Connections

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Working For My Big Brother And My Little Brother’

Saturday, July 29, at Monmouth Park, jockey agent Jimmy Riccio “won” the day with his riders Joe Bravo and Jose Ortiz sweeping all six stakes races on the card, including the $1 million Haskell Invitational with Good Magic. “We just were on the right horses that day,” said Riccio, 40. “It looked like a good […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight

In 2013 at Hollywood Park, Drayden Van Dyke could often be found in the jockey’s room riding the Equicizer. He liked to practice on the machine in the dark, so he could focus on the feel of the ride instead of visual cues. One day, Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith walked in to the […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Cedeno Juggles Motherhood, Successful Riding Career

Jockey Carol Cedeno made headlines last week when she set a Delaware Park record with seven winners on a ten-race card. For those who follow the Mid-Atlantic circuit closely, the only surprise is that it didn’t happen sooner. Cedeno, who began riding in the United States in 2007, won the jockey title at her Delaware […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Jockeying Through Law School

Law school. Rodeo. Horse racing. These are Cheyanna Patrick’s passions. The 21-year-old spends most of her year at the University of Kentucky’s School of Law, but in the summers she is a well-respected professional Thoroughbred jockey at Indiana Grand. Born into a family of equine enthusiasts, Patrick grew up with a “need for speed.” She […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Blue Collar’ O’Connell Embraces New Goals

Imagine you’re an 18-year-old girl in Detroit in the late 1960s. It’s your senior year of high school, where you’ve accumulated a 3.8 GPA and are in the top 15 percent of your class. You have four years of 4-H and any number of after-school sports on your resume. Your dream is to go to […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Will Stars Align For Another Filly In Queen’s Plate?

Catherine Day Phillips traveled across the globe to find her way back home. Canadian born and bred, Day Phillips now trains a string of 25 Thoroughbreds at Woodbine, and will saddle the filly Dixie Moon, winner of the Woobine Oaks, in Saturday’s $1 million Queen’s Plate. “She’s very seasoned for a young horse,” said Day […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Training Horses Is A Life Of Learning’

Trainer Ignacio Correas IV didn’t start out pursuing the American Dream. Neither did last Saturday’s Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap winner, Blue Prize. They both earned their stripes in Argentina before making the move to the United States, where each would have to carve out a new beginning. “I really never thought I would […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘You Can’t Judge A Horse By His Cover’

Dismissed at 13-1 on the tote board, the little brown colt barely drew an eye in the paddock on the Belmont Stakes undercard. As the field for the Grade 2 Woody Stephens left the starting gate, he was even less prominent, traipsing along at the back of the field, nearly 12 lengths behind the leader. […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Peter Brant ‘Happy To Be Back’ In The Game

Peter M. Brant had quite a run in Thoroughbred racing in the 1970s and ‘80s. There were Eclipse Award winners like Waya in 1979 and Just a Game in 1980, Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and G1 Belmont winner Swale – the champion 3-year-old he co-owned with Claiborne Farm – in 1984, and champion sprinter Gulch […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Santana ‘Showing Up’ For Asmussen

“He just kept showing up in the barn, every day.” Ricardo Santana, Jr. has been showing up for as long as anyone can remember. He’s in the barns every morning and always gives a top effort in the afternoons. That work ethic is what first earned the 24-year-old Panamanian jockey a chance to ride for […]

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