Breeders Cup Flash
BREEDERS'CUP FLASH - YOUR ONLINE SOURCE FOR EVERYTHING BREEDERS'CUP
From The Jim Hurley Racing Network
VOLUME ONE - Issue 5 (Friday, October 5)
On Saturday, October 6, the Breeders'Cup will extend 6 more automatic bids to their Championship Races, to be held November 2 and 3 at Santa Anita.
At Keeneland Race Track they will run the Dixiana Breeders'Futurity - (Juvenile) Keeneland, Shadwell Stakes (Turf Mile) and Thoroughbred Club America Stakes (Filly & Mare Turf.)
At Belmont Park it will be the Champagne Stakes (Juvenile) and Frizette Stakes (Juvenile Fillies) before the day wraps up at Santa Anita with the Sprint Championship Stakes (Sprint.)
Below you will find previews for these 6 Graded Qualifiers. You will also see an offer that will provide you with the Winners, Exacta, Trifectas and (when available) Superfecta recommendations for each of those races as well as the connected Daily Doubles. In addition you will find that you can play the 10 REMAINING BC QUALIFIERS COMBINED ON SATURDAY & SUNDAY FOR A GREAT MONEY SAVING FEE.
Here's What Still Remains In This Weekend's Line-Up
Keeneland - Dixiana Breeders'Futurity - (Juvenile) Classic
Keeneland - Shadwell Stakes - (Turf Mile)
Keeneland - Thoroughbred Club America Stakes - (Filly & Mare Turf)
Belmont - Champagne Stakes - (Juvenile)
Belmont - Frizette Stakes - (Juvenile Fillies)
Santa Anita - Sprint Championship Stakes - (Sprint)
Keeneland - Bourbon Stakes - (Juvenile)
Keeneland - Spinster Stakes - (Ladies'Classic)
Belmont - Miss Grillo Stakes - (Juvenile Filly Turf)
Belmont - Pilgrim Stakes - (Juvenile Turf)
CLICK HERE TO PLAY BOTH DAYS - ALL 10 RACES - ONLY $40
or Play Saturday's 6 Races - $30 or just Play Sunday's 4 Races - $20
PLUS MAKE SURE TO CHECK BACK REGULARLY ON THESE PAGES as we preview all the WIN-AND-YOU'RE-IN RACES that will be run between now and mid-October as well as follow all the installments that will provide vital reviews, summaries, trainers methods, Breeders'Cup History that pertains to significant trends and a whole lot more.
Below are Saturdays 6 PREVIEWS. The race number, stakes race and Breeders'Cup race the winner automatically qualifies for are followed by the distance and surface as well as the horses listed in post position order.
PLETCHER DUO CARRY TARGETS AT BELMONT
Race 8 - Grade I Frizette Stakes - (BC Juvenile Fillies) (1 Mile Main Track)
Toasting - The Tom Albertrani trained filly broke her maiden in her third career start last out and appears to be figuring it out the longer distance of ground she covers. She measured her filed in the mile test last time, moved up off a moderate pace and under a hand ride drew clear in the final strides. If a decent pace battle ensues she could pick up some pieces...and from there...
My Happy Face - At this point there is no telling how fast this daughter of Tiz Wonderful is because she has yet to race beyond 5 ½ furlongs. She was fractious in the gate in her debut and relatively ignored at the windows (sent off at 5.10-1) while finishing a non-threatening second. In her next and last start at Saratoga on 8/31 she was sent off at 1-5 and easily drew off to break her maiden by 21 lengths. Her breeding says a mile might be her ultimate limit, but trainer Rudy Rodriguez (8 wins and 7 seconds from 32 starters at the meet heading into Thursday) has been training her leisurely in order to get her to relax. Just the same, if she is going to have a say she probably needs to be with the early birds throughout.
Roving Patrol - Talk about a fly in the ointment. This Washington bred Ben Cecil trained filly began her career at Emerald Downs by winning her MSW debut handily and then even more impressively winning a state bred stakes race. But since those two races the Reddam Racing Group has given the youngster to Cecil, shipped her east and gotten Frankie Dettori (who will also ride Cogito for Reddam in the Grade I Jamaica Handicap later in the day. Obviously they want to find out if she can swim at the deep end of the pool. Speed numbers say she should wear a life jacket, but these are serious connections.
Carameaway - Longest ML shot on the board has earned that status. NYSB filly facing open company for the first time after breaking her maiden vs peers in her 4th career start last time out. The 80 BRIS number she got that day was also the highest of her career and 4 of today's opponents have never run one that low. If none of the other 6 do and trainer Friedman doesn't scratch her...30-1 seems about right...should go higher.
Sweet Shirley Mae - She broke her maiden in her debut, got trapped on the inside in the Grade III Schuylerville following that and then earned this spot with a solid second in the 7 furlong Grade I Spinaway Stakes closing day at the Spa. She was a little difficult to handle down the chute but once the jock got her settled she seemed to grow up during the final half mile while closing willingly. Trainer Wesley ward got a brilliant 6 furlong workout of her two weeks ago and has galloped her up to this. Further improvement makes her a serious player.
