Chelsea Hackbarth

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Special Pair Of Victories Honor ‘An Old Cowboy’

The rain falling from the sky on Thanksgiving eve in Hobbs, N.M. mirrored the bittersweet emotions in the Zia Park winner’s circle.  A frontrunning 4 ½-length victory by Restrainedvengence in the $150,000 Zia Park Championship saw fresh tears well up in the eyes of his connections; it was just a few weeks after the passing […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Thankful For ‘Miracles That Defy Science And Logic’

The holiday season is officially upon us, but Sarah MacHarg needs no extra reminders to be thankful this year. She has spent the past six months watching her Thoroughbred gelding Great Minds defy the greatest of odds, overcoming an intra-articular joint infection so severe that most veterinarians suggested he wouldn’t be able to survive. “He […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Recovered From Injury, Geroux On A Roll At Churchill

Jockey Florent Geroux won seven of the sixteen races he rode last week at Churchill Downs, including the Grade 3 River City Handicap with Mr. Misunderstood, recording a remarkable 44% strike rate with his first mounts since recovering from a fractured sternum. The 33-year-old French native was injured in a fall during morning training hours […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: The Phone Call That Won A Breeders’ Cup Race

All trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero wanted was for his colt to be given a fair chance in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He told jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. not to fight the 3-year-old Spun to Run, a relative longshot at 9-1 odds on Saturday. Ortiz listened to the instructions, and for the second race in […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Accidentally In The Hall Of Fame’

All the Clockers’ Corner regulars know Vince DeGregory, and most stop by his table to say hello on a busy, frigid morning at Santa Anita just before the Breeders’ Cup. The 87-year-old jockey agent takes the time to greet each one by name and shake their hand, but he never loses the rhythm of his […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Making Noise’ For The Horses

Leslie McCall was honored last weekend with a Godolphin Thoroughbred Industry Employee Award in the category “Dedication to Racing,” and trainer Ron Moquett believes there couldn’t be a more accurate description of his eight-year employee. “I have to have people to depend on who will do the right thing by the horse,” Moquett said. “Leslie […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Size Isn’t Everything When They Run Big

At Thoroughbred sales, size really does matter. Young horses generally need to be at least of average height for their age to attract notice, and those that are particularly diminutive just don’t get as much attention. In the case of the filly Abscond, Jerry Romans, Jr. was willing to overlook her short stature.  He picked […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Emotionally-Charged’ Victory No Minor Feat

Emotion overflowed on the Keeneland turf course Sunday, a result of Peace Achieved’s hard-fought victory in the G3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes. It was the first time owner Joe Minor had seen his silks enter the winner’s circle for a graded stakes race, but he gave the honor of leading the colt up for the photo […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Cedillo On The Rise In Southern California

Jockey Abel Cedillo’s first Grade 1 win, achieved Sept. 28 aboard Mongolian Groom in the Awesome Again Stakes, wasn’t just a milestone for the 30-year-old from Guatemala. The victory also brought about a sense of validation for his agent, Tom Knust, who brought the rider to the Southern California circuit this summer.  Knust has handled […]

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More Than A Pinhook: Life Lessons From A Sassy Bay Filly

We walked in to the Keeneland Sales Pavilion with an idea, a little bit of hope, and a lot of bravado. We walked out a little bit wiser, we hope, and with a renewed sense of faith in ourselves. The eight months in between were a heck of a journey. “We both graduated with equine […]

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