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11/05/2011 02:42 AM
Mike Watchmaker: 2011 Breeders' Cup analysis

Breeders' Cup Saturday

MARATHON
CEASE has been a revelation since switching to dirt, and though the Hawthorne Gold Cup he comes out of wasn’t the strongest Breeders’ Cup prep of the year, he ran very well finishing a close third considering he had previously won only an entry-level allowance race. We have seen the best of what everyone else in this race can do, but Cease still has lots of room for improvement, and seems the type who will run all day. BRIGANTIN has only raced on turf, but was third in two even longer Group 1 races this year in Europe, where the quality of marathon racing just has to be better than ours. A. U. MINER was going well at the finish when fifth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup off a 2 1-2 month layoff and should be tighter this time; obvious. BIRDRUN finished sixth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup off the same layoff and can also improve.

JUVENILE TURF
FARRAAJ has yet to finish worse than second, including a good try in his group stakes debut last time out at Newmarket. He appears to be effective from anywhere on the track, and what I find intriguing is how well bet he’s been in every start. That, in fact, was the deciding factor in a race where I wanted to go with a Euro shipper. CASPAR NETSCHER has already had more starts at 2 (nine) than many Europeans have in a lifetime, but he was beaten only a length in a 16 horse Group 1 last time. STATE OF PLAY’S victory in the With Anticipation in his most recent start got a big boost when Dullahan, the third place finisher, came back to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity. But that win was two months ago, and he drew an awful outside post. WROTE was an okay third in his group stakes debut last time; can certainly improve.

SPRINT
APRIORITY’S poor finish last time out in the Vosburgh is best ignored as he was compromised by early trouble and a speed favoring track. And he might have been short off a three month layoff in his loss two back. Apriority’s form before that was very good, and he could sit a perfect trip here stalking a pace disputed by Big Drama, Euroears, and Giant Ryan; taken to upset. BIG DRAMA won this race last year en route to a divisional championship, but his campaign this year has been strange: disappearing for eight months after an incredible performance, returning with only a workman-like win, and then missing his final prep due to illness; too many questions for my liking. JACKSON BEND wants more distance, which is why it was a shock he didn’t go in the Dirt Mile; in tremendous form, however. AMAZOMBIE was perfectly set up in the Ancient Title, but could get another favorable set up here.

TURF SPRINT
CARACORTADO is not a five furlong horse. He prefers more distance than what he gets in this race. But what Caracortado is, is a legitimate Grade 1 performer – he has come within a couple of feet of winning two of them in his career – and the same cannot be said for any other member of this field. He has a powerful late kick on turf, and a lively early pace here could set the stage for him getting up in time. HAVELOCK has won stakes in his last three turf sprint starts, and his score in the Woodford last time out was his best effort yet. CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE won this race last year, and an improved third in his most recent start suggests he is approaching top form again; dangerous. CAMP VICTORY flopped at odds-on in the Morvich, but he can rebound given his excellent prior form on both the main track and grass.

DIRT MILE
In a race that came up a little softer than expected, WILBURN is the pick. Granted, Wilburn got a sweet rail trip when he won the Indiana Derby most recently, but he’s a rapidly improving 3-year-old who is looking for his fourth straight score, and he might get another great trip here stalking a hot pace. TRAPPE SHOT was compromised by a speed bias in the Vosburgh last time out. He earned big Beyers prior to that, albeit against questionable company, but he also could get a good off-the-pace trip here. I didn’t like the way THE FACTOR caved at 2-5 after an early speed duel in the Ancient Title last time, and while he is a better horse than that, he might get hooked early by Tapizar this time. CALEB’S POSSE stretched back out unsuccessfully in the Indiana Derby, but his two sprint outings before that were top notch; might well be a natural one-turn miler.

TURF
SEA MOON might not sport the flashiest Euro lines here, but what he does have over some of the more well-established European invaders is a higher upside. Sea Moon was making only the fifth start of his career when third as the favorite in the St. Leger most recently, a race in which he has a big trouble line, and showed great potential winning his first two starts this year. It was a minor surprise that MIDDAY, winner of the 2009 F&M Turf and a narrowly beaten second in that race last year, opted for this event. Then again, she has made three starts this year against males and has proven very competitive against them. Being competitive against males is also no issue for SARAFINA, whose form prior to a disappointing run in the Arc was stellar; will be formidable if she hasn’t lost her edge. ST NICHOLAS ABBEY beat Midday last June and is not out of this.

JUVENILE
UNION RAGS was miles the best winning stakes in his last two, and no other member of this field has earned a pair of Beyers that equal the two he received in those romps. It is true that this will be his first start around two turns, but his pedigree and versatility in terms of running style suggest a route will be no problem. DRILL was no match for Creative Cause at odds on in the Norfolk, but a projected livelier pace this time will be to his benefit. CREATIVE CAUSE was clearly best in the Norfolk even if he had an easy trip prompting a slow pace. The pace will be stronger this time, but Creative Cause can still be effective coming from a little farther back. DULLAHAN got his maiden win in the Breeders’ Futurity on Polytrack, and is better now than when he tried dirt at the start of his career; stretch threat.

MILE
BYWORD’S overall form this year might seem notch below Goldikova’s, and maybe also Strong Suit’s. But he is in season-best form at this time, having beaten the subsequent Group 1 Champion Stakes winner in his most recent start. Byword was a Group 1 winner last year, when he also ran Goldikova to a close decision; taken to upset. Truth be told, I am pulling for GOLDIKOVA to win this race for a fourth straight year because it’s unimaginable to me that another horse will ever approach such a Breeders’ Cup feat. Goldikova does seem to have lost a step, but even if she has, she could still simply be much the best. GIO PONTI was second to Goldikova in this last year and repeats the same prep pattern this year; might have also lost a step, though. STRONG SUIT is another sharp Euro shipper, but a mile might be just outside his best distance range.

CLASSIC
FLAT OUT’S two big wins this year – the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Suburban – did come at Belmont Park, but he is much more than a one track horse. He ran well finishing second in the Woodward and Whitney at Saratoga, and even his sixth on the dead rail in the Foster on this track was okay. Flat Out was beaten by Havre de Grace in the Woodward, but the additional furlong could be the equalizer. SO YOU THINK proved to be top class pretty much everywhere in the world, except here. He will be formidable if he handles dirt, which his connections believe he will. HAVRE DE GRACE, outstanding all year, already proved she can beat males when she won the Woodward; tough to take a strong stand against. UNCLE MO is brilliant, but is also a huge question mark at this distance. Moreover, Game On Dude and To Honor and Serve won’t let him get loose early.
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11/05/2011 02:45 AM
Brad Free: 2011 Breeders' Cup analysis

Breeders' Cup Saturday

Marathon
1-Birdrun
2-Cease
3-Giant Oak
4-Pleasant Prince
An anonymous field entered this forgettable mile-and-three-quarter dirt race. BIRDRUN, whose best race was going a mile and a half, stretches out and drops in class after pressing and fading vs. tougher. Second start following a short layoff, he can win with a forward move. CEASE has improved each successive start this year, including a solid third-place finish last out against better. His pressing style should play well in a race likely to unfold at a soft pace. GIANT OAK, beaten favorite this race a year ago, tries again after chasing better all year. He will finish. PLEASANT PRINCE has run races that put him in the hunt against this group, including a runaway last out over Rail Trip. ELDAAFER, upset winner of this a year ago, is back for another go. He was better last year, however.