Nancy O - Over the last few years the Grade II Natalma Stakes at Woodbine has sent a number of juvenile fillies to the states for a final prep with hopes of moving on to the Breeders'Cup, but they have mostly moved to the same sort of turf or synthetic they ran at Woodbine. This Irish bred daughter of Pivotal ran into all sorts of trouble in the Natalma (her third of three career races - all on the grass) but once clear rushed between horses for third in the field of 14 and was beaten just 2 lengths. How she will handle conventional dirt and the one turn mile needs to be answered, but she did prove her heart and talent in her most recent.
Dreaming Of Julia - She has definitely proven it on the race track, brilliantly taking charge early in her two career races and running away through the lane to win by 10 and 16 lengths. She is, at this point the consensus division leader and has been installed as a 2-5 MLO favorite. She also comes in fresh as trainer Pletcher her followed the MSW win with an easy test in the ungraded 85K Meadow Star Stakes 4 weeks ago and 5 weeks after her debut. She breezed a half mile 6 days ago and is the horse to beat. But we've seen this before...how will she react when she's looked in the eye at the top of the lane or just outside the furlong marker for the first time in her career by better than she has faced in her career? She is definitely the filly to beat...but at 2-5?
Race 9 - Grade I Champagne Stakes - (BC Juvenile) (1 Mile Main Track)
Goldencents - Doug O'Neil ships east with this Into Mischief colt after he broke his maiden by 7 ½ lengths as the 8-5 favorite in his debut on 9/2. It might appear odd that the connections would ship east when the BC Juvenile will be held in Southern California at Santa along with the fact that the colt has only trained and run on synthetic surface (Del Mar, where he broke his maiden and Hollywood) but most likely it is simply a matter of this being the final qualifier offering an automatic bid to the BC Juvenile...and this lightly raced colt probably needs an automatic bid to get in. Under those circumstances the colt should be taken seriously.
Shanghai Bobby - Just as he will do with Dreaming Of Julia in the Frizette, trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle the likely post time favorite and horse to beat in the Champagne. This son of Harlan's Holiday is undefeated in three career starts, has easily measured and ran away from his rivals, the last time in the Grade II Hopeful Stakes, as he has been stretch out by his conditioner and now will extend from 7 to 8 panels while still going around one turn. Regular rider Rosie Napravnik will be aboard as she has for all 3 starts and her half mile breezes since the Hopeful indicate he is well in hand.
Chief Havoc - The European shipper has yet to win a race in two career starts but has also made those starts vs minor stakes opponents as opposed to straight maidens, finishing third on the synthetic (beaten 1 ¾ lengths) and second on the turf (beaten ¾ of a length) while travelling a mile in each. The well bred son of Giant's Causeway should have little difficulty moving to traditional dirt as many of his sire's progeny have done well over this race track. Trainer Jeremy Noseda who is no stranger to these shores (saddled Wilko to win the 2004 BC Juvenile and Awesome Act to win the 2010 Gotham Stakes among others) doesn't usually ship chancy horses, so at 15-1 on the ML this could be the sleeper as the tracking style he has exhibited to date suits the course.
Archwarrior - Although the belief here is that Shanghai Bobby will be the post time favorite, this "other" uncoupled Pletcher runner has actually been established as the 5-2 ML favorite. He has been sharp in the A.M with a pair of 5 furlong breezes over the Belmont surface since breaking his maiden in his only career start back on 8/30 at Saratoga and as a son of Arch should have no difficult with the distance. He gets John Velazquez and has every reason to improve. The only issue would appear to be seasoning as he will face the top three finishers from the Grade II Hopeful as well as the stakes placed invader from England.
Fortify - The son of Distorted Humor was sent off as the 8-5 favorite and settled for the place in the Grade II Hopeful in his last race as he was beaten by Shanghai Bobby after being bumped at the gate and driven a bit wide into the lane. He still had time to make up ground yet ran evenly in the final strides as he held off Bern Identity, who he will also face again here. He should like the added distance and with a clean start could reverse the tables on his last out conqueror. Trainer McLaughlin has certainly gotten three terrific breezes out of him in the last two weeks, so he has every reason to improve. Leading rider Ramon Dominguez also takes over for Joe Bravo, so that must be considered a plus.
Bern Identity - The son of Bernstein is another who enters in good form with a pair of wins, a second and a third in four career starts. However, the Kelly Breen trained colt gave up some ground in the Hopeful when he flattened out in the latter stages and needs to prove he can either run with the speed earlier or time his rush correctly. Breen also loses Ramon Dominguez to Fortify and though Edgar Prado is not a slouch, that rider has been cold of late, so of the three that are out of the Hopeful, this one has the most to prove.
Micromanage - The third of three uncoupled Pletcher entrants (if Occupy Wall Street is so concerned about the elite 1% they should picket this trainer's barn instead) the son of Medaglia D'Oro is probably the best bred to handle the mile distance. The way he rolled through the stretch when he broke his maiden going the difficult debut distance of 7 furlongs at Saratoga on 9/1 in his one and only start (final 3 furlongs in 36 flat under a hand ride) one cannot be faulted for thinking the sky is the limit. Three quick breezes (the last two a 5 furlongs in 1:00 and 1:00 1/5) indicate he is well in hand.
THREE FULL FIELDS OF BC QUALIFIERS CREATES A BETTOR'S BONANZA AT KEENELAND
Race 6 - Grade II Thoroughbred Club Of America Stakes - (BC Filly & Mare Sprint) (6 Furlongs Main Track)
Giant Sensation - Returned to 6 furlong sprint by Pletcher after pressing the pace in second around two turns in the Unbridled Belle Stakes at Delaware last time out. With good early speed sprinters to her outside clearing early she might get good position. But as a predominant denizen of allowance and minor stakes races she'll need a step up performance.
