cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
On 11/05/2011 02:00 AM in Other Sports

Cnotes 2011 Breeders Cup Best Bets and Exotics !

Churchill Downs: Dream Supreme has familiar cast

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - With horses converging on Churchill Downs from all over the world for the Breeders’ Cup, there are numerous races Saturday in which many runners have limited experience racing at Churchill Downs.

The $85,000 Dream Supreme for 3-year-old fillies, the first stakes race on the Breeders’ Cup undercard, is a clear exception.

Seven of nine entrants have raced over the Churchill main track, and six are local winners – led by graded stakes winners Dancinginherdreams, who won the 2010 Pocahontas; Just Louise, winner of the Debutante during the summer of 2010; and Salty Strike, who took the Dogwood this June.

Dancinginherdreams, who entered 2011 as a leading Kentucky Oaks contender, is heavily favored at 6-5 on the morning line to win the Dream Supreme under Julien Leparoux.

Although she never made the Oaks, she performed well in losing performances early this year, running second to Pomeroys Pistol and R Heat Lightning in graded stakes races at Gulfstream Park.

Following a last-place finish in the Grade 1 Ashland in April, she was given a freshening to recover from a knee that was beginning to trouble her.

She returned Oct. 13 at Keeneland and rallied to be second against second-level allowance horses – a race from which she should benefit heading into the six-furlong Dream Supreme.

Salty Strike is another expected to move forward off a recent race at Keeneland – with a last-place finish in the 5 1/2-furlong Franklin County Stakes on turf Oct. 14 being best considered a toss-out race.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:04 AM

Breeders' Cup: Pace should suit improving Cease in Marathon

Barbara D. LivingstonCease has come into his own since an off-the-turf victory at Saratoga during the summer. In a Breeders’ Cup Marathon lacking multiple speed threats, he figures to get a trip just off the expected pacesetter Birdrun.The longer the race, the more important the pace.

This racing axiom is older than dirt, but it’s worth dredging up in the context of the Grade 2, $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon because – at a distance of 1 3/4 miles – the Marathon is about as long as races get in this country these days.

“Pace is important in every race,” notes trainer Al Stall Jr. “The longer the race, the more of a chance the pace can get away from you, if you go too fast in the middle stages. I think that true class comes out in longer races.”

Stall’s viewpoint is helpful, but he is not exactly an objective observer in this particular instance. Stall trains Cease, and even if you for a moment completely ignore the pace setup in this Marathon, Cease would still be a top threat to win it.

Simply put, Cease has been a revelation since discovering dirt racing only last August. That discovery came in an off-the-turf maiden race at Saratoga, and Cease won by the length of the stretch in fast time. He came back with another dominant score at the Spa and then last time out finished a sharp third, despite a massive class jump, in the Hawthorne Gold Cup. Cease is already good enough to win the Marathon, even if he is easily the most inexperienced member of the field with but six career starts. And yet, because he is so lightly raced, Cease has the best chance of any to deliver a breakthrough performance Saturday, because he has by far the most room to improve.

But when you factor pace into the equation, Cease’s chances look even better. Birdrun, who won the 12-furlong Brooklyn last June and who figures to improve off a sixth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in his recent return from a 2 1/2-month freshening, is the lone true front-runner in the field. That certainly makes Birdrun one to respect. But Cease, who has never been that far off the early lead in shorter races, should be a major pace player, too.

When you look around in this Marathon, you wonder where the other speed might be. There isn’t any from the U.S. side, and the three European Marathon entrants – Brigantin, Meeznah, and Harrison’s Cave – are a tricky read. Unless one of them takes unanticipated initiative early, the fact that they come out of slow-paced European races suggests that they won’t be prominent early. This means that Birdrun and Cease could end up walking in the early stages. And that would be problematic for A. U. Miner, Pleasant Prince, Giant Oak, and Eldaafer, the most respected closers in this Marathon.

For the most part, Stall agrees with this pace scenario.

“We’ll be on the pace, or close to it,” he said. “We can watch Birdrun from the three-quarter pole to the quarter pole first time around, see what he does, and take it from there. I do think the pace will be easy. That’s why we worked him slow Monday. We already know with his natural style that he will be close to the pace.

Breeders' Cup Marathon: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

“But the real reason he’ll be tough is because he’s a good horse. We didn’t know it until he hit dirt accidentally, thanks to Mother Nature. But we do now.”

None of the Europeans have ever raced on dirt, but Brigantin is still dangerous. Brigantin finished third in two 20-furlong Group 1 races this year, one of them the revered Ascot Gold Cup. It’s also timely to note that in his one Group 2 victory this season, Brigantin nosed Dunaden, winner of the prestigious Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.

Pace or not, A. U. Miner will take some beating. A. U. Miner, who was moved up to third in last year’s Marathon, was a gaining fifth most recently in the Jockey Club Gold Cup while coming off the same layoff Birdrun was. Before that, A. U. Miner scored decisively over Birdrun in the Greenwood Cup, but was subsequently disqualified from the purse money because of a drug positive.

