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    • In last year’s inaugural GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational S. at Gulfstream Park, Chad Brown brought a single gun to the fight. In fact, it was more of a cannon. Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway) made short work of his rivals that day–winning by 2 ½ lengths–and proceeded to carve out a championship-worthy season consisting of five additional graded wins, including the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita. Looking at this season’s Pegasus World Cup Turf, Brown-who is favored to add his fourth training title at Thursday’s Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream–may not have a horse of the caliber of the likely Horse of the Year, however, he is well represented by a trio of contenders-Without Parole (GB) (Frankel {GB}), Instilled Regard (Arch) and Scared Life (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}). OXO Equine LLC’s Instilled Regard, who kicked off his career with Jerry Hollendorfer, rounded out his juvenile campaign with a second-place effort–after getting promoted via DQ–in the GI Los Alamitos Derby. On the Triple Crown trail at three, he won the GIII Lecomte S. before finishing fourth in the GII Risen Star S., GI Santa Anita Derby and GI Kentucky Derby. Turned over to Brown thereafter, the dark bay failed to make an impact when a well-beaten ninth in the GI Pennsylvania Derby before trying turf for the first time in the nine-furlong GI Hollywood Derby at Del Mar where he finished a respectable third behind stablemate Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}). “His pedigree suggested he could run on both surfaces,” explained Brown regarding the decision to try the colt on the turf. “I thought his dirt races were very good, but the more that we worked with the horse and just watched him move, he clearly showed that he’d be able to at least handle the turf. So, I think he’s a dual surface horse.” A close-up second in a Keeneland allowance on the turf last April, he was given one more chance on the dirt and he didn’t show much, finishing sixth in Churchill’s GII Alysheba S. Third when returned to the grass for an Aqueduct optional claimer in November, he rounded out the year with a victory in the nine-furlong GII Ft. Lauderdale S. over the Gulfstream lawn Dec. 14. Reflecting on the win, Brown explained: “I think he established good position in the race, which was good. He didn’t fall too far behind, which was also good. I think he settled real nicely and really cooperated with [Irad Ortiz Jr.], and I think he got a great trip, too. We know we have a talented horse there. He has good turn of foot. He’s a really quality class horse, but you need to get a good trip, too, and Irad was able to give him a really good ride. So it all worked out.” Ortiz Jr., who was aboard for Instilled Regard’s two most recent starts, will be back in the saddle for Saturday’s PWCT. “He needs some sort of pocketed, ground-saving trip and needs to find some room at some point,” added Brown. “That will be a much tougher race than the last race he was in, so some sort of wide trip with no cover won’t work for him.” Looking beyond the Pegasus Turf with the graded winner on both turf and dirt, Brown expects to keep the 5-year-old on the grass for the foreseeable future. “He’s won some nice races on both, but at this stage of his career, I think that turf’s going to suit him better moving forward, especially from a soundness standpoint,” he offered. “It seems to be a little easier on him. He seems to exit his races and his works on the turf a little better.” Another horse who joined Brown’s team after the fact, John and Tanya Gunther’s Without Parole reeled off four consecutive victories in England at three, headed by the G1 St. James’s Palace S. at Royal Ascot. Unable to recapture that form in five subsequent Group 1 starts through May of 2019, he joined Brown’s Saratoga string last summer, but didn’t make his stateside debut until the GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile, where he finished third-beaten just under three lengths-by stablemate Uni (GB) (More Than Ready). “Immediately he showed us that he’s a quality horse,” recalled Brown. “He’s a good mover and integrated very well into our program. He started training really well, so we ended up taking a shot at the Breeders’ Cup off a layoff, and he ran super. It’s not like me to do something like that, but we didn’t really have any other options where to run him. He was ready around that time, and we gave it a shot.” He added, “The race was very impressive. He ran really huge to be third. Considering how much he was up against, his first time running in the States and off that long of a layoff, a new program, new rider–new everything. So, he really ran well and Irad [Ortiz Jr.], again, gave him a good trip.” According to Brown, Frankie Dettori, who has accompanied the English-bred in all nine overseas starts, including his St. James’s victory, is slated to ride in the Pegasus Turf. “I hope he breaks well and get some sort of decent position in the field,” said Brown. “I’d like to see him saving ground, following the right horses. I think if he gets the same [type of trip as the Mile] turning for home, I think we’re going to see a pretty good turn of foot. He’s trained exceptionally well for this race.” Rounding out the Brown triumvirate, Sacred Life won all three of his starts at two, including the G3 Prix Thomas Byron at Saint-Cloud. He later won or placed in four of five starts at three–including two at the