Warrendale Graduate Channel Maker takes aim at the $4 Million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T)
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Despite the challenges of international shipping in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a strong European contingent will take aim at the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

Aidan O'Brien will saddle seven-time group 1 winner Magical and Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (G1) winner Mogul, while John Gosden sends over Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1) winner Lord North and the group 2-winning, group 1-placed MehdaayihTarnawa, winner of the Prix de l'Opera Longines (G1) and Qatar Prix Vermeille (G1) for Dermot Weld, and Donjah, a group 1 winner in Germany, complete the international cast.

Magical, a three-time group 1 winner this year, was third last out in the Oct. 17 QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot Racecourse.

"We've been delighted with her, obviously, this year," O'Brien said. "She ran very well (in the Champion Stakes) and ground was very heavy at Ascot. She seems to have come out of the race very well.

"She's done very well over the winter from 4 to 5 physically, and when she started racing, it was obvious that she had improved again."

Mogul was one of the contenders O'Brien was forced to scratch from the Oct. 4 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1T) due to feed contamination, and the trainer believes the 3-year-old Galileo colt should relish the trip to America.

"He's in good form as well," O'Brien said. "He's a big horse, a powerful horse that takes his races very well and is always very happy to race. … He loves nice ground, and a flat track suits him."

Gosden blames unforgiving ground for Lord North's 10th-place finish in the Champion Stakes last out. The 4-year-old son of Dubawi was third in the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) the start before.  

"His last race unfortunately was run on a quagmire, which wasn't a lot of help to him," he said. "We'd have record rain here in October. … You were running in the deepest ground I've ever seen, and it was that drying out ground, which becomes very sticky, very gluey. … Prior to that, he ran a lovely race. We're looking forward to running him here." 

Mehdaayih is lightly raced this season after suffering a back injury; she has made just two starts in 2020 and was fourth in her most recent start, the Oct. 17 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (G1). The 4-year-old Frankel filly will take on males in the 1 1/2-mile Turf after failing to make the main body of the field for the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T).

"She's a little bit of a wild card if you like, but she has plenty of ability," Gosden said. "And she comes to the race remarkably fresh with only two races in the whole year."

Channel Maker leads the U.S. contenders off a win in the Oct. 3 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) at Belmont ParkUnited also comes in off a win, having taken the Sept. 26 John Henry Turf Championship Stakes (G2T) at Santa Anita ParkArklow won the Sept. 12 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G3T) in his most recent start, while Red King took the Aug. 22 Del Mar Handicap Presented by The Japan Racing Association (G2T) last out.

ENTRIES: LONGINES BREEDERS' CUP TURF (G1T)

Keeneland, Saturday, November 07, 2020, Race 11

  • Grade IT
  • 1 1/2m
  • Turf 
  • $4,000,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 4:33 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Arklow (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Florent Geroux 126 Brad H. Cox 5/1
2 2Magical (IRE) Ryan L. Moore 123 Aidan P. O'Brien 5/2
3 3Tarnawa (IRE) Christophe Soumillon 123 Dermot K. Weld 6/1
4 4Mehdaayih (GB) Joel Rosario 123 John H. M. Gosden 30/1
5 5Donjah (GER) Clement Lecoeuvre 123 Henk Grewe 30/1
6 6Lord North (IRE) Lanfranco Dettori 126 John H. M. Gosden 8/1
7 7United (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Flavien Prat 126 Richard E. Mandella 8/1
8 8Red King (KY) UMBERTO RISPOLI 126 Philip D'Amato 20/1
9 9Channel Maker (ON)Keeneland Sales Graduate Manuel Franco 126 William I. Mott 5/1
10 10Mogul (GB) Pierre-Charles Boudot 122 Aidan P. O'Brien 4/1
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