Random Breeders' Cup Thoughts

You think there is a lot riding on Ed Stanco’s decision whether or not to run Princess of Sylmar in the Distaff? If he doesn’t run, she’ll most likely still be the favorite for the Eclipse Award for 3-Year-Old Filly regardless of what Beholder does, having beaten her fair and square in the Kentucky Oaks. Her status supposedly will be decided by her work this weekend. But do top-class horses, whose status depends on a work, really ever work poorly, to the extent that it will cause a trainer and owner to pass a major stakes? It happens, but very rarely. Princess of Sylmar likely will have a typical Todd Pletcher solid breeze with a solid gallop-out, and a solid-enough time. In other words, she likely will have a solid work, and then what? That’s for Pletcher and most of all Stanco to decide. Who knows, maybe the Princess will indeed indicate she’s not ready for the long trip to California after a long campaign going back to the cold winter days at Aqueduct. Maybe she’ll work like a bear and come off the track playing and bouncing.

Now, let’s look at the other end of this dilemma. If Game On Dude doesn’t perform well again in the Classic, would a victory by Princess of Sylmar in the Distaff give her the upper hand for Horse of the Year? Many think so. On the other hand, if Princess of Sylmar should go and get beat by Beholder over Beholder’s home track, could she lose everything – Horse of the Year and 3-Year-Old Filly? Many think so, considering it’s the Breeders’ Cup, and Beholder would have beaten not only Princess of Sylmar, but Royal Delta, Authenticity, and Close Hatches, who, believe it or not, also could be in the running for the 3-Year-old Filly title should she win.

And, eek! what if Pletcher should beat Princess of Sylmar with the older Authenticity, who is coming off a strong second to Beholder in the Zenyatta?

Racing truly is a sport of dreams, as Stanco has discovered, but those dreams also have a way of punching you right in the pit of your stomach. Remember, Stanco's original gut feeling was to pass the Breeders' Cup and he had all but ruled it out a while ago. We'll see what, if anything, the Princess has to say about it this weekend. Stay tuned on this one.


If you think a wounded badger is dangerous, you don’t want to mess with Royal Delta after she has been beaten. Excluding her two Dubai debacles, she not only has never lost two races in a row, she has been absolutely deadly coming off a defeat. After her first career loss, she came back to win by three lengths. After losing the CCA Oaks, she bounced back to win the Alabama by five lengths. After her defeat in the Beldame, she smoked her opposition by 2 1/2 lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (then the Ladies Classic). After getting trounced by Awesome Maria in the Sabin Stakes (and never picking her feet up in a troubled Dubai World Cup), she crushed her foes by eight lengths in the Fleur de Lis. After being upset at 3-5 in the Personal Ensign, she roared back with a 9 1/2-length rout in the Beldame. After getting upset at 1-5 in the Fleur de Lis, she demolished her opponents by 10 3/4 lengths in the Delaware Handicap.

So, what terror will she unleash on the Distaff field after being beaten by Princess of Sylmar in the Beldame?


Whether or not Wise Dan compromised his chances for a repeat Horse of the Year with his loss in the Shadwell “Turf Mile” over a puddle splattered synthetic surface, the belief here is that he still will not be beaten in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Some folks have been critical of trainer Charles LoPresti for running him on the wet Polytrack, but that is merely second-guessing and it’s useless to dwell on that now. It is what it is. Time to look forward.

The question with Wise Dan now is: was it the surface or is he starting to tail off a bit? If he trains well from here on and shows his usual spark and enthusiasm, I still don’t see a horse (American or European) capable of beating him at a mile on the grass, especially over the Santa Anita turf course.


Just for the record, Mucho Macho Man, since his career debut sprinting at Calder, is now seven-for-seven when he has the lead at the eighth pole and 0-for-14 when he doesn’t. Gary Stevens rode him to perfection in the Awesome Again, and remember, even with the top-class speed and pace horses he’ll be tracking in the Classic, it’s still easier to pass horses on the far turn with one felt swoop than it is at the eighth pole after they’ve been set down and have their competitive juices flowing. They are in fighting mode then, but on the turn they’re still being reserved as much as possible and could be vulnerable to a quick surprise attack by a 17 hands giant who can inhale his opponents quickly with those huge strides, but has shown a tendency to not pass horses in the final furlong. Can’t wait to see if Stevens employs the same strategy that won him the Awesome Again, despite the far superior competition in the Classic.


Based on the current list of possible/probable starters for the Classic (who knows who else will show up), if Graydar runs, he will be the only 4-year-old horse from America. The other 4-year-old would be Irish-trained Declaration of War.

Game On Dude is 6, Ron the Greek is 6, Flat Out is 7, and all have shown more brilliance on occasion this year than they’ve shown their entire career. However, it must be noted for whatever it’s worth, no horse 6-years-old or older has ever won the Classic. The two 6-year-olds who came the closest, Zenyatta and Cigar, both had won the Classic the year before. Palace Malice, Will Take Charge, and Moreno are all 3-year-olds.


For those wondering if Declaration of War will be able to handle the dirt, his dam is a half-sister to Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags.


Oh, no, not again. Dick Mandella has two big shots in this year’s Breeders’ Cup with Beholder and Indy Point in the Turf. Meanwhile, a headline in USA Today read: “Ominous Warnings About California Wildfire Season.” We are all aware of Mandella’s 10-year intervals mixing super Breeders’ Cup days with wildfires in the area of Santa Anita.

In 1993, Mandella won two Breeders’ Cup races and two undercard stakes after a raging fire broke out in the San Gabriels, right across from the track, causing havoc during Breeder’s Cup week. Then in 2003, Mandella had the mother of all Breeders’ Cup days, winning four BC races, with fires several miles to the East that dropped ash all over the track.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Best of luck to Mandella, but, please, no fires, this year.


Remember, in the 1980 Belmont Stakes when TV analyst Charlsie Cantey came running up the stretch to the winner’s circle and planted a kiss on her husband, trainer Joe Cantey, on national television after he won the Test of the Champion with 53-1 shot Temperence Hill?

Well, history could repeat itself this year, as HRTV analyst Millie Ball, who does a fantastic job on “Pursuit of the Cup,” will watch her husband, Tim Yakteen, send out Points Offthebench in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Unlike Temperence Hill, however, Points Offthebench will be one of the favorites. If he wins, Millie can go ahead and lose it and plant a big one on her husband. The precedent has been set…and it’s great TV.

Suggestion to NBC: put a camera on Jim Rome during the running of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Whether Mizdirection wins again or not, that also will make for great TV. Having one on Game On Dude’s co-owner Joe Torre during the Classic wouldn’t be a bad idea either.


Could it be the toughest and deepest race both days will be the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf – Kitten Kaboodle, My Conquestadory, Testa Rossi, Clenor, Sky Painter, Granny Mc’s Kitten, Dancing House, Nesso, Colonel Joan, Rosalind, and a classy group from Europe that could include Vorda, Chriselliam, Queen Catrine, Royal Mania, Lesstalk in Paris, Wonderfully or Chicago Girl. Obviously, only a few of those Euros will run, but this is shaping up as one barnburner of a race.


Leave a Comment:

Kinga Kowalczyk

Do you think Royal Delta has a chance of winning HOY? I mean if she beats Princess of Sylmar and Game On Dude does badly in the Classic, would she be under consideration do you think? I find it interesting that you said Princess of Sylmar could well take the HOY title.

11 Oct 2013 5:54 PM

Excellent work as usual Steve.

I hope the connections of Princess of Sylmar make the decision to run. But I hope they have the courage to go for the big one, the Classic.

She is a relaxed filly who turns it on in the stretch. We do not know if she will be effective at 10 furlongs, but they have little to lose and much to gain by trying.

Timeform has her ranked 3lbs below Game On Dude and 1lb below Fort Larned. She and Mucho Macho Man are ranked at 128.

It might seem like a gamble. But I like to look at what the Euros do.

Last year, in September, in the 12-fur Prix Vermeille, a race restricted to fillies and mares, Solemia finished third, beaten 2 lengths at weight-for-age, at 16-1.

In October, the connections entered her in the Prix de l'Arc, anyway. She won.

I wish the connections of Princess of Sylmar are this bold. We need the fun.

