Kathy Ritvo (Mucho Macho Man, 1st, Classic) – After saddling Mucho Macho Man for a thrilling victory by a nose over a late-charging Will Take Charge in Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, trainer Kathy Ritvo can finally face the disappointment of his close second-place finish behind Fort Larned in last year’s Classic at the Arcadia, Calif., track.
“Now that he won, I can re-watch last year. I haven’t watched it in almost a year. I watch it up to the quarter pole, then I have to start the race over again,” Ritvo said. “Again, I was really happy with his effort last year, but this year was great for him to come back and win. To have a second and a win in the Breeders’ Cup, it shows it was no fluke. He’s a good horse.”
Ritvo, who received a second chance at life by receiving a heart transplant five years ago, became the first female trainer to saddle the winner of the Classic in the 30-year history of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
“How about that? I hope I’m the first of many. With the heart transplant and having a second chance, it’s an amazing thing,” said the 44-year-old mother of two, who trains the 5yo son of Macho Uno for Dean and Patti Reeves of Atlanta. “Selfless people donated their loved one’s organs to give me a second chance, and to be in this place, it’s hard to come up with words.”
Ritvo has been swamped with phone calls and text messages since Mucho Macho Man made a sweeping move to the lead under Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens on the turn into the homestretch and holding gamely in the closing yards to just prevail over D. Wayne Lukas-trained Will Take Charge.
“The calls have been unbelievable,” she said. “We’re very grateful to be here. I’m very blessed to be here. I wouldn’t be here without my donor family. Without my family, I wouldn’t be here. Without Finn (Green) managing the horse, I wouldn’t be here. Without my team – Nicky (Petro) galloping the horse every day and my assistants and all my help, I wouldn’t be here. It’s been a team effort.”
Mucho Macho Man, who spent the morning grazing on a patch of grass outside Barn 126, finished the 2013 campaign with a flourish at Santa Anita, capturing the Awesome Again on Sept. 28 and the Classic to become a last-minute candidate for the older male championship and Horse of the Year title. The Florida-bred veteran’s season had been compromised by a virus and a quarter crack before returning to top form, but Green revealed that Mucho Macho Man’s career has been hampered by other health issues.
“All of those issues were on top of something that we hadn’t talked about. He came out of the (2011) Belmont Stakes with a wind issue. We addressed it, took care of it,” said Green, who revealed that Mucho Macho Man had undergone a surgical procedure to correct the wind problem. “The horse is an unbelievable horse. He’s had more problems than people have known about.”
Through it all, Ritvo and Green were convinced that Mucho Macho Man would return to his old self on the track this year.
“We had no doubts. We had faith in the horse. He was showing us all the right signs that he wanted to continue training,” said Ritvo, whose Classic winner is scheduled to ship to Gulfstream Park Tuesday night.
Now that Mucho Macho Man is happy and healthy again, there’s a possibility he could stay in training next year, depending on “economic factors.”
“If he stays racing sound and fit and he’s going to be better off on the track than on the farm, he could stay in training,” said Green, noting that he and the Reeves have had conversations with farms for the past year and a half.
Should Mucho Macho Man stay in training, the $10 million Dubai World Cup in late March next year would be an option due to Ritvo’s discovery that the long-striding horse had a distinct affinity for the Tapeta footing during his stay at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.
Mucho Macho Man’s triumph also capped a memorable Breeders’ Cup for Stevens, who returned from a seven-year retirement this year and rode the winners of both the Classic and Friday’s Distaff (Beholder).
“I didn’t know how I’d be received after seven years of retirement. The way I’ve been received by people from the past and people I’ve never ridden before, like Kathy Ritvo with Mucho Macho Man, it’s been an unbelievable year,” Stevens said. “It’s humbling.”
Charles LoPresti (Wise Dan, 1st, Mile) – Repeat Mile winner Wise Dan left Santa Anita early Sunday morning for a flight from Ontario that left shortly after 5 local time and landed in Louisville, Ky., at 11:19 a.m. (ET).
“Well, for those people who thought he had lost a step, he showed them yesterday,” trainer Charles LoPresti said prior to catching a flight. “He is truly an amazing horse. He overcame adversity yesterday and still won.”
Wise Dan was ridden to victory by Jose Lezcano, filling in for John Velazquez who was injured in Saturday’s Juvenile Fillies.
