10/29/2012 1:46PM

Breeders' Cup: Hurricane Sandy plays havoc with flights


ARCADIA, Calif. - One plane carrying Breeders' Cup horses made it from New York to California on Monday, but a second plane was “highly unlikely” to take off on Tuesday morning as scheduled due to Hurricane Sandy, according to a representative of the equine air carrier Tex Sutton.

A Monday flight that brought horses from the barns of Billy Mott, Chad Brown, Mike Hushion and Shug McGaughey left Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., at around 2 a.m., eight hours earlier than scheduled. It stopped in Kentucky to pick up other horses and then came west, arriving in California around 7 a.m. local time.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: Race-by-race coverage, video, early odds]

Horses that were scheduled to arrive here on Tuesday included Todd Pletcher’s quartet of Shanghai Bobby (Juvenile), Dreaming of Julia and Kauai Katie (Juvenile Fillies), and Turbulent Descent (Filly and Mare Sprint). That plane also was to bring Mucho Macho Man (Classic), Brilliant Speed (Classic), Belle of the Hall (Filly and Mare Sprint), Jersey Town (Dirt Mile), Not Abroad (Marathon) and Grace Hall (Ladies’ Classic) from New York. That flight was scheduled to stop in Louisville, Ky. to pick up Wise Dan (Mile ) and Fort Larned (Classic).

A Tex Sutton official said that a plane will be based in Lexington, Ky., by Monday night and a crew will be on stand-by to fly to New York whenever “a window of opportunity presents itself.” As of Monday, it had not been decided if that flight would leave from Newburgh or Albany.

The worst of Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit the New York area Monday night into Tuesday, likely canceling most or all travel and making it more likely that a flight will leave on Wednesday.

Horses based at Belmont were not permitted to train Monday morning as both the main and training tracks were closed due to the weather. As of 2:30 p.m. Monday a decision had not been made on whether the tracks would be open for training on Tuesday.