Honey Chile - 4 Wins and 3 seconds from 11 synthetic dirt tries and a pair of wins and seconds from 6 starts at the distance attest to her consistency. The Wayne Catalano trained daughter of Invisible Ink is grade stakes placed and her daylight wins sprinting at Arlington vs upper level conditioned allowance/optional claimers in last indicate she'll be a tough customer early on as well as a threat to be there at the finish.
Newstouse - The Presque isle Downs shipper handles synthetic and ships in after winning her last two. Now she has to prove she can handle the level of completion as the 90 BRIS speed figure she got in last was best of her career and is well below many of her competitors. Looks like a tough task.
Emma's Encore - After stepping up big time and upsetting the Grade III Victory ride at Belmont at 39-1 the daughter of Congrats confirmed the improvement by winning the Grade I Prioress at Saratoga following that. But in her last she bounced big time in the Gallant Bloom just two weeks ago and if it were any other trainer than Allen Jerkens one would have to question his running her back again so soon. Tough call.
Mega Dream - Trainer Jeff Bonde ships east with this race mare following three straight turf sprints in Southern California. She has only been on synthetic dirt twice and in her lone try sprinting here was off slow and never factored in a second level allowance race. It is her final shot to earn a spot in the BC Sprint but the task looks difficult.
Groupie Doll - Short price is deserved as she is definitely the one to beat. Is 3-2-1-0 on synthetic, enters off of three daylight wins in a row in a pair of Grade I races and a Grade II test over three different surfaces and did so either from off the pace or by pressing it. Fast, versatile and in shape. All the rest must actually be considered her groupies.
Strike The Moon - Has hit the board in all 5 tries at 6 furlongs (2-1-2) but has yet to show an overwhelming fondness for synthetic and has only one win (vs allowance/optional claimers) in last 10 starts. She has shown good tracking ability through quick early fractions in some of her recent races and a minor piece isn't out of the question, but she has run two top numbers in her last two so the possibility of regression is as real as progression.
Zermatt - Todd Pletcher's veteran mare seems to be slowing down a bit speed numbers are any indication. But the daughter of Tiznow does have some back class, is 5-2-2-0 at the distance and has won 3 of 4 over this surface. Trusted jock Javier Castellano takes the assignment and although she'll need to call on her past resume, she might wake up back in comfortable surroundings.
Sally Sally - Will hope for a sharp speed duel so she can Rally Rally as she sees them all break from her outside post. Was only beaten 4 lengths by Groupie Doll and checked in third at 96-1 in the Presque Isle Masters Stakes last time out and has won 7 of 16 lifetime as well as 6 of 10 on synthetic. If she wants another piece behind the last out conqueror she'll face again in here she'll have to be equally or even better.
Race 8 - Grade I Dixiana Futurity - (BC Juvenile) (1 1/16th Miles Main Track)
Joha - The Mike maker trained son of Johar went turf to synthetic to win the 150K Colin Stakes at Woodbine in mid July and now goes turf to synthetic after finishing second in the Grade II With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga in last when he just failed to last in a wire-to-wire attempt. Has good tactical speed, has proven he can handle the distance and has to be considered one of the many legitimate contenders in this full field of fourteen.
Are You Kidding Me - There must be an express plane from Woodbine to Keeneland as this is another of the many youngsters that race up in Canada in the summer and early fall and ship from the north of the border synthetic or turf course to run in these BC Qualifiers. This Roger Attfield trained Run Away And Hide colt angled out and rallied smartly to gate the place in the Grade II Summer Stakes last time and appears to be rounding into high level form at just the right time.
He's So Fine - Has much to prove as he exits a fifth place finish in the Grade II With Anticipation Stakes last time and faces the top three finishers from that race in here. Did finish second to the well-regarded Spurious Precision in the Grade II Saratoga Special, but was beaten 6 lengths in there and needed maiden claimers to get his first win. Trainer McPeek earns respect, but this is a tough assignment.
Java's War - Another from the McPeek barn, this son of War Pass (Cherokee Run) improved considerably in his last, the third of three career races (all on turf) when he came from just off the pace to win the one mile 150K Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs. While his speed numbers have not been of the marquee sort it is worth noting that this guy's breeding probably works against him until he gets to this 1 1/16th mile distance or even longer. If many o fast early he is an interesting longshot late-on-the-scene possibility.
Tizracer - More Pletcher...more speed. The son of Tiznow won on the front end under a brisk hand ride when he traveled a mile at Belmont in career start number two last time out. He continued to breeze up north and travelled here a few days ago so has never worked or run over a synthetic surface. Nonetheless the colt has good speed and is bred to get the distance so will be on the pace as far as he can go.
Pataky Kid - The Tom Proctor trained colt is definitely moving in the right direction. After failing in his debut over traditional dirt at CD he shipped to Arlington and broke his maiden with a well timed 5 wide move at 7 furlongs, beating three next out winners in the process. Proctor then sent him out in the Grade II Arlington Washington Futurity and the son of Rockport Harbor stepped up yet again with a dominant stalking win in that mile event. Turned in a bullet 5 furlong breeze at Arlington on 9/24 and then breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00 3/5 over the Keeneland surface on Monday. Very sharp right now.
