With the release of TimeformUS Advance Breeders' Cup PPs, you can easily see which horse owns the best last-out TimeformUS speed figure in each Breeders' Cup race. We've asked TimeformUS Chief Figure Maker Craig Milkowski to describe the circumstances in which these top last-out figures were run.
For Breeders’ Cup Advance Past Performances – complete with best-in-class foreign running lines and European and North American speed figures on the same scale – and expert selections and analysis, get the TimeformUS Breeders’ Cup Package.
Friday Breeders' Cup Races
Worldy enters the Marathon with the fastest last-race TimeformUS speed figure, a 112. He ran it at Churchill Downs in the 1m 1/8 Homecoming S., a race won by Classic contender Fort Larned. Fort Larned set a fast pace (133 TimeformUS pace figure, first ½ mile) with Worldly chasing him, and the race was slowing down noticeably late, with Worldly losing the place position in the stretch.
Bobby’s Kitten is the top North American figure horse, running a 95 speed figure annexing Belmont Park’s G3 1m 1/16 Pilgrim S. He tracked a fast pace (124 first ½ mile) while three wide, put away the speeds, and drew clear. He finished with a final-time figure of 94.
Goldencents earned the top last-race speed figure of 117 when finishing second behind Points Offthebench in the 6-furlong Santa Anita Sprint Championship at Santa Anita. The race was run with an even pace throughout, slowing only slightly towards the finish, and Goldencents was finishing full of run to just miss. He has run faster twice, both at longer distances, suggesting the mile distance won’t be a problem.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Street Sailing’s 86 speed figure is the top last-race North American turf figure in the field. She ran it in a $58k allowance race at Keeneland back on October 9th. It was her first turf try, and she pressed the slow pace (53 first ½ mile), put away the other speed horse and drew off from the field.
Princess of Sylmar enters the Distaff with the fastest last-race TimeformUS speed figure, a 117 earned when defeating two-time Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta. She was placed 3 ½ lengths behind the honest pace (117 first half mile, 117 final time) before ranging up under a hand ride and easily overtaking the pacesetters. The 117 matched her career-best from the Coaching Club America Oaks.
Saturday Breeders' Cup Races
Artemis Agrotera and Sweet Reason both earned the top last-out speed figure from TimeformUS, a 95 when running 1-2 in the G1 Frizette S. at Belmont Park. The 1m race was taken by the former, while the latter chased her home after swerving in sharply at the break. The pace was moderate, with the first half mile run in an 80, and the fillies finished very strongly, receiving a final-time figure of 101.
Filly and Mare Turf
Dank shipped to the USA and took the G1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park, receiving the top last-out TimeformUS speed figure, a 114. She rated in traffic before finding room and exploding home. The race featured an honest first half mile of 124 and finished in a 113 final time. Dank previously recorded Timeform ratings of 118 and 119 in England and Ireland, respectively.
Filly and Mare Sprint
Dance to Bristol was the runner-up to the exciting speedster Cluster of Stars in the G2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont. The effort is the fastest last-out speed figure in the field, a 113. While she didn’t come close to catching the winner that day, it should be noted the track was favorable to horses positioned on the rail, and she was wide most of the trip.
(Note: For this piece, we're assuming Silver Max and Obviously are running in the Mile).
Reneesgotzip took the G3 Rancho Bernardo H. with a 115 TimeformUS speed figure at Del Mar back in August, the fastest last-out number in the field. She set an honest pace on an open lead and drew away from a weak field that day at 1 to 5 odds. She has limited turf experience, only one race, but that was a good 3rd in this race last year, and it earned her a solid 109 figure as a 3yo.
Havana set a fast pace, 126 for the first half mile, then fended off the fast-closing Honor Code in the G1 Champagne S. run at one mile at Belmont Park. The 110 speed figure he was assigned is the top in the field by a full 15 points. This will be his first attempt around two turns.
There is a three-way tie for the top last-race TimeformUS speed figure, with Big Blue Kitten, Little Mike, and Point of Entry all coming in off 117s. Point of Entry is coming off an injury-induced layoff after taking the Manhattan H. back in June. The other two exit a 1-2 finish in the Turf Classic Invitational, where Little Mike held off the late charge of Big Blue Kitten. The first half mile was run in 133 and the final time in 117.
Points Offthebench took the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship by ½ length over Goldencents and was assigned a TimeformUS speed figure of 116. He tracked an honest pace from 3rd (1/4 mile 133, ½ mile 124) and outfinished the runner-up to get the win. The race topped his prior career-top of 115 when 2nd in a February allowance race, also at Santa Anita.
Silver Max ran a career-best 124 speed figure in taking the off-the-turf (to polytrack) Shadwell Mile at Keeneland, besting reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the process. He was aggressively ridden from the 9 post, while Wise Dan was not and suffered the consequences, losing ground throughout and unable to catch Silver Max down the lane. The pace was strong, 128 for the 1st half mile and 135 for 6f, but Silver Max had enough left late to hold on.
When talking “fastest” of just about anything in North American racing in 2013, any race involving Game On Dude will begin and end with him. His last-out 129 in the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar was a tour de force from start to finish. He established the early lead by blitzing a half mile in 142, then cruised home by 8+ lengths. He has four faster figures in his career, two in 2013 alone.