11/04/2013 3:44PM

Breeders’ Cup: Englehart still soaking in Juvenile Fillies win

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ria Antonia wins the BC Juvenile Fillies for trainer Jeremiah Englehart (right).

ARCADIA, Calif. – Trainer Jeremiah Englehart thought the highlight of his year was going to be when his New York-bred King Kreesa finished a more-than-respectable second to reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.

That was relegated to second place when Ria Antonia, a horse that wasn’t even in his barn two months ago, was moved by the Santa Anita stewards to first place in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, after first-place finisher She’s a Tiger was disqualified for bumping with Ria Antonia in deep stretch.

On Sunday morning, before taking a flight back to the East Coast, Englehart still seemed to be soaking it all in.

“Being in this business, the Breeders’ Cup is really special and to get a win is just amazing,” Englehart said.

The win was the first in a Grade 1 for the 36-year-old Englehart, whose first career graded stakes victory came with Tamarind Hall in the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses at Belmont in 2011.

Englehart is the son of husband-and-wife trainers Chris and Sheila Englehart, who have enjoyed most of their success at Finger Lakes. In recent years, Chris Englehart, who has won more than 3,000 races, has stabled year-round on the NYRA circuit.

Ria Antonia only came into Englehart’s barn in late September when Ron Paolucci and Christopher Dunn purchased the filly privately from Ricky Griffith following her fourth-place finish in the Swynford Stakes at Woodbine.

Paolucci has had an on-and-off business relationship with Englehart but decided to turn the filly over to him because “I think he’s tremendously good with young horses.”

Paolucci also holds Englehart in high regard off the track.

“I take trainers that I really relate to from a personal standpoint; I put what they do on the track second,” Paolucci said. “Jeremiah is a quality individual. He’s a great dad, he’s a good husband. I mean, to me, that’s as important anything because that rubs off on your horses.”

To this point, King Kreesa has been the best horse Englehart has trained to date. A New York-bred, King Kreesa won the Grade 3 Poker earlier this year before running second to Wise Dan in the Fourstardave. Wise Dan came back to win a second straight Breeders’ Cup Mile on Saturday.

After a failed experiment running King Kreesa 1 1/2 miles in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, King Kreesa rebounded with a win against New York-breds in the Mohawk. Englehart is now hoping for an invitation to the Hong King Mile for that horse.

“If you would have told me two months ago that I would have had a Breeders’ Cup horse, I would have thought the Kresas would have supplemented King Kreesa to the Mile,” Englehart said, referring to owners Gerald and Susan Kresa. “With what Wise Dan has done, it makes me even more proud of King Kreesa.”

It remains to be seen if Ria Antonia’s victory in the Juvenile Fillies will earn her an Eclipse Award as North America’s champion 2-year-old filly. But it’s not something Englehart will fret over the next two months.

“I’m enjoying the win; if she happens to win an Eclipse Award from it, that’s great,” Englehart said. “I’m really enjoying it with my wife, Robin; we’ve been through a lot in this business, and it’s really special she was here for this.”

On Sunday morning, Paolucci caught many off guard when he said he wanted to point Ria Antonia to the Kentucky Derby.

Englehart, who said he had been thinking about the Kentucky Oaks, said he and Paolucci will “work on a campaign for whatever we think she could handle.”

Englehart did say that Ria Antonia probably would get a break and most likely would not make her 3-year-old debut until March.

“I’d like to see her best race be the third race back,” Englehart said. “Her schedule will probably change 500 times between now and then.”

What won’t change is the fact that in 2013, Jeremiah Englehart was the only New York-based trainer to win a Breeders’ Cup race.

Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
He is also very good spotting Maiden Claimers especially (FTS) usually have descent works and a little $Tote. All in all a good young trainer and from all reports a very good family man off the track with a true passion. The excitement after his wins are what its all about. BOL to Englehart racing
Horse 2win More than 1 year ago
I read all the comments below and concur with some and didn't with others but one thing I do know is J. Englehart is deadly with 1st time blinkers 30% and 32% with blinkers on. Although I didn't pick him in my website which is posted 3 days ahead of time but on race day I did notice those percentages along with dirt 25%, Routes 23% and although his 2 yr old category is hovering at 4% his ROI is over $2, the only place he was lacking was in Graded Stakes.His workouts were good including his work at SA and her odd of 32-1 made her a worthwhile wager, turns out the Frizette is a key race. Congratulations to all, prayers for Johnny V. who was injured in the same race with Secret Compass having lost her life doing only what she knew how to do, race. Should be a great 2014 leading up to and including The Kentucky Derby with all the Triple Crown races, it will be interesting to see who moves up but most of all that all of them stay healthy.
redboy More than 1 year ago
I knew my pick 4 was in trouble when Ria was midway though the second turn even though Shes a Tiger had a sizeable lead Ria was pasing the other horses with ease. Congrats to Ria and all her connections. How tough wasThe Frizette? Sweet Reason.Artemis Agrotera,Ria and Stopchargingmaria who won a G2 yesterday .
mark oleary More than 1 year ago
its great to see the next group of trainers being passed the torch to horse training success. lets hope he, and others like him, embrace the mantra of the horse first and the business and the money second. ive seen hundreds of trainers over the years,workedd for several and it rankles me and scares me at how calous many of them are, and consider the beautiful horses nothing more than machines with money the only determining factor.many of those trainers literally had turnstyles at the front of their stalls, not webbings, as the horses just came and went, came and went, quickly replaced by another potential money machine.
AzLimitPoker More than 1 year ago
Now that the Breeders Cup is over all I can say is since 1991 I have been a regular by betting and following this once great game but I guess all good things come to an end and that end is today...with the recent changes in racing because of synthetic surfaces, tracks closing, smaller field sizes and race days, medication changes, rising costs to forms, admission, parking, programs, news, etc. I have placed my LAST bet on this game and will no longer follow it...Good luck with surviving and I would say it's in good hands but after watching that beyond embarrassing coverage NBC put on this weekend I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel...greed has ruined the game just like many other sports and I refuse to spend my hard earned money on something that has become so wrong...I pray for the Horses because unfortunately they don't have a say in this but I can only hope that good people like Kathy Ritvo stay in this game long enough for change...watching her run to her horse and her jockey after the biggest win in her career made me realize why I do still love this game...it's a shame the people running this once great game don't see what I see...what a shame the best horse race of the year in the biggest stage of the year had to be on a network that only cared about celebrities rather than the true celebrities of the sport which are the HORSES and the GREAT people like KATHY that care for them!
Walter More than 1 year ago
You make some valid points. But give us some suggestions that would help the game?
AzLimitPoker More than 1 year ago
where do I start...go back and make the Breeders Cup a one day event and eliminate the race fillers like the marathon (nobody cares about starter allowance horses running 1 1/2 on dirt in slow time). if your going to shorten the race day cards then have less racing per week like say Friday-Monday with 10 race cards...go back to dirt surfaces at ALL tracks...stop charging extra for news info you can get at other sites for free...by ordering online and not getting a PRINT edition should make my cost go down not up (it's simple math...we are not stupid)...get rid of ALL medication and make it pure (one violation equals one year ban and two violations equal 2 year ban, etc.)...stop fighting between yourself and come together as a group and fix the problems rather than make it worse (HRTV & TVG own the market and neither has a clue to what they are doing...TVG thinks they are part time comedy act and part time salesman for BETFAIR while HRTV does great things but they don't give us in depth coverage (did you watch thier BC coverage on Friday and Saturday..one word PATHETIC...
ty More than 1 year ago
Love those breeder's cup mane pom poms--great win!
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I had in my Pick 5 and won each leg but the opener. Bet 10 win as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bet Ria based on my handicapping info but had second thoughts before I placed the bet due to her odds. I thought, "really?". Does someone know something I don't know (always a good chance of that happening). Well, from what I've read, those at the track who saw her work out were impressed. Long, beautiful, stride. Good sized filly. Moves likes a dressage horse. That's why I love this game. You never know where the next pleasant surprise might come from. Congratulations to her owners for believing in her and to her trainer, Jeremiah Englehart, and to assistant, Elizabeth Dobles, and all who care for her well being. May you have continued success!
49ervic More than 1 year ago
When I saw her in the post parade @ S.A. , she looked like a monster. For her age... she's a mighty big horse .
Walter More than 1 year ago
I didn't have either horse, but it was a good call. Stevens bumped the 5 before the wire and won by a nostril. That bump cost the 5 the race. The SoCal stewards have been horrible all year long, but they did get this one correct. (I'm presuming it was the same SoCal stewards for the BC?)