The first time he came to America from Brazil, in 2001, Paulo Lobo was given five fillies, purchased as yearlings in 2000, to train by his backers at home. One was named Farda Amiga. In 2002, she won the Kentucky Oaks, the Alabama, and finished second to Azeri in the Breeders&rsquo; Cup Distaff. Lobo never has run another horse in a Breeders&rsquo; Cup race. The second time Lobo came to America from Brazil, in 2014, he struggled to win races &ndash; any kind of races. But in 2019, his backers in Brazil sent him a 2&#45;year&#45;old Argentine champion, Ivar, and now, finally, Lobo has gotten back to the Breeders&rsquo; Cup. Ivar won the Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 3 at Keeneland, won it in sparkling fashion, and has a real chance to win the Breeders&rsquo; Cup Mile. The sand&#45;based Keeneland turf course, especially in autumn, can turn tricky; sometimes half the battle is finding a horse who adequately gets over the ground. In 2015, Keeneland&rsquo;s only previous Breeders&rsquo; Cup, Tepin winged from a brilliant win in the First Lady Stakes there to triumph in the BC Mile. Ivar should be taken with similar seriousness, even tumbling into the toughest race of his life.&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a very good sign what he did in the Shadwell,&rdquo; Lobo said, reached by phone at his base of operations, the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington, Ky. &ldquo;And he has been doing fantastic.&rdquo;You can take Lobo with seriousness, as well. Lobo, 51, is the son of a champion Brazilian trainer, Selmar Lobo, whose own father also trained with vast Brazilian success. Paulo Lobo briefly attended university before going to work full time in 1987 for his father, becoming his chief assistant. In 1995, Lobo took out his own head trainer&rsquo;s license; soon, his thoughts wandered north. &ldquo;Since I became a trainer, I always wanted to try here in America, to be involved with the famous horses, the famous horsemen, to look for a better quality of the business,&rdquo; said Lobo.Julio Camargo, a major Brazilian breeder and owner, gave Lobo his chance. &ldquo;In 2000, Julio Camargo bought five fillies in partnership with Marcos Simon,&rdquo; Lobo said. &ldquo;I was in Brazil and wanted to come badly. They bought the fillies here in the auction in September, and [Camargo] told me, &lsquo;If you come, I will keep the horses in America; if not, I send them to Brazil.&rsquo; I came, and among those five fillies was Farda Amiga.&rdquo;Farda Amiga, by Broad Brush, made her first four starts on turf, winning a maiden and an allowance race before Lobo switched her to dirt in the Santa Anita Oaks, where the filly finished fourth at 35&#45;1. Lobo and his owners boldly entered her in the Kentucky Oaks, where Farda Amiga, a 20&#45;1 shot, stormed past Take Charge Lady and won by 1 1/4 lengths. Farda Amiga didn&rsquo;t start again for 3 1/2 months, but Lobo had her finely tuned once again when he sent her to Saratoga to win the Grade 1 Alabama over 1 1/4 miles. Another two&#45;month break and Farda Amiga ran to her best form, finishing second behind Azeri in the BC Distaff at Arlington. Lobo won four races in all of 2002; two were the filly&rsquo;s pair of Grade 1&rsquo;s. &ldquo;I think Farda Amiga gave me everything that I needed to stay here in the U.S.,&rdquo; said Lobo. Lobo&rsquo;s Southern California stable, just seven strong in 2002, grew to 40. In 2004, he got a horse form Brazil named Pico Central, who mainly had raced on turf in South America but quickly became a top dirt sprinter for Lobo, winning the Grade 1 Carter, the Grade 1 Met Mile, and the Grade 1 Vosburgh during a mighty 2004 campaign. In 2008, Lobo won the Arkansas Derby with Gayego. &ldquo;I had very good years in California, a lot of good horses,&rdquo; Lobo said.In 2010, Camargo extended Lobo another offer: Return to Brazil to become the private trainer for his expanding racing operation there. Lobo and his wife, who had twins in 2005, packed up and moved. &ldquo;All his horses, all the mares, [Camargo] took down there to Brazil,&rdquo; said Lobo. &ldquo;I went with the horses. I stayed over there for four years, and I had very good years down there, won a couple Grade 1&rsquo;s, the Brazilian Oaks. I went private for two years for him and until after two years he allowed me to train for other people. Then I think I can say we were homesick for America.