Archive for January, 2014

McLaughlin leaning toward Florida Derby for Cairo Prince

Edited Gulfstream Park release:

Cairo Prince, impressive winner of the Grade II, $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25, may get some extra time before making his next start.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is looking at bypassing the Grade II,  $400,000 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 22 and training up to the  Grade I, $1 million Florida Derby on March 29.

“The plans right now are to probably just point for the Florida Derby,” McLaughlin said. “The Holy Bull was a huge effort, and they’re not machines. It’s hard to run every four weeks and run your best. We’ll still look at [the Fountain of Youth], but we might very well skip it.”

Cairo Prince came from just off the pace to win the Holy Bull by 5 ¾ lengths in 1:42.16 for 1 1/16 miles, the largest margin of victory since Suave Prospect won by eight in 1995.

Owned by Namcook Stables, Paul Braverman, Harvey Clarke and Craig Robertson, Cairo Prince has run four times in 16 weeks since his debut last October at Belmont Park. Winner of the Grade II Nashua  in his second start, he was second to Honor Code in the Grade II Remsen on Nov. 30 to cap his juvenile season.

With his Holy Bull triumph, Cairo Prince stamped himself a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby on May 3. McLaughlin has started four horses in the Derby including 2005 runner-up Closing Argument, who also won the Holy Bull.

“Cairo’s doing great and eating up well,” McLaughlin said. “He’s just doing real well. He’s back to the track training. The Holy Bull was such a huge effort, and we have to look down the road to the first Saturday in May.”

Weather putting damper on Ria Antonia’s schedule

Edited Fair Grounds release:

With training cancelled for three straight mornings at Fair Grounds due to frigid temperatures, the schedule of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Ria Antonia has been thrown for a loop and could impact where she makes her seasonal bow.

The connections of Ria Antonia shipped into Fair Grounds January 11 with a campaign designed to lead up to a start against male rivals in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes on February 22. In recent days, however, owners Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable said they instead planned to start her against her own sex in the Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes, also on February 22.

But as of Thursday morning Ron Paolucci, owner of Loooch Racing and manager of Ria Antonia’s career, was uncertain exactly what the future is for the daughter of Rockport Harbor.

“The weather down there is really putting a damper on our plans,” said Paolucci.  “We were on a tight schedule anyway, and when they closed the track for training again this morning for a third day we’re even on a tighter schedule now.

“I realize we can’t help what Mother Nature does, but we originally had her scheduled for six breezes before her next race on a Saturday-to-Saturday schedule, then it was five and now we might be down to four,” Paolucci continued.  “It would cost me a lot of money to ship my filly somewhere else, but I can’t hurt my filly if she’s not ready in time.  Our plans for her now have become more uncertain.  We’ll just have to see how she does on a day-to-day basis – at least for the next few days.”

Ria Antonia crossed the wire second to champion She’s a Tiger in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies but was elevated to first when her rival was disqualified for interference in the stretch. That marked Ria Antonia’s second win in five career starts and her first graded stakes triumph.


Grade 2 winner Corfu retired to Bridlewood Farm

Edited release:

Corfu, who set a stakes record while winning the Grade II Saratoga Special last August, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2014 breeding season at John & Leslie Malone’s Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, FL. Corfu’s introductory fee is $3,500 stands and nurses, and he’s available immediately for inspection at Bridlewood upon appointment.


“We are very excited about Corfu and his tremendous potential as a stallion at Bridlewood,” said George G. Isaacs, Bridlewood general manager. “Corfu demonstrated precociousness and brilliance on the track, and he’s a very good physical by a current top sire. I firmly believe Florida breeders are going to love him. Corfu is available for inspection immediately, and I invite people to come out to the farm and see just how impressive he is.”

Corfu most recently finished sixth in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park on January 4. The son of Malibu Moon posted two works since including breezing five furlongs in 1:00.90 on January 26, the second fastest move of 26 at that distance.