Juvenile Turf
1-Finale
2-Caspar Netscher
3-State of Play
4-Animal Spirits
FINALE turned into a tiger on turf, 3-for-3 including a win six weeks ago in a productive race. That Woodbine race produced 2010 winner Pluck for this trainer, and 2009 runner-up Bridgetown. Freshened six weeks with tactical speed to overcome post 13, FINALE is logical. European shipper CASPAR NETSCHER arrives in peak form. He finished fifth by a length last time in a Group 1; by all accounts he was best. This is his first try beyond six furlongs. STATE OF PLAY is 2-for-2 and a clever G2 winner at Saratoga two months ago. From the outside post, he must use his speed early. ANIMAL SPIRITS followed a solid runner-up debut with a deep-closing G3 upset at Keeneland. Look for him late. MAJESTIC CITY was unruly in his final California workout; he probably is the speed of the field.

Sprint
1-Amazombie
2-Euroears
3-Giant Ryan
4-Jackson Bend
California sprinters have been “Crushing the Cup” by winning 14 of 27. The streak can continue. AMAZOMBIE returned to form with a sharp recent comeback, and bounced out of the Grade 1 win in top shape. Recent works have been super, he is well drawn, with a versatile style to press or stalk. EUROEARS was compromised when he drew the rail; he is not quick from the gate. If he breaks slowly, forget it. But if he breaks cleanly, he could be gone. He has worked brilliantly since a nightmare trip last out. GIANT RYAN has won six straight with big figs, though Belmont observers say he benefitted from a bias last out. JACKSON BEND will be over-bet turning back from longer distances. He will finish, but six furlongs could be too sharp. BIG DRAMA was better last year.

Turf Sprint
1-Regally Ready
2-Caracortado
3-Chamberlain Bridge
4-Havelock
Early this year REGALLY READY was unbeatable in turf sprints. He tailed off, but he is coming around again even if his slow-pace win last out was less than dominant. But it marked a forward move as he cycles into form, and his pressing style should play well in a race without much gas. CARACORTADO sprinted on grass once; it was a powerful comeback victory last year. The G2 winner missed time in fall with a minor setback, but worked well lately. He runs well fresh. Look for him late. CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE won this a year ago and is 4-for-6 at Churchill Downs. Not sure if the fractions will quick enough for him, however. HAVELOCK has won his last four turf sprints. He might be this good. RAPPORT will lead partway. He might get brave at a price first-time turf.

Dirt Mile
1-Tres Borrachos
2-Trappe Shot
3-Tapizar
4-The Factor
Bombs away with TRES BORRACHOS, whose recent two-turn pace duel vs. better sets him up for a class-drop upset at one mile. Assuming realistic pace, he can sit, wait and tag them late. His form looks similar to last year’s Dirt Mile upset winner Dakota Phone. TRAPPE SHOT has been splashing around earning big figs in the New York mud. It is unknown if he is as effective on dry land in Kentucky, but this is an easier spot. Front-running 3-year-olds TAPIZAR and THE FACTOR create an interesting early duel. TAPIZAR is drawn outside his pace rival and will apply pressure. His comeback was solid, in winter he was among the fastest Derby prospects in California. THE FACTOR is stuck on the rail, facing pace pressure from the outside. Not sure if he is as good as most in California initially believed.

Turf
1-St Nicholas Abbey
2-Midday
3-Sarafina
4-Sea Moon
North America’s championship card is hereby interrupted with an obligatory curtsy to Europe. The grass horses in Europe are simply better; the top four choices are shippers. ST NICHOLAS ABBEY loomed a threat in the Arc homestretch last month, but lost his punch while making his second start back. Top class and 5-for-10 overall, he is rounding to top form and set for a smasher. MIDDAY skipped the F&M Turf for a tilt at the boys; she finished second twice this year in Group 1’s vs. males. Her recent fourth-place finish was merely a prep race. SARAFINA finished a disappointing seventh at low odds in the Arc. This is an easier spot. SEA MOON, a lightly raced 3-year-old, had a compromising trip and finished third as the favorite against possibly better. He is better than that makes him look.

Juvenile
1-Union Rags
2-Alpha
3-Drill
4-Creative Cause
The devastating Champagne win by UNION RAGS stamps the 3-for-3 colt as a worthy favorite. He has improved each start. Last time he waited behind runners into the lane before bursting clear. Two turns is new, but that is not likely to be an issue based on his overpowering last start. ALPHA could be the “sneak horse” after a troubled runner-up trip behind the top pick. He broke slowly, got bottled behind runners, raced in traffic, and finished evenly. It was only his second start; he has much upside. DRILL was rank and unhappy behind a slow pace and finished second as the odds-on favorite in the Norfolk. He can improve in his second route. He has worked well with blinkers off. CREATIVE CAUSE crushed the Norfolk with a perfect trip. The pace this time will be quicker.

Mile
1-Strong Suit
2-Goldikova
3-Gio Ponti
4-Mr Commons
The sky is the limit for improving 3-year-olds in fall; a huge recent victory by England-based STRONG SUIT sets him up to upset despite post 11. GOLDIKOVA seeks an amazing fourth BC Mile victory. However, for this first time in her career she lost more races this year than she won. Runner-up three of her last four, she enters with deserving accolades for a stellar career (17-for-26). The knock is price. She will be heavily favored. GIO PONTI is overdue for a BC win after finishing second to girls the last two years (Goldikova, Zenyatta). GIO PONTI fires every start, and will roll late. MR COMMONS will be a fat price. A 3-year-old getting better, this might be the time to catch him at long odds. BYWORD arrives from France after winning two straight vs. easier.

Classic
1-Ruler On Ice
2-Havre De Grace
3-Game On Dude
4-So You Think
Longshot RULER ON ICE, the Belmont winner, can upset this field. The improving 3-year-old finished well in his final prep and should have legitimate fractions to run at. His odds will be about 20-1. The filly HAVRE DE GRACE earned a shot here based on a win against males (including subsequent G1 winner Flat Out) in the Woodward. She followed with a blowout over fillies and mares. Her numbers are good; she can stay a mile and a quarter. She may start favored. GAME ON DUDE is the speed of the field with a chance to lead gate to wire. He can stay a mile and a quarter, and is one tough customer in the lane. SO YOU THINK is a 12-for-19 international warrior making his third start in a month. UNCLE MO is brilliant, but suspect beyond a mile and a sixteenth.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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11/05/2011 02:49 AM
Breeders' Cup Clocker: Uncle Mo erases all doubts about fitness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Any doubt how Uncle Mo might have bounced out of his relatively disappointing final work for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic on Sunday morning were erased the moment he stepped out onto the racetrack shortly after 6 a.m. here at Churchill Downs on Wednesday. He turned in an exhilarating training session during which he galloped as strong, as sound and as spectacularly as could be expected leading up to such a major event.

