Tough Task to Pick the Favorites

Pre-Entries for the 2010 Breeders' Cup were released on Wednesday with a record 184 horses entered. Back on dirt for the first time in three years and with highly competitive fields from top to bottom, especially the Classic, this year's Breeders' Cup is loaded with intrigue. Of the 14 races, there are five horses--Zenyatta, Goldikova, Informed Decision, California Flag,and Midday--trying to repeat in their respective events, with Goldikova going for an unprecedented three-peat.

Final entries and morning lines won't be drawn until next Tuesday, but in my opinion, from a betting perspective half of the 14 races do not even have a clear cut favorite or a "horse to beat." The Breeders' Cup is always the best betting weekend of the year, but the wide-open feel of many of these races has me foaming at the mouth.

From what I can tell, the seven races with clear-cut betting favorites are the Filly & Mare Turf (Midday), Ladies Classic (Blind Luck), Turf Sprint (Silver Timber), Juvenile (Uncle Mo), Mile (Goldikova), Turf (Workforce), and Classic (Zenyatta). In the other seven I think you can make a case for a number of different horses to be the favorite by post time. Let's take a quick look at those:

Marathon: The lone race for males on the Friday card, the Marathon is as wide-open as any race in the Breeders' Cup, especially since it's at 1 3/4 miles--a distance most of these horses have never gone. Mike Watchmaker at DRF has Giant Oak as his top choice right now and the horse has not won since May, 2009. Jeff Siegel at Breeders' Cup.com has European shipper Bright Horizon as his top choice and he has never run on dirt. That tells you all you need to know about how much of a toss up it is. Prince Will I Am, coming off a win in the grade I Jamaica Handicap, could also wind up as the favorite but I'm not sure he wants that much distance. They likely won't be the in the top three as far as betting, but I give Alcomo and Eldaafer a good chance. Both of them seem to be distance specialists and are in sharp form. Tough race to decipher.

Juvenile Turf: Winter Memories will likely be the morning-line favorite off of her outstanding Miss Grillo effort, but she's not a cinch. Aidan O'Brien's Irish shipper, Together, has been rock solid in all of her starts, the Wesley Ward-trained Nina Fever has won four straight and is in rapidly improving, the top two from the Natalma--New Normal and More Than Real--are also legitimate contenders, and Kathmanblu was awful impressive in her Jessamine win.

Filly & Mare Sprint: Informed Decision could be the morning-line favorite off her win last year, but she is better on synthetics and was just beaten soundly by Dubai Majesty in the TCA. While Informed Decision might get the morning-line honors, the real money will probably land on Dubai Majesty, who won the Winning Colors (gr. III) the last two years at Churchill. Champagne d'Oro will also be heavily backed even though she was a non-factor in a trouble-filled Kentucky Oaks. And Rightly So has never been off the board in 11 starts and comes of a convincing score in the grade I Ballerina. Lots of ways to go.

Juvenile Fillies: Todd Pletcher seemed loaded after running four in both the Spinaway and Frizette, but wound up entering just one--R Heat Lightning. She was terrific in the Spinaway and ran a solid second in the Frizette despite a less-than-ideal trip, but still might not be the favorite. Those honors could go to A Z Warrior, who was a convincing 1 3/4-length winner in the latter. It will be interesting to see who winds up as the choice. Don't forget about Tell a Kelly either, even though she is making her first start on dirt. She might be even better at Churchill.

Juvenile Turf: Air Support. Soldat. Pluck. Rogue Romance. Take your pick of any of these four. Air Support and Soldat have each won one against the other. Pluck was awesome in the Summer Stakes. Rogue Romance was much the best in the Bourbon. My guess is that Rogue Romance winds up as the morning-line choice. By post time, I have no idea.

Dirt Mile: Very few would have predicted it a few months ago, but it looks as though Here Comes Ben could be the favorite. He's won four straight including the Forego-all of them at seven furlongs. Crown of Thorns has not won this year and has never run on dirt, but could also take a lot of money. He was very solid in the Goodwood. Gayego was terrific in the Presque isle Mile but hasn't run on dirt very often. I was very impressed by Aikenite at Keeneland a couple on Oct. 15 when he nearly broke the course record at seven furlongs. A one-turn mile is perfect for him. All of this being said, if I get 6-1 on Vineyard Haven I will be dancing to the window.

Sprint: Maybe the most wide-open race of the weekend since the likely top two choices, Discreetly Mine and Majestic Perfection, were injured. Now it looks like Girolamo will be the morning-line favorite off his Vosburgh win, but you can make a very good case for many others. They include Forego runner-up Big Drama, who never runs a bad race, world traveler Kinsale King, Vosburgh runner-up Riley Tucker, Warrior's Reward, who has run two good races at Churchill, and Atta Boy Roy, a convincing winner of the Churchill Downs Stakes in the spring.

As a note, it was announced today that the Sprint and the Dirt Mile flip-flopped spots on Saturday. The Sprint will now be the second BC race and the Dirt Mile will be the sixth.

245 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Monty

Take Zenyatta across the board, you'll laugh all the way to the bank, 20-0.

27 Oct 2010 2:30 PM
Betsy

AZ Warrior really was much the best in the Frizette, but she'll probably go off a longer price than R Heat Lightning based............I'm eager to see how Theyskens' Theory does; she is truly bred for the dirt.

I hope they run Biondetti in the Juvy Turf - he'd have a great chance. I'm very surprised his first preference is for the dirt race.

27 Oct 2010 3:33 PM
JerseyTom

Looks to me that will be chalk foaming from your mouth if this rundown is an indication of who you will pick and play. ...

27 Oct 2010 3:50 PM
Jason Shandler

Tom: The blog was about who I think the favorites will be, not who I will pick. Typical from a Jersey guy.

27 Oct 2010 4:01 PM
Livesoutwest

Winter Memories looks awfully tough in the F&M Juvy Turf.  Rooting for Sidney's Candy to upset in the toughest race on the card, the Mile.  But my favorite pick is still Life At Ten to put the young upstarts Blind Luck and Havre De Grace in their places in the Ladies Classic after seeing how easily she handled the Beldame field with no Rachel Alexandra to deal with.

Makes one wonder what would have happened had Rachel stuck around for this race.  Would expending the energy she would have needed to put away Life At Ten softened her up for a closer again?  Or could she have held on with an eighth of a mile less to the finish line.  We'll never know.

27 Oct 2010 4:05 PM
2:24

After looking at the past performance closely, I'm really coming around on Quality Road in the Classic.  His only two tries at 10 furlongs were on sloppy tracks off a long injury layoff with only a 6.5 furlong Sprint under his belt.  And he still ran well in the slop and lost to a horse that I believe was very underrated in Summer Bird.  (If the Classic was on dirt last year, you have to figure Summer Bird would have finished 1 or 2).  Losing the Whitney to a horse like Blame in a race that probably had the most talent of any race in the states this year certainly should not lower his chances.  I like QR's foundation this year and I'm liking his chances the more and more I think about it.

27 Oct 2010 4:11 PM
longwaytomay

JerseyTom,

 Have you ever read this blog before? Jason ain't no chalk eating weasel. You have him confused with some nutjob named Draynay.

27 Oct 2010 4:13 PM
CV

Jason, what do you think about Awesome Feather in the Juvenile Fillies? She was impressive at Calder.

27 Oct 2010 4:40 PM
Billy's Empire

Marathon Eldaafer/Bright Horizion

Juv Fillies Turf Kathmanblu

F & M Sprint Champagne D Oro

Juv Fillies Awesome Feather

Juv Turf Soldat

Dirt Mile Tizway

Sprint Giralamo

27 Oct 2010 4:40 PM
Billy's Empire

Those are not who I think will be favorite, that is who I think will win at first glance. Things may vary slightly after I get to the track next week to watch them all work and after posts are drawn, but they will be in my top 3 picks.

27 Oct 2010 4:54 PM
joe p.

Jason, with the BC flip flopping the sprint and Dirt mile from Race 2 and 6 this changes my betting strategy. I have added Lookin @ Lucky in the Classic, I think he is the only one that Can Beat The Great Zenyatta. I have dropped Boys At Tosconova in the Juvenile. Simply Can't afford him on my already loaded Pick 6 ticket. He has had a long layoff, hasn't gone 2 turns, has never even run a mile yet. 3 strikes against him. I will be Betting 2 straight Exactas with Here comes Ben in the Dirt Mile on top of Tizway and Crown of Thorns. Mantoba looks good in the Juv. Turf but I am worried about the 22 days rest as being too quick, but Soldat or Air Support Should take up the slack if he falters. I am glad to see Awakino Cat won't be running in the turf sprint. He would've been a real threat to my big 3. Silver timber, Chamberlain bridge and rose catherine. By the way I think Uncle Mo or Jaycito will win the Juvenile. I think Biondetti and Rogue Romance are wasting there time in the Juvenile. Both of them sould stick with the Juvenile Turf where they would both be major threats. I think it will be Sidneys Candy or Goldikova in the Mile. Glad to see Gio Ponti may run in the classic, he would have been a threat in the mile. Should Be all Workforce and Behkabad in the Turf. Hope my pick 4 and or pick 6 is alive in the Classic so I can root for Zenyatta and Lookin @ lucky.

27 Oct 2010 5:07 PM
Johnny

Livesouthwest,I agree about Sidney Candy just a gut feeling..

I believe I saw early odds 12-1

27 Oct 2010 5:12 PM
joe p.

just put Master of Hounds as my #1 in Juvenile Turf, will also include Mantoba, Soldat and Air support to start off hopefully and 8-8 day, probably wishful thinking but positive thinking and dreaming is the american way!

27 Oct 2010 5:47 PM
Mike Relva

MONTY

I agree.

27 Oct 2010 6:12 PM
Mike Relva

MONTY

I agree.  For the Sprint,I like Big Drama.

27 Oct 2010 6:13 PM
DS

If somehow Girolamo can go off at like 5/2 or 3-1 (Ladbrokes has him right now at 4-1) I will be doing a little jig myself.  It's just unfortunate that the Sprint isn't part of the Pick 6 sequence so I miss out on a single.  Then again that's what Goldikova will be for come Saturday.

27 Oct 2010 7:42 PM
Livesoutwest

The advance ten-day forecast at weather.com is calling for showers on the opening day of the BC.  Will the possibility of a sloppy track make turfers Gio Ponti and Paddy O' Prado legit factors in the Classic?  And will it hurt Zenyatta?  Shirreffs disclosure that she would have run in the slop last year had Churchill not insisted on sealing the track is interesting.  Hopefully those nimrods won't make the same call and cost us her participation.  I wouldn't risk an extremely valuable horse over that rock-hard sealed strip myself.

27 Oct 2010 7:42 PM
Aluminaut

Isn't the turf at Churchill a lot different from the turf at Del Mar?

Sid was a monster at Del Mar, but after being withdrawn from the Oak Tree Mile will he be ready?  It's worth a bet if the odds are high enough.

27 Oct 2010 8:13 PM
skyfire

I think Girolamo, Here Come Ben and Champagne d'Oro will be favored in their events.  

Kudos to Goldikova for her great campaign and attempt at third straight BC.

Z will also be winning a third BC in three years if she succeeds.  This aspect hasn't gotten as much attention as Goldi's attempt for three.

27 Oct 2010 8:29 PM
LAZMANNICK

Billy's Empire

Thanks for clearing that up Billy.  A few more I can cut from my list.  Now if only Draynay will put up his picks.

27 Oct 2010 8:39 PM
Rick

Jason, I take umbrage. Uncle Mo AND Boys @ T'Nova should be co-faves in the juvy. That's all.

Oh, and Monty....I'm not sure you'll be laughing all the way to the bank if you play Zenyatta across the board. 3.20, 2.10 and 2.10 may not even yield the cab fare home, even with a large wager. And when she loses, that large wager will seem silly. But, do your thing dude!

27 Oct 2010 9:22 PM
Mike Relva

RICK

Are you really sure she will lose? Get back to me when you encounter another 19-0 horse in your lifetime

27 Oct 2010 9:36 PM
Jason Shandler

There are 167 other horses to talk about. Do we have to talk about her on this blog?

Mike: Why dont you handicap some of the other races for us. Maybe talk about the races instead of nitpicking everyone that doesnt like your favorite horses.

27 Oct 2010 9:44 PM
Shiznik

How about a comment or two on San Francisco Baseball.  Yeah, those dang Rangers can sure swing the bats.

27 Oct 2010 10:13 PM
Shiznik

I don't believe we have ever seen Mr. Lee get shelled like that in the post season.  Very impressive for a bunch weak sticks.

"How will they score" they yell.

And the beat goes on...

27 Oct 2010 10:19 PM
Bill Daly

As if Zenyatta didn't have enough going for already, let's not forget that her daddy loved CD as did her brother, Street Sense.  She ought to be pretty salty on this track.  Long stretch, hot pace, Mike Smith sitting on a keg of dynamite. Take cover.

27 Oct 2010 10:26 PM
Mike Relva

JASON

That's rich, considering I've noticed you NEVER call out anyone that slams one certain horse,only the one's that defends her.

27 Oct 2010 10:32 PM
Ranagulzion

2:24

The light is shining through my friend.  Quality road is the fastest horse on the planet around two turns on dirt.  Ten furlongs is a breeze for him, never mind all the hype.  Can't wait to see him set the record straight.

Other sure shots will be Vineyard Haven in th Dirt Mile, Big Drama in the Sprint, Life at Ten in the Distaff(Ladies Classic), Uncle Mo in the Juvenile, Sidney's Candy in the Mile (Turf), Behkabad in the Turf Classic, Tell A Kelly in the Juvenile Fillies and Informed Decision in the Fillies & Mares Sprint.  These are firm choices assuming all stays well with the above over the next week.

27 Oct 2010 10:53 PM
LAZMANNICK

Mike Relva

So who do you like in the Classic anyway?

27 Oct 2010 10:54 PM
Mike Relva

LAZ

Great question! It's the "poly horse" that's gonna put on an exhibition next week.

27 Oct 2010 11:03 PM
Ted from LA

Ignore Ranagulzion at your own peril at Breeders' Cup.  Ignore Draynay for your own entertainment.

27 Oct 2010 11:17 PM
Coldfacts

Jason,

While I can see Midday and Workforce being favorites, I cannot see Blind Luck, Silver Timber, Uncle Mo, Goldikova and Zenyatta being favorites. These are the facts that betting public knows that will influenced wagering:

Blind Luck – Her season has been an extremely tough one with most of her victories achieved by the narrowest of margins running hard from far off the pace. This hard campaign does not serve her well facing this BC field. A fresh talented horse will be more appealing.  

Silver Timber – The 2009 winner will be in the field and he is a much better sprinter than Silver Timber. The reduction in the distance of the race from 6F to 5F will be more to his liking. U S Flag get the mark.

Uncle Mo: Was fully extended to win the Champagne defeating a winner of maiden claiming event. There are two other undefeated colts that have won their races without exerting much energy. Their true abilities are unknown. One of the colts is J. B. Thunder. He is the most accomplished 2YO colt going into the BCJ. His two victories were achieved at the BCJ distance on two different surfaces (Dirt/Synthetic). His sire Thunder Gulch won the Kentucky Derby -G1, Travers S. -G1, Belmont S. -G1, Florida Derby G1. His grand dam sire Unbridled won the KD and BCC. He is stamina laden on both sides. How can Uncle Mo who was sired by the stamina challenged Indian Charlie be wagered over a colt with a superior three P. (Past Performance and Pedigree)

Goldikova – Only (3) 5YO have won the Mile. She will be facing the toughest set of Americans turf milers in this her third visits. She defeated the unheralded Courageous Cat in the 2009 renewal. Does anyone believe that she will be running by Gio Ponti and the Usual QT the way she ran by the then 3YO Courageous Cat?

Zenyatta – No 6YO has won this race to date. She will be facing a much toughest task than 2009. In 2009 she defeated two top class turf horses and one top class dirt horse that were starting on the SA synthetic track for the first time. She had the overwhelming advantage. The advantage now switches to the dirt horses. There are few that are extremely good. She will not be able spot top class dirt horses 20 lengths and win. She will therefore have to be pushed along to keep pace. This will take her out of her running style. She will not find the big boys spinning their wheels like Gio Ponti, Twice Over and Summer Bird did in the latter stage of the 2009 BCC.

None of the horses above should be favorites if the cold facts are prudently evaluated. I suspect emotions will play a major role if they do leave the starting gates as betting favorites.

28 Oct 2010 12:30 AM
Draynay

Everyone knows there is no faster horse in the race then Quality Road.  The race begins and ends with him.  BAT and QR along with Goldikova are locks.

28 Oct 2010 12:45 AM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

“Quality road is the fastest horse on the planet around two turns on dirt”

It appears from the above statement that you expect QR to wire the field. Are suggesting that we are in for another Black Tie Affair? He is the only official wire-to-wire winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic. QR will have a lot of company on the headlines which will ultimately lead to his demise. Haynesfield, Etched and Espoir City will be keeping his company as he might just get lonely and board leading to a loss of focus. Quality Road is not a 10F horse. The connections of Espoir City are taking this horse to Dubai for the $10M World Cup. This ambitious plan would not have been charted for this 5YO chestnut if he didn’t prove he had the credentials. Chestnuts have won two of the last three BCC. Just something for you to ponder.

28 Oct 2010 12:56 AM
Billy's Empire

Laz, let me guess your picks. All CHALK?

28 Oct 2010 8:57 AM
2:24

Ranagulzion:  yeah, I guess I am coming around on Quality Road.  Also like your Big Drama in the Sprint call.  Disagree with Sidney's Candy in the Mile.  Listen, I like that horse alot but I don't think he hits the board off one turf race and a huge layoff.  Not with that field.  Also disagree with your Distaff pick.  Blind Luck will get up at the wire in the Distaff.  In my mind, that is the surest thing of the weekend.  I also think Here Comes Ben wins the Dirt Mile.  Can't argue with Uncle Mo although I am far from confident on that one.  Two races in his career and two walks in the park.  Has never faced a field this good and this deep.  Certainly looks like he has the talent.  A close loss in the Juvenile certainly wouldn't hurt him though.  Look at some of the greats that finished second in the Juvenile - Easy Goer, Point Given, Afleet Alex (probably my second favorite horse of all time), and Lookin' at Lucky.

28 Oct 2010 9:13 AM
TradingPlaces

Coldfacts,

Uncle Mo was fully extended? I'm sorry, but what race were you watching? He ran away from the field easily. How many times if any did the jockey touch him with the whip? He wins it by nearly five in pretty much a handride down the stretch and that is called fully extended? I'm sorry but he was far from fully extended in that race.

28 Oct 2010 11:24 AM
Zookeeper

Coldfacts - Interesting analysis. However, Gio Ponti wasn't spinning his wheels, last year. He was a running son of a gun. I was certain he had the race won after the horses turned for home and he never slowed down. He gave it all he had and, in my opinion, was not compromised by the surface in any way.

He won't go off as the favorite, no matter which race he actually enters and will offer good value for a horse of his talent and heart.

Watchmaker has him at 6-1 in the Mile and 15-1 in the Classic. It bodes well for tasty odds on race day. Or am I dreaming?

28 Oct 2010 11:50 AM
Mary

Calvin Borel bringing home a long shot at Churchill used to be one of the surest bets in horse racing.  Unfortunately, the betting public has gotten wise to that angle.  So I think Atta Boy Roy will go off as the favorite or close second favorite in the sprint.  And I suspect Hurricane Ike & Tell a Kelly will get quite a bit of play, too, again because of the Borel angle.

But his mounts in the marathon and distaff could go off as big (maybe even huge) long shots.  Very few, if any, writers or public handicappers have mentioned them yet so I'm hoping they slip past the betting public's notice.   His marathoner looks like he could be a live one.    

28 Oct 2010 11:57 AM
Paul

Zenyatta leaves "Lookin at Lucky" in her wake and wins by 2 1/2 lengths. Blame is third and Quality Road is sucking wind at 1/16th pole wishing he never entered the race.

28 Oct 2010 12:00 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

How much does cost to live in your fantasy world for a day?

28 Oct 2010 12:19 PM
OLD TIMER

You heard it from the Dray.... Quality Road is a lock.

While the horse has awesome speed, I still question whether he gets 1 1/4 miles.

As Bill Daly noted above, with all the speed in the Classic and the long Churchill stretch I see it setting up for a closer, such as, dare I say it, ZENYATTA. Or perhaps Blame or even Paddy O'Prado, both of whom seem to love that track.

It will be a fantastic race, and that is one thing none of us can refute.

By the way, I think that flip flopping the Sprint and Dirt Mile was sweet. Doesn't that make the final Pick 4 as Dirt Mile; Mile: Turf and Classic?

28 Oct 2010 12:43 PM
Footlick

Gio Ponti paired a top or was just short of his top in the BCC last year.  Not spinning his wheels

28 Oct 2010 1:20 PM
Carlos in Cali

Oh,boy!.. (sigh).

Coldfacts, do you actually watch horse racing?

Blind Luck won the KY Oaks going the same distance and @ the same track as the Ladies Classic,but this time she won't be giving weight,she should be the favorite based on her accomplishments this year.

Uncle Mo was not fully extended,he's this fall's "east coast sensation". Surely,he'll be the betting choice.

Goldikova won't be the favorite? Huh! She'll more than likely be the shortest price in the BC.

Zenyatta should and will be the favorite simply because: 1)she's undefeated. 2)she's better on dirt. 3)she's better than the rest of the American horses going 1 1/4. 4)the swift pace will definitely be to her advantage(not that it matters to her anyway). BTW: Gio Ponti ran 1st & 2nd @ SA prior to the BCC last year. "Chestnuts have won 2 of the last 3 BCC". And?... the Japanese horse will get trounced,this is a different league.

28 Oct 2010 1:21 PM
Carlos in Cali

Ranagulzion,..buddy!

I think you meant "Quality Road is the fastest horse @ GP around 2-turns on dirt",right? And, "10f is not his ideal distance",right?..

He'll finish 4th at best.Too much speed lined-up which means he won't get a breather.Good luck w/that.

28 Oct 2010 1:31 PM
Carlos in Cali

I've been wishing & waiting for Theysken's Theory to show up.Turf or dirt she should be live at juicy odds.

Turf- Theysken's Theory/Wyomia

Dirt- AZ Warrior/Theysken's Theory. BAMM! you heard it here 1st.

28 Oct 2010 1:38 PM
Sting

Trip handicapping says a closer wins the Classic.  Hmmm, I wonder which closer is the best choice.

Word of warning to all newbies, avoid Quality Road like the plague.  He's been double jinxed so don't be surprised if he has another unfortunate gate incident.  

Most here already know of the Draynay Curse.   Lesser known but just as devastating is the Ranagulzion Vexation.   Horses that have fallen victim to this phenomenon include [but are not limited to]:  Careless Jewel, his sure shot for the 2009 Ladies Classic.  Eskendereya, his lock for the 2010 Kentucky Derby. Super Saver, his head honcho for the 2010 Preakness.

My sincere condolences to Quality Road's connections.  

28 Oct 2010 2:08 PM
Shiznik

Gio Ponti may or maynot be a better turf horse then dirt horse (we shall see if he goes in the Classic). The fact that he is one of the few in the Classic that can/will take advantage of the distance is enough to use him (at the very least) in all underneath spots of exotics.

Well over half the field will want no part of the distance.  That is why Paddy and Gio have a good shot too fill out exotics, regardless of surface.

28 Oct 2010 2:11 PM
Zookeeper

Footlick,

I guess we saw the same race. :)

28 Oct 2010 2:16 PM
The Rock

I'm banking on an overlay with Red's Desire. She disappointed in the Flower Bowl, but I'll forgive her b/c of the soft turf and Desormeaux being on her. This horse is just as good as Midday. Hopefully she'll get her regular Japanese jock for this one.

Just printed the Pre-Entries but I don't think I'll get to them tonight as my Giants will be playing Game 2 tonight. How about that performance last night Jason?

28 Oct 2010 2:45 PM
Livesoutwest

Further update from weather.com  Friday: Few showers

Saturday: Sunny

Prediction:  

Paddy O'Prado is a complete throwout.  

Gio Ponti misses the exacta, contends for a minor placing in the superfecta at best.  

And Zenyatta continues to look awfully tough.  Anything less than an exacta finish behind a speed horse that gets away would shock me.  Still the most likely winner of the race.

28 Oct 2010 3:04 PM
Jason Shandler

Rock: Yes, the G-Men teed off on Lee. Impressive. They always seem to have someone step up.

I also agree with you on Red Desire. She will be tough.

Livesouthwest: Paddy can run on any surface. If youre throwing him out becaus of the weather, that's not sound reasoning.

28 Oct 2010 3:11 PM
GoldenBroom

I say run the Queen in the Ladies Classic, Marathon and Classic...she barely flicks her ears anyhow...that's the only way to REALLY test her!

28 Oct 2010 3:23 PM
The Rock

I'm throwing out both Jonathan Sheppard horses. Forever Together is just not the same horse and Informed Decision will need the slop to move up on dirt, which IMO nonetheless will still not be good enough to repeat.

Even though Girolamo won at 6f's last time, I still believe the distance is too sharp for him. If Big Drama gets a decent post, he'll be my play. No Majesticperfection or Here Comes Ben in this one.

28 Oct 2010 3:24 PM
Livesoutwest

Paddy O' Prado has one 2nd place finish on a fast track.  In his biggest race on dirt, the Preakness, he finished ten lengths up the track behind win machines like First Dude, Jackson Bend and Yawanna Twist.  You actually think he has a chance in hell against the best horses in the world Jason?  Please.

28 Oct 2010 3:26 PM
Draynay

There is no doubt who's the fastest horse in the Classic.  QR will get the dry track he deserves and never look back.  Many of you claim there is a ton of speed in the race but there is no speed like QR speed in the race.  QR can set fractions no other horse can follow.

28 Oct 2010 3:37 PM
Giddyup

I think the average win price over the history of the BC is somewhere around $20. Betting favorites is probably not the way to go since as mentioned many races are deep with talent and it is really splitting hairs when it comes to determining who is best. You have a lot of money wagered on BC races by casual fans who are betting strickly by emotion. As a result a few horses will get bet down big making others great value plays.

28 Oct 2010 3:59 PM
Jason Shandler

A little aggressive Golden Broom. He wont even run her in the best races in Cali and you want him to run her in multiple races.

Livesouthwest: He is one of the few horses that will have no problem with the distance. He has a chance, yes.

28 Oct 2010 4:01 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 Any chance for a live blog next week?  

 I have to disagree with you and Rock on Red Desire. She is very good but I think Midday is in top form right now. Midday is a single for me.

28 Oct 2010 5:23 PM
jamesb

Carlos in Cali.....I wouldn't be so sure about the Japanese horses getting trounced.  I can name a few off the top of my head who have won at Dubai.  Heart's Cry, Vengenace of Rain, Admire Moon, Utopia.  And don't forget what Cesario did in the American Oaks or Delta Blues and Pop Rock finishing 1-2 in the '06 Melbourne Cup.  Japanese horses can and do win all over the world.

Midday will be short priced in that race, but I give Red Desire a big chance.

Espoir City is a grandson of Sunday Silence (by Gold Allure who ran well on dirt himself) by a Brian's Time mare.  Do you think he will have distance limitations or isn't bred for dirt?

28 Oct 2010 5:47 PM
jamesb

One more thing....if it comes up wet in the Classic, which the forecasts predict it might, is Zenyatta still the favorite?  Surely it won't Quality Road.

Musket Man has run two quality races on wet tracks at Churchill, so I'd take a shot with him or Paddy O'Prado.

28 Oct 2010 5:50 PM
John

Jason,

I just read last night that there was a bookmaking site over in England that has already switched the odds on the Classic.  They reveresed Zenyatta and Lookin At Lucky, whereas LAL is now the 7/2 favorite and Z is 4-1.

PS - according to weather.com the extended forecast for Nov. 6 is sunny with a high of 65.

28 Oct 2010 6:04 PM
Pedigree Shelly

        Being a huge fan of Bernardini , I am so elated to see his first crop runners in Breeders Cup Juvenile Races !! Some stallions have alot going for them but,for some reason they don't make it as sires ! Not the case here ! I'm pretty sure now Bernardini is the heir apparent to AP Indy's throne ! I hope everyone stays safe and sound till BC Day !

As for the classic GO ZENYATTA !!!!

28 Oct 2010 6:24 PM
Mike Relva

OLD TIMER

Great comments. Agree with you QR is a miler,when others' and myself were called out for calling QR a miler,the next day Ron Ellis on TVG stated the same.

28 Oct 2010 6:42 PM
John

Sneak preview for those that cannot wait for 60 Minutes:

www.cbs.com/.../video

28 Oct 2010 7:10 PM
Ranagulzion

COLDFACTS,

I didn't expect you to be so simplistic in your reading of my assertion that Quality Road is the fastest horse on the planet around two turns on dirt.  QR finishes his races in the fastest times and with the higest Beyer speed figures.  In the BCC he will be the controlling speed, that is, not necessarily in front but prompting the pace until Johnny V "gives him his head", at which time the "afterburners" are switched on and it will smooth sailing down that long Churchill downs straightaway.  I tell you Bro. its gonna be "money for jam".  Take that to the bank.  The only one capable of testing QR will be Haynesfield, if ridden intelligently by Ramon Dominguez.  All others are running for very decent place money.

Something that many people overlook is that the BCC is not a "cheap" stakes race in which overmatched horses are going to hurt their chances trying to beat a pacey crackerjack like Quality Road.  Many of the connections are realistically planning a measured race in search of good second, third, fourth or fifth place earnings.  Think about that.  Who is going to hurt their chances trying to run Quality Road into the ground?  I tell you one thing ...some of the fancied ones are going to muff their chances trying to keep within striking distance and others will be waiting in vain for the pace to come back to them.  Do you get the scenario COLDFACTS?

How about you CARLOS IN CALI?  I see you think Big Z is gonna get it done.  Great mare but not this time Bro.  She is going the way of all your previous "Bull Dogs" that turned into "Poodles" befor any of them could compete with Quality Road (LOL).  BTW Its time to drop the political East coast-West coast agitation and let us enjoy the game as one big happy family of hard core Breeder's Cup fans.

One more thing COLDFACTS, JB Thunder is a prospect for next year not this BC Juvenile.

28 Oct 2010 7:17 PM
stevebiscuit

Isn't it interesting that Quality Road's supporters will make excuses for Quality Road's 2 poor performances at a mile and a quarter, yet they'll completely dismiss Zenyatta's 2 runaway victories on dirt. Zenyatta's the only true mile and a quarter horse in the field. She runs better the longer the race is and when it's on dirt. I'd agree with those who wouldn't single her in a pick 6 bet, because anything can happen in a horse race. But throwing her out of any sort of trifecta or superfecta just shows how some handicappers can't see past their bias against this mare. Don't everyone freak out, I didn't say west coast or east coast. There are Rachel lovers in California believe it or not, an vice versa.

28 Oct 2010 7:26 PM
tjconway

Stay Thirsty my friends! At a realistic price!

28 Oct 2010 7:46 PM
Deborah

The classic is Zenyatta's to lose, but I'm pulling for Quality Road. Rogue Romance is my choice for the juvenile turf; he look's like a winner with a future! It would be awesome if First Dude could make the board! This year's field is full of really good ones!!

28 Oct 2010 7:49 PM
Paula Higgins

Coldfacts, interesting points about Zenyatta at age 6, on dirt, against the big boys. I am not going to say you don't have  some good points. You do. As for her age, yes, it is a little harder than if she were 4. Her times are slower this year. But when you factor in her incredible will to win and competitve juices, it gives her an edge. Here is what I believe it will come down to: She has to be better on dirt than synthetics to win, because her competition loves the dirt. I think she may be better on dirt. All indications from her previous 2 dirt races indicate that she likes dirt alot. She has to hope the others don't like the distance. Not sure about this one. Blame and LAL will probably like it just fine. QR, not so much but he won't be chopped liver either. People make a huge mistake if they underestimate him even at this distance imo. Mike and Zenyatta will have to stay close. They cannot let the field get too far ahead or it's over. LAL is a closer and fast. He is improving like nobody's business. Blame has tons of speed. So I think she has to make her run alot sooner than she usually does, or it's over. That huge stride of hers has to be in full motion right after the last turn. Anyway you cut it, she will give us a race to remember. She has guts and heart and I am certain we will see it once again. If she loses it won't be because she didn't run her heart out. My hope is that if she doesn't win this year, people remember that she is 6 yrs old and running against outstanding younger male horses. It is brave for her connections to risk her perfect record for her 20th race. Whatever happens, she will never be diminished.

Goldi is incredible. I expect her to blow away the field. Her competition is not chopped liver either, but not nearly as tough as Zenyatta's.

28 Oct 2010 8:52 PM
Ranagulzion

STING,

Nice try.  I wouldn't hold it against you for trying to get better odds on QR while you timidly avoid naming your picks.  Just one thing I ask.  Report back here after the BCC with some courage and honesty.

28 Oct 2010 9:34 PM
Old Yeller

The Classic and the Mile are just too much! I'm going enjoy and just keep my finger crossed over any wager. Isn't that what it's really all about.

28 Oct 2010 9:38 PM
jimthepimp

I really like life is ten for the ladies classic. She will be one of the favorites but has an advantage as an older horse against Blind Luck. If you throw out her attempt to run up front with RA, then her record looks pretty impressive. Good enough value for me to use this one with confidence. Was also hoping that Gio Ponti ran in the turf mile against the special euro filly. Gio was sitting on a big race and would of taken a chance on her. Dont know what to think of her running on dirt? A turf horse that can run on synthetic doesnt mean she can play on the dirt. Big Drama will run her race but might need to put her underneith in the exotics. In the classic I wont get into who will win the race but Fly Down is a sure thing to come in 4th to lock down the superfecta. He isnt the best but will get the distance better than most, wheel him in the 4th spot and get a beer for the race.

28 Oct 2010 9:42 PM
The Rock

Decided to start capping friday's races in order and listen to the Giants game on the local SF station as I can stand the voices of Joe Buck & Tim McBoogerballs (Saw that on South Park the other day).

Marathon - This will be a mostly sit and watch type of race for me. Obviously at 1 3/4 miles, you'd want somebody with staying power. Off the bat I'm throwing out Temple City, Gabriel's Hill, Million Seller & Bright Horizon (Distance limitations/ Speed/DL/Surface, Speed/Filly/DL, Dirt). I like that Hawthorne Gold Cup race that Giant Oak & AU Miner are coming out of. They both closed together and seem like they'll appreciate the extra 1/2 mile, especially AU Miner. Seems like he gets going late in his races and his come home times are respectable. Plenty of experience on the CD surface and should be a decent price 10/1 or above.

Back with more later.

7 shut out innings so far.....

28 Oct 2010 9:54 PM
The Rock

The Juvy Filly Turf -

Very nice field assembled this year. If the Euros that are Pre-Entered make it to the gate they will be a formidable group. If you like one, you've got to like them all. This might help Winter Memories odds to offer just a bit more value if you like her, which I do. Her two races were spectacular. If she runs the way I think she will, she could be the most promising turf female to come up in a while. I'm curious to see if this Wesley Ward horse Nina Fever makes it to the gate. She's got tons of speed and could spread this field out. Of course, just a pace factor, but she could have huge implications to the pace scenario. Kathmanblue was very impressive at KEE but for some reason I'm not too sold on her. The Natalma is probably the strongest race on paper. New Normal could be compromised by Nina Fever, but if the latter doesn't enter should could be the speed of the field. More than Real ran nicely for the second spot and if a huge duel develops, she can get a big piece at an overlay. Wyomia has that reverse Lemon Drop Kid breeding and was impressive last time. Should handle dirt despite the debut loss over the surface.

Picks: Winter Memories Single in multi race wagers: (Alternates: Euros, More Than Real & New Normal (only if Nina Fever doesn't enter).

How about Matt Cain. He's quietly the MVP of the Giants this postseason. Only 1 run (O Earned) this postseason. 8 in the books. Let's get the last 3!!!

28 Oct 2010 10:29 PM
The Rock

Correction on Wyomia. She ran on turf in her debut and despite losing on that surface, should be able to handle it.

28 Oct 2010 10:38 PM
LAZMANNICK

Billy's Empire

All chalk?  Not me man.  I leave that stuff for Draynay.  But I do predict that Uncle Mo is going down and so is Goldi.  I think that if all the top ones start, this will be the toughest race that Goldi has ever been in in terms of depth and definitely her toughest BC race.  Uncle Mo’s final quarter of 24 flat in the Champagne was sensational, but I don’t think it will quite so easy from the ¾ pole home this time.  I have the feeling that JR isn’t going to take him back, but will have him in contention right off the bat.  He’ll be pushed early and then late and I’m looking for a west coast upset.  Does Jaycito sound good to you?  He sounds like a winner to me.

28 Oct 2010 10:57 PM
The Rock

It is great to be a Giants fan....Allicansayiswow....!!!! Their 7 run 8th inning rally started with nobody on & 2 outs!!!

BC F&M Sprint -

Champagne d'Oro's dirt form is really sharp now. Throw out the last race. She's not as good on synthetics. I was glad they entered her in that race hoping her odds would inflate here. The pace scenario is interesting here. There is really not a lot of horses that have that "need the lead" style here. Gabby's Golden Gal can rate but coming off the layoff, could be extra sharp out of the gate. Jessica is Back has router speed and lays close up in sprints. Qualia lays really close. Rightly so has gotten the lead the majority of the times, but can rate if need be, but she's definitley better on the lead and could set the pace. 3 for 3 at the distance. Rinterval has synthetic speed and is on the outside looking in.

As much as I love Champagne D'Oro in this spot, she might be trumped by Jessica Is Back. As I mentioned, she's got positional speed. Can lay anywhere she wants. She's got a good punch at sprints as evident in her Princess Rooney win. The only issue with her is that she could be a horse for course at the Florida tracks. But she's a must play. Pending post positions, those are the 2 i'm on right now. Rightly So if kept at a decent price will be played as well.

Picks: Jessica Is Back - Champagne D'Oro - Rightly So - Qualia - Sara Louise

Evening Jewel has had a great year, but she was run off her feat last time out. Wonder if her campaign has finally gotten to her.

Dubai Majesty is sharp but 0-7 at 7f's.

9-0 shut out ball baby. On to Texas....Grab some pine meat!

28 Oct 2010 11:14 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       Hello Sting ! Just by looking at your screen name , you have to be a Zenyatta Fan ??? I loved their album "Zenyatta Mondatta " ( The Police )

28 Oct 2010 11:16 PM
draynay

I got my tickets all set and I am having the jet fueled as we speak Jason!  I am still flying into Lexington and having my chauffeur drive us over to the track Friday morning.  I promised my staff the plane over the weekend.  We will be staying at Four Points in Lexington if you need my advice on picks.  I will try to make it over early after my press meetings.

28 Oct 2010 11:26 PM
ajlit

I'm an east coaster AFTER I'm a fan of great racehorses ! Belmont is within walking distance of my home, where I went to school for 12 years and where I am on most Saturdays but when she guts this less than stellar bunch of Older males going 12 furlongs over dirt will you all get it then ??? SHE'S A FREAK !! ONE FOR THE AGES !!! IT'S A SHAME PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THE GREATEST SPORT EVER INVENTED WILL NEVER GET IT !! 20 FOR 20 AND BACK TO BACK BC CLASSICS(AND A DISTAFF !) RACHEL WAS THE PRETENDER !! LONG LIVE THE QUEEN !!! YOU'LL NEVER SEE ONE LIKE THIS AGAIN !! TOO BAD YOU ALL HAVEN'T ENJOYED WHILE YOU WERE WATCHING IT ALL UNFOLD !!

29 Oct 2010 12:24 AM
donkeyhotey

Remember: Hollywood Park's training track is DIRT.  That is where Zen trains normally unless it has rained super hard (like it did a couple of times in the last few weeks).  John says she is better on dirt, and I think her final turn and stretch acceleration style prove it.  TVG is showing her last work live on Saturday morning, and it is supposed to be raining.  It would have been on the all-weather track anyway since that's where they do timed works.  I love the other top three colts in the classic too, hope they make it a speed duel early because in that scenario I don't believe there is a horse on the planet that can hold up to Zenyatta's last sixteenth.

29 Oct 2010 1:36 AM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

“In the BCC he will be the controlling speed, that is, not necessarily in front but prompting the pace”

You do realize that you cannot eat your cake and still have it available for consumption. Controlling speed is the speed that dictates the pace of the race.  It is a term use in reference to the horse that is expected to lead the race. Consequently, sort out whether QR will be the controlling speed or he is going to parlay a front running trip to victory. You cannot have it both ways. If he you expected him to go gate to wire, then we are in for a Black Tie Affair moment. If you expect him to parlay a front running trip to victory, then we are in for a Tiznow, Skip Away, Cat Thief, Cigar or Skywalker moment. Let me reiterate QR is not a 10F horse. His sire has had hi BCC winner (Ravens Pass) His trainer has never won the BCC and does not have the horse to win the 2010 renewal. He cannot beat Blame at the distance.  He will not hit the board. The Japanese invader is the horse to beat. The only wire to wire of the classic was bred in Ireland. The second WTW winner will have been bred in Japan.

“JB Thunder is a prospect for next year”

I would like sum. I will adjust the quantity to prevent disillusionment. Uncle Mo win his two career starts and he is a now horse. JB Thunder wins his two career starts at the BCC distance and he is a future horse. How do you arrive at this conclusion? Here are some cold facts. The last four BCJ had the Mr. Prospector influence all over them. The 2009 renewal LAL by Smart Strike narrowly beaten; 2008 Midshipman by Unbridled Song wins; 2007 War Pass wins. His dame sired by Mr. P.; 2006 Street Sense by Street Cry wins by the biggest margin. Now we have a colt from a derby wining grandson of the great stallion that has won two races at the BCJ distance and he is a future horse. THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE!

29 Oct 2010 3:10 AM
Aluminaut

Would you all stop it with the "Zenyatta is a 6 year old horse" stuff.  She didn't start racing until Nov. of her three year old year, and has probably avoided a lot of the wear & tear you would expect of a horse her age.  The way she runs, taking it easy until before the turn, lets her relax and just lope along; then she does what she needs to in the stretch.  

Despite all the knocks against her competition, I think Switch, and especially St. Trinians gave her the experience of having a horse to run at that wasn't slowing down.

I think she was just messing with Rinterval, but that's my opinion.

Lookin at Lucky is a fast, hard trying horse, but he's a three year old.  Blame likes Churchill, but so did Street Sense.  Quality Road has Monster Beyers, and Zenyatta is a Beyers eating Monster.  Can't wait until 11/06.  

Zenyatta is an equine.

When she retires she won't tout

Cheap Wine.

Meanwhile she hangs out in the Sunshine,

Waiting to go on Prime Time.  

29 Oct 2010 3:37 AM
Coldfacts

Paula Higgins,

There were two horses I was confident would not win the 2010 Kentucky Derby. They were Dublin and Esky. There are two horse I am confident will not win their respective BC races. They are Goldikova and Zenyatta. Two brilliant dirt horses attempted wining the BCC at age 6 and failed. They are Cigar and Pleasantly Perfect. Zenyatta will not like CD. I took a close look at her when she returned to the winner enclosure after her 19th victory. It the first time I saw that her pasterns were extremely long. This suggests she is better suited to Turf of Synthetic tracks. A horse with this type of conformation gets killed at Churchill Downs.  Her running style will not be different and she will not allows tons of lengths to fresh, fit horse & colts  catch them The  Japanese invader is a horse with high cruising speed and a ferocious kick. HE WILL QUICKENWHEN SHE STARTS HER WIND UP this will adversely affect her usual sweeping more towards the leaders. Shewill not be running against a bunch of mares that are all in reverse or one pace in the stretch. Her 2009 victory was achieved against horses whose riders did not exercise the patience for the surface. Remember Curlin’s sweeping more. It was wrong for the surface. On the SA track a horse has to be asked for maximum effort not at the top of the stretch but a furlong or a furlong and a half out. It can be a very tiring course with the wrong strategy. In spite of her surface advantage she did not achieve an overwhelming victory. The conditions and track do not suite her.  I would be surprise if she hit the board.

29 Oct 2010 3:45 AM
4*dave

Zen wins if she's toe-dancing in the post parade. Winchester and Haynesfield have already shot their best bullets. Mo rolls. Gio at a price if Zen is flat footed.

29 Oct 2010 7:28 AM
Giddyup

Clearly we have a wide range of opinions on who is going to win in the various BC races. I have to wonder why Bloodhorse.com hasn't taken advantage of the fan interest and created a fantasy pool. If nothing else this would give Draynay an opportunity to display his handicapping expertise and silence those pesky critics of his.

29 Oct 2010 7:56 AM
Slew

As far as the Classic goes, Espoir City and Quality road may run each other to the ground early.  While Blame may get in Zenyatta's way closing, it's Lookin At Lucky who is her stiffest competition.  Either way Gio Ponti goes, He facing a tough race mare in Goldikova or Zen.  I think he'll more likely be in the $$ with Zen.  The turf mile has a lot of stiff competition...looking for Goldi in a 3-peat, right ahead of Paco Boy.  My favorite juvenile fillies are AZ Warrior and Theysken's Theory, while Uncle Mo and BAT lead the colts.  Gosh, I sound so chalky.  Still like Kinsale King in the dirt sprint, but Rose Catherine on the turf.  I have more thinking to do on the rest but I do like Here Comes Ben in the dirt mile along with Tizway.

There is so much sorting out to be done in the next week.  I keep thinking Morning Line sure looks like his Dad, and what are the chances a BC clasic winner's son can take home the same prize.  And I see a win for Workforce in the turf with Bekhabad and Red Desire taking the trifecta. (even though I'd like to see Winchester in the $$)

29 Oct 2010 8:54 AM
Coldfacts

Trading Places

I appreciate your comments on my post. Before I respond to the Uncle Mo issue, let me remind you of part of the closing paragraph of my post. “If the cold facts are prudently evaluated none of the horses above should be favorites” Uncle Mo’s 1:34.51 represents the third fastest for Champagnes run at the distance of a mile. Only Devils Bag 1:34.20 and Seattle Slew 1:34.40 recorded better times. I just revisited the video and it appears he was struck once or twice. He was not on cruise control as his rider had him under an aggressive hand ride to the line. At no time did he appear to take his foot of the pedal. There is no doubt he is impressive but should not be the betting favorite in the 2010. JB Thunder has a superior three P and has won the BCJ distance. On pedigree alone JB Thunder is superior. His sire won the KD & Belmont and his dame sire that has sired two Breeder Cup winners (Midshipman/Unbridled Elaine) and is the product of a KD & BCC winner. Prudent handicappers do not ignore these facts because a 2YO records some flashy times. Those times mean nothing when he line up for his next start. Two other likely starters are also unbeaten. BAT and Biondetti. Godolphin’s Biondetti is a son of Bernardini and has won his three starts. He is unknown on dirt but has the pedigree for same. The boys in blue took down LAL in the 2009 renewal and were also winners in 2008. His pedigree is superior to that of Uncle MO. I handicap with cold facts and not with emotions

Some cold facts you will enjoy regarding past Champagne winners;

Of the seven horses that have recorded time of 1:34 and fractions, four have feature in the Classics. Seattle Slew (TC); Spectacular Bid (KD/Preakness); Sea Hero (KD); Easy Goer (Belmont) Five of the seven were voted champion 2YOS. Subject to correction Seattle Slew and Sea Hero were not champion 2YOs. Uncle Mo is looking good for the classics from an historic stand point.

29 Oct 2010 9:04 AM
Billy's Empire

LAZ MAN, I was out last night having a few adult beverage's and one of the local horse guy's picked Jaycito 2 months ago and posted a sign on the wall, and not to worry, it was not Draynay. Good luck. Uncle Mo ran the same time as Seatlle Slew, 2nd fastest time ever in that race. If he can stalk the pace in 46 and change, it is game over IMO.

29 Oct 2010 9:12 AM
Giddyup

The only thing I know with certainty is that saying goodbye to Zenyatta is going to be very emotional and gut-wrenching for so many of us fans. I hope Walmart has a sale on tissues and Visine that day.

29 Oct 2010 9:40 AM
Coldfacts

Carlos in Cali:

Blind Luck has had an extremely hard season. She will be facing the best field in her career. The wear and tear that her running style creates is now catching up with her. She wins by a nose each time. There are talented fillies in the field that does not share her work load. She should not be favorite and will not win. She is not as machine. I do not believe Uncle Mo has better credentials than JB Thunder. He has better times but JB Thunder is the most accomplished going into the race and should be the betting favorite. Goldikova cannot be the favorite in this field when she beat a sub standard colt in 2009. Enough said.

Zenyatta should and will be the favorite simply because:

(1) she’s undefeated – This is a horse race not a contest on past performance. In spite of her overwhelming advantagein2009 she managed to be three horses by three that were not on their preferred surfaces. She is one year older and facing a stronger field on a surface that they have theadvantage.

(2) ) she's better on dirt – Interesting two or three of her 19 victories were achieve on dirt at the same tack. Her pasterns are very long a dirt surface does not suite her in top class company. She will overwhelm inferior competition on dirt but not the big boys.

(3) )she's better than the rest of the American horses going 1 1/4. -  She has no doubt contested several 10F races on dirt. There is not facts to support this conclusion.

(4) The swift pace will definitely be to her advantage (not that it matters to her anyway) Name one horse that Zenyatta has beaten  that has run 9F1n 1:45;8 F in 133:and 6.5 in 1:13. If you are a student of this game for a long time you should know that speed matters. I gather she is the only one a swift pace will benefit. If they choose to go slow she wins anyway. These are the big boys and 17H frame does not scare them

(5) . The Japanese horse will get trounced, this is a different league. – A different country but not a different league, Answer the following: Why have we not seen Japanese bred horse in the BCC before? Why have the connections of this 5 YO targeted two the most prestigious races in the world (BCC/Dubai WC) knowing the level of competition he will face?  These guys are not idiots. They have won races on the Dubai WC card and as I have stated before they sent Deep Impact to take on the best long distance turf horses in Europe off a six months respite and lost by a length. Your statement certainly made ignoring these cold facts.

29 Oct 2010 9:53 AM
Shinik

Great John Belushi imitation, Ajlit,(Germans bombed Pearl Harbor speech).  But just 10 furlongs this race. We get it though, well done.

29 Oct 2010 11:09 AM
Zen's Auntie

Here comes Ben looks the best for the dirt mile I wouldnt be surprised if he goes off the favorite.

I saw some stuff from team MO & Thirsty that said something about ST haveing to really work (in training) to get the same results as UNc Mo cruising.  So, while I like Stay T, I think such a long layoff and having gone no further then 7 f hurts his relistic chances here.  

Mo is the favorite in the Juv and for good reason.  Did I mention I adore this colts pedigree?  The BC juv is a tough race to figure out and often the best coming 3 year old dosen't win even given the opportunity.

29 Oct 2010 11:11 AM
WinnahPickah

The news I read today that I found the most relevant was that Ramon Dominguez will ride Haynesfield in the B.C. Classic.

Gio Ponti ran so well in the Shadwell Mile perhaps the Classic is to big of a chance. maybe?

One horse no one is talking about is Etched. All this horse does is win. He should be pressing the pace and is coming into the classic third start off the layoff. That being said, I will spread on my P-4 with him Lookin at Lucky and some other horse named Zenyatta.

I'm so pumped for next weekend! Don't call me, Don't Leave messages, I'm Busy!

29 Oct 2010 11:27 AM
WinnahPickah

Coldfacts,

Zenyatta's best surface is dirt. The word is she trained excellent on the CD dirt in April '09. Her sire won the Clark, and Dubai WC on DIRT.

"These are the big boys and 17H frame does not scare them."

Well, it Scared Quality Road last year or made him horny. :)

Go ahead, bet against Z, but I'll take 2/1 on her and be just fine.

I don't even think this bunch is gonna make her ears go down. She's gonna waltz past them the same way she does the mares. Go ahead, disagree, I'll take the value.

29 Oct 2010 11:46 AM
Jason Shandler

Longway: Yes, we're doing two live blogs next week. Friday and Saturday from noon-1.

29 Oct 2010 12:03 PM
Zen's Auntie

Yeah Giddy I gotta get tissues when I rent the AED pack thanks for remeinding me.

Dray maybe you ought to lay off cheeking the meds for a while - a few lucid moments might not be worth the risk.

29 Oct 2010 12:04 PM
ajlit

If Mike Smith hasn't gotten Zen beat yet she CAN'T GET BEAT !!! Ask Harmonious who she likes better after she wins the F & M turf ! Smith or Rosario ? Easy $$ y'all !!!!!!!!!

29 Oct 2010 12:06 PM
ajlit

coldfacts: you threw out Dublin AND Esky in a 20 horse field in the Derby ? what do you get for that ? an invitation to the National Handicapping Tourny in Vegas ? That statement Alone should disqualify you from any commentary but do us all a favor and list your top 4 picks in each BC race !  

29 Oct 2010 12:18 PM
Ranagulzion

COLDFACTS,

I see your're in sparkling form right now.  I'll play the waiting game and hold your feet to the fire after the Breeder's Cup Classic and Juvenile.  Deal?

Great posts Bro.

29 Oct 2010 12:35 PM
Householder

I like Zayat stable's Jaycito in the Juvenile.  He was 13 lengths off the pace after the first call in the Del Mar futurity and closed to get the place.  Next out he takes the Norfolk Stakes at Hollywood Park with a similar closing style.  His daddy Victory Gallop did some serious closing of his own at Churchill Downs.  My only concern would be the distance may not be long enough.  1 1/4 and beyond.  My early Kentucy Derby pick.  He will be completly dismissed in the Breeder's Cup due to being lightly raced over synthetics.  Got to have him on the exotics.  

29 Oct 2010 12:37 PM
ColderFacts

I wonder who the poster is that had the nerve to call out all of the people who apparently “think they know something about the greates sport ever invented”.  Oh that was ajlit 29 Oct 2010 12:24 AM, your post makes those of us that pay attention to detail laugh.  Either you don’t know the distance of the classic or you’ve talked to the Moss’s and they have decided to enter her in the 12 furlong BC Turf to run against the Euros.  You seem to be a pretender who doesn’t know much about horse racing at all, at the very least that the Classic is run over a distance of 10 furlongs.  One for the ages huh, yeah I would tend to agree the only horse I can compare her to is Pepper’s Pride with regards to her owners coward course of least resistance set before her.  You fans of hers were probably glad to see Blind Luck travel to run in the Cotillion instead of facing her in the LS then have the nerve to say that her connections ducked Zenyatta, 3 yr olds usually face 3 year olds.  What was your horses excuse for not taking on something more than allowance and optional claiming types in Cali.  Why duck the top cali races in open company, couldn’t handle that grueling campaign of 1 open company race from Jan-Oct huh, that’s what her trainer said, lol, laughable of for the ages, nope there will be two for the ages, Zenyatta is up there right along another horse whose record is similar.  Pepper’s Pride, Congrats to the moss’s and shirrifs and her fans for backing this ultra over hyped, best filly or mare in Southern Cali.  I am glad she is getting her 2 weeks in the sun with all the promotions, too sad very few still know of who she is.  I hope that perfect record stays in tact, 0-2 Hoy, and in 2010 we’ll make it a perfect 0-3.

29 Oct 2010 1:25 PM
Johnny

Great observations Coldfacts.

I also noticed,her Tail is very long and she has tripped over it a couple of times.

Her ears are rather large and act as a huge sail as she coasts by the place horse..

Safe races for all

29 Oct 2010 1:49 PM
Meydan Rocks

Donkeyhotey,

I wondered about the comment Sherreffs made about Z switching to dirt for the remainder of her training.

I've been to Hollywood park and I've been to the offices in front of the stables on the back side.

Where on earth is the dirt track?

I can't seem to place where it is...

Thanks!

29 Oct 2010 1:58 PM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

DEAL! In the BCJ dirt the boys in blue are bringing a colt foaled in May. (BIONDETTI by Bernardini) He won the GRAN CRITERIUM (G1). The 2009 BCJ winner Vale of York was 2nd in this race heading into the BCJ. He came in and took down the previously unbeaten superstar LAL. The boys in blue are going to take down another superstar US colt. His trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni could have chosen the BCJ Turf but opted for the dirt. This is not good news for the opposition. He obviously thinks the colts dirt pedigree makes him a serious contender. He is a relatively new Godolphin trainer. However, his first starter was a winner of a G1 race on the Dubai World Cup card and he came very close with his first World Cup starter. This trainer knows what he is doing.

29 Oct 2010 2:05 PM
Saratoga AJ

I have to laugh when one genius says "Take Zenyatta across the board, you'll laugh all the way to the bank"....

And then a few more popinjays agree.

Let's get one thing straight. Zenyatta will be the underlay of the day next Saturday night. She will take all the sentimental bucks, all the women who wager will bet on her, as well as those who want to keep a  win tickets on her as keepsakes.

So if any of you are going to "take it to the bank", you better wager loads on her to win. Or better yet, do a little "bridge jumping" on show.

Can she win it? Absolutely. Will I wager on her with such short odds? Absolutely not. She is really up against it this time.

These are a really good bunch of colts. And she won't be on her home synthetic track this BC Classic. It's dirt and these are battle tested dirt colts.

29 Oct 2010 2:28 PM
Coldfacts

Ajlit,

Dublin and Esky were heavily fancied colts. In fact a blog was dedicated to Esky i.e., “The star we have been waiting on”. Lukas stated he would not trade places with any trainer as Dublin was special. I highlighted that Esky was hitting the ground very hard in his FOY victory and that he would end up with soundness issue based on his size. Dublin was overhyped and really didn’t have a chance. I was right. It has nothing to do with handicapping it is about evaluation. I am confused as to why my correct prediction should disqualify me from commentary. Being correct is a good position in my books. If you are going to be critical you have to be substantive. I deal with cold facts and I am prepare to clarify any misunderstanding my posts might cause. The Blog is about likely favorites. However as soon as I have finalized my selections they will be posted. I will only post the horse I expect to win as I normally key my selection with the field.

29 Oct 2010 2:36 PM
Zen's Auntie

Linda in TX did you see Dancinginherdreams win her Maiden big kick and then coasting - I like this filly in the G2 Pocahantus at CD I hope the form carries off keenland but she did look MUch the best - I mention it as she is a really pretty Daughter of Tapit since we both like Bandbox I thought you might like her too.(wow I really cant spell at all huh?)  

29 Oct 2010 2:39 PM
Carlos in Cali

jamesb,

I was strictly talking about Espoire City. And,yes I'm aware that Japan based horses have won all over the world,but name a horse other than Casino Drive who's been successful racing in America on dirt?..

There's a reason why they rarely ship here for a dirt race.Grass racing is their bread & butter and I agree,Red Desire has a chance in the F/M Turf.

29 Oct 2010 2:52 PM
Householder

Lookin at Lucky is a little iffy.  Baffert says you have to keep him off the rail so he will either have to be way out with Zenyatta on the turn or bouncing about in traffic behind tired horses which he probably equally hates.  I do see the long stretch being his best bet.  There may not be too many left the last 1/16th and he navigated the Derby pretty well once clear after running 19-20th with Ice  Box!!!  A clear stretch and the Smartstrike colt is a huge threat rain or shine.  Like Zenyatta, does better with a target.  I've said it before Draynay.  Your smartest pick this Triple Crown season and MOST logical to pick up a place with a slight weight break.  Your coming around my friend.    

29 Oct 2010 2:54 PM
nay nugget

My pick as the favorite to have the worst 2 days of handicapping is draynay. easiest pick i have ever had.

29 Oct 2010 3:27 PM
In aint easy being good!

Here is how I see the race playing out. Quality Road close to the lead with Haynesfield and LAL right there. Let me ask you this Zenyatta has never faced males on dirt with a large field. She will again probably have to go 5 or 6 wide and think will come up short. Zenyatta will show but not win. The winner is either LAL or my boy Haynesfield. Haynesfield is the truth and has the best jockey on the planet. 12-1 baby here we come! Got 7-1 last time and it just gets better and better. Blame what a joke you guys like this horse??? Haynesfield ran him off the track! When is the last time a horse hasnt won his prep and came back and won the classic???

29 Oct 2010 3:47 PM
Householder

Enough with the Pepper's Pride thing.  After taking a seven month lay off Zenyatta comes back to take Life is Sweet in the Milady-Gr. running 142 and change!  Life is Sweet owned the Santa Anita winter meet while big "Z" was resting picking up the El Encino-2, La Canada-2, and Santa Margarita-1 in three straight.  Life is Sweet then takes a couple of hits from Zenytatta again before blasting Music Note and Careless Jewell, the two best eastern horses in the Breeder's Cup Lady's Classic.  Today's history lesson brought to you by team Zenyatta.  

29 Oct 2010 4:25 PM
WinnahPickah

We should all be thankful for Zenyatta's detractors.

Without them, Who's money would we take on Nov 6th!

I can't belive she is going to be 2/1. After reading this blog its becoming a real possibility.

29 Oct 2010 4:35 PM
Carlos in Cali

Coldfacts,

Re: Blind Luck- "The wear and tear that her running style creates is now catching up with her".- How did you come to that conclusion? Is it because she lost her last race by 1/2 a length while giving the winner 10lbs?.. please explain because I don't see it.She's been consistent the whole year & now all of a sudden she's feeling the effects or is tired? Plus,this time she won't be conceding weight to her foes.This is purely speculation on your part,not a Coldfact.

Re: Zenyatta- "This is a horse race not a competition on past performances".- Well,the majority of handicappers do use PP's as a gauge to know how their horse(s) of choice compare to the competition.In this case,I'm betting on the Champion undefeated Mare who refuses to loose to take down the Boys @ 1 1/4. Many of them will be floundering @ this distance that clearly is to her liking.Yes,she's 1 yr. older,but like her trainer has stated recently: She's doing just as good or better than she was last year.

2)Yes,I believe she is better on dirt.Watching her 2 dirt races,she's gotten into contention earlier than she does on synthetics AND that is where she has her largest margin of victories. "Her pasterns are very long a dirt surface does not suite her in top company.She will overwhelm inferior competition on dirt but not the big boys".- Again,this is pure speculation not a fact.In fact,I can name dozens of big-boned top class thoroughbreds who raced on dirt. Also,her trainer says she's better on dirt,..enough said!

3)Yup,I do think she's the best American route horse especially @ 1 1/4. Name another horse on turf,dirt or synthetics who can kick-home as fast as she does?.. True,she has only tried that distance once,but so has Blame(lost),Haynesfield(won on an easy lead),QR(lost twice),LaL(none),etc.,etc..  My eyes tell me distance is not a problem for her.

4)You proved my point! Pace doesn't matter to her,she wins regardless. She hasn't faced those kinds of splits(6.5f1:13,8f1:33,9f1:45),because they consistently try and slow down the pace thinking it will hinder her closing kick.Guess what? It hasn't worked,and if she ever goes up against a horse who sets that quick of a pace,no doubt she'll catch them..unless they bring back Seattle Slew.

5)"Why have we not seen Japanese bred horse in the BCC before?"- Obviously it's because they haven't had a worthy horse to compete against America's best on dirt. "Why have the connections of this 5yo targeted the 2 most prestigious races in the world(BCC/Dubai WC) knowing the level of competition he will face?"- In my opinion,I think since he's a 5yo horse and has established himself in Japan,they're going out with a bang right before he goes to stud.They have nothing to loose and are hoping for respectable showings.But,go right ahead and bet him.I think he has no shot in the BCC against this bunch. BTW: you mentioned Deep Impact,yes he was a great horse...on grass! Like all of the Japanese based/bred horses who have won around the world.

You've have stated your opinions,NOT Coldfacts just as I have.

29 Oct 2010 5:08 PM
make me or break me Zzzzzzzzzzzz

I went to my bank and got a home equity loan for $10,000 and I'm taking a chance and placing it on Zenyatta to win. If she loses, I'll be forced to default on my home and move into a govt. sub appartment.

29 Oct 2010 5:23 PM
Householder

Tough task to pick favorites is right!  Carless Jewell was the favorite going into the Breeder's Cup Lady's Classic.  She could not be controlled, shot to a 20 length lead before fading to last.  Talk about a money burner.  And a "well rested" Music Note...pull up the blog "predictions" from last year.  She was supposed to hand Zenyatta a defeat!  What a jip as Zenyatta "one up" them.  

29 Oct 2010 5:40 PM
Coldfacts

Carlos in Cali,

If she is so much better than the boys, why did she pass on the Grade I, $1-million Pacific Classic and $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup? A horse of her caliber should be running for those types of purses. Why has she not shipped for some of the major dirt races in NY against the girls? It is clear her connections are very selective and chose spots where she is unlikely to be defeated. That does not denote greatness. It’s called prudent management. I do take your valid points.

29 Oct 2010 5:44 PM
Householder

Carlos in Cali.  Agree on pace.  They would have to enter Lady's Secret to get a "run away" pace.  YouTube her 1986 BC Distaff at 1 1/4!  Seattle Slew would do as well. In addition, a very good grade 1 winner Hysterical Lady tried to slow the pace in the first Lady's Secret Zenyatta won. Hysterical Lady went off at even money.  Sensing a slow pace after the half (49 and change) Smith just sends Zenyatta to sit 2 lengths off of Hysterical Lady and waits.  No "Silky Sullivans" that day.  

29 Oct 2010 5:51 PM
Coldfacts

Johnny,

You are funny. If her eare are big she is an imposter i.e., a mule parading as a horse. I just state a late observation, It's no big deal. Do not take this observation seriously. Peace!

29 Oct 2010 5:52 PM
Householder

Blind Luck wins or loses at the wire that's how she runs.  Replay the Kentucky Oaks. Could have went either way. No way Hollendorfer has her anything but fit or he would not enter her.  She has a

1 1/8 mile run over the track.  Serious threat.  The one to beat.  

29 Oct 2010 5:55 PM
Shelby

Carlos,

Coldfacts, huh?  I guess that must have been a doppelganger finishing 6th in the 10 furlong Kentucky Derby!  

Also, long pasterns is not at all the same as big boned.    

29 Oct 2010 6:14 PM
JerseyBoy

Coldfacts:

Your praises of Biondetti, had me puzzled for a few moments. He did win the Gran Criterium but that was the Italian Gran Criterium, not to be confused  with the race that was once called the Grand Criterium in France.

He does not appear on the Timeform list of top 2 yos in Europe as of Oct 24.

Here is the list.

    TWO YEAR OLDS

133p FRANKEL

128 DREAM AHEAD

121 HOORAY

119p PATHFORK

119p RODERIC O'CONNOR

119p WOOTTON BASSETT

118 CASAMENTO

116p SEVILLE

116 ZOFFANY

115p WHITE MOONSTONE

115 SAAMIDD

115 STRONG SUIT

29 Oct 2010 6:28 PM
Ranagulzion

COLDFACTS,

Vale of York's upset win on the pro-Ride at Santa Anita last year would pale in comparison to a win this year by Biondetti over Uncle Mo.  Obviously you aren't impressed with "Mo" but after the Juvenile you will be (provided that he's sufficiently recovered from the fast run Champaigne).  I'm reserving my judgment on him for next season's Triple Crown only because of pedigree issues.  This colt is as smart a juvenile as you can get Bro.  Boys at Toscanova is his main danger because that one is also ultra smart and has not revealed his full artillery.  He won the Hopeful "pulling a bus". i think that the Californians JP Gusto and Jaycito are overmatched at this stage.  JB Thunder isn't ready for Uncle Mo but he could garner some more graded earning toward next season's Kentucky Derby qualification with a third or fourth place effort.  Uncle Mo is an extraordinarily talented 2YO.

BTW you shouldn't be so harsh on Queen Zenyatta.  Its not her fault that she'll be 0-3 for HOTY.  It could easily have been HOTY 3-0.  What a shame.

29 Oct 2010 6:42 PM
Householder

I just watched the 60 minutes "preview" of Zenyatta airing this Sunday.  2 taps with 50 yards to go and then just some gentle "hand urging" at the wire, during last year's Classic.  Looks like she was enjoying herself out there.  Just delete Gio Ponte and insert Quality Road into the frame. 36 months holding form.  Serious threat and should be the favorite.  

29 Oct 2010 7:09 PM
Paula Higgins

Coldfacts, interesting post. All I can say in response is that Zenyatta is a horse that is capable of beating the conventional wisdom and odds. I don't know whether she will win or not. But I believe she will be 2nd or 3rd at a minimum. I totally agree that this group of horses is very tough and she is up against it. I have no illusions. But Zenyatta has a will to win that is otherworldly and that can never be underestimated. Her closing kick and stride, along with her will to win set her apart from every other horse there.

Saratog AJ, I agree that these are battle tested dirt colts. I just  hope she is several lengths faster than them on it, and she likes the dirt just as much as they do. We will find out if she was really a "synthetic specialist" or she was really a dirt horse who ran well on the fake stuff. I think it is the latter.

29 Oct 2010 7:17 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       Murjan looks to be an interesting horse in the BC Juvenile , especially for a longshot bet ! His Pedigree is interesting 1 I know he's by Officer who is well known for precocious , speedy horses . That's why I'm not on BAT's bandwagon ! Murjan has Tabasco Cat on the bottom and decends tail female ( 9th) dam to the great mare Frizette ! BAT is capable of winning the BC Juvy but, I just don't see him as a classic prospect for next year ..Murjan could easily go off at odds of 15 - 1 + ! Of the two Officer colts he is the best bet :)                                        

29 Oct 2010 7:36 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       Murjan looks to be an interesting horse in the BC Juvenile , especially for a longshot bet ! His Pedigree is interesting 1 I know he's by Officer who is well known for precocious , speedy horses . That's why I'm not on BAT's bandwagon ! Murjan has Tabasco Cat on the bottom and decends tail female ( 9th) dam to the great mare Frizette ! BAT is capable of winning the BC Juvy but, I just don't see him as a classic prospect for next year ..Murjan could easily go off at odds of 15 - 1 + ! Of the two Officer colts he is the best bet :)                                        

29 Oct 2010 7:37 PM
jayjay

I'm looking forward to the wagon jumpers after Zenyatta wins the Classic.

If it rains, QR is a throwout (to me, he's a throwout regardless), specially if it rains.  There are quite a few in this race that are as good if not better than Summer Bird.

I've mentioned before, if it rains, I highly doubt CD will seal the track knowing how Team Z feels about it.  They can't afford to not let the Queen run and show the world she's one of the greatest HORSES of ALL time :)

29 Oct 2010 7:54 PM
Old Timer

I see so many opinions saying that Zenyatta will be a strong favorite. I like her, but I'd hold back at anything less than 2/1. However I believe with all the good horses in there, she'll be 5/2 perhaps when the gates open. Think about it... LAL; Gio Ponti; Blame; Quality Road. How can Zenyatta go off even at 2-1? My guess of approx. post time odds:

Z. 5/2 or 3/1

LAL 7/2 or 4/1

Quality Road 7/2

Blame 5/1

Gio 5/1 or 6/1

Am I off base here? This is one competitive field, IMO.

29 Oct 2010 8:05 PM
SilverJet

8 days til Zenyatta goes 20 - 0! Mike Smith never intended to be so far back in last year's Classic. He had to "hurry her" in her last race and kept her closer. She was just starting to run the last 1/16 and she WILL like the dirt and long stretch at Churchill...Kudos to Sheriffs and the Moss family for keeping her so fresh. She'll need it to run down the big boys, but run them down she will.

29 Oct 2010 8:13 PM
Mike Relva

I like Blind Luck for the win. Think her closing kick will be too much.

29 Oct 2010 8:46 PM
Mike Relva

SARATOGA AJ

When you say genius,thought you were talking about yourself. RA could've been in the mix if she were handled differently,instead of retired early. Last yr,the excuse from Jackson was plastic. Different track this year,but she's not around.

29 Oct 2010 8:52 PM
Mike Relva

RANAGULZION

I recall what you stated your "new name" will be if Zenyatta wins. Question? Will you step up to the plate like I did when I lost to you or will you pull a Draynay?

29 Oct 2010 9:17 PM
Deborah

Now it is Rogue Romance for the dirt in the juvenile!  Yes, I will still pick him even in dirt.  Son of Smarty Jones; a good win would do daddy right!  Give him a good send off to Pa. You go Rogue!!

29 Oct 2010 9:24 PM
pedigree shelly

       I'm very curious , Why doesn't Zenyatta wear a tongue tie ? Most of the time her tongue is hanging out before a race ! I'd think it would hamper her breathing during a race ! Does anyone know ?

29 Oct 2010 9:34 PM
Livesoutwest

Will take my shot with Rightly So in the F & M Sprint, a perfect 3 for 3 at the distance and hopefully peaking at the right time to wire the field.

29 Oct 2010 9:40 PM
sodapopkid

By the looks of this blog, the Zenyatta naysayers are getting scared.  Yes,   the big girl is gettting ready to rock  and roll down the stetch at Churchill Downs.

Just think,  next weekend she will show you naysayers what she really has got behind those unused gears of hers....

You are warned!!........

29 Oct 2010 10:47 PM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

“Obviously you aren't impressed with "Mo" but after the Juvenile you will be”

How can I be impressed when his only competition in the Champagne was the winner of maiden claiming event?

I just finished watching the Bourbon Stakes video and I am more convinced that Mo will be mowed down in the stretch. Rouge Romance won the Bourbon with a last to first move that only the exceptional ones can execute. His time under gentle urging is the second fastest for the event. It is clear he is not a turf horse base on his action galloping at the back of the field. Mo will not finish ahead of this colt, JB Thunder and the Godolphin colt. It appears he might not hit the board. The exotics will be great.

Jayjay,

Do you seriously expect CD not to seal the track if necessary to facilitate one horse?  Zenyatta must be accommodated at the expense of the other runners. Unbelievable!

JerseyBoy,

Thanks for the information. I doubt Vale Of York was on the 2009 list and he took down LAL and returned $76 to his backers. I mentioned Biondetti because he is undefeated and won the prep race Vale Of York lost heading into the BCJ. His pedigree suggests he will be better. He is a May foal beating older 2YO. These are the positive signs I look for. Remember LAL is a May foal that won 6 races heading into the BCJ. I would not worry because he is not listed. His connections chose the dirt race for juvenile colts for a reason.

Householder,

I am sure you mean she is the one to hold off. This filly is on RA like track hopping course. She has been to five or six different tracks. Her connection should have let her sit out the BC. She will not win because of her tough season. Nice filly but must be tired.

29 Oct 2010 11:15 PM
Johnny

Coldfact I do not take it serious quite the opposite.

No matter what happens on the 6th it has been a treat for me to watch such a great horse. She wil be my only single on my pick 6. Got a feeling regarding Sidneys Candy..

Is Gio Ponti for sure for the classic? He has never run on the dirt I believe..

Exacta Z/LAL

Haynesfield is your sleeper..

Just all come out of the races safe..

30 Oct 2010 12:41 AM
Windy City

What do you think of MURJAN in juv.? I just watched his races on youtube, the G1 wasn't very impressive (still very nice win); he wasn't responding until the last moment. But race against 3 year-olds?? Sounds pretty impressive... Is that common in Peru to race 2 year-old against older horses? I really like him...

Here is his last race, in case somebody is interested:

www.youtube.com/watch

30 Oct 2010 2:19 AM
Bellwether

WHEN TEN LB$ I$ A TON...BLIND LUCK FLY$ BABY...PERIOD...SHE WIN$ IT ALL!!!...ty...

30 Oct 2010 2:36 AM
Giddyup

Mike Relva - I don't believe there was ever any chance that RA and Z would meet. Think about it for a second. The sport is hurting and is desperate to attract new fans. As long as the rivalry between RA and Z was unresolved the interest could be maintained. The industry owes RA a huge debt for attracting fans in 2009. There is nothing puzzling about her retirement to me...she had to leave center stage so the spotlight could be focused on Z without distraction. The last thing the industry wanted was to risk tarnishing either of these great mares so anyone who ever thought RA and Z would hook up in the Classic was just fooling themselves.

30 Oct 2010 8:24 AM
Slew

Coldfacts: Seattle Slew in 1976 won the Eclipse for Best Two Year Old.  And that's a real fact...not and opinion.

30 Oct 2010 8:35 AM
Slew

To everyone who believes Espoir City is a turf horse, you should have read Jason's September blog:

"Considered the best dirt horse in Japan, Espoir City is a two-time group I winner, including the Japan Cup Dirt last year. He is two-for-two so far in 2010 and overall is 11-3-1 from 19 starts with earnings of more than $5.8 million. "

30 Oct 2010 8:45 AM
2:24

Coldfacts- have really enjoyed your posts.  Like JB's Thunder.  Disagree on Biondetti.  Vale of York was a synthetic fluke (and I had him to win for a nice payoff).  I don't think Godolphin pulls off another juvenile upset.

Looking forward to your posted picks.

30 Oct 2010 9:45 AM
jimthepimp

As I read everyones comments and opinions on the Classic, Im still a little worried that Zenyetta might not be quite as good as last years Zenyetta. It just keeps nagging at me. Most people think that Zenyetta will need to stay closer than normal to catch up with Blame, LAL or Quality Road at the end. I think that would be a big mistake as her advantage in this race is her ability to run a 23 second final quarter if she had too. CD has a very long stretch which should allow Mike Smith to wait on her. Her long stride and kick will get her to the winners circle. Sense she is related to "Street Sense" the CD track should be her favorite surface. Strictly from a betting standpoint I wonder if Zenyetta is falling out of form a little ( I know she looks great ). My concern is her last couple of races in which she only stays back 7 to 8 lengths and that concerns me. Watch her stretch finishes and they arent as impressive as her BCC by far, in the BBC you could tell she was just much the best long before she crossed the finish line. In her last couple of races where she has stayed closer your mind knows she is much the best but her running isnt as convincing. Yes she still has more down the stretch but she isnt running against Looking At Lucky or Blame in those races either. I dont know who will win the race anymore than anyone else but my opinion is if she is 12 to 15 lengths back at the half mile pole she will win the race. If she is 8 lengths back she will lose the race. My mind tells me that for whatever reason she wants to stay a little closer recently and that will be a big mistake in this race.

30 Oct 2010 9:54 AM
Tiznowbaby

2:24, Vale of York may have been a fluke, but I wouldn't put it down to synthetics. The Juve is regularly a "fluke" race. It rewards early maturing horses that won't go on at three. Arazi came off the European turf and won it. Look at Bertrando awkwardly gallumping along behind him. Bertrando matured nicely, Arazi never moved forward.

And there was Wilko, Action This Day, Johannesburg, Capote, Success Express,

30 Oct 2010 10:06 AM
Coldfacts

Slew,

Thanks. I did state in my post "subject to correction". That meant I was not sure. This meant 6 of the 7 colts that ran the Cahmpange in 1:34 and change went on to be Champion 2YO.

30 Oct 2010 10:28 AM
Trebloc

Draynay,  

Private jet and limo and staying in Lexington?   I was under the impression all the big shots were staying in Louisville. Ha!!

Looking forward for the entries and m/l odds to come out!    

My sons want to be the characters from THS for

Halloween!  Watch out for all the trick or treaters tomorrow night!    

30 Oct 2010 10:28 AM
TerriV

I have complete faith in Zenyatta.  19 times she has known exactly what she needed to do to cross that wire first.  Mike Smith doesn't need to figure out how to run the race; he just needs to trust Zenyatta.  And he always has; why would he change their relationship?  It works. She always reads her competition accurately and I believe this strong field will only provide her greater joy in rising to the challenge of showing them all who is the BOSS MARE.  Apparently she is in fighting condition and training agressively.  Barring the absolutely unforseen, why doubt her now.

Thrilled to see Rogue Romance in the Juv and crossed fingers for Awesome Gem in the Marathon.

30 Oct 2010 10:39 AM
Ted from LA

Well, it Scared Quality Road last year or made him horny. :)

I think it scared him.  I find it hard to believe Quality Road wanted to cover a hovering helicopter.

30 Oct 2010 10:52 AM
Coldfacts

2:24,

No even Arazi’s BCJ victory was as amazing as that of Vale Of York. I know I will be called crazy as usual. Here was a colt that was ridden by a jockey short on internal experience who was riding in the US for the first. He was probably riding on a synthetic track for the first time. VOY shipped in from Italy and was starting on a synthetic track for the first time. He almost dislodged his rider at the off but recovered to find a good position upfront on the rails. He came to top of the stretch in a challenging position in hand. He was briefly checked because Piscitilli cut him off. He was trapped behind Piscitilli as the closer covered any available ground to get out of his trapped position. His rider had him in a hold position. While he was in this hold position other horses and rider including LAL were in full flight. When room became available he had to check off two horses and bolt through what could only be described as a small crack and out kick LAL to the line. How he won that race remains a mystery. Only the brilliant ones overcome such adversity and win.  He should have been voted Champion 2YO for that performance. You have done a great disservice to a colt that won one of the most amazing BCJ by regarding him as a FLUKE. You are forgiven.

So you do not like Biondetti. Well is a bit of cold facts. He beat John Gosden's highly thought of $350,000 colt, Buthelezi at Newmarket. I bet you like Uncle Mo. Well let’s compare the two:

Uncle Mo – Undefeated; # of career victories (2) Graded Victories (1) Pedigree (Indian Charlie)

Biondetti. - Undefeated; # of career victories (3) Graded Victories (1) Pedigree (Bernardini)

Both colts have won at a mile. Biondetti’s graded victory was achieved on soft ground. He has won on different types of grounds and he is not a turf horse. He is a May foal so he is a baby. A versatile baby with a dirt pedigree who is winning races on all types of turf equals an abundance of class. This colt in his tree starts is more battle tested that UM. What is there not to like?

30 Oct 2010 11:12 AM
Coldfacts

Bellwether,

Before you get further fixated on Blind Luck, I beseech you to take a look at Its Team Time. My request might sound crazy as she was 9th in the Kentucky Oaks won by Blind Luck.  She entered the Oaks with not a lot of seasoning as she never raced at two. In addition to not having a lot of seasoning she is a late foal. (DOB:18th May) What has she done since the Oaks? She was 4th in the recently contested Juddmonte Spinster (GI). She had a rough trip in the stretch that severely hampered he chances. Before the Oaks this filly ran the eventual Oaks runner-up Evening Jewel very close in the Ashland. In fact she would have won that race if not for a bad trip. In the Juddmonte Spinster (GI) she came from last and had no shot of winning because of the stretch problems so she finished a troubled 4th. She is much improved and I believe if you like Blind Luck this filly will be the winner. I hope she draws off the rails.

Deborah,

I think Rouge Romance has a bigger chance of winning the BCJ than Uncle. I was totally impressed with his Bourbon victory. He took a lot of kick back in last position and past the leading pack in the stretch under minimum urging. His performance is the most impressive by a 2Yo to date. He looks nothing like Smart Jones. He is a monster.

30 Oct 2010 12:10 PM
Forbidden Apple

I like Fancy Point in the Juvenile F. Turf, she deserves a long look for win honors. Her victory in the P.G. Johnson was very impressive where she held off the late charge of Khatmanblu. In the Miss Grillo she went out way to fast on a soft turf and tired a bit. Given a firm turf and an early ship to Churchill, she could be a handful.

I'll take a Blame and Zenyatta exacta box in the classic. Blame is far better than his last race and only needs a faster pace to show his true brilliance.

The marathon is also interesting, Prince Will I Am is razor sharp right now and will be blazing to the wire.

Does anyone else like the Usual Q.T. in the mile?

30 Oct 2010 12:47 PM
Ranagulzion

COLDFACTS,

Quality Road not hitting the board and now Uncle Mo not hitting the board?  Calm down Bro. I think that you may be having another of those occasional crazy-logic moments which afflicted you at times during the last Triple Crown Trail.  I'll agree with you that some 2YOs are rapidly improving but they all have quite a chasm to cross to get to Uncle Mo's level right now.

MIKE RELVA

You can take me at my word.  I welcome Zenyatta to make a fool of me.

30 Oct 2010 2:04 PM
Harrison Bergeron

Hey Draynay!

How will I recognize you at the track?  Will you have your jet stocked with your signature energy drink?

I hope your boy QR doesn't freak in the gate so he can be tromped without excuses.

30 Oct 2010 2:07 PM
Karen in Texas

Really glad to see that Rogue Romance is in the Juvenile! I hope both he and JB's Thunder do well next week.

30 Oct 2010 3:26 PM
Forbidden Apple

I agree, Quality Road will not hit the board in the classic. He should run in the dirt mile where he belongs.

30 Oct 2010 3:42 PM
Paula Higgins

Jimthepimp, I get what you are saying and I have similar concerns. The only thing that makes me think we may be worrying for nothing is her competitiveness. It's like nothing I have ever seen. She may like running against the boys even more than the girls. It may really get her competitive juices going. Don't anyone tell me she doesn't know she is up against the boys when she faces them, she does. As far as how far back she should be to start her run, I think 15 is too far back, despite the long stretch. She will have to be closer than that. These colts have too much speed. But I do understand what you are saying. That she likes to be further back and that it really sets up that major run/stride and competitve juices.  But her long stride should make up the difference if she is no further than 10 off the lead. Someone who measures physical performance/stats just checked the angle of her stride and said it is exactly like Secretariats was. That is telling. I believe it. I believe Zenyatta will win this if she has a decent trip. It's going to come down to the trip.

Apparently, there is quite a discussion going on about HOTY among the sports writers out there. The usual supsects (Bossert, Crisp, Finley and our very own Jason:)) are saying she doesn't get it if she loses, no matter how much she loses by. Not everyone agrees with that, including Joe Drape of the NYT's). Go Joe and thank you! Gosh, I never thought I would be thanking the NYT's for anything.

Ted from LA, you got that right about a "hovering helicopter." Zenyatta is waaay too much woman for QR LOL. I vote for Sea The Stars.

30 Oct 2010 3:43 PM
Barnfour

Don't you guys realize DRAYNAY is never wrong?Quality Road will win by 15.

30 Oct 2010 4:02 PM
Giddyup

If Zenyatta doesn't leave the gate as favorite I will refund every losing ticket. The only way she doesn't draw the most money is if she shows up with 3 legs and a sumo wrestler in the stirrups. Nice to read that some British bookies are making LAL their favorite...they probably had Rooney as their choice for MVP at the soccer world cup too. LOL.

30 Oct 2010 4:13 PM
Draynay

Zenyatta will never pass LAL and neither one will pass Quality Road.

People thinking Zenyatta will suddenly beat males on dirt are crazy.  East Coast racing is the big leagues and Zenyatta has been playing in the plastic league in California.  BAT is your winner in the JUV.  Listen to me or you lose.

30 Oct 2010 4:18 PM
Draynay

I could land the plane in Louisville but I prefer a asphalt runway and they don't have one in Louisville. They do have a nice asphalt runway in Lexington and it makes for a nice smooth landing.  The drive over in the Maybach is nice and gives me time to read the paper without the press hounding me all the time.  Thanks for your concern Trebloc.

30 Oct 2010 4:21 PM
Saratoga AJ

I picked up a BC Racing Form Advance at the BC Seminar in the Nat'l Racing Museum today and took a closer look at that Japanese entry's past performances.

In a way, Espoir City looks like the poor man's version of Cigar pp wise. His first 7 races were on the turf since he was bred that way. Mediocre result...1-2-1 in 7 starts. Then he switched to dirt and the light bulb went on. 10 wins in 13 starts. And it should be pointed out he has never lost on a dirt track listed as fast...7 for 7. (3 for 6 on good or wet tracks).

Don't know how he will fare against this great field, but one thing is for sure. He's probably the best horse ever sent here for the BC races from Japan.

Mike Relva:

Me a genius? lol. Thanks for the compliment...but being the modest type I'd say I'm just a part time handicapper trying to make a few bucks once in a while. :)

30 Oct 2010 4:23 PM
Livesoutwest

Early workout reports I've heard:

Worked great: Zenyatta, Blind Luck.

Worked poorly: Switch.

Worked too fast: Smiling Tiger

Mixed signals: Lookin At Lucky

Reportedly his work was scheduled to be only five furlongs, but the work partner got away and so they extended it another furlong, at which point he finally turned on the jets and flew.  Maybe for a mile and a quarter race that's a good thing, but it can't be altogether comfortable that he responded insufficiently when he was initially asked.

30 Oct 2010 4:35 PM
Meydan Rocks!

SPEAKING OF FAVORITES...

HORSE RACING SIMULATION -> FANTASY RACE

1 mile 3/16 on a FAST TRACK at PIMLICO

www.ntra.com/.../NDY4MDQ=

Ruffian

Zenyatta

Rachel Alexandra

Smarty Jones

Cigar

Citation

Big Brown

Barbaro

Sea Biscuit

Affirmed

30 Oct 2010 4:50 PM
MonicaV

I think the BCJ will be an upset.  Just a feeling.  As for the Classic, I think the Japanese horse may be a big factor.  I just watched his Japan Dirt Cup and he was amazing.  He races close to the front and then just kicks away from the rest of the field.  Lots of speed at the end. I don't see him getting hooked up in a speed dual with QR.  He'll sit off him.  I wouldn't discount him.  It could be anyone's race as far as I can see and that makes it so interesting.  I can't wait!

30 Oct 2010 4:51 PM
Ranagulzion

CARLOS IN CALI & COLDFACTS,

Let me remind you guys that Quality Road has never finished off the board in his career.  Do you really think that is going to happen in his last hurah on the track?  Mark my words, this crackerjack is going to stamp his authority on this BCC field.  The only horse I regard as his main danger is Haynesfield.  They both have the same running style, relentless high cruising speed and once they hit the front or are roused for the final drive there is no backing up.  There may be quite a few front running/stalking types like Espoir City, First Dude, Morning Line and Etched in the race but none of these will be able to sustain the effort if they attempt to match strides with Quality Road or Haynesfield.  Espoir City and First Dude are perhaps the most unpredictable of that lot but they will really have to produce career best efforts to hang around up the stretch if they contest the early pace.  Bear in mind that big bucks are on offer for the minor placings therefore the connections will frown upon any suicidal pace tactics by the jockeys. This is not the Kentucky Derby.  The psychological approach to this race is quite different.  Coldfacts, as one who references the historical records/statistics the Ghostzapper-Roses In May 2004 BCC should be fresh in your mind.  I see this race setting up similarly, with Quality Road and Haynesfield as the principals in 2010.  Think on these things Pals.

CARLOS, that Juvenile Fillies race could be one of the most competitive.  Tell a Kelly, Awesome Feather and AZ Warrior are very good fillies IMO. Hard to chose between them.

30 Oct 2010 5:01 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

Have you ever landed your plane on polytrack? lol

30 Oct 2010 5:26 PM
Mike Relva

FORBIDDEN APPLE

Exactly.

30 Oct 2010 5:29 PM
Mike Relva

FORBIDDEN APPLE

Exactly.

30 Oct 2010 5:29 PM
Paula Higgins

Draynay, I am going to alert Entertainment Tonite so they can interview you when Zenny wins :). Get your stories ready. Here are some possibilities:

Quality Road took one look at Zenyatta and said "Here we go again, nothing doing, I know an Amazon when I see one, and she's an Amazon" and bolted for the stalls.

Espoir City said he likes Japanese girls better, they aren't competitve with their men.

Blame and Looking At Lucky said they knew if they were to have any chance with Zenny down the road, they better not try to beat her. They both like older women.

Gio Ponti said "been there done that."

Haynesfield said "I never even saw her. Did she beat me? She was faster than Draynay's jet.

30 Oct 2010 5:36 PM
Draynay

I can't wait to hear all the Zenyatta excuses.  She is not fast enough for the boys and never has been.  Last year they didn't take to the track so it looked like Zenyatta was closing fast when it was a bunch of horse having trouble with the track.  This time she will close on nothing and just look overmatched.  She WILL NEVER PASS LAL.

30 Oct 2010 6:22 PM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

QR last race was not impressive by his standards and does not give me much confidence. I had an $800 pick three closing with him and I could not watch the race. That said he came home for me. The horse I really like is Etched. If it rains I will like him even more. He is an unknown 5YO with 7 victories.  I know the Meadowland track is a speedway but he was the only horse in the Meadowland Cup to sit in the following fraction 23.01, 46.40, 1:10.01, 1:33.4, 1.45.4. The 1:33.4 and 1:45.4 were set by him. Let’s add 2 seconds to the mile and nine furlongs time and 1:35 &1:47 is similar to the times QR has run for 9F setting hid own fractions. Etched was collared by two horses at the top of the stretch and he accelerated away that was after 6F in 1:10.01 The acceleration when was similar to when Musket Man joined him in the Monmouth Cup S. (G2,9F) I firmly believed this horse is effective at 10F. He has the speed track QR and Haynesfield. There is not much media surrounding this horse and he is probably training at Godolphin’s Saratoga synthetic training track. This horse has a lot of courage and determination. His mother won an amazing distaff and I think he is a genuine outsider.  I also like Its tea Time Air SUPPORT & New Norman. In the case of Its Tea Time and New Normal their pedigrees reflect inbreeding to siblings. I just those that types of pedigree.

30 Oct 2010 6:23 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       Coldfacts , I like your facts on the BC Juvenile ! I like Biondetti alot but , He might fit better in the Juvenile Turf ?

30 Oct 2010 6:42 PM
Paula Higgins

I know why Switch worked poorly. One word: Zenyatta. Everytime one of these fillys goes up against her, they get burned out afterwards.

30 Oct 2010 6:46 PM
JerseyBoy

The DRF online shows the Breeders' Cup fields with the "Post#" for each horse. Can this be right? If these will be the relative Post Positions, then a lot of favored horses are in big trouble.

30 Oct 2010 7:01 PM
2:24

Coldfacts:  I'm lukewarm towards Uncle Mo.  I like JB's Thunder.

30 Oct 2010 8:16 PM
Paula Higgins

Draynay, you are wrong. Go look at the BCC's final times since its inception. She was right there in terms of times last year in the BCC and better than some of the other winners. There is no one in the race this year that is so much better than the other BCC winners from the past. We know she likes dirt and may in fact be better on it. So your contention that she has no chance of staying with the dirt horses is just plain wrong. You are also making the assumption that all the horses in the BCC last year hated the fake stuff. Statistically that is unlikely. It is an illogical assumption, even allowing for the fact that horses prefer to transition from synthetics to dirt, rather than the reverse. Her win last year was legitimate and not the result of a lucky set of circumstances.

31 Oct 2010 1:50 AM
JerseyBoy

Churchill Downs entries currently show Quality Road in post 3, Haynesfield in 10 and Zenyatta in 14.

Looks like John Velasquez in cruise control there.

Uncle Mo is in Post 10. Looks like big trouble.

31 Oct 2010 8:23 AM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 How much do you let final works affect your handicapping process? I have always felt it was a very important tool and was curious as to what you think about them from a handicapping point of view.

 I had said earlier that Midday was going to be a single for me, but after watching Red Desire's final tune-up, I won't leave her off my tickets. Switch struggled with the surface IMO and is now a compete toss for me. She didn't like dirt the first time she ran on it and I don't think anything has changed.

31 Oct 2010 10:06 AM
Harrison Bergeron

Barnfour,  Good to see you posting here, but have you been drinking the Draynay Kool Aid? (energy drink) Watch out he may ask you if you want to ride in his Maybach.

Draynay, don't forget to tip the workers at LEX, they expect to be rewarded well from someone of your stature.  Are you taking the Speckledpuppy with you?  How 'bout Ms. Blueshoes?

Enjoy your visit to "loovl", because you'll be scampering back with your tail between your legs to Florida, Alabama, Ohio, Jersey,or wherever you hang your hat these days.

31 Oct 2010 11:09 AM
Footlick

Paula- You are valiant.  But you are letting yourself be drawn into the Draynay web of attention!!

31 Oct 2010 11:20 AM
sherpa

Hi Jason.

You & Tom did well to pick Successful Dan for the Fayette on THS.  I was a little surprised that he was the post-time favorite in that field ... guess the fans agreed you don't want to bet against Charlie Lopresti at KEE this meet!

The Lopresti/Morton Fink connection is one of the nicest stories of the year imo, the kind of story that fans love.  Maybe you could do an interview?  

Mr. Fink, age 81, has only ONE broodmare, kept from his partnership's 1993 dispersal. She is named for his granddaughter, Lisa Danielle, and she has rewarded him with 4yo Successful Dan (by Successful Appeal) and 3yo Wise Dan (by Wiseman's Ferry), who is headed for the BC.  Now she's in foal to City Zip.

Lopresti's hard work - & Mr. Fink's faith in him - really paid off this year with possibly more to come.  They represent the Guts of the Sport.

31 Oct 2010 11:31 AM
fanofallthree

Marathon - Prince Will I Am

Juv.Fillies Turf - Winter Memories

F&M Sprint - Champagne D'Oro

Juv.Fillies - AZ Warrior & R Heat Lightning

Ladies Classic - Havre de Grace

Juv. Turf - Rogue Romance (if he runs in this race)  If not, Madman Diaries

Sprint - He had a bad work yesterday, but I still am going with Atta Boy Roy

Turf Sprint - Silver Timber

Juvenile - Uncle Mo

Mile - Goldikova

Dirt Mile - Here Comes Ben

Turf - Al Khali

Classic - Zenyatta

There will be some exacta and tri-fecta box wagerings, but these are my favorites.

31 Oct 2010 12:06 PM
Coldfacts

Paula Higgins;

BCC @ Churchill Downs:

2006 – Invasor : 23.13,46.60,1:11.11,1:36.59  (2:02.18)

2000 – Tiznow : 23.52,47.55,1:12.01,1:36.08  (2:00.75)

1998 – Awesome Again: 23.56, 47.69, 1:12.09, 1:37.34 (2:02.16)*

1994 – Concern : 22.78,46.70,1:11.29,1:36.65  (2:02.41)

1991 -  Black Tie Affair: 24/1,48/2,1:12/3,1:38  (2:02/4)

1988 – Alysheba 23/3,47/4,1:12/2,1:38/3 (2:02/4)  (2:04.80) Off track

BCC @ Santa Anita:

2009 – Zenyatta: 24.16,47.88,1:11.88,1:36.16  (2:00.62)

2008 – Ravens Pass: 23.77,47.60,1:11.64,1:35.48  (1:59.27)

2003 – Pleasantly Perfect: 22.79,46.35,1:10.32,1:34.32  (1:59.88)

1993 – Arcangues: 23.28,46.91,1:11.24,1:36.01  (2:00.83)

1986 – Skywealker: : 22/3,46,1:10/1,1:34/3  (2:00/2)

Tiznow holds the fastest BCC time for CD. Pleasantly Perfect holds the fastest time on dirt at SA. The difference between the times for the two tracks is about a second faster. All the BCC times for SA are faster than CD.  If Zenyatta is able to record two minutes and fraction she should win. If the pace is slow she has absolutely no chance. WTW winner Black Tie Affair controlled the pace on the lead to the point where he ran the slowest mile split at CD of 1:38 flat. Zenyatta needs a 1:36 mile to win. If the likes of Quality Road, Haynesfield and Etched are allowed to coast along at 1:13, 1:37 her late closing kick will be nullified. Concern was a last to first winner but he benefited from a 22.78 first quarter. That said Awesome Again surprisingly closed from 2nd to last to win with 1:37.34 mile split. The dangers to the big mare – LAL, Etched & Blame.  

31 Oct 2010 12:33 PM
Saratoga AJ

I analyzed the starting points of all the BC races. It should be noted that three races start close to the first turn at Churchill. The BC Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies and Filly and Mare Turf. The outside posts will spell some trouble in these three races.

31 Oct 2010 12:46 PM
Tiznowbaby

Goldi and Workforce are here, everyone is healthy and working well. I'm so excited. My fingers are crossed for a fantastic breeders cup.

31 Oct 2010 1:23 PM
Draynay

Zenyatta won last year because other horses were spinning their wheels on that poly garbage.  She is going to be running on dirt facing very good males.  She doesn't have a chance. Pletcher did all he could to tell you the truth. QR is a monster and will not be beat.

31 Oct 2010 2:08 PM
Zookeeper

JerseyBoy,

The post positions have NOT been drawn yet. The pre-entries are listed in alphabetical order until next week.

31 Oct 2010 2:11 PM
Monty

In the "Classic" I think the "Queen" will go off at 3/1 or 5/2 that's value friends for this superhorse, so take it & collect ! There are too many other good horses, that in a perfect world could win, so I doubt Zenyatta's odd's will drop any lower than 3/1 or 5/2, that's a "steal", handicappers, go for it !!! Take Gio Ponti across the board, best "valued" horse all weekend, that has a good chance to beat Goldi, just hope he goes in the turf ?

31 Oct 2010 2:12 PM
Monty

Draynay get a life ! Q.Road will go backwards the last 1/8 of a mile,that long, long, stretch at Churchill will "do in" all the boys, as the Queen flies by, on her own "jet engines" !  GO ZENYATTA

31 Oct 2010 2:54 PM
Meydan Rocks!

Speaking of favorites yet again:

I guess in a way, we may have been unfair to the so-called Zenyatta bashers.

And this is why I say this...

First and foremost, her body of work on dirt is very small.  And then the synthetic tracks on which she has performed are too few in terms of #s needed to compare her performances in relation to performances similar tracks elsewhere.  

Those “similar” tracks are non existent.

This obviously makes it even tougher to gain a proper sampling and/or perspective on what the depth of her physical talent on dirt truly truly is.

Heck, she may be the best thing since sliced bread on dirt but it’s not a universally proven fact (even though that premise may well be true).

Even if she wins convincingly on Saturday, we’ll probably never truly know how good she could have been or is.

That being said, we have relegate that unknown to…

THE GOLDEN GOOSE SCENARIO.

If she had been “tested” and taken to the proverbial well more like most people wanted to see during this past year,  would she have been around to compete on the highest stage yet again?

Who knows for sure?

31 Oct 2010 4:23 PM
jimbranch

Has Espoir City gone 1 1/4?  Also, have all of the Classic contenders at least trained or raced under the lights?

31 Oct 2010 4:35 PM
Draynay

Not a drop of rain will fall between now and Saturday in Louisville.  That means we will have a fast dry track and the question is not if Quality Road will win the question is how much will he win by.  Churchill can be very fast and horses with speed have a strong advantage on a nice fast track.  Quality Road by 3 lengths.

31 Oct 2010 4:51 PM
1800s

Hey Jerseyboy, Relax the official Post Position draw is on Tuesday.

those on drf are simulated.

look up the info for the official breederscup schedule. youll find it

31 Oct 2010 4:59 PM
Tom FV

It's really getting exciting now.

I thought some works looked great but the Japanese horse really didn't look impressive to me. I'd be worried if I was in that contingent.

It will be interesting to see how the youngsters handle the hooplah and crowds.

31 Oct 2010 8:17 PM
jayjay

Draynay : You need to start picking winners, the year is almost over LOL.

I think I speak for everyone when I say, you can just pick the whole field except Zenyatta.  At least you have a chance of picking ONE winner this year. LOL

01 Nov 2010 12:04 AM
jayjay

The only way a speed horse can win the Classic is when they are left alone up front.  With all these speed horses, the pace will be honest and they will kill each other up there.  I say the horse that sets the pace will not last before the 3/4 call.

We'll see who has the best late kick with the LONGGGGGGGGG Churchill Downs stretch :)

I say 1:58 and change, starting to move around the field just before the back turn and be ahead by 7 lengths at the top of the stretch pulling away to win by 15.   Can't wait to see the post position draw, let's see how the frontrunners do with their draw, it's very important for them to get a good draw otherwise they're dead from the start.

01 Nov 2010 12:21 AM
jayjay

Ranagulzion and Draynay : Bet the farm on Quality Road, I mean literally, sell everything you have and invest it on QR.  I prefer Zen at 4-1 or higher :)

01 Nov 2010 12:31 AM
Forbidden Apple

Draynay, you really should watch the replay of the 2010 Whitney. Your beloved Quarter Crack Road was beaten by Blame while Gomez was only using a hand ride to win it. And the final time and competition in the Woodward are completely laughable. After facing Etched, Haynesfield, and Espoir City early, Q.R. will be gasping for air as Blame and Zenyatta come roaring by!

Does anyone know if Fancy Point is in Kentucky now?

Tizway and Here Comes Ben are training very well for the dirt mile.

01 Nov 2010 8:40 AM
Slew

Red Desire looked awesome working out...Espoir City...not so much.  Haynesfield looked awfully good in his work; Fly Down trotted with his head so low, he nearly kicked himself in the face.  QR and First Dude looked sharp.  Rose Catherine had a beautiful work, and remains a favorite of mine.  "60 Minutes" did a nice feature on Zen.  

01 Nov 2010 8:47 AM
Billy's Empire

Looks like it is going to be colder than expected this weekend. High of 46-48 on Fri and Sat. Euro's will love the weather, the Cali horses not so much. Good to see Blame this morning. He looks great, and he is ready to roll.

01 Nov 2010 9:51 AM
screen prospect

Will we see track records fall? I wouldnt expect to see the BCC under 2:01.00 . If the turf is firm Goldi may break a t/r.

01 Nov 2010 9:56 AM
Meydan Rocks!

HOLLYWOOD PARK'S DIRT-Y LITTLE SECRET...

Zenyatta Training On The Dirt Training Track:

www.youtube.com/watch

01 Nov 2010 10:37 AM
Tom FV

Draynay a bon vivant jetsetter? Now a Meteorologist?

I'd say all are baloney.

Chance of snow on Thursday night, Rain/snow on Friday and temps dropping to a high in the 40's on Friday, guess we'll see if the predicted front moves in.

However, dry track benefits more than just Quality Road. As several have pointed out over and over again.

Historically speaking the odds aren't favorable for Todd,three wins in 66 Cup starters and 0 for 17 at CD last BC. In Todd's own words, "obviously disappointing".

01 Nov 2010 11:02 AM
rolo

also watch out fort FIRST DUDE as 2nd time with nerw rider will set OFF THE PACE  and put in a a run in stretch.

01 Nov 2010 12:45 PM
JC

Some great comments being posted on many horses.

Has anyone heard or read anything on Fly Down? I really like him to come late and pick up a piece of the tri at 20-1 in the Classic along with Zenyatta, LAL and Blame for a 4-horse box. I haven't heard how he's doing or training.

Also LOVE Crown of Thorns in the Dirt Mile.

01 Nov 2010 12:54 PM
CURLINLOVER

I will be rooting for Lookin at Lucky despite being a great fan of Zenyatta! It would be great for the Queen to win this one again and her 20th in a row to close out her career! I just don't see it happening! As for QR, whom I always thought was a good horse, I choose to annoy Draynay by not rooting for him! The Draynay curse if you wish! i'm really torn between Zen and LAL; I'll be happy if either wins! Even happier if all horses in all races come out of it whole! So, Draynay, I expect you to eat crow again!!! You are so annoying with your "know-it-all" attitude!

Go LAL!                    

01 Nov 2010 1:04 PM
OLD TIMER

60 Minutes had a great piece on Zenyatta this Sunday night. However it always makes me nervous when they do that, especially right before the race. So the question is: which is the bigger jinx, the Zenyatta TV piece or the Draynay curse? :)

01 Nov 2010 1:24 PM
Pedigree Shelly

     I truly pray that Mike keeps Zenyatta a little closer to the pace this time ! She's not running against no name stakes horses in this race !!! Please let her really run her heart out and no more Heart Attack finishes ! Let her win by five :)

01 Nov 2010 6:34 PM
Pedigree Shelly

     I truly pray that Mike keeps Zenyatta a little closer to the pace this time ! She's not running against no name stakes horses in this race !!! Please let her really run her heart out and no more Heart Attack finishes ! Let her win by five :)

01 Nov 2010 6:57 PM
Matthew W

Cali coming East with as strong a roadie contingent as they've ever had! Classic? Saw their works--It's Zenyatta/Lookin At Lucky in The Classic, the others are playin' for third! Take that to the bank--but I will also include Haynesfield--if he goes (and he will!) and Quality lays off (and they will!), then the NY Bred looks tough on top, no?...but Big Z and little ol Lucky--those are the likely one/two....Sprint, you say?...I'm playin' Smiling Tiger/Russell--stalks/pounces/opens/holds---a true six fur hoss! Turf Sprint? It's Unzip Me and she'll air, me lads! On top, and boxing with Rose Catherine, the Pletcher filly....dirt mile? Crown Of Thorns, on top, another Cali horse!...Mile? The ONLY horse with a chance against Goldikova is The Usual QT---box them and play QT on TOP!...Juvy?...Box Uncle Mo and Jaycito--the improving (rapidly!) Westerner--box them and Jaycito, on top, to make Uncle Mo look more like Uncle Joe, from Petticoat Junction!...Turf Fillies?..OK, Midday looks double tough...why not box with the Cali 3yold filly...Harmonious...Ladies Classic? Well, we all know who I'll be rooting for, the Cali filly, little thick thing, slowish working...Blind Luck?...haha...and filly sprint? Switch is the horse to beat, another cali horse--in other words, some real shooters--also love some New Yorkers, like Haynesfield, who is no fluke, he's for real and he's also the X factor--if he goes, he'll go out fast--but if he is all alone on the lead, he will get stronger as the race gets longer! Believe me when I say this: Zenyatta and Lookin At Lucky are ready to rumble--Smith thinks she's sitting on a great run--this might very well be something special in the annals of racing/sports history--no one really knows, but Zenyatta very well might run some kind of blow out performance over dirt--that would only happen if they go with Haynesfield--if they do not, my Haynesfield/Lucky/Big Z box will look pretty good....otherwise, with just an average pace, I think it will be Zenyatta, I think they're primed for the biggest and best race--#20, no reason to not think so, they've been right so many times--there's quality pace/Quality Road, Haynesfield...and strong finishers, Blame, Lookin At Lucky, Zenyatta--I'll take a straight, Big Z/Lucky exacta, I'm goin in strong for Cali--I think they're that strong this year! Four Cali fillies: Blind Luck, Zenyatta, Unzip Me, Switch--I like them all, on top--I get to root for horses I'd be rooting for, anyway! Same with Smiling Tiger, and her NW connections (Wash bred/SW dam), and Russell Baze seeking the big win...(he's never had)..I get to play him/root for him/and 5-1 odds, thank you very much! Unzip Me will be, at the top of the lane, on or near the lead, she'll un leash hell on them, and leave them gasping for straws at the 1/8 pole, holding all of them at bay, the Cali bred filly!....my other NY horse whom I like is Winchester, he's in tough but I'll include him with those Arc guys...

01 Nov 2010 7:55 PM
Zen's Auntie

Well it seems Tem Gio feels like its best to face Goldi than QR BLAME LAL and Z.  I think they are smart as he probably would even be out of the minor placings over dirt in this situation. I see him 2nd or perhaps 3rd to Goldikova in a neck battle with Paco

01 Nov 2010 9:28 PM
Paula Higgins

Footlick, thank you for the compliment and you are right about the other.

Coldfacts, thank you for listing the times and for your thoughts. I get what you are saying. The pace should be fast though, right??

Look, I don't know whether Zenyatta is going to win. She is up against it. I know that. But if there is any mare in modern times who could win it, it is Zenyatta. Goldikova couldn't do the distance. I think if the word "valiant" applies to any creature, great or small, it applies to Zenyatta. She has heart and courage, and I am praying she will find that gear we have never seen before.

01 Nov 2010 10:10 PM
jayjay

YESSSSS!!! WE ARE THE CHAMPS!!!!!

Jason : You were half right, they went down in 5!

01 Nov 2010 10:37 PM
thomas

Yes QR is the fastest horse in the race but does he have the stamina? thats is the question with him.

ive stuck with blame for a while and im not leaving yet.

01 Nov 2010 11:30 PM
Coldfacts

Jason,

You could not have selected a more appropriate title for your blog. I was checking the winner of all the BC races the last time the championships were contested at CD. Subject to correction, there was only one winning favorite of the eight races contested. If history repeats itself were all in for two long days. There were no winning favorites on the male side. The biggest potential favorite on the male side is projected to be Uncle Mo. For those who do not like him to win like myself, we are in a strong position. The one favorite to win was the brilliant mare Quija Board. The Zenyatta fans are in a strong position.  Maybe I should state that the Goldi fans are in a strong position.

If favorites were hard to identify before this revelation then the focus should not be on them.

01 Nov 2010 11:47 PM
i tell it like i see it

Very telling that the connections of Gio Ponti will duck Zenyatta to face Goldikova. She just keeps scaring them away like she has all year. Even as she races facing her biggest test past her prime she still scares them off. Can't blame her for running in those G1's when the others were afraid to show up. Go Zenyatta!!

02 Nov 2010 9:21 AM
Zen's Auntie

A little tidbit – now, the top three Beyer speed figure earning 3 year olds are either retired to stud or on extended layoff  due to injury.  Eskendereya, Concord Point and Discreetely Mine.  1st and 3rd trained by Pletcher… Hmmm.  

02 Nov 2010 10:01 AM
2:24

Churchill does have a long stretch.  However, my memory of the Derby is that very rarely are horses passed in the deep stretch (Giacomo's Derby obviously is the exception).  It seems to me that if you want to win at 10 furlongs at Churchill, you make your move around the turn and better be breaking for the lead at the eighth pole.  If Quality Road is sitting off the pace in 3rd or 4th position (and I think he will be) and makes a move around the turn, he may be too far clear for the likes of Blame and Zenyatta to catch him.  

10 furlongs at Churchill with a 14 horse field is a jockey's race.  Blame, Zenyatta and Quality Road all have great jockeys.  For Zenyatta's sake, I hope that Mike Smith doesn't have her as far back as Giacomo because I don't think this race will fall apart like that one did.  If Zenyatta or Blame are within 4 lengths of QR at the end of the turn, the game is on.  If QR is up by more than 4, then in the immortal words of Nino Brown, "See ya, and I wouldn't wanna be ya."

02 Nov 2010 10:08 AM
-Keelerman

If anyone wants to watch the Breeders' Cup post positions draw, you can see it live on www.breederscup360.com. Here is the exact link:

www.breederscup360.com/2010-breeders-cup-draw

-Keelerman

02 Nov 2010 11:32 AM
-Keelerman

To everyone;

Excluding the Classic, which race are you looking forward to the most? I'm eagerly anticipating the Marathon. I've always enjoyed watching really long races and it's going to be fun seeing Awesome Gem take a shot at fourteen furlongs.

-Keelerman

02 Nov 2010 11:36 AM
Pedigree Ann

Coldfacts - 'freshness' as a quality of a racehorse is overrated. It may work in sprints, but the longer you go the more fitness you need. And believe it or not, some horses thrive with 'tough' racing rather than getting worn out. Don't swallow the Sheets guys' Kool-Aid.

Windy City - in South America, the seasons are reversed and spring, the foaling season, is August to November. Any horse foaled after July 1, 2007, but before June 30, 2008, is considered a 3yo in Peru, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, and Uruguay, but not Venezuela, which is north of the equator. So a North American foal who arrived in say March 2008 is officially a 3yo down there, while still a 2yo up here. Okay? Clear?

Paula - "Espoir City said he likes Japanese girls better, they aren't competitve with their men." Really? The big autumn wfa race in Japan just last weekend, the Emperor's Cup, was won by a 4yo filly named Buena Vista. Top fillies and mares run in their big races all the time. In 2008, females ran 1-2 in the autumn Emperor's Cup, won by the great mare Vodka, who also won the Japan Derby as a 3yo.

Jimbranch - I hadn't realized that the Japan Cup dirt had been reduced in length in 2008; I remembered it from its 2100m (10.5f) days. So it does look like he hasn't gone 10f yet. Although his pedigree says it shouldn't be a problem - both grandsires have sired multiple Japan Derby (2400m=12f) winners.

02 Nov 2010 11:53 AM
Billy's Empire

CD better start saturating the turf course. It would suck if Workforce scratched. Midday looked great this morning.

02 Nov 2010 1:02 PM
Johnny

Draynay;

Looks like your first prediction did not turn out.

She arrived in Louisville..

Draynay 0-1 Z 19-0

LOL

Having some fun

Next Drayray prediction she does not make the starting gate..

Then the last she finishes 3rd..

Lets see how the great RayRay makes out..

Got my seat at the Bellagio all ready.

02 Nov 2010 1:04 PM
Paula Higgins

2:24 ITA with you. She has to be within 4 of QR, LAL And Blame and be moving fast around that last turn or immediately thereafter. Mike knows this. But her stride is huge and that is her ace in the hole. I also know they will be gunning for her, Mike is going to have ride the race of his life.

02 Nov 2010 1:11 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

Just so I'm clear,all this childish neg. trash you continually post(like a five yr old seeking attention) are you trying to convince us or yourself? Just asking since people that ARE REALLY IN THE MIX like Baffert stating that Zenyatta"gives him goosebumps" when she runs. So,he wouldn't have any knowledge on greatness right?

02 Nov 2010 1:19 PM
Householder

It's a one mile oval.  QR is not going to know what to make of it and will run off like Careless Jewel.  "Quality Road is now shortening his stride."  So much for sweeping wide turns that extend for ever.

Another horse that has never been off the board is Blind Luck.  2 million in earnings.  Your now betting she's tired?  It's your money.  Not to sure where Evening Jewel is going but she's right there with Blind Luck on the dirt.  On turf she is even better.

"She's ready."  (Mike Smith 60 Minutes).  

02 Nov 2010 2:34 PM
Householder

Now we know why Baffert takes a walk down to the paddock every time Zenyatta runs.  Does he have a "game plan" for Lucky?  I don't see this being any different than the Kentucky Derby or his Santa Anita Derby run.  He's pretty unidimensional and needs to be placed appropriately.  He either goes wide with Zenyatta or gets bounced around behind tiring horses down the stretch which he hates just as much as the rail. "I looked up and thought what the hell is he doing on the rail" (Baffert commenting on Santa Anita Derby loss).  He certainly is the x factor at a slight weight break and 3 year olds have done well in this one. He certainly will get the distance and has a run over Churchill.   Much to like about the Smartstrike colt.  Could be HOY off a win.  

02 Nov 2010 2:44 PM
Livesoutwest

Ouch, the rail draw really hurts Quality Road's chances for the win.  He'll be forced to go early.  By contrast, Zenyatta and Haynesfield, the two I give the best chance to win, drew PERFECTLY (posts 8 & 3 respectively) for their style.  I think those two are your exacta box/trifecta keys, with more on Zenyatta in the win slot.  I think Lookin At Lucky is most likely to complete the trifecta.  I would be surprised if he outkicks Zenyatta though.

02 Nov 2010 2:54 PM
Draynay

Reporter: Mr Pletcher Zenyatta has been put up at 8 to 5 and Quality Road is 5 to 1 and comment?

Pletcher: Catching him (QR) won't be like catching Switch.

Jason, I am still laughing at that one.  Catching QR is not something any horse looks forward to because on dirt it almost NEVER happens.  Blame and the rest won't be getting 5 lbs.  Quality Road is on the rail and gone in the Classic. Everyone is running for 2nd.

02 Nov 2010 4:43 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

As always you ignore facts. Zenyatta ran down a horse HALF HER AGE that had defeated Blind Luck!

02 Nov 2010 6:25 PM
Householder

Better QR on the rail than Lookin at Lucky.  From 12 he just drops in a little ahead of the 8 horse.  Look for Zenyatta to pull herself to within 2 of Lookin at Lucky at the top of the stretch both having to go wide.  Then it is just wait time for QR to quit, and holding off Blame if he can close into the soft fractions QR will be setting.  Zenyatta will just flat out out run Lookin at Lucky the last 16th just like Ice Box did.  Game...set...match.

02 Nov 2010 7:47 PM
In aint easy being good!

Mike Relva you ready for the Haynesfield show?? All this horse does is win! Love Quality Road but the long layoff and spot 1 and distance limitations equals doom.

Haynesfield is your winner! Quick question how many pound wieght break do the 3 year old get in the classic??

02 Nov 2010 7:56 PM
Pedigree Shelly

        Jason , I want to apologize for my computer ! Every time I hit submit, my blog comes up twice :( Maybe Santa will bring me a new laptop for X-mas :)

02 Nov 2010 10:25 PM
Tom FV

Draynay, do voices whisper this nonsense into your ear?

More along the lines of:

"Thus far it's been impossible to beat her. We're hoping a dirt track will help us," Pletcher said. "You have to get a little bit lucky and have a good trip."

Or this: “Obviously that wasn’t the post position we were hoping for...We have to get position leaving the gate. I’m hoping someone shows enough initiative that we can follow them."

The comment you made? Sure.....

02 Nov 2010 11:25 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Keelerman

  Dirt mile, then juvenile, then mile turf in that order.

Zen's Auntie

   I see it as Pletcher catches injuries early before they are devastating, including Super Saver.

jayjay

  He must of meant Giants in five. Probably a bureaucratic snafu.

03 Nov 2010 12:35 AM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

May I add the Ladies Classic to your list? I think this will be an awesome race also. :)

03 Nov 2010 2:12 PM
Monty

Quality Road will "back up" Sat. at the 1 1/8 pole as Zenyatta flies by, SEE YA !

03 Nov 2010 2:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

  This is the most competitive BC in memory with many great races. The Ladies Classic is one, and I'm loving the F&M sprint. It sure is fun to study the pps !!!!! I do wish the Marathon wasn't called a marathon and was at 1 1/2, The Belmont Stakes distance. 1 3/4 on dirt is not really representative of American dirt races. Neither is 1 1/2 but at least The Belmont Stakes is a good barometer, and a big G1. I didn't realize how competive these races were until I really started studying. Wow. Nice BC. I'm only half way through Friday, the first time through. A long ways to go. Whoa nellie !!!!

03 Nov 2010 8:10 PM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

I hope you come up with some winners. My brain is scrambled right now, I have to stop and start again tomorrow. :-\

03 Nov 2010 10:24 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

   I have a bunch of winners, until they race.

04 Nov 2010 1:37 PM

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