Caravel , upsetter of the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) at Keenelandand withdrawn this week from the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, will remain in training as a 6-year-old for a campaign in 2023 with a race next June at Royal Ascot in her connections’ plans.

The Brad Cox-trained 5-year-old Mizzen Mast  mare races for owners Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel, and Madaket Stables. In the fall of last year, she was purchased for $500,000 from the ELiTE Sales consignment at The November Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s marquee breeding stock sale, by agent Fergus Galvin, who oversees the United States stable of Sheikh Fahad Al Thani’s Qatar Racing.

Caravel had been scheduled to sell as a racing and/or broodmare prospect from Hunter Valley Farm, of which Galvin is a co-owner with Tony Hegarty, Adrian Regan, and John Wade.

“She’s come back to the farm,” Galvin said Nov. 9 from the Keeneland sale. “Originally the plan was to (sell), and Sheikh Fahad came onto the sales ground to see her, and it tore out his heart too much.

“She’s going to stay racing next year for the same partnership. She’s gonna have a couple of months off. She’ll have a similar campaign to next year, except Royal Ascot will be a big part of the plans for next year.”

The Elizabeth Merryman-bred Caravel won five stakes from eight starts last year, topped by two graded wins at Keeneland this fall. Before the Breeders’ Cup, she won the Franklin Stakes (G3T) there Oct. 16. She also triumphed in the Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, the Intercontinental Stakes (G3T) at Belmont Park, and the Queen Stakes at Turfway Park.

She earned $930,983 this year to boost her earnings to more the $1.3 million with a record of 12 wins from 20 starts. Merryman and later Graham Motion trained her before Cox began doing so in 2022 for her current owners.

A year before her Breeders’ Cup upset, she ran 12th in the Turf Sprint at Del Mar for prior owners Merryman and celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

Galvin called the Breeders’ Cup victory “incredible.”

“Brad does such a good job,” he said. “That last month he was saying she was just doing fantastic, even from the Franklin to the Breeders’ Cup. We thought it was close spacing, but Brad said she was absolutely thriving. We didn’t expect to win, but we thought she would run well.”

Capitalizing on a slow break from heavily favored Golden Pal  , Caravel took command early in the Turf Sprint and gamely turned back an inside stretch bid from European challenger Emaraaty Ana  to score a half-length victory. At odds of more than 42-1, she was the largest-priced winner of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races this fall, paying $87.78 for a $2 win wager.

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Photo Cover Credit to Skip Dickstein/Tim Lanaham


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