“I feel terrible for Johnny,” LoPresti said. “I was watching the race, but I did not see who went down. Lezcano’s agent called me and said Jose was open in the race and I was relieved there was somebody in the room that had ridden him before. Jose now has won four Grade Is on him.”
A winner of six of seven starts this year and with his Mile victory Saturday, Wise Dan put himself front and center in the race for repeat Horse of the Year honors in North America.
“I don’t see any other horse,” LoPresti said. “I try not to be biased, but he ran at five tracks this year and on all kinds of bad track conditions. He never dodged anybody.
“If Game On Dude had won the Classic, he would have been unbeaten this year and I could not have questioned that if he were Horse of the Year."
LoPresti said there was no temptation to run Wise Dan on dirt in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29.
“There is no reason to run in the Clark; he is done for the year,” LoPresti said. “If Game On Dude had won the Classic, we could have come back to try to win a Grade I on dirt, but this horse has nothing to prove.”
For the past three years, LoPresti has shut Wise Dan down in November and started back the following spring at Keeneland, where LoPresti is based year round. Wise Dan started his 2013 campaign with a victory in the Maker’s 46 Mile with Lezcano aboard.
will just take it step by step,” LoPresti said. “A lot of it depends on
weather, and if it is a bad winter in Kentucky, you may not see him
until the summer.”
Richard Mandella (Beholder, 1st, Distaff; Indy Point, 3rd, Turf) – The Hall of Fame trainer said he slept well Saturday night after realizing some good results with his two runners in major Breeders’ Cup events on the weekend.
Beholder, Friday’s Distaff winner and the likely 3yo filly champ, will be turned out shortly and be allowed to just let down in a grass paddock.
“She’s going to get a nice break after we give her a good going over,” the trainer said Sunday morning. “We’re going to do the check up from A to Z – bone scan, body scan, all of it. She had an ulcer in her throat last spring and we’ll make sure everything is good there. Then we can start to have some fun and plan a campaign with her for next year.
“I talked to B. Wayne (Hughes, her owner) and he said it’s a go. She’s such a versatile filly, I think we can do a lot of things with her. I might want to try her on the grass. She’s got the kind of action that says she might do well on it. Her race down at Del Mar (on Polytrack) – she just won that so easy. I think she’s the kind that could run on most anything.
“We’ll think about traveling with her, too, but it will have to be the right race and the right track. She’s a bit of a handful to take on the road. But places like Keeneland and Belmont Park are easy for the horses to adapt to, so maybe we could look at things there. It all ought to be fun.”
At the Mandella barn Sunday morning was John Fulton, the former American trainer and now South American-based racing manager for the Argentinian Indy Point. He was giving one last check on the chestnut before grabbing a flight to Buenos Aires via Miami. Fulton noted that the 4yo colt’s owners, Felipe and Patricia Lovisi of Buenos Aires, were racing internationally for the first time and that they have left the door open to going most anywhere with the versatile runner.
“We were tickled with his race yesterday,” Fulton said. “That competition was about as good as you’re going to find most anywhere and he was right there with them. He’s only had the four starts up here and he can run a mile or a mile and a half. I think he can run on any kind of surface, too. He’s run big on the grass and he won the (Argentine) Derby down there on the dirt. Richard told me that he trained very well on the Polytrack at Del Mar this summer. So you’ve got lots of options with one like him. The plan might be to think about running him over in Dubai, then to work backwards from there. There are probably a few races we can think about along the way and that’s part of the fun.”
Buff Bradley (Groupie Doll, 1st, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Repeat Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll left Santa Anita early Sunday morning for a flight from Ontario that left shortly after 5 local time and landed in Louisville, Ky., at 11:19 a.m. (ET).
Her victory Saturday came in her final race for her connections as she is consigned this week at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
“A bunch of us went to the winners’ party last night which was pretty good, but Jada (exercise rider Jada Schlenk) got pretty emotional and (groom) Matt (Hebert) got misty-eyed back at the barn,” breeder, co-owner and trainer Buff Bradley said. “I told them that somebody was going to pay a lot of money for her and she will go to a good home.”
Groupie Doll, who won the 2012 renewal by 4½ lengths, prevailed Saturday by a half-length over Judy the Beauty. Bradley had said Friday he would love to see Groupie Doll far enough in front at the sixteenth pole that he would not have to sweat the finish.
did a little sweating, but I was enjoying it,” Bradley said. “As they
got closer to the wire, I could see they were not gaining fast enough.”
