Here’s Why: International Horses to Watch
By Candice Hare
With the Breeders’ Cup drawing near, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of which domestic runners will be running in America’s marquee meet, but when it comes to predicting which international runners will make the trip, the picture is still quite murky and even moreso with big meets at Longchamp, Ascot, and Newmarket still left on the European flat racing calendar. Below is a list of international runners whose connections have expressed some interest in running in the Breeders’ Cup, although not all of the ones listed below will make the trip, of course.
Breeders’ Cup Sprint
Rich Tapestry (Holy Roman Emperor – Genuine Charm, by Sadler’s Wells)
A Group 3 winner and runner-up in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in March over the Tapeta at Meydan, Rich Tapestry was one of the bright spots of this year’s Dubai Carnival and World Cup. While he did finish eighth in his most recent start in Hong Kong, it is worth noting that he bled (although not enough to count as an official bleed). He will not be allowed to be administered Lasix, per a HKJC ruling, when he gives conventional dirt a go at Santa Anita, after having faced high class sprinters overseas in the likes of Lord Kanaloa, Sole Power, and Lucky Nine.
Next Start: G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (10/4, Santa Anita)
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
Peace and War (War Front – More Oats Please, by Smart Strike)
She won on debut, as the heavy favorite, over six furlongs on the Polytrack at Lingfield before finishing sixth in the Group 3 Albany at Royal Ascot and second over seven furlongs at Haydock. She’s particularly interesting because her trainer Olly Stevens has yet to decide whether she’ll run over the dirt or the turf per The Daily Mail.
Next Start: G1 Alcibiades (10/3, Keeneland) or G3 Jessamine (10/8, Keeneland)
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
Highland Reel (Galileo – Hveger, by Danehill)
One of several Ballydoyle options, Highland Reel won two of three starts and has never finished worse than second. He most recently easily won the Group 2 Vintage, a race in which last year’s winner of the Juvenile Turf Outstrip was narrowly defeated last year.
Gleneagles (Galileo – You’resothrilling, by Storm Cat)
A winner of four straight, this well-bred son of Galileo has won in some of the classic Ballydoyle juvenile spots, including the Group 3 Tyros, which was previously won by the likes of Cape Blanco, and the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, which Mastercraftsman won in 2008.
Next Start: Undecided, potentially Group 1 Dewhurst (10/17, Newmarket)
War Envoy (War Front – La Conseillante, by Elusive Quality)
He’s been a bit hard to win with, as he hasn’t won since his maiden victory, but he has been close in solid company, having faced well-regarded juveniles The Wow Signal, Kool Kompany, and Estidhkaar who’ve won six group races between them. Ballydoyle have been keen on sending War Fronts to this meet in recent years and with it being likely their better prospects run in the Dewhurst or Racing Post Trophy, this guy could easily find himself the one heading our way.
Aktabantay (Oasis Dream – Splashdown, by Falbrav)
He gave his trainer Hugo Palmer his first Group win when taking the Group 3 Solario and he’s finished top two in all of his five starts, although he’s only won twice. He’s a horse who benefits from quick ground, which is one reason why the Breeders’ Cup has been mentioned as an option.
Next Start: Group 1 Dewhurst (10/17, Newmarket) or Group 1 Prix Jean Luc Lagardere (10/5, Longchamp)
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf
Found (Galileo – Red Evie, by Intikhab)
One of the more lightly raced prospects of the bunch, this full sister to Group 3 winner Magical Dream won over a mile versus a large field on debut before finishing a close third in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes when on the cutback to seven furlongs.
Next Start: Group 3 C.L. & M.F. Weld Park Stakes (9/28, Curragh) or Group 1 Dubai Fillies’ Mile (10/17, Newmarket)
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf
Euro Charline (Myboycharlie – Eurolink Artemis, by Common Grounds)
Team Valor-owned filly showed herself a precocious juvenile before losing her way a bit early on this season. She rebounded in a big way, however, when most recently seen winning the Grade 1 Beverly D. over Stephanie’s Kitten on the Arlington Million undercard in what was the furthest race she’s contested to date.
