February 2015 Issue - page 4

Page 4
February 2015
Fantastic Finish in $5 million 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa
Anita Park last November. Bayern (far right), Toast of New York and
California Chrome. California Chrome is one of the 2014 standouts
who will return to race again in 2015.
Photo credit: Breeders Cup Ltd.
Big Horses Bring High Hopes for 2015
by Terry Conway
It's thirty-six years and
counting since the last Triple
Crown winner. Many racing fans
were convinced they were about
to have that spell broken when
"golden boy" California Chrome
stepped into the Belmont Stakes
starting gate last June. As the race
unfolded, California Chrome was
pinned against the rail for most
of the trip and in the late going
wasn't able to produce his typical
powerful stretch run as Tonalist
ended up winning, with Califor-
nia Chrome tied for fourth.
Although racing's Holy Grail
slipped away, 2014 turned out to
be a sensational year. This year
could be even better. The older
male division looks to be more
promising than any in recent
history. California Chrome and
Bayern, the Haskell and Pennsyl-
vania Derby winner and Breeders'
Cup Classic champion, already
have proved they are exceptional.
So too has Shared Belief, who
was unbeaten headed into the BC
Classic at Santa Anita Park last
Nov. 1.
All three of the superb Cali-
fornia horses are slated to return
in 2015. So too is Graham Mo-
tion's Main Sequence, the winner
of four consecutive Grade-1 turf
races, including the $3 million
BC Turf. And so is Untapable,
the winner of the Cotillion Stakes
staged at Parx racetrack and only
the second three-year old filly
to win the Kentucky Oaks and
Breeders' Cup Distaff. And, let's
not forget about Wise Dan (son of
Wiseman's Ferry based at Dana
Point Farm), the two-time BC
Mile champion and Horse of the
Year in 2012 and 2013.
The 2015 big kick-off is Feb.
7 in the San Antonio Stakes at
Santa Anita where Shared Belief
and Art Sherman trainee Cali-
fornia Chrome are slated to go
head-to-head for just the second
time. Shared Belief-- the Pacific
Classic winner, Awesome Again
winner, Malibu Stakes winner,
and Los Alamitos Derby winner--
is co-owned by ESPN com-
mentator Jim Rome. The 2013
champion 2-year-old male is
trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. He
won the first seven starts of his
career before finishing fourth in
the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Shared
Belief capped his 3-year-old
season with a win in the Malibu
Stakes at seven furlongs.
BC Classic winner Bayern
could also run in the San An-
tonio Stakes. If he doesn't then
trainer Bob Baffert is eyeing
the $10 million Dubai World
Cup on March 28. Owned by
Kaleem Shah, Inc., Bayern
won at distances between seven
furlongs and 1 1/4 miles with his
first graded stakes win coming in
the Grade-2 Woody Stephens on
Belmont Stakes day.
No horse had a better 2014
season than Main Sequence. Un-
defeated last year, the handsome
chestnut horse was four-for-four,
all in Grade-1 turf races, and was
a leading candidate for Horse of
the Year. Bred in England and
owned by the famed Niarchos
family, Main Sequence won four
of 14 starts in England before
landing in Motion's Fair Hill barn
in December of 2013. Last year
he scored in the United Na-
tions Stakes, the Sword Dancer
Invitational, the Joe Hirsch Turf
Classic and turned in a scintillat-
ing performance in the $3 million
Breeders' Cup Turf versus a
top-tier field of Euros.
With a late charge Main
Sequence readily outkicked the
high-class Flintshire, enjoying
his most "comfortable" margin so
far -- a half-length. Flintshire had
finished second to 2013 Cartier
European Horse of the Year Treve
in the Prix de l'Arc de Triumphe,
Europe's most prestigious race.
Six weeks after the 2014 BC
Turf, trainer Andre Fabre sent
Flintshire to Hong Kong where
he went on to win the renowned
Hong Kong Vase.
Now a 6-year old, Main
Sequence's seasonal debut is
slated to be in the $200,000 Mac
Diarmida (Grade-2) at Gulfst-
ream Park on Feb. 21. If all goes
well, his next start will be in the
$10 million Dubai World Cup on
March 28. It's the same five week
(Continued on page 6)
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