11 Oct 2013 6:16 PM

Enjoyed your "random thoughts", leaving us with a lot to ponder. My heart has belonged to Mucho Macho Man ever since his 3 yo year, and it just may be the MMM (Man, Moment, Machine) has come together to align the stars for him to win the Classic. My only real concern is Mike Smith on Game On Dude can't be overlooked as a dangerous combination, primarily because Mike will have ridden several of the runners! But maybe the combination of Gary Stevens and MMM will produce magic. The Dude will likely get another shot next year, but I'm thinking if he can win the Classic that they will retire MMM to stud while he's still healthy.

On another part of your "thoughts", you mentioned Rome and Mizdirection. I know how he has said he feels about her, so I was totally bowled over when I saw Miz in the November Keeneland sale, along with many of my favorites. So many of our horses are winding up on foreign shores these days, especially with the expansion into China, and Korea is getting into the picture now, it seems.  It's a business, I know, and circumstances change for people and decisions they might not want to make are necessary. Still, can't help being a little sad when some of my favorites go into the sale ring.

11 Oct 2013 6:45 PM

Hey Steve and Lenny! Excitement building here on the left coast, especially looking forward to catching up with y'all... Heidi and I, well she doesn't know it yet, but we would be honored if, during your BC sojourn, you guys made a trip down the 605 to join us at our Los Alamitos abode for a BBQ and a waltz through my hall of fame (it's in the garage, so casual is best, redneck is preferred)... we can even h-cap some Quarters over an adult beveridge - I will supply everything, including the Shut-Down vouchers... Plus we can merge our plays for a Pik-4 on Classic Day... Consider, because I don't often open up my gopher-ridden casa to every tom, dick, or jane (harry?)... Hope to hear from you - Jittner@Yahoo.com   PS - going to Ocktoberfest Kinderfest at Old World on Sunday to enjoy brats (kosher) and pretzel bread - I find it's best to celebrate O-Fest while NFL is on (less drunks in jerseys!)... RIP Ray Nelson (he should get a byline)- Tuesday, age 60...sincerely Joel and Heidi

11 Oct 2013 8:36 PM

Steve, if the Santa Anita dirt track this year replicates last years' Breeders' Cup surface, then some owners/trainers may consider that their chances of success are stacked against them.

Hopefully, the track plays fair this year. Last year was forgettable, which was unfortunate as, aesthetically, it could not have been bettered.

11 Oct 2013 8:46 PM
Paula Higgins

I think Wise Dan wins. I would be thrilled to see MMM, GOD or Flat Out win the Classic. I think with the two jockeys riding on MMM and GOD, it is possible. They are seasoned guys who know their horses and the track well. Palace Malice is their biggest threat. Bob Baffert will have him tuned like a piano. I would be surprised to see them run Princess of Sylmar against the boys. I think she goes to the distaff with Royal Delta and Beholder. That will be an interesting race. I don't think they will risk a possible HOY by running Princess of Sylmar against the boys. Although, it would be great if they did put her in the classic. What a dynamic that would be. So far, I think Wise Dan deserves HOY but I know that can change after the classic. It will be an interesting HOY vote if both Princess of Sylmar and Wise Dan win their respective races.

11 Oct 2013 9:18 PM
Paula Higgins

Coldfacts, thank you for your reply on the previous post. I agree with much of what you said. I have settled down Steve :). Zenyatta  and  Rachel Alexandra have a very special place in my heart. They were the first truly great female horses to come along in a while in the U.S., inspiring women and bringing more women in as viewers. It would be great to see more female horses raced against the boys.

11 Oct 2013 9:34 PM
Pedigree Ann

Deltalady - which Hip number? I tried looking in the index, but didn't find her in Sessions 1-3. I would expect her to be a Book 1 sort of mare.

Sometimes a horse goes through a sales so that one partner can find a fair price for buying out another; that is what happened with Blind Luck.

11 Oct 2013 10:28 PM

Personally, I think the Princess should skip the BC.  IMO, short of Beholder winning the classic,she has ch. 3yr old filly in the bag, and I don't think anyone is suggesting Beholder should take on older males. I'm saying this not because I don't agree with others that if the Princess did enter and win the classic, she would quite literally put herself on another level. But since her connections are on the fence about coming at all, if she does, I think it would be the distaff for her.  Since she's already defeated Royal Delta, what's the upside of shipping her across the country and possibly "squeezing the lemon dry" as the saying goes.  Give the filly a rest, please, and bring back a an even more awesome filly next year.

12 Oct 2013 12:16 AM

I hope Ed Stanco sticks to his original plan and keeps PoS home.  She's a young filly and has had an arduous campaign this year.  She needs a break to rest & grow & fill out.  Steve, no fires this year.  I guarantee.  I love MMM but I think it's finally GoD's year.  BB made a good decision putting Mike back on him.  After all, no jock has won more BC races than Mike, as we all know.  That is an AMAZING statistic about MMM being on the lead at the 8th pole.  I am sure his connections have been paying attention.  I think the Classic is shaping up to be an exciting race.  Heck, I can't wait to see the Arabian race on Friday.  They used to have them at Los Al for a while.  Looking forward to going this year, and I hope I have an opportunity to see you & Lenny.  I love watching . . . And They're Off, and I miss StableBoy.  

12 Oct 2013 1:45 AM

Lots of "thoughts" to digest, and curious about the 2nd paragraph.  You touched on a scenario for PoS where GoD does not perform well again this year but not if he does.  Are you saying GoD would win the HOTY if he wins the Classic even if PoS and Wise Dan win their respective races ?  If so, I agree.

Also agree that the Juvenile Fillies Turf as the toughest and deepest race on both days...and thus would probably have the best payout.

Are you going to share some of your thoughts (and picks for each of the race) at all ?  A BC dozen (+3) of sort ?  I'm looking for some help with the listed contenders from Euro in the BC website...I can look at the form but would like your perspective on the turf invaders.

12 Oct 2013 2:14 AM

"Could it be the toughest and deepest race both days will be the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf”’

I lost a bundle on Sky Painter in the Miss Grillo. A Street Cry filly that wins a 5 1/2F race in 1:03.54 has to possess a bundle of class.

If not for an incident at the top of the stretch she would have won. It is not an easy task to win a maiden 5 1/2F race and then contest a graded race at 1 1/6m.  

Her victory not only raced with Lasix but also had the advantage in the foundation department with he 4 previous starts at longer distances.

She has to be the best of the locals.

12 Oct 2013 3:41 AM

"The Shadwell “Turf Mile” over a puddle splattered synthetic surface”

The rain affected condition of the Keenland synthetic surface has been mentioned before. Is it being cited as the reason for Wise Dan’s loss? If he had won, would the condition of the surface be mentioned?

He finished ahead of all but one of his opponents. The opponent that defeated him was making his synthetic surface debut and would have been more negatively impacted by the conditions.  Give Siler Max his due!

“I still don’t see a horse (American or European) capable of beating him at a mile on the grass”

Wise Dan is a 6YO who will be contesting his 27th race in the 2013 BCM (Turf).

In 2012 Silver Max covered 72F in his 9 races preceding his 2012 Shadwell Mile effort.  He was clearly a tire and over raced 3YO competing against a monster G1 miler. He got destroyed finishing 9th of 12.

He was given 7 months off and for reasons unknown his connections chose to start his 2013 campaign against HOY Wise Dan who had destroyed him in his last race of 2012. He finished 4th in the Woodford Reserve contested on a wet turf course over 9F.

Silver Max must be a bigger and stronger horse after his 7 months respite. He showed his toughness in 2012 when he contested 10 races covering 80F and winning 7. Wise Dan contested 6 races in 2012 covering 50F. Silver Max therefore covered 30F more than WD in 2012.

While none of the Euros are likely to defeated Wise Dan on the rock hard SA turf course, he will not have the legs to out run 4YO Silver Max.

In 2012 he got away from the 4YO Animal Kingdom who had a one race in 16 months resume. Silver Max 2013 resume reads 6 starts and 4 wins.

12 Oct 2013 3:45 AM
Bloodline Bob

Steve, thank you for those observations that I will use in my handicapping of the BC races. As for NBC, they should put a camera on GRAYDAR's part owner Terry Bradshaw + his buddy, NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno. I believe the 2 of them alone are going to lower the odds on GRAYDAR with their wagers! If anyone wants to say hi, I'm at Clubhouse Apron Section D, Row 16, Seat 1. Bloodline Bob. I've had the last 8 of the last 11 winners of the Classic + the last 6 consecutively. I missed 2004, 2005 + 2006. Good luck at the BC to all the Haskin followers. Bloodline Bob.

