Connections

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Hope Is For Free’

The last-minute pick-up mount on Saturday at Santa Anita had jockey Geovanni Franco and agent Jim Giannone dreaming big. With Joel Rosario feeling under the weather, Franco was gifted the opportunity to ride Grade 1 winner Next Shares in the G2 San Gabriel Stakes. “When my agent told me, I got really excited,” said Franco, […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Dreaming With ‘Perfection’

From the saddle of a red roan mustang with a “little streak of craziness in him” to following Spiced Perfection into the winner’s circle after the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes, Michael Faber just keeps daring himself to dream a little bigger. Or in this case, maybe Faber was dreaming a little smaller, but it […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: The Strait Is Strong At Valor Farm

“Cowboys like us sure do have fun, “Racin’ the wind, chasin’ the sun, “Take the long way around back to square one.” The juvenile filly Cowgirls Like Us demonstrated her continuing dominance with a 3 ¼-length win in Sunday’s $100,000 Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park, marking her third stakes victory in a row. For general […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Valene’s ‘Lucky Break’ Honors Late Father

Murray Valene was on a conference call for his day job while simultaneously trying to bid over the phone during the 2018 Equine Sales of Louisiana 2-Year-Old sale, and had a fortuitous mix-up with the sale catalog. He’d thought he was bidding on a filly, but Valene wound up with a juvenile colt by Songandaprayer […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: No Slowing Down For ‘Droopy’ Rodriguez

Alberto Paz Rodriguez loved the racetrack while growing up in Panama City, Panama. His parents thought he loved it a little too much. “My folks were concerned I would get involved with gambling. The racetrack didn’t have the best reputation back then,” recalled Rodriguez, 79, who is better known by his childhood nickname “Droopy” – […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Crow ‘100 Percent In’ The Game

If first impressions are anything to go by, 30-year-old Liz Crow is off to an auspicious start in the Thoroughbred industry. Authorized to purchase yearlings on her own for the first time in 2016, Crow went searching for bargain buys at the Keeneland September sale with a maximum budget of $100,000. As it turns out, […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Jockey Morales Carves Out Different Path From Predecessors

Puerto Rican jockeys have been making a big impact on North American racing ever since Angel Cordero first threw his leg over a Thoroughbred. Following him were names like John Velazquez, Irad and Jose Ortiz, and Manny Franco, among others. This generation of jockeys had one thing in common: they all attended the state-sponsored jockey […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘If You Work Real Hard, You Get Luckier’

Leonard Green is a man of numbers. The top-level accountant spends his days pouring over dollars and cents, but his 30-plus years in the Thoroughbred industry have taught him that it’s not all about the dollars; it takes sense. “Unlike other owners, I’m not in it to drink champagne; it’s a business,” Green said. “It’s […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Aguilar ‘Never Imagined’ He’d Groom A Champion

For a young boy growing up in Guatemala City, the “American Dream” probably felt like just that, a faraway dream. On Saturday, however, Darwin Aguilar watched his charge Monomoy Girl run into the history books in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and found himself in awe at the path his life had taken. “I never imagined […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: A Date With Team Enable

I have been so excited ever since I heard Enable might be coming for the Breeders’ Cup in my very own hometown, and even made a “friendly” wager with Ray Paulick right after she won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (I said she’d be here—glad I was right!). Now, try to imagine the level […]

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