&rdquo;Following along the path trod by father and grandfather might have held appeal to others, but the pull America exerted on Lobo hadn&rsquo;t lessened, and his children, born in the U.S., felt more at home here than in Brazil. Now it was Alberto Figueredo, the CEO of Stud Rio Dois Irmaos (often called just Stud RDI) and of Bonne Chance Farm, who proposed supporting Lobo&rsquo;s training operation in America. Bonne Chance had started reaching more deeply into the U.S. bloodstock and racing sectors &ndash; taking over the former Regis Farm, a prime Kentucky bluegrass property, in 2015 &ndash; and Figueredo invited Lobo to return to the States and train. Lobo went back to California late in 2014, but between 2014 and 2018, Lobo&#45;trained horses won just 17 times from 243 starts, and with Bonne Chance&rsquo;s North American nexus now in Kentucky, Lobo moved his base to the Thoroughbred Training Center. Lobo, clearly, knows how to train a horse and had a client supplying him with capable athletes, and it was only a matter of time before things began to click again. In 2019, Lobo won nine races from 65 starters, and already this year his stable has 15 winners.More important was the arrival last fall of Ivar, who came to American unbeaten in three starts, a debut win against modest competition followed by a pair of Grade 1 blowouts, first over one mile on turf in the Gran Criterium, then over one mile on dirt in the Estrellas Juvenile. He won both races by six lengths, showing breathtaking acceleration in his grass race. Ivar is by the Japanese&#45;bred Agnes Gold and out of the Smart Strike mare May Be Gold, and, bred by Stud RDI, he was foaled and raised at famed Mondesir Farm in Bage, situated in the extreme southern part of Brazil, not far from the Uruguay border and about 400 miles from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Stud RDI, Lobo said, sends about 70 percent of the Brazilian&#45;bred horses it intends to race to Argentina, a somewhat more important South American racing jurisdiction than Brazil, but Ivar appeared too special even for Argentina. His racing dominance there came, too, with a maturity deficit, Ivar being a very late foal (on the Southern Hemisphere breeding calendar) who still hadn&rsquo;t reached his third birthday when he showed up at Lobo&rsquo;s barn last fall.Lobo knows as well as anyone the perils of rushing a South American import who must not only adapt to a new sort of daily life and training regimen, but also has to switch a deep biological clock set to an opposite set of seasons. The plan was to give Ivar plenty of time, bring him back to the races in April, pointing for a summer and fall campaign &ndash; a plan, like so many 2020 plans, that COVID&#45;19 altered. Ivar finally made his U.S. debut May 21 at Churchill and landed with a distinct clunk, checking in fifth in a third&#45;level Churchill allowance race. Lobo didn&rsquo;t like what he&rsquo;d seen at Churchill. Ivar was supposed to be a cool customer, but he fretted and lacked focus that day, both before the race and during, so Lobo added blinkers. That both succeeded and failed. The blinkers woke Ivar up. June 18, in another Churchill allowance race, Ivar went to the front and never looked back, winning by two lengths in a time fast enough to produce an eye&#45;catching 100 Beyer Speed Figure. Lobo waited for the $712,000 Tourist Mile on Sept. 2 at Kentucky Downs, where Ivar pressed the pace, got in a long mid&#45;race duel for the lead, and succumbed in the very late going to victorious Flavius, finishing a strong second.Lobo comes across as organically humble &ndash; thoughtful, careful, fastidious.&ldquo;As a trainer you learn every day,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m still a baby &ndash; learning all the time.&rdquo;Open&#45;minded, Lobo revisited the early&#45;summer equipment change. Blinkers awakened Ivar but had changed the way he raced, making a closing type into a pace&#45;setting performer, so Lobo took them off for the Shadwell, and Ivar ran like he had in Argentina, waiting patiently, coming, when the time was ripe, with a huge burst under jockey Joe Talamo. At the head of the Keeneland homestretch, Ivar raced nearer the back of the Shadwell field than the front, but so rapidly did he accelerate that he&rsquo;d made the lead an eighth of a mile from home. &ldquo;Pico Central, he was a monster, a sprinter,&rdquo; said Lobo, considering his top North American runners. &ldquo;Farda Amiga, she was a champion, a filly for distance. Now I have Ivar, a turf miler.&rdquo;As he spoke on the phone the morning of Oct. 29, it was raining buckets at the Thoroughbred Training Center, where, Lobo said, he has grown increasingly comfortable. The track surface is smooth and safe; there are grassy fields to use as turf gallops. Stabling there instead of the racetrack, Lobo can remain in one spot rather than uprooting his stock. That afternoon, Lobo won a Churchill allowance race with 18&#45;1 shot Nepal Up and an Indiana Grand maiden race with 19&#45;1 shot Poca Mucha. His barn is heating up, and no one is hotter than Ivar.