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Category: Breeders Cup

Juan Manuel Marquez, Tim Bradley to stage Breeders' Cup workout

Bradley_275Santa Anita Park in Arcadia will stage a Breeders' Cup workout Saturday for boxers Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley from from noon to 3 p.m.

The event, to coincide with the airing of nine Breeders' Cup races simulcast from Churchill Downs, will showcase how Marquez looks one week before his world welterweight title fight against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Marquez has vowed he's in supreme shape for the 145-pound catchweight fight that will be the third in a rivalry that produced a draw in 2004 and a Pacquiao split-decision triumph in 2008.

Coachella Valley's unbeaten Bradley will fight veteran Joel Casamayor on the Nov. 12 undercard, and he's in line to perhaps be Pacquiao's next opponent if talks to make a Floyd Mayweather Jr. super-fight fail again.

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Timothy Bradley poses with the WBO Junior Welterweight Championship in 2009. Credit: Mark Avery / Associated Press

Breeders' Cup to return to Santa Anita in 2012

Breederscup The Breeders’ Cup will hold a luncheon Wednesday at L.A. Live to confirm one of the worst-kept secrets in horse racing in recent years -- that the 2012 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anita.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be Nov. 4-5 at Churchill Downs. Dates for the 2012 Breeders' Cup, while not yet announced, are likely to be Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3.

Several racing officials acknowledged Friday, without wanting to be named, that Santa Anita beat out Churchill Downs and Belmont Park for next year’s event. It will mark the sixth time the lucrative and prestigious show will be held at Santa Anita, which most recently held it in 2008 and 2009 to rave reviews.

The Breeders’ Cup annually offers more than $25 million in purses over two days of racing, with no single purse less than $500,000. The main race, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, is worth $5 million.

--Bill Dwyre

Photo: Rainbow View works out before the 2009 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Secretariat movie will invoke special memories for everyone

There are moments in sports history never to be forgotten, and one of those is Secretariat’s 31-length triumph in the 1973 Belmont Stakes.

The Walt Disney Co. is releasing its new film, “Secretariat,” on Oct. 8, which tells the story of a determined owner, Penny Chenery, a flamboyant trainer, Lucien Laurin, and a Triple Crown horse that seemingly had wings.

I watched a screening on Tuesday, and to see the grace, power and majesty of thoroughbreds up close was a reminder how intoxicating the sport truly is.

Most memorable are the closeups of the horses’ eyes. You wonder what they are thinking and feel their emotion.

I was 14 in 1973 and remember being in awe how a horse could be so dominant with so much on the line in a singular performance that still stands as the fastest time for 1-1/2 miles in Belmont Stakes history.

Horse racing fans will cherish the movie, as will those who grew up in the 1970s. Fans of actor John Malkovich will rave about his funny, quirky portrayal of trainer Laurin.

And the movie comes out just as another super horse, the unbeaten mare Zenyatta, is writing her own movie script, being 18 for 18 while preparing to end her career in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.

If Secretariat and Zenyatta were to race, who would win?

It would be the race of any century.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Angels recall pitchers Sean O'Sullivan and Trevor Bell

The Angels have recalled right-handers Trevor Bell and Sean O'Sullivan from triple-A Salt Lake.

Angelslogo O'Sullivan, 23, is expected to start Tuesday night against the Yankees. He has appeared in four games of relief for the Angels this season and has a 1.29 earned-run average in seven innings. For the Salt Lake Bees this season, he started 15 games and has a 5-5 record with a 4.76 ERA and 58 strikeouts.

Bell, 23, has appeared in 14 games of relief for the Angels this season and has a 1-1 record with a 6.38 ERA and 16 strikeouts. He has started six games for the Bees and has a 2-0 record with a 3.00 ERA and 19 strikeouts. 

To make room for them, the Angels designated infielder Paul McAnulty for assignment and optioned outfielder Cory Aldridge to Salt Lake.

-- Debbie Goffa

Zenyatta Breeders' Cup 2009 video

If it was a movie, no one would have believed it. Maybe they can hire Tobey Maguire to play the jockey when it does get made into a movie.

Zenyatta had no chance to win the Breeders' Cup Classic. She was too far behind. But somehow, she won. It's amazing to watch, so what are you waiting for? Watch it above.

Is Zenyatta the greatest horse of all time? Leave a comment and let us know.

-- Houston Mitchell 

Breeders' Cup Day 2


Zenyatta, the unbeaten 5-year-old mare, put together a performance for the ages Saturday before 58,845 at Santa Anita. She rallied from last place in a field of 12, went to the inside around the final turn, went to the outside in the stretch and mowed down her male rivals to win the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, her 14th consecutive victory.

She becomes the first female horse to win the Breeders' Cup Classic in the 26-year history, and there were thousands of screaming fans rooting her home as the 5-2 favorite. Gio Ponti finished second, one length behind Zenyatta, and Twice Over was third.

"There are tears coming to my eyes," trainer John Shirreffs said. "I can't believe it. She is a great, great filly. She is all heart. The way the crowd took to her was just amazing. They cheered for her, they clapped for her; they love her. What a wonderful relationship."

Zenyatta finished the 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.62, the longest race of her career, under jockey Mike Smith. And she helped ignite debate over who's the Horse of the Year, since the 3-year-old filly Rachael Alexandra did not race Saturday. She paid $7.60 for the victory.

"I just hope the press appreciates what they have seen," Shirreffs said.

The race was delayed when Quality Road refused to go into the gate. After putting a hood over his eyes, he was shoved into the gate but started kicking and ended up being scratched, forcing the remaining 12 horses to be pulled from the gate and put back in. It didn't faze Zenyatta. And for Shirreffs who won the Ladies' Classic on Friday with Life Is Sweet, it means a sweep of the biggest races in the two-day event.

