11/08/2010 3:57PM

Calhoun put his brand on the Breeder's Cup

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Tom Keyser
Chamberlain Bridge, with Jamie Theriot up, wins the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bret Calhoun had his name all over the 2010 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs – and his initials, too. Much of the tack and equipment used by Calhoun and his employees are monogrammed with a blue “BC” on white backgrounds, which seems quite fitting for what the 46-year-old trainer accomplished here last weekend.

Indeed, by winning the BC Filly and Mare Sprint on Friday with Dubai Majesty, then the BC Turf Sprint on Saturday with Chamberlain Bridge, Calhoun emerged as one of the major stars of the 27th Breeders’ Cup. Well-spoken and impressively calm in the otherwise chaotic aftermath of both victories, Calhoun reflected on his good fortune when he was able to catch his breath Monday morning.

“I’m driving from Louisville to New Orleans today,” he said by phone. “I’m pretty tired. All the adrenaline’s out of my body, but I must say I do feel pretty good.”

And why wouldn’t he? For someone who once thought that “winning one Breeders’ Cup race would be a career,” the thought of winning two in one weekend “was something you would never dream of happening.”

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Calhoun, a Dallas native who has won more than 1,700 races in a career dating to 1994.

Calhoun was at the Fasig-Tipton Sales in Lexington, Ky., on Sunday, and watched with a touch of sadness as Dubai Majesty sold for $1.1 million to Northern Farm.

“To watch her win Friday, put her on a van Saturday, then watch her go through the sales ring Sunday was all a little strange,” he said. “But she was never worth more than she was right then. She’d hit the pinnacle.”

Chamberlain Bridge, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Carl Moore, likely will follow the same kind of schedule in 2011 as he did this year, meaning he could be turned out soon for a brief freshening, said Calhoun.

“There are thoughts of something like Dubai or Hong Kong, but if I had to guess, I’d say we’ll probably aim for the Breeders’ Cup again, seeing that it’s right back at Churchill,” he said.

Like Calhoun, jockey Jamie Theriot also was winning his first two BC races as the rider of both Dubai Majesty and Chamberlain Bridge. Theriot, 31, was similarly magnanimous in postrace interviews, saying he considered himself “extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to ride such good horses.”

“You just think about how lucky you are,” said Calhoun. “I’ve never been the kind of guy just to bring horses to these big races, so having two that actually fit their spots was great. Then, to actually win both – that was a whole different deal.”