Breeders' Cup Could Determine Europe's Top Award

Game Winner winning the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita

Game Winner winning the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita

THE eyes of the racing world will be on Louisville, Kentucky this Friday and Saturday for the $30 million Breeders Cup World Championship which attracts the best horses, trainers and owners from all over the world. He has never looked back.

Europe's other big Classic contender, Roaring Lion, came into the race off four straight victories, but in his first test on dirt was never a factor and finished last. He won his 1000 race in April, is winning at stunning 32 percent clip, and his stable has surpassed $6 million in earnings for the season.

The straight-talking Servis ran down his thoughts about his five runners this weekend.

Bin Suroor said of Thunder Snow: "He ran his heart out, I couldn't be more proud of him".

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There was some bumping and grinding for Game Winner on the way to victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Accelerate's challengers include a strong foreign contingent that features Japanese-bred Yoshida, trained by two-time Classic victor Bill Mott and owned by WinStar Farm and China Horse Club International - who teamed up to take Justify to the Triple Crown.

The colt shook them off before shaking the field to remain flawless and make his case as the year's best 2-year-old.

The 45th time was the charm for John Sadler.

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After Friday's Breeders' Cup "Future Stars" program at Churchill Downs, the early favorite for the 2019 Kentucky Derby is Game Winner, still undefeated after a hard-fought victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Accelerate was second in the Oaklawn Handicap and San Antonio Stakes. "It was a tough race, and Frankie wanted to stay wide", Gosden said. At odds that should hover around 5-1 he'll bring a respectable return should the Classic be his breakthrough win. "He broke like a shot and put me in a real good position". "Me and [owner Kosta Hronis] have a philosophy, at the end of the year we evaluate the horses, and if they're in good shape and we think they're going to have another good year, then we continue to race them, because that's what we do and it's what we enjoy". The speedy chestnut, a victor at first asking at Gulfstream Park, blasted out of the gate in the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint and never looked back en route to a 2 ¾-length score in 1:05.54.

Line Of Duty did bump Uncle Benny late on, causing an anxious wait for connections as the stewards launched an inquiry, but the Charlie Appleby-trained juvenile kept the race, much to the relief of Buick. His last win came over a year ago in the Pennsylvania Derby that he followed with a third-place finish in the 2017 Breeders Cup Classic. Seeing his string, all Group One horses, in Indian file, a length between them like a military parade on the track on Thursday was up there with watching 40 horses heading to the first fence in the Grand National or the Derby field sweeping round Tattenham Corner; one of the great sights in racing. Soon after Stormy Liberal out-dueled favorite World of Trouble to retake the $1 million Turf Sprint by a neck, 6-year-old Roy H swept past Promises Fulfilled and flew to a 3 1/4-length win in the $2 million Sprint. Discreet Lover is his first graded stakes victor and won the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in his last start at odds of 45-1. The US handler's challenge will come from the fancied pair of West Coast, who was third past year, and McKinzie.

"I am just thankful to be back here", he said.

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