Bob Baffert (Game On Dude, 9th, Classic; Paynter, 7th, Classic; Secret Circle, 1st, Sprint; New Year’s Day, 1st, Juvenile; Tap It Rich, 5th, Juvenile; Book Review, 9th, Filly & Mare Sprint; Secret Compass, DNF, Juvenile Fillies; Fed Biz, 6th, Dirt Mile) – The Hall of Fame trainer had thoughts aplenty about his eight Breeders’ Cup runners as he spoke to a gathering of media Sunday morning at about 9:30 on the track’s apron.
“Game On Dude, well, what can you say,” he said. “He’s a one-dimensional horse with a target on his back and they don’t give one like him any breaks. You know they were saying ‘Don’t let that horse get in front of you.’ And so when he can’t clear, when he can’t get out there and into that high cruising speed of his, he’s in trouble. It just didn’t happen for him. I felt sorry for him.
“He’s a great horse; so much fun to be around. And he had a great year. And the Classic was a great race. It just wasn’t ours. If I had a vote for Horse of the Year, I’d vote for him. He’s my Horse of the Year. But the voting is up to others.”
Baffert was asked to speculate on who he thought might wind up Horse of the Year, but in the end said he’d leave that up to others to decide. He did, however, have strong feelings about his two winners from Saturday – Secret Circle and New Year’s Day – and a solid belief that their races were good enough to earn championship honors in their divisions.“Secret Circle, he’s just a beast,” the trainer said. “He’s so big and strong. If you want to see what a real sprinter looks like, come see him. I told a guy that if he was going to rob a bank and had to get out of there real fast, this was the one horse he’d want.
“I thought he ran a spectacular race Saturday. I was in awe of it. He just might be the best sprinter I’ve ever had. I don’t think anyone’s seen a sprinter like that since (double Breeders’ Cup winner) Midnight Lute. He’s so competitive and he wants to win so much. He lost all that ground and kept on grinding, kept on coming. He’s just a fighter.
“You look at his past performances and you see he wants to win. The only races he’s lost is when we sent him long and he doesn’t want to do that. After that race yesterday, he was dragging our guys down to the test barn. He’s a handful. The sprint scene this year has been so in-and-out. And my horse won the big one. I think he’s the champ.”
Baffert thinks the same way about Juvenile winner New Year’s Day.
“He ran some race, didn’t he?” he said. “His first race at Del Mar was a sprint and he came running. Then we sent him a mile there and he just ate them up. He’s a true distance horse, there’s no doubt about that. The way he ran yesterday, on the inside, and the way he came on was terrific. If that race was a mile and an eighth he was going to open up on them. He’s just full of talent, but the light isn’t fully on yet. He’s still learning.
“I’ve got to say he’s a serious (Kentucky) Derby horse. (Owner) Gary West buys all these good young horses with two things in mind – the Breeders’ Cup and the Kentucky Derby. We’ll have to be looking at all the preps; figuring out the points and all that. But that’s the way we’re going. The other horse (Tap It Rich) was in the race off his one start because it was here and because he showed so much talent. We might think about running him back at Hollywood (CashCall Futurity), get him some more racing.”
Book Review, the trainer indicated, may have run her last race. “I had a message from Gary (West) this morning that he’s thinking about retiring her and breeding her.” He further said that “something’s happening with Fed Biz” (meaning future plans) and said he’d probably know more about it in the coming week.
The trainer did not dwell on Secret Compass, the 2yo filly he lost to a severe injury that required her to be put down following the Juvenile Fillies. Rider John Velazquez was injured in the fall and had to undergo surgery. Baffert said he would be going to the hospital to visit with him Sunday afternoon.
Mike Puype (Mizdirection, 1st, Sprint) – Trainer Mike Puype reported Sunday morning from Betfair Hollywood Park that Mizdirection made her flight to Kentucky earlier in the day for an auction after winning the Turf Sprint for a second consecutive year Saturday.
“She’s on the flight now,” said Puype. “She was at the (Ontario) airport at 3:30 and in the air by 5. She should touch down between 10:30 and 11.”
She is consigned to sell at the Fasig-Tipton auction Monday in Lexington.
“Oh, yeah, it’s tough,” said Puype of the emotional farewell. “She is a once-in-a-lifetime type of horse. To see her go is heart-breaking.”
Puype held out hope that there was a chance the 5yo mare could return to his barn.
“It will be interesting to see who buys her,” said Puype. “She’s got some racing left in her. You never know.”