Corfu was a leading 2-year-old both in the sales ring and on the racetrack in 2013, topping the Barretts March Select Sale for 2-year-olds in training earlier in the year when he sold for $675,000 to agent Demi O’Byrne after breezing a quarter of a mile in :20 4/5 seconds.


Trained by Todd Pletcher for the  partnership of Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor, Corfu broke his maiden in July at first asking in :58 1/5 seconds for the five-furlong Maiden Special heat. Coming back just 17 days later, Corfu led at every call to score his biggest career win in the Saratoga Special in a dazzling 1:15.57, setting a new stakes record in the 6 ½-furlong event that has been contested at that distance since 1994.


Corfu was also runner-up in the Grade II Futurity Stakes at Belmont in September. An earner of $214,200 on the track, Corfu is out of the Forest Wildcat mare Fashion Cat, a half-sister to the Grade I winner Peace Rules, and retires with two wins from six career starts.

Honor Code likely to miss Fountain of Youth

Honor Code, winner of the Grade II Remsen Stakes last November, will likely not make his seasonal bow in the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on February 22 as planned after  bruising up his back ankles, according to Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.

“I had a little bit of a setback with him and lost about 10 days of training with him so chances are he won’t make the Fountain of Youth,” McGaughey said when reached by cell phone Wednesday morning. “Maybe it will be something in New York like the (Grade III) Gotham (at Aqueduct March 1) or something like that as we go along but I won’t make the Fountain of Youth with him.”

Honor Code had his first work on the year on January 18, going three furlongs in 38.10 at Payson Park Training Center in Florida, but had been absent from the tab since.

“I don’t think he lost a whole lot (training wise) but I don’t think I can have him ready to run in three weeks,” McGaughey added. “He’ll go back to the track on Friday and see how he goes.”

McGaughey had everything go his way on the Kentucky Derby trail last year when he guided Orb through the major prep wins in the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby en route to his sublime triumph in the first leg of the Triple Crown. McGaughey reiterated how much that experience showed him that everything has to go just so leading up to the first Saturday in May, but he still isn’t about to count the talented Honor Code out of contention.

“I told everyone that with Orb last year, everything went right,” McGaughey said. “We developed him the right way, he didn’t get a bruised foot or anything, everything went right. We’ll just have to see if everything goes right here. I don’t think he (Honor Code) is out of the picture yet.”

Softening the blow slightly is the fact McGaughey  has another well regarded sophomore in Top Billing. The son of Curlin invoked many comparisons to Orb when he rallied from off the pace to win a 1 1/16-miles allowance by a widening 2 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park this past Saturday.

McGaughey said Wednesday he still had no firm plans where Top Billing would run next but that the Fountain of Youth is under consideration.

“I’ve been really impressed with him,” McGaughey said. “I was at Payson Park yesterday morning and thought it was kind of incredible how well he’s coming out of his races. I don’t know where I’ll run him next, I’ll let him tell me. The Fountain of Youth is obviously the next stop down here but I’ll have to figure that out.”



Fountain of Youth likely next for Holy Bull winner Cairo Prince

Edited Gulfstream Park release:

As good as he felt after watching Cairo Prince romp to a 5 ¾-length win in Saturday’s Grade II, $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was just as excited after checking on his stable star Sunday morning.

Stabled at Palm Meadows, Cairo Prince gave McLaughlin every indication that the Pioneerof the Nile colt took the most lopsided Holy Bull victory in 19 years in stride.

“Cairo came out of the race great. He ate up well and is happy, sound and healthy this morning, so we’re very pleased with that,” he said. “It’s exactly what I wanted to see. That’s the key, because if they back out of the tub it’s the first indication it was a tough race on him, but he ate up everything and he’s bright and happy. He couldn’t have come out of the race better. He is perfect this morning, so that’s all we can ask for.”

In the Holy Bull, his first race since finishing a nose behind Honor Code in the Grade II Remsen at Aqueduct on Nov. 30, Cairo Prince raced three wide from post seven and rolled up on the early leaders at the three-eighths pole before taking command nearing the stretch and drawing away for the biggest margin of victory since Suave Prospect won by eight lengths in 1995.