12 Oct 2013 6:42 AM

There seems to be an underlying belief that a filly running against colts would have a harder race than the same filly running against fillies only. That is just an assumption.

Take Danedream. When she won the ARC, the first three home were all fillies. In that case, the fillies had an easier time beating the colts than they did beating each other. The first three were Danedream, Shareta and Snow Fairy.

Danedream set a new track record and won by 5 lengths. In some of her previous starts she was beaten by fillies.

Take Treve. When she won the ARC she was drawn wide, travelled wide and won by 5 lengths. It was the first time she raced against males. Yet she had her widest margin of victory in her 5 starts.

Solemia, as said earlier, finished third in a race restricted to fillies before beating males in the ARC. So the fillies race must have been harder.

Who can say for sure that facing Royal Delta and Beholder would not be harder for Princess of Sylmar than facing an open field, at a longer distance, at weight for age?

They ought to go for it.

12 Oct 2013 8:39 AM

The Princess Of Sylmar dilemma is an interesting one. The scenarios presented are indeed real.

Despite POS’s achievements, I am awaiting her rematch with the top fillies to be finally convinced she is indeed superior.

The above statement might appear absurd and it might very well be. However, the fillies that finished 2nd in her two victories after the Oaks, were not good enough to make the field for the run for the lilies. The Royal Delta race was impressive but The Delta was beaten earlier in the year by an allowance winner. Not a difficult task!

POS won the Oaks as a significant underdog. At that point she was not considered better than a number of her opponents. She has not competed against many of them since.

I happen to think she will find Beholder and Close Hatches much improved as both have recorded impressive victories since their Oaks effort.

In the case of Close Hatches, she recorded one of her worst effort with her 7th place finish in the Oaks. That effort could hardly have reflected POS superiority as she easily defeated her by 3L in the G2 Gazelle prior to the Oaks.

Should a year end rematch go to Close Hatches the score will be two to one in her favor. She would be deserving of the Eclipse.

The same would true be for 2YO Champion Beholder who finished 2nd in the Oaks. If she wins the Distaff she would have won a Breeder Cup race as 2YO & 3YO. Such an achievement though not unprecedented is a rarity and merits reward.

12 Oct 2013 9:40 AM


I took no offense to your  spirited defense of Zenyatta and the opinions you hold.

I recognize that you are very passionate about these issue and probably I should not have engaged you on such sensitive issue..

I must learn to appreciate and respect the passions of contributors irrespective of how they are perceived.

Its a major deficiency I possess, but I am working on it.

I look forward to our future exchanges.

One Love!

12 Oct 2013 9:55 AM

It's still 1 1/2 month before the year end, there may be a chance that Dreaming of julia will run in some grade 3 races and if she win by 10 lenghts, then we might hear somebody raise the issue of she should be consider Horse ofthe year

sound crazy isn'it, but would not surprise me one bit, we have seen this nonsense before.

12 Oct 2013 11:38 AM

Excellent article, but what else is new. I am anxious to see the total entries for all the BC races. I"ll root for all the mounts of my countryman Johnny V and any other rider from PR, I wish the Ortiz brothers get some mounts.Keep us informed with your excellent articles.    

12 Oct 2013 12:12 PM

Signal : I know exactly what you're talking about.  I tried replying regarding PM and UR in the previous blog but for some reason it wouldn't go through.  It touched on DoJ as well.  I was seriously laughing at PM beating a weaker field, the guy doesn't do any research at all.

Coldfacs : Good points in your 9:40AM post about the 3YO fillies.  Agree with your assessment with Close Hatches being the champion filly should she win the Distaff.  CH also ran against better horses in her wins post Oaks.   I think PoS has gotten 10 times better since the Oaks though.  I'd be really surprised if they don't run in the Distaff, knowing CH beat her in the Gazelle.  They must know it's not a sure win (unless the voters have already given it to her.)  I think PoS is a beast right now and I don't know if Close Hatches will be able to close on her once she gets going in the stretch.  She only needs to be ahead of CH at the wire to secure the championship.  They could both be running for 2nd against RD anyway.

I started looking at the contenders this morning and realized ... there are way too many BC races!  

BC races contenders :  www.breederscup.com/.../119

12 Oct 2013 2:48 PM

JerseyBoy 12 Oct 2013 8:39 AM

I fully agree with you especially given that a victory in the BCC would guarantee her the HOTY title in a major upset of the big horse Wise Dan.

12 Oct 2013 3:04 PM


I wrote about Princess of Sylmar:

“We do not know if she will be effective at 10 furlongs”. I meant 10 furlongs against proven 10-furlong horses. Of course she has won at 10 furlongs.

This is all beside the point because she will not run in the Classic.

12 Oct 2013 3:35 PM

I hope all of these nonsense talks sound like these GOD hater really looking really hard to find any horse they wish to beat him.

I hope they bet on every horse but leave Dude alone, may be I will get 5/1 odd, that will make my day

Jay Jay, you touched on the distaff race which will have a lot implication after the outcome,

what do you think the voters will do if Beholder win, Royal Delta comes 2th, Close hatch 3rd ,

wouldn't that be a headach.

12 Oct 2013 5:59 PM

JayJay 12 Oct 2013 2:48 PM

I quote you "I was seriously laughing at PM beating a weaker field, the guy doesn't do any research at all."

My friend, it is you who know not of what you speak/write. Compare the finising times as well as the performances of the top three or four horse in both renewals of the Belmont Stakes and you'll see that the top three finishers are better stayers than those in this years race. The fourth place colt, Street Life was also unquestionbly a better hore than Incognito has shown hiself to be so far. In fact Palace Malice's finishing time would've placed him third at best in 2012 behind your "miler" Union Rags ...I say that tongue-in-cheek of course(LOL).

Before you challenge me on any matter of thoroughbred racing you'd be well advised to take your own advise and do some research Pal. Pooling ignorance with Signal et al doesn't strengthen your argument per se. You are welcome to try again. Peace.

I can hardly wait for Dreaming of Julia to return to the races ...be prepared to be silenced once again...remember, my patience usually wins the day ...don't forget that buddy (LOL).

12 Oct 2013 11:43 PM

JerseyBoy 12 Oct 2013 3:35 PM

Princess of Sylmar is inbred 4X3 to Dixieland Band, notably through the dams of her sire and dam respectively.  Based upon her displayed talent so far, with AP Indy on top as grand sire, she definitely has top class 10 furlongs pedigree and she should make an awfully good classic producing broodmare when retired.

I think that the connections have little to gain by racing her in the Distaff. In fact they are risking her 3YO championship without the promise of the HOTY title which she would definitely win, if victorious (considering her sex allowance) in the Breeder's Cup Classic. Even if she fails to win the latter race and finishes in the frame, she remains untouchable as 3YO Filly champion, no matter what Beholder or Close Hatches do in the Distaff IMHO. I hope that wisdom prevails.

13 Oct 2013 12:00 AM
Old Timer

I have always been a a fan of Bob Baffert, but the Dude flushed a nice chunk of my change in last year's Classic. It would be cool to see Stevens and MMM win one for the old guys. (not that Mike Smith is any spring chicken) :-)

13 Oct 2013 10:25 AM
Pedigree Ann

Delta Lady - I have been through the first 3 books in detail, looking for a mare to replace my dear, departed Emma. No Mizdirection. Also checked the Fasig-Tipton mini-sale. Nada. Mizdirection isn't being sold in Kentucky this November from what I can see. Hardly any Mizzen Masts in the catelogue at all.

13 Oct 2013 10:52 AM

Declaration Of War: It would be really great if a Euro could win a BCC contested on dirt.  

It is not beyond the realms of possibility as American bred horses that have been campaigned on turf in Europe have returned to finished 2nd twice and 3rd once in the big race on dirt i.e., Sakhee, Giants Causeway and Jolypha.

It appears the Northern Dancer and Nasrullah lines have featured prominently in the three aforementioned Euro invaders:  

Sakhee was sired by the US bred Bari who was sired by Riverman who was a son of the Nasrullah stallion Never Bend. Sakhee’s dam was sired by the great Sadler’s Wells who was a son of Northern Dancer.