Giant Oak owns this field’s biggest win this year, that coming in the Grade 1 Donn last February. But Giant Oak is 0 for 6 since and seems well below his Donn form.

Eldaafer won this race last year at 10-1, but was in sharper form then than he appears to be now.

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A. Stall Jr. G. Gomez 98, 99, 102 Lightly raced gelding emerged after moving to dirt; still has room to improve 9-2

A. Fabre J. Leparoux n/a, n/a, n/a Third in two Euro Gr. 1's this year going 20 furlongs; dirt is the big question 8-1

A. U. Miner
C. Hanna C. Borel 102, 97, 84 Finished well when fifth vs. better in JC Gold Cup; placed 3rd in this last year 3-1

W. Mott J. Velazquez 99, 93, 96 Sixth in JC Gold Cup and like 'Miner,' he should be tougher second off layoff 5-1

Pleasant Prince
W. Ward J. Rosario 99, 59, 89 Big winner of an overnight stakes last time; seems the type who'll run all day 8-1

Giant Oak
C. Block S. Bridgmohan 92, 100, 101 Beaten chalk in this last year; disappointed last time in Hawthorne Gold Cup 6-1

D. Alvarado J. Castellano 86, 95, 90 Won this last year, but was in better form then; form this year is erratic 10-1

Harrison's Cave
A. O'Brien R. Moore n/a, n/a, n/a Has won two of last three, but is far from the best this barn has sent over 20-1

D. Lanigan T. Queally n/a, n/a, n/a Euro filly won a Group 3 at this distance in July; yet another unknown on dirt 15-1

M. Maker M. Smith 77, 96, 89 Fine third in turf two starts back, but has never been as effective on dirt 15-1

Afleet Again
R. Reid Jr. C. Velasquez 81, 80, 80 Finished third behind 'Miner,' Birdrun in Greenwood Cup in July; shaky since 30-1

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:07 AM

Breeders' Cup: Juvenile Turf field shapes up tough

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Keep studying. Cram if you need to. Examine every statistic and nuance you can find regarding the 14 horses in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, then make your best guess – like everyone else.

Here’s the first clue as to how tough the Juvenile Turf shapes up: The morning-line favorite is 4-1, and there’s a chance that he won’t even be favored. He is Majestic City, who has never raced on grass, and although he ran big in the Del Mar Futurity and Breeders’ Futurity, some of the other 2-year-olds facing him already have shown flashes of brilliance on turf.

“This looks like such a tough race,” said Al Stall Jr., who will saddle Animal Spirits, winner of the Grade 3 Bourbon on the Keeneland turf, as one of the many logical contenders. “Even without talking about the Euro horses, it looks really deep, with horses like Lucky Chappy, Finale, State of Play, and some of the others.”

Majestic City, with Garrett Gomez to ride from post 8, figures as one of the early goers among plenty of speed in this 1 1/16-mile race, along with Excaper, Finale, and State of Play. And that doesn’t even account for the running style of the three Europeans in the field – Faraaj, Wrote, Caspar Netscher – although they typically don’t have the kind of early speed of their North American counterparts.

Stall, who enjoyed the greatest day of his career at the Breeders’ Cup last year when sending out Blame to defeat Zenyatta, is hoping a swift pace could set things up for a stretch runner – namely, Animal Spirits, who breaks from post 10 under Robby Albarado.

“The strategy is very simple for our horse,” he said. “Place himself well, go along smooth, and hopefully come flying like Pluck did last year.”

Pluck captured the 2010 Juvenile Turf for Team Valor International, the ownership entity that in May teamed with Graham Motion to upset the 137th Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom. Motion trains the uncoupled duo of Lucky Chappy (post 12, Joel Rosario) and State of Play (post 14, Ramon Dominguez). Lucky Chappy, an Irish-bred imported from Italy this summer, rallied to be third in the Bourbon after an awful start; State of Play is unbeaten in two career races and enters off a front-running score in the With Anticipation at Saratoga.

“They are very different horses,” Motion said. “Lucky Chappy is a very European type. He had a rough go last time in that he walked away from the gate – typical of the European first time. I don’t think he’ll do that Saturday.

“State of Play is very professional, a really good horse. I feel very good about running him.”

Finale (post 13, John Velazquez), winner of two turf stakes this summer, is trained by Todd Pletcher, who won last year with Pluck.

As for Majestic City, he has worked twice on the turf at his Santa Anita home base.

“I don’t have much doubt he’ll handle the grass,” trainer Peter Miller said.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

As usual, the Europeans sport form that American handicappers often find vexing. Suffice it to say that Wrote (post 5, Ryan Moore) is a Coolmore colt trained by Aidan O’Brien, top-shelf credentials without knowing anything else, and Faraaj (post 4, Neil Callan) has run well in all four starts in England. Perhaps most dangerous of all, though, is Caspar Netscher (post 7, Kieran Fallon), whose nine-race r é sum é makes him the most experienced in the field.

Caspar Netscher comes out of four straight group races, all at six furlongs, in his native England. Regarding the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Juvenile Turf, “his pedigree suggests (he can handle) it, and he finished up really well in his last race,” said trainer Alan McCabe. “He has physically and mentally improved throughout this year.”

