Breeders' Cup Buzz: Trainers Discuss The Event's Greatest Training Feats - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Breeders’ Cup Buzz: Trainers Discuss The Event’s Greatest Training Feats

Pleasantly Perfect led a quartet of Mandella-trained winners in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup

It takes an incredible amount of work to get a horse to the starting gate in any race, much less the Breeders' Cup, but some efforts take a little something extra.

In this installment of Breeders' Cup Buzz, we asked current and former trainers for their opinions on the most impressive training feats in the event's history. For some, the answer lied in an individual horse's performance, while others looked at dominance over the course of a card.

Kenny McPeek

“Dick Mandella winning four in a day (at the 2003 Breeders' Cup). I was there that day, and I think even Dick was in shock.”

Mandella's quartet of winners during the 2003 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park were Halfbridled in the Juvenile Fillies, Action This Day in the Juvenile, Johar in the turf, and Pleasantly Perfect in the Classic.

Elliott Walden

“Da Hoss and Michael Dickinson (in the 1998 Mile). He had a long, long time off, and it was a heck of a performance to come off that layoff.”

After winning the 1996 Breeders' Cup Mile at Woodbine, Da Hoss didn't race for 715 days, hampered by recurring injuries that kept halting his progress on the comeback trail. Dickinson finally got the horse right for a return start in a Colonial Downs allowance less than a month before the 1998 Mile at Churchill Downs. He won the race at Colonial Downs, then won by a head in the Breeders Cup; an effort billed by announcer Tom Durkin “the greatest comeback since Lazarus.”

Steve Asmussen

“Wild Again, because he was the first one (to win the Classic).”

Wild Again, trained by Vincent Timphony, made history as the first Breeders' Cup Classic winner in 1984 at Hollywood Park. He raced 16 times that season, winning six, including the G1 Meadowlands Cup, the G2 New Orleans Handicap, and the G2 Oaklawn Handicap.

Chad Summers

“Da Hoss. Training horses is always stressful – training good horses is many sleepless nights – to take a horse who won the Breeders' Cup and not make it back to the races for almost one year – prep in an allowance at Colonial Downs in his only start in a year, and have the confidence off that race to go on to the Breeders' Cup and win it again – I can't imagine what the day-to-day thoughts were and training job Michael Dickinson did to have him ready to go.

“All connections who have run well in Breeders' Cup should be commended but that was the most impressive one to me.”

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