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Excelebration - The Curragh 22.04.2012

Excelebration: finished third in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Breeders' Cup - day 2 as it happened

Classic (Grade 1, dirt)

Winner: Fort Larned

4 b c E Dubai - Arlucea (Broad Brush)

A determined and brave performance from Fort Larned, who led from pillar to post and fought off a determined challenge from the Mike Smith-ridden Mucho Macho Man down the straight.

A first Classic winner for Ian Wilkes, Fort Larned is the only Group/Grade 1 winner by E Dubai, who won a pair of Grade 2 races for Godolphin and Saeed Bin Suroor.

The son of Mr Prospector stood at Darley's Jonabell Farm for eight years, then spent a year at Ghost Ridge Farm before Northview Stallion Station in Pennsylvania acquired a controlling interest in the sire in 2011. He commanded a fee of $9,000 in 2012.

Bred and owned by Janis Whitham, Fort Larned's dam is out of the top-class racemare Bayakoa and is a half-sister to the four-time Grade 1 winner Affluent.

Fort Larned is one of two winners by the mare, the other Izarra, a daughter of Distorted Humor, showed high-class form finishing second in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes and third in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes.

Mile (Grade 1, turf)

Winner: Wise Dan

5 ch g Wiseman's Ferry - Lisa Danielle (Wolf Power)

Another outstanding display saw Wise Dan confirm his position as one of the leading horses in America, if not the world, after demolishing a field that included two of Europe's finest milers Excelebration and Moonlight Cloud.

Impressive winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile on his latest start, the Morton Fink homebred took up the running at the top of the stretch and powered clear to beat 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

Wise Dan is by far the best of five stakes winners sired by Wiseman's Ferry, who was saddled by Aidan O'Brien to win at Cork and run second to Johannesburg in the 2001 Anglesey Stakes. He was also fourth in the Phoenix Stakes and won at Grade 3 level when switched to the US in 2002.

The son of Hennessy initially stood in New York but later spent two seasons at Castleton Lyons in Kentucky. He stood the past season at Dana Point Farm in Pennsylvania for $3,500.

Wise Dan is another feather in the cap for his dam, Lisa Danielle. A minor winner herself, she is the dam of six winners in total, among them another high-class American miler in Grade 2 scorer Successful Dan and Listed winner Our Royal Dancer.

Sprint (Grade 1, dirt)

Winner: Trinniberg

Teuflesberg - Bella Dorato (Goldminers Gold)

The three-year-old colt, who finished down the field in the Kentucky Derby, is the first Grade 1 winner from Teuflesberg's first crop, which contains only 26 named foals.

In addition to Trinniberg, his first crop includes the stakes-placed Not An Altar Boy.

Teuflesberg was one of the toughest colts of his generation, winning five of 21 starts at two and three including the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes. By the time injury forced his retirement in October 2007, he had won over $600,000 - not bad for a $9,000 yearling.

The son of Johannesburg stood his first season at Hurricane Hall in Kentucky but was switched to Journeyman Stud in Florida in 2009, where he is standing this season for $3,500.

Like his sire before him, Trinniberg was a cheap purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale, in his case selling for $1,500 to M & H Training Sales. Owner Shivananda Parbhoo snapped him up for $21,000 at the OBS April Sale the following spring.

Bred by J M Stables Inc, Trinniberg is out of the stakes-placed Bella Dorato, a daughter of the Crafty Prospector stallion Goldminers Gold.

Breeders' Cup Turf (Grade 1, turf)

Winner: Little Mike

Spanish Steps - Hay Jude (Wavering Monarch)

Little Mike displayed great courage to beat a strong field in the Breeders' Cup turf, including a fast finishing St Nicholas Abbey.

Do not be surprised to see the life story of this dimuntive gelding on the silver screen in the coming years, as it is a truly remarkable story.

Little Mike is by the unraced sire Spanish Steps, brother to Unbridled's Song, who stands at Lake Shore Farm in Indiana for $2,000 and whose only other top level winner came in Puerto Rico. He is out of the Wavering Monarch mare Hay Jude, who was gifted to Little Mike's owner Priscilla Vaccarezza.

Little Mike has twice won at Grade 1 level in the Turf Classic (Churchill Downs) and Arlington Million (Arlington Park), but his pedigree suggested the 1m4f trip would be out of his reach. His half-brother Little Nick was placed in Graded company at a mile but was seen at his best over the minimum trip, winning the Listed Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint Championship.

His third dam T V Spot was an influence for speed too, producing the three-time Listed-winning sprinter Linear.

Juvenile Colts and Geldings (Grade 1, turf)

Winner: Shanghai Bobby

b/br c Harlan's Holdiay - Steelin' (Orientate)

Coolmore's decision to purchase a 50 per cent share in Shanghai Bobby following his impressive win in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park was fully vindicated as he denied He's Had Enough in a ding-dong battle.

A seventh Breeders' Cup winner for trainer Todd Pletcher, Shanghai Bobby becomes Harlan Holiday's first Breeders' Cup winner. His tally of Grade 1 winner stands at three - besides Shanghai Bobby, they are Majesticperfection (Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap) and Into Mischief (Hollywood Futurity).