Giant’s Causeway sire Storm Cat was bred in the US and is a grandson of Northern Dancer.  The grand dam sire of Giant’s Causeway was Blushing Groom who was sired by Red God a son of Nasrullah.

Jolypha was sired by Lyphard who was a son of Northern Dancer. It should be noted that the grand dam sire of Jolypha was Sir Gaylord who was produce from the broodmare Something Royal of Secretariat fame.

The pedigree profile of Declaration Of War and Giant’s Causeway have a startling similarities as they relate to  sire and dam sire lines.

Giant’s Causeway’s sire: Storm Cat by Storm Bird by Northern Dancer.

Declaration Of War sire: War Front by Danzig by Northern Dancer

Giant’s Causeway’s dam sire: Rahy by Blushing Groom by Red God.

Declaration Of War dam sire: Rahy by Blushing Groom by Red God.

Declaration Of War is surely not as talented as Giant’s Causeway but both won the 1 5/16M Juddemonte International. It should be noted that BCC 2nd and 3rd place finishers Sakhee and Twice Over also won the Juddemonte International.

The condition of the York course over which the Juddemonte International is contested annually can have so many different variations that it difficult to compare historic times. The only condition I have not seen is ‘Swampy.’

Based on records, it appears that the fastest time for the (G1) JI is 2:05.29 recorded by the brilliant Sea The Stars. It can be safely assumed that the course was very firm in 2009. What's the significance of this bit of cold facts? Declaration Of War’s 2013 time of 2:05.74 appears to be second best. Yes! Its better than the 2:06.59 recorded by Frankel in 2012.

In all seriousness, Declaration Of War has a proven pedigree to be competitive on dirt. He also has the ability to compete with the best in America. The BCC has been dominated by 4YO who have recorded 13 victories. He is therefore in an age range where he is primed for success.

If he shows up and is competitive on dirt, 6YO GOD and the other old guards have no chance.

13 Oct 2013 11:06 AM

looks like Princess may run in the breeders'cup after all, and I hope that they would not enter her in the Classic, because it will be very dificult for her to even get on the board and she might end up like Rachel after tangle with the top older horse especially GOD.

I think Todd Pletcher will do the right thing for her and put her on the right path and bring her back next year.

Beholder is a different horse right now, I really right to see her runs against POS again, I think it will be a very good race with Royal Delta and Close Hatch

also in the race, and who to say  that POS will be the winner for sure. it's nonsense to talk about she winning the Classic.

13 Oct 2013 11:38 AM

“She remains untouchable as 3YO Filly champion, no matter what Beholder or Close Hatches do in the Distaff IMHO.”.

If Beholder wins the Distaff how can she not be voted champion 3YO? She won two (G1) before entering the Oaks in which she finished the runner up? She was beaten by a 38-1 longshot not considered in her class. Since the Oaks she has won her two starts including another G1.

POS entered the Oaks with a 2nd place finish in her only graded effort. She was an upset winner and has won her 3 subsequent races.

She defeated My Happy Face and Fiftyshadeofhay in the Coaching Club and The Alabama. Neither fillies were good enough to make the Oaks field.

My Happy Face has since been defeated by Miss Lulu and Close Hatches. She has not finished better than 3rd in both her effort since being defeated by POS.

Fiftyahsdesofhay was beaten by Beholder twice. Since her defeat by POS, she was beaten a returning from layoff Pure Fun.

POS has beaten two fillies since the Oaks that were not in the top echelon of the fillies rank and that make her a monster. Beholder and Pure Fun have inflected defeats on those fillies, are they to be considered monster as well?

This brings us to the icing on the POS monster cake. Her defeat of Royal Delta has propelled her into HOY consideration. What an amazing feat. POS defeated the two times Champion Older Mare. That achievement superseded all others.

Four races back Royal Delta was defeated by an allowance winner by the name Funny Proposition. I wonder if her defeat of Royal Delta is being view in similar high esteem. I guess when Awesome Marie  destroyed Royal Delta she was in consideration for HOY as well.  

It is crucial for POS to contest the Distaff to solidify her champion 3YO filly designation. She defeated fillies after the Oak that are not in the top 5. Those fillies were subsequently beaten and have not won a race. She caught Royal Delta on an off day just as Funny Proposition had.

Folks serious analysis is need in evaluating those worthy of being awarded year end Eclipses.

13 Oct 2013 11:49 AM
Arts and Letters

I miss the old days when there were just 7 races.  It forced the best together, males and females alike, at least for the turf races and the sprint.  Now it's more diluted. Plus, it was nice to have everything on a single day.

13 Oct 2013 11:50 AM


Wow to call somebody Ignorance, you should look in to the mirror.

a person who do not have an idea about horse racing and breeding and yet try to self proclaim to be an expert.

I challenge you many time,but you never accept my call and i will do it again, let see if you walk the talk, I will take GOD head on with you if you like to take POS in the Classic.

By the way you are talking like you know all along that POS will be a top horse, but as I remember you touted DOJ was the best horse in the nation until the Oaks.

Do you still think she can beat POS now or ever. Talking about IGNORANCE and NONSENSE.

Verazano, DOJ, Successful Dan, Wise Dan, and now POS, these are the name that you touted this year to beat Dude in the Classic, I gotta tell you that you are run out of option. My offer still stand

Listen to Jay Jay may be he can teach you something good.

13 Oct 2013 12:05 PM

Declaration of War has an excellent chance to win it.  He has an outstanding pedigree.  Thank you for mentioning that Tempo West is a half sister to my beloved Union Rags.

13 Oct 2013 12:44 PM

Of all the Breeders' Cup races, there are few I look forward to more each year than the Marathon. Not only do I find it an entertaining race, I also find it an intriguing handicapping challenge, full of stoutly-bred turf horses switching to dirt, quality dirt runners trying an extended distance for the first time, and European invaders with experience on the all-weather, but not on dirt.

This year's Marathon promises to be especially interesting thanks to the presence of Ever Rider, a five-year-old Argentinean-bred runner that won the Clasico General Belgrano in his native country earlier this year. Time will tell if he is as good as his compatriot Calidoscopio, who was so spectacular in winning the Marathon last year, but Ever Rider has turned in some very nice workouts at Santa Anita over the last month, and I look forward to seeing how he performs next month!

13 Oct 2013 1:58 PM

Coldfacts 13 Oct 2013 11:06 AM

You wrote "If he (Declaration of War) shows up and is competitive on dirt, 6YO GOD and the other old guards have no chance."

I wouldn't go as far to say that the old guard/ "6YO Grade 1 club members" have no chance ...their chances may amount to a little better than slim if Ron The Greek can put together back to back solid efforts at the ripe age of 6 and Game On Dude can break on top and dictate his own pace (Our blog-fellow, Signal, needs to wish upon a star for this to happen -LOL).  However the local 4YO colt that has a better chance than Declaration of War is Paynter (the colt you more or less have written off as damaged goods due to his past illness).  You were proved to be very wrong about Palace Malice after his strenuous La.Derby, Bluegrass and Kentucky Derby efforts therefore you are hereby cautioned to thread refully about Paynter. I think that he's like a bundle of dynamite waiting to explode and his recent runner-up effort behind Mucho Macho Man in the Awesome Again Stakes was a very good prep for the Breeder's Cup Classic.  I'm not yet selecting him to win the race as there are a couple of others including another 4YO trained by Todd Pletcher that are going to be competitive. If Pletcher sends Graydar to the BCC instead of the Dirt Mile watch out buddy. More anon.

13 Oct 2013 4:03 PM

“You were proved to be very wrong about Palace Malice after his strenuous La. Derby, Bluegrass and Kentucky Derby”

I was not in favor of Palace Malice being entered in the Kentucky Derby after his LA Derby and Bluegrass efforts. Under no circumstance would he be able to win the 10F KD Derby having contested 3 races in 49 days covering 26.5F. I specified that he would likely be damage goods exiting the Derby.

Well I was correct that he had no chance of winning as he finished a badly beaten 12th. I concede that he turned out to be much tougher than I expected. With that stated even with 6 weeks rest he labored to victory in the Belmont recording a embarrassingly slow time.

He then scrambled home in the Jim Dandy just holding off WTC who was dismal in the TC series.