It was the second graded stakes win for Cairo Prince following the Grade II Nashua on Nov. 3, and stamped him as an early leading contender on the road to the Kentucky Derby. McLaughlin has been there four times before, finishing second with Holy Bull winner Closing Argument in 2005 and fourth in 2006 with Jazil, who would go on to win the Belmont Stakes.

A native of Lexington, Ky., McLaughlin was also 14th in the 2006 Derby with Flashy Bull, and 11th with Soldat in 2011.

“There’s no question he’s the best one,” McLaughlin said of Cairo Prince, who is owned by Harvey Clarke, Craig Robertson, Paul Braverman and Namcook Stable. “We haven’t been in this position before, ever. The most important thing is he doesn’t have to improve. He doesn’t have to do anything but stay the way he is, and that’s all we hope for is for him to stay healthy and happy.”

McLaughlin said the Grade II, $400,000  Fountain of Youth on Feb. 22 is the next logical spot to consider for Cairo Prince, followed by the Grade I, $1 million  Florida Derby on March 29.

“The next question is where do we go from here, and I don’t have an answer today,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t have to have an answer today. We’ll see how he starts training. Obviously, the Fountain of Youth is next here in the series so that’s what we’re going to look at. “This horse, he even makes me say things that I don’t normally say because I like to let the horse do the talking on the track. He’s a really, really nice horse, the kind everybody gets up early every day to come out and train. He makes our job easy.”

Fellow trainer and Lexington native Shug McGaughey saddled Mr Speaker in the Holy Bull, racing third in the early stages before fading to finish seventh behind the authoritative Cairo Prince.  McGaughey said the Phipps Stable homebred would likely return to the turf, having won his previous two starts on the grass, including a rallying success in the Grade III Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream in December.

“I was a little surprised that he was up that close, but the winner was sitting right on his tail,” McGaughey pointed out. “I think at this point he’s going to be better on the grass, so we’ll go back to grass. I think the (3-year-olds) back around here are pretty good.”

McGaughey mentioned the Grade III, $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes on March 1 as another target for Mr Speaker.

McGaughey is still sorting out the pecking order of his 3-year-old colts, but Top Billing stamped himself as one to watch further down the Triple Crown trail. Making only his third lifetime start in an allowance on the Holy Bull  undercard, the chestnut colt caboosed the field early, but circled the field on the far turn and was hand-ridden by jockey Joel Rosario to a 2 ¾-length success over Surfing U S A. The son of Curlin was timed in 1:42.66, just a few ticks off of the track record of 1:41.73 set by River Seven in December. Top Billing earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure for his performance.

“I’m not sure who was behind him,” McGaughey offered. “On paper it looked maybe better than it was, but for him to get back and make a run like that…he was an easy winner. I was impressed with him.”

Top Billing will almost certainly find himself in stakes company next time, but it is unlikely that he would face off with highly regarded stablemate Honor Code in the Fountain of Youth Stakes in four weeks’ time.

“I’ll have to see how he comes out of it and I’ll speak to (owner) Mr. Farish the first of the week,” McGaughey said. “I’ll figure out what he wants to do and how much pressure he wants to put on him.”

Racing for the partnership of breeders William S. Farish and E.J. Hudson Jr., Top Billing has now won two of three career appearances and $56,835. In his previous start, the 3-year-old lost a narrow decision to Commissioner—a highly regarded colt from the Todd Pletcher barn—in a Gulfstream allowance on January 3.

Another handy move for champion Groupie Doll

Edited Gulfstream Park release:

Two-time Eclipse Award-winner Groupie Doll breezed five-furlongs at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning, preparing for her scheduled final career start in the Grade III, $150,000 Hurricane Bertie on Feb. 9.

The 6-year-old daughter of Bowman’s Band was timed in 1:00 4/5 after finishing the last quarter of a mile in 23 3/5 seconds while traveling easily under exercise rider Jada Schlenk.