Craving Carats - This is a tough colt to get a handle on. He beat Balance The Books when he broke his maiden at Belmont in career start number four but was up the track when those two met in the Grade II With Anticipation last time out (both races on turf.) His speed figures don't get the blood even heated, but sometimes those can be deceiving when generated on grass. Will need to reverse form to factor but sire Street Sense handled synthetic well.
Dipsy Drew - After failing twice at Ellis Park this son of Pleasantly Perfect broke through on the grass at Kentucky Downs last time out. But a quick look at the speed numbers and one can be forgiven if they think Nancy Drew would be a better candidate when it comes to solving this race.
Charming Kitten - Another Pletcher, which of course given the conditioner's success of late would automatically elevate him. But watching a Kitten's Joy (this one's sire) first time starter win the opening race of the meet yesterday, one is also reminded of how much that sire's progeny seem to love this surface. Broke his maiden in his debut at Saratoga and ran a good third in the Grade II With Anticipation in last (both on turf.) Good form, good connections and grass to synthetic...a solid combo.
Positively - The Patrick Byre trained Distorted Humor stretches out after three straight sprints, including a rallying second in the Grade III Bashford manor at the end of June. He starts here following a three month break following a steady sequence of breezes. He is bred for two turns and has the credentials to move forward, but Byrne is only 8% with this length of layoff so the colt will have to be very much on top of his game.
Balance the Books - Red hot trainer Chad Brown seems to be making all the right moves (28% winners this year from well over 300 starters.) Despite this son of Lemon Drop Kid finishing second in his debut, Brown entered him right back in the aforementioned With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga from which a number of graduates have entered here. Distance, form and surface switch suit and Julien Leparoux, who jumped aboard for the last returns.
Dynamic Sky - Another Woodbine shipper this twice raced son of Sky Mesa was of slow and checked in third behind Uncaptured, who moved up and beat winners in his next. In start number two the Mark Casse trainee rallied well in the lane and got up late despite lugging in a bit. That victory was followed by a second best of 26 five furling breeze and second best of 30 five furlong breeze in two works before shipping here. Breeding says distance addition helps...and oh yeah, another Woodbine turf horse on the Keeneland synthetic plus regular rider Contreras makes the trip.
He's Had Enough - Just as he did with Goldencents in the Champagne at Belmont today, trainer Doug O'Neil ships this son of Tapit east for one of the final BC Juvenile automatic bids. The colt broke his maiden sprinting in his debut over the Del Mar synthetic surface and then rallied too late as the 7-2 favorite in the one mile Oak Tree Juvenile Turf. The owner/trainer combination of I'll Have Another's storybook 2/3rds of a crown bring along the Derby and Preakness winners jock Mario Gutierrez.
Tree Of Life - Just as O'Neil is hoping that he can get a last try automatic bid, so is west coast conditioner Craig Dollase who brings this guy east after a maiden sprint win in his debut at Del mar and a win in the 6 ½ furlong Barrett's Juvenile Stakes at Fairplex in last. First at a distance from this post is a tall order, but the colt does seem to be on edge as a good 6 furlong drill at Hollywood last Saturday would indicate.
Hightail - The fact that the son of mineshaft is still a maiden after 7 career starts isn't dissuading trainer Wayne Lukas from sending him against these. Let's hope for the colt's sake that the also eligible list does.
Zolota - Has shown a fondness for the track, winning his debut here back in April. The son of Medaglia D'Oro then returned to the races on 9/15 and ran a bit awkwardly, finishing fourth on the turf in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes. Appears short on seasoning, but he's not the worst 30-1 ML shot we've seen in our time.
Race 9 - Grade I Shadwell Stakes - (BC Mile Turf) (1 Mile Turf)
Skyring - Was not totally disgraced in his last two turf tries, running second in the Grade II Saranac at Saratoga in his last and third in the Grade III American at Arlington in mid-July. The Wayne Lukas trained 3-year old showed good speed in each of those, but this is his first try vs elders and the spot couldn't be tougher.
Double Partner - Has not run a non-competitive race since March of 2010 so obviously is always a threat to grab a piece. The Todd Pletcher Rock Hard Ten horse is Grade I placed an Grade II winner and was in tight early and was still beaten just 3 lengths in the Grade I CD Turf Classic on Derby day. Prior to that he traded the top spot with Data Link, who he'll face again today, finishing ¾ of a length behind that one in the Grade I Makers Mile over this surface. Always gives his best and must be considered.
Corporate Jungle - A Grade III winner, the Chad Brown trainee faces his toughest task to date after checking in second (beaten 5 lengths) by Wise Dan, today's obvious favorite. He'll have to improve considerably to claim another part of Wise Dan's race, but he has won 4 of 8 on grass at the mile distance and is in good hands.
Wilcox Inn - The Michael Stidham trained son of Harlan's Holiday has had numerous opportunities to prove that he belongs in Grade I company but has so far failed to makes the case. He does know how to win and is a graded victor, but he seems better suited to a level or two just below many of the better in here. Running style at longer routes also indicates one mile is likely a problem.
Wise Dan - Has won 7 of his last 9, always plays the exact same close up stalk and pounce game and has gotten it done at different distances over grass, traditional dirt and synthetic surfaces. Whether or not you can settle on even money or less in such a deep field of accomplished runners would probably be a more difficult decision to make than whether or not you believe he is the horse to beat. He's 3 for 4 on turf and at the distance and now all you need to figure out is how to use him.