Uncle Mo’s appearance was the highlight of a long and extremely busy training session here Wednesday with nearly all the 179 prospective Breeders’ Cup starters out on the track at one time or another during the course of the morning. There were only two recorded works on Wednesday, Speightscity (Juvenile) drilling a half-mile in 48.40 seconds with a final eighth in 12.09 over the main track and Broken Dreams (Turf Sprint) zipping three eighths in 35.80 with a final quarter in 22.74 over the firm turf albeit under some vigorous late urging.

The “Band of Seven” French horses who paraded around single file for an easy jog on Tuesday were back together again shortly after the renovation break but this time for a little more serious exercise . After stretching their legs with a one-mile jog, the group separated and open galloped around the turn and through the stretch, each completing their final three-eighths in times ranging from 39 and change to 40 and change, including Goldikova and Sarafina , both of whom looked very happy.

All the Classic starters trained Wednesday except for So You Think , who will not clear quarantine until late Thursday. Aside from Uncle Mo, the best of the group were Drosselmeyer and To Honor and Serve, who had another spectacular morning while again training in his now familiar one-cup blinker. Flat Out looked strong again, Havre de Grace had a relatively easy morning galloping under trainer Larry Jones, Ruler On Ice looked good galloping in company for the second day in a row, while Game On Dude made a favorable appearance in his first morning over the track.

Among the Saturday Breeders’ Cup starters to catch my eye were Hansen (Juvenile), Faraaj (Juvenile Turf), who trained in one form or another for at least 45 minutes, Finale (Juvenile Turf), and Union Rags (Juvenile).


The following are my impressions of some of the horses I have either seen work or gallop here over the past 12 days in preparation for Friday’s six Breeders’ Cup events.

Juvenile Sprint

Seeker: Has trained well all week but was on a tight left rein trying to bear out a bit turning for home in his final maintenance move. It is probably not a real concern other than he is drawn down on the rail.

Sum of the Parts: Finished willingly enough in his final prep on Monday, might outrun his odds.

Trinniberg: Expected to see a little quicker final work from the gate considering he went 34 and change just prior to the Hopeful and he was not extending all that well galloping here either Tuesday or Wednesday mornings.

Secret Circle: Strictly the one to beat although the first impression of him on Wednesday during just a routine gallop was nothing special.

Juvenile Fillies Turf

Dayatthespa: She reportedly held her own with stablemate Stacelita in her final serious prep prior to shipping locally and that alone makes her a major player. Made a very nice appearance galloping over the main track on Monday.

Stopshoppingmaria: She passed her turf test with flying colors, working slightly better than her proven grass-running stablemate Sweet Cat over the weekend. A question mark at the distance but Stopshoppingmaria may ultimately prove the one to catch.

Stephanie’s Kitten: Her final grass work over the weekend turned out to be a bit of a disaster due to rider error but she’s looked extremely sharp training over the main track ever since with a particularly eye-catching session on Wednesday.

Sweet Cat: This steadily improving filly was under slightly more pressure to finish breezing in company with Stopshoppingmaria over the grass but did fight back to be on even terms during the gallop out. She figures to be a major factor with another forward move.

Elusive Kate: European invader is the one to beat on paper although she looked just average at best during her first two visits to the local turf course. She might be just enough of a question mark to try to beat at a short price.

Somali Lemonade: Undefeated filly looked great (on videotape) galloping out during her final serious prep last week at Keeneland and she has been equally impressive since shipping to Churchill Downs, especially on Wednesday morning when able to keep up a steady “two minute” pace galloping 1 1/4 mile s over the main track. Unfortunately, she must overcome a very difficult post.

Filly and Mare Sprint

Turbulent Descent: Hard to draw any conclusions from what I have seen from her first two visits to the track but certainly the one to beat at her best.

Switch: She worked fast but not very impressively on Sunday when rank leaving the pole and popped several times with the stick down the stretch while appearing uncomfortable throughout. She did bounce back with a very energetic and much happier looking gallop on Wednesday. Can’t forget this filly finished second off a similarly unimpressive final prep in the 2010 running of this same race.

Golden Mystery: She was extremely sharp zipping a fast half-mile in hand on Monday, came back off that work looking well and full of herself 48 hours later. Main caveat is the fact I have seen her work in a similar manner on several occasions down in Florida but she’s obviously at the top of her game right now.

Her Smile: She has worked just about as well as anybody here over the past couple of weeks, completing the final quarter of a half-mile work in 23.29 seconds while completely within herself before galloping out even better all the way back to the six- furlong pole on Saturday morning. Seems to love this track, may be a sleeper if she is able to perform up to her recent works.

Juvenile Fillies

Questing: Euro invader has made a favorable impression since being released from quarantine earlier in the week.

Rocket Twentyone: Worked just an ordinary half mile from the gate then was not overly impressive when returning to the track to gallop several days later.

Putthebabiesdown: She was rank leaving the pole, never settled and appeared to be trying to drift while tiring down the stretch, barely managing to finish on even terms with her maiden stablemate Yes He’s Trouble, who was going much easier throughout.

My Miss Aurelia : Undefeated filly has looked the part over the past couple of weeks and it was encouraging to see her relax during her final maintenance run on Monday, suggesting she will handle the added distance without an issue in the Juvenile Fillies. It looks like her race to lose.

Filly and Mare Turf

Stacelita: Another favorite who has looked the part and even more so since her arrival from New York, putting in a series of very high-energy gallops while stretching out impressively on each successive trip over the Churchill Downs main track. Has trained in a bubble cup blinker to protect her injured eye and will more than likely race in the same equipment on Friday.

Aruna: Turf and artificial surface specialist attempted to emulate Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom with a test run on the main track for trainer Graham Motion but did not appear comfortable over the surface and as a result will remain on the grass for the Breeders’ Cup. She did not look nearly as sharp as stablemate and Filly and Mare Turf rival Shared Account when the pair galloped over the inner course here Wednesday.

Shared Account: Defending Filly and Mare Turf champ was overlooked a year ago and is flying under the radar again the second time around but appears to be coming back to Churchill Downs at the top of her game. She looked very happy and fit while extending beautifully over the turf course here during a routine gallop while travelling not far behind Aruna on Wednesday morning.

Dynaslew: She turned in a very ordinary prep over the turf last weekend and has since done little more than pony without tack since returning to the track following that uninspiring work.

Ladies’ Classic

Pachattack: Her only official work since finishing second in the Spinster came at Keeneland, but I really have liked the very high-energy level I have seen from her on a regular basis since she shipped to Louisville.

It’s Tricky: Did not arrive from New York until Tuesday, went to the track Wednesday and was razor sharp, giving the appearance she might run off once hitting the backstretch before coming to hand and settling into a nice relaxed gallop. All in all a very favorable first impression for the two-time Grade 1 winner.

Satans Quick Chick: Her only local work did not go well as she was rank on the way to the pole then had to be strongly encouraged to complete her final quarter-mile in nearly 25 seconds while also appearing to drift approaching the wire.

