One year after London Bridge became the first New York-bred to win a race at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, horses bred in the Empire State are securing spots with an eye toward doing more damage at this year’s event.
After Kentucky, New York is the first state to register more than one 2014 Breeders’ Cup Challenge winner. Palace earned his second grade I sprint victory of the year in delivering a 3 ½-length score in the Forego Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30 at Saratoga Race Course, punching his ticket to the XpressBet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) in that “Win and You’re In” race.
Palace in the Forego Stakes. - Coglianese Photos - Order This Photo
The Forego followed by one week the 6 ½-length victory by Artemis Agrotera in the Ballerina Stakes (gr. I), in which the daughter of Roman Ruler earned a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I).
Chester and Mary Broman homebred Artemis Agrotera will try to improve on her fifth-place finish in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). She earned a spot in that race with her victory in last year’s Frizette Stakes (gr. I).
Artemis Agrotera’s connections are pointing to this year’s Filly & Mare Sprint, where she would become the eighth New York-bred to start in multiple Breeders’ Cups, joining Canadian Ballet, Cannonball (who placed third in both the 2007 Juvenile Turf and the 2009 Turf Sprint), three-time starter Fourstars Allstar (who placed third in the 1993 Mile (gr. IT), Funny Cide, Gander, Silver Timber, and The Lumber Guy (2nd in the 2012 Sprint).
The “Win and You’re In” program takes away some of the owner’s risk in shipping across country to start in a Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park. Jeff Raine, the Broman’s farm manager, said earning a victory in the Challenge series allows the connections to focus on selecting a path to the Breeders’ Cup, knowing a spot is waiting.
Trainer Linda Rice claimed Palace for $20,000 for owner Antonino Miuccio out of a maiden-claiming race he won in 2012 at Belmont Park. The 5-year-old son of City Zip, who is nominated to Breeders’ Cup, has since won six stakes, including this year’s Forego, Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) and True North Stakes (gr. II). Rice plans to point Palace to the $400,000 Vosburgh Invitational Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont.
While it wasn’t a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, New York-bred Startup Nation’s victory in the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 28 at Saratoga has trainer Chad Brown thinking about the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) for the son of Temple City. Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Startup Nation entered the With Anticipation off a victory in his debut, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for New York-bred maidens Aug. 7, at Saratoga.
Startup Nation in the With Anticipation Stakes. - Coglianese Photos
Last year London Bridge rallied from seventh to win the Breeders’ Cup Marathon (gr. II) and become the first New York-bred to win a Breeders’ Cup race. In 53 starts from 45 starters at Breeders’ Cup, New York-breds have a win, three seconds, and five thirds.
The first “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) are on tap Saturday, Sept. 6 at Churchill Downs. The winner of the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) will secure a spot in the Juvenile Fillies while the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) winner will punch his Juvenile ticket.
In Europe the winner of the 1 ½-mile Longines Grosser Preis Von Baden (Ger-I) Sept. 7, at Baden Baden will earn a spot in the Turf (gr. IT).
MORE: Leading Sires, by 2014 Breeders' Cup Challenge Winners