Del Mar Preview
Midnight Interlude faces six in La Jolla
Only six sophomores have opted to line up against Grade 1 winner MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE (War Chant) as the Bob Baffert pupil attempts to move his turf record to a perfect two-for-two in Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla H. (G2) at Del Mar. The bay colt passed his initial turf test with flying colors on June 17 at Hollywood Park, posting a game neck victory in the Tsunami Slew S. going one mile, and will stretch out an extra sixteenth for Saturday's race.
Midnight Interlude put himself squarely into Triple Crown contention earlier this year when upsetting the Santa Anita Derby (G1) by a head off a 8 1/2-length maiden win. Alas, the colt did not carry that form east, as he finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and 13th in the Preakness S. (G1) in his next two starts. Baffert gave his charge a month break, shipped him back to the West Coast and switched surfaces. Midnight Interlude responded with his Tsunami Slew score and will keep Rafael Bejarano, aboard for that grass affair, in the saddle.
SURREY STAR (Ire) (Dubawi) and TEMPLE'S DOOR (Leroidesanimaux [Brz]), the respective runner-up and third-place runner in the Tsunami Slew, will re-oppose Midnight Interlude in the La Jolla on Saturday. The former is no stranger to winning black-type on the grass, taking the La Puente S. in mid-April and also placing third in the Generous S. (G3) at Hollywood Park last fall. Temple's Door will be looking to rebound off a subpar ninth and last in the Oceanside S. on Del Mar's opening day.
BURNS (Unusual Heat), second in the Oceanside in his first turf stakes try, and Group 3-placed FORT HASTINGS (Aragorn [Ire]), seventh in the mile event in his U.S. debut, are also exiting that July 20 race. The La Jolla field is completed by Oliver S. winner LIL BIT O'FUN (Langfuhr) and THIRTYFIRSTSTREET (Good Journey), hero of the Lone Star Derby two back.
Santa Anita chosen to host 2012 Breeders' Cup
Breeders' Cup Limited announced Wednesday during a press conference at LA Live that the 2012 Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on November 2-3.
Santa Anita has hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships five times, most recently back-to-back editions in 2008 and 2009, both of which set records for attendance and wagering. The decision followed a lengthy review process by the Breeders' Cup Host Site Selection Committee, which included proposals from multiple racing venues in North America.
"We are thrilled to bring back the Breeders' Cup to southern California which is always a strong draw for horseracing fans from around the world and where the Breeders' Cup has always been embraced by the community," said Craig Fravel, president & CEO of Breeders' Cup. "Santa Anita Park is a world class racing venue that will once again provide a spectacular setting for two days of the best in international racing."
"Hosting the Breeders' Cup is important to the California horseracing industry and it is an honor for Santa Anita to be chosen as host of the Breeders' Cup for the sixth time," said Frank Stronach, chairman of The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita. "Our team looks forward to the challenge of building on the success of 2008 and 2009 with the 2012 Breeders' Cup."
Fravel was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Stronach Group President Greg Avioli, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Chairman Keith Brackpool and other supporters for the announcement at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live.
"We are proud and delighted to once again host the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park and to welcome the legion of loyal racing fans to Southern California," Villaraigosa said. "This prestigious, international sporting phenomenon will boost our local economy and generate tens of millions of dollars in economic impact to the region."
Zenyatta's victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) to become the first female to win that particular race highlighted the 2009 World Championships at Santa Anita. In addition to the then record attendance and handle (exceeded only by the 2010 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs), the 2009 races attracted the most international starters in event history with 34 participants from outside the United States.
The Breeders' Cup generated in excess of $60 million in economic impact in the Los Angeles area in both 2008 and 2009. Next year's running will mark the sixth time that Santa Anita will host the Breeders' Cup, after hosting the event in 1986, 1993, 2003, 2008 and 2009.
The 29th Breeders' Cup will be televised on ABC/ESPN and to more than 130 countries.
This year's Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held on November 4-5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
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