“She looked like she did it very well. We wanted to have a little easier work this week without pushing her. Last week, she saw some company in front of her and ran them down,” trainer Buff Bradley said. “We just wanted to get a nice easy work and get some distance in her. She galloped out really strong.”

Groupie Doll, who was purchased by Mandy Pope for $3.1 million at the Keeneland November Breeding stock sale, has worked three times at Gulfstream since finishing a troubled fourth against males in the Grade I Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. Last week, she breezed five furlongs in 59 4/5 seconds.

The Hurricane Bertie, a 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, is scheduled to be Groupie Doll’s 23rd and last start of a brilliant career that includes back-to-back triumphs in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.

“We’ll probably breeze her next Sunday and go a half, hopefully, a sharp half,” said Bradley, who bred Groupie Doll with his father, Fred.

No work, no updates on juvenile champion Shared Belief

Courtesy of Santa Anita Park publicity team

Unbeaten juvenile champion Shared Belief, who missed a scheduled workout Jan. 12 due to an abscess in his right front foot, reportedly was set to work at Santa Anita Park Friday morning but did not.

Asked Friday morning for an update on the gelding’s status, trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer said, “There is no update.” When approached again later, the Hall of Fame conditioner said, “I don’t have any news for the next 15 days.”

Named champion male 2-year-old of 2013 last Saturday, Shared Belief had been scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 8.

Owned by a partnership that includes sports radio personality Jim Rome, the dark bay Candy Ride gelding has won all three of his career outings by open lengths including a 5 3/4-length win in the Grade I CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on December 14.

Breeders’ Cup winner Ria Antonia on course to face males in Risen Star

Edited Fair Grounds release:

As always – it’s an intriguing scenario when a filly is matched against “the boys.”


On February 22, guests of the Crescent City oval and fans of the Fair Grounds are on a course to witness that female-versus-male challenge again when Loooch Racing Stable et al.’s Ria Antonia is set to meet Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s dominating Grade III Lecomte hero Vicar’s in Trouble and others in Fair Grounds’ Grade II Risen Star Stakes on Louisiana Derby Preview Day.


Ria Antonia has not raced since her adjudged victory in Santa Anita’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last Nov. 2, but after arriving in New Orleans Jan. 11 the well-made daughter of Rockport Harbor breezed a half-mile in 49.60 here Jan. 18 and will breeze four furlongs once again Saturday.


“She loves it here,” said trainer Jeremiah Englehart’s assistant Elizabeth Dobles during training hours Friday morning.  Dobles, a 23-year-old miss from the Finger Lakes area of New York State, has been getting on Ria Antonia and handling her since she came to Englehart’s barn last fall.  “The best day of training we’ve had here so far was yesterday,” she added, “and today was just as good.  She’s on a schedule where we breeze her once a week and then walk, jog and gallop successfully in the days after her works.


“’Ria’ was just an average filly when she came to us,” Dobles said, “but about a week before the (Grade I) Frizette (Oct 5) at Aqueduct last fall (where she finished fifth) she started to show us what kind of filly we had.  Then we went out to California for the Breeders’ Cup and she ran a very good race there (finishing an impeded second by a nose before being awarded the victory.)


“She kind of takes to anything,” Dobles said when asked if the unusually cold weather in New Orleans lately had affected the filly.  “It was warm in California when we went there last fall and since it’s gotten so cold here at Fair Grounds lately she enjoys that, too.


“Two weeks after California we gave her about 30 days off in Florida,” Dobles said.  “I went to Hong Kong with our horse King Kreesa (for Sha Tin’s Group I Hong Kong Mile) but I got back with ‘Ria’ at Belmont and we breezed her three-eighths there (36.60 Jan. 5) before coming down here.


“She’s really very fresh right now,” Dobles said, “but she’s usually a laid back kind of filly.  When she first goes out on the track she starts playing a little bit, but once she really starts going she’s all business.”


