Racing Recap: Book’em Danno Wins 7 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Berths Clinched

It was a Breeders’ Cup qualifying weekend in Kentucky and Ireland, but we’re going to single out a 2-year-old gelding who won the $102,000 Smoke Glacken Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey.

Book’em Danno!

Yes, that’ the name of the Derek Ryan trainee, referring to the catch phrase from the TV show Hawaii Five-0.

It’s been seven years since Ryan last won a stakes race, and he was also the trainer of Musket Man, who ran third in both the 2009 Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Preakness (G1). Ryan has been training since 1996 and has topped $1 million in yearly purse earnings three times.

Book’em Danno – Photo Credit Angelo Benedetto

Book’em Danno, a bay son of Bucchero, was the 2-5 favorite Saturday (Sept. 9) in a field of eight going 6 furlongs. He was last at the start, but was moved along steadily by jockey Samuel Marin, and finally overtook Sea Streak in mid-stretch for a two-length victory – improving to 2-for-2.

“He’s pretty good. He’s been training really good, and I expected him to win because he’s a nice horse,” Ryan said. “He’s very agile. You can do anything you want with him.”

What’s next for the New Jersey-bred owned by Atlantic Six Racing, a group of Monmouth County businessmen? How about the Derby trail?

“He might have NJ after his name but he’s not a Jersey-bred. He’s a racehorse, We’ll take him to New York now and go from there,’’ Ryan said. “This is the best one I’ve had in a while by far.”

The New York fall season opens this weekend with the Belmont at the Big A meet, and the Champagne (G1) on Oct. 7 is an early Derby points qualifier. Perhaps we’ll see Book’em Danno there.

“Win and You’re In’’ recaps

 On Sunday (Sept.10) at The Curragh, there were two Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” berths on the line. On Saturday (Sept. 9), there were five automatic qualifiers to BC races – two at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky., and three at Leopardstown in Ireland.

And away we go ….

SUNDAY (at The Curragh)

Flying Five Stakes (G1)

Moss Tucker (16-1) won a second straight race at The Curragh, edging Get Ahead by a half-length and securing a fees-paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita in November.

The 5-year-old son of Excelebration was ridden by Billy Lee and is trained by Kent Condon.

Moss Tucker- Photo Credit Kaz Ishida

The race began with favorite Highfield Princess leaving the gate awkwardly, and the field splitting into two groups. In the closing stages of the 5-furlong sprint, Equality led but Moss Tucker got past him and then edged Get Ahead in the closing strides.

Moss Tucker ran fifth in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1) last October in France but came into this race off a 2 ¼-length win in the 6-furlong Phoenix Stakes (G3) at The Curragh on Aug. 12.

Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1)

Fallen Angel, sent off at 9-4, became a Group 1 winner with a 1 ¼-length decision over Vespertilio as the two dueled in the final run to the wire in the 7-furlong race for 2-year-olds fillies.

The victory earned Fallen Angel an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

Winning jockey Danny Tudhope said: “She was very impressive. She keeps getting better and better all the time.”

SATURDAY (at Kentucky Downs)

 $1.7 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G2)

Get Smokin started fast and was never seriously threatened in cruising to a 1 ¾-length victory in the 32nd running of the Turf Cup, a “Win and You’re In’’ race to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.

Get Smokin – Photo Credit Coady Photography

Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse said sending his 6-year-old gelding into a 1 ½-mile race was a long-distance experiment. It paid off as Get Smokin was sent off at 19-1 – the third longest shot in a 12-horse field — and returned ($41.14) for a $2 win bet. He was ridden by Fernando De La Cruz.

“They told me to take him to the lead and see what happens,” De La Cruz said. “It’s a mile and a half, a long way to go. He just kept going.”

Spooky Channel was second at 17-1.

Casse said a trip to the Breeders’ Cup is possible. “We want to enjoy this,” Casse said. “We’ll talk to (managing partner) Harlan Malter and the rest of the owners. This is just a great win for a really good horse who gives you everything.”

$1 million Turf Sprint (G2)

Gear Jockey ($48.60) repeated his win in this race two years ago by outdueling One Timer by a head in a race that earned the 6-year-old horse an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita.

“We’re pretty happy,” trainer Rusty Arnold said of his horse who was 0-for-8 since that 2021 win. “He’s a favorite. I thought he had lost his edge. He’s had his issues, and we thought we had him in pretty good shape. He loves this course. Two times he’s won on it, so obviously he does. Great ride (By jockey Jose Lezcano) … He won kind of the same way two years ago. We wanted to run here last year. We missed it. It’s nice to get him back.”

In a final rush to the wire, one length separated the winner from the sixth- and seventh-place finishers in the 11-horse field.

SATURDAY (at Leopardstown, Ireland)

Three fees-paid, automatic Breeders’ Cup berths were up for grabs at Leopardstown, Ireland, and to the surprise of few, Aidan O’Brien saddled two of the winners.

Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (G1)

Auguste Rodin gave Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moorr a fifth successive win. The victory clinched a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) for the 3-year-old son of Deep Impact.

Auguste Rodin – Photo Credit Edward Whitaker

Stablemates Luxembourg and Point Lonsdale took the early lead in the 1 ¼-mile race, with Auguste Rodin setting just behind the leaders. With two furlongs to go, Moore angled the gray colt out for the challenge and won by a half-length over Luxembourg.

Prior to Saturday’s win Auguste Rodin finished last of 10 in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (G1) at Ascot on July 29.

As for heading to America for the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 3-4, O’Brien said: “I’d say there is a very strong possibility because the lads love the Breeders’ Cup, and the Breeders’ Cup is where everyone wants to be at that time of year.”

Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes (G1)

Sent off as the 5-6 favorite, Tahirya claimed a fourth career Group 1 win with a 1 ¾-length victory over Rogue Millenium and earned automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3-4.

Weld said: “We have a lot to look forward to with her. The Breeders’ Cup has to be a possibility and there’s a decision to be made as to whether she stays in training next season.”

KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2)

Aidan O’Brien-trained Diego Velazquez improved to 2-for-2 after winning by a half-length over Capulet.

The victory gave Diego Velaquez an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

A son of Frankel, the winner scored impressively in his debut win at The Curragh. He was sent off at odds of 8-15 on Saturday, but worked hard for the win, catching Capulet with a half-furlong to go.

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