Connections

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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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Horses Will Teach You’ Not To Hurry

William Morey is having a big year in 2018, and it’s only January. Not only did the trainer earn his first graded stakes victory last weekend, but he has also saddled an astonishing six winners from 11 starters at Santa Anita’s current meeting. He accepts congratulations gracefully, then transfers the praise to the horse: “Coniah […]

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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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