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Breeders’ Cup Musings

Shot glass half full?With Big Brown’s retirement, the Breeders’ Cup Classic seems wide open (or at least it will until we know who is pre-entered on Thursday). Curlin is still the desired headliner, of course, and while his workout yesterday seemed to please both trainer Steven Asmussen and owner Jess Jackson, his appearance in the race is still far from a foregone conclusion. It’s entirely possible he may skip the race for the Japan Dirt Cup, or he could even take on both.

In the event we do see him on October 25th, who might his competitors be? Go Between, winner of the Pacific Classic, has been mentioned as a possible starter, and Colonel John seems to be flying under the radar despite being proven in California (although, granted, not against the likes of Curlin). Many media eyes have shifted to Casino Drive; Steve Haskin notes that he is ‘no ordinary horse.’ His allowance win over the weekend allowed him to easily dominate a less-than-imposing field and he obviously has plenty of talent — but winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic with so little experience would be quite a feat.

The pre-entries this week will likely show a number of the top European competitors entered in both the Mile and the Classic; Aidan O’Brien seems as though he does not want to tip his hand just yet with Henrythenavigator. Goldikova’s connections have chosen the Mile over the Filly & Mare Turf, but whether we see Duke of Marmalade take her on or pass up the race for the Classic remains to be seen. Raven’s Pass may also be pre-entered in both races, but it’s possible the picture will become slightly clearer on Thursday.

While I don’t entirely agree with Bill Christine thatCurlin vs. Zenyatta in the Classic is the only matchup that can save this Breeders’ Cup now’ I admit I’d very much like to see that…

4 comments to Breeders’ Cup Musings

  • Sean O

    Curlin is definitely in the Classic, as of this afternoon. And they should keep Zenyatta miles away from Curlin. If he takes to the synthetic like he does the dirt…he’s winning this race easily. Not worth risking a perfect season and a Distaff win to get her butt kicked by Curlin.

  • Anonymous

    If he takes to the synthetic like he takes to the dirt? Even Jess Jackson can’t be 100% confident or he wouldn’t have waited until the last day to enter.
    And Zenyetta on the synthetic has been like Curlin on the dirt.
    Thus the prospect of a little friendly competition should be welcomed.
    Oh, and as I recall, the last time the mighty horse tried a new surface he lost to a turfer who’s never been able to make it in Europe.
    Curlin fans are always acting like he’s invincible — really short memories.

  • libby

    I read O’Brien is bringing over the great Duke of Marmalade. I cannot help but think the horse might be a little tired, but what do I know. John Velasquez is to be on Henry or the Duke (wow). This combination of greatness is to be respected.
    Curlin and Robby are going to have to be on top of their game and be very relaxed.

    Anonymous, keep getting on Curlin fans, nothing is easy and no horse is invincible. I just cannot help myself from reeeaaallly liking that big ole horse named Curlin.

  • Sean O

    "Curlin fans are always acting like he's invincible — really short memories."

    He's lost to one horse in a year and a half and that was to a former BC Turf winner with a very questionable pace scenario that probably compromised his chances.

    I think Curlin's workout Monday showed he is clearly the horse to beat. I'm not saying Zenyatta couldn't pull out a victory, I'm just saying it would be foolish to pass up the Distaff & a chance at an undefeated season.

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