“I’ve been working for Jeremiah for four years, now,” said Dobles.  “When I first started exercising horses I thought I wanted to be a jockey, but now I realize I’d much rather be an assistant working with the horses and communicating with them.  It doesn’t matter to me whether they are worth $4,000 or $4 million.  I treat them all the same, but naturally there’s a lot more pressure with a horse like her.”


“Jeremiah will be coming down here Feb. 8,” Dobles concluded.

Starlight Racing back in Holy Bull mix with Intense Holiday

Edited Gulfstream Park release:

Intense Holiday will have the rest of the field inside him when he breaks from post 11 in Saturday’s Grade II, $400,000  Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park – the same scenario his sire, Harlan’s Holiday, faced 11 years ago in the Grade I Donn Handicap.

His connections are hoping for a similar result, as well. Hustled from the gate by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, Harlan’s Holiday was able to secure good early position before drawing away in the stretch to win the 2003 Donn by 2 ½ lengths.

“We were at the draw that year and everybody had a heart attack when he pulled the 11-hole,” said Louisville-based Jack Wolf, who owned Harlan’s Holiday and is co-founder and managing partner of Starlight Racing, which campaigns Intense Holiday. “Good horses can find a way to win from any post.”

The 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull will mark the 3-year-old debut for Intense Holiday, who had a maiden win from five starts at 2. Before leaving New York for South Florida, he was fifth in the Grade I Champagne at Belmont Park and fourth in both the Grade II Nashua and Remsen at Aqueduct.

“We sort of took a stab in the Champagne because there sort of wasn’t any other place to go. I thought he ran a credible race there,” Wolf said. “Not using it as an excuse, he hasn’t had the best of trips. This race has got some pretty fancy horses in there. It’s one good horse after another.”

A victory by Intense Holiday in Saturday’s Holy Bull would carry some extra emotional weight with the Starlight crew as Wolf and Co. watched their champion colt Shanghai Bobby – another son of Harlan’s Holiday – suffer his first career loss in last year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby prep race.

Harlan’s Holiday was tragically euthanized this past November after collapsing and going into shock while standing the Southern Hemisphere season in Argentina.

Despite his post, Intense Holiday is fourth in the program at odds of 6-1; Nashua winner and Remsen runner-up Cairo Prince is favored at 3-1. Other familiar horses Intense Holiday will face are Financial Mogul, second in the Nashua, and Wicked Strong, third in the Remsen.

“We’re hopeful he can catch a trip and show us what he really is capable of,” said Starlight co-founder and managing partner Don Lucarelli. “Whatever happens, happens, but I do think that he will be a good horse. He can handle the distance. It’s going to all be how much pace is in front of him and where he sits off the first turn; that’s what’s going to dictate everything. It’s all about the trip, but the horse is doing well.”

This year’s Holy Bull field is the largest since Barbaro beat 11 challengers in 2006. There have been as many as 11 four times in its first 27 runnings, the best finish from post 11 being Choctaw Ridge’s fourth in 1992.

A minor illness will keep Wildcat Red, runner-up in the Gulfstream Park Derby on Jan. 1, from starting  in the Holy Bull. Trainer Jose Garoffalo said the D’wildcat colt was treated after showing some mucous in his throat on Monday morning, the day entries were taken.

Mucho Macho Man’s Classic win voted NTRA Moment of the Year

 NTRA release:

Mucho Macho Man’s nose victory in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic has been voted by fans the 2013 National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Moment of the Year. The results of the online poll were announced this morning at the second annual ThoroFan Awards Breakfast at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.


Mucho Macho Man, owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, went off at 4-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race he had finished second in the previous year. Jockey Gary Stevens, who earlier in 2013 had come back from seven years of retirement, urged Mucho Macho Man to the lead approaching the top of the stretch and saved enough to barely hold off late charges from Will Take Charge and Declaration of War in a wild three-horse photo finish. Heart transplant survivor Kathy Ritvo became the first female trainer to win North America’s richest race, rewarding Patti and Dean Reeves for the faith they showed in both her and the popular hard-trying horse.