Worthadd - In and out form in Europe was not flattered as an "in form" when he made his NA debut at Woodbine in the Grade I Woodbine Mile when he checked in 8 lengths behind Wise Dan at 17-1. One might want to argue that he needed the race, but his ventures into Group I company in Europe haven't proved all that successful either and his Group II win came vs weaker in Italy. It is difficult to make a case for him.
Data Link - Has turned in some pretty solid effort vs Graded foes this year and his lone off the board finish... 5th place in the Grade I Turf Classic was compromised by getting squeezed badly at the start. He has won 6 of 11 on the grass and 2 of 4 at the distance and perhaps most importantly was the winner in April's Grade I Makers Mile over this grass course. The Shug McGaughey trained son of war Front has the credentials to battle for a significant part of this and if the favorite stumbles could take it all. It is also noteworthy that Alex Solis, who rode him for the first 11 races of his career and was aboard for the Makers Mile will replace John Velazquez who ride the last two.
Slip And Drive - The son of Artie Schiller has been a consistent performer, wining 4 and finishing second 3 times from 9 career turf starts. So perhaps trainer McLean Robertson believes he's earned the right to try these. But given the level of foes he's faced so far the belief here is that the colt is more likely to slip than drive.
Ol Army - Broke his maiden on turf two back at Elis Park and then won an entry level allowance in his last at Kentucky Downs. 92 is his best BRIS ever and his mile last time was negotiated in 1:43 flat. One thing he has earned, however, is his 50-1 ML status. Why do trainers do this? Perhaps if his name was Ol Air Force he'd have a chance to fly rather than go on a pedestrian march.
Silver Max - Dale Romans 3-year old had 6 race win streak ended in the Grade I Secretariat at Arlington in last. The son of Silver Badge has consistently exhibited good speed being on the lead at first and second call and in the stretch at 4 different distances during the win streak and on the lead until the stretch in the Secretariat. Without mishap he should go up to claim it in here as well but the only question is how he will react when challenged on the far turn since this is his first test vs his elders. Contributes top a solid pace and takes them as far as he goes.
Dominus - In his second start as a 4-year old, in the Grade II Bernard Baruch at Saratoga on 9/1 he made his turf debut and was sent off at 9-5 despite coming off an optional claiming victory in his return to the races. He hasn't exerted himself fully yet in his two for two 2012 season and was very well-regarded as a 3-year old before minor injury sidelined him. Todd Pletcher has obviously decided that the grass is his future so is letting the colt tell him here and now whether or not he belongs. It is a tough assignment, but he is a talented competitor. For all but two of his eight career races Julien Leparoux has been the pilot and he is at the controls again.
Swift Warrior - The John Terranova trained son of First Samurai has picked up his game of late but his two wins have been in ungraded 100K stakes races and he needs a deep close from this far outside post to let anyone know he is in the race. Even if he was named Swiftest warrior it is unlikely he could topple these.
SEVEN SPRINTERS GET HOME FIELD TEST IN SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
Race 8 - Grade I Sprint Championship - (BC Sprint) (6 Furlongs Main Track)
Castletown - Steps up following a MSW and entry level allowance/optional 40K claiming wins in his last two. The Tim Yakeem trained son of Orientate gives away a lot of stakes experience but is improving at the right time and is facing only 6 rivals as the runners battle to get the automatic BC Sprint Invite over the same surface they travel on today. Still needs much to go right.
Amazombie - Last year's defending BC Sprint champ has won or placed in all four Grade I or II races he has run in 2012 and doesn't seem to have lost a step. Last year trainer Bill Spawr used the Ancient Title here to propel the horse to the BC Championship and looks to do the same again...only this time the horse won't have to travel east 4 weeks from now. This is who they have to beat and it will not be easy.
Coil - Last year's Haskell Invitational winner has been turned back into a very useful sprinter if his two 2012 starts since returning from injury are any indication. Trainer Bob Baffert has sent him twice at 7 furlongs at Del Mar and gotten a solid conditioned allowance/optional 100K win in the return race and a just missed second in the Grade II Pat O'Brien when he got the lead in deep stretch and just failed to last. He has worked well over the Santa Anita surface since the O'Brien and given his current form travelling one furlong shorter should prove to his liking.
Camp Victory - Battled Coil for the lead in deep stretch ion the O'Brien and was outlasted by that one last time. Might also like shortening up to 6 panels where he has won 2 of 4 and the son of Forest Camp did run a solid third at 6 ½ furlongs behind Amazombie over this surface in April in the Grade II Porto Grande. Trainer Mike Mitchell sent him out for a scintillating best of 44 five furlong work at Hollywood in :58 flat last Saturday and if that indicates another run like the one he turned in when winning the Grade I Triple Bend two races back he'll have a lot to contribute.
Capital Account - Beat Coil by that neck in the Grade II pat O'Brien in his last and Bob Baffert would probably be delighted with another either/or first-second finish in this as well. This son of Closing Argument also proved his worth when he bore out early, raced 3 wide into the lane and finished third, beaten less than 2 lengths behind Amazombie in the Grade I Bing Crosby at Del Mar. Five wins and never off the board in nine career starts makes his case. Should be in it late.