Puype did know that he witnessed something special when Mizdirection repeated in the Turf Sprint for her 11th victory in 17 starts and seventh in as many tries on the Santa Anita turf.
was a perfect trip, a perfect ride,” said Puype after Mizdirection
rallied from just off the pace under Mike Smith to win by a half-length.
“She got floated out, and when they straightened out in the stretch,
she knew where the wire was."
Jeremiah Englehart (Ria Antonia, 1st, Juvenile Fillies) – Trainer Jeremiah Englehart headed back to upstate New York Sunday morning after earning the first Breeders’ Cup victory of his career. Ria Antonia finished a nose behind She’s a Tiger, but was moved up to first when She’s a Tiger was disqualified for causing interference in deep stretch.
“We’re going to fly her back to New York on Monday then spend a few days thinking about what we want to do,” Englehart, 36, said before boarding a flight for the journey to Rochester, N.Y. “She came out of the race just fine. She had been eating up all week, kept her appetite really nice and kept the weight on. We’ll head back to New York and see what our plans are from there.”
The Juvenile Fillies win was also a personal milestone: the first Grade I victory of Englehart’s career. The son of trainer Chris Englehart, he opened a one-horse stable in 2003.
“That was the first one for me. I had to check the program to make sure it was a Grade I. It’s a great feeling. I’m on Cloud Nine right now. I was very happy that my wife, Robin, was able to spend the day with me and enjoy it as much as I did because she’s just as much a part of it as I am.”
Ian Wilkes (Fort Larned, 4th, Classic) – Trainer Ian Wilkes said that defending Classic champion Fort Larned came out of his fourth-place finish Saturday in good order and was scheduled to return to Kentucky on a Sunday afternoon flight.
Fort Larned has been retired from racing and Wilkes said the 5yo may go to Adena Springs as early as Monday.
“There was a lot more pressure on the front end this year than last; they never left us alone,” Wilkes said. “But he ran his ‘A’ race and tried hard. Hats off to Mucho Macho Man and Kathy (trainer Ritvo) who did a tremendous job with that horse.”
Ollie Figgins III (Dance to Bristol, 6th, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Susan Wantz’s Dance to Bristol bled a little in Saturday’s Filly & Mare Sprint in finishing worse than fourth for the first time in her 20-race career.
“She had never bled before,” trainer Ollie Figgins III said. “She will leave Monday for New York and then van to Bowie. She is going to be a broodmare and go to Kentucky. Now the job is to find the next good one.”
Peter Miller (Reneesgotzip, dead-heat for 2nd, Turf Sprint) – Reneesgotzip was ready to head back to the Peter Miller barn at Hollywood Park Sunday morning following her stirring dead-heat for second in Saturday’s Geico Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Ruben Alvarado, Miller’s assistant, said Sunday morning at the barn at Santa Anita Park, “She ate up fine last night, slept well and walked this morning.”
From his Hollywood Park base Miller said by phone, “She ran a winning race, but just got unlucky. She got slammed leaving the gate and that sometimes happens when you’re in the inside gate.
If we’d drawn a little better and she hadn’t got slammed, she might have been able to win.”
On the future, Miller said, “We’ll sort of let the dust settle and then I’ll talk to the owners (West Point Thoroughbreds) to decide whether she might be retired, sold or run again next year.”
Kathleen O’Connell (Scandalous Act, 6th, Juvenile Fillies) – Scandalous Act, who had her three-race win streak snapped in Saturday’s Juvenile Fillies, is scheduled to return to her South Florida base on Tuesday according to trainer Kathleen O’Connell.
“She sprung a shoe when she got caught in that jackpot approaching the turn.” O’Connell said of the incident in which Secret Compass fell near the five-sixteenths pole. “Otherwise, she is fine this morning.”
Wesley Ward (Judy the Beauty, 2nd, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Blake Heap, who oversaw the local training of Judy the Beauty for owner-trainer Wesley Ward, said the 4yo filly left early Sunday morning on a flight to Kentucky.
“She came out of the race fine,” Heap said. “Wesley has her consigned to a sale back there, but I don’t know if he is going to sell her.”
Bill Mott (Close Hatches, 2nd, Distaff; Royal Delta, 4th, Distaff; Emollient, 4th, Filly & Mare Turf; Flat Out, 8th,
Classic) – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and his five Breeders’ Cup
horses packed for the return trip to the East Coast Monday. Mott’s
Classic entrant Ron the Greek was scratched due to a quarter crack. The
best finish among the four starters was the second turned in by the 3yo
Close Hatches in the Distaff. Emollient was beaten a nose for third in
the Filly & Mare Turf.
