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Around the Backstretch

A look at items making news around the world of horse racing.

North America - Racing

Leatherbury needing backer to get Ben's Cat to Breeders' Cup - Handicappers' Edge
On Labor Day, Laurel Park-based Ben's Cat (Parker's Storm Cat) captured the $356,000 Turf Monster H. (G3) at Parx Racing, which earned the King Leatherbury homebred an automatic berth in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G2) at Churchill Downs on November 5 as part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" series.

Belmont: Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty both gearing up for Breeders' Cup Classic | Daily Racing Form
Though they will take different paths to get there, the ultimate goal is to have Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty end up in the same starting gate for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.

Emerald Downs: He’s All Heart humbles rivals in Muckleshoot Tribal Classic | Daily Racing Form
He’s All Heart powered to a 10 1/4-length victory Sunday the $40,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, the marquee event on Washington Cup Day at Emerald Downs.

Parx: To Honor and Serve, Ruler On Ice top nine-horse Pa. Derby | Daily Racing Form
Coming off an authoritative allowance win at Saratoga, To Honor and Serve will return to stakes company in Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing. A field of nine was entered Monday for the Pennsylvania Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race restricted to 3-year-olds. Ruler On Ice, the Belmont Stakes winner, was installed as a lukewarm 5-2 morning-line favorite.

General Quarters Tops WinStar Kentucky Cup |
Two-time grade I winner General Quarters tops the list of probable starters for the $200,000 WinStar Kentucky Cup (gr. II) at Turfway Park Sept. 24.

Woodbine Mile runner-up Courageous Cat will target Breeders' Cup Mile | Daily Racing Form
Courageous Cat, sent off at even money for the Woodbine Mile, couldn’t withstand Turallure’s charge but held on to finish second in a wild finish. Courageous Cat was on his way back to Saratoga on Monday, along with stablemate Al Khali, and the Breeders’ Cup Mile is still on his agenda.

North America - Racing Business

Kentucky Downs: Instant Racing gives meet a boost -
Kentucky Downs Monday brought down the curtain on its 2011 live race meet and posted solid and substantial gains in all areas of its pari-mutuel operations.

Jessica Chapel / Railbird - How Inhumane
More on possible Salix ban.

Keeneland Yearling Sale Surpasses 2010 Total |
Any questions about whether the Keeneland September yearling sale would have staying power beyond the first week were answered Sept. 19 when the auction's receipts went beyond the entire 2010 sale gross.

Making the most of the NTRA's pending demise -
Five years ago, the NTRA’s fate was cast when the Breeders’ Cup ended its joint operating agreement with the organization. We all knew it was only a matter of when, not if, time and money would run out for the NTRA, which launched in 1998 with great fanfare and hope that racing had finally created a "league office" similar to what other major league sports enjoy.


Cape Blanco returning stateside for Joe Hirsch Turf Classic - Handicappers' Edge
CAPE BLANCO (Ire) (Galileo [Ire]), who has made two successful trans-Atlantic raids so far in 2011, will make another trip from Ireland to the United States to compete in Belmont Park's Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1) on October 1, trainer Aidan O'Brien confirmed Friday via email.

Black Caviar named Australia’s Horse of the Year - Thoroughbred Times
Undefeated sprinter Black Caviar was named Australia’s Racehorse of the Year on Saturday at an awards ceremony in Melbourne, the Australian Associated Press reports.

Upgrades planned for Sha Tin, Happy Valley - Thoroughbred Times
The Hong Kong Jockey Club plans upgrades for both of its tracks, Sha Tin and Happy Valley. The South China Morning Post reports the Hong Kong Jockey Club will spend $897-million on a new entrance to Sha Tin and corporate boxes at Happy Valley, as well as renovations throughout the tracks.