Jimmy Creed - The 3-year old Distorted Humor colt is being shortened up following a smart win vs sophomore peers in the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on 8/31. Prior to that stretch out trainer Richard Mandella had sent him out for two straight sprint wins at today's 6 furlong distance. Although he has never raced on traditional dirt and there is a question as to how he might handle wheeling back to the sprint, he probably answered it pretty well with three straight eye-popping drills at Santa Anita, the last two a best of 12 six furlong work in 1:13 1/5 and last Saturday a best of 37 five furlong work in :58 1/5. Enters in fine form.
Rennesgotzip - This is a very optimistic move for trainer Peter Miller as he sends this 3-year old filly vs boys for the first time. She has answered the bell in each of her six starts (4 wins and 2 seconds and won the Grade II Santa Ynez in very fast race time last year. Miller sent her two turns twice earlier this year and she carried her speed well, checking in second in both the Grade I Las Virgenes and Grade I Santa Anita Oaks. In her last two Miller sent her sprinting to victory in an allowance at Hollywood and an overnight stakes at Del Mar. She is fast early so is difficult to dismiss out of hand...but this is still a difficult assignment.
That wraps up Saturday's SIX BREEDERS'CUP QUALIFIERS from Keeneland, Belmont and Santa Anita. Don't forget to check back here on Saturday night for two more from Belmont and two more from Keeneland as we move forward towards the 15 Cup Races at Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3.
BREEDERS' CUP FLASH
From The Jim Hurley Racing Network
YOUR ONLINE SOURCE FOR EVERYTHING BREEDERS' CUP
VOLUME ONE - Issue 4
On Friday, October 5 Keeneland Race Track opens the 2012 Fall Meet with a 10 race Program that FEATURES A PAIR OF WIN-AND-YOU'RE-IN Breeders' Cup Qualifying Races wherein the winner of each automatically qualifies for the assigned race that corresponds with the one they are competing in.
Below you will find previews for the Grade III Phoenix Stakes (BC Sprint) and Grade I Alcibiades Stakes (BC Juvenile Fillies.)
You will also see an offer that will provide you with the Winners, Exacta, Trifectas and (when available) Superfecta recommendations for each of those two races as well as the connected Daily Doubles. In addition you will find that you can play ALL 12 BC QUALIFIERS COMBINED ON FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY FOR A GREAT MONEY SAVING FEE.
Here's This Weekend's Line-Up
Keeneland - Alcibiades Stakes - (Juvenile Fillies)
Keeneland - Phoenix Stakes (Sprint)
Keeneland - Dixiana Breeders' Futurity - (Juvenile) Classic
Keeneland - Shadwell Stakes - (Turf Mile)
Keeneland - Thoroughbred Club America Stakes - (Filly & Mare Turf)
Belmont - Champagne Stakes - (Juvenile)
Belmont - Frizette Stakes - (Juvenile Fillies)
Santa Anita - Sprint Championship Stakes - (Sprint)
Keeneland - Bourbon Stakes - (Juvenile)
Keeneland - Spinster Stakes - (Ladies' Classic)
Belmont - Miss Grillo Stakes - (Juvenile Filly Turf)
Belmont - Pilgrim Stakes - (Juvenile Turf)
PLAY ALL 3 DAYS - ALL 12 RACES - ONLY $50
or Play Friday's 2 Races - $15
Play Saturday's 6 Races - $30
Play Sunday's 4 Races - $20
PLUS MAKE SURE TO CHECK BACK REGULARLY ON THESE PAGES as we preview all the WIN-AND-YOU'RE-IN RACES that will be run between now and mid-October as well as follow all the installments that will provide vital reviews, summaries, trainers methods, Breeders' Cup History that pertains to significant trends and a whole lot more.
Below are Friday's KEENELAND PREVIEWS. The race number, stakes race and Breeders' Cup race the winner automatically qualifies for are followed by the distance and surface as well as the horses listed in post position order.
FULL FIELDS AT KEENELAND FRIDAY FOR PHOENIX AND ALCIBIADES
Race 8 - Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes - (BC Sprint) (6 Furlongs Main Track)
Aikenite - After trying the two turn world and Triple Crown Road as a 3-year old this 5-year old Todd Pletcher trainee is now a quite useful one turn runner. The trainer has picked a tough spot for his 2012 debut, and if he wants to impact the field he's going to have to loop the field from his inside post at the 6 furlongs (only 3 of 23 career tries at the distance.) But he is working well, is 6-2-2-0 on synthetic and has hit the board 12 times (5-4-3) in his career. Could get a piece.
Cajun Breeze - Still eligible for second career win after hitting the board just once in three straight entry level allowance tries in most recent trio of races. Never raced or worked on synthetic and speed numbers well below the average for Graded Stakes runners. Appears overmatched.
Night Party - Tough runner to get a handle on. The son of Rahy has never run 6 furlongs and makes his first start since July 1 at Churchill Downs after finishing 3rd in the Grade II Firecracker Handicap at a mile at CD. He has a few things in his favor such as a high turn of speed, always makes or presses the pace regardless of surface or distance and has 3 wins and 3 seconds from 10 synthetic surface attempts. The colt won a 7 furlong second level allowance here by daylight in April. Not an easy toss.