There 1:59 plus that he tried to match might just be too much for the a May foal that had been pushed. I still believe he has been managing badly and time is likely to prove me right.

Ron The Greek is indeed in rare company. He is one of three horses that have recorded sub 2 minute times for 10F JCGC.

Pleasant Tap’s 158:80 and Albert the Great’s 1:59.24 translated to 2nd and 4th place finishes in the BCC.

It should be noted that Pleasant Tap was a 5YO and Albert the Great a 3YO when they recorded their sub 2 minute times and both were defeated in the BCC..

Paynter: I remain firm the colt is damage goods and incapable of winning the BCC or any other major G1 race that includes quality opposition. Since his return has been unable to win a graded race. His last two victories were achieved against Nonios and Majestic City. They will not be in the BCC and consequently I see not path to victory for the 4YO.

Game On Dude: He had two previous shots at winning the BCC and lost. The history of the BCC suggests he has no chance of winning.

Sunday Silence is the only horse to finish as runner up in one year and return to win the BCC the next. GOD had the chance to emulate Sunday Silence feat in 2012 and was a miserable 7th on his home court. Midaglia D’ Oro had a similar opportunity and failed as well.

No horse has ever won the race on third attempt. Perfect Drift had four attempts at winning the race and was unsuccessful in all.

How my 6YOs won races in Breeder Cup 2012?

13 Oct 2013 10:30 PM

Coldfacts 13 Oct 2013 11:49 AM

You shouldn't quote me out of context in order to make your case for Beholder and Close Hatches against Princess of Sylmar.

I wrote that if POS runs in the Breeder's Cup Classic and finishes in the frame {top three/four) her performance would transcend whatever Beholder or Close Hatches does in the Distaff since she has already defeated them convincingly when it mattered as well as humbled "queen" Royal Delta. You have a way of penalizing good horses by evaluating who compete against them when it is quite clear that other chief rivals are ducking them. Princess of Sylmar has nothing more to prove against the aforementioned fillies and mare. I believe that she has bigger fish to fry in the Breeder's cup Classic and could very well do what the French filly Treve did in the Arc de Triomphe, if the connections are bold enough. Her five pounds sex allowance would give her the edge in the weights that she needs to defeat the "boys", not to mention the anticipated pace scenario. The Horse of The Year title would be a mere formality in such a case. Cant you  agree?

The BCC is going to be a tough race and only a really special filly can win it. POS has earned herself a shot at superstardom in my view.

13 Oct 2013 11:39 PM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, as for your comment, "Sunday Silence is the only horse to finish as runner up in one year and return to win the BCC the next," I can only ask you to explain what you're talking about. Not only did Sunday Silence not finish 2nd in the Classic one year or any year, Game on Dude did not finish second last year either, so I have no idea what point you're trying to make.

You constantly bring up Palace Malice's slow final time in the Belmont but neglect to mention he was running 2 lengths off :46 3/5 and 1:10 4/5 pace. How many Belmont winners can you name who arent in the Hall of Fame who have run that fast early in the Belmont and went on to win the race by 3 1/4 lengths. Cold facts, even when accurate, mean little by themselves.

14 Oct 2013 3:06 AM
lunar spook

MY RANDOM THOUGHTS- TREVE is a super horse and may go down as an all timer , very impressive!!!  , WISE DAN is not all he seems to be , his connections are cherry picking races and dodging any real competition very OVERRATED HORSE !  , PALACE MALICE is flying under the radar again , that's fine with me , ill be laughing all the way to the bank when this talented horse catches a break and wins the classic !!!

14 Oct 2013 8:38 AM

I think Coldfacts meant Alysheba?

14 Oct 2013 9:04 AM
Pedigree Ann

Coldfacts: Charles Hatton once wrote after Riva Ridge's win in the Kentucky Derby about how some had said that no horse out a daughter of Heliopolis has won the Derby, so Riva couldn't either. Just because something hasn't happened before doesn't mean it can't happen. No female had won the BC Classic before 2010; did not make it impossible.

Giant's Causeway, Jolypha, and Sakhee were USA-breds. So was Raven's Pass, by the way. GC's sire and dam were both Graded winners on dirt in the USA. All 4 of Sakhee's grandparents were USA-breds who were top turf runners with at least one parent who was a noted dirt performer; none ever had a chance to prove themselves on dirt. Jolypha's sire was the product of two G1-type dirt performers, while her dam won a G2 on dirt.

Declaration of War is also a USA-bred out of two USA-breds; the sire was a G2 winner on dirt (at 6f), while the dam was an allowance winner on dirt (c.8f). No need to appeal to remote generations when the data is up front.

14 Oct 2013 9:32 AM

"You shouldn't quote me out of context in order to make your case for Beholder and Close Hatches against Princess of Sylmar.”

I have reviewed the relevant post and the only quote of yours that it contains is listed below:

“She remains untouchable as 3YO Filly champion, no matter what Beholder or Close Hatches do in the Distaff IMHO.”

I initially viewed the above quote in the context of POS being rested for the rest of the year. I missed the part of your post that includes the reference to her participation in the BCC. You therefore have my humblest apology.

That stated, the section of the quote above cites POS as being untouchable as 3YO Filly champion designate and that opinion is without conditions.

My post highlighted why I believe POS needs to contest the Distaff to solidify her 3YO champion filly designation. I do not believe she can handle the colts and consequently she should be kept amongst her gender.

Should she be put away for the rest of the year and Beholder wins the Distaff, I believe Beholder should be voted 3YO champion despite her loss to POS in the Oaks.

My post was built on the notion that it’s a foregone conclusion that POS has the 3YO Champion filly Eclipse locked up based on her BOW involving the Oaks and subsequent victories.

POS defeated Beholder in the Oaks and while POS beat the entire, Beholder defeated all but one.  A  one race victory over an opponent does not ultimately denote superiority.

“You have a way of penalizing good horses by evaluating who compete against them”

Highlighting that Beholder defeated Fiftyshadesofhay twice and Close Hatches defeated My Happy Face as well is pertinent. Fiftyshadesofhay and My Happy Face finished runner ups to POS in the Coaching Club and Alabama. She is not the only one that of the top five fillies that have defeated them.

As for the win over Royal Delta, I consider that nothing special. Many horses have defeated Royal Delta that do not have POS's resume. This bit of cold facts should not be ignored.

“Princess of Sylmar has nothing more to prove against the aforementioned fillies and mare.”

She scored one victory over them. Are you aware that one Swallow a summer does not make?

“POS has earned herself a shot at superstardom in my view.”

If contesting the BCC is considered a shot at stardom, then top class mares like Zenyata and Royal Delta earned theirs as well. Zenyatta took her shot as a 5YO and Royal Delta has so far passed on her shots.

It is interesting that you believe winning the Kentucky Oaks in 1:49.17, Coaching Club 1:51.07, Alabama 2:03.21 & Beldame 1:47.93 are figures to be competitive against the boys in the BCC.

Orb ran 2:02.89 for 10F on a sloppy track. Place Malice ran 1:47.37 in Jim Dandy; WTC ran 2:02.68 in the Traverse.

Why should anyone be surprised as you have compared POS to the French filly Treve. I wonder if Treve has ever left the gates at 38-1.

14 Oct 2013 9:43 AM


You are correct I meant to highlight Alysheba who was runner up in 1987 and returned to win is 1988.

Many Thanks.

14 Oct 2013 9:46 AM

Steve Haskin,

Very rarely do you engage me directly and I am truly honored.

The correct reference regarding the BCC runner up that returned the next year and won should have been Alysheba.

When I make error I usually try to determine why. The data base from which I sourced the information listed the 1989 winner just above the 1988 winner. I noted that Alasheba was 2nd in 1987 and instead of focusing on 1988 I went to 1989. My bad!

I always strive for accuracy. There were two other BCC  references that were accurate regarding Midaglia D’ Oro and Perfect Drift.

It is interesting that one inaccuracy encompassed by scores of accuracies can be the focus of a post. I am guilty of same.

"Cold facts, even when accurate, mean little by themselves."

I am wholeheartedly in agreement

with the above conclusion. Irrespective of the historic perspective that I usually highlight I am not necessarily driven by them. When it matters I rely on what my eyes capture during a post parade.

There are some historic hurdles that are easier to cross than others.

GOD has been fabulous all year. He was fabulous during the 2012 season as well. In 2012 he the starting gates for the BCC as a 5YO with a 22 starts racing career and finished 7th.