Balloting was conducted at the NTRA Web site,, and offered voters 12 different images illustrating a range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Finishing second was Paynter’s winning return to racing following a miraculous recovery from colitis and laminitis; the popular Grade I winner’s near-fatal illness earned topped the 2012 Moment of the Year voting.


The 2013 images and events that fans chose from (listed chronologically, with percentage of votes received, rounded to the nearest tenth of a percentage point):


  • Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens rides his first winner in North America since 2005 aboard Branding in the first race at Santa Anita. (1.2%)
  • Spicer Cub bolts around the parked starting gate along the outside rail and still nearly wins at Pimlico Race Course, losing by a nose.  (15.8%)
  • Orb wins the Kentucky Derby for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and owners Stuart Janney III and Dinny Phipps. (5%)
  • Oxbow wins the Preakness Stakes, giving Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his sixth win in the Triple Crown’s middle jewel and 50-year-old Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens his third. (3.5%)
  • Paynter, after battling back from life-threatening illness the year before, returns to the races to win an allowance at Betfair Hollywood Park. (18.3%)
  • Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze becomes the first North American rider to reach the 12,000-win milestone aboard Handful of Pearls at the Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton. (2.2%)
  • Ken & Sarah Ramsey win three major Grade I turf stakes – the Secretariat (with Admiral Kitten), Sword Dancer (Big Blue Kitten) and Arlington Million (Real Solution) – at two different tracks in less than two hours. (4.2%)
  • Will Take Charge barely gets up to beat front-running Moreno by a nose in the $1 million Travers at Saratoga Race Course. (5.3%)
  • Retired jockey Ramon Dominguez is presented with the Mike Venezia Award, as well as the 2012 Eclipse Award trophy for Outstanding Jockey he was unable to accept last January, during a ceremony in the Saratoga winner’s circle. (5%)
  • Five-year-old mare Mizdirection beats males in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for the second straight year in her final career start. (3.2%)
  • Wise Dan wins the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Mile for the second straight year, capping a season that will likely be recognized with a repeat Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. (6.2%)
  • Mucho Macho Man wins the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by a nose for jockey Gary Stevens, trainer Kathy Ritvo and owners Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. (30%)

“Mucho Macho Man’s win in the Breeders’ Cup was thrilling because it was a wild finish decided by a nose, but it was especially unforgettable because of the stories behind the horse,” said Keith Chamblin, NTRA Senior Vice President. “Voting for the Moment of the Year was up more than 50-percent this year and the popularity of Mucho Macho Man and his connections are surely part of the reason.”


The first-ever “NTRA Moment of the Year” was the touching scene between Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. The next year’s winner was the stretch run of the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which saw Tiznow hold on for a dramatic victory against Giant’s Causeway. Tiznow won again the following year as fans selected his stirring repeat victory in the Classic over Sakhee. In 2002, fans cited the passing of the last living Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. In 2003, the popular Kentucky Derby win by Funny Cide was selected. Birdstone’s upset win in the Belmont Stakes over Smarty Jones took down top honors for 2004. In 2005, fans selected Afleet Alex’s spectacular victory in the 2005 Preakness Stakes. Voters in 2006 chose Barbaro’s gallant struggle to recover from his Preakness injury while at the New Bolton Center. The 2007 Moment of the Year was a historic victory by filly Rags to Riches over Curlin in the Belmont Stakes. In 2008, it was Zenyatta’s win in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. Zenyatta “repeated” in 2009 as fans selected her triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.


In 2010, fans selected Blame’s narrow Breeders’ Cup Classic victory over Zenyatta. Drosselmeyer’s hard-fought win over Game on Dude in the Breeders’ Cup Classic was the public’s choice for 2011. Last year, the recovery of Haskell Invitational winner Paynter from near-deadly battles with laminitis and colitis captured the hearts of voters like no other story.

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