Mile High Lineup

Christophe Lorieul, assistant to Christophe Clement, said on Tuesday that Gio Ponti will make his next start in the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. I) at Keeneland on Oct. 9.

Clement said they have ruled out the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) for Gio Ponti and it is now between the BC Mile (gr. IT) and the BC Classic (gr. I) on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs. Though Lorieul told me they have always believed that 1 1/4 miles in Gio’s best distance and that the Classic is still on the table, it is now clear that the 5-year-old is more likely for the Mile, especially since he would be making his first career start on natural dirt in the Classic.

<>“We could prep him in the Shadwell Mile and still run him in the Classic,” Lorieul said. “But I would say we are leaning toward the mile on turf, if it was up to us.”

In other words, unless the owner steps in and overrides Team Clement, Gio is going to the Mile. For the record, he is 3-for-4 at the distance--all of the wins in graded company.

If Gio does indeed go to the BC Mile, it does two things: First, it makes the Mile one of the most exciting and likely the deepest race of the World Championships. And second, it’s another severe hit the already thin group of American contenders in the BC Turf.

As of now, here are some of the top horses thought to be aiming toward a star-studded Mile:

From Europe, there is of course two-time defending champ Goldikova, the sensational mare who has won three of four this year and does not appear to have lost anything from 2009. She will be the favorite and the obvious horse to beat.

There is also 3-year-old colt Mafki, the lightly-raced colt that defeated Goldikova by 2 1/2 lengths in the Prix Jacques Le Marois last month on soft ground in France. Third in that race and only a neck back of Goldikova was Paco Boy, a three-time group I winner in Europe who could make his final career start in the race. Throw in Rip Van Winkle, a two-time group I winner at a mile who could opt for the Mile instead of the Classic, sprinter specialist Starspangledbanner, Prix du Moulin winner Fuisse, and multiple group stakes winner Famous Name, and you have one heck of a European contingent.

Many of the top North American-based turf milers will be running on Sunday in the Woodbine Mile, including Court Vision off a three-month layoff and California millionaire The Usual Q. T. Crowded House and Victor’s Cry, two other talented West Coast runners, will also run in the Woodbine Mile, as will a host of locals, including Grand Adventure.

Other top BC Mile contenders are talented mare Proviso, who has won three straight grade I races including the Kilroe Mile against males; Sidney’s Candy, so impressive in the La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) in his first start on turf last month; Twirling Candy, undefeated in four starts; Get Serious, the John Forbes trainee who just set the Monmouth Park one mile turf course record for the third time; and Enriched, owner of the best turf Beyer this season when he recorded a 111 figure at Hollywood in May at one mile and went wire-to-wire last out in the Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT).

Add in Gio to this group and you have the makings of one heck of a BC Mile. Stay tuned.


Leave a Comment:

steve s

Gio Ponti brings down Goldikova-she may not show up now

14 Sep 2010 3:24 PM
Mike in SB

The mile is my favorite Breeders Cup race. It seems to always have the deepest fields and usually has two or three great horses. The list of winners of the mile, from Royal Heroine to Goldikova is as good as in any Breeders Cup race, including the Classic.

14 Sep 2010 3:38 PM

Jason: Your blog has just come up using what I think is Arial font. And you're also using wonderful Arial Bold.  I love that font.  Congrats (unless it's only on my which case, nevermind.)

Oh yeah, re: the point of this blog: I thought the trainer said Starspangledbanner had already had a pretty tough season and he would not be coming for the BC.  

Otherwise, Goldikova really didn't like the soft ground in the Marois.  Good luck, steve s thinking anything can beat her if she gets anything close to her ground.

Jason: have you heard anything about whether Midday is coming for the F&MTurf or the Mile this year?


14 Sep 2010 3:47 PM
Jason Shandler

The font was actually done by mistake mz. Not sure how it changed over like that. Glad you like it :)

I heard the guys on Pursuit of the Cup talking about Midday a couple weeks ago. I dont think they have decided yet. That would be yet another big piece in the puzzle.

14 Sep 2010 3:55 PM
Sammi P

I really Sidney's Candy in the Mile right now, of course Id like to see him beat elders in his next start but I think he could go all the way. I've loved Proviso since the start of the year too and of course Goldikova has brought her A game every year.

14 Sep 2010 4:18 PM

Midday will definitely run in the F+M Turf, and they will likely skip the Arc to come.

14 Sep 2010 4:20 PM


If Gio Ponti prefers a longer race, I'm curious as to why would his connections have ruled out the Breeders’ Cup Turf and chosen the Mile?  

Also, if Sydney's Candy goes in the Mile, would they also run Twirling Candy there? Or is it possible he might go in the BC Turf?

14 Sep 2010 4:37 PM
Jason Shandler

CV: They dont think he'll have a great chance against the Eupos best at 1 3/8 miles. He has been having trouble staying all year. Plus, Lorieul told me 1 3/8 miles is not a big bonus as far as stallion prospect goes. A win at a mile or 1 1/4 miles would be much more benefial to Gio in that respect. Remember, he is 3-for-4 at a mile.

14 Sep 2010 4:44 PM
Jason Shandler

Off topic: I will be in Vegas next weekend for two days of nothing but football, horses, and drinking. While Im out there I will of course place a couple Derby future bets. Anyone have any sleeper 2YOs?

14 Sep 2010 4:46 PM

Sad comment about stallion prospects being worth less if they won at (not even) 1 1/2 miles.  How soon they forget A P Indy or Seattle Slew -- not too shabby as sires.

14 Sep 2010 4:50 PM
The Rock


Have you capped any of the football games for this weekend?

14 Sep 2010 5:47 PM

Henry Cecil does not want to run Midday against males and he didn't want to go for the Arc unless the owners decided they wanted to do it.  But they have seemed content to go for the Vermeille and then the BC Filly/Mare.  People think this may be a sub-par Arc, so there has been a push in the press for them to reconsider and go there.  But Mr Cecil seems firm at the moment.

14 Sep 2010 5:54 PM

I think Gio can be competitive in the Mile.  I think he can quicken whenever they want him to do so, and he has a great kick.  The Euro contingent is coming up very strong.  Rip Van Winkle is a top drawer miler who can also run longer.  I'm not sure about running a Euro with a history of bad feet on the Dirt, but stranger things have happened.

14 Sep 2010 5:58 PM
The Rock

Right now I'm at Eagles - 4 against the Lions. Shaun Hill won't be much of a help to the Lions.

Tenessee - 5 1/2

Baltimore - 1 1/2

Packers - 13 1/2

Jacksonville + 8 1/2

New England - 2

That's just for starters. Might switch it up later. But Eagles are my best bet.

14 Sep 2010 5:59 PM

The Usual Q.T.  How about a shout-out to other Cal bred geldings like California Flag and Dancing in Silks who managed to steal a Breeder's Cup race.  Toss the Q.T.'s Pacific Classic (wants no part of synthetics) and his resume does not look all that bad.  

14 Sep 2010 6:09 PM
Jason Shandler

Just started looking at NFL lines now. No decisions yet but I wouldnt play the Eagles; not with Vick. Over in Jets/Pats looks inviting to me at first glance.

I'll probably use the Cowboys in my knockout pool.

14 Sep 2010 6:11 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Here's my Derby list, not in order, except that I like Jaycito best so far. Jaycito, Stay Thirsty, The Freak, Elite Alex, Curlinello, Uncle Mo, Smash, Masterpiece, Boys At Toscanova.

14 Sep 2010 6:22 PM

Gio ponti have a great challenge in from off him regardles of the races if he goes to the mile he have to deal with two times defending champion goldikova and the euros and if he goes to the classic he got zenyatta and company so either way is a tought race but i will go to the classic instead of the mile.

14 Sep 2010 6:31 PM
Greg J.


I don't know if you would call him a sleeper, and have no idea what his odds are in the futures, but, I love Tarzana, colt trained by Gary Simms. Big question if he will leave the turf and ever go back to dirt?    

As far as picks this weekend?  Only one for me, The Pats are going to destroy the Jets, my guess, 24-3.  Last nights game by the Jets offense, grant you the Ravens defense is very good, was horrible!  Sanchez is so over-rated...

14 Sep 2010 6:45 PM

Steve s, good luck trying to beat Goldikova with Gio, hope you don't bet all your money cause you'll be broke.

14 Sep 2010 7:06 PM


14 Sep 2010 7:27 PM


While you're in Vegas play Keystone Daddy in the

Derby future bet.  Watch his maiden score at Monmouth and his gallop out.  I think he will be a good value play at this juncture.

14 Sep 2010 7:44 PM
Mike Relva


Don't like the trainer,but the horse BAT I like alot.

14 Sep 2010 8:16 PM

I don't think the Derby winner has started yet.

14 Sep 2010 8:56 PM
Paula Higgins

I don't think anyone is beating Goldikova. But Gio's run against the Queen last year in the BCC was none too shabby. I was impressed. I just think Goldikova is spectacular. Her race last year in the Breeders Cup made my jaw drop. Every bit the equal of Zenny's in its own way.

14 Sep 2010 9:00 PM

What about one of the last Vindication's Vengeful Wildcat in the Derby?

14 Sep 2010 9:13 PM
The Rock

The Mile will be interesting for Goldikova. It all depends on the weather. If it has some give in to it, she's vulnerable. As evidence from her last couple of races on good to soft ground. That'll make Mafki the one to beat as he relishes the going. If its dry, Goldikova will hold true to her form. Nevertheless, this field is loaded and will offer any value where ever you go.

14 Sep 2010 9:18 PM


In regard to little known two year olds, here are a couple of promising names. . .

Elite Alex

Bug Juice


And here are a few better known ones that could certainly be ready by the time the Derby rolls around. . .

Nacho Saint

Sway Away




14 Sep 2010 9:22 PM

Goldikova is simply the most accomplished female running and will win again against the boys.  It is great to see a real mare in action against the boys time and time again.

14 Sep 2010 9:40 PM
Mike Relva


I agree with you on Goldikova.

14 Sep 2010 9:57 PM
Brian Appleton

If just 3/4 of the horses mentioned show up it could result in one of the deepest fields in Breeders' Cup history regardless of which race it is. I can't wait to see if Goldikova pulls it off again, I'll be rotting for her!

14 Sep 2010 10:12 PM
John T

Canford Cliffs has not been totally ruled out of the Breeders Cup Mile.A final decision won,t be

made until after the running of the

QE 11 at Ascot were he will meet Makfi who beat Goldikova last time out.The good news is his trainer

Richard Hannon thinks he will be an even better 4 year old so he will be kept in training.I am surprised they are favouring the mile for Gio Ponti over the Classic

but perhaps the fact that the horse has never run on dirt does indeed have a lot to do with it.

14 Sep 2010 10:14 PM

Praying for good going and a Goldi three-peat!  Should be a great race.

14 Sep 2010 10:50 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  If you get good odds on Elite Alex, Jaycito, Curlinello, Revelator or Smash, put a few bucks down. Those five are my top picks. 100-1 seems too low. 200-1 is more like it. Definitely, anything less than 100-1 makes no sense to me at this stage.

14 Sep 2010 10:54 PM
Ted from LA

Las Vegas this weekend or next weekend, Mr. Blogger?  I have 3.6 lock bets for you either way.  For the rest of you mugs, the Jets will romp (meaning they will cover) and Shonn Greene will have 170 yards this week.  What a difference a week makes.  If the coaches bail on him for one poor performance they will suffer the consequences (and that will change my bet 100%).  You heard it from Ted from LA (and indirectly from Mr. Ed as translated by Dr. D) first. I'm curious, and since I bring this issue up I have to be excluded completely from the discussion and any votes... if you had a chance, who would you most want to spend a day with at the track one-on-one from this blog based on their writing style, thoughts, beliefs, ethics, horseracing acumen, and politics?  It must be you and the other poster only.  No family or friends or support services of any type.  I CAN vote however, since I write the rules, songs, and stir the drinks. And I must confess, "Bless me father, for I have sinned, but mz, Pedigree Shelly, Gunbow, Dr. D., Draynay, Jason the Blogger, Dr. Paula Higgins (the famous Dr. Paula Higgins (I will be curious as to which blogger catches that reference (I am guessing Dr. D first, but stranger things have happened (should I open or double close this parenthesis? (or should the question mark be within)?... ruffianwins, Greg J.,  and last but not least Lonely/Single in LA(SCHWING) and many others as my picks so far (basically, I like being at the track, but with people I love or like a lot (closed parenthesis).  I like many of you... especially the women of this blog.  You seem like good hearted women who like good hearted men.  WILLIE!

14 Sep 2010 11:24 PM
Ted from LA

But she never complains, about the good times...

14 Sep 2010 11:25 PM
Paula Higgins

Thanks Mike. Goldikova is just amazing. At the classic distance she is vulnerable, but at a mile she is just beyoned awesome. I can't believe she actually got beat to be honest. That was a stunner.

We have some incredible girls right now. How about this for a scenario: Goldikova in the Mile, Rachel in the Ladies, Zenyatta in the Classic! Those are my dream results. Am I asking for too much???

14 Sep 2010 11:37 PM


I understand that Courageous Cat, last year's Mile runner-up to Goldikova, going in the same prep race (Shadwell Mile) as Gio Ponti.

He came back after his second place finish in the Mile last year and won the Grade 3 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream Park, then went to Dubai, which he didn't care for.

Mott just worked him on the turf at Saratoga for seven furlongs and finished the last quarter in 23 seconds flat looking very inpressive.

However, I didn't see his name mentioned in your list...

15 Sep 2010 12:59 AM

ah the kiss of death from draynay. Bet it all on Gio in the Mile.

15 Sep 2010 1:16 AM

It does look to be an outstanding field for the Mile.

It seems to me that North America is completely outgunned by Europe on the turf beyond 10 furlongs but that at a mile or a sprint the speed in North American bloodlines makes it closer.  Still, if all of the top Euro milers come for this race, and by top I mean Goldi, Mafki, Paco Boy, Canford Cliffs, and Rip Van Winkle, the North Americans will be in deep water.

The Woodbine Mile could perhaps be the most telling North American prep for the Mile because it has drawn horses from across the country.  I'm a big fan of The Usual QT.  I think he's absolutely best at 9 furlongs, but I like 8 furlongs better than 11+.  Victor's Cry is true middle distance turf horse in career form, and Crowded House has revived his career since coming to the States running well in 2 gr.1 races.  I respect the local Grand Adventure and have held Court Vision in high regard for some time, given he has won 3 or 4 gr.1s.  I expect The Usual QT to win, however.

The Woodbine Mile is one of the Midwestern races I miss seeing now that I'm in SoCal.  My first Woodbine Mile was 2003 when Touch of the Blues beat Soaring Free(Winner of the Woodbine Mile in 04'), Perfect Soul(Who would win the gr.1 Shadwell Mile next out), and Wando(Canadian Triple Crown winner).  

Soaring Free was a terribly underrated horse, most likely because he did most of his racing in Canada.  He was absolutely brilliant, able to sprint on both dirt and turf, and could stretch his speed on turf up to a mile.  In the 04' Woodbine Mile he was again able to get the better of his fellow gr.1 winner, Perfect Soul.

In 05' the Woodbine Mile was all about the Eclipse champion Leroidesanimaux, who won the race by over 7 with a 115 Beyer. After a somewhat down rendition in 06'(won by Becrux), the 07' Mile turned out to be one of the best in its history, with multiple gr.1 winner Shakespseare holding off 4-time gr.1 winner and the next-out winner of the Breeder's Cup Mile, Kip Deville.  Last year, I had the honor of seeing the wonderful Bobby Frankel trained mare, Ventura, beat the boys with a spectacular closing kick.

15 Sep 2010 4:00 AM

This is going to be a sick race. Tons of speed and real good closers

15 Sep 2010 7:21 AM

I am really looking forward to getting a look at QT at my home track Woodbine. I have become a huge fan of this horse but I have a problem as far as the BC Mile is concerned...I am already in love with Goldi. How do I get them to finish as winners in a dead heat?

15 Sep 2010 8:47 AM
Billy's Empire

Gio has a better shot winning the BC Turf than he does winning the BC Mile. Gio is a nice horse, but he will be up against if Goldi gets ground to her liking. I will take the mare's 1,2 in the mile, and finish it off with some Candy.

I love seeing a champion running against the best, toughest competition in the sport, not tucked away in Cali racing allownace horses. BORING.

I just got a new megaphone and Pompom's. I made sure to get pink and teal green. I will be selling them BC weekend.  Put your orders in early. There is a limited supply b/c Dray and Jason already pre-ordered 6 dozen of each.

15 Sep 2010 9:37 AM
Jason Shandler

Thanks for the 2YO Derby future thoughts. Elite Alex and Soldat intrigue me. I wonder what the current odds on Boys At Tosconova is? If he is 50-1 or more he is probably worth a few bucks. Uncle Mo will still be good value before the champagne.

15 Sep 2010 10:57 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Billy's Empire

  Good one on the pom poms etc, rah, rah, rah, hip boom bah. Some of those non winners of allowances are tough too. I'm doing a lot more stakes than ever. Surprising the odds you can get.

 Ted from LA

   I don't know about one on one. I'm thinking about a blogger's party,  a day at the track, then dinner, then Ted's Place. He makes a mean Long Island Ice Tea. There's a lot of bloggers here I'd like to spend time at the track with. A lot more than you mentioned. I could name about 20 at least. That other thing about I'll get it first, I have no idea what you're talking about. I just got up anyway.

15 Sep 2010 11:07 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Last I saw, Boys At Tosco was only 35-1. That's way too low. Elite Alex was 200-1. That's more like it. Uncle Mo only 28-1. Soldat, 150-1.

15 Sep 2010 11:11 AM
Jason Shandler

Thanks Dr. D. Youre right 28-1 is way too low at this point. I told Repole that he must have hit Mo pretty hard in Vegas already!

15 Sep 2010 11:19 AM

Billy's Empire

I guess you'll get your chance to see a real champion on BC day.  That's the day every legitimate horse comes out of the closet, not stay in it or look for one like a lot of horses I know did last year.  In the meantime, don't underestimate Gio's chance against Goldie and don't under estimate the candy.

15 Sep 2010 11:21 AM

Dr. D;

You're right! I forgot about Smash and Curlinello. They look very promising too.


15 Sep 2010 11:22 AM

Gio Ponti looked good running past Ventura last year and one good thing about the mile is that he won't be hitting the lead too early and coasting in to the wire, instead he will be running down a target which is when he seems to run his best races.

However, if Sidney's Candy comes into the race in top form then it would be tough to imagine him getting tired enough on the lead to get passed by anyone.

In the BC pick 4 and  pick 6 I think beating Goldikova is the key to opening up the value.  Even just as good as last year I think she's vulnerable and since I like Zenyatta in the Classic I need to find upsets elsewhere so beating Goldikova is already locked in as my first BC strategy/angle.

15 Sep 2010 11:42 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I learned my lesson last year to not get emotionally invested in Derby horses too early. Prior to last year, it was "whoever is in is in. I'll just deal with it at that point." That's the philosophy I'm returning to. Even with future bets, you have to make the bet and forget about it. You don't want a futures bet clouding your judgement when it comes to studying the final pps, or even worrying about who does or doesn't get in. You can win a lot of money in the Derby with an open mind. Wynn has about 130 horses listed in it's futures, and they might not even have the winner in there. I looked at your list, but no list is going to mean much to me at this point. I won't even be betting a single horse in futures, but I will be betting exactas in the three pools hoping for one of those big scores. However I do like Jaycito and Elite Alex best, and Curlinello is the most intriguing of all. Smash could definitely be a monster, and has the name to go with it. It's just wait and see. It is fun to get to know some of them early though and see how they do. Even with all of the preps you can make a lot of money with an open mind, with not being overly enamored with particular horses that you've been following, or have a futures on, or even because you think they will win The Derby. They could win the Triple Crown and come in third in The Wood. I'll go back and check your list and look up some pedigrees from some I hadn't thought of.

15 Sep 2010 11:43 AM

I'd like to see Gio in the Classic, and Goldikova pull a hat trick on the turf mile.  Will Debussy and Cape Blanco be coming for the BC?  I'm getting a BC fever, and there is still 2 months left for these decisions to be!  

15 Sep 2010 12:00 PM

Just wanna direct your attention to another nice-looking 2YO: Bear's Future (a Rockport Harbour colt) who just won the Synford at Woodbine.  I'm looking forward to seeing how he does at 1 1/6 miles in the Grey Stakes.  If he aces that one, maybe he's another contender.

But Dr. Drunkinbum, you're right about emotional investments too early.  They do tend to break your heart, don't they?  (Not to mention your wallet)

p.s.  Ted and Dr. Drunkinbum: ever had Grappa?  Better than Long Island Iced Tea for warming your innards.  'Course, you gotta be ready to stagger around for a bit afterwards but I have found that this sometimes makes your betting choices easier -- if you can still read the entries.

15 Sep 2010 12:02 PM
Jason Shandler

He looks good mz. I saw the Swynford. I will look forward to the Grey also.

15 Sep 2010 12:10 PM

I am so glad Draynay wont' be picking Zenyatta in the BCC.  

She sure don't need that monkey on her back!!!

She don't need anything on her back but Mike Smith.

15 Sep 2010 12:12 PM

What's the plan for Debussy?

15 Sep 2010 12:35 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Now I know why it pays to check other's lists. I don't know how I missed Sway Away. I added him to my HTW and Derby Lists. Thanks.


  No, I never heard of grappa. If it's stronger than Long Island, I don't want it. I don't even think I want Long Island. I'm too old for that stuff. That reminds me of a time in Lake Tahoe, oh nevermind.

15 Sep 2010 12:42 PM

)Ted from LA( - )No support services?(

Paula!  Higgins! - I WANT WHAT YOU WANT!  "Goldikova in the Mile, Rachel in the Ladies, Zenyatta in the Classic!"  Is there a filly/mare that can take the Turf, too?

stevebiscuit - Thanks for sobering me up - I conveniently forgot that guy's post.  Hopefully Goldikova can overcome the kiss of death.

I told my mom on Monday to find a future's bet for Boys at Tosconova.  He was born on her birthday - 02/21.

Is there a 3-year-old or older horse running that could join Zenyatta in a non LOSERS allowance?

15 Sep 2010 1:22 PM
Billy's Empire

Laz, I have seen the Champ before, she is amazing, albeit it was last year before she scratched b/c of the track at CD. I will be sure not to underestimate any horse coming from Synthetic to dirt, but the Cali turf is much much harder than the Matt Winn turf course, especially in November. Speed may get crushed, but I think both Candies and Proviso have a shot if they run. I am interested to see what Euro's actually ship in to race Goldi? If she wins her next race, I am willing to bet a few will not make the trip. If she loses again, the floodgates might open.

Remember, Euro's get to run on Lasix here, so they always intrigue me in the BC. I won huge on Red Rocks at CD, 200 to win, and look forward to another nice price on the Turf winner this year.

I heard a great quote today. "there are a few certain things in life, death, taxes, and the yearly Bob Sanders injury"!!!


15 Sep 2010 1:46 PM

ACK!  I just noticed that I misspelled the race that Bear's Future won.  You're correct, Jason that it was the SWynford Stakes.

(Channelling GunBow): Swynford was a 1907 son of Canterbury Pilgrim, a weedy little filly who became a major dam -- dam of Chaucer as well as Swynford.  Classic Winner of the St. Leger, among many other races.  sire of Blandford (through which Blenheim II, Bahram - Triple Crown winner - and ancestor of The Axe II --I remember him winning the predecessor to the Canadian International -- and Quadrangle --curses - ended Northern Dancer's bid for the Triple Crown in the Belmont.  Swynford was also the sire of Challenger, who sired Gallorette (is there still a race named after her?  - wonderful racemare) and Legendra (great dam of stakes winners).  Swynford also sired St. Germans, who sired Twenty Grand, Bold Venture and Assault.

I apologize to Swynford, where ever he is now in horse heaven.

15 Sep 2010 2:23 PM

"there are a few certain things in life, death, taxes, and the yearly Bob Sanders injury"!!!

Billy's Empire 15 Sep 2010 1:46 PM

You forgot another Billy, like the fact that any horse that draynay picks that isn't the odds-on favorite has no chance of winning at all.

15 Sep 2010 2:52 PM

Note to everyone :

Dont forget the japanese horses;

Espoir City (Classic)

Red Desire(filly & mare Turf)

not sure if they have a horse for the mile tho

15 Sep 2010 2:53 PM

But Draynot, the only horses your lesser half picks are always the odds on favorite.  Don't forget, he's made of chalk.

15 Sep 2010 3:05 PM

Dr. D: Grappa = 120 proof Northern Italian grain alcohol - my Dad used to take a little slug in his coffee for breakfast before going out to his construction job in the winter.  It helped.

(I'll trade you my Martini(s) story for your Lake Tahoe story.)

15 Sep 2010 3:10 PM
Miclo 02

Yep, just resevered my room for Breeders Cup weekend in Vegas,the BC mile had always been top 3 races the whole weekend. Always a very exciting race. Does paco boy have a shot in the mile?

15 Sep 2010 3:22 PM

Miclo 02- it depends who you talk to.  Some Euros like him and some think he's a cut below the best.  Since he couldn't find a way to beat her in two races this year, he probably won't here unless he really moves forward on US courses.

15 Sep 2010 4:58 PM
Pam S.

I don't know what to think about Gio in the Mile.  It just seems to me the Mile is always won by a "specialist" (meaning a Euro) and if they send all their best here, he would be up against it.  Last week Mr. Haskin made a case for Gio trying the Classic again, and I think I would lean that way.  I know he's never run on dirt but I subscribe to the "good horses run on anything" school of thought.  

Gio is definitely a good horse, but one who is not a perfect fit for any BC race.  I admire his connections for wanting to run and show off their star anyway, and I wish them the best in whichever race they choose.  I see they've settled on the Shadwell as a prep, though I was hoping they'd pick the JCGC!  

I think horses dropping out or not dropping out between now and entry time will figure in the Gio camp's decision.  Like someone (I forget who) said a couple of blogs ago, we never manage to get them ALL in the gate.

15 Sep 2010 5:45 PM

Personally, I think the BC Mile sets up for horses that are quick on their feet and have an immediate turn of foot. The bigger Euro milers that need galloping tracks to get into their stride (Paco Boy, Rip van Winkle) are going to have trouble kicking rapidly after turning for home on these tight American tracks. Goldikova is a master at it so I'm on her if the going is firm. Makfi is a small, compact colt and will be a big danger if it rains.

15 Sep 2010 8:03 PM

Ed from LA.....I mean Ted from LA,

Willie was the name of Patton's courage challenged Bull Terrier.

15 Sep 2010 9:17 PM
Ted from LA

I'll never smoke with Willie again.

15 Sep 2010 9:52 PM
Mike Relva


I agree with your comment about the "Draynay jinx". Just hope he doesn't change and select Zenyatta in Nov. lol

15 Sep 2010 11:35 PM


16 Sep 2010 7:34 AM

I wonder if it would help being drunk or " a little tipsy" to fully understand Bellwether's posts?    Do you think that would help?   lol..

16 Sep 2010 10:30 AM

When Makfi won the 2000, people said that there wasn't enough cut in the ground for Canford Cliffs.  So he didn't need soft ground to prevail there.  Then he wins the Marois on soft ground and people are talking like he needs soft ground to be effective.  He seems to be able to act on any going.  If he ships well and runs his race he will be a threat.

16 Sep 2010 10:43 AM

Thank you Sodapopkid.  I thought I was the only won who needed a translator for Bellwether!

Although, as a form of art, the capitals and use of those non-letter thingies in the posts sometimes entertain me.

16 Sep 2010 10:58 AM
Ted from LA

Slightly off topic...

16 Sep 2010 11:19 AM

Thanks Footlick.  I'm getting more and more worried about Makfi.  And Billy's Empire said that the Cali turf is harder than Churchill's turf.  Anyone have any thoughts on the surface differences?

I SO want her to win.

16 Sep 2010 11:29 AM


Success in the BC Turf Mile is all about the horse's ability on the surface, as we all know, but sometimes I think we have a tendency to maybe look a little too deep.  A case in point.....the last two Turf Miles have been at SA and it's hard surface.  Goldikova, a Euro horse won them both.  The 2007 Mile was at Monmouth, a course that was close to being a bog and the race was the 2nd slowest Turf Mile ever, run 5 seconds slower than the 2006 version, and 6 seconds slower than the 2008 version.  This should have been a Euro advantage so who won the race?  Kip Deville a N/A based horse.  If you go back over the years you will see that the Euro's have done quite well on the harder or firm turf surfaces and the N/A horses have held their own on the softer turf with more give to it.  I think that you have to take a horse's ability on either surface, but you should also strongly consider the horse's overall success on grass alone.  The best horse’s usually find a way to get the job done.

16 Sep 2010 12:25 PM


Debussy has returned to Europe and will run in a prep race there. He will then return to the United States to run in the Breeders' Cup.

Dr. D;

I looked up Relevator, and I see why you have him on your list. He seems like one of those horses that is just waiting to break through with a big performance and establish himself as a serious Triple Crown contender.

Take Super Saver as an example. In his first start, he lost a maiden special weight by over six lengths, finishing second to Discreetly Mine. Nothing special about that. In his next start, he broke his maiden by seven lengths. Entered in the Champagne Stakes, he ran fourth after setting the pace. At this point, he appears to be nothing more than a nice stakes horse with some potential, but not exactly Kentucky Derby quality.

Seven months later he wins the Derby.

I'm going to keep a close eye one Relevator now --- if he wins his next start by seven lengths, you never know what he might accomplish.


16 Sep 2010 1:06 PM

Ted: you are spending either too much time in LA or, depending on your viewpoint, not enough time in LA.

On Topic (as much as I can): looking forward to the Woodbine Mile.  Even though not many Euros are coming, I hope it'll give us some perspective on the BC Mile.

(Still Goldikova anyways.)

16 Sep 2010 1:26 PM

ruffianruns- a course in Europe labelled soft tends to be much deeper than the American version of soft.  I don't think the Churchill course will be a detriment to Goldikova.

16 Sep 2010 1:45 PM

On Topic (sort of - continued): a lot of the Group 1 Sprints in Europe on October are for 2YO and up.  

Anyone: is there anything precluding a 2YO from running in the BC Sprint or Turf Sprint?

16 Sep 2010 2:02 PM
The Rock

Just read that Red's Desire is shipping in from Japan to run in the Flower Bowl on Oct 2. Absolute standout no matter who runs against. She should definitley be the favorite for the BC F&M Turf. These japanese horses are monsters. Espoir City should be interesting as well for the Classic. He's dominated on dirt in Japan but that is a whole different class than what he'll be facing BC day.

16 Sep 2010 2:23 PM
The Rock


I think the conditions for those sprint races are 3 & Up. But you're right, I don't see any problem with it. I think Wesley Ward would be a big fan of it.

16 Sep 2010 2:24 PM


Years ago, I believe up until 1958 or 59, the Vosburgh used to be open to two year olds, possibly other stakes also.  Without checking back, I'm not sure if a two year old ever won the race.  Harness racing allows two year olds to compete against older.

16 Sep 2010 2:41 PM
Billy's Empire

Just to be clear, I was referring to the Cali turf horses coming to Churchill, not Goldi. She should love the Matt Winn Turf Course. I was thinking of Sidney's Candy in particular, being on the front setting blazing fractions. Sorry if anyone took that the wrong way.  

I love the fact that Cassidy is sending Evening Jewel to Keeneland to prep for the BC also.

16 Sep 2010 2:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  It is a tricky name. It's Revelator. I have to keep checking the spelling, kind of like Eskendereya was for me. Revelator is entered in a turf race, 3rd race at Belmont Sat Sep 18th, 1 1/16. It doesn't mean he won't be on the trail. Plenty of good Derby horses have run turf races early. His pedigree could go either way but looks more like a dirt horse to me. I'm checking out some Candy Ride 2yos too. I didn't want to get this involved this early, but it's too much fun. However, I refuse to get emotionally involved !!!!

16 Sep 2010 3:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Billy's Empire

  Cassidy's a smart guy.


  I hope those weren't Tanqueray Gin martinis. How many olives?

16 Sep 2010 3:18 PM

Laz - After you told me about Hawkster on the other blog, I read more about him and his win at Santa Anita.  That's when I started thinking that SA must be hard and fast, then Billy's Empire weighed in on this blog verifying that in my mind.  If Goldikova pulls it off the three-peat on a different course, it will cement her greatness.  Same goes for Zenyatta.

Footlick - The Churchill course DRY won't be a detriment to Goldikova, right?  That's easing my mind, if that's what you mean.  Thanks.  I went on Racing Post today and read more about Sariska.  Saw that a few commenters had her for the Arc.  Had she left the gate, it would have been interesting to see if Midday is improving or lucky that she stayed in the gate.

Billy's Empire - Thanks!  I hope Goldikova loves Churchill.

Dr D - Yeah right!  You NOT emotionally involved?  One of those babies will win your heart.

16 Sep 2010 5:37 PM

Have you all heard the news?   Zenyatta is listed in Oprah Winfrey's  2010 Powerlist, the most influential women and earnings....

16 Sep 2010 6:00 PM

I'm going a little off topic, but here's what Mill Ridge's Headley Bell said of the A.P. Indy-Balance colt (Zenyatta's nephew) that just sold for 4.2 million:  

"He’s a really super athlete to go with the pedigree.  He’s beautifully balanced and is a good-sized colt. He moves like cat considering how big he is. He’s the whole package."

Doesn't that sound familiar?

16 Sep 2010 6:07 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   The Woodbine Mile looks interesting. I'm going to check it out. If I like what I see, I'm going to play it. Are you going to play it? I'll post some thoughts here on Saturday morning.

16 Sep 2010 6:41 PM

ruffianruns- I doubt Churchill would get soft enough to really affect Goldikova.  She's won on good to soft before in Europe.  Sariska easily handled Midday in their only meeting this year where she came out of the starting gate.  IMO, she was a superior horse.

16 Sep 2010 7:06 PM

mz- most of the two year olds who compete with older are ultra fast sprinters like Lemon Souffle and Paris House.

16 Sep 2010 7:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I didn't say one wouldn't steal my heart. That will happen, but I'm going to put it in a different part of my brain than the betting section, and the who's in The Derby section. So you don't think I can pull it off eh? Thanks for that cool quote on the A.P. Indy Richie Rich colt.

16 Sep 2010 8:05 PM

Footlick: another example = that horse who won the big British sprint race as a 2YO and then ran with distinction a few more years and then went to stud and then didn't get any mares in foal and then he was gelded and this year he ran in some of the big sprint races against Starspangledbanner and that mare.

(brain freeze. When I defrost, I will post his name and the mare)

16 Sep 2010 9:20 PM

Footlick: Kingsgate Native!  Fleeting Spirit!

16 Sep 2010 9:23 PM

Dr. D;

I had trouble with the spelling of Eskendereya too. I had to keep checking charts to see how his name was spelled.

Anyway, I didn't see that Revelator was entered to race on the 18th, thanks for pointing that out. I'll be sure to check the results and see if he won.

I know what you mean about it being so much fun. It's nearly impossible to pick the Derby winner this far out, but I already have a lengthy list of two year olds to keep an eye on. It's great fun!


16 Sep 2010 10:13 PM

Dr D - The Woodbine Mile looks very interesting, but I don't know enough to bet on races!  I also have this weird superstition that I might jinx a horse.  I'll be interested in your thoughts though.  Oh, did you see that article on Runnymede Farm?  They bred Jaycito and they were bragging on him.

Footlick - Thanks for the info about Goldikova.  Do you have an Arc favorite?

16 Sep 2010 10:43 PM

PJJ - Thanks for the Oprah / Zenyatta news!  Very cool.

16 Sep 2010 11:15 PM

Ted from LA,

Was that Willie N or Willie C?  Or Free Willie?  Did you inhale?

16 Sep 2010 11:35 PM

It’s way too early to pick any horses for the breeders cup, especially with the inconsistent weather patterns in November in Louisville.  Figure muddy-dirt and soft turf, which will make the European contingent very strong on grass.  However, Godikova will not repeat due to the soft turf. Just pick “all” euro-turfers for each grass race.  Also, on a more somber note, unfortunately, there will be some serous injuries to some really great horses due to the weather and condition of the surfaces that day.

17 Sep 2010 12:47 AM


17 Sep 2010 4:00 AM


17 Sep 2010 4:03 AM

DR D.: Once in my life have I looked at a 2 year-old and said, "That colt will win the Triple Crown next year!"  I fell hard for him.  He looked like Daddy, ran like Daddy, and had an Daddy.  When the Derby rolled around, he wasn't there.  The year was the 2002 BC.  The Daddy was Slew; the colt was Vindication.  It broke my heart to discover his career was over so soon.  I swore I'd never do it again...and then I saw Take Control.  We keep falling for these promising 2 year-olds.  I sometime think we're addicted to the promise and the hope...we just can't stop ourselves from dreaming, no matter how hard we try.  I'm guessing it's all a part of being a fan of the horse itself.

17 Sep 2010 8:30 AM
Billy's Empire

Footlick, I agree 100%. Course at CD will not get too soft, it may be firm with this Endless Summer we have here. If it has a little cut in the turf, Goldi will relish it and explode down the lane, IMO. It is too tough to speculate now what the track will be like, but if Goldi is there, I like her chances against anyone.

17 Sep 2010 8:52 AM


If YOU don't know enough to bet on races, then I better stop right now! LOL!


Have a great weekend in Vegas. Have fun and win lots of money!

17 Sep 2010 10:41 AM

ruffianruns- I'd like to wait a little until the field is more firmed up and we can see what the course will be like.  I think Sarafina has to be given a chance given her long layoff and her flying finish in the Vermeille.  Fame and Glory is going to have to be awfully good to come into the Arc off his layoff.  Bekhabad and Planteur seem pretty equal.  But I won't make up my mind until closer to raceday.  My hunch bet would be Sarafina at the moment.

17 Sep 2010 10:54 AM

mz- yes, they were very fast also.

17 Sep 2010 10:55 AM

Billy- yeah, I can't see the turf being a problem for her.  She certainly will be a deserving favorite.  It looks like it will be a very deep field.  

17 Sep 2010 11:16 AM

Bellwether is back,  let me go to the A.B.C store before he posts again.

After I take a couple of shots, I will get back with you all.

17 Sep 2010 11:25 AM

BMC Racing,

 "It's too early to pick any horses for the Breeders Cup." But it's not too early to declare there will be serious injuries to some great horses. You must be a real fan of horseracing.

17 Sep 2010 11:43 AM
Jason Shandler

Thanks ZK, but I go to Vegas next weekend. This weekend I will be making money here on football :)

17 Sep 2010 12:05 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm not as excited about The Woodbine Mile as I hoped I'd be. I couldn't find a longshot. The Usual Q.T. is the one to beat and my top pick, with Famous Name and Grand Adventure being my next choices. Those are posts 11, 12, and 13. I do not see the outside posts as being any problem. It's an interesting race but I'm getting ready for Keeneland which starts Oct. 8th, and looking forward to October 2nd, a huge day with big Classic implications. I tried to like Straight Story but I don't think he's good enough to hold off the onslaught. I hate picking a favorite but Q.T. is the closest to a turf monster in here, and is explosive. He's very versatile. I don't know why some are saying that he's not really a miler. He's 5 for 5 at a mile !!! The only races he lost in the last year were at Dubai, and on AW. If the turf is firm, he's the top pick. Court Vision is certainly capable of winning. He won off of a similar layoff on soft turf at a mile. I just don't see him getting the win here. He's facing some sharp horses. I think 57 days since last for Victor's Cry is good for him, and he'll run good, I just don't think he's as good as Q.T. I don't think the mile is the right distance for Crowded House or Smokey Fire.

17 Sep 2010 12:46 PM


Well, good luck with that also! :) I don't bet on football but I do watch it when it doesn't interfere with my horseracing mania.

17 Sep 2010 12:52 PM

Zookeeper - I've heard you do great at the races!  Keep it up!  I also wanted to thank you for the Runflatout update on the other blog.  I'm glad you'll be getting to see him soon.  I've been surprised at how much I think of you and him and how it's going, so I appreciate the updates.  Poor little guy.

17 Sep 2010 3:03 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Be careful, and safe in Vegas, and best of luck. The ol' gray mare ain't what she used to be.


    There have been ten horses named Asteroid.


   It would really be cool to watch one from early 2yo to Derby winner that you love, but that is pretty slim chances.

17 Sep 2010 3:31 PM

Dr D - I just went to Pedigree Query and saw that - after I read your post.  It's a great name.  Hey, are you going to organize the Blog Groupie Meetup?

My favorite 2yo so far is Alexandra Rylee.  I LOVE her name!  Don't imagine she'll be on the Derby Trail, but who knows?  Another horse that just grabbed me when I saw her photograph - it was weird - and her last race, the Glens Falls, was Keertana.  She's a 4yo.

17 Sep 2010 5:03 PM

I'm still enamored of Aces 'N Kings, the 2yo "teaser" colt Jason introduced to us a couple of months ago.  He's won all of his races (4, iirc, maybe 5), each going a little longer.  His last was the Sonny's Halo S. at LA Downs on 8/28, his first try at a mile.  He came to the front from the outside post position, then rated nicely in 2nd and pressed the pace before taking off like a rocket, winning by 6 or so.

FWIW, has him at #5 on the 2011 Derby list:

(you can watch each colt's latest race there, too; and there's another page for 2yo fillies)

Just wanted to throw him into the mix! :-)

17 Sep 2010 7:00 PM


Thank you (I think) for the link to that website. Pretty soon, I'll be spending 24/7 surfing through all the info available on the Web. Will my head explode before the next KD? I hope not!!!  :)

17 Sep 2010 9:34 PM

ZK - I hope not, too!!  Back away, dear.  Forget I posted that link! I can't let you end up like me, brains splattered all over the keyboard and


all that.  Where am I? is this


17 Sep 2010 10:22 PM


Too funny! You always seem "together" to me... does it mean I've already lost it and I'm too befuddled to know? (Don't answer that!) LOL!

17 Sep 2010 11:16 PM

yes ma'am


17 Sep 2010 11:44 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


    Jack Benny was being robbed, and the robber said, "Your money or your life." Jack Benny didn't respond, so the robber repeated it. Finally Jack Benny said, "I'm thinking it over !!!!"  But I'm not much of a party organizer anymore. Maybe at the track someday, some of us will meet up.

18 Sep 2010 1:15 AM

ruffianruns, Dr D.,

Count me IN!!! Let's make it October 2nd @ Hollywood Park: ZENYATTA DAY! That will be my last time to see her in person at the track... My seat is reserved. See you there! :)

18 Sep 2010 12:51 PM

Footlick: they're thinking of the Prix de l'Abbaye for Zebedee (I'm spelling it wrong, I'm sure) and the big worry for his team: whether his jockey can make the weight!  (2YO's get great breaks vs older horses)

Also, don't know where to put this but here: baby Goldikova is coming up: Galikova (her half sister by Galileo) just won impressively today.  Looks like it's possible that the family has BC Miles sewn up for a few more years!

18 Sep 2010 1:30 PM

Dr D, Jack Benny, and Zookeeper - I was just thinking of heading out there, but I don't think I can swing it.  I would LOVE to see her break the Great Eclipse's record.  Especially after reading all the Secretariat stories and all the regrets that people had, I'm really torn.  Ah, to win the lottery!  I've decided that I will visit her at her farm someday.

mz - I read about Galikova!  And Goldikova's full brother will be on his way soon, Universe Willing.

18 Sep 2010 5:48 PM

I am thrilled that CV won the WM, but a tad (OK, a LOT) bummed, I boxed the tri with CV, UQT and Crowded Maxwell Smart would say "missed it by that much"...darn Woodbourne..but hey...

20 Sep 2010 7:53 AM
Lonely in LA

Dearest Ted from LA,

I'm so late to this party! I've been busy on the ntra blogs scolding the ill-informed Dark Siders with deft put-downs and superior logic.  

I will meet you at any racetrack. Please leave your wives at home, but you can bring Willie and we'll have a smoke. I'll bring my enormous 401k.

20 Sep 2010 12:11 PM

This will be the race for the ages...Goldikova will win, with a close finish between Rip Van Winkle and Gio Ponti for second. Paco Boy will have his revenge on Mafki for fourth.

21 Sep 2010 12:54 PM
frankie s

Where is WASTED TEARS???? C"on Bart shes the one to give Goldie a run for the money. Just do IT.

04 Oct 2010 8:10 PM

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