When enterers the starting gate in 2013 BCC he will do so as a 6YO with a 27 starts career and many  expected him to win.

As great a trainer as Bob Baffert is, he failed to win the race with the brilliant 4YO Silver Charm; Champion 3YO Lookin At Lucky; the hard knocking 4YO GOD and the hard knocking 3YO Captain Steve.

He is now expected to condition a 6YO with 27 starts and who finished 7th in the 2012 renewal of the BCC to win the 2013 renewal.

Even with home court advantage GOD will not give Mr. Baffert his first BCC winner.

He is not the best 6YO that has attempted to win the race and even the best with less furlongs travelled have failed.

I will eat a healthy serving of crow if he wins.

14 Oct 2013 11:01 AM

The times for the last 4 Belmont Stakes are:

2013  Palace Malice 2:30.70

2012 Union Rags 2:30.42

2011 Ruler on Ice 2:30.88

2010 Drosselmeyer 2:31.57

Has Palace Malice ever raced more than once in any  month? No.

Starting in July 2012, he raced in:

July, August 2012, and once per month in 2013.

14 Oct 2013 11:35 AM
Steve Haskin

Jersey Boy, whatever relevance those Belmont times have I'm not sure, but of the three you mentioned prior to Palace Malice, it should be noted that one of them won the BC Classic (albeit the next year) and another finished 3rd, both at big prices.

14 Oct 2013 12:46 PM
steve from st louis

Considering the big picture, doesn't this seem like one of the most wide-open Breeders Cups ever? It seems that usually, about 1/4 of the races have an odds-on favorite. This year, I'm hard-pressed to find four horses to even key on, other than maybe Wise Dan and Princess of Sylmar, if she goes. Trainers seem to have taken a page from baseball and most of the runners this year have been on a low "pitch count". That will lead to bigger prices, in my opinion.

14 Oct 2013 1:07 PM

" POS has earned herself a shot at superstardom in my view "

As expeceted the self appointed expert in horse racing would not accept my challenge to go head to head with DUDE.

And now he has a new horse Grey Dar to beat DUDE in the classic,

wow! that's almost the whole field that he pick to beat DUDE.

Jay Jay who do you like in the dirt mile and the sprint, I think I will make some money in the mile

since I heard the super hype horse  Verazano is gonna be in there and he is gonna take a lot of money at the window.

14 Oct 2013 1:41 PM

Steve Haskin 14 Oct 2013 12:46 PM

I get your point ...in recent times those "slow" Belmont Stakes winners are very competitive Breeders Cup Classic aspirants.  My question to you is "Do you regard any of those four as milers (stamina deficient in a truly run Grade 1 10furlngs race)?"

That's really a rhetorical question intended to teach some slow learners on the blog about difference between stayers and milers (LOL).

JerseyBoy 14 Oct 2013 11:35 AM

Thanks for listing those comparitive Belmont Stakes data.

14 Oct 2013 2:07 PM


On second thoughts and out of generousity of spirit, I think that we should spell it out for the slow learners that Paynter, who finished a close up second to Union Rags (regarded by poster jay jay as a miler) in the 2012 Belomont Stakes, is coming into the 2013 Breeder's Cup Classic as a very dangerous contender.

14 Oct 2013 2:26 PM


I was just trying to show that the recent Belmont times have been slow for some reason and that Palace Malice's time was not unusual. He won easily.

Drosselemeyer did go on to greater things. So the slower time is not an indication of some shortcoming in Palace Malice. That is what I was trying to show.

I am just on the alert for people who seem to treat everything Pletcher does with a touch of malice. The pattern of Palace Malice’s racing was given to show that Palace Malice did not have an excessive number of races on his record. I support Pletcher’s cause. I like the horse.

14 Oct 2013 3:13 PM


See my reply to Steve.

You will get my drift.

Palace Malice is a very good horse. He has blinding speed and great stamina. He is a horse like Point of Entry.

14 Oct 2013 3:34 PM
Age of Reason

-Keelerman, my dear friend, how wonderful to hear from you. I've heard about Ever Rider, and Argentina deserves to win BC races as much as any nation for the guts and grit they put into their stock. However, I will be cheering big-time in the Marathon for Take Control, "Azeri's little boy!" (by A.P. Indy). He is such a beautiful creature, makes me wish I owned a mare! Other than that, my most passionate rooting interest will be Point of Entry in the Turf. I'm an unemotional person in the extreme, but if he wins, I'll cry.

14 Oct 2013 4:17 PM

"Has Palace Malice ever raced more than once in any month? No.”

Mr. Jersey Boy we greatly appreciate your disclosure that despite Place Malice’s 3 starts in 49, they spanned three different months. I guess the average days between starts equated to 30 days.

02/23/2013 - Risen Star

03/30/2013- LA Derby (35 days)

04/13/2013 – Bluegrass (14 days)

He made three starts between Feb and April. The Bluegrass was contested 14 days after the LA Derby.

His trainer is on record that he is comfortable with 4 week between starts.

To contest two 9F races in a span of 14 days and then three weeks later contest the most difficult race to win over 10F is in to a formula for success with medicated horses.

14 Oct 2013 4:40 PM

Mr Coldfacts, what is this?

“To contest two 9F races in a span of 14 days and then three weeks later contest the most difficult race to win over 10F is in to a formula for success with medicated horses”

In the Triple Crown, they run the Derby, 10 fur, then the Preakness, 9.5 fur, 14 days apart. They then they go to the Belmont over 12 furlongs, 21 days later. That is 5 weeks total, or 3 races in 35 days.

The Triple Crown, in my calculation, is a more arduous task. If horses are expected to compete in the three Triple Crown races in 35 days, I do not see why an issue should be made of a less arduous schedule.

I do not get stuck on what people say. I deal with their actions. If there is no action and I must rely on people’s words, I consider the context in which they spoke and give them the benefit of the doubt always.

However, I do not know what you are saying in your last post. It is incoherent.

14 Oct 2013 10:55 PM

Belmont winners that have won the BCC:

A P Indy Belmont – 2:.26.00; BCC 2:00..20 (GP)

Drosselmeyer Belmont – 2:31.57; BCC 2:04.27 (CD)

There have not been a lot of Belmont winner that have won the BCC.

2013 Palace Malice 2:30.70 - Pending

2012 Union Rags 2:30.42 – Did not contest BCC.

2011 Ruler on Ice 2:30.88 – finished 3rd in BCC run in 2:04.27

2010 Drosselmeyer 2:31.57 -Won the BCC run in the second slowest time.

Times for BCC contested on dirt at SA Park:

1986 Sky Walker – 2:00.40

1993 Agcangeus – 2:00.83

2003 Pleasantly Perfect – 1:59.88

2012 Fort Larned – 2:00.11

Can Palace Malice run 2:00 plus for 10F? A Belmont winner that records a time of 2:30 is unlikely to run 2:00 at SA Park.

15 Oct 2013 10:14 AM

Pedigree Ann,

No need to appeal to remote generations when the data is up front.”

The Idiom ‘Never too old to learn’ is profoundly applicable to the above. I was unaware and consequently have learnt that there is a generation within a horses pedigree classified as ‘remote’.

If my recollection is correct, my post cited three generations and if the 3rd generation is regarded as remote then I have been duely educated.  

"Giant's Causeway, Jolypha, and Sakhee were USA-breds. So was Raven's Pass, by the way."

Raven’s Pass was deliberately excluded from my post and consequently there was no need to highlight the 2008 BCC winner. If you revisit my post you will note that in the opening paragraph the surface specified is dirt. See Below:

“Declaration Of War: It would be really great if a Euro could win a BCC contested on dirt.”  

I therefore focused on those America bred and European campaigned horses that returned to contest the BCCs on dirt.  Raven’s Pass was not mentioned as he contested and won the BCC on a synthetic surface.

Instead of highlighting Raven’s Pass, it would have been more relevant to cite the French bred Arcangeus who won the 1993 BCC contested on dirt at SA Park.

My opening statement should have been as follows:

“Declaration Of War: It would be really great if a American bred Euro raced horse could win a BCC contested on dirt.”  

You have clearly missed the intent of my post. Declaration of War’s pedigree is similar to other US bred and Euro raced horses that have done well in BCCs contested on dirt.

