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Breeders’ Cup Saturday | Superfectablog v3.0

Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

Raceday 360


Breeders’ Cup Saturday

Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup races should be an interesting mix of star power and unknown quantities. Anything could happen in the Marathon, the two-year-old races might produce any number of unusual results and the surface will be new to defending champion Curlin and foreign entrants alike, so the Classic is no foregone conclusion. In fact, it may be the most difficult race to handicap; Duke of Marmalade has had a long season and may bounce after his effort in the Arc, Henrythenavigator is untested at the distance and, frankly, I have no idea what to make of Casino Drive at this point. I’ll probably put a couple of dollars his way just out of respect for his family (ditto for Champs Elysees), but it’s going to be a tough one.

I think it will be a good day for Aidan O’Brien (and the other foreign trainers) on balance — it would be hard to make it worse than the situation with George Washington last year — but whether that success will come in the Classic or elsewhere on the card remains to be seen.

Of course, I’m happy to offer my opinions in advance:

1) Church Service
– Solid G3 performer – might be enough to hit the board here
2) Add Heat
– Local, but not a winner recently
3) Delightful Kiss
– Best American hope in this race?
4) Sixties Icon
– Class of the field; switch from turf the only issue
5) Muhannak
– Solid European performer likes artificial surfaces
6) Zappa
– Another California specialist
7) Big Booster
– Distance specialist hasn’t won since April
8) Cedar Mountain – Son of Galileo wasn’t up to Europe’s best
9) Booyah – Versatile, but not a great record

Prediction: Muhannak, Sixties Icon, Delightful Kiss, Church Service

Turf Sprint
1) Hero’s Reward
– Big step up in class
2) Fleeting Spirit
– Filly has beaten tough fields in Europe
3) True to Tradition
– More of a G2/G3 performer?
4) Only Answer - Another solid European filly, but probably not as big a threat
5) Salute the Count
– Another class question
6) Storm Treasure
– Has not won since March
7) Rouse the Cat
– Not in this company
8) Diabolical
– Recent form not great
9) Desert Code
– Ditto
10) California Flag
– Has never faced this level of competition
11) Idiot Proof
– Unknown quantity on grass, despite success in dirt sprints
12) One Union
– Last win in July
13) Get Funky – Could hit the board
14) Mr. Nightlinger
– Won his last 5 races

Prediction: Fleeting Spirit, Mr. Nightlinger, Only Answer, Get Funky

Dirt Mile
1) Lewis Michael
– The surface and distance may be just right for him
2) Surf Cat
– Probably past his best
3) Slew’s Tizzy
– Better at the G2 level?
4) Mast Track – Recent foot problems don’t inspire confidence
5) Two Step Salsa – Sixth in the Pennsylvania Derby
6) Pyro
– Hitting the board lately and a recent Darley purchase
7) Albertus Maximus
- Very much improved of late
8) Well Armed
– Won here last time out, great record
9) Slew’s Tiznow
– Won last time, but it was in August
10) Rebellion
– Possibly better than his form suggests
11) My Pal Charlie – Super Derby winner
12) Lord Admiral
– 7-year-old opts to try the new surface

Predictions: Lewis Michael, Well Armed, Lord Admiral, Albertus Maximus

1) Shakis – Always a solid effort
2) Kip Deville
- Defending champ seems off his best
3) Precious Kitten
– Nice filly, but this is a tough field
4) Goldikova – Has finished closer to Zarkava than anyone else on the card
5) Daytona – Usually good form a little off of late
6) Awesome Gem
– If recent form holds, he’s due for another 7th-place finish
7) U S Ranger
– Mile distance seems a bit of a stretch for him
8) Bold Chieftain
– Better against California-restricted competition
9) War Monger – Last win was in January
10) Thorn Song
– Could be improving at the right time
11) Whatsthescript
– Effective in graded company, but inconsistent