Ask the Moon: She was not asked for speed at any time in what amounted to nothing more than a maintenance move in her only local prep but has been very sharp and full of energy during all routine gallops coming out of that drill.

Royal Delta: She turned in two similarly spectacular works within a one-week span, the second of which may have been the best move turned in by any Breeders’ Cup participant, a super easy half-mile during which she completed her final quarter in 22.63 with the rider sitting as still as a statue throughout. Her gallop out was even more impressive, if that’s possible. Nobody is doing any better coming into this year’s Cup.

Plum Pretty: All her major preparations have been on the West Coast but she looked good during a routine gallop when visiting the track for the first time here on Wednesday. She figures to vie for the top prize in Friday’s main event with Royal Delta.

Super Espresso: She’s not the prettiest mover in the morning and her final work was just marginally better although she did manage to edge away at the end from her accomplished work mate Alma d’Oro albeit under pressure through a final quarter that barely shaded 26 seconds.
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11/05/2011 02:57 AM
The Marathon

October 29, 2011

The Marathon

1 ¾ miles; $500,000; 3up; Saturday, Nov. 5th at 1:20 p.m.



The History



Run at 1 ½ miles in its first year before stretching out to this distance. European shippers won the first two runnings over the synthetic surface at Santa Anita. This event is best known altercation between jockeys Javier Castellano and Calvin Borel at the scales after the 2010 race.



Favorites: 0 for 3 (0%)

Shortest: $14.80 (Man of Iron, 2009)

Highest: $26.80 (Muhannak, 2008)

Average win price: $21.60



The Best



GIANT OAK takes another crack at this after being moved up to fourth via DQ last year. After getting that elusive G1 win when placed first via DQ in the G1 Clark at the end of last season, Giant Oak made his first start of this year a winning one in the G1 Donn at Gulfstream but is winless in six starts since. An underachiever that usually winds up being the “wiseguy” horse wherever he runs, his connections are hoping a better trip than last year and the distance will get him to the winners’ circle.


Speaking of last years Marathon, the champ is here as ELDAAFER will be making his third consecutive start in the event. He’s won just twice this season in an allowance contest on the grass at old Atlantic City and in a money allowance race at Delaware. Last out he finished second in a minor stakes at Delaware and has failed to hit the board in his three graded stakes attempts.



BIRDRUN has had a fairly successful season despite racing with aluminum pads in most of his starts. After a second place finish to 2010 G1 Belmont winner/stablemate Drosselmeyer in a minor stakes at Belmont going 1 ¼ miles, Birdrun turned the tables when he went gate-to-wire in the G2 Brooklyn at 1 ½ miles. Birdrun was awarded first place money in the Greenwood Cup at Parx going 1 ½ miles before failing to fire off a ten week layoff in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup last out.



The Rest



A.U. MINER finished fifth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup after getting DQed for a medication positive in the Greenwood Cup. He was placed third in last years Marathon. AFLEET AGAIN comes into this off a thirteen race losing streak but did get elevated to second in the Greenwood Cup after racing wide. BARYSHNIKOV won three of four, including a minor stakes at Turfway, to start the season before losing his last five starts. He’s winless in eight starts on conventional dirt.



CEASE broke his maiden then won an entry level allowance contest, both over wet tracks in Saratoga, before hanging in the stretch when third in the G2 Hawthorne Gold Cup last out. PLEASANT PRINCE has won two of his last three with the lone blemish coming in the G3 Iselin two back. He broke his maiden over the course nearly two years ago. TUTTI BUONA GENTE was claimed in July for $15K and won a starter handicap at Hoosier in his return to dirt last out. 2010 G1 Blue Grass winner STATELY VICTOR is winless in six starts on dirt and has first preference in the Turf.



Three Europeans will try the Marathon, all making their dirt debuts, starting with BRIGANTIN, who’s raced at distances beyond the 1 ¾ miles of the Marathon in his last six starts. HARRISON’S CAVE has won two of his last three against older and is making his graded stakes debut. MEEZNAH tries the boys again after getting beat over 46 lengths by them three starts back as the 3-1 favorite in England. Last year she finished behind a couple of Europe’s best fillies in Midday and Snow Fairy.



The Scenario




Front Runners: Birdrun, Meeznah, Tutti Buona Gente
Mid-pack: Baryshnikov, Brigantin, Cease, Eldaafer, Harrison’s Cave Stately Victor
Closers: A.U. Miner, Afleet Again, Giant Oak, Pleasant Prince


The Strategy



The marquee names in this event that figure to take the bulk of the money all have more cons than pros if you ask me. Spreading in multi-race exotics is suggested and don’t be afraid to think outside the box in here.



The Bomb



Trainer Andre Fabre could put a saddle on Elsie the Cow and I’d pay attention so Brigantin is where I’m going. With all the distance races he’s run, I certainly know he’s dead fit and will probably be 20-1.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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11/05/2011 02:59 AM
Juvenile Turf

October 29, 2011


Juvenile Turf

1 mile(T); $1 million; 2YO(c&g); Saturday, Nov 5th at 2:02 p.m.



The History



Contested by both sexes in its inaugural running back in 2007 and featured the Breeders’ Cup debut of Gio Ponti, who had a nightmare trip. Trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori teamed up to win consecutive runnings with Donativum and Pounced in 2008 and 2009.



Favorites: 1 for 4 (25%)

Shortest: $6.80 (Pounced, 2009)

Highest: $27.20 (Nownownow, 2007)

Average win price: $15.60

U.S based: 2/Foreign based: 2



The Best



FINALE has turned into a different horse since switching to the turf three starts pack. That day, he cruised home to a maiden score at Belmont in a sprint before stretching out successfully to win a minor stakes at Monmouth Park by over ten lengths. Last out in the G3 Summer up at Woodbine, things didn’t go as easily for Finale as they had in his prior two tries as he broke a bit slowly before making a strong move on the turn and eventually grinding out 1 ¾ length score over several he’ll face again in here.



STATE OF PLAY will be making just the third start of his career off of a two month layoff in this but has done nothing wrong so far. After sitting off a fast early pace in his debut when he won by 2 ½ lengths while sprinting, State of Play led them every step of the way in the G2 With Anticpation to win by ½ length. Since then, however, State of Play was scratched out of one race and not entered in another on his schedule.


DULLAHAN had a bit of a troubled trip when third in the With Anticpation before switching to Polytrack and breaking his maiden in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland in his last start. He finished second in a Saratoga maiden race in his only other turf start. His connections are on the fence as to whether they’ll run in here or the Juvenile.



Like the With Anticpation, the G3 Bourbon at Keeneland has produced several entrants in here, including the winner ANIMAL SPIRITS, who like Dullahan, broke his maiden in a stakes race. Animal Spirits got up in the nick of time in the Bourbon, closing from far back to win by a ½ length.



CASPAR NETSCHER ships in from Europe having already raced nine times in his career, including three wins. Two of the victories came in a pair of G2 stakes before he finished fifth by a length in his first G1 try last out. Though he has an obvious seasoning edge, Caspar Netscher has yet to race past six furlongs.



