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Around the Backstretch (10/22/2012)

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

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Tom Dulat

With less than two weeks until the 2012 Breeders' Cup and only two days until the release of the pre-entries, let's take a look at what's making news in the the sport of horse racing.

Breeders' Cup

Belmont: Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic candidate Awesome Feather maintains her fitness level | Daily Racing Form
One undefeated champion and three unbeaten Eclipse Award contenders highlighted the work tab Sunday morning at Belmont Park as horses continued preparation for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Breeders' Cup Clocker Report: Shanghai Bobby outshines older workout mate | Daily Racing Form
Brilliant Speed, who will make the final start of his career in the Classic, Eclipse Award winner Awesome Feather, and trainer Todd Pletcher’s trio of undefeated 2-year-olds, Shanghai Bobby, Dreaming of Julia, and Kauai Katie, were among the nine possible Breeders’ Cup starters to work on Sunday at Belmont Park.

Game on Dude, fellow Baffert trainees headline busy Santa Anita BC tab |
The blitz towards the Breeders' Cup continued at mach speed Sunday morning at Santa Anita as several major players worked for their engagements in the World Championship events at The Great Race Place on November 2-3, headed by Breeders' Cup Classic favorite Game on Dude.

North American Racing

Maiden Watch | Curlin Fillies Frolic in the Slop | Blog Stable
Curlin fillies Watrugonnadorosie and Flash Forward were enjoying the slop at Belmont, becoming Curlin's 10th and 11th winners. Plus, Henrythenavigator picked up lucky number 13 with Rain God.

Sutherland unexpectedly quits the saddle - Handicappers' Edge
Jockey Chantal Sutherland, who won her first career race on October 9, 2000, at Woodbine aboard Silver Bounty, announced her retirement on Sunday afternoon at the same track.

Ankle fracture retires It's Tricky - ESPN
Godolphin Racing's multiple Grade 1 winner It's Tricky has been retired with an injury to her right hind ankle, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Oct. 20.

Keeneland: Gypsy Robin too fast for Raven Run rivals | Daily Racing Form
Gypsy Robin must have a thing for the Polytrack surface at Keeneland. The filly absolutely ran her competition off their feet Saturday when dominating the 14th running of the Grade 2, $250,000 Raven Run, running her career record here to 3 for 3.

International Racing

ASCOT Excelebration exceptional in QEII victory - Horse Racing News | Racing Post
A BLISTERING performance from Excelebration put this race to bed in a matter of strides as Aidan O'Brien's 10 11 favourite landed his third Group 1 in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes with a dominant display.

Frankel makes them go weak at the knees and in the head - Telegraph
The final chapter of Frankel's remarkable career sees everyone projecting human values on the animal world

ASCOT Frankel retires unbeaten after Champion Stakes victory - Horse Racing News | Racing Post
FRANKEL, the world's best horse and arguably the greatest ever, made his final start a winning one when capturing the Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Hong Kong Cup could be next for Cirrus Des Aigles - Horse Racing News | Racing Post
TRAINER Corine Barande Barbe has confirmed another crack at the Hong Kong Cup is the plan for Cirrus Des Aigles who finished second to Frankel in Saturday's Champion Stakes.

Gold Ship Wins Kikuka Sho for Classic Double |
Gold Ship solidified his credentials as Japan's top 3-year-old on Oct. 21 at Kyoto when he completed a last-to-first rally in the Kikuka Sho (Jpn-I Japanese St. Leger), the final jewel in Japan's Triple Crown.

Bern Identity cruises in Jean Lafitte |
Under jockey Paco Lopez, Bern Identity sat behind the early leaders before moving up four wide around the second turn. When Lopez gave him his cue he responded well by opening up a clear lead in the stretch and cruising home in front by three lengths while never feeling the whip. Finishing another four lengths behind Mylute in third was Mr. Bandini's Band. Bern Identity covered the distance over a fast track in 1:39 2/5.

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey experiences Keeneland while exercising Ward pupils - Handicappers' Edge
After his Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint hopeful, Great Attack, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over the good Keeneland turf course on Thursday, trainer Wesley Ward was asked about the performance. The horseman said he was pleased and that he "wanted to talk to his Melbourne Cup-winning rider."

Dettori, Godolphin to Part Ways in 2013 |
Frankie Dettori, who has been the principal jockey for Godolphin Racing for nearly two decades, will not be retained next year by the Maktoum family's racing operation, Godolphin announced Oct. 21.