Three of Friday’s four Breeders’ Cup races feature a number of runners with connections (of one sort or another) to the mid-Atlantic region. Here are some we’re watching:
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- Red Vine (6-1) is one of a trio of horses who competed at Monmouth multiple times this summer. The five-year-old son of Candy Ride, trained by Christophe Clement, won the Majestic Light Stakes at the Jersey Shore track in May before running second, to Bradester, in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile.
- Bradester (10-1) is another of that Monmouth-running trio. The Eddie Kenneally trainee, who placed in two graded Monmouth races in 2014, ran in three this year, winning two. He took both the Grade 3 Salvator Mile and Grade 2 Monmouth Cup in front-running fashion but had no answers for Valid in the Grade 3 Iselin. That last event, however, was at 1 1/8 miles, making it the least similar of the trio to this race.
- Virginia-bred Valid (10-1) rounds out that Monmouth group landing in this spot. The five-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, bred by the late Edward P. Evans, trained by Marcus Vitali, made four starts at Monmouth, finishing second or third in the Majestic Light, Salvator Mile, and Monmouth Cup before getting the money in the Iselin by 3 1/2 lengths. The earner of more than $740,000 has won 10 times in 31 starts, including races at Laurel (where he broke his maiden), Pimlico, Parx Racing, and Penn National. Maryland-based jockey Nik Juarez has the mount.
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- Tin Type Gal (12-1) comes from the powerful Graham Motion barn at Fair Hill, MD. The daughter of Tapit, out of the Grade 1-winning Deputy Minister mare Miss Shop, has won both her turf starts, most recently rallying to take the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park in late September. Luis Saez will ride.
- Speedster Ruby Notion (12-1) has all sorts of Midlantic connections. She was bred in West Virginia by Silverton Hill LLC, and she’s by Maryland-based sire Great Notion, making her eligible for both the West Virginia Breeders Classics and the Maryland Million. The Wesley Ward trainee has won three of four career starts — a record tarnished only by a decent fifth-place finish, beaten less than four lengths, in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. She returned stateside to post easy wins in the grassy Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park and the off-the-turf Selima Stakes at Laurel. The knock against her: she’s never been beyond 5 1/2 furlongs. Rafael Hernandez is named to ride.
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- I’m a Chatterbox (8-1), trained this summer at Delaware Park by Larry Jones, scored an impressive victory in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx Racing in mid-September for her first Grade 1 score — she’d placed in three prior Grade 1 events. She’s one of a bevy of legit contenders in this wide-open affair, in which morning line favorite Wedding Toast is 4-1. The daughter of Munnings will have regular rider Florent Geroux in the irons.
- Frivolous (30-1), trained by Victoria Oliver, made her first visit to the mid-Atlantic this summer, running a game second in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap. Jon Court will ride the Grade 2 winner.
- Stopchargingmaria (5-1) has raced almost exclusively in New York in her 15-race career — but two of her four starts outside the Empire State came at Old Hilltop. The Todd Pletcher trainee won the 2014 edition of the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, for sophomore fillies, and scored again this year, easing to victory in the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff. Javier Castellano will be up.
- Calamity Kate (30-1) was 54-1 when she earned a front-running score in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks and 22-1 when second in the Grade 1 Cotillion. What’ll the Monmouth-based Kelly Breen trainee do for an encore? Edgar Prado has the mount, and the price will surely be right.
- Virginia-bred Stellar Wind (12-1) has won five of seven career starts, four against graded rivals, including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks. The daughter of Curlin-Evening Star, by Malibu Moon was bred by Keswick Stables and Stonestreet Thoroughbreds, began her career at the Laurel Park barn of Donald Barr and broke her maiden at that track in November of 2014. Sold after that victory to Hronis Racing LLC and transferred to John Sadler’s operation at Santa Anita, she’s suffered only one misstep since, finishing fourth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Victor Epinoza has the mount.
- Got Lucky (6-1) made three starts at Monmouth Park this summer for trainer Todd Pletcher. After finishing second a half-length to the late-running Stiffed in the Monmouth Beach, she turned the tables on that rival with wins in the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher and the ungraded Lady’s Secret. Most recently, she scored narrowly in the Grade 1 Spinster over the Keeneland strip — her first Grade 1 win. Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the mount.
- Sheer Drama (9-2) hasn’t been worse than second in 2015 and owns two Grade 1 wins: in the Delaware Handicap and most recently in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga. The David Fawkes trainee also has two career wins at Laurel Park, including in the Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes in September 2014.
(Featured photo, of Ruby Notion at Monmouth Park, by Taylor Ejdys/EQUI-PHOTO.)