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Breeders' Cup World Championships XXX | Washington Connection Recap
Beginning with the pre-Breeders' Cup stakes on Friday, Nov. 1, former Washington trainer Mike Harrington and his wife Patricia's homebred two-year-old Better Bet, a California-bred son of Southern Image-Short Sentence, a daughter of Harrington-trained Swiss Yodeler (who would sire the winner, Swiss Lake Yodeler, of the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes one race later), won the Golden State Juvenile Stakes.
The $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon (G2) got the World Championship officially underway. London Bridge won the 14-furlong race with Blueskiesnrainbow, a half-brother to former Gibson Thoroughbred Farm broodmare Cho Cho San, by Deputy Minister, finishing second.
Three-year-old Goldencents, who scored an almost three-length win in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and has earned $1,990,000, is a son of Into Mischief, whose half-sister, three-year-old Beholder, would win the $2-million Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) by over four lengths under Gary Stevens. Beholder, who upped her earnings to $3,075,000, was one of three horses two win back-to-back Breeders' Cup events this year. She was also 2012's national champion two-year-old filly. Both Beholder, by Henny Hughes, and her Grade 1-winning half-brother Into Mischief , by the recently deceased Harlan's Holiday, are out of $187,014 stakes winner Leslie's Lady, a granddaughter of Washington broodmare One Last Bird, dam of $311,152 Washington-bred stakes winner and Grade 3-placed WTBOA sales graduate Melanyhasthepapers, a 2001 son of Game Plan. Beholder scored the highest BRIS Speed Rating among the week's stakes winners at 112 and Goldencents was awarded a 103 rating.
Vann Belvoir-trained Nesso, a two-year-old daughter of Roman Ruler, led for the first six furlongs in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) before fading to 10th in the 14-horse field.
Race one on the Saturday Santa Anita card was the Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes, which was won by the Wesley Ward co-owned and -trained Riches Party Girl, a daughter of Any Given Saturday who has won half of her six starts and earned $142,282.
Three-year-old Zeewat, also by Harlan's Holiday, won the next race, the seven-furlong Damascus Stakes, for Dr. George Todaro and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The three-time stakes winner has won six of 11 starts and earned $283,150. Zeewat was given a 104 BRIS Speed Rating for his most recent stakes win.
Mark Dedomenico, Allen Aldrich, Lisa Hernandez, Stuart Downey and Philip Lebherz-owned She's a Tiger, ridden by Gary Stevens, finished first by a nose in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), only to be disqualified to second after bumping eventual winner Ria Antonia in deep stretch.
A three-quarter sister to three-time Grade 1 winner Smiling Tiger, She's a Tiger is among the finalists for two-year-old filly honors after her record of 3-3-0 in six starts. The daughter of Tale of the Cat, who has earned $725,680, was pulled from the November 4 Fasig-Tipton sale and will be on R & R until 2014.
Both She's a Tiger and Smiling Tiger were bred by Dr. Rodney Orr, of Silverton, Oregon, out of his 2001 Federal Way Handicap winner Shandra Smiles, a daughter of the late top Washington sire Cahill Road.
2012 champion Groupie Doll took the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) for the second year in a row by a half-length over Wesley Ward-owned and -trained Judy the Beauty, by Ghostzapper. Five-year-old Groupie Doll, a daughter of Bowman's Mill who has now won 11 of her 21 starts and earned $32,478,850, is out of the Deputy Minister mare Deputy Doll - a half-sister to Seawind Stables LLC's (Russell Moore) 1997 Emerald Downs stakes winner and sire Russellthemussell. Groupie Doll was given a 106 BRIS Speed Rating for the win.
Four-year-old Secret Circle, who is owned by former Washington resident Mike Pegram and partners Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, won the $1.5-million Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1). It was the first grade one victory for the son of Eddington who has now earned $1,878,790 in trainer Bob Baffert's stable and earned a 102 BRIS Speed Rating for the Grade 1 win.
Group 1 winner Declaration of War finished third, only a neck and a nose behind Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge, in an exciting renewal of the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). The $1,847,489 earner is a four-year-old son of War Front and a half-brother to Gibson Thoroughbred Farm stallion War Power.
Smarty's Echo, a two-year-old Grade 2-placed colt by Smarty Jones bred by Northwest Farms out of Emerald stakes-placed Silver Echo, and stakes winner and Grade 2-placed Boat Trip, a half-brother by Harlan's Holiday to Allaire Farms' Grade 3-placed stallion Rallying Cry (whose first foals are yearlings of 2014), finished out of the money in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) and Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1), respectively.
Grade 1 winners Graydar and Ron the Greek, who both hail from the immediate family of Washington-bred stakes winners or broodmares Cielator, Sweet Saga, Cielo Dulce and Cielo Otono, were scratched from 2013 Breeders' Cup starts due to quarter cracks.
It was announced on November 6 that Ron the Greek, a three-time Grade 1-winning son of Full Mandate, has been sold to an undisclosed overseas buyer.
The following day came the announcement that four-year-old Graydar, who won five of his six lifetime starts - including a trio of graded stakes - and earned $841,560, had been retired from racing. He will stand the 2014 season at Taylor Made Stallions in Kentucky for a fee $15,000, live foal stands and nurses.