Connections

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Turning Left Into A Bright Future?

For as long as she can remember, 32-year-old Kelsey Danner has been making left turns. It began in her father’s barns at Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park, scrubbing buckets and leading Thoroughbred racehorses around and around the shed row before school each morning. As she got older, she graduated to riding those same racehorses along […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Power’ In Teamwork At Belmont

Extreme weather conditions in New York last week did more than force the cancellation of racing at Aqueduct; on Thursday afternoon, power to the Belmont Park backstretch was lost. Open as a training facility during the winter, Belmont’s power outage left the dorm rooms of approximately 125 stable employees without heat just as the below-freezing […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Edwards Looks Back On Career Of Asking Right Questions

It all started with a question. Throughout her career at ESPN, Jeannine Edwards has learned the greatest stories often begin with the ability to ask the right question. The award-winning reporter may be best-known for covering the sidelines of college football games, but she got her start as a Thoroughbred racing analyst. Edwards’ love affair […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: The ‘University Of Woodbine’

At 15 years of age, Robert Tiller was making left-handed turns around a shed row. The soft, whispery noises of the horses and the smells of hay and straw each morning drew him toward the racetrack life; Tiller was hooked, and quickly left school behind. “I pretty much went straight to the ‘University of Woodbine,’” […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: San Luis Rey Horse Rescuer Leo Tapia ‘Rich In Heart’

“Algunos son pobres de dinero pero ricos de corazon.” It means: some people are poor in money, but rich in heart. Leo Tapia shared that quote on his Facebook wall earlier this week, and while he wasn’t referring to himself, the symbolism could not have been more accurate. A groom at San Luis Rey Downs, […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Heroes Of The San Luis Rey Downs Fire

As with most tragedies there are examples of courage that flash to the surface in split seconds when all seems lost, when circumstances overwhelm, when seemingly ordinary people become super human and accomplish the impossible. Some are born heroes; some are born on the spot. No amount of training or preparation can predict who will […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Finding The ‘Opportunity’ In A Changing Landscape

His name carries the weight of four generations of horsemen, and it rings out in the Thoroughbred industry just like the names of horses he has worked with: Barbaro, Street Sense, Havre de Grace, Artie Schiller, and Keeper Hill, just to name a few. During the closing weekend at Del Mar, however, Headley Bell’s name […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: The Colors That Make A Good Horse

At age 63, Mike Ryan might be having his best year yet. The bloodstock agent not only co-bred the 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming with 30-year business partner Gerry Dilger, but he also picked out the Preakness winner Cloud Computing from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. At the Breeders’ Cup this fall, Ryan’s yearling […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Kimmel Overcomes The Odds With Bar Of Gold

Perhaps it is only fitting that John Kimmel trained Bar of Gold, the 66-1 longshot who pulled one of the most stunning upsets in Breeders’ Cup history when she won the Grade 1 Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar in the final stride. The odds have seemingly been stacked against him for years. Although […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Nicks Creates His Own ‘Luck’ With Caledonia Road

Five years ago, trainer Ralph Nicks wasn’t sure he’d make it through the winter. His New York-based stable had dwindled to just 12 horses, and he would end up saddling the winners of just 13 races in 2012 – the smallest number of his career. “I didn’t know where (my career) was headed,” said the […]

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