For those who like DOW and were unaware of same, they might have found the cold facts contained in the quote encouraging.

It appears I have returned to my brilliant best at annoying Mr. Haskin’s supporters and it’s probably appropriate for a time out.

15 Oct 2013 11:01 AM

Age of Reason;

It's great to hear from you, too!

I've been a fan of Take Control ever since he broke his maiden, so I'm pretty thrilled that he is finally sound enough to be considered for a start in the Breeders' Cup! It's so unfortunate that he has only run three times in the last four years. I give a lot of credit to Bob Baffert and Kaleem Shah for their patience in getting him back to the races!

On the same note, I'm very excited to have Point of Entry back for the Breeders' Cup. After his injury in June, it would have been so easy to just retire him to stud, but instead, we get to enjoy his presence at another Breeders' Cup! After that near miss last year, I'm really hoping he can end his career on a winning note. That would be an amazing story.

15 Oct 2013 9:54 PM


Take Control was acquired for $1m plus after the Paulson's Trust had refused $7M for him.

At the time of the refusal I post that if I were the owner of the yearling, not only would I have taken the $7M but would have sold the mare as well.

I cannot recall anywhere in history where two HOY have produced a champion.

I cannot recall where a HOY mare has produce a champion as well.

If Take Control was retired he would probably command a stud fee of $2,000 at best. He has only won a MSW and an Optional Claim Allowance.

His best finish in a graded race was 4th in the (G2)San Diego. He finished 10th in the G1 Awesome Again.

The connections have no option but to persist with him until he at least win a graded race and increase HIS STUD VALUE

16 Oct 2013 5:15 AM

Coldfacts & Keelerman,

Take Control is a talented horse that has been plagued by unsoundness. Had the connections not been convinced about his ability I believe they would've retired him long ago but the know that a good graded stakes win especially over a distance of ground would spike his stud value, hence their persistence. He could be in with a shot in the BC Marathon if fit enough.

16 Oct 2013 1:43 PM
Rusty Weisner


It's "Arcangues".

16 Oct 2013 2:57 PM
Rusty Weisner

A lot of people at this site liked Palace Malice to win the Belmont so it's worth something that people are expressing a lot of support for him for the BC.  He's against a tough bunch of his elders, but there are a couple I prefer him to:  Mucho Macho Man hasn't won at 10f, and I don't bet a horse to win at 10f until they win at 10f.  Fort Larned lucked out last year and was off form this summer after his big performance.  GOD is the only one of the biggies up front I don't consider vulnerable.  I give PM a chance at the exacta but may look for some old salt to pick up the pieces behind GOD.  Then again, PM is a sentimental favorite and maybe after three even performances in the 105-107 Beyer range he has one more bust-out race?  One thing he has going in his favor is that he seems tough on any track, and SA might be a track to his liking where he can use and carry his speed.

So how are the other races coming into focus for everyone?  I think I like Private Zone right now in the sprint.  I think the Juvenile will blow up the board, though I have a tepid interest in Havana being disrespected a la Hansen.

16 Oct 2013 3:21 PM
Rusty Weisner


You are being stubborn about Palace Malice.  To your credit, you endorsed him early for his Derby and Belmont pedigree but you made the mistake then of saying he had had too many races and would be hobbled.  You're doing it again.

16 Oct 2013 3:24 PM
Rusty Weisner

I would welcome a handicapper who thinks he knows something about form cycles to make a prediction about Palace Malice based on his past four performances.  Boom or bust?  Or just another reliable performance?

16 Oct 2013 3:27 PM

Rusty Weisner,

"You are being stubborn about Palace Malice."

Do you seriously believe a Belmont winner that recorded a time of 2:30 plus can record a time of 2:00 plus for 10F at SA Park?

In Palace Malice's last 7 races he covered 69F. I think he should pass on the BCC and be freshened for a 4YO campaign.

He was only able to win 2 of his last 7 stats and he now expected to win the biggest 10F race in the country after such a brutal series of races. It will not happen.

16 Oct 2013 6:16 PM

Rusty Weisner,

Palace Malice will be forwardly placed and that will compromise his chances of winning.

I forecast he will be a bust.

Todd Pletcher's BCC Record:

2011 - Uncle Mo 10th

2011 - Stay Thirsty 11th

2010 - Quality Road 12th

2009 - Quality Road (DNS)

2008 - Fairbanks 10th

2007 - Any Given Saturday 6th

2007 - Lawyer Ron 7th

2006 - Lawyer Ron 9th

2006 - Flower Alley 11th

2005 - Flower Alley 2nd

2004 - Newfoundland 12th

2002 - Harlan's Holiday 9th

Mr. Pletcher has an abysmal record in the BCC. Eleven starters one 2nd. He has colt that has covered 69F in his last 7 races

entering the BCC starting gates in 2013.

Does he deserve a vote of confidence?

16 Oct 2013 7:27 PM

Signal : I'm not sure yet, but if I have to make a pick now, I would be on Wise Dan and Toronado.  It's just a matter of how much I would put on WD, I have a feeling that WD's race will be either very good or very bad meaning if it's very bad, he won't hit the board which means the exotics will be very juicy.

I'm still looking at Toronado, trying to look for his races in youtube.  A lot of my bets will depend on race day, have to see how the horses look during the post parade.

Ranagulzion : You really should give it up.  It's very sad that you used the 4th place finishers of PM and UR's belmonts for your argument.  PM was .28 slower than UR's Belmont, and I won't even go into the caliber of horses he beat compared to UR's.     You also should give up trying to pick a star, you failed miserably in the last couple of years.  This year, you picked DoJ who supposedly would've toyed with the boys if allowed to run yet struggled in the Oaks.  And don't even try and use DoJ's future races to redeem yourself...you have all but forgotten bout the horse after she struggled trying to get 3rd in the Oaks.  The only reason you remember her is because I mentioned her as your "star is born" pick for this year.   Oh, and I don't rely on Signal's post for my discussion with you, unlike you do with JerseyBoy's to prove your point.  Still, you haven't posted any information as to why you picked Verrazano to win his next race....it's not a hard question, it does require thinking though.

16 Oct 2013 7:29 PM


I can't see Palace malice winning the BCC but I can envision him being judiciously ridden to eek out a place or show spot that could garner him a fairly hansome purse money from a $5M Grade 1 race and the 3YO Eclipse award.

It would be suicidal for Johnny V to duke it out on the front end with Fort Larned and Game On Dude, trying to run those two into the ground and still expect to hit the board. Johnny V is not that kind of jockey ...he'll stalk and save his best run for the home sretch which will most likely earn him some purse money as Palace malice will fight on after stalking a gruelling pace.

His stable mate Graydar has a better shot at winning the race from a position of contesting the early pace. Anyway, one of these Pletcher horses will need to comit to contesting the early fractions or Game On Dude and Fort Larned could do a repeat of the Gohstzapper and Roses In May collusion to set up an agreed pace scenario thats advantageous to both horses and kills off the competition.

This years Breeders Cup Classic will be all about pace strategy, especially for the first half mile. More anon.

16 Oct 2013 9:17 PM

jay jay,

I'll say no more about Verrazano except, bet against him at the peril of your pocket in the Breeders Cup. You go and research his race record and watch the videos ...dont expect one whom you think doesn't think to do your thinking for you my friend.  

16 Oct 2013 9:23 PM
Rusty Weisner


The argument about Pletcher may be a good one.  But a lot of those horses were not 10f horses (Quality Road, the post-illness Uncle Mo).  This one is better, I think.  

You say 7 races have been grueling (you have to have miscounted the number of furlongs because he didn't average 10f per race) but he's only run four races in the past five months.  I think it's ridiculous to predict going off form based on this, especially when you were so wrong earlier in the year.  And he hasn't had some outlier effort lately that you'd expect to cause a bounce.  And he just beat older horses (except for that one), including Flat Out on his home track.  And to re-address his Belmont time:  time only counts in jail.  I only count the 6f and 8f splits.  They're the only things that matter when looking at that race.

Every argument you bounce back at me just makes me like the horse more, and I wasn't originally inclined to bet a 3yo against older.  That said, this lineup looks tough, with a lot of speed that seems to need the lead, though PM likes to track the pace.  I missed the boat on Ron the Greek; that's the kind of horse I might have given a chance here.

