11/30/2012 12:05PM

Breeders' Cup Photo Album #1 - Catching Up


You know how it's hard to find spare time sometimes?  Well, I'm only now looking through Breeders' Cup-related photos.  In the coming days/weeks, I'll post images from the lead-up to the event and the races themselves.  

Some of these horses have firmly earned their way into the public's heart, such as fan favorites Shackleford and Animal Kingdom.  In other cases, the horses' names might not be as familiar - like the Indiana-bred I'm Boundtoscore or the adorable-faced Dry Summer.  In a few cases, I've handed out awards to horses who I feel have earned extra honors (sorry, no cash prizes or trophies involved).


Above/below:  Santa Anita provided the backdrop for a beautiful and memorable 2012 Breeders' Cup week.

Above:  Halloween dawned foggy and grey - a nice change from the usual fare at Santa Anita...you know...sunshine, sunshine, sunshine (sunshine).

Above:  The "Props!" award goes to Snow King, who tried to prop repeatedly when galloping on the turf course one morning.  He ran eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview Stakes.  No, I'm not making that race name up.

Above:  The "Props!! but happier about it" award goes to the very athletic Shackleford, who always puts on a great show.  Faustino Aguilar, as usual, is a good sport about it.  We will all sorely miss you on-track, Shack!

The 'Cutest contestant' award goes to Dry Summer.  Look at that happy face, that blunt nose, the big eyes, and those adorable ears!  He ran 11th in the Juvenile Turf.

Above:  The "Noble eyes" award goes to multiple G1 winner Game On Dude.  The 5-year-old had four graded stakes wins this season but ran seventh in the Classic.

Above:  Game On Dude and Robert Luna pass the new Zenyatta statue.

Above:  The "Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick" award goes to Power Broker, who got his poke in the eye - or close enough - from Jimmy Barnes' finger.  

Above:  Power Broker looks to have a very bright future.

Above:  The "This ain't my first rodeo" award goes to 8yo California Flag, who ran in his fifth Breeders' Cup (matching Perfect Drift, Better Talk Now and Kona Gold).  He won the Turf Sprint in '09 but, this year, he was 13th.  He's earned his retirement, and here's hoping it's a long and comfortable one!

Above/below:  Hey, Mikey, she likes it!  Mizdirection, shown during BC week with Mike Smith up, sure relished the Santa Anita turf.  She was a powerful winner over the boys in the Turf Sprint.

Above:  Sum of the Parts and Lauren Robson step out through the foggy morning.  Sum of the Parts ran fourth in the Sprint.

Above:  The Indiana-bred I'm Boundtoscore already had two stakes wins coming into the BC Juvenile Turf.  Trained by Troy Rankin, and ridden by Sarah Rook, the sweet-faced colt ran 14th.

Above/below:  The "Looks good coming or going" award (or perhaps the "What a difference a day makes" award?) goes to Sky Lantern.  Tough to choose which is prettier - her lovely, steel-grey coat set against a simple foggy backdrop, or with magnificent mountains?  Hmmm.... She ran 8th in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Above:  The feminine Executiveprivilege, 5-for-5 going into the Juvenile Fillies, finished a solid second.

Above:  The "'Awwwww' horse-and-trainer" award went to Romp and Kristin Mulhall, who have been sharing tender moments for years now.

Above:  "Bleccccchhhhhhh!," says G1 winner Contested to Martin Garcia.

Above:  "Eeek!," says multiple Group 1 winner Moonlight Cloud. 

Above:  "Nooooooo!," says the handsome G3 winner Nonios.

Above:  "Let me go!," multiple G1 winner Point of Entry begs of Jennifer Patterson and friends.

Above:  Handsome Mike, denying his name, under Jonny Garcia.....

...and He's Had Enough, above, embracing his.  Jonny again.

Above:  A contented Amazombie spent afternoons sunning, nibbling, and smiling.  Last year's Sprint winner finished 8th this year.

Above:  The "Most recognizable by his red pom-pom" award goes to, who else?, Trinniberg.  Well, actually, I'll give him that award with or without the word "red" in the title.

Above/below:  Trinniberg, twice-blessed!, also wins my "Most noticeably loved by his connections" award.

Above:  Turbo Compressor gets some love from Jake Nelson.  Someone mentioned Jake is considering cutting his hair.  I don't know, Jake...it looks good like that!

Above:  The "Most regal-looking KY Derby winner in the Breeders' Cup" award goes to Animal Kingdom - but that's a no-brainer.  The regal chestnut also earns my "Best comeback race...huzzah!" award.

Above:  The "How can such a pretty horse look so goofy" award goes to Beholder, shown looking pretty with Richard Mandella.....

...and, uh, like she and her handler are involved in some bizarre staring contest (above).  Beholder won the Juvenile Fillies in very nice fashion.

Above:  The "I should earn more money" award goes to Carlos Rosas, for keeping Tapizar straight in the mornings.  I have no idea how much money Carlos makes.  But I am sure about the award.

Above:  The "Best imitation of a carousel" award goes to To Honor and Serve and his pony.  I would think the rider of to Honor and Serve might vie for that previous award.....

...but, somehow, To Honor and Serve generally seems to relax a bit, for lack of a better word, once he's galloping (not sure if Rodolphe Brisset, aboard, would agree).

Above:  The "I am royal" award goes to, who else, Royal Delta.  In addition to that chiseled look, she also won her second Breeders' Cup Distaff (yes, that is what I call it.  Or, if you prefer, the Filly and Mare Classic). Just look at that face!

Above:  The "Royal?...uh.....not so much" award goes to Renee's Queen.  The 2-year-old filly, extra-spicy during a schooling session, ran 7th in the Juvenile Fillies.  Just look at that moon!

Above:  Seabiscuit quietly studies the full moon during Breeders' Cup week.  

Till the next installment....