Connections

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Aaron Gryder A Racing Renaissance Man

If veteran jockey Aaron Gryder were to write out his bucket list, most everything on it would have a big check mark scrawled alongside. At age 47, Gryder has ridden all over the world, found success on some of its biggest stages, explored a career as an actor, been a motivational speaker, and even worked […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Catholic Boy’s Victory Brings Young Trainer Thomas Full Circle

No one could blame Jonathan Thomas, 37, if he had been jumping for joy as the Grade 3 With Anticipation field entered the stretch at Saratoga on Aug. 30. After a bumpy exit from the starting gate, Thomas trainee Catholic Boy found a gap in traffic and inched steadily to victory through the final sixteenth […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: The ‘Fly On The Wall’ Behind West Coast

Just through the door of the refurbished black and red-trimmed farmhouse, the welcoming foyer is comfortably furnished with wide leather furniture set against polished wood-paneled walls. A cursory glance reveals an eye-catching pair of paintings, each of a single Thoroughbred in strikingly red blinkers posing artfully against a pitch-black background. From there, the eye naturally […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Late-Running Fillies And The ‘Irish Connection’

Watching Proctor’s Ledge come flying down the Saratoga stretch last Saturday for a victory in the G2 Lake Placid Stakes, owner/breeder Patricia Moseley was overjoyed. The win meant more than the prestige of the stake, however, because the filly represents the latest link in the breeding program she initiated with her late husband in the […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Can’t ‘Fault’ Lovell For Happy Horses

Thoroughbred trainers are most certainly their own unique breed, blessed with a nearly infinite sense of optimism that the next horse will be “the big one.” Those with smaller stables, the “little guys” of the racing world who work day in and day out just to make ends meet, are especially full of hope. When […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Diva, Against All Odds

As Rick Waller watched the Sorrento Stakes field approaching Del Mar’s starting gate, trainer Phil D’Amato’s excitement was just starting to catch on. The excitement built as the race went off, and the owner was afraid to hope as 10 juvenile fillies flew down the backstretch, but the little chestnut he first saw at six […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Ransom The Moon Fulfills ‘Potential’ For Martinez

With all the excitement surrounding Ransom the Moon’s first Grade 1 win in Saturday’s Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar, majority owner Mark Martinez couldn’t help but wish Drefong and jockey Mike Smith hadn’t parted ways at the start of the race. “Some people call it racing luck, but I never would have wished for […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Former Olympian Living Her New ‘Dream’

Dream It Is, a 2-year-old daughter of Shackleford, announced her presence to the racing world in a big way last Friday, dominating Saratoga’s G3 Schuylerville Stakes by nine lengths. “To win by nine at Saratoga, you just don’t expect that,” said trainer Barbara Minshall, 60. “You don’t know that going in. We just went there […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Putting ‘A Face To The Hero’

The name “Victor Espinoza” has most of the racing community thinking of a certain Triple Crown-winning jockey. To anyone familiar with Brookdale Farm in Versailles, Ky., however, the name brings to mind a different individual. Brookdale’s Victor Espinoza epitomizes the spirit of Godolphin’s newest initiative, the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards. Intended to “to identify and […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Organization Keeps Cox Stable ‘Moving Forward’

Growing up a couple blocks from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., horse racing has enthralled trainer Brad Cox since early childhood. Working his way up through the industry, however, it didn’t take him long to discover the commerciality driving the sport’s brilliant excitement. “It’s a business, for sure,” said Cox, 37. “It really takes a […]

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