Twilight Eclipse and Ring Weekend represent West Point Thoroughbreds in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships held at Santa Anita Park. West Point Partners from across the country will converge beneath the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains for a stellar two days of racing.
Beloved veteran Twilight Eclipse makes his fourth straight World Championships appearance and takes on a world-class cast in the $4,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). He’s an ageless campaigner who will be a longshot in this year’s edition, but he really couldn’t be doing any better coming into the race and has earned the right to compete. The gelding who has over $2,000,000 completed his final preparations at Belmont Park before flying to California on Sunday.
“He’s bigger, stronger, and broader than ever,” said West Point President Terry Finley. “We’ve been chasing Flintshire this year and know he’ll be tough to beat, but our horse looks like a million bucks and loves the firm turf out here at Santa Anita. He ran a bang-up third to Main Sequence here two years ago. I give a lot of credit to Tom Albertrani and his team for keeping Twilight so sound and happy over the past four years.” Watch Twilight Eclipse train on Wednesday morning at Santa Anita.
Read Steve Haskin’s beautifully written piece “Saluting Those Who Always Show Up”. He deems Twilight Eclipse one of racing’s “unsung heroes”.
No matter how much longer Twilight Eclipse races, you can be sure he is going to give his all every time, while competing against the best turf horses in the country. He has never ducked a big race, despite the quality of the competition, and is still trying and picking up checks in the best races and against the best horses. There is something to be said for honesty and dependability, and for that alone Twilight Eclipse should be admired.
Post time for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) is 3:22 PT/6:22 ET on Saturday. Twilight Eclipse breaks from post eight under Joel Rosario. The race will be shown live on NBC Sports Network.
St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Ring Weekend goes postward in the $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) for trainer Graham Motion. The 5-year-old Tapit gelding captured the Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2) Labor Day weekend at Saratoga before having a tough trip in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland. The biggest win of his career (2015 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1)) came over the Santa Anita turf course.
“This horse is talented enough to be competitive in a race like this, it’s just a matter of working out a trip,” said Motion. “Johnny (Velazquez) knows him so well and we’re happy to have him back aboard. After Ring ran in the Shadwell we made the decision to keep him at Keeneland up until Breeders’ Cup week. He trains well on the dirt there and we were able to get him out a flight out of Louisville on Monday. My assistant Alice (Clapham) was really happy with his final work over the weekend.” Watch Ring Weekend train on Wednesday morning at Santa Anita.
“I watched Ring train this weekend and he looks absolutely amazing,” said West Point EVP Jeff Lifson. “Graham had him clipped before shipping West and he’s dappled out and shiny. The Mile is an incredible race. You can make a case for any one of the 13 to win.”
Post time for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) is 4:40 PT/7:40 ET on Saturday. Ring Weekend breaks from post 11 under Hall of Famer John Velazquez. The Mile is the race just before the Classic and will be shown live on NBC.