Hamiltonian - Big step up in class for the lightly raced 3-year old son of Bellamy Road. He did win his last, but that came at Ellis Park vs entry level allowance rivals in the slop. The gelding will also be running at 6 furlongs for the first time in what will be his 5th career start (7 furlongs twice and a mile twice.) Trainer Larry Jones doesn't often stab and the conditioner assigns Rosie Napravnik, with whom he had success at the Fair Grounds this past winter. Another that demands attention even if for only a minor role.
Doctor Chit - Another 3-year old and the second of the uncoupled Todd Pletcher pair, the son of War Front shortens up a panel after poking a head in front just outside the furlong marker and yielding late in the Grade I Kings Bishop in his most recent. He broke his maiden over this surface by a widening 5 lengths in 1:09 flat in April and once back on the grounds turned in a sharp :47 2/5 breeze this past Saturday. Regular rider Ramon Dominguez is aboard and he looks to be a serious player.
Sum Of The Parts - The 3-year old son of BC Sprint winner Speightstown showed promise last year before getting in all kinds of trouble in the BC Juvenile Sprint. Trainer Tom Amoss gave him 6 months to develop and he has come back strong this year, winning 3 of 4 with a pair coming over the synthetic at Keeneland in April and in a Presque Isle Stakes in mid-May. After winning the 400K Red Legend at CT in late June the colt got another short break and tuned up three weeks back with a sharp second on the turf in the Groovy Stakes at Belmont. Has plenty of speed and the only hurdle might be first time away from restricted 3-year old races. Very fast and deserves consideration.
Noble's Promise - I suppose there is something to be said for stick-to-it-ness but this Ken McPeek trained son of Cuvee hasn't won a race in 11 tries since early 2011 and his two recent place finishes were against marginal overnight stakes. One thing that might work in his favor is his 7-2-2-2 mark on synthetic surfaces and a repeat of his 102 BRIS speed figure race over this surface in early April would make him a tough opponent.
Lonesome Street - Certainly is a versatile sort as his last 5 races have come over 2 surfaces at 4 distances at 5 race tracks. Like a number of his rivals he has good speed but is not a confirmed sprinter, having only raced 6 furlongs once in his career. However, and it is a very big however, he did win the Grade II Commonwealth over this surface in mid-April and got the 7 furlo9ngs in real race horse time of 1:21 flat. He'll need to commence his rally sooner if he wants to make an impact, but he is fresh and makes his first start since July 18 following a series of fast breezes over the CD training track.
Will's Wildcat - You have to go back 6 races and to a sloppy race track at Gulfstream Park in February for this one's last win. And in his last two since a 9 week break in early June, the 4-year old Eurosliver gelding has struggled sprinting vs slightly lesser over a wet fast surface at Mountaineer and on the grass at Kentucky Downs. At times has good early speed but on those occasions has wilted in the lane. Looks more like an early pace victim than a late intruder.
Laurie's Rocket - More often than not these days Wayne Lukas keeps running them even when they indicate they might want a break. This 3-year old Bluegrass Cat colt has already logged 15 career starts and has raced once a month since April. His last win came in that April race at Oaklawn and in his last 4 he hasn't come close to hitting the board. Even saying, "but it is Lukas" doesn't seem to carry much hope.
Race 9 - Grade I Alcibiades Stakes - (BC Juvenile Fillies)
Pure Indy - The daughter of Pure Prize rallied from well back to break her maiden in her debut at Del Mar as the favorite and made the choice in her next she disappointed in the Barrett's Debutante at Fairplex. Trainer Craig Dollase worked her at Hollywood last Saturday and shipped east a few days ago. Horses can be forgiven a bad start at Fairplex, given the quirky surface and tight turns, especially juveniles, but this gal still needs to prove more against this kind.
Kitten's Dumplings - We'll have to make sure to ask Yogi Berra if this is "Deja vu all over again." A year ago trainer Wayne Catalano ran a Kitten's Joy filly by the name of Stephanie's Kitten in the Grade II Natalma Stakes on the grass at Woodbine on September 17 and watched her finish a solid third from well back to be beaten 3 lengths. She then shipped to Keeneland to win the Alcibiades and then return to the grass to win the BC Juvenile Filly Turf at Churchill Downs. On September 15 of this year trainer Mike maker ran this daughter of Kitten's Joy in the Grade II Natalma and she rallied from well back to get fourth, beaten less than 2 lengths and here she is. Turf to Keeneland synthetic has been a good angle and Maker goes back to jockey Javier Castellano, who was aboard when the filly broke her maiden at first asking at Saratoga in her only other career starting. May still not have run her top.
Rose To Gold - Bargain priced yearling sale filly by Friend's Lake ships up from Calder where she broke her maiden in her debut by 13 lengths going a mile in a 75K stakes and then repeated the performance with a 13 length blowout of her 100K Brave Raj Stakes rivals. Lesser known trainer Sal Santoro has won 13 of 63 (21%) and minor foe wins or not, this little lady could be something special.
Almost An Angel - Trainer Wesley Ward is obviously throwing out this filly's debut when she wanted no part of the Keeneland synthetic main track surface and was beaten by 12 lengths. He switched her to the turf for her last three and watched her run second to the boys, break her maiden vs her own sex (both at 6 furlongs at Belmont) before fading when tried two turns in the Grade II With Anticipation at Saratoga. Notably that last race was once again against the boys so she might pick up back with her own kind, but the daughter of Artie Schiller still needs to prove she can get the distance.