Next Start: G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (10/11, Keeneland)
Tapestry (Galileo – Rumplestiltskin, by Danehill)
By Galileo and out of European Champion Two-Year-Old filly Rumplestiltskin, Tapestry had a lot to live up to, which she did well when winning her first two starts. While she struggled a bit earlier this spring, she put in two fantastic performances when finishing second to the well-regarded Bracelet in a Group 1 despite the saddle slipping and then subsequently winning the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks over Taghrooda, who had previously been unbeaten and is among the market leaders for the Arc. Her most recent start was a bit disappointing, although most would concede that she’s much better over further than the mile of that race.
Next Start: Undecided, possibly Group 1 British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (10/18, Ascot)
Baltic Baroness (Shamardal – Born Wild, by Sadler’s Wells)
Winner of the Group 1 Prix Vermeille over the likes of Group 2 winner Pomology and last year’s Arc winner Treve, German-bred Baltic Baroness seems to have come good at the right time as she’s now won three straight. Immediate plans seem to be up in the air, but the Breeders’ Cup has been mentioned as an option per Thoroughbred Daily News for this filly who much prefers faster ground.
Breeders’ Cup Mile
Trade Storm (Trade Fair – Frisson, by Slip Anchor)
After running third behind Wise Dan in last year’s edition of the Grade 1 Woodbine Mine, the globetrotting Trade Storm made good in the same race this year, despite a slightly subpar season to that point by his standards. He’s generally a consistent type who clearly enjoys racing on this side of the pond.
Anodin (Anabaa – Born Gold, by Blushing Groom)
Now four-year-old has finished just behind a who’s who of European runners this season including Cirrus Des Aigles, Toronado, and the newly retired Kingman. Has only two wins in his career and none since June last year, but he’s had a solid campaign this year.
Next Start: Group 1 Prix de la Foret (10/5, Longchamp)
Toronado (High Chaparral – Wana Doo, by Grand Slam)
Top-class miler twice a Group 1 winner in England nearly came to the Breeders’ Cup last season before a subpar work resulted in Olympic Glory coming over instead. He began his campaign with style this season by defeating a clearly well-meant Verrazano in the Group 1 Queen Anne at Ascot before finishing a close second behind sharp three-year-olds in two subsequent starts.
Next Start: Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (10/18, Ascot)
Breeders’ Cup Turf
Telescope (Galileo – Velouette, by Darshaan)
One of the few European runners who’s been mentioned as a potential Breeders’ Cup runner for several months, Telescope won the Group 2 Hardwicke over 12 furlongs at Royal Ascot this summer. He has finished second and third in two subsequent starts, but considering those finishes came at the hands of Taghrooda, Australia, and The Grey Gatsby, in hindsight, those results don’t look so bad after all.
Magician (Galileo – Absolutelyfabulous, by Mozart)
The defending champion of this race, Magician has one Group 3 win and three second place finishes this year. He most recently ran second to Hardest Core in the Arlington Million and is potentially being trained up until the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will give him a similar preparation as to what he received last season.
Brown Panther (Shirocco – Treble Heights, by Unufuwain)
He’s not the most likely of runners, but if he did happen to come, he’d certainly be one of the more interesting. A multiple Group winner in England and the eighth place finisher in last year’s Melbourne Cup, Brown Panther is one of the sport’s tried and true classy stayers and another who does his best running over faster ground. He dominated the oddly run Group 1 Irish St Leger in his most recent start, when seen finishing six and a half lengths ahead of the well regarded heavy favorite Leading Light.
Breeders’ Cup Classic
Toast of New York (Thewayyouare – Claire Soleil, by Syncline)
He’s made a name for himself when running over synthetic after having twice blown away mediocre fields over the Polytrack at Wolverhampton by a combined 28 lengths before winning the Group 2 UAE Derby over Meydan’s Tapeta track. The Belmont Derby was a hiccup along the way, but his runner-up finish to Shared Belief in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic seems to have him back on track. Distance doesn’t seem to be an issue, but will he handle conventional dirt?
She handicaps races on her website ‘Capping with Candice and is the co-host of a weekly YouTube race preview show entitled “Down to the Wire.”
You can follow Candice on Twitter @Chare889.