The Rest



COALPORT beat Illinois breds in his debut before losing the lead in deep stretch of the Bourbon. Third place Bourbon finisher LUCKY CHAPPY was making his first start in three months last out when he came from dead last to get third despite some traffic trouble. From the connections that brought you G1 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, Lucky Chappy was supplemented to this for $100K, as was SHKSPEARE SHALIYAH. After flying home to be third in his debut, Shkspeare Shaliyah broke his maiden then won the G3 Pilgrim with a last-to-first run under a vigorous hand ride at Belmont Park.



FANTASTIC SONG broke his maiden at first asking with a furious late rally from last before laying closer to the slow pace in the Pilgrim to finish third as the 8-5 favorite. MAJESTIC CITY tired in deep stretch when second in the Breeders’ Futurity and has won three of his five starts, including the G3 Hollywood Juvenile, all over synthetic surfaces. EXCAPER was third in the Summer, his lone turf start, and owns a win and fourth place finish in the G3 Grey at Woodbine last out, on synthetics. DADDY NOSE BEST was third in the summer and has hot the board in his two other turf tries, including his maiden score.



DADDY LONG LEGS, a G2 winner in England last out heads the rest of the Euro contingent though his first preference is the Juvenile. FARRAAJ was second in a G2 last out, his first attempt against graded stakes foes, after winning his prior two starts. LEARN was fourth in the G1 Racing Post and has won once in four starts. WROTE was third behind Daddy Long Legs after winning his two previous starts, including one at this distance..





The Scenario




Front Runners: Daddy Long Legs, Finale, Learn, Majestic City, State of Play, Excaper
Mid-pack: Dullahan, Farraaj, Wrote
Closers: Animal Spirits, Caspar Netscher, Coalport, Fantastic Song, Lucky Chappy, Shkspeare Shaliyah, Daddy Nose Best


The Strategy



I can honestly say I think the Americans have the upper hand over the Euros this year. And while Finale is the most obvious of the home team, I think he may be tailing off just a tad so don’t be too afraid to use a few others with him.



The Bomb



Shkspeare Shaliyah has a powerful late punch and figures to be a much bigger price than he should be because of his connections. 12-1 or higher are fair odds on him



Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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11/05/2011 03:02 AM
The Sprint

November 1, 2011


The Sprint

6 furlongs; $1.5 million; 3up; Saturday, Nov. 5th at 2:37 p.m.



The History



Dayjur was home free in 1990 before famously jumping a shadow at Belmont Park and allowing Safely Kept to become one of three fillies to win this. Thirty Slews won the 1992 running, introducing the world to a then unknown trainer by the name of Bob Baffert. Kona Gold ran in the Sprint five times, grabbing the brass ring just once in 2000. Midnight Lute won back to back races in 2007 and 2008, giving Baffert three wins to lead all trainers while Corey Nakatani has won it four times.



Favorites: 6 for 27 (22%)

Shortest: $4.60 (Ellio, 1984)

Highest: $54.60 (Sheikh Albadou, 1991)

Average win price: $21.70



The Best



Oh, how the mighty have fallen. This race was always the race that was guaranteed to overfill. But with the inception of races like the Dirt Mile, Filly & Mare Sprint and Turf Sprint, it’s really lost a lot of luster. At least the defending champ is here.



BIG DRAMA ran them off their feet last year in the Sprint, going immediately to the front from his rail draw and making every pole a winning one before winning by 1 ½ lengths. After getting a couple of months off, Big Drama came back to the races in the G3 Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream. Displaying his brilliant speed yet again, Big Drama blazed six panels in 1:08 to win by four lengths. Then it all came crashing down.


Numerous ailments began nagging the precocious sprinter and his regular rider Eibar Coa went down in a horrifying spill that’s left him in pretty bad shape and out of the saddle. When he finally was right in late summer Big Drama beat up on three tremendously overmatched rivals in a made-to-order overnight stakes at Calder that was supposed to be a springboard to the G1 Vosburgh.

But as the old saying goes, “when it rains, it pours” and that’s what literally and figuratively happened as he was forced to miss the Vosburgh, eventually run over a gooey, muddy mess at Belmont due to a cough, leaving him with just two races under his belt since his Sprint score last year.



Keeping the cliché machine working, “one mans loss is another mans gain” and that’s what happened in the Vosburgh as the speedy, wet track loving, NY bred GIANT RYAN, helped by the scratch of Big Drama and an incident at the start of the race, found himself alone on the lead and parlayed his good fortune into his sixth consecutive victory and first G1 score.



After getting trounced in his first two starts, a dirt sprint off nearly a year layoff and a two turn turf race, both at Gulfstream, Giant Ryan shipped up to NY and promptly won a state-bred optional claimer, an open optional claimer and NY bred stakes. Upon his return to Florida, he won a minor stakes at Calder before capturing his first graded stakes in the G2 Smile.



In the race following Giant Ryan’s upset of the Vosburgh, JACKSON BEND took on Uncle Mo and two others in the G2 Kelso. At a tactical disadvantage once the only other speed that figured to keep Uncle Mo entertained on the front end scratched, Jackson Bend made a wild middle move along the inside and for a split second appeared as if he had Uncle Mo but was never able to go by and eventually finished three lengths behind his rival.



The fact that he’s even in this position right now is shocking to most, including myself, when you consider that Jackson bend, after winning four starts in a row to close out his juvenile campaign back in 2009, lost a dozen races in a row. It all changed when he stepped onto the Saratoga main track in July where he won both the James Marvin and G1 Forego at seven furlongs with equally powerful stretch runs, his first two wins against open company.



The Rest



AIKENITE has raced at six furlongs twice in his career, when he won his debut at Saratoga over two years ago and in his most recent outing, a fast closing second place finish in the G3 Phoenix over the Polytrack at Keeneland. In the 20 races in between, he’s raced at six other distances, over turf, dirt and synthetics and at five different racetracks.



AMAZOMBIE sure has had a solid and sometimes eventful 2011 season. He’s hit the board in all eight of his starts, including four wins and was DQed from the win spot in the G3 Los Angeles and placed third back in May at Hollywood. Earlier in the season, he was victorious in the G2 Portero Grande and comes into this off a strong showing in the G1 Ancient Title at Santa Anita where he closed from next to last into a sizzling early pace to in by a ½ length.



After the first four months of the year, it sure looked like APRIORITY would have a say in year end honors in the sprint division. He won two of five starts and was second in the Sunshine Millions behind Amazombie, the G1 Carter to Morning Line and the G2 Churchill Downs Sprint behind Aikenite, losing all three starts by less than two lengths combined. But the wheels fell off when he failed to fire in both the G1 Vanderbilt at Saratoga and last out in the Vosburgh, where he did encounter some trouble at the start.



EUROEARS was another who basically lost all chance at the start of the Vosburgh and he was bounced around and checked a few times soon after the gates opened. Prior to that disaster, he won the G2 Palos Verde on the lead before finishing second in the G1 Golden Shaheen on the Dubai World Cup undercard. Euroears won his first G1 back in late July when he won the G1 Bing Crosby in similar gate-to-wire fashion over the synthetic surface at Del Mar.



One who managed to avoid a calamitous start in the Vosburgh was FORCE FREEZE who oddly enough broke from the rail. Unfortunately, he was faced with the daunting task of chasing Giant Ryan around the speed biased course that day, and though it appeared he had him at the eighth pole, he couldn’t find the ½ length he needed. In his only other stateside start in the past two and half years since returning from Dubai, Force Freeze won a minor stakes at Monmouth over last years G1 Cigar Mile winner and Dirt Mile contender Jersey Town.



Winless in four starts this season, last years Sprint runner-up HAMAZING DESTINY returns for another crack at Big Drama. Hamazing Destiny didn’t get back to the races until July 22 and finished second in the Marvin before failing to fire in the Vanderbilt. A fourth place finish in the Forego, his third start in six weeks was followed by a solid late rally to be third in the Phoenix despite having run terribly in his only other two starts over synthetic surfaces.



The Scenario




Front Runners: Big Drama, Euroears, Force Freeze, Giant Ryan
Mid-pack: Amazombie, Apriority
Closers: Aikenite, Hamazing Destiny, Jackson Bend


The Strategy



As some of my more ardent fans (unfortunately) know, I’m wrong a lot more than I’m right. What they also know is when I take a solid stand against a favorite, I’m usually correct in my assessment. Now I haven’t decided on a selection in here but I can tell you that if Big Drama wins, I will tear up all my tickets. He figures to have plenty of company on the lead and if his connections think he can win this by attempting to rate, they are sorely mistaken.



The Bomb



Hamazing Destiny might be rounding into form at the right time and should benefit from the aforementioned hot pace. His morning line odds of 10-1 are fair but I think he’ll actually go off a bit higher than that.



Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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11/05/2011 03:04 AM
Turf Sprint

October 27, 2011


Turf Sprint

5 furlongs(T); $1 million; 3up; Saturday, Nov. 5th at 3:21 p.m.



The History



Run down the hill going 6 ½ furlongs in its first two runnings before going to this distance last year.



Favorites: 1 for 3 (33%)

Shortest: $8.80 (California Flag, 2009)

Highest: $75.00 (Desert Code, 2008)

Average win price: $33.20

U.S based: 3/Foreign based: 0



The Best



CALIFORNIA FLAG won for the first time in over a year and for just the second time since taking this event back in 2009. Three for four at the distance, his lone defeat came in this event last season when he broke a tad slow and never recovered. Last out in the G3 Morvich going 6 ½ furlongs down the hill at Santa Anita, California Flag sat just off a wicked half mile in :43 2/5 before taking the lead in the stretch and holding on for a half length score. This will be his third start off a two month layoff and he will be running in this even for the fourth consecutive year.


The winner of this race last season, CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE, is back to defend his title sporting just one victory in a minor stakes at Sam Houston in five tries this season. While several in here have defeated him this season, he is returning to his favorite course and distance as he’s won four of his six starts over the course and hit the board in the other two. He finished third in the G3 Turf Monster at Parx last out.



In what may be one of the oddest moves I’ve seen in a while, the connections of CARACORTADO, a late running closer going a distance of ground, are cutting him back to five furlongs, presumably with the hope that an ultra-fast early pace will play into his running style. Caracortado won the Sunshine Millions Turf to start the season, lost five in a row, then got up in the last strides to take the G2 Del Mar Mile in his latest. In his lone turf sprint, he won a second level allowance contest at Hollywood Park last year.



HAVELOCK has won his last four turf starts, including the G3 Woodford at Keeneland from far back in his last start with some mixed results over synthetic surfaces sprinkled in amongst the wins. Trainer Darrin Miller wins with a solid 25% of his turf sprinters.



REGALLY READY set a pedestrian early pace and parlayed it into a neck win in the G1 Nearctic at Woodbine last out at almost 10-1 to punch his ticket for this. A winner of five of eight starts this season, including the G3 San Simeon at Santa Anita and G3 Turf Sprint at this trip over this course, he’s a perfect two for two at Churchill and has won six of nine turf starts in all.



The Rest



Three ladies are set to tackle the boys in this starting with BROKEN DREAMS, who’s won two of her last three including the G3 Maddy at Santa Anita last out. Three-year-old filly HOLIDAY FOR KITTEN returns to the turf off an upset score in the G2 TCA over the Keeneland Polytrack in her last start. Earlier this season she won an allowance contest at Gulfstream going this distance and traveled to England for the Royal Ascot meet where she finished off the board against the boys in a G1.RAPPORT was fourth in the TCA, her first start in over 11 months last out, and will be making her turf debut.



CAMP VICTORY missed by a nose in the San Simeon before winning the G3 Los Angeles via DQ and finishing second in the G1 Triple Bend and G1 Pat O’Brien over synthetics. Last out he failed to fire as the 4-5 favorite in the Morvich. COUNTRY DAY was third in the Woodford and is seeking his first win of the year and just his second career grass victory. GREAT ATTACK is winless in four starts this year but ran into crack turf sprinters, including the injured Bridgetown, earlier in the year.



GRAND ADVENTURE is hoping the third times the charm when it comes to the Breeders’ Cup having run poorly in the 2009 Juvenile Turf and in this event last year. HOOFIT won the G3 Phoenix over the Keeneland Polytrack last out and is a perfect two for two over synthetics since adding Lasix and coming to the states from New Zealand where he won just two of his sixteen starts on grass. PERFECT OFFICER won three of his first four starts to start the year before losing his last three, including a pair of runner-up finishes in the Turf Monster and Woodford.




The Scenario




Front Runners: California Flag, Great Attack, Holiday for Kitten, Rapport, Regally Ready
Mid-pack: Broken Dream, Camp Victory, Country Day, Perfect Officer,
Closers: Caracortado, Chamberlain Bridge, Grand Adventure, Havelock, Hoofit

The Strategy



As has been the case in the first three runnings, this is a crapshoot since the last two winners have serious questions to answer and the other two logical choices might need more ground and could be wheeling back to quickly. I suggest a major spread in multi-race exotics.



The Bomb



Tough to figure out how much money he’ll take, and at post time he might not be a true “bomb” but I think Hoofit is worth a flyer at 10-1 or better. Obviously I’m hoping the Lasix is what has done the trick and not the synthetic surfaces.



Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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11/05/2011 03:06 AM
Dirt Mile

November 1, 2011


Dirt Mile

1 mile; $1 million; 3up; Saturday, Nov. 5th at 4:01 p.m.



The History



Run around two turns at 1 mile and 70 yards in 2007 then on synthetic surface at Santa Anita in 2008 and 2009. Finally run at intended distance on dirt for first time last year.



Favorites: 0 for 4 (0%)

Shortest: $9.40 (Corinthian, 2007)

Highest: $77.40 (Dakota Phone, 2010)

Average win price: $36.50



The Best



Just when I thought the defection of Jackson Bend to the Sprint would be the strangest pre-race development in this event, Mike Battaglia went and made TRAPPE SHOT the morning line favorite despite the fact that he’s never raced at Churchill, at the distance or at a distance other than six furlongs in his four starts this year.



Don’t get me wrong, Trappe Shot is a talented horse. In fact when he shows up, there are few in training that are better, as evident by his magnificent performance in the G2 True North over a muddy Belmont Park strip back in June.


He has, however, failed to battle adversity successfully in his last two starts. In the G1 Vanderbilt two starts back, he was up against a speed biased course when just missing by a nose but good horses are supposed overcome that. And last out in the G1 Vosburgh while he did get bumped slightly at the start, he was in good position on the turn before failing to fire, once again over a speed favoring track. Perhaps this trip will allow him a bit more time to settle and deal with his very minor troubles at the start.



One thing’s for sure, Trappe Shot should have a solid pace to close into because that’s usually the case when THE FACTOR is on the track. Cut from a similar cloth as Trappe Shot, when The Factor is good there are few better. Among his four wins from seven starts are victories in the G2 San Vicente, G2 Rebel and G1 Pat O’Brien, a race he won when making his first start off over four months two back.



But when he doesn’t show, he can be a real money burner, having finished off the board at odds of 3-5, 4-5 and, most recently, at 2-5 in the G1 Ancient Title where he finished fourth after dueling himself into defeat.



Speaking of a speed duel, it would behoove the likes of SHACKLEFORD to avoid hooking up with The Factor early on, but at what price? It’s obvious that Shackleford does his best running on the front end as evident by his gutsy score in the G1 Preakness earlier this season that saw him survive a brisk early pace to hold off G1 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom by a ½ length.



Since the Preakness, Shackleford is winless in four starts, finishing off the board in both the G1 Belmont and G1 Travers, with a second place finish in the G1 Haskell sandwiched in between. More recently, Shackleford finished second in the G2 Indiana Derby.



Who won the Indiana Derby, you ask? Why it was none other than the rapidly improving WILBURN. Though he won two of his first three starts, it wasn’t until three starts back in an allowance contest at Monmouth that it seemed the proverbial light bulb went off in his head.



Wilburn gutted out a ½ length win that day before shipping down to Parx to win a $300K minor stakes over a pair of repeat winners. Then, in the Indiana Derby, Wilburn proved himself a force to be reckoned with, making a brilliant move at the ¼ pole before drawing away to win by a shade under five lengths.



The Rest



CALEB’S POSSE will be making his tenth start of the season at his sixth different racetrack having run at five different distances. After winning a minor stakes at Oaklawn and the G3 Ohio Derby earlier this season, Caleb’s Posse won the G2 Amsterdam and G1 King’s Bishop against Uncle Mo and Saratoga while cutting back in distance and to one turn. In fact, save his debut when he finished second, Caleb’s Posse is unbeaten around one turn and should love this trip.



JERSEY TOWN certainly owns the biggest win at the distance in this field as he upset the 2010 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct at better than 34-1 to end his season last year. He’s winless in three starts since but has been faced with the daunting tasks of trying to beat horse-for-the-course Jackson Bend in the G1 Forego where he finished second and then chased Uncle Mo around Belmont in the G2 Kelso last out before fading to third.



Though he’s raced 33 times, TRES BORRACHOS has done so only once at the distance and never at Churchill Downs. His six starts over conventional dirt leave a lot to be desired as he’s managed only a couple of third place finishes and they came in consecutive starts almost four years ago. He did manage to mildly upset the G2 San Diego at Del Mar three back before finishing off the board in both the G1 Pacific Classic and G1 Goodwood.



TAPIZAR made his return to the races a winning one, defeating the highly regarded Boys At Toscanova and multiple stakes placed Uptowncharlybrown in a 7 furlong Belmont allowance contest last out, his first start since flopping as the 3-10 chalk in the G2 Bob Lewis earlier this year and his first going one turn. He broke his maiden by double digit lengths to close out his 2010 juvenile campaign at Churchill.



IRREFUTABLE fared much better than his stablemate The Factor in the Ancient Title in his most recent, the second consecutive start in which he was taken off the pace after doing the bulk of his best work on the lead earlier on in his career.



The Scenario




Front Runners: Shackleford, The Factor, Wilburn, Tapizar
Mid-pack: Jersey Town, Trappe Shot, Tres Borrachos, Irrefutable
Closers: Caleb’s Posse


The Strategy



It all depends on how you think this race will play out. I think there will be a speed duel while others seem to think The Factor will be able to shake loose. If he does, he’ll be tough, but I’m betting against it.



The Bomb



A tepid shot, at best, with Jersey Town based on the fact that he owns the most attractive win at the distance and the circumstances he’d faced in his last pair. You need 15-1 or better, though.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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11/05/2011 03:09 AM
The Turf

November 1, 2011


The Turf

1 ½ miles(T); $3 million; 3up; Saturday, Nov. 5th at 4:45 p.m.



The History



Pebbles in 1985 and Miss Alleged in 1991 are the only two fillies to have beaten the boys in this. Theatrical finally got the job done in 1987 and more importantly helped forge the Bill Mott/Allen Paulson partnership that would rule the sort for a decade Kotashaan capped an amazing Horse of the Year season with a win in 1993. High Chaparral won it in 2002, the dead-heated with Johar in 2003, the only dead heat for win in Breeders’ Cup history. Better Talk Now won it in 2004 before failing to do so the next four years. Conduit won consecutive runnings in 2008 and 2009. Sir Michael Stoute leads all trainers with four wins while Frankie Dettori has ridden the winner four times.



Favorites: 9 for 27 (33%)

Shortest: $3.80 (High Chaparral, 2002 and Conduit, 2009)

Highest: $108.80 (Lashkari, 1984)

Average win price: $21.60

U.S based: 11/Foreign based: 17



The Best



It’s a good thing Paul Revere isn’t around to alert us to this British invasion because he’d have to throw in the French and Irish as well then have to steal one of their horses to get word to us because these Euros are that much better than what America has to offer in here. The invasion is led by the French filly SARAFINA.



After passing the Breeders’ Cup off a third place finish in the G1 Arc de Triomphe as a three-year-old last year, Sarafina finished third in her Advertisement



2011 debut before winning three straight including a pair of G2 races and the G1 Prix de Saint Cloud three starts back over multiple G1 winner Cirrus des Aigles. Last out in this years Arc, Sarafina finished off the board for the first time in her ten race career when she failed to kick on after being restrained for the better part of the 1 ½ mile contest.



Another lady taking on the boys in here is 2009 Filly & Mare Turf heroine MIDDAY. After missing by a neck to Shared Account in her title defense in that even last season, Midday’s 2011 campaign was geared at a run towards this as she faced colts in half of her six starts this season after doing so just once in her prior 16 starts.



She’s won twice this season, but both of those have come against members of her own sex, including the G1 Nassau Stakes three starts back. She comes into this off a pair of losses, with a fourth place finish in the G1 Champion Stakes just three weeks ago being her most recent effort.



SEA MOON finished third last out in his first G1 try in the St. Leger where he finished third and will be adding Lasix for his first start against older horses. In his lone start at the distance, Sea Moon roared home to an eight length score in a G2 contest two starts back



Another adding Lasix is ST NICHOLAS ABBEY, who’ll likely be the pacesetter in here. In six starts this year, St Nicholas Abbey has won twice, defeating Midday in the G1 Coronation Cup back in early June before getting beat by Sarafina in the G2 Prix Foy two starts back in September.



The Rest



AWAIT THE DAWN adds Lasix for his U.S. debut coming off a third place finish in the Juddmonte where he snapped a four race win streak. Two for two last season, Await the Dawn won a pair of G2 stakes before tackling G1 foes for the first time to no avail last out. At 7-2 on the morning line, he’s a bit low if you ask me.



BRILLIANT SPEED is the first of four Americans hoping to close the gap on the foreigners in this event. He’s never missed the board in seven turf starts and counts the G3 Saranac at Saratoga two back as one of his two turf wins. Earlier this year, Brilliant Speed captured the G1 Blue Grass then finished off the board in the G1 Kentucky Derby and third in the G1 Belmont Stakes at this distance on dirt.



DEAN’S KITTEN is easily America’s best hope in the Turf this season having finished behind Cape Blanco and Gio Ponti in the G1 Arlington Million two back at 1 ¼ miles before giving Cape Blanco all he could handle in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont last out at this distance when he lost a head bob. Don’t be too surprised to see this guy closer to the top in here on what figures to be a pedestrian pace.



Since breaking his maiden on turf in his second career start, STATELY VICTOR has won just twice in 19 starts since, with both of those victories coming over synthetic surfaces. The upset winner of the 2010 Blue Grass, Stately Victor is winless in six turf starts since that maiden score and appears to be here with the hopes that he’ll like the added distance.



TEAKS NORTH is a dual G1 winner this year on the grass, having taken the Gulfstream Park Turf to begin his season before winning the United Nations at Monmouth two starts back. In between, he’s also captured the G3 Monmouth and finished off the board in his other four tries, including last out in the G1 Sword Dancer back in mid-August, his only start at the distance. When you look at this renewal of the Turf, it’s no wonder that the powers that be moved the Mile to the time slot before the Classic.



The Scenario




Front Runners: Dean’s Kitten, St Nicholas Abbey
Mid-pack: Await the Dawn, Brilliant Speed, Midday, Teaks North
Closers: Stately Victor, Sarafina, Sea Moon


The Strategy



I hate the fact that this race starts the pick four but there’s nothing I can do about it. To me, it looks like the foreigners will get win number 18.



The Bomb



Brilliant Speed, based solely on the fact that I think he’ll like the distance. You have to get 18-1 or better though to even remotely consider it.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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11/05/2011 03:11 AM
Juvenile

November 1, 2011



Juvenile

1 1/16 miles; $2 million; 2YO(c&g); Saturday, Nov. 5th at 5:25 p.m.



The History



Is It True upset the great Easy Goer in 1988. Unbridled’s Song out-dueled Hennessy to win the 1995 running in just his third start. Johannesburg shipped in from across the pond and halted Officer’s winning streak in 2001. Street Sense took the first step in breaking the Juvenile/Kentucky Derby jinx by winning it in 2006. And of course, Arazi put on his amazing display in the 1991 renewal at Churchill. D. Wayne Lukas leads all trainers with five scores while Laffit Pincay, Jr. won three Juveniles.



Favorites: 10 for 27 (37%)

Shortest: $3.40 (Chief’s Crown, 1984)

Highest: $63.20 (Vale of York, 2009)

Average win price: $17.40



The Best



A victory by UNION RAGS in here could make him one of the shortest winter book favorites for the Kentucky Derby that we’ve seen in a long time and with good reason. In three starts, he’s done absolutely nothing wrong.



He went off at almost 8-1 when he broke his maiden at Delaware Park from off the pace before dueling in the early stages of the G2 Saratoga Special while on his way to a 7 ¼ length romp. He was easily most impressive, however, last out in the G1 Champagne at Belmont where he was stuck behind a wall of horses for nearly an eighth of a mile before fining a seam and bursting through to win by a going away 5 ¼ lengths.

Out on the West Coast, CREATIVE CAUSE has won three of his first four starts, with wins over both synthetics and conventional dirt, and should probably be undefeated if it wasn’t for a terrible trip two back in the G1 Del Mar Futurity where he was bumped up to second via DQ.



In his two starts prior to that, Creative Control galloped in his debut before coming from off the pace to win the G2 Best Pal at Del Mar. Last out, he sat just off the pace to win the G1 Norfolk in his dirt debut and first try around two turns.



DRILL was actually sent off the 3-5 favorite in the Norfolk coming off a pair of victories, including the Del Mar Futurity. Racing a bit unsettled and rank in the early going of the Norfolk, Drill never really threatened the winner and is taking the blinkers off, most likely as a result of that.



DULLAHAN had a bit of a troubled trip when third in the With Anticpation before switching to Polytrack and breaking his maiden in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland in his last start. In the first two starts of his career Dullahan finished third and fifth in a pair of sprints over conventional dirt.



The Rest



ALPHA should appreciate the two turns and added distance if his pedigree means anything. A brilliant maiden winner in his debut at seven furlongs, Alpha raced a bit greenly before eventually getting up at the wire to be second in the Champagne.

Starting with a maiden win against open company, FORT LONDON has won his last four starts, all since adding Lasix, including three Florida Stallion Series Stakes at Calder.



CRUSADE and DADDY LONG LEGS both ship in from Europe for the same connections while adding Lasix for their dirt debuts. A two time winner, including a G1 score last out, Crusade has yet to win past six furlongs while his stablemate is two for three, including a G2 win at a mile in his most recent outing.



OPTIMIZER adds blinkers for his first dirt start. Optimizer broke his maiden at first asking before finishing second in the G2 With Anticipation, both over the turf in Saratoga, before flying home to be third in the Breeders Futurity last out. PROSPECTIVE is another making his dirt debut having already had turf and synthetic success. After finishing second in his career debut on turf, Prospective broke his maiden and won the G3 Grey over the synthetic track at Woodbine in his last two starts.



TAKE CHARGE INDY will also be trying the dirt for the first time while making his second start with blinkers. Fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity last out, Take Charge Indy broke his maiden at first asking before closing well to be second in the G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park.



HANSEN broke his maiden by 12 ½ lengths in his debut sprinting then crushed his foes by 13 ¼ in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile. Both starts were won in gate-to-wire fashion over the synthetic surface at Turfway Park.



SPEIGHTCITY was off the board in his debut for a $75K claiming tag on turf before breaking his maiden by 11 ½ lengths in a two turn maiden special weight contest on dirt at Saratoga.



The Scenario




Front Runners: Creative Cause, Crusade, Daddy Long Legs, Fort London, Hansen, Speightcity
Mid-pack: Drill, Prospective, Take Charge Indy, Union Rags
Closers: Alpha, Dullahan, Optimizer


The Strategy



It’s obvious the favorites look tough, hell the third choice is 8-1 on the morning line, but there a few in here trying dirt for the first time that have solid pedigrees as well as a couple of intriguing Euros.



The Bomb



Take Charge Indy should love the dirt and is bred to run all day. That 30-1 morning line price looks phenomenal to me and is definitely worth a win bet even if he’s 20-1.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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