Fully Living - No disgrace in finishing second to division favorite Dreaming Of Julia as she did in her last (85K Meadow Star Stakes at Belmont) but she was 16 lengths back in what was a workout for the winner and in a pair of graded sprints at Saratoga prior to that was outkicked in the lane each time. She is bred (Unbridled's Song) to go long so might wake up if she can settled into stride rather than chase hard, but her recent speed numbers say she might be regressing.
Broken Spell - The Broken Vow filly appears to have found a home on the turf. The Wayne Lukas trainee broke her maiden on the green in career start number 4 and then was beaten a neck in the PG Johnson Stakes at the Spa on 8/29. Turf form does transfer well to the Keeneland synthetic surface so that is in her favor. What will have to improve, however, are her soft speed numbers. Nonetheless, she is improving and is one of the longshots that could claim a share.
Gold Edge - The undefeated daughter of Eddington has kept right on carrying her speed as she went from a 5 furlong MSW tally to a 7 furlong minor stakes win and a resolute victory in the Grade III Arlington Washington Lassie at a mile last out over that synthetic surface. The Lon Wiggins trainee stalked a quick early pace took the lead, and after briefly relinquishing it got a neck back in front at the wire. She'll have to overcome the bounce possibility after her tough last race but her two drills in Chicago before shipping here indicate she might be no worse for the wear. Adds speed and depth to this contentious 14 filly field.
La Song - At 36-1 she took the lead from the 12 post and held it until deep stretch when out-gamed by Gold Edge in the Arlington Washington Lassie last time out. She was disregarded after having to drop into a maiden-claimer to get her initial win prior to the stakes and given how fast she went early and slow late is a more likely bounce probability than her rival to the inside. But there is no doubt she's with the pace setters for as far as she goes.
Spring In The Air - Another of the Woodbine Grade II Natalma graduates, this Mark Casse trained daughter of Spring At Last closed even more deeply than Yogi's aforementioned Deja vu filly. Perhaps even more promising is that before she shifted to the turf for the Natalma she broke her maiden by 10 widening lengths over the Woodbine synthetic main track surface and according to the chart caller "widened as she pleased." Very strong possibility as it looks as though she has yet to run her best and the 12-1 ML is a good value starting point.
Tara From The Cape - The daughter of Leroidesanimaux broke her maiden sprinting at Woodbine in her debut and moved to the Todd Pletcher barn shortly after. She next stalked the pace on the grass at Delaware before pulling clear late in the 7 ½ furlong Tom Greene Memorial Stakes and then weakened late behind Broken Spell's rally and settled for third in the PG Johnson at Saratoga 5 weeks ago. Has the breeding and connections to move forward.
Skyfall - Broke her maiden over the sloppy going in her debut when travelling 7 furlongs at Saratoga and then was outrun badly on the turf in the PG Johnson there in her last. The second of the Todd Pletcher unlinked entrants, she gets the blinkers and the services of John Velazquez, who was aboard for the maiden breaker. The More Than Ready filly might need more seasoning, but if the hood helps she could come running late.
Speedinthruthecity - The Peter Miller trained daughter of City Zip appears to be coming into her own after gamely coming on late in the Juvenile Filly Turf Stakes at Del Mar on 9/3. Prior to that she ran second in both the Landaluce and Grade III Sorrento, finishing close up to Executive Privilege, who last Saturday earned her way into the BC Juvenile Fillies with a smashing win as the 2-05 favorite in the Grade I Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita. If Julian Leparoux can get her to carry her pressing speed she has a shot at being in the mix.
Magical Moon - We know she has speed and we know, if her latest work is any indication, that she likes the Keeneland surface. Now the only question is, can she get two turns. Her only two career races have been a 5 furlong even try on the dirt at CD and a maiden breaker travelling 5 ½ panels on the grass at Saratoga 6 weeks ago. Although she won that MSW event by 10 lengths she has had only the one published half mile work since that August race and carrying the speed from the far outside will be a challenge. Another pace contributor.
Dancinginthecircle - Was the third of three longshots and the third place finisher behind Gold Edge and La Song (each of whom is signed on for this) in the Arlington Washington Lassie last time. Her off the pace try in that race might prove better vs the preponderance of speed that she'll see in here and if Robbie Albarado can find a way to get over and save ground before they hit the first turn it wouldn't be a complete surprise to see the bred-for long distances runner making a late charge.
Daar Zayad - Had no answer in her debut when sprinting on the turf vs MSW rivals in her career debut at Saratoga and then was shipped to the synthetic main track at Presque isle by trainer Eoin Harty and she broke her maiden in a mile test 4 weeks ago. Her speed number didn't do much to get the blood boiling as she completed her final half mile in :52 3/5. If she should draw in her lack of early speed and as of yet to be exhibited closing kick would make things quite difficult from this post.
Cloudy Vow - Another last out MSW winner at Presque Isle, the Timothy Hamm trained daughter of Broken Vow was more impressive than her co-also eligible entrant, but it was her only career start and was run at 6 furlongs in only slightly quicker fashion. She does have two-turn pedigree but is probably in need of more seasoning before facing this kind.
That wraps up Friday's TWO BREEDERS" CUP QUALIFIERS from Keeneland. Don't forget to check back here for the reviews of SIX BC QUALIFIERS to be run at Keeneland, Belmont and Santa Anita on Saturday as well as what that means as we move forward towards the 15 Cup Races at Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3.
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