Michael McCarthy

Ce Ce Romps in Princess Rooney Title Defense

Champion Ce Ce (Elusive Quality) successfully defended her title in Gulfstream's GII Princess Rooney S. Saturday and stamped her ticket to Keeneland in November to attempt another title defense in the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint S. Heavily favored at 2-5 as the pure class of the field, Ce Ce broke alertly, but was content to track from a two-wide third as Make Mischief (Into Mischief) clicked off an opening quarter in :23.01 and half in :45.46. Charging up two wide to take control exiting the bend, the chestnut sailed...

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There Goes Harvard the Latest Grade I-Winning Homebred for Michael Cannon

Owner Michael Cannon woke up on Memorial Day with a gut feeling. Cannon Thoroughbreds was going to win a Grade I that day. His inkling didn't come without good reason. The stable's leading earner Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) would be attempting to defend his title in the GI Shoemaker Mile and was slated as the 4-5 morning-line favorite. Of course as anyone in this business can attest, favoritism doesn't secure a trip to the winner's circle no matter how small the odds. So while Smooth Like Strait had to...

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Preakness Hero Rombauer Seeks New Kentucky Home

Last year's edition of the GI Preakness S. marked one of the best days of John Fradkin's life when Rombauer (Twirling Candy-Cashmere, by Cowboy Cal), a second-generation homebred for the California native and his wife Diane, took the second leg of the Triple Crown. Going off as the fifth choice, Rombauer stormed past favorites Medina Spirit (Protonico) and Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) in the stretch to win by 3 1/2 lengths. It was the first Preakness victory for trainer Michael McCarthy and jockey Flavien Prat and the first Grade I win...

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Champion Ce Ce Wins Azeri Thriller

Ce Ce (Elusive Quality), game winner of the 2020 GI Apple Blossom H., underscored her affinity for Oaklawn with another game victory in Saturday's GII Azeri S. The 2021 champion female sprinter was squeezed slightly at the start by the wayward Lady Mystify (Bernardini), while Pauline's Pearl (Tapit) took the worst of it and was forced back sharply as defending Azeri champ and race favorite Shedaresthedevil (Daredevil) raced out to take control. Showing the way through an opening quarter in :23.44 followed by a :47.53 half, the leader continued to...

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Ce Ce Secures Female Sprinter Eclipse

Ce Ce (Elusive Quality)'s upset victory over heavily favored Gamine (Into Mischief) in the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint appeared to make all the difference Thursday, as she was named champion female sprinter. The Bo Hirsch homebred, previously a MGISW at route distances, cut back last season for a breakthrough win in Gulfstream's GII Princess Rooney S. in July. She also took October's GIII Chillingworth S. before her 6-1 score at Del Mar in the Breeders' Cup. The now 6-year-old Michael McCarthy representative was last seen finishing second in the...

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Ce Ce Kicks Off Six-Year-Old Campaign in Santa Monica

Ce Ce (Elusive Quality), last seen upsetting the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar Nov. 6, returns to launch her 6-year-old campaign in Saturday's GII Santa Monica S. at Santa Anita. The 2020 GI Apple Blossom H. and GI Beholder Mile S. heroine focused on races going around one turn during her 2021 campaign. In addition to her victory at the Championships, her season also included strong wins in the GII Princess Rooney Invitational at Gulfstream July 3 and GIII Chillingworth S. at Santa Anita Oct....

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Eclipse Finalist Ce Ce Possible For Santa Monica

GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint heroine Ce Ce (Elusive Quality) could launch her 6-year-old campaign in the GII Santa Monica S. at Santa Anita, trainer Michael McCarthy told the Santa Anita notes team before adding that she remains a possibility for the GII Inside Information S. on Pegasus Day at Gulfstream Park next Saturday, Jan. 29. A run in the Santa Monica would come five days before the 2021 Eclipse Award ceremonies, where Ce Ce is among the three candidates for champion female sprinter. "We're very proud of...

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Classic Winner Rombauer Retired

Rombauer (Twirling Candy--Cashmere, by Cowboy Cal), who upset Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) and GI Kentucky Derby first past the post Medina Spirit (Protonico) in last year's GI Preakness S., has been retired from racing, according to his owner John Fradkin, who bred and raced the colt in partnership with his wife Diane. Trained by Michael McCarthy, Rombauer was an eye-catching maiden winner at first asking over the Del Mar turf course and finished runner-up when trying dirt for the first time in the GI American Pharoah S. before a creditable fifth...

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Queen Goddess Gate To Wire In American Oaks

Queen Goddess was trying dirt for the first time, but looked right at home with an easy wire-to-wire victory in the GII American Oaks--which was automatically downgraded after it came off the turf Sunday at Santa Anita. Kicked straight into the lead by Juan Hernandez, Queen Goddess assumed command after the opening furlong and cut out the running while racing a bit off the inside turning down the backstretch. Moving comfortably through a half in :47.62, the dark bay filly lobbed them along comfortably as she began to work clear...

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Going Global the One to Beat, Again, in American Oaks

With a 7-6-1-0 record since being imported from Ireland, and having already bested a number of these foes previously, Going Global (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) is strictly the one to beat in Sunday's concluding event at Santa Anita, the GI American Oaks. The Phil D'Amato trainee's lone runner-up effort in the States came when she was beaten a half-length in the GII San Clemente S. over a Del Mar mile in July, but she bounced back with a victory in that venue's nine-panel GI Del Mar Oaks Aug. 21. Closing Remarks...

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Independence Hall Sharp in Cigar Mile Drill

Independence Hall (Constitution), coming off a 7 1/4-length win in the GII Fayette S. at Keeneland Oct. 30, breezed a bullet half-mile in :46.80 (1/25) Saturday at Churchill Downs ahead of next Saturday's GI Cigar Mile. "I'm very happy with the way he worked," trainer Michael McCarthy said. "We wanted to go ahead and put a little air in his lungs and that's definitely what we got. A race like the Cigar Mile doesn't come around very often and we wanted to make sure we're nice and sharp." Independence Hall...

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Ce Ce's Success the Perfect Memorial

It had looked as though she had missed her cue. If the notoriously random behaviors of the Thoroughbred were really governed by some benign destiny, Ce Ce (Elusive Quality) would surely have recognized her prompt last year in the Grade I race named for the father of her owner-breeder Bo Hirsch. As it was, she was jostled leaving the gate in the Clement L. Hirsch S., took a wide trip and had to make do with third. So there you had it. We couldn't deceive ourselves that anybody up there...

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