Yanakov excited about running Golden Dragon in Breeders' Cup Juvenile

October 26, 2017 07:26am

Russian-born Mikhail Yanakov is excited about running a horse he bred, owns and trains in the 34th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar. The horse is Golden Dragon, who is scheduled to make his next start Nov. 4 in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

Yanakov’s first preference for Golden Dragon, who has two wins in four starts all on turf, was the  $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) on Nov. 3, but the race attracted 27 pre-entries for 14 spots to put Golden Dragon on the also-eligible list.

“I would like to run him again on the grass, but too many horses (are) in the race,” said Yanakov, who races as Olympia Star. “He also trained very good on the dirt. I just want to try.”

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will mark the first race on dirt for Golden Dragon, who opened his career at Arlington Park and won a maiden race there on Sept. 8 in his third career start. In his next race, he won a 1-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs.

“He came from behind, and I know he’s not a mile horse,” Yanakov said. “He needs distance. That’s why I want to try (the Breeders’ Cup).”

Golden Dragon worked twice on the dirt at Keeneland, the first on Oct. 15 when he went 5 furlongs in 1:01 and the second a week later when he covered 6 furlongs in 1:15.80.

Yanakov said the colt is to leave Keeneland tomorrow for Del Mar, where he is scheduled to work  5 furlongs Monday.

“We’ll school him in the paddock and just see what happens,” he said.
Carlos Marquez Jr., who has ridden Golden Dragon to his two victories, will have the mount in the Breeders’ Cup.

Yanakov, in his third year of training and has had six starters during Keeneland’s Fall Meet, raced Golden Dragon’s sire, 2010 Swaps (G2) winner Skipshot. The son of Skip Away, who bred about 28 mares this year, stands at Considine Farm near Paris, Kentucky, where Yanakov boards his mares. He and farm owner Dan Considine met some 10 years ago through Considine’s involvement in international shipment of horses.

Source: Keeneland Association


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