Connections

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Water Jugs, Stopwatches, And The Fox-O-Meter

Standing on the rail during the running of Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Oaks, former University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino was ecstatic when the filly he owns a part of came flying down the outside of the track to score her first graded stakes victory. He turned to trainer Dale Romans and Romans’ long-time partner Tammy Fox […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: More Derby Dreams Take Root In New Mexico

“I think every little boy around the racetrack grows up wanting to be a jockey,” said Todd Fincher. “And probably every little girl, too.” Raised on the fair circuit in Colorado, Fincher was born into a racing family. Daily chores like cleaning stalls, grooming horses, and feeding permeate his childhood memories, but the overarching theme […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Fed Ex, A Leap Of Faith And A ‘Martini’

Trainer Keith Nations and his stable star Martini Glass were quickly dismissed when Nations entered the daughter of Kitalpha in her first graded stakes race last summer. It was the G1 Delaware Handicap, and champion Songbird drew all the attention. To the surprise of many racing fans, Martini Glass gave Songbird a run for her […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Life Lessons From A Hall of Fame ‘Father-Figure’

Watching Quip cross the wire first in last weekend’s Tampa Bay Derby, 34-year-old trainer Rodolphe Brisset allowed himself a few moments to revel in the feeling. Then, the soft-spoken Frenchman simply did what has become his habit over the past decade: he went back to work. Born in Tours, France, Brisset never had family members […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Derby Trail Victory A Long Time Coming For ‘Promises’ Owner

Robert J. Baron named Promises Fulfilled for three things: 44 years of marriage to his childhood sweetheart, his four grown children now raising their own families, and a promise trainer Dale Romans gave him nearly 20 years ago. “Dale always told me that some day we’d have a good horse together,” Baron laughed. “When we […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Playing’ Around At Bradley’s Indian Ridge Farm

Winner’s circle celebrations are one of the best parts of the sport for the grooms and exercise riders who work so hard for their equine charges. Sometimes, however, the emotions run even higher hundreds of miles away from the racetrack. For Maria Kabel, watching the races on her phone, rather than in person, has become […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: McCarthy Follows Shared Family Dreams

Jockey Trevor McCarthy’s willingness to leave Maryland success for an uncertain New York venture stems from his desire to attain heights his father only dreamt of. Michael said he was “scratching for every mount” during a riding career that stretched from 1982-2002. He spent 10 years at Finger Lakes, the rest at tracks scattered throughout […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Hercules, Caesar, And A Rising Star

Her flight to Louisville is already booked. If Flameaway runs as well in his next start as he did in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, said breeder Deborah Holmes, she’ll have to buy a hotel room during Kentucky Derby week as well. From one of just six mares Holmes bred in […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘The Best Offices In The World’

The now-sophomore colt Strike Power made quite an impression when he debuted a few days before Christmas at Gulfstream Park. He stormed to the lead out of the gate and flew home to win the 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight event by eight lengths. Strike Power’s final time of 1:02.67 was awfully close to the […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘They’ll Talk To You If You Just Listen’

In 1981, Mike Tomlinson was a world away from training Thoroughbreds. It was his rookie year on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit (PRCA), and the Oklahoma native was roping and bulldogging his way to a living every weekend. All that changed when his father suffered a sudden stroke. Tomlinson dropped everything and headed home, […]

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