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Updated on 09/15/2011 2:21PM
BC morning roundup: Big day had by Euros, N.Y. heroes
ELMONT, N.Y. - Perhaps the biggest story of the 2001 Breeders' Cup was the exceptional performance of the European contingent and Godolphin, which won a combined four of eight races and nearly won a fifth with Sakhee coming up a nose short in the Classic.
European racing wasn't the only big winner Saturday at Belmont Park, however, as the New York Heroes Fund pocketed more than $2.5 million thanks to donations from Coolmore and Godolphin Racing.
Godolphin donated 100 percent of its Breeders' Cup earnings to the New York Heroes Fund, and that figure alone topped $2.4 million thanks to Fantastic Light's win in the Turf, Sakhee's second in the Classic, and the 1-2 finish of Tempera and Imperial Gesture. Coolmore kicked in 10 percent of its earnings on the day, which essentially amounted to about $60,000 thanks to Johannesburg's win in the Juvenile.
Other donations made based on Breeders' Cup day earnings included owner Tracy Farmer, who gave 5 percent of Albert The Great's purse - equal to about $20,000 - to the New York Heroes Fund, and Juddmonte Farms, who donated 20 percent of Banks Hill's purse - about $12,000 - to the Keeneland branch of the Red Cross.
Big day at Belmont Park
Belmont Park set a new record for on-track handle Saturday, with $13,087,813 handled on the 10-race program. The total eclipsed the previous mark of $10,581,093 set earlier this year on Belmont Stakes day.
A crowd of 52,987 was on hand despite a windy, cold day where the mercury struggled to get above 50 degrees.
"Fans of New York racing showed their love for the sport, coming out in big numbers to support this great event," said Terry Meyocks, president of the New York Racing Association.
Total commingled handle for day was $98,757,580, and total handle from all sources should end up over $100 million.
Exogenous, Jump Start update
The racing careers of Exogenous and Jump Start are likely over following injuries they sustained at Saturday's Breeders' Cup, but there is some optimism that both will be able to make full recoveries.
Exogenous spent Sunday morning standing in her stall, which is located right next to the office of trainer Scotty Schulhofer in his barn at Belmont Park. The winner of Belmont's Gazelle and Beldame Handicaps is being treated for inflammation and fluid around the brain after she reared up, fell backwards, and hit her head while coming onto the track for the Distaff.
Exogenous will be examined by a neurologist Sunday afternoon, and the next 24 hours are expected to be crucial since her injuries are still considered life-threatening.
Jump Start sustained a displaced lateral condylar fracture in his left front fetlock during the running of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and the outlook on the possible future resumption of a racing career took a turn for the worse when a second set of x-rays also showed sesamoid damage.
"You can deal with condylar fractures, but when the sesamoids are involved it's a different story," said trainer D. Wayne Lukas. "He going to have surgery at noon (Sunday at Belmont Park), and it's going to require some pins."
The injury to Jump Start was very distressing to Lukas, who on Friday said "I'm looking forward to his 3-year-old year. We're excited about him going into next year."
Lukas blames jock for Spain loss
D. Wayne Lukas, trainer of Distaff runner-up Spain, believes the ride by jockey Victor Espinoza cost his filly her second Distaff win in a row.
"She should have won easy. She never should have lost that race," said Lukas. "This kid just can't ride this horse. He makes a move around the turn and started to ride her too early. If he'd just sat on her she would have passed those horses on her own."
Lukas said the delay caused by the injury to Exogenous played no part, positive or negative, in Spain's performance, and put the blame squarely on her jockey.
"When there was that delay, I must have told [Espinoza] 15 times to sit, sit, sit. Unfortunately I can only train them, I can't ride them," fumed Lukas. "He rides that horse like the track is a mile at Delaware instead of a mile and a half at Belmont. There's still a lot of race left when you're on the turn here."
Lukas said he will look and see if there is another race for Spain this year, and a decision has not been made about her future.
Baffert disappointed with Officer
Trainer Bob Baffert was understandably "very disappointed" with Officer's fifth-place effort as the 3-5 favorite in the Juvenile, but he also indicated that he thought his previously unbeaten 2-year-old had some valid excuses in the 5 1/4 length loss.
"He didn't leave (the gate) well, he came back with paint on his shoulder from banging the side of the gate," said Baffert. "He jumped into a speed duel, but I don't blame Victor (Espinoza). It just wasn't our day. (Officer) is still a good horse."
Baffert said he will evaluate Officer and soon begin thinking about his 3-year-old campaign.
Other news . . .
* Elaine Abram, namesake of and representative for Disfaff winner Unbridled Elaine said the 3-year-old filly would return for her 4-year-old season.
* Eoin Harty, trainer of Tempera, said his Juvenile Fillies winner would leave for Dubai the first week of December, and return to the U.S. next spring.
*Bobby Frankel, trainer of Juvenile Fillies beaten favorite You, said You had a 102.3 fever after the race and that was a definite excuse for her fourth-place finish.
"You can't run your best when you're sick," said Frankel.
* Sprint winner Squirtle Squirt saved the day for trainer Bobby Frankel, who lost with three favorites (Flute, You, and Aptitude) on the day.
"This was my fourth chance to win a Breeders' Cup race. You can never figure it out," said Frankel. "I was not in a good mood at the (winner's) party last night."
* John Salzman, trainer of Sprint runner-up Xtra Heat, said she has been invited to Dubai (for the Golden Shaheen), and he is also considering the DeFrancis Dash. "We'll just have to see how she comes out of this."
Xtra Heat, a 3-year-old filly, has 17 wins in 21 career races, and has finished worse than second just once in her career.
* Dr. John Chandler, American racing manager for Juddmonte Farms, said trainer Andre Fabre would like to keep Filly & Mare Turf winner Banks Hill in training for next year.
* Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Juvenile winner Johannesburg, said no future plans have been made for the undefeated colt, other than that he will remain in training next year.
* Ken McPeek, trainer of Juvenile runner-up Repent said he was considering the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs for his horse's next start.
"We want to get a race over that track," said McPeek. "There's a little race there in May, I can't quite remember the name . . ."
* Fantastic Light's assistant trainer Laurent Barbarin said the horse came out of his Breeders' Cup Turf win "in very good shape." He said that no decision has been made on Fantastic Light's future, "but we'll keep the race in Tokyo in mind," in reference to the upcoming G1-Japan Cup.