Group 3 level–before rounding out his European campaign with a fourth in the G3 Exbury at Saint-Cloud in March. Secured by a partnership of Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Bethlehem Stables and transferred to Brown, he was runner-up in both the Lure S. and GII Bernard Baruch S. at Saratoga last summer before accounting for his first stateside win in an 8 1/2-furlong Keeneland allowance in October. In his most recent start, he came up a half-length short in Del Mar’s GII Seabiscuit H. Nov. 30. “He’s very consistent in his races and he seems to be improving,” said Brown. “He’s actually moving better now than he was for most of last year. I’d say he is an average mover when he trains on the dirt, but his turf works are really solid. He’s a little bit of a tricky horse to ride. He can be a little headstrong and he’s got a little bit of a light mouth on him, but he’s a very hardy horse and tries hard. He can be a tough horse [his personality] and I like that about him. I’ve been impressed with him, particularly the last three months.” In regards to the 5-year-old’s latest victory Brown added, “When we were training him for the Seabiscuit and I had never seen this horse breeze that well. He’s always a good workhorse, but his last couple works for that race were particularly good. They really caught my attention. He came out of the race good. He was just an unlucky loser in that race. I thought he looked like he was much the best. He just had a really difficult trip and just didn’t have enough time to get there, although he tried. He came home very, very fast in the last quarter.” And according to Brown he has been pleased with the bay since his arrival at Brown’s Palm Meadows training base in Florida. “He’s come down to South Florida and trained just as well, if not even better than before, so he really deserves a shot in the race,” he said. Brown confirmed that Sacred Life will be partnered by Jose Ortiz for the first time in the Pegasus Turf. “He doesn’t have a lot of early speed and he’s going to need some pace in front of him,” he said. “He’s going to have to find a way to follow the right horses and get himself in some sort of striking position when they turn for home and not find himself too far back. I think that’s the key to this horse.” The post Brown’s Triple Turf Threat appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions. View the full article
    • LONDON, UK—Godolphin’s homebred Pinatubo (Ire) (Shamardal) was officially named Europe’s champion juvenile of 2019 on Wednesday when given the highest rating for a 2-year-old in 25 years. In fact, it was a clean sweep for Godolphin and Kildangan Stud-based sire Shamardal, who were also responsible for the joint runners-up in the category, Victor Ludorum (Ire) and Earthlight (Ire). The magic number for Pintaubo—also awarded to Enable (GB), Crystal Ocean (GB) and Waldgeist (GB) when topping the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings—was 128. One has to look back as far as 1994 and 1991 to find a higher rating, when Celtic Swing and Arazi were respectively given marks of 130. Pinatubo, trained by Charlie Appleby, started his unbeaten six-race stretch in a low-key manner at Wolverhampton on May 10 and it culminated with victory in the G1 Darley Dewhurst S. Graeme Smith, lead 2-year-old handicapper for the British Horseracing Authority, said, “Pinatubo looked a potentially outstanding 2-year-old when thrashing a competitive field in the Vintage Stakes and his next performance in the National Stakes was breathtaking—the kind you rarely see in top company—as he powered nine lengths clear of Armory and Arizona in a top-class time. This was one of the great 2-year-old performances, and the best by any 2-year-old in the last 25 years.” Of the juvenile fillies of 2019, the Jessica Harrington-trained Millisle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) was given the highest rating of 115. She won three of her five starts last season for her owner-breeder Stonethorn Farms Ltd, including the G1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park S. “Millisle’s position at the top of the 2-year-old filly rankings is a fitting finale to a juvenile season that can only be described as sensational for handler Jessica Harrington, who trained an amazing 21 individual 2-year-old fillies to success in 2019,” said Mark Bird, handicapper for the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board. “Millisle’s victory at Newmarket, when she defeated three Group 2 and two Group 3 winners, was the most substantive piece of form produced by any 2-year-old filly in Europe in 2019. She deservedly emerges as champion in the division following in the footsteps of a long list of fillies, including Marling, Queen’s Logic, Tiggy Wiggy and Clemmie, who were all crowned Champion 2-year-old filly after winning this race.” Forty juveniles in Europe received a rating of 110 or higher, the joint-lowest total in recent years. The post Pinatubo Awarded Top Rating In 25 Years appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions. View the full article
