Next up for Benson’s Lone Sailor: Breeders’ Cup

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While the Saints have the Super Bowl on their minds, the current star of the horse racing stable owned and operated by Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson is headed to the sport’s version of the Super Bowl.

GMB Racing’s Lone Sailor, who won the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park in his last start, will race in next month’s Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, trainer Tom Amoss said earlier this week after Lone Sailor worked four furlongs in :49.60, also at Churchill.

“Lone Sailor is a very fit horse,” Amoss said. “He doesn’t need a lot in his training other than to maintain kind of a quiet demeanor … He went an easy half-mile today and he probably won’t do a lot more next week. That’ll be all he does going into the Breeders’ Cup.”

Amoss and GMB Racing officials will choose between the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic – the marquee race of the two-day event – and the $1 million Dirt Mile.

“I think pace is one of the considerations,” Amoss said. “The Dirt Mile is often a forgotten race. It has an attraction based on the distance and a setup that could play to a closer.”

The win at the Oklahoma Derby likely earned Lone Sailor the chance to race on Breeders’ Cup weekend.

“I’ve been looking for Lone Sailor to understand racing,” Amoss said. “The Oklahoma Derby was a race where he did not get a clean trip; he had to go (wide). For him to fight to the wire like that is the first time I’ve seen him show a desire to win. He’s always had talent. He’s a very good looking, athletic horse. I think he’s finally put the pieces together.”

Since finishing fifth in the Preakness on May 19, Lone Sailor has run in the money in four consecutive races – a second-place finish in the Ohio Derby, third in the Haskell Invitational, second in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs and the Oklahoma Derby win on Sept. 30. He has two wins, five seconds and two thirds in 14 lifetime starts with earnings of more than $873,000.

The Breeders’ Cup is Nov. 2-3. The Friday card will feature the future stars of the sport, focused on racing for 2-year-olds, while the older horses will compete on Saturday.

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Lenny Vangilder


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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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