Harlan's Holiday, who stands at WinStar Farm and in 2012 stood for $25,000, was a top-class performer for Pletcher, winning the Florida Derby and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes as a three-year-old and the Donn Handicap at four.

Bought at Keeneland September for 105,000gns by Stonehaven Steadings, Shanghai Bobby will now surely be aimed at the Kentucky Derby. However, the last horse to do the Breeders' Cup Juvenile-Kentucky Derby double was Street Sense in 2007. Last year's Juvenile winner Hansen could only manage ninth in the opening leg of the Triple Crown.

Even though, Shanghai Bobby saw out the mile well he might struggle when upped to 1m2f. His sire never won beyond 1m1f and his dam was a stakes winner at 6f. While further back it is a family saturated with classy milers, highlighted by the Oak Leaf Stakes heroine City Band, who produced Weather Warning, a Listed winner at up to 1m1f and the 7f stakes winner Foolishly.

Turf Sprint (Grade 1, turf)

Winner: Mizdirection

4 gr/ro f Mizzen Mast - Deceptive (Clever Trick)

Mizdirection, held up early, was unleashed at the top of the straight and flew down the outside to win a going away.

The Mike Puype-trained filly, twice a winner over course and distance, becomes the fifth Group or Grade 1 winner sired by Mizzen Mast, whose fourth came courtesy of Friday's Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Flotilla.

Mizzen Mast had shown top-class form in Europe, but is was not until transferred to Bobby Frankel in the US that his career ignited with a victory in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.

A son of Cozzene, Mizzen Mast stands at his owner-breeder Khalid Abdulla's Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky. His other Group/Grade 1 winners include Ultimate Eagle (Hollywood Derby), Midships (Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap) and Mast Track (Hollywood Gold Cup).

Bred by Joseph Perrotta, Mizdirection's pedigree is all about speed. Her dam Clever Trick is out of useful sprinter Subtle Wave, who has produced Hurricane Bernie, a stakes-winning sprinter, who finished third at Listed level as a juvenile.

Dirt Mile (Grade 1, dirt)

Winner: Tapizar

4 b c Tapit - Winning Call (Deputy Minister)

Fifth in this race last year, Tapizar was able to dominate at the head of affairs and ran out an authoritative winner.

The Steve Asmussen-trained colt becomes Tapit's third individual Group/Grade 1 winner this season following the February Stakes winner Testa Matta and dual US Grade 1 winner Tapitsfly and his ninth overall. The Gainesway resident has now sired four Breeders' Cup winner headed by last year's Juvenile Dirt winner Hansen.

The exploits of Hansen and dual Grade 1 winner Zazu in 2011 saw the son of Pulpit's stud fee hit a career high of $125,000 in 2012, a $45,000 rise from 2011.

Bred and owner by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tapizar is a half-brother to two low grade winners. His dam is out of a sister to Grade 1 Hollywood Derby hero Olympio and descends from the family of Forgeo Stakes winner Pyro.

Filly and Mare Sprint (Grade 1, dirt)

Winner: Groupie Doll

4 ch f Bowman's Band - Deputy Doll (Silver Deputy)

Groupie Doll scorched to her third Grade 1 win of the season, following victories in the Vinery Madison and Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs. Groupie Doll is the only top level winner produced by Bowman's Band.

Bowman's Band, a son of Dixieland Band, had to be put down in 2008 following complications from colic surgery. He had just completed his second year at stud.

Bred in Kentucky, Bowman's Band won or was placed in 24 of his 34 races for owner Martin Schwartz, owner of Friday's Filly and Mare Turf winner Zagora, with his biggest success coming in the 2003 Grade 2 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Stakes.

Groupie Doll is the only known winner out of the unraced Deputy Doll, who is a half-sister to the Listed-winning American sprinter Russellthemussell. Further back it is the family of Grade 1 winner Rootentootenwooten.

Juvenile Colts and Geldings (Grade 1, turf)

Winner: George Vancouver

b c Henrythenavigator - Versailles Treaty Danzig

Trainer Aidan O'Brien had always felt a quick surface would bring out the best in George Vancouver and he did not disappoint, bursting clear at the top of the straight to run out an impressive winner.

George Vancouver's win caps a memorable year for Coolmore's first-season sire Henrythenavigator, who is also responsible for the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes winner Pedro The Great. The son of Kingmambo, a four-time Group 1 winner, finished second at Santa Anita to Raven's Pass in the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2008.

Henrythenavigator, who in 2012 stood at Coolmore's Ashford Stud for a fee of $25,000, will return to Coolmore Ireland for next year's breeding season.

An expensive yearling purchase at $450,000, George Vancouver is the 12th foal out of the Grade 1-winning mare Versailles Treaty, who is out of a half-sister to the Travers winner General Assembly.

She has produced a number of winners, most notably the the two-year-old Grade 2 winner Saarland.

George Vancouver gives the Coolmore team of Magnier, Smith and Tabor and second successive win in this race following Wrote's victory twelve months ago.





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