    • The 49th annual Runhappy Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group, will air live on TVG, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wednesday. Hosted by Acacia Courtney, Britney Eurton, and Gabby Gaudet and highlighted by the announcement of the 2019 Runhappy Horse of the Year, the Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held Thursday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. ET in the Sport of Kings Theatre at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida. A livestream of the ceremony will be available online at Eclipse Awards partner websites DRF.com, XBTV.com, and GulfstreamPark.com. In addition to Horse of the Year, the Eclipse Awards will bestow championship honors in 16 equine and human categories. The program also will include Horseplayer of the Year, Scott Coles, and the NTRA Moment of the Year, recognizing a singular significant occurrence as determined by fans. Members of the media will also be honored for outstanding coverage in six categories. The post Runhappy Eclipse Awards to be Broadcast Live on TVG appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions. View the full article
    • The tide continues to turn for South African jockey Lyle Hewitson, who produced a peach of a ride aboard Kiram to snare his first Happy Valley winner on Wednesday night.The likeable 22-year-old endured a nightmare start to his Hong Kong career – his first winner came at his 140th ride – but through hard work and a steely resolve, positive results are starting to come.After a host of placings on horses at big prices, Hewitson didn’t have to wait anywhere near as long to return to the winner’s… View the full article
    • LONDON, UK—The Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2019 delivered a three-way tie for top honours between Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}), Crystal Ocean (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and Waldgeist (GB) (Galileo {Ire}). Announced in London’s Landmark Hotel on Wednesday afternoon, the ratings, assessing horses from 17 racing nations, are derived from individual performances. Look back to the replay of the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO S. from last July and you will find the trio finishing in the order above, and it was for this race that the runner-up, Crystal Ocean, was given his year-high mark of 128 when giving three pounds to Enable and finishing just a neck behind her in a bravely-fought finish. Enable’s matching mark was achieved in her next race, the G1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks, the final race in Britain for the mare last year before she took her seasonal bow in the G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. And from this Paris showdown, her conqueror Waldgeist was also awarded 128, the trio having been judged to be a pound clear of the performance of the Hong Kong-trained Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road To Rock {Aus}) in the G3 Celebration Cup. All foaled in Britain, the leading trio each raced for their breeders: Enable represents Prince Khalid Abdullah’s powerful Juddmonte operation, while Crystal Ocean, bred at Southcourt Stud, carried the colours of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild to victory on eight occasions, including in last season’s G1 Prince of Wales’s S. He was trained by Sir Michael Stoute just metres along the road from where Enable is stabled at John Gosden’s Clarehaven. Meanwhile, Waldgeist, now resident at Ballylinch Stud in Ireland ahead of the start of the covering season, was bred by the Waldlerche Partnership which consists of Gestut Ammerland, Newsells Park Stud and Coolmore. The latter relinquished their ownership in Waldgeist in 2017, after which he continued to race for the other two partners. Coolmore still has a link to one of the top trio, however, as Crystal Ocean has recently taken up residence on its National Hunt roster at Beeches Stud. The phenomenally consistent 7-year-old Beauty Generation, trained by John Moore, flew the flag for the southern hemisphere-breds on 127, while an international quartet was awarded a mark of 126. These were the highest-rated sprinter, Shadwell’s Battaash (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), who achieved this rating for his record-breaking G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe S. victory; Godolphin’s wide-margin G1 Longines Grosser Preis Von Baden winner Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}); Japan’s Horse of the Year Lys Gracieux (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) for her GI Arima Kinen win, and GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso (Curlin), who was deemed the world’s top-rated dirt horse. Also tied on 125 were Benbatl (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), the five-length winner of the G2 Shadwell Joel S., G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase hero Glory Vase (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), and Australia’s darling Winx (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}), who bowed out permanently from racing on April 13 last year with an extraordinary 25 Group 1 victories to her name. The GI Tenno Sho victrix Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), dual Royal Ascot winner Blue Point (Ire) (Shamardal), City Of Light (Quality Road), for his Pegasus World Cup victory, and G1 TJ Smith S.-winning sprinter Santa Ana Lane (Aus) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) were all level on 124. Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) was king of the staying division having been awarded a mark of 122 for his runs in both the G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup and G2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup. A total of 296 horses across the world were rated 115 or higher. The post Crystal Ocean, Enable, Waldgeist Joint World’s Best appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions. View the full article
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