16 Oct 2013 10:52 PM
Greg R

You're right, I think the the Juvenile Filly Turf could have the strongest field we have seen for that race.  Some commentators have not rated Conquestadory's races very highly, but they were sure exciting to watch.  I look forward to seeing how her closing kick matches up to the competition.

17 Oct 2013 12:09 AM

Could we perhaps refer to her as "the Princess" rather than POS?

As for the Euros with American bloodlines: Neither Northern Dancer nor Nasrullah was American-bred.

17 Oct 2013 12:32 AM
Greg R

Ranalguzion:  You mention POS's running in the Classic.  Has there been any hint of that or is it just a fantasy?  You compare that possibility to Treve's running in the Arc and refer to the weight allowance.  Three yr-old fillies in the Arc receive TWELVE pounds from their male elders, I believe, and that is an enormous advantage over 1 1/2 miles, especially over testing ground.  I have argued, to the consternation of some here, that the eye-popping Arc wins of certain sophomore fillies have been terrific, but not quite what they appear, when one considers how much that disproportionate weight gap distorts the results.  Anyway, I estimate that POS would need at least eight or nine lb. from Dude and company to gain a similar edge in the Classic.  Maybe she doesn't need that much to be competitive, but otherwise we can't really compare her situation to Treve's.

17 Oct 2013 12:41 AM

Rusty Weisner,

"The argument about Pletcher may be a good one.  But a lot of those horses were not 10f horses"

The only horse from the list that I consider not a 10F horse is Uncle Mo.

Great trainers get 9F horses to go the extra furlong with effective stamina building programs.

"You say 7 races have been grueling (you have miscounted the number of furlongs because he didn't average 10f per race)"

LA Derby 9F (Mar)

Bluegrass 9F (Arp)

Kentucky Derby 10F (May)

Belmont 12F (Jun)

Jim Dandy 9F (Jul)

Travers 10F (Aug)

Jockey Club 10F (Sep)

My arithmetic is bad but the above total number of furlongs amount to 69. The average being 9.85F per race.

"he's only run four races in the past five months."

Palace Malice has contested a race every month for 2013.

"I think it's ridiculous to predict going off form based on this, especially when you were so wrong earlier in the year."

I predicted he would no chance of winning the Derby based on his crammed schedule of pre Derby races. He finished 12th. What was incorrect about that prediction?

I suggested that he was likely to be negatively impacted by his rammed and grueling pre Derby race schedule. He turned out to be tougher than I expected.

Many of the top Derby contenders that finished ahead of him left the scene with injuries and Orb went off form. This opened opportunities for him. Is he a better colt than his stable mate Revolutionary?

Will take Charge was a non-factor in the TC series and has returned to win twice with a narrow loss and a victory over PM.

The likes of Revolutionary, Normandy Invasion, Oxbow and other top colts who were better than Will Take Charge  have left the scene.

You make it appear that PM has been a win machine. He has won twice from 9 starts in 2013.

"Time only counts in jail."

Only two Belmont winners have won the BCC. A P Indy's time of 2:26 was the fastest since Secretariat. He recorded a time od 2:00 plus in his BCC victory.

Drosselemyer won the Belmont in a tine of 2:31.57 and the BCC in 2:04 plus.

Can PM record a time of 2:00 plus for 10? This is the time it will take to win the BCC. Needless to say he has not won at 10F in three attempts.

The colt should be put away for the rest of the year.

17 Oct 2013 8:10 AM


American bloodline was never referenced in in any post.

"The term was American bred and Euro raced"

American bred as you are well aware refers to horses foaled in America. This has nothing to do with their ancestries.  

17 Oct 2013 9:14 AM
Rusty Weisner


Your arithmetic is correct.  So much the better if he's averages 9.85f per race.

"The colt should be put away for the rest of the year."

Maybe, but you also said something to the same effect before he ran in the Derby, that he would be ruined by too many races.  

I appreciate your comments.  The horse is not a single for me in the Classic, but I rate him a chance.  Who do you like?

Moving on to other BC races...

17 Oct 2013 9:53 AM
Rusty Weisner


I'm inclined to side with both you and Coldfacts on this one, re pace.  

Frankly, I like GOD here right now, especially after what happened last year.  Not very original.  But I play every which way BC day and I'll have a ticket where I oppose him.  I look like that GEICO money guy on BC day...at least at the start of the day.

17 Oct 2013 10:00 AM

Coldfacts and Ranagulzion;

Thank you for your thoughts! You both made excellent points regarding Take Control and his potential stud career, and I do believe that winning a graded stakes race is the reason why he has been kept in training. That's why I'm particularly excited that Bob Baffert and Kaleem Shah have persevered with him for so long -- I believe that they know they have a special colt on their hands, and would like to give potential breeders a chance to see what he can do.

17 Oct 2013 12:28 PM

Rusty Weisner;

I believe that Palace Malice is capable of turning in a career-best effort in the Classic, although he would likely require optimum circumstances to do so. As Steve Haskin pointed out in a recent blog post, Palace Malice ran sixty-seven feet farther than Ron the Greek in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, which equate to 7.8 lengths. If one assumes for a moment that Palace Malice had worked out a ground-saving trip in the Gold Cup, instead of spending the entire race three paths wide, Palace Malice might have won the race by a length. That would have led to a Beyer speed figure of about 115, a number that should contend for victory in this year's Classic.

Of course, this means nothing in regard to how Palace Malice will run two weeks from now. My only point is that I believe Palace Malice is capable of running fast enough to win the Classic, even if he hasn't necessarily done so to this point.

17 Oct 2013 12:38 PM

LOL at "I will say no more..." which would make more sense if you actually said anything about it before.  I never asked you to think for me, I was wondering if you even research or you just get carried away by the impressive wins.   So if your wish came true, and Verrazano runs in the Classic, are you going to bet him against Graydar, another Pletcher horse you're touting ?    You must think Verrazano is a monster to guarantee a win for him in the Classic since you mentioned that it would be suicidal to go with Fort Larned and GoD...do you really see Verrazano coming from behind to win against that Classic field ?  I checked his record (although I already knew it), and I can't find any race where he won from off the pace, he's never been a deep stalker / closer.  He has always won on the front or part of the pace.  I don't know fi you're aware of that...guaranteeing his win in the Classic.  I told you, you should pray he stays in the Dirt Mile, he has a better chance of hitting the board or even winning it.

Coldfacts : I've been reading all your posts and I'm not sure if you have already (maybe I missed it), but who is your pick in the Classic ?  You said the oldies won't win it, I think at some point you also discounted the 3 yr olds so I'm curious as to who you're going to play or who are you looking at right now to win the Classic ?  

17 Oct 2013 10:19 PM
Rusty Weisner


Verrazano is a bolder and better bet here than he was in the Travers just from the perspective of odds, as he's coming off a flop where the form cycle and probably distance weren't to his liking.  I don't know if I like him, because I don't "get" this horse the way I get PM; his victories are soft.  But heck, if you like him, now's the time to bet him.

I want to know Coldfacts' pick, too, and picks for the past few years if he's willing.  All I remember about his BC picks was the awful Japanese horse a few years back.

18 Oct 2013 10:12 AM

Visually I have not seen a better looking horse than "My Conquestadory" who looked like a 6yr old rather than a 2 yr old filly in both her wins. Mark Casse has had other good looking 2 yr olds that flopped in the recent past and with the 14 hole in a turf race she is begging to be beaten but I don't think so. The jockey is top notch in Canada and suspect he would be at any track in NA and won't get unnerved. This is a special filly and IF she can run on dirt yet to be tried I suspect she just may be "That Good" to race on the First Saturday in May race than the Friday--Casse is a very good horseman and predicted her talent before she raced and started her against good colts at a distance--not sprint and she literally blew them away in her first start---A Super Filly? Maybe?

If you are a bettor--this may be the last price over $3.00 you will ever get on her.

On another note--Although he is against it Point of Entry is the certainly good enough if ready---again the price may warrant the risk--if without a hiccup he would be odds on--Now is he that good given the injury? I think he may be given my confidence in his trainer--He wouldn't be here if he wasn't.

These the are not cold facts--they are observations over many years of WATCHING races and their human connections.

And this is a chalky prediction Wise Dan wins again and actually pays $5.00 plus--not making excuses for loss--just think he won't lose on turf.

29 Oct 2013 1:25 PM

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