Coverage of the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita

Handsome Mike to Represent LA in Breeders' Cup

Handsome Mike may not be an odds on favorite to win at the Breeders' Cup, but the people around him have a pretty impressive pedigree.

By John Cádiz Klemack and Julie Brayton
|  Thursday, Nov 1, 2012  |  Updated 10:42 AM PDT
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John Cadiz Klemack

"Handsome Mike" may not be odds on favorite to win at this weekend’s Breeders' Cup, but the team behind him have a pretty impressive pedigree. John Cadiz Klemack reports from Santa Anita for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2012.

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Moving Horses to Breeders' Cup Delayed by Sandy

Several horses have already made the journey to Santa Anita for this weekend's Breeders' Cup, but more than a dozen are stuck on the East Coast due to snarled flights thanks to Superstorm Sandy. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Santa Anita for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2012.

Breeders Cup Expected to Boost LA Business

Matt McSweeny, of Matt & Denny’s Ale House, says the prestigious horse race will likely send more customers through his doors for “a lot of food, a lot of beer, a lot of cocktails.” The last time the Breeders’ Cup was in LA for two consecutive years, the LA-area economy was buoyed by $60 million in extra business. Lolita Lopez reports from Arcadia for the NBC4 News on Oct. 29, 2012.
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In horse racing, the word trifecta technically means you guess the horses that will come in first, second and third, in that order.

But come Saturday at the Breeders' Cup, there is one horse that might have the worst odds, but also has his own little trifecta, all by himself.

LA-based champion horse trainer Doug O'Neill has a new contender on the track.

Handsome Mike may have 30-to-1 odds Saturday, but he has the one thing the eleven other horses in the Breeders' Cup Classic don't: the team which nearly won the triple crown.

He is owned by J. Paul Reddam, trained by Doug O'Neil and jockeyed by Mario Gutierrez, the three men who nearly won the Triple Crown this year with a horse named I'll Have Another.

Yet Mike is his own horse.

"Super different style than I'll Have Another, so I have to ride him a little different," Gutierrez said.

Handsome Mike comes off his career best winning the Pennsylvania Derby last month.

"We're hoping Handsome Mike can kind of pick up the baton and run with it," O'Neill said.

And with a year as epic as it has been for Team O'Neill, history may have another entry Saturday with a feisty 3-year-old named Mike.

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