Ire­land’s O’Briens make Breed­ers’ Cup a fam­ily af­fair

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

AR­CA­DIA, Cal­i­for­nia. (AP): THE BREED­ERS’ Cup is a fam­ily af­fair for the O’Briens from Ire­land.

Horse rac­ing’s in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­val, the Breed­ers’ Cup fea­tures 13 sea­son-end­ing cham­pi­onships worth a com­bined $28.5 mil­lion over yes­ter­day and to­day at Santa Anita.

Once again, many of the best run­ners in the world will as­sem­ble for the prize money and the pres­tige of tak­ing home a tro­phy.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the for­eign con­tin­gent is led by Ai­dan O’Brien who brought 12 horses from his Bal­ly­doyle train­ing cen­tre in Ire­land.

O’Brien is the lead­ing in­ter­na­tional trainer in the Breeder’s Cup with 10 wins, rank­ing third overall. O’Brien’s horses have earned a col­lec­tive $17.2 mil­lion in the se­ries.

O’Brien also brought along son Joseph, a for­mer Breeder’s Cup win­ning jockey, now fol­low­ing in his fa­ther’s foot­steps as a trainer.

Joseph O’Brien rode St. Ni­cholas Abbey to vic­tory in the 2011 Turf for his fa­ther. Now O’Brien, 23, could make his­tory as the youngest trainer of a Breed­ers’ Cup win­ner if In­tri­cately takes the $1 mil­lion Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf.

Joseph O’Brien re­tired from the sad­dle this sum­mer af­ter a los­ing bat­tle to main­tain rid­ing weight.

“The last few month I was rid­ing be­came quite hard weight­wise. I don’t re­ally miss it (the rid­ing) and I love train­ing now,” O’Brien said.

Joseph O’Brien will have brother Donnacha aboard In­tri­cately, a 6-1 shot who most re­cently cap­tured the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Cur­ragh in Ire­land.

Joseph’s big­gest ob­sta­cle could be his fa­ther. Ai­den O’Brien sad­dles two run­ners in the race: Roly Poly, the 4-1 choice and Hy­drangea at 6-1.

The star of Ai­dan O’Brien’s Breed­ers’ Cup crew is Found, the bril­liant 4-year-old filly who re­turns to de­fend her ti­tle against the boys in the $4 mil­lion Turf.

She ral­lied from far back to win last year over a rain-soft­ened course at Keeneland. Con­di­tions should be firm this week­end in sunny South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

As if Found wasn’t enough fire­power, O’Brien will also send out High­land Reel, the Arc run­ner-up.


The Turf, the rich­est grass race of the week­end, also fea­tures Ulysses, trained in Eng­land by Sir Michael Stoute.

Other no­table in­ter­na­tional stars in the Breed­ers’ Cup in­clude:

Ai­dan O’Brien’s Sev­enth Heaven in the $2 mil­lion Fil­lies & Mares Turf to­day. The 3-yearold has al­ready cap­tured the Ir­ish Oaks and the York­shire Oaks this sea­son. The race also in­cludes Ja­panese mare Nuovo Record, a ca­reer win­ner of just un­der $5 mil­lion.

Mon­go­lian re­turn­ing to de­fend his ti­tle in to­day’s $1 mil­lion Turf Sprint. The first Breed­ers’ Cup win­ner owned and trained by Mon­go­lians was greeted in last year’s win­ner’s cir­cle by a large group decked out in colour­ful na­tive garb.


Ar­ro­gate (Mike Smith) win­ning the Travers Stakes horse race at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs. The horse will run in the $6 mil­lion Clas­sic at the Breed­ers’ Cup in Santa Anita to­day.

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