/4 lengths in the GI Frizette S. Oct. 3 and was equally dominant in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies S....

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Hidden Connection Must Overcome Draw in Rachel Alexandra

No fewer than three fillies (Untapable, 2014; Monomoy Girl, 2018; and Serengeti Empress, 2019) have used a victory in the GII Rachel Alexandra S. Presented by Fasig-Tipton as a springboard to success in the GI Kentucky Oaks, won so impressively by Rachel Alexandra in 2009. A field of 11 sophomore females will face the starter in Saturday's renewal looking to continue on the road to Louisville on the first Friday in May. Hidden Connection (Connect) has been made the 3-1 morning-line favorite, a starting price likely inflated by her draw...

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Method in the 'Madness' Connecting Star Juveniles

Any farm, really any farm--right up to the most iconic Bluegrass nurseries--would have been proud to have two juveniles as accomplished as Rattle N Roll (Connect) and Electric Ride (Daredevil) heading towards the Breeders' Cup. And for both to have meanwhile dropped out, in wildly contrasting circumstances, would only have reiterated the odds to be overcome by even the most lavishly resourced operations. Rattle N Roll, winner of the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, can regroup next year after a minor foot issue ruled him out of the GI TVG Breeders'...

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New Racing Partnership Living Up to Its Name

DEL MAR, CA - With a tip on 2-year-old first-time starter Ocean Size (Maclean's Music), Jake Ballis watched with interest--and a win wager--on the fifth race at Colonial Downs Aug. 17. When Hidden Connection (Connect)--the co-second choice at 5-2 on the morning line for Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies--ran away to a daylight score carrying the colors of Hidden Brook Farm with Ocean Size back in second, the frontman for the fledgling partnership Black Type Thoroughbreds quickly switched gears. "When she drew off at the eighth pole, I looked...

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Bret Calhoun Joins Writers' Room

On the heels of a breakout performance from his juvenile filly Hidden Connection (Connect) in Saturday's GIII Pocahontas S. at Churchill, trainer Bret Calhoun joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning to talk about his new barn star, upcoming career milestones, the closure of his old home track Arlington Park this weekend and more. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Calhoun was asked about how Hidden Connection's 9 1/4-length tour de force beneath the Twin Spires compared to his expectations for...

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Bret Calhoun Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Bret Calhoun, trainer of this weekend's GIII Pocohantas-winning filly Hidden Connection, joined this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss his star juvenile, give his take on the rise of the super trainer and more.

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Connect Filly Romps in Pocahontas

Hidden Connection (f, 2, Connect--C J's Gal, by Awesome Again) stalked and pounced her way to a dominating victory in the 'Win and You're In' GIII Pocahontas S. at Churchill Downs Saturday evening. Mama Rina (Gormley) was second; Goddess of Fire (Mineshaft) was third. The 9-5 favorite got over from her outside draw and was three wide rounding the clubhouse turn. She found an ideal spot to press the early leader from second through fractions of :24.26 and :48.62. She took over within her own restraint approaching the quarter pole...

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Making a 'Connection' in the Pocahontas

Hidden Brook Farm and Black-Type Thoroughbreds' Hidden Connection (Connect) marked her career unveiling in style, winning by a 7 ½-length margin going 5 1/2 panels at Colonial Aug. 17 and will try to add another notch to her belt in Saturday's 8 1/2-furlong GIII Pocahontas S. at Churchill Downs. "She was really impressive that day when she broke her maiden," said trainer Bret Calhoun. "She's only had this one race under her belt, so it's a test going two-turns. The way she ran last time gives us confidence in her."...

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