The two-day attendance figure was 96,496, up nearly 10,000 from last year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita.

-- Eric Sondheimer


Conduit was content to watch Presious Passion roll out to a 10-length lead early in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Cup Turf race and then put in a kick to win the race by 1/2-length. In many ways, the fact that Presious Passion was still around at the end was equally remarkable. Dar Re Mi was third and Spanish Moon fourth.

Continue reading »

Life Is Sweet wins the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic at Santa Anita


Life Is Sweet, a horse better known for losing to Zenyatta, won the $2 million Ladies Classic, a race that Zenyatta would have run in if her handlers did not opt for Saturday's Classic. Life Is Sweet, who had won 5 of 14 races going into Friday was beaten by the undefeated super-mare three of the last four races. But Saturday she looked good beating Muska by 2 1/2 lengths.

Music Note, the morning line favorite, finished third and just didn't fire as usual at the end of the 1 1/8 mile race. Garrett Gomez was the winning jockey and John Shirreffs the trainer. Careless Jewel, the post-time favorite went out extremely fast and had a huge lead after 5 furlongs. But the horse tired badly and finished last.

Life is Sweet paid $18.20, $8.00 and $5.00.

After the first day of the mythical Rider Cup the U.S. had a 2-1 lead.

--John Cherwa 

Jockey Julien Leparoux has become the first riding star of the Breeders' Cup, winning his second race of the day after guiding Informed Decision to an upset victory over 4-5 favorite Ventura in the $1 million Filly & Mare sprint at seven furlongs.

Trainer Jonathan Sheppard had a much better ending than in the Breeders' Cup Marathon, when his horse, Cloudy's Knight, was beaten by a nose. Informed Decision won by 1 1/4 lengths and paid $8.80. Free Flying Soul finished third.

The U.S. moved ahead in the Rider Cup 1 1/2 to 1.

-- Eric Sondheimer

The European imports are starting to assert themselves, and it was the England-based 3-year-old filly Midday who rallied along the rail to win the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf by one length over Pure Clan and Forever Together.

Trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Thomas Queally, Midday ran the 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.14 and returned $6.60 for the victory.

Visit was the pacesetter, but the three top finishers all came on strong in the stretch to overall the early speed.

In the mythical Rider Cup, the win tied the score between the U.S. and Europe at 1-1.

-- Eric Sondheimer

The $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies race provided a near blanket finish but the crafty She Be Wild benefited from a great trip and snuck through on the rail to win her fourth race in five tries. Beautician finished second and Blind Luck took third.

The race was easily the most in doubt with all eyes on the center of the racetrack. But jockey Julien Leparoux, after having the horse break sharply, found a comfortable spot on the rail and continued her ground-saving trip. There were four horses within two lengths of the wire. Wayne Catalano was the winning trainer.

She returned $16.80, $9.00, $5.00.

--John Cherwa

Rosemary Homeister Jr., the lone female in this year's Breeders' Cup competition, led down the stretch aboard Cloudy's Night in the $500,000 Marathon, but lost in a photo finish to John Murtagh aboard Man of Iron.

Said Homeister, 37, who hails from Florida and once competed in the Kentucky Derby: "Galloping out, he was still in front. It was just a bob of the head. He has such a long neck and long nose--I just wish it was a little bit longer. And yes, when you don't win, you get a little deflated."

It was Homeister's first trip to Santa Anita. 

-- Pete Thomas

The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillis Turf at 1 mile was essentially a two-horse race with Tapitsfly edging past the front-running Rose Catherine in the middle of the stretch to win by 1/2 length. Tapitsfly was ridden by Robby Albarado and trained by Dale Romans. It was the third win in seven races for the 2 year old. It was her first trip over the fiirm turf. 

Rose Catherine broke sharply, turning in a 22 4/5 opening quarter. She seemed comfortable through the backstretch with Tapitsy running about 1/2 length on the outside. Entering the stretch both horses seemed comfortable but Tapitsfly had more gas in the tank. It was the first time Rose Catherine House of Grace finished third and Hatheer finished fourth. The winner paid $21.60, $8.60, $6.00.

In the mythical Rider Cup, the U.S. now leads 1 to 0.

    --John Cherwa

The $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon, at 1 3/4 miles on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface, ended with a dramatic finish, as jockey John Murtagh rallied the royally-bred 3-year-old Man of Iron to a nose victory over the 9-year-old Cloudy's Knight, ridden by female jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. Mastery, the  race favorite, finished third.

Man of Iron, who raced in Ireland, is by Giant's Causeway out of the top dam, Better Than Honour, the 2007 broodmare of the year. Better Than Honour was also the dam of Belmont Stakes winners Jazil and Rags to Riches and sold for $14 million last year. She also produced Grade II winner Casino Drive.

Man of Iron returned $14.80, $7.20 and $4.40.

In The Times mythical Rider Cup (Europe vs. U.S.) the U.S. leads 1/2 to 0.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Part one of horse racing's biggest day gets underway this morning at Santa Anita Park. There are two non-Cup races. The first Breeders race--the $500,000 Marathon is scheduled for a 12:35 PST post. The grandstands, clubhouse and turf club seem to filled way more than an average day, although there isn't a lot of activity to be seen in the infield. The first day is clearly the preliminary to the Saturday races when undefeated mare Zenyatta takes on the boys in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Keep coming back to this site all day and Saturday for live updates from Santa Anita.

    ---John Cherwa

Photo: Jockey Garrett Gomez begins to celebrate after riding Life Is Sweet to victory in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic on Friday. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Reuters


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