Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that we were all complaining about the Breeders' Cup Classic lacking intrigue?
Now, if everything falls into place, this might be one of the most highly-anticipated Classics of all-time.
Of course, a lot has to be decided between now and Oct. 25, most importantly, whether or not reigning Horse of the Year Curlin will go to California. But after Jess Jackson's recent comments, it now seems there is a 50-50 chance that Curlin will head to Santa Anita to race on Pro-Ride.
The Classic looks like it will get another boost with Commentator, who will run in the Massachusetts Handicap this weekend and then point towards the big race. That was confirmed by his owner, Tracy Farmer, at a national media teleconference Sept. 16. Previously, it was unclear which race Commentator would shoot for.
"He's never run on synthetics, but he trained on it at Keeneland and absolutely loved it," Farmer said. "I'd say if we go - if I can get our trainer there - it would be in the Classic. There is a question about Santa Anita and its new track, but all the stuff I've heard so far has been positive. We'd love to run against Big Brown and Curlin if he is in the shape he was in the Whitney. He's got the fastest Beyer under a mile and over a mile."
Farmer's comment about "if I can get our trainer there" was in reference to Nick Zito, who is not a big proponent of synthetics. But when asked who would make the final decision on whether to send Commentator to the Breeders' Cup, Farmer said, "I would say the owner of the horse makes that decision."
Assuming Commentator runs well at the MassCap and comes out of it fine, the Classic field could potentially have three huge names - Big Brown, Curlin and Commentator. And that's just the beginning.
Also decent possibilities for the $5 million event are Travers winner Colonel John, Pacific Classic winner Go Between, San Diego and San Antonio Handicap winner Well Armed, Japanese ace Casino Drive, European turf stars Henrythenavigator and Duke of Marmalade, Travers runner-up Mambo in Seattle, the always game Student Council, battled-tested Tiago, talented 3-year-old Pyro, and don't forget about the possibility of undefeated filly Zenyatta. Also on Sept. 17, Larry Jones said Philip Iselin winner Honest Man might be pointed towards the Classic.
Now, if that doesn't get your juices flowing, you're not a racing fan!
There are still many questions to be answered in the next five weeks, but at least now the Classic seems to be back on everyone's radar.
You see, I told you all this complaining about the synthetic surface would play itself out. Just sit back, relax and enjoy...