Prediction: Goldikova, Shakis, Precious Kitten, Thorn Song

1) Munnings
– How will he handle the surface?
2) Gallant Son
– Emerald-Downs-based colt worked a bullet recently
3) Terrain
– Solid record so far
4) Square Eddie
– Has won in both Europe and N. America
5) Azul Leon
– Disappointing last time out, but undefeated prior to that
6) Silent Valor - Fifth last time out over this surface
7) Elusive Bluff
- Two wins on turf
8) Street Hero – Has a 3rd and a win at the G1 level
9) Mine That Bird – First effort outside Canada
10) Pioneerof the Nile
– 3rd in the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity
11) Midshipman – Bob Baffert’s current hope
12) Bushranger
- Group 1 winner in Europe, but wide post not ideal
13) West Side Bernie – Good form thus far

Prediction: Square Eddie, Street Hero, Bushranger, Midshipman

Juvenile Turf
1) Ninth Client
– May want more distance
2) City Style
– Step up in class
3) Westphalia – Group 2 experience in Europe may be enough to get the job done
4) Donativum – Much improved since being gelded
5) Relatively Ready
– Could well be a factor
6) Vaquero – 4th in his first G3 effort
7) Coronet of a Baron
– Might prefer shorter distances
8) Paddy the Pro
– Winner over synthetic surface in Ireland
9) Orthodox – Winner of a MSW last time out
10) Skipadate – Last two efforts have been close losses
11) Bittel Road
- Very solid record at this point
12) Grand Adventure – First trip outside Canada for undefeated colt

Prediction: Westphalia, Donativum, Bittel Road, Grand Adventure

1) Cost of Freedom
– On a 3-race winning streak
2) Street Boss
– Seemed a bit tired last time out
3) Fabulous Strike
– Capable runner was 2nd in the Vosburgh
4) Midnight Lute
– Defending champ’s last effort in August was a clunker
5) First Defence
– Talented but inconsistent
6) Black Seventeen – Something of a surprise Vosburgh winner
7) In Summation
– Often in the money, but has not won lately
8) Sing Baby Sing – Huge step up in class
9) Fatal Bullet – Seems to love synthetic surfaces

Prediction: Fabulous Strike, Street Boss, Cost of Freedom, Fatal Bullet

1) Better Talk Now
– Veteran performer back for another shot
2) Red Rocks
- Won this race 2 years ago, 3rd last year
3) Grand Couturier - Winner of his last 2 races, both G1s
4) Soldier of Fortune
– Easy winner if he doesn’t have an Arc bump
5) Winchester
– First time against elders for talented 3-year-old
6) Dancing Forever
– Beautifully-bred, but may need things to go his way
7) Red Rock Canyon
Duke of Marmalade’s usual rabbit lent to Soldier of Fortune?
8) Spring House
– Would have preferred to see underrated horse in the Marathon
9) Conduit – Something of a surprise entry, but worth watching
10) Out of Control
– Solid at a mile; distance a question
11) Eagle Mountain – Mike de Kock entry could be dangerous

Prediction: Soldier of Fortune, Eagle Mountain, Conduit, Grand Couturier

1) Go Between
– Pacific Classic winner likely outgunned here
2) Casino Drive
– Complete question mark
3) Tiago
– He’s probably better at a slightly shorter distance
4) Duke of Marmalade
– If the Arc didn’t take much out, it could be his
5) Henrythenavigator
– Fantastic miler. Not sure about the distance or surface.
6) Smooth Air
– Not today
7) Student Council
– Last win came in May
8) Raven’s Pass – If he likes the distance, he’ll be a threat
9) Curlin
– Surface only big question for defending champ
10) Fairbanks
– Might have won the Marathon
11) Colonel John – Known quantity in California
12) Champs Elysees – Unusual spot here, but could hit the board

Prediction: Curlin, Duke of Marmalade, Raven’s Pass, Colonel John

For more on the Friday races, check back here or here throughout the day.

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