Breeders' Cup is Half Full

By Rob Fundter, The Amateur Capper 

In every division, there will be many compelling vignettes on both days of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.  The cream is rising to the top as we are a little more than eight weeks out from a weekend of thrilling competition.  Eliminate all negative thoughts of what could have been if certain horses would travel to Santa Anita in early November.  There are too many good horses and stories to waste time on what could have been.


RACHEL is obviously the compelling story in this race division and deserves mention as the leading candidate for the Eclipse Award honoring the Horse of the Year.  However, if you encounter a fringe racing fan who asks you why she's not running, don't go into a diatribe extolling her virtues and how she's "done enough".

Instead, pump up the horses that have performed in top races in this division.  Start off with the essence of a racehorse, recent Pacific Classic runner-up and Santa Anita Handicap winner EINSTEIN who was recently purchased by Santa Anita Park's owner FRANK STRONACH.  He wants a house horse with a great shot at winning the big prize at his famous racetrack.  RAIL TRIP validated his Hollywood Gold Cup win with another solid race in a 1 ΒΌ mile G.1 event, finishing 3rd in the Pacific Classic.  Mention also that MACHO AGAIN, the Woodward Stakes runner-up who also won the G.1 Stephen Foster H., has earned nearly $1 million this year alone but stands to win over three times that amount with a Classic win.

Inform them that last year's Eclipse-winning Older Female ZENYATTA could take on the boys, instead of defending her Ladies Classic title, while trying to stamp her would-be perfect 14 race career with a BC Classic exclamation point.

Then warn them that the United States contingent should be prepared for a foreign invasion considering that European based runners finished 1-2 in the Classic last year at this same track.  From Ireland comes a beast named SEA THE STARS, considered internationally as the best horse in the world.  All he's done is win five G.1 races in five tries this year, all on the grass.  It's considered common knowledge that if SEA THE STARS comes to the Breeders' Cup, he will contest the Classic for which English bookmaker William Hill has already made him the 2-1 favorite.


D. WAYNE LUKAS is back in the national spotlight with Hopeful S. winner DUBLIN, the Hall of Fame trainer's first G.1 win since FOLKLORE took the BC Juvenile Fillies in 2005.  It was also his first Hopeful S. win since 2000, a race he's now posed for pictures six times.

Then tell them that LUKAS' successor in Triple Crown race success in the 1990's to early 2000's, BOB BAFFERT, has now won the Del Mar Futurity a record nine times!!!  LOOKIN AT LUCKY will try to emulate BAFFERT's champion juvenile of last year, MIDSHIPMAN, who scored in the Juvenile after using the Del Mar Futurity as a stepping stone.

From the Midwest comes Arlington-Washington Futurity winner DIXIE BAND, a runner that Southern California-based jockey DAVID FLORES auditioned for WAYNE CATALANO as a potential Juvenile mount.

Then remind them there is one more major prep race in every circuit which will further narrow the field of juveniles.  Juveniles, like human children, seemingly mature overnight.  What's the hot stock today, may bottom out 2 months from now while a relatively inexperienced competitor takes the market by storm.

Remind them also that the Juvenile could produce a Kentucky Derby winner, even in defeat.  MINE THAT BIRD finished dead last in the Juvenile in '08 but scored a 50-1 shocker on Derby day.  In 2007 STREET SENSE became the first Juvenile winner to capture the Derby since the Breeders' Cup started back in 1984.


This could turn into the most exciting race of all.  From New York comes Spinaway winner HOT DIXIE CHICK; from the Midwest, emphatic Arlington-Washington Lassie winner SHE BE WILD gave trainer WAYNE CATALANO two terrific hands to play at Santa Anita...oh, by the way, she ran the equivalent of four lengths faster than her male stable mate on the same card!  MI SUENO still hasn't figured out how to stay focused through the whole race, but the SOUTHERN EQUINE STABLE runner recovered in enough time to capture the Darley Debutante for her second consecutive graded stakes win.

These are but three interesting races that will be part of an exciting weekend.  Enjoy the final prep races throughout the world.  It's a great time to be a thoroughbred racing fan!

P.S.  Mr. JESS JACKSON:  If you and Mr. STEVE ASMUSSEN want to bring RACHEL to join in the fun, you're more than welcome.  I'm sure that CHIP WOOLLEY would understand if CALVIN dumped MINE THAT BIRD again to partner with RACHEL in the Classic.

Recent Posts

Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance

Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance RSS Feed

More Blogs