Rounding out the Juvenile Turf lineup are Fantastic Song, Shkspeare Shaliyah, Coalport, and Daddy Nose Best, and Tequila Factor, the last of whom makes the race as No. 15 with the early scratch of Gung Ho. Trainer Mike Maker said Gung Ho was sore in his hind end. Gung Ho was scheduled to break from post 1, meaning all other starters will move in one spot, with Tequila Factor breaking from post 14 in the 1 1/16-mile race.

The Juvenile Turf was first run in 2007 at Monmouth Park. It is carded as the fourth of 12 races and leads off the first 50-cent pick four wager (races 4-7) of the day. Post time is 2:02 p.m. Eastern.

BREEDERS’ CUP SATURDAY: Streaming video and live chat on


R. Varian N. Callan n/a, n/a, n/a Solid English form makes him a logical win threat; well bet in every start 10-1

Caspar Netscher
A. McCabe K. Fallon n/a, n/a, n/a Beaten only a length in a 16 horse Group 1 last time; stretching out; intriguing 8-1

State of Play
H. G. Motion R. Dominguez 80, 68 Stake he won at Sar got a boost when third finisher won Breeders' Futurity 5-1

A. O'Brien R. Moore n/a, n/a, n/a Was an okay third in his first attempt at the group stakes level last time out 8-1

T. Pletcher J. Velazquez 81, 77, 79 Perfect in three starts since switching to turf; versatile running style; obvious 9-2

Animal Spirits
A. Stall Jr. R. Albarado 79, 68 Took a step forward to win eventful Bourbon; chance with more improvement 10-1

Lucky Chappy
H. G. Motion J. Rosario 75, n/a, n/a Gaining third in Bourbon in his U.S. bow; is also moving in the right direction 10-1

Majestic City
P. Miller G. Gomez 84, 89, 89 Fine second in Breeders' Futurity; strong synthetic track record says he'll turf 6-1

Shkspeare Shaliyah
D. Shivmangal A. Solis 73, 77, 70 Question if his Pilgrim score was attributable to the extremely deep going 15-1

W. Catalano J. Alvarado 78, 67 Creditable second in the Bourbon; just think several others here are better 20-1

I. Black E. Wilson 67, 79, 64 Game second to Finale in the Summer; contention here just runs so deep 20-1

Fantastic Song
C. Brown J. Castellano 71, 68 Fair third as the favorite in the Pilgrim; needs a big Beyer boost, however 20-1

Daddy Nose Best
S. Asmussen J. Leparoux 72, 72, 66 Soundly beaten third to Finale in Summer Stakes; must do better than that 30-1

Tequila Factor
W. Catalano R. Bejarano 71, 65, 67 Has won two grass stakes, but they were not tough races; overmatched 30-1

Gung Ho
M. Maker M. Smith 72, 71, 49 Scratched -

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:13 AM

Breeders' Cup: Big Drama back to defend title in Sprint

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Big Drama and trainer David Fawkes return to the scene of their finest hour Saturday at Churchill Downs when they try to defend their title in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Fawkes has not one, but two chances to join Bob Baffert and Jenine Sahadi as the only trainers to send out back-to-back winners in the Sprint. Fawkes also has Apriority amongst the nine-horse field that includes, from the rail out, Euroears, Giant Ryan, Aikenite, Hamazing Destiny, Jackson Bend, Force Freeze, and Amazombie. Big Drama and Apriority will break from the extreme outside in posts 8 and 9, respectively.

Big Drama led throughout under jockey Eibar Coa to defeat Hamazing Destiny by 1 1/2 lengths in the 2010 Sprint. Coa was left temporarily paralyzed in a riding mishap this past winter at Gulfstream Park. Ramon Dominguez takes his place aboard Big Drama on Saturday.

Big Drama has started just twice since sewing up divisional honors and an Eclipse Award with his victory in the 2010 Sprint, and only once since setting a track record capturing Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Mr. Prospector on Jan. 15. Fawkes lost the opportunity to get in an important prep for his star when Big Drama was withdrawn from the Grade 1 Vosburgh after spiking a temperature the day before the race.

“Naturally, I’m a little nervous not having gotten that race under our belt,” Fawkes said. “But the horse is doing excellent, and I think he’s certainly fit enough coming off the deeper track at Calder.”

Fawkes also said he does not expect Big Drama to be on the lead as was the case in last year’s Sprint.

“Neither of my horses have to be on the lead, although I think Big Drama will certainly be more forwardly placed than Apriority,” Fawkes said. “I think this is a real good race with a very evenly matched field, and naturally you feel a little more pressure to win coming in with the defending champ.”

Apriority ran in the Vosburgh, but finished a well-beaten seventh after being steadied sharply shortly after the start. Like Big Drama, Apriority also is familiar with the Churchill Downs surface, having been beaten a nose by Aikenite in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Not surprisingly, the Sprint is loaded with speed horses, the quickest of whom may be Euroears who seeks to rebound after finishing far back following early trouