So You Think, Dude

The more you study the past performances of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) the more scenarios you find. We’re going to concentrate on two horses who we find intriguing in regard to the tactics they should or could employ.

Let’s start first with the pace, and even with the loss of Tizway, the pace on paper looks to be strong and contentious. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the latter. If you’re riding Game On Dude, what do you do to avoid getting hooked up in a speed duel with Uncle Mo and To Honor and Serve, and to a lesser extent your own stablemate Prayer For Relief?

Uncle Mo’s ability to get a mile and a quarter at this stage of his career, especially coming off only two one-turn races, has been questioned by many and it is assumed his connections would prefer to see him sit off the pace and save as much as possible. To Honor and Serve showed in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) that those tactics suit him as well. The last thing either one wants is to lock horns with Game On Dude, who has proven on several occasions to be a fierce competitor when his blood is up. He likes to play rough and doesn’t give up easily. Look at him as your typical alley fighter who will kick, claw, and bite, and if you choose to fight him, you do so at your own risk.

So, with all that in mind, the strategy for Game On Dude is simple. This is a horse whose worst enemy is restraint. Let him run free and he’ll give you 100% every time. Forget everyone else in the field and just send him to the lead. What he has going for him, in stark contrast to most frontrunners, is his ability to run fast fractions, even at 1 ¼ miles and even under pressure, and still keep going. Such a noble attribute has to be used to good advantage. Chantal Sutherland, who has developed a good relationship with the colt, has to let him go to the lead even if someone is foolhardy enough to try to outrun him.

Again, fractions are of little concern to this horse, and in fact, the faster the better, as odd as that may sound to most. By going fast early he will take all the stalkers out of their comfort zone and make them use themselves just to stay within striking distance. That likely will take away from any closing punch they may have. And as for the deep closers, they’ll be coming, but they will have more ground than usual to make up due to the fast pace, especially if Game On Dude can get some separation in the stretch. It is reassuring to Sutherland and trainer Bob Baffert knowing that even if someone does challenge him in the stretch it’s not going to be easy to get by him.

Remember, his three victories this year have come when he’s run his fastest early fractions -- :46 and 1:09 3/5; :46 3/5 and 1:10 3/5; and :45 1/5 and 1:09. When he was slowed down to 1:13, 1:11 1/5, 1:12, and 1:12 4/5 he’s gotten beat. That is a bit misleading, because the faster races were all over the quick Santa Anita surface, but his fractions were fast enough to still make it a legitimate point. The main rule with all free-running speed horses is never wait and let the closers catch you by the quarter pole, because no matter how much you save for the stretch run you’re not going to out-close them.

That brings us to the intangible horse, So You Think, whose tactics in Europe this year have been all over the place. It is uncertain whether the Ballydoyle Boys know for sure just how this horse wants to be ridden, because he can do a little of everything. But in terms of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, his first ever start on dirt, here is one person’s opinion, based on having watched all his races this year.

First off, like Game On Dude, his is a tough horse to pass in the stretch, and you know he’s going to put up a fight. The only problem is, when he’s taken the lead one-to-two furlongs out he’s gotten beat on two occasions and just narrowly held on to win on another. To his credit, however, both defeats were at Ascot, with its testing uphill run to the finish. Compared to Ascot, Churchill Downs will be a piece of cake.

Only against lesser competition early in the year has he drawn off to win by big margins. In his important showdown against last year’s English Derby (Eng-I) and Arc de Triomphe (Fra-I) winner Workforce in the 1 ¼-mile Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I), he was kept under cover along the inside for as long as possible, then was pulled out and gamely wore down Workforce, demonstrating his grit and determination and his ability to catch a top-class horse in deep stretch. This was the race that truly defined this horse and what he’s capable of.

Running him in the Arc at a mile and half was a bold move, considering he’d never won going that far. They changed strategy and had him taken to the back of the 16-horse field, while using their Irish Derby (Ire-I) winner and English Derby (Eng-I) runner-up, Treasure Beach, as a pacesetter. No one could have predicted the dominating performance by the German filly Danedream, but So You Think ran a big race, weaving his way through the field in the final two furlongs. He rallied to finish fourth, and was only beaten three-quarters of a length for second. Not only did he demonstrate his closing ability again, this time from far back, he showed a great deal of courage to turn back the challenges to his outside of  French group I winners Meandre and Sarafina, who looked as if they were going to blow right by him in tandem. So, he was able to show all his attributes in this one race.

One can question the decision to run him back in two weeks in the Qipco Champion Stakes (Eng-I), but Aidan O’Brien has never stopped raving about this horse’s amazing constitution, so you would have to think coming back in another three weeks will not hurt him. Remember, in Australia last year, he won the 1 ¼-mile Cox Plate, won the 1 ¼-mile MacKinnon Stakes, and finished third in the two-mile Melbourne Cup in the span of 10 days, the last two coming three days apart.

So, taking all this into consideration, it would seem this horse has a lot of leeway when it comes to strategy because of his versatility and high cruising speed. The best plan of attack in the Classic would seem to be to keep away from the likely hot pace and away from Game On Dude and Uncle Mo and run a race something between the Eclipse and Arc, which would put him in midpack, some eight lengths off the lead, depending on the pace, and then have him use that cruising speed and tenacity to pick off horses and wear down the leader or leaders in the final furlong.

If, of course, he loves the dirt and is on the muscle and just happens to take the lead earlier in the stretch, we don’t see anyone catching him. After all, this isn’t Ascot and the final furlong is going to be a lot less taxing on him. In short, there are several options regarding strategy. But taking him back and putting him in position to wear down the leaders in the stretch seems to be the way to go.

The one horse who can put a monkey wrench in anyone’s strategic plans is Uncle Mo, simply because we have no idea how good, or great, this horse is. It’s possible his critics are correct and he’s not able or ready to go a mile and a quarter. And it’s also possible those close to him are correct and he is no ordinary horse, and actually towers above every other horse not only in the Classic, but the country. His Kelso (gr. II) victory was so far beyond anything we’ve seen this year, he just may be capable of anything.

And then of course there is Havre de Grace and Flat Out, and, well, now we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. For now, this is all about Game On Dude and So You Think, the two horses dependent on nothing but their own ability and getting the right trip in order to utilize that ability to its fullest.

Gio goes for the Goldi

So, it looks as if we will never know if Gio Ponti can handle the dirt or if he could have closed out his career in grand style with a Breeders’ Cup Classic victory. All that dirt pedigree and 1 ¼-mile brilliance gone to waste, not to mention the fact that the Churchill Downs dirt track has always been conducive to grass horses. By the way, if it happens to rain next Friday and Saturday and the Churchill turf course turns bog-like, you have to wonder how they will feel about their decision (slop probably would have helped him). But let’s hope that doesn’t happen for his sake and Goldikova’s.

Even several analysts, including Jeff Siegel of HRTV, were ranking Gio Ponto high on their list of Classic contenders once they saw his first preference in that race. Siegel, in fact, had him ranked at No. 5, saying, “I’m not sure I wouldn’t be taking a shot at (the Classic). Who knows how good he’d go on dirt, especially at a mile and a quarter?”

Trying and failing would have had no effect on the horse’s legacy or popularity as a stallion, but not knowing what he could have done is regrettable, at least to one person. Anyway, we tried. Now we can only wish him good luck in the Mile. If anyone can beat Goldikova and still remain popular it is Gio Ponti, who has a long list of admirers himself.

Bye, bye Turf

It was a smart move to knock the Turf out of its traditional spot right before the Classic and replace it this year with the Mile in order to give Goldikova a primetime spot. The Turf in recent years has lost its relevance as a top international race, with the decline of the American turf horse and the race becoming pretty much a playground for Europeans. This year, Europe will have the top five favorites. Oh, and by the way, they have won nine of the last 11 runnings, not counting the dead-heat between Ireland’s High Chaparral and America’s Johar in 2003. The ultimate embarrassment was Cape Blanco making an unprecedented three transatlantic trips to America and winning three of its most prestigious grade I stakes – the Man o’War, Arlington Million, and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Now it is up to Dean’s Kitten, Brilliant Speed, Teaks North, and Stately Victor to defend whatever honor remains of the American grass horse. Teaks North did defeat Euro invaders Chinchon and Stacelita in the United Nations (gr. IT), but did not fare well in his only attempt at 1 ½ miles, and Dean’s Kitten came within a nose of beating Cape Blanco in the Turf Classic, so there is a slight glimmer of hope.

Bombs away

We still haven’t deviated from our original longshot selections published a couple of weeks ago. We’ll go into more detail next Friday, but the megabomb specials remain, Miss Match (Ladies Classic), Ruler On Ice (Classic), Cambina (Filly & Mare Turf), Champagne d’Oro (Filly & Mare Sprint), Optimizer (main pick) and Take Charge Indy (Juvenile), and Caracortado (Turf Sprint; liked him originally for the Mile, but will stick with him here, despite the 5 furlongs). Also taking a long look at Tapizar for the Dirt Mile; one of the most impressive 3-year-olds we’ve seen this year before he got knocked off the Derby trail with an injury.

Juvy Sprint an inauspicious opener

The new Juvenile Sprint field makes for kind of an odd opener to the Breeders’ Cup festivities. Not only will no more than 10 go to the post, but the six-furlong race attracted mainly a mish mash of horses highlighted by a horse who could wind up the shortest BC favorite of the two days, despite having won only a listed stakes. The race failed to attract the winners of any of the recognized major six-furlong sprint stakes for juveniles, and can be summed up in a simple question: can anyone hope to outrun the Bob Baffert-trained bullet, Secret Circle, whose two Beyer speed figures dwarf all the others? It is highly unlikely if he runs anywhere close to those figures. In addition to Secret Circle, the race pretty much boils down to the first three finishers of the revamped Nashua Stakes (gr. II) and the second- and third-place finishers of the Kip Deville Stakes at Remington Park.

Why?

-- Why would Bob Baffert run The Factor in the Sprint (gr. I) when he has Euroears, and those two would likely kill each other off? Also, The Factor would be the controlling speed in the Dirt Mile (gr. I), assuming Sidney’s Candy goes in the Mile, which brings us to the next question.

-- Why would Sidney’s Candy run in the Dirt Mile when he’s been beaten a total of 68 lengths in his only two starts on dirt?

-- Why not run Switch in the Ladies Classic when she’s been a close second in two-turn races to Zenyatta, Blind Luck, and Havre de Grace? Then again, she’s also pretty darn good at seven furlongs. Tough decision.

-- Why can’t Caracortado win at five furlongs when he is undefeated in four starts going 6 ½ furlongs and shorter? He’s won at 4 ½ furlongs on dirt, six furlongs on synthetic and grass, and 6 ½ furlongs on synthetic.

-- Why isn’t anyone talking about Grace Hall in the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I)? All the talk is about My Miss Aurelia and Weemissfrankie, but this filly is also undefeated in three starts, also is a grade I winner, and has won going two turns under wraps.

-- Why can’t a filly win the Marathon this year? Meeznah has a ton of class and stamina, having won group races at 1 13/16 miles and 1 ¾ miles and was beaten a neck in last year’s English Oaks. And she is by Dynaformer.

57 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Dr Drunkinbum

"Kicks, claws and bites"- In the old days when a guy fought like that we used to say, "Watch out he fights like a girl." Which nowadays for a horse is a compliment. Afterall, the Great Queen Zenyatta is a girl and she fought tooth and nail and feet to win. So you think Game On Dude has a good shot at it, and So You Think is one game dude. Game on baby !!!! This is a classic Classic. I've also liked Ruler On Ice since his explosive closing in his last and expect him to go with that style in The Classic. Some unknowns for what I believe to be two great horses in Uncle Mo and So You Think really spice this up and helps to make it a quandry to figure out. All you can do is take a shot at it with your best instincts which for me remains Ruler On Ice and Uncle Mo although I have to admit that So You Think is quite scary and Game On Dude is game enough that he has a shot too. I actually think Drosselmeyer can crack the top three also. There's quite a bit of proven stamina at 9f and 10f in this race which helps to create a contentious battleground.

29 Oct 2011 7:45 PM
Sue MacGray

Thanks for the hints Steve. As always lots of things to think about. We're going to drive out Friday, for the Saturday races.... Wish we could do both, but not this time. I do feel if the track is slop, ROI has a good chance. Other than that, it's difficult to figure out with GOD (??), SYT, THAS, Mo and Havre'....

29 Oct 2011 8:17 PM
Cassandra.Says

I'm out of sync with the disappearance of one name: nothing I've seen from the three year olds has dimmed the memory of Animal Kingdom.

Soundness counts and I'll write off all the horses who can't run three carefully spaced races without their connective tissue becoming fatally inflamed, but an unsoundness caused by a collision is another matter entirely. I remember Barbaro as unbeaten, and Animal Kingdom pops up in my mind as soon as the talk turns to the best of the Classic generation.

29 Oct 2011 8:20 PM
Ranagulzion

Steve,

I'm intrigued very much by your thoughts on the likely pace scenario in the Classic. Game On Dude can win this race no other way than what you've described, and you can count on Bob Baffert to give Chantal Sutherland to green light to fire a bold opening salvo from the gates.  Nevertheless I just can't see him going gate to wire. My view is that he's going to "feel the fire" at the 5/16th pole and chuck the gallop turning for home. I see To Honour and Serve, Havre de Grace, Stay Thirsty and So You Think stalking "Dude" at a brisk pace, with Uncle Mo and Flat Out loping along within striking distance. Once Johnny V gives him his queue, Uncle Mo will catapult pass horses as if they are tied to a post (with the possible exception of a surging HDG). He'll turn for home at the head of affairs and lengthen his strides in a scincillating display that will be the performance of the year. Havre de Grace should not be disgraced in finishing second but there promises to be a real scramble on, amongst the closers Flat Out, Ice Box, Rattlesnake Bridge,Drosselmeyer and the fading stalker THaS for the lucrative scraps. I have a real good feeling about this scenario.

If you think so then you'll agree with me that So You Think should really be in the Turf where he could win in a romp (I think its non-sensical to opt for the Classic over the 3 million dollars, Grade one, 12 Furlongs Turf with a turf specialist horse that ran a good fourth in the Arc d'Triomphe, sired by a Turf champion High Chapparal and competing against a relatively weak field) ...unless of course Aidan O'Brien knows something that the rest of us "knowledgeable" turfites don't.  I'd be interested to read Footlick's perspective on this point.

29 Oct 2011 8:55 PM
Karen in Indiana

So You Think will be like a Navy Seal taking on high school ROTC. :-) JMO

Hope Goldi gets it done. Have been rooting for Caracortado for years, won't stop now.

I agree with Cassandra.Says - it was a loss to the game for this year when Animal Kingdom was collided with. Can't wait to see him next year.

29 Oct 2011 9:29 PM
Splits of 12

I like your Bombs away picks. Cambina will be a nice price in the filly and mare, 1 3/8 mile on the lawn. I see her motoring home in 23.0 to win going away. In the Classic Game on Dude will be tough on the lead but I think the horse to beat is Flat Out and you might just get odds of 6/1 or upward on him. He's steadily improving and the way he won the Jockey Gold Cup was quite impressive. Another horse to watch out for is Drosselmeyer. The distance is no issue for him and he definitely needed his last race. I think he gives Bill Mott his best chance at getting a Breeders Cup win. Havre de Grace will be the chalky favorite and I'm going to take a stand against her. She's very talented and it wouldn't shock me if she won the Classic. But my money says she won't beat the boys. In the Sprint it's anybody's race but I have a suspicious feeling that Aikenite will be rolling late. Amazombie is also an intriguing play, and how can you toss out last years champ Big Drama. All he seems to do is win races. But I'm going to have to side with Trappe Shot, if he enters the Sprint. I think he's yet to fire his best race and might just be sitting on a big one. Caleb's Posse is another who is cross entered, and will be tough in either race.  In the Juvenile, I like Creative Cause a lot but Union Rags looks special. If neither of these two show up, I like D. Wayne Lukas' Optimizer at a price. He seems to be a horse who is improving rapidly and could be the one to pick up the pieces if the other two don't fire. This Hansen horse seems to have the look of something special. In the Turf Classic I don't like anyone so I think I'm going to take all in that race. The Turf Mile is all Goldikova. The only horse who could beat her would be Courageous Cat, who is working like a beast! Gio Ponti is all class and heart and can never be discounted. I wish he would try the Classic because it's actually a race with some pace for him to run at, and I could envision him getting a similar trip to the one Blame got last year.

29 Oct 2011 10:31 PM
Mary Zinke

Sidney's Candy won the Sir Beaufort on December 26, 2010, a one mile race switched to dirt, from turf. 1:33.70

I was thinking the same thing about Gio Ponti. Why not go for the BCC in his final race? I just hope if he does win the Mile, and I will be rooting for him to do so, that he isn't just remembered for taking down Goldikova. He is such a quietly celebrated champion.

29 Oct 2011 10:40 PM
Deltalady

I am so excited about this year's races because this will be my first year to have watched most of the runners in nearly all of the BC races. My only problem is how to find the time to go back and re-watch some of the races. As always Steve, I rely on your insights to point me in the right direction. My passion and enthusiasm often overwhelm my meager knowledge of the sport. Also, I am seldom able to get past my rooting interests to be able to make a smart wager, although I feel like I should at least TRY to make a bet every now and then to support the sport I have come to love so much!

Hope to see you at the Breeders Cup!

Ann Maree

29 Oct 2011 11:15 PM
kincsem

Amen, Cassandra, and shame on Rajiv.

30 Oct 2011 12:07 AM
Coldfacts

The brilliant Ramonti might not be known to most but there might just be something about this brilliant horse and one of the contenders in Breeder Cup Juvenile fillies.  Ramonti race record reads (19 Starts: 12 - 5 - 1, $3,546.081) Included in his 12 victories are the Queen Anne S.(GB-G1,8FT), Sussex S.(GB-G1,8FT), Hong Kong Cup (HK-G1,10FT). Ramonti’s pedigree reflects inbreeding to siblings. On his sire’s side there is Try My Be (Northern Dancer /Sex Appeal) and on his dam side there is El Gran Senor (Northern Dancer /Sex Appeal)  Ramonti’s sire was not overly brilliant and his dam was off the board in two starts. Could his success be directly linked to sibling inbreeding?

The undefeated Spinaway and Blue Hen Stakes winner Grace Hall pedigree reflects El Gran Senor (Northern Dancer /Sex Appeal) on the sire sided and  Try My Be (Northern Dancer /Sex Appeal) on the dam side. Could she be the female version of Ramonti. I think she wins the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies for fun.

30 Oct 2011 1:21 AM
Lmaris

The Factor is first preference for the dirt mile.   Baffort cross-entered him in the sprint as 2nd preference for the same reasons many other trainers gave 2nd preferences for their horses.  Euroears has different ownership interests, so shouldn't surprise anyone Bob B. is doing what he thinks is best for each of his charges.

Love to see Mo as favorite in the Classic. Will be a much better payoff for the eventual winner after Mo spits the bit between the quarter & eighth poles.

30 Oct 2011 1:55 AM
Coldfacts

BOMS AWAY:

I also like Optimizer. His sire English Channel falls into a successful category. He is a grandson of Mr. Prospector. Mr. P’s grandsons Unbridled and Street Cry have sired winners of the BCJ. Unbridled was successful with Anees and Unbridled Song and Street Cry with Street Sense. Three Grandsons of Mr. Prospector have also sired winners of the Breeders Cup Classic. His dam sire AP Indy has never featured as a dam sire in the BCJ. However, Avenue Of Flags a lesser known son of Seattle Slew was the dam sire of 2008 BCJ winner Midshipman. With his three starts being at the BCJ distance of 8.5F, he must be a dangerous customer.

Take Charge Indy, Creative Cause and Fort Loudon have a common negative. The mares associated with them all belong to the million dollar earner club. I recognize this information might be meaningless to some but I find it hard to ignore. For reasons unknown these mare never feature as those producing Breeder Cup winners. Of the 27 BCJ winners to date the winning dams fall into the following earning categories:

Unraced (2)

Earnings < $200K (23)

Earning >$400K (1)

Earnings > $600K (1)

In the second category (Earnings < $200K) none of those mares actually earned $200K. I use earning as a measure because there is usually a direct relation between earning and performance. Monster Gl performers have extremely poor records as classic producing broodmares. In spite of the historic negative associated with him, if his price is irresistible I will have no option but to make a small wager as the trend must come to an end some day.

30 Oct 2011 2:22 AM
Medlocke

For me, the only question mark surrounding whether or not So You Think win's the BC Classic this year is if he handles the switch from turf to conventional dirt without any problems? So You Think is definitely the class horse in field. His record speaks for itself. He's got more tactical speed than any other horse in the Classic field, and you'd be hard pressed to name a better horse anywhere in the world over the 1-1/4 distance. On any surface. If he glides along on dirt like he does on turf, the rest are running for second place $$$, IMO. This horse has an iron constitution. So the 5 week span in which he'll be covering having run in the Arc, the Champion Stakes, and the BC Classic won't be a problem for So You Think. Lest we forget, when he was still racing in Australia in 2010, So You Think won the G1 Cox Plate over 1-1/4. One week later, he won the G1 Mackinnon Stakes over 1-1/4. And 3 days after that, he finished 3rd in the G1 Melbourne Cup over 2 miles. In his first ever start beyond 1-1/4, and he wasn't overtaken out on the lead in the Melbourne Cup until the final 100 meters of the race. That's 3 G1 stakes races in 10 days, folks. So I doubt running in 3 G1 stakes races over 5 weeks will hamper this horse at all. TJMO.

30 Oct 2011 3:44 AM
A Horsey Canuck

Great piece as usual, Steve. Let's hear it for our Canadian girl and her "Dude". Bring him home first, Chantal...this Canuck is cheering for both of you!

30 Oct 2011 6:04 AM
JerseyBoy

In the Timeform ranking of the best horses in Europe, So You Think is ranked number 7 overall. I cannot see a horse ranked number 7 based on his performances on grass emerge as the winner when facing the best runners on dirt.

However, I hope he starts as the favorite. I need the effect on the price.

Goldikova is ranked below Strong Suit. I cannot see her beating him. She is not that good but I hope she is odds-on favorite.

So You Think and Goldikova will be the two most overrated horses on race-day.

Of course, post positions will be critical over this bullring.

30 Oct 2011 6:23 AM
GoldenBroom

Churchill is not Santa Anita, Saratoga or Keeneland. Throw out Animal Kingdom's derby win (not him, he's a legitimate really nice horse) but the Poly specialists, horses prepping at Keeneland (yes you Harve De Grace though I think she'll be in the mix down the stretch but 1 1/4 is big boy territory and your first crack at the distance is also ? to me). Serena's Song...didn't she win like a monster over the boys in the Bluegrass then flop in the derby too? The speed ballers from the west coast will not do as well as AK or Zenyatta did.  Those were 2 deceiving performances by top top horses that are giving people a false sense of hope and / or security. Blame ran a hell of a race and to think there isn't going to be some monster showing his muscle late in the game will be deadly. I also think Thirsty hates Churchill too.  The weather looks quieter this week so hopefully we  still have a firm turf course (fingers crossed so Goldi and Gio can have a fair run off) though this time of year it's tough and we could end up with soft footing then who is our mile winner?

Back in the Classic, I still think someone is going to come from off the pace down that long long stretch...it takes superior talent to win at a mile and a quarter at Churchill. Invasor took down Bernardini thanks to a hot pace in 06. It took a warrior, Tiznow to battle on the lead near the whole way in 2000 to stop the clock at 2:00 and change. Don't think Game on Dude is in Tiznow's league, sorry Bob Baffert. Awesome Again, off the pace from 8th. In 94, Concern, last to first.

30 Oct 2011 7:42 AM
Pedigree Ann

Aidan O'Brien has shown little or no comprehension on how to run So You Think. He is a horse with a high cruising speed who is most effective stalking and pouncing late. Watch his Australian races (sign up at www.australianracing.com and you can get the replays). He has no need for a pacemaker and dropping him back to the tail of the field was insane. (By the way, using Treasure Beach as a pacemaker instead of letting him run on his own merits was a disservice to the horse and the sport.) SYT's Australian trainer, Bart "The Legend" Cummings has had words about how his horse has used by O'Brien and they are not complimentary.  

As to whether So You THink will take to dirt..., How much dirt pedigree did Sakhee have? How much dirt ped did NZ-bred Cadiz (winner of the 1963 Hollywood Gold Cup) have? Swain had a North American dirt-bred dam so we had clues; ditto Giant's Causeway. With SYT, no clues, just the fact that he is in a class above than the US runners. If he takes to dirt, it is game over.

30 Oct 2011 9:20 AM
NASCAR PRO

SH that exemplifies why you are the Bloodhorse blog vet.I wonder if this is an ongoing strand, as in the tactics that the other contenders will employ.I have posted on here on just this,trying to get opinions on how UM will run this race and win it from his many backers on this blog.None of Mos backers have cared to post how they think Mo will have to run to win the race.I dont think he can win the Classic, and I can tell you I have watched all his races,and won a bet on his maiden(Pletcher at Saratoga)when he won by 13 lengths.I was in the Mo camp before the derby but I knew something was wrong when they chose the Timely Writer route back in I think it was February.I think I had already bet him in the derby futures.I think it would have been an easier task for him to close out the 3yos at 10 furlongs than the vets at the distance.As I have posted on here 2 and 3 yos just dont close as effectively as an older horse that knows how to conserve his energy and have plenty left for the stretch.In this years derby the race was won before the turn IMO when AK was within striking distance and just swooped by on the turn and it was over,no 3yo was going to catch him.The classic could be run at a fast pace going by the timer but all the horses in the race that have won graded routes know how to run 12 second clips, well within themselves.

30 Oct 2011 10:10 AM
Footlick

Ranagulzion-I told myself that if So You Think would run in the Classic he would be my pick.  I see nothing for me to back away from that, especially the way Aiden's horses are running here.  So You Think is a true 10 furlong horse.  The question mark is dirt.  He isn't bred for it.  But, imo, he is the superior horse in this field at the distance.  As far as the Turf at 12 furlongs, I think you have to look at the tactics employed in the Arc.  So You Think has never been that far back, as far as I know.  The only reason they would do that, imo again, is that they had questions about his ability to get 12 furlongs against top 12 furlong horses.  To me, the Classic is a better fit for him and his natural running style.  Aiden already has tested the "dirt " waters at Churchill with Master of Hounds, so he knows what to expect.  But, we will see.   He could bomb.

30 Oct 2011 10:40 AM
datflippinrabbit

Lmaris could not have said it better,there's one horse in the classic i won't even consider,Uncle Mo done at the 1/8 pole.

30 Oct 2011 10:47 AM
Footlick

Just wanted to say hi to Mary Zinke also.

30 Oct 2011 10:51 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ranagulzion

   That's a not too bad of a pre-entries scenario. I won't tackle that until the entries are done but right now I like this box- Flat Out, Uncle Mo, Ruler On Ice, Drosselmeyer.

30 Oct 2011 10:53 AM
Carlos in Cali

I can also envision Uncle Mo fading down the stretch.That Indian Charlie will show along with his less than ideal preparation for his first try going 10f,IMO.

Flat Out is a warrior and will be steadily coming while THAS has recently shown he can rate off a fast pace and keep going.The mare will be thrown to the wolves @ 10f,I think she tanks because of the fast pace.SYT fits if he takes to dirt in his face,that's the unknown..

30 Oct 2011 12:33 PM
Karen in Texas

To let Game On Dude run free from the gate is certainly the best strategy for him. Chantal's ability to allow him to "kick, claw, bite, and fight" in order to win shows her toughness as a jockey. It'll be most interesting to see if So You Think takes to the dirt, but I will be rooting for an American win in the Classic.

GoldenBroom---Serena's Song won the Jim Beam on dirt at Turfway, not the Bluegrass; and, yes, she was soundly beaten in the Derby. Her best distance was a mile and an eighth IMO--she was brilliant, but never did well at a mile and a quarter really.

30 Oct 2011 1:14 PM
dontelmeshome

Anyone who thinks that So You Think will be a favorite is wrong.  No chance he's better than 3rd choice and my guess is 7-10 to 1, 5th choice. The track record for Euro's in this race to win is dismal and Uncle Mo's name demands he be favorite.  The filly is the only one who could change that.  

No sir, if you like the Euro in this group, you will be paid if you are right. I will definitely be using and expecting a minimum of 6-1, but probably, 8-1 or better is more like it.

30 Oct 2011 1:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I think with all things considered that Flat Out should be the ML favorite at 3-1, is coming into the Classic in powerful form and is the horse to beat.

30 Oct 2011 2:42 PM
Paula Higgins

So You Think is the wild card for me. I expect him to be there at the end in second or third. But I am still holding with Uncle Mo and HDG as #1 (not sure which one though). My heart is with Mo. I believe he can get the distance with a decent trip. Horses run past their pedigree all the time.

30 Oct 2011 3:26 PM
Linda in Texas

Alex'sBigFan-hope you are watching the races today, October 30th, at

Churchill Downs. The ponies are really strutting today, they are using a white one, a dark bay, a stockinged bay, a gray, a black and a buckskin color and a pretty big brown and white paint. They must be glad they have not been forgotten and i am betting the temp is a little cool today. Next to Saratoga i love Churchill then Belmont, oh heck i like them all really.  

And as i write this a gray just won Race 7 at Churchill, a 20-1 shot named Star Force. Nice win on the turf.

30 Oct 2011 3:46 PM
Linda in Texas

Steve Haskin, i think i must have some horse before the cart in me, and sort of backwards responding before reading the article. I read the title of your article and immediately i scroll down to make a comment because i like the heck and always have out of Game on Dude. So i wrote that, i as a non trainer, would recommend that the jockey keep GOD off the rail AND let him run like hail! Don't reign him in or check him to save energy for later unless he is running up and in danger of clipping heels. I don't like to see him reigned in to save energy for later. He wants to run when he wants to and is discouraged if held back.

So now i read what you wrote in paragraph 4 and you say his only negative is restraint. So i agree totally and felt stupid saying my suggestions, but after reading your comment, i feel justified as  i have felt this way about Dude since his last race.

And the same goes for Dullahan and

Shackleford. I say let them run as

fast as they will go. And  i know i will be disagreed with but that is okay, just my opinion.

What an exciting week ahead.

30 Oct 2011 4:32 PM
NASCAR PRO

I would like to ad that I dont consider a route any race shorter than 9 panels for older horses especially.So a horse has to have experience running 12 second panels for over a mile.A mile an a sixteenth race is eight panels and a half but to me is more like a mile race(8 panels)than a mile and an eigth, an extra panel.Look at the mares record she is 14 for 14 in the bettors money, ditto for UM but he has only run 7 races.I followed LJ the trainer for HDG and his focus before he left the sport for a year, I thought was 2 and 3yos to run in the derby and stakes races.But he also did very well with one mare in particular which his wife took over training and she continued to run(forgot her name) excellent.I think this is probably the horse he has had,he dosent run on the NYRA circuit and dosent run at Gulfstream or in Cali, at least as far as I know.I think he is focused on the mare and I dont think she will do something she hasnt done run out of the money in this race.

30 Oct 2011 4:54 PM
bredblog.com

I agree that So You Think is the surprise element in this years Classic, but I don't think that he will handle the dirt well.  Uncle Mo seems to love Churchill if his BC Juv is any indication, but I don't think he is ready for the mile and a quarter.  I like HDG but might reassess after the post position draw.

30 Oct 2011 6:26 PM
Ranagulzion

So You Think is a very good horse at the distance on turf but I don't see him hitting the board in the Breeder's Cup Classic. Tizway may be out injured but this is still a pretty good line up of Grade one class horses. I'm convinced that Havre de Grace is a filly of the highest calibre and that she'll give a very good account of herself (she's almost certain to hit the board). It will take a very fast and classy horse to out-run her leaving the far turn.  Uncle Mo is the only one capable in my view and I feel very confident that he's coming to put on a show. You might want to call this years BCC the Uncle Mo Show: this son of Indian Charlie out of the Arch broodmare Playa Maya is THE CLASS HORSE in this race.  He has a ton of stamina on his dam side via Hail to Reason, Princequillo, Alydar and Turn-to. In addition he's inbred to Northern Dancer (X3) which along with Delta Judge, brings multiple crosses of the great class & stamina influence Hyperion into his pedigree. I believe that Uncle Mo is going to silence all detractors in this year's renewal of the Breeder's Cup Classic on Saturday.

Dr Drunkinbum,

Ruler on Ice and Drosselmeyer are too slow for this salty group. If you are looking for a wild and crazy outsider, look no further than Ice Box or Rattlesnake Bridge.  The former, we already know has the ability to close furiously at this level (he'll be more of a terror if it rains) and the latter is an improving colt to be partnered by none other than "Mr Churchill downs" himself Calvin 'bo-rail' Borel.

Footlick,

Good luck to you with SYT (he might need Prayer for Relief on dirt).  BTW Bob Baffert could send PFR to the front instead of Game On Dude and that might be the real wild card because that colt is also improving rapidly, is as game as they come and is sneaking into the race "under the radar". Think on these things ...you might change your mind ...so I think.

30 Oct 2011 7:58 PM
KY VET

I cannot believe BAFFERT is going to run in the mile.....BIG MISTAKE!!! The mile has too much speed, and better horses.....i will be shocked if he does that...everbody is reporting mile....hard for me to believe.

30 Oct 2011 8:09 PM
Point Given

The only thing in horse racing that Baffert has not accomplished yet is to win BC's Classic.Baffert's Entries will run one and two (Prayer For Relief & Game On Dude).

30 Oct 2011 8:16 PM
Mary Zinke

hi to footy now people will talk lets hope

30 Oct 2011 10:14 PM
predict

Very intresting pace scenario, and the Classic looks to be anything but easy to predict this year. I don't think anyone will be greatly surprised at who wins, even if Stay Thirsty wins. This will be an interesting race to see how it all pans out. I don't see any reason why So You Think should not take to the dirt. I actually wouldn't be surprised to see him even be better on the dirt, having as much Northern Dancer blood in him , he could excel on the dirt. I go with him to win and expect the two big names, Uncle Mo and Havre de Grace to disappoint, mainly because I don't see them as winning at a 1 1/4 miles. I expect Flat Out, Ruler on Ice and Stay Thirsty to be in the top four.

 The horse I'm excited about seeing how he does is Sea Moon in the Turf.  He's my best bet for the cup races. A lightly raced 3 year old might be a crazy bet here, but I think he could be something special who's ready to surprise.

30 Oct 2011 10:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ranagulzion

   The track won't matter for Ice Box even if it's the exact same consistency as his Derby run. He's deservedly the longest shot in the field. I'd give Rattlesnake a better shot than Ice Box who has shown no willingness to compete for many races despite looking very good physically. I'll stick to my longshots. Thanks though, I do appreciate the effort.

30 Oct 2011 10:58 PM
The Deacon

Stacelita is my best for next weekend.

Horse betting is fickled, how many times have we all gone up to the window with the intent on laying down a Benjamin on one horse and by the time we reach the window, we change our mind or we add 5 more horses to the exoctics. Such is the confusion of this sport. Wouldn't it be something if we got big prices in just about every race. i got a strange feeling we ain't gonna see much chalk win, except of course for Stacelita.

Not this year Goldy, you got 3 trophies, time for Gio Ponti to go out in style.

Still like Harve de Grace in the Classic, she is well rested, won the Beldame with ease and already handled Flat Out. Uncle Mo is the wild card, if he gets the 10 furlongs then he will win big. Until he proves that he can win at the classic distance I am leaving him alone. Winning a one turn mile with a high Beyer at Belmont is one thing, duplicating that on a sandy cold surface near twilight at Churchill Downs is another.

I have an observation: There are 15 Breeders Cup races and only 1 is run at 9 furlongs (1 1/8) and that is the Ladies Classic.

Interesting because most of our races during the year for the males are run at 9 furlongs. The Derby, Travers, Santa Anita Handicap, Pacific Classic, Hollywood Gold Cup, and JCGC are the only 10 furlong preps for the Breeders Cup Classic (unless I missed one).

Just look at all the 9 furlong prep races we have and not one Breeders Cup 9 furlong race for the boys..........

Good luck to all.

31 Oct 2011 3:17 AM
GoldenBroom

I think a mile, especially at Churchill may be too much for The Factor. Going to be pulling for Shackleford all the way...Though I'm not sure he can get a mile at Churchill under 1:35 and with this bunch, it just may...

31 Oct 2011 8:14 AM
JerseyBoy

Coldfacts:

When you make a grand statement, you need to say whether the statement is one of fact or just an opinion. If it is a statement of fact you need to give the source of the information or some readers are left wondering.

You wrote  this:

“Monster Gl performers have extremely poor records as classic producing broodmares”.

Where do the following broodmares fit?

Snow bride:

Dam of unbeaten Epsom Derby and Arc winner Lammtarra. She won the Epsom Oaks.

Miesque:

Dam of super sire Kingmambo. She won the Breeders' Cup Mile twice.

Urban Sea:

Dam of super sire Galileo and Sea the Stars. She won the Arc.

31 Oct 2011 9:51 AM
Footlick

Ranagulzion- unless I hear something that would put me off So You Think he will be my choice for the Classic.  My only question mark for him is dirt.  We know he loves the distance and he is fit.  THAS and Royal Delta are training awfully well, aren't they?  As well as Flat Out.

31 Oct 2011 10:24 AM
The Legend

I have enjoyed reading all the comments but not one of the bloggers have mentioned Stay Thirsty? His work yesterday was outstanding! Much better the Mo.

Stay Thirsty get's the perfect setup for the Classic. He sit's behind what is expected to be a very quick early pace and get's first jump on all the closers. I will be using Stay Thirsty and Flat Out in my exacts and in triple box'x with the rest of the field. Does anyone else like Stay Thirsty?

31 Oct 2011 1:09 PM
Cris

In these talented fields it is easy to overlook horses. I think Rattlesnake Bridge may surprise. Drosselmeyer is ready for a big effort although he may not be fast enough for these. He is going to be there for the exotics. Chantel's sloppy riding habits will not be forgiven like it is in California. She better ride cleanly. Ice Box will be coming. Gio Ponti has been given a job to do and he will do the best he can as always. He is a horse who has been raced at the wrong distance most of his career and made the most of it. A horse with a similar fate is Shackleford who is finally running at what I think is his prime distance and I hope he brings it home. HDG has never been as good as Blind Luck and although I am a fan, I hate to see her in the Classic. Why not a race against mares? Good luck to Mike Smith who should be able to enjoy the day on Mr.Commons much better than he did on Zenyatta even if it was their finest hour.

31 Oct 2011 5:54 PM
bohemiastable

I disappeared from the thoroughbred scene having my early picks for the sprint Noble Promise and having Check the Label checking out in the Queen’s Plate then getting nothing but dirt in his face in next race and retiring for the remainder of the year with $1000’s of mine including a P3 and P4 with a $90 horse used in the race proceeding. So much for my thoughts of a Canadian Bred champion this year. Most disappointing loss of my season because I was so sure of him.

Disappearing act continued from my first love of thoroughbreds when I bought into (5th) a NY trotter who trained exceptionally well before getting sick. He recovered well enough to go undefeated in 3 small last closers and win a $35K minor restricted stake so I have big dreams for next year with many restricted big money NY Sires stakes. That said my first love is always those who use jockeys not drivers,  when the BC comes and I take off work to go on Friday.

My thoughts first are as always WHY? HDG would win the Filly/Mare so why go and prove try something. I have been in Blink Lucks camp throughout but this is a great mare. Take the big pot and HOY.

Mo certainly was impressive and I became a member of his camp when he destroyed a nice “now horse” in Jackson Bend in the NY race. Mile a gift for him but he as the mare goes for all the marbles and leaves me thinking is he ready—the talent there but??? Classic?

So here are thoughts given what I hope is for fast track and firm turf.

Not going to pick all and be vague of a few divisions just think the Euros will win both 2yr old turf stakes; I saw no stars in NA. The mare turf will go Euro if the replant (STACELITA) doesn’t prove she is better now, GOLDIKOVA who I will cheer for her fourth win in the race, and definitely the one to beat but not as invincible as before. The big one on turf—the Turf Classic- I just think a Euro win will. The betting opportunities are there but unlike some I don’t bet or pick wide open races with confidence, yes I have opinions--- but

Big Drama best horse in sprint by some fair margin but is he right? Watching no bet—want him to win

TURBULENT DESCENT looks best and is the only horse this year I bet almost $1000 as odds on in the Test—hate short prices and this isn’t as easy---will be watching that race. If itchy to play a tri with Switch and Great Hot be a small wager.

I will be also watching UNION RAGS as he hooks up with Hanson, Drill and Creative Cause---and others who I won’t dismiss. Nice race to enjoy without a bet. I am more interested in this one than any of the races from a fan’s view.

SECRET CIRCLE on press and figures should win—but—why at 3-5? Money better spent.

Now the spot plays that actually will have fair money of mine trying to increase my bankroll.

IF CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE was good as he was he would be my pick for a double in the Turf Sprint because this IS his course, but he hasn’t been the same so I like CARACORTADO if the turf is hard—he good and a hard trier in a race without stars—the winner of the Nearctic REGALLY READY will be good and tough if you watched the race GRAND ADVENTURE needed to get out of a box for most of the stretch and a non-threatening 4th—would he have won? Don’t think so but at 40-1 a perfect bomb for tri’s. Good race to try to play exotics at a number. Will get 5-1 or better on Cara I expect.

In the MILE DIRT I think the race is worth a decent exactor box with THE FACTOR and JACKSON BEND in the weakest race next to the turf sprint. Very nice horses but not what I think of Champions when the term is used. Bend has always been a favorite of mine over achiever. Factor gets loose—might be gone?

The “Classic” won’t pretend I wouldn’t try like the Derby and bet---a no confidence bet nevertheless on Flat Out seems likely for me hooking him up with other trying to strike a ticket. I truly believe he will show up and run well, but is at the mercy of others not being great. Good story if he wins

Two horses I expect who will be slighted that I expect will run their hearts out and make their owner proud even if they don’t win would be COMPLIANCE OFFICER and GIANT RYAN their win streaks are not flukes. Problem is if Big Drama and Goldi show? These are World Champions not state affairs.

31 Oct 2011 5:54 PM
Matthew W

So I think, dude, The Classic looks weak--maybe the filly will win/maybe Unclo Mo is able to get the distance--but there's a drop off, maybe the Aussie will sieze the day--the two year old fillies turf drew strong--it is the most compelling of the Cup races--I love Pure Gossip, the Euro, and Somali Lemonade are the real deal, too! Amazombie is peaking for the Sprint, Tanda is a great price for the filly sprint, and Miss Match sure isn't miss-matched in the Ladies Classic, is she?

31 Oct 2011 8:16 PM
JerseyBoy

This is the year I sit out the Breeders' Cup. Every horse I like is poorly drawn.

Soccer looks more exciting. Let's go Chelsea!

31 Oct 2011 8:17 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Terrific article Steve!  I've been watching TVG's "The Works" all weekend.  Game On Dude had one awesome work at Santa Anita in a lot of company and he excelled.  He really looks tough, but Mo has speed too and I think can put him away in the stretch.  Mo's work was yes, lackluster and mundane, but I think that is all they were gunning for, just a maintenance to stay fit work.  I gotta say Steve, your Stay Thirsty's work was great, I was impressed.  Maybe little Thirsty can do this after all?  Interesting that Mo, Havre, and Thirsty are all next to each other in the Classic gate, the only thing separating them is a Headache!  Flat Out's work was awesome, looks like a freight train and he was the one I was not sold on yet.  I still don't get why Havre was training on poly at Keeneland, Larry must know something we don't.  TVG's staff was not impressed with her poly workout, let's see how she looks on Churchill's dirt when she arrives.  Can't wait to see ROI's work.  Still picking Mo, Havre, ROI for the Classic.

Linda in Texas,

Yes I was watching the ponies too!  At Los Alamitos they had all little kids in a parade and Halloween custume contest.  Great marketing idea. Everyone was in T-shirts at Los Al and here we were in NJ in an almost blizzard!  Yikes it was awful, I had to cancel all plans and stay in on Saturday longing to be in CA!  

Off topic:  Watching races from Australia the past few weeks and noticed some gate strategies.  In one race a horse did not want to load, they tried to walk him around and just back him in the front of the gate but he did not like that either.  That was it, they scratched him then and there, no ear pulling and no blindfold.  Then in another race two horses were a little agitated about loading.  The got both in the gate riderless and the jocks jumped on the last minute.  Again, no ear pulling, no blindfold.  

Now back to BC reading and who is in what race.  Who's on first?????

31 Oct 2011 8:20 PM
Coldfacts

JerseyBoy,

“Monster Gl performers have extremely poor records as classic producing broodmares”.

Poor record does not equate to no record. Poor was used in the context of number of Gl winning broodmares in the system to the number of classic wining horses they produce. The Blog is about The Breeder Cup so I do not want digress into an area that is not relevant at this time. At a later date I will provide the cold facts to support my poor record conclusion.

31 Oct 2011 9:26 PM
JerseyBoy

Coldfacts:

I re-read what you wrote.

The use of a small "c" is misleading. You are obviously referring to the Breeders' Cup Classic, not Classic races in general. But now I am amazed that you have discerned a pattern after so few runnings of the BC Classic.

Merry Xmas to all.

01 Nov 2011 6:20 AM
Coldfacts

RANAGULZION,

I have nothing but respect for your opinions even if I do not agree with some. However, I think you have been so blinded by your emotion for Uncle Mo that you now refuse to see.

“Uncle Mo is the only one capable in my view and I feel very confident that he's coming to put on a show. You might want to call this year’s BCC the Uncle Mo Show”

The following horses finished second to Uncle Mo: Admiral Perry, Mountain Town, Boys At Tosconova, Rattlesnake Bridge and Jackson’s Bend. I do not believe any of the aforementioned have the résumé of the top horses in the BCC field. Uncle Mo defeated Admiral Perry on debut by 14 1/2L. To Honor and Serve defeated Admiral Perky in his maiden win by in excess of 32 1/4L. Uncle Mo defeated Rattlesnake Bridge by 3 3/4L in the ungraded Timely Writer. To Honor and Serve defeated a much improved and Gl placed Rattlesnake Bridge by 5 1/2L in the PA derby. Of the horses uncle Mo defeated in his BCJ victory only stable companion Stay Thirsty has emerged as a serious horse. He finished 10L behind Uncle Mo in the BCJ. To Honor and Serve exited the FL Derby with 3rd place finish and an issued that sidelined him. Stay Thirsty was in the race and finished 10L behind him. Here is a case where three horses that Uncle Mo has defeated handily THS has defeated by either similar and wider margins.

Both colts were sidelined with issue that impacted their 3YO campaigns. The issue associated with one was far more serious than the other. Both have returned and have run very fast races leading up to the BCC.THS has contested five 9F races with his last two being considered preps for the BCC. Uncle Mo two preps for the BCC were at 7F & 8F. None of the last 10 US based BCC winners entered the race without at least one 9F prep. How can you seriously consider the BCC the Uncle Mo Show? Come on man!

01 Nov 2011 8:16 AM
Pedigree Ann

Deacon, when the Breeders' Cup was inaugurated back in the 1980s, there were plenty of major 10f races for older horses in the East. In Florida, there were the Widener at Hialeah and the Gulfstream Park H at GP. The there was the John B. Campbell at Bowie, and the nearly 10f Pimlico Special. Over the summer, there was the Suburban, the Monmouth H (aka Amory Haskell H aka P. Iselin H), and (sometimes) the Saratoga H. In the fall there was the Woodward (before the 12f JCGC), the Meadowlands Cup, and the Hawthorne Gold Cup. In the days before I started watching racing, both the Whitney and Mass 'Cap were 10f, too, not to mention the Arlington and Washington Park Hcps, before they were moved to the turf. I see I've left off Canada's 10f Dominion Day H, too.

Why have the tracks shortened or eliminated their 10f stakes for older horses? I have no idea. Ask them. Maybe trainers who can't train stayers pressed for the change, or the 10f races were blamed for later poor performances, the way Shug complained about how the 12f JCGC 'dulled' Easy Goer for the BCC. (Easy Goer, a big-striding muscular animal, was not as good on 8f tracks as he was on the NY tracks overall. Sour grapes, IMHO.) Thank goodness for the West Coast, where the big handicaps have maintained their classic distances, although other races like the Strub (G1)and Del Mar's listed-level Cabrillo were hacked back.

That reminds me that another thing that is missing from the current program - G3 and listed level races at 10f, where horses can try their hand at the distance without having to go head-to-head with top horses. Like running in a local marathon before you try Boston. There are horses out there who can run well at 10f who won't get the opportunity because they aren't G1 animals.

01 Nov 2011 10:40 AM
The Deacon

Pedigree Ann:  My point exactly.......the Breeders Cup has become watered down in my opinion. It's turning into a circus more then a world championship. What do I know, only been in the game for 56 years.

02 Nov 2011 2:18 AM
Slew

No one here doesn't know my pick is So You Think, and it was the Coral-Eclipse that convinced me of what a great heart he has, winning even though he was never comfortable during the entire race.

Just how many of these horses have run 10f? well?  SYT (up and down those undulating courses in Europe), Havre de Grace, (The races she lost were by only a nose hair to Blind Luck), and I'll toss in one three year old for the tri-To Honor And Serve...he's bred for it.  Right now, Uncle Mo is the favorite, and I don't think he has the experience.  

Poor Bob Baffert has angered the racing gods, it would seem.  Only Game On Dude didn't draw post position 1.

I will miss Prayer For Relief, Nathaniel, and what happened to Bourbon Bay?  I thought he was doing the marathon?    Meeznah is 12-1...are they kidding?  She's my favorite in the Marathon with BB out.

Big Drama AND Jackson Bend in the sprint?  I'm looking for a dead heat with 2 of my favorites.

Goldie and Gio dead heat too?  It's the final race for both of them, and they deserve it sentimentally, but Zoffany is no slouch.  

Haven't been in touch lately.  With 10 inches of snow last Saturday, I thought my hibernation was supposed to start.  Help??? DR. D, I need some tequila and a palm tree on a beach somewhere warm.  

02 Nov 2011 9:02 AM
Terry M.

Pedigree Ann, you said it! We need a return to stamina, and that means longer races. Since when does a stayer go 8 or 9 furlongs? When I was young, a stayer went anywhere from 10 furlongs to 2 miles. If there were more long races with big purses, maybe breeders would concentrate more on soundness and stamina and durability instead of breeding for juveniles that can run a quarter in 21. Horses that have a quick flash of brilliance, then get injured and are retired to the breeding at 2 or 3 to produce more fast juveniles that won't go a distance (in terms of furlongs or in durability) are not good for horse racing. Horses that race from ages 3 to 6 or longer can build a following amongst the public and bring new fans to the sport, too.

02 Nov 2011 5:41 PM
Linda in Texas

Seeing Stay Thirsty pictured with the article on ll/3/11's Bloodhorse.com article just makes me smile. I finally realized as i accessed the site what it is about him that attracts me, i think that he should have been  named "HAPPY GO LUCKY" and i hope he will be.

He just looks like he really likes what he does and is content and i simply cannot give up on him. So i will be pulling for Stay Thirsty, And not for any other reason.

The Legend, so yes i, too, like Stay Thirsty and always have.

In my little central Texas town there is frost on the pumpkins and going to be down to 20 in the morning. A nice change from 110 in the shade although a little early.

May your choices for The Breeder's Cup Races be winning ones and most importantly, may all those carrying those hopes come home safely.

And Goldikova, this old lady will be pulling for you Grand Lady. You are extraordinary and to be honored for sure!

Thank You Mr. Haskin, hope you enjoy the week end of racing.

Just too bad there is not a Breeder's Cup race for Gelded and Gutsy Horses like Rapid Redux so he could receive a trophy. He deserves one and I admire him tremendously as i have said before.  

03 Nov 2011 11:50 AM
Fran Loszynski

Good Luck Afleet Again in the Marathon. Bring it home again for Afleet Alex. Lexington is close by, Alex will be watching. Hope you are feeling well Steve. and your family is well- Something is in the mail for you this weekend you'll enjoy reading.  

03 Nov 2011 1:23 PM
Linda in Texas

Fran Loszynski - your wish came true and and Afleet Again took your well wishes all the way to the wire with a win.

That was so nice 41-1. I was happy for him and his connections, and for you Fran, also!!!!

I was a happy camper with the grays winning today. :)

Game on Dude 'almost' did it, but not if Drosselmeyer had anything to do and he did.

Now we still don't have a Horse of The Year locked in.

05 Nov 2011 9:57 PM

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