“All of the horses are fine and they are going to Payson Park in Florida in the morning,” Mott said.
A decision on the future plans for two-time champion Royal Delta, the beaten favorite in the Distaff, will likely be made this month.
“It should be in a couple of weeks,” Mott said. “That hasn’t changed.
Mott said that as far as he knows Flat Out and Ron the Greek are likely to stay in training in 2014.
“I guess there are decisions to be made, I suppose, to see if any offers come in as a stallion, but there is nothing on the table right now,” he said. “Flat Out is going to Florida, but if he is doing really well he could come back in the Cigar Mile.”
Mott was pleased with the performances of Close Hatches and Emollient.
“They were good, solid races,” he said. “Emollient got beat a length for the whole thing. She’s a 3-year-old filly running against older. Close Hatches the same thing. There were some positives coming out of it. Half good and half not so good.”
Dale Romans (Suns Out Guns Out, 4th, Marathon; Medal Count, 11th, Juvenile; Little Mike, 7th, Turf; Silver Max, 4th, Mile) – “All looked fine this morning,” trainer Dale Romans said Sunday morning, after checking his horses at Santa Anita.
He said all of his horses, including Cleburne, who was scratched from Saturday’s Juvenile with sore shins, were expected to be shipped back to Louisville Sunday afternoon.
Mike Mitchell (Obviously, 5th, Mile) – Assistant trainer Phil D’Amato reported Sunday morning that Obviously came out of the Mile in good shape, but expressed some disappointment with the outcome as the front-running 5yo faded to fifth during the stretch run.
“They went too fast,” he said, “and he was pressed all the way by Silver Max.”
John Sadler (Vagabond Shoes, 5th, Turf; He Be Fire N Ice, 8th, Mile; Lady of Shamrock, 8th, Filly & Mare Turf) – “Vagabond Shoes ran the best race of the three,” said trainer John Sadler Sunday. “He got beat about 2 1/2 lengths. He had a trip where he had to move too early and got stuck on the inside, but he ran good."
“Lady of Shamrock left at 2 this morning for Ontario airport and will be sold Tuesday,” said Sadler of the 4yo filly, who was flown to Kentucky for the Fasig-Tipton auction after being beaten by 3 1/2 lengths in the Filly & Mare Turf.
“She didn’t run a bad race. The Euros are very good. He Be Fire N Ice didn’t have a good trip, going wide,” said Sadler in reference to the 5yo horse being four-wide on the second turn and five-wide into the stretch.
said it was too early to decide what was next for the pair but that
historically it was not a good idea to rush back after such taxing
races. He added that if either returned at Betfair Hollywood Park, the
$250,000 Citation Handicap at 1 1/16m on the turf Nov. 29 would be under
consideration for He Be Fire N Ice and either the Citation or the
$250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup at 1 1/2m Dec. 14 would be possible for
Gary Mandella (Silentio, 3rd, Mile) – The trainer and HRTV commentator was delighted with his 4yo colt’s run in Saturday’s Mile.
“He couldn’t have made us any more proud,” Mandella said Sunday morning. “He just ran a terrific race. He was a little tired this morning, but we’ll give him a few days and then see where he’s at. I’m thinking we might run him somewhere next like the Citation (at Betfair Hollywood Park). But for sure he’s going to stay in training for another year. The (owners) Wertheimer brothers said they want to take another shot at that race (Mile) with him next year.”
Jeff Bonde (She’s a Tiger, 2nd on a DQ, Juvenile Fillies; Majestic Stride, 4th, Sprint) – The California-based trainer was still struggling with the disqualification of his 2yo filly She’s a Tiger after she’d finished first by a nose in the Championship race for her division. Two of the three stewards voted to move the filly back to second for interference in the late stretch.
“This is the biggest heartbreak I’ve ever felt in my 47 years on the track,” said Bonde. “It was going to be the biggest win of my career and then it was gone. I feel so bad for the owners and the horse. Maybe someday I’ll understand it all better, but for now it just plain hurts.”
And future plans for his speedy miss?
“She’s going to be put away and won’t race again until next year,” he said. “She’s had a hard campaign and earned a rest. We think we’re going to have a really good 3-year-old filly next year.”
The conditioner said he was “real happy” with the effort put in by his sprinter Majestic Stride in the $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint. “He finished fourth, and that was with getting shut off at one point during the race. If he’d have had a perfect trip, I think he was going to be a whole lot closer.”
Bonde indicated that the 4yo would continue to race and pointed to Betfair Hollywood Park’s Vernon Underwood Stakes as a next possible start.
Doug O’Neill (Bond Holder, 4th, Juvenile; Rum Point, 12th, Juvenile; Concave, 9th, Juvenile Fillies; Private Zone, 10th, Sprint; Handsome Mike, 8th, Turf Sprint; Renee’s Titan, 10th, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Assistants Leandro Mora and Steve Rothblum said that a victory by Goldencents in the Dirt Mile Friday more than offset a disappointing Saturday for the Doug O’Neill stable. “Thank God, we won one, they all came back good, and we keep on smiling,” said Mora.
The most encouraging performance Saturday was a fourth-place finish in the Juvenile by Bond Holder, who rallied from 12th and was beaten by 3 1/4 lengths. “He was on the rail most of the way and still finished fourth,” said Mora. “He was closing. He will get better as they go longer. He is a smart horse, not nervous. He’s got from here until May to prove it.”
Mora expected Concave to have better luck in her next outing. “She had a rough trip,” he said. “A horse (Secret Compass) broke down right in front of her and she had to jump her.”
The two assistants agreed the biggest disappointment was Private Zone, who wilted as the 3.40-to-1 second choice after pressing a sizzling early pace. “Private Zone tried so hard for Rene but it didn’t work out,” said Mora of the 4yo gelding, managed by paralyzed former jockey Rene Douglas, a lifelong close friend of jockey Martin Pedroza, who rode the horse for him.
“It was the biggest head-scratcher,” said Rothblum. “I thought he was our best chance.”
Mora said that he was optimistic that Private Zone would redeem himself, perhaps in the $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes at six furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 28.
Mora added that the stable’s 2yos would also probably be represented in the Hollywood Starlet for fillies on Dec. 7 and the CashCall Futurity on Dec. 14.
Mora and Rothblum both praised the two days of Breeders’ Cup racing. “It was good for everybody,” said Mora. “The Europeans and Easterners went home happy, and Californians got a piece too.”
Declaration of War, who ran a gallant third to Mucho Macho Man in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, is reported to be fit and well Sunday morning and will head home Sunday evening with his other stable companions: Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Magician; Giovanni Boldini, Friday’s Juvenile Turf runner-up; Cristoforo Colombo and Wilshire Boulevard.
The Irish contingent will leave the quarantine barn Sunday evening for Los Angeles International airport before flying to Ireland.
Declaration of War has run his final race and will join the Coolmore Stud stallion roster. However, his stable companion Magician will remain in training in 2014 and his trainer Aidan O’Brien is very much looking forward to having him back at Ballydoyle next season.
“Magician is by Galileo and they all seem to improve with age especially from three- to four- years-old” O’Brien said. A possible early season target for Magician is the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic at the end of March on Dubai World Cup night.
Dank, who justified favoritism to win the Filly & Mare Turf, was also in good form on Sunday morning after her battle with the Andre Fabre-trained Romantica, but the decision on her participation in the Hong Kong Cup will not be made until the filly gets back to England.
Her trainer, Michael Stoute, expressed his wish to keep the daughter of Dansili in training next season, and when asked by the media whether she would remain at Freemason Lodge in 2014 Sir Michael Stoute replied, “You will have to ask her owner!”
When owner James Wigan was asked the same question he replied, “I will have to discuss it further with Michael.”
The Fugue, who also holds engagements in the Hong Kong International races in December, is in a similar position as Dank, and a decision regarding running in Hong Kong will be made this month.
The Richard Hannon-trained Olympic Glory has almost certainly run his last race for 2013 and will be returning to the Hannon camp for a campaign in 2014.
Marco Botti, who left immediately after Planteur’s disappointing run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, was unable to comment as to whether Planteur would remain in training in 2014.
The English raiders will also get on a plane at Los Angeles International Airport later Sunday on route to Stansted Airport in England.
The two French challengers Romantica and Vorda will be going their separate ways. Vorda will head back to France on Monday while Romantica who has been retired after her second-place finish in the Filly & Mare Turf is en route to Kentucky where she will join Juddmonte Farm’s broodmare band.