Spanish Mission overcame physical niggles in Newmarket and Australian quarantine to bring his best game to the US$6-million Melbourne Cup, in which he was a dead-game third. The superb winner, which triumphed by 4 lengths, legally crossed over in front of the Team Valor International color-bearer once barely clear in the closing stage, which caused Spanish Mission to jink and lose valuable momentum. ... More
La Petite Coco, a daughter of Ruler of the World, took one of the biggest scalps available among fillies and mares in the world of turf racing Sunday at The Curragh, when she dug in very late to pass Coolmore s vaunted filly Love in the last stride or two to claim victory on Irish Champions Weekend in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes. The margin was a nose. ... More
Invite (IRE), which figured to need her return engagement Saturday in the Listed Stand Cup after not having raced since splitting her Group 2 Italian Oaks field as the favorite 3 months earlier, belied conventional wisdom by not only being fit and sharp, but ready to move into a new league. ... More
Spanish Mission has been promoted to Melbourne Cup favorite for owners Team Valor International and Gary Barber, after giving Europe's aging staying champion Stradivarius a major fright in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York on Friday. ... More
Thanks to an enterprising ride from trainer Andrew Slattery s young son Andy Slattery, the rising star
Solene Lilyette was able to pull off an upset and win yesterday s Listed Hurry Harriet Stakes at Gowran Park in Ireland for owners Team Valor International and Gary Barber. ... More
Coming into Saturday's G3 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Give Thanks Stakes with a growing reputation, Team Valor's La Petite Coco (Ire) (by Ruler of the World) only served to enhance it significantly as she ruled with an iron fist in the Cork feature ... More
Loveisthehigherlaw, leading from the start, admirably kept to her task and put away Red Hot inside the final furlong. Accola moved up from third to second, was never getting to the winner, but ran a good race in defeat. The 5-year-old Love responded to right-handed urging and, once Pedroza knew she was giving her best, he let her finish on her own courage. As she approached the wire, Loveisthehigherlaw was not only in complete control, one could see that she enjoyed winning the race. ... More
In foal to leading sire Into Mischief, OLEKSANDRA bowed out on a high note by springing a 17-1 upset of odds-on favorite Raging Bull in Sunday s $250,000 Poker S. (G3) at Belmont Park. The Team Valor International homebred has spent her career as a turf sprinter, but proved effective on the stretch-out to deny a top miler at his own game. Trainer Drysdale said "We decided to try her at a mile hoping she could get the distance, and she did. She s pregnant, so this was her swan song. She ll go out on a high note. ... More
Beantown Baby looked to be a shoe-in on paper at odds of 1-to-2 and that is exactly how it worked out in real life, as after breaking well, she was urged to assume command early by jockey Mychel Sanchez. The filly has never set the pace in any of her 6 turf races. She went to the front, set an uncontested pace early, began to draw off around the turn, she was 4 to 5 lengths in front in the stretch and was slowed to a jog well before she had reached the wire. ... More
Spanish Mission ran the race of his life today at York when he dominated the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup Stakes over 1 mile and 5 furlongs. On the good ground he relishes, the Kentucky-bred horse owned by Team Valor International and Gary Barber, repulsed a couple of strong challenges from Coolmore s Irish Derby hero Santiago and drove to a nearly 3-length triumph today to claim the first prize of more than $95,000. ... More
Axana showed just how special she is when becoming the first German-based racehorse in 7 years to successfully cross the English Channel and win a Group race in the United Kingdom on Saturday, when she repulsed challenge after challenge to prevail by three-quarters of a length in the Group 3 Chartwell Fillies Stakes at Lingfield Park.
By virtue of its Classic win Sunday in the Italian One Thousand Guineas, Team Valor has jumped up to 29th among the world s leading international racing stables on Thoroughbred Commentary s Global rankings this season through last Sunday. The rankings are updated on a weekly basis and, until its Group 3 score Sunday, TVI had been absent from the list for the last 6 weeks.
Wakanaka proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that over the Italian Guineas distance of a mile that she is the queen of the Classic generation among both fillies and colts, as she dominated Sunday s renewal of the Group 3 Regina Elena, Italy s equivalent of the One Thousand Guineas. In running four-fifths of a second faster than the males in the Two Thousand Guineas equivalent, she earned a Timeform rating of 105, which was 4 pounds superior to the winning colt.
Team Valor International s last three starts have had a repetitive theme, that is all three races were run in Germany, all three races resulted in wins, all three winners were trained by Andreas W hler, and all three winners were ridden by Eddie Pedroza. This brings the season tally to 54 starts (14 wins 12 seconds 6 thirds) and a winning strike rate of 26 percent.
On Thursday TVI partner Harve Hnatiuk spoke at length with Jessica Berry about his experience with the stable since the announcement of its transition to primarily European racing. The South Carolina resident and his wife Cyndee have been involved in Team Valor partnerships for 10 years and recently celebrated their first stakes win in Ireland.
The real Axana showed up Sunday at Hoppegarten racecourse in Eastern Berlin and she looked as good as ever in winning the Listed Gest ts R ttgen going a mile as the third choice to 4-year-old No Limit Credit. The runner-up was favored. Last December at the Arqana sale in Deauville, the secondplace finisher sold for more than $580,000.
After their success with Maoilin at Dundalk on Wednesday there was more success up in grade for Team Valor, Paddy Twomey and Billy Lee when Moll triumphed in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Noblesse Stakes at Cork.
Animal Kingdom s Australian-bred Grade 1 winner Oleksandra has been declared in-foal to super-hot stallion Into Mischief on a March 10 cover date. According to The Jockey Club rules, an in-foal mare may continue to race for 120 days from the date of cover. Bluewater Sales will offer her at Keeneland in November to dissolve the partnership.
Irish-bred The Deputy, trained by Jenine Sahadi for Team Valor and Gary Barber to win the $1-million Santa Anita Derby in 2000 and second choice in the Kentucky Derby, is now safely ensconced in Texas after some maneuvering to rescue him from a kill pen on a feedlot about an hour north of Dallas week before last. When intrepid horse lovers used their Internet monitoring skills to learn that the now 24-year-old stallion
had been bought cheaply at a sale in Iowa and transported to the feedlot in Texas, word spread fast and Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin quickly managed to buy him on behalf of his longtime partner Barber and ex-trainer Sahadi. ... More
With Sunday s easy victory by Media Storm at Mont-de-Marsan in France, the stable s statistics push ever higher to where they currently stand at 23.7% wins (or 24% for those among you who enjoy rounding up). Is that figure the best opening quarter in history? No, but it s the second-best in the last decade, and a remarkable turn-around from the slow start earlier in the year. ... More
Racing over a typically souped-up Tampa Bay Derby strip that saw speed dominate most of the races prior to Saturday s sixth race, Team Valor International s once-raced Nyquist colt Untreated turned his maiden race upside down with a powerful move as he was racing on the backstretch before reaching the far turn. He went past rivals so easily, it was a revelatory moment when he switched gears and employed long strides while racing wide. ... More
Team Valor International and Gary Barber s Spanish Mission, wearing the Hollywood movie mogul s distinctive shocking pink silks, opened his 2021 account with an excellent performance to finish a closing second today in Saudi Arabia on the Saudi Cup undercard. Second place was worth $500,000 as the $2.5-million purse is the second biggest in the world for a grass handicap behind only the Melbourne Cup, which coincidentally remains his seasonal goal in November over 2 miles. ... More
"She was so full of herself and so on point today that I couldn't wait and moved her much earlier than I would have liked," jockey Aldo Domeyer explained, "but I saw the winning post and I knew she would win today. She warmed up brilliantly, she went down to post very well and Candice had her on song today. She won so easily. She pricked her ears and won eased down. It was her day. She is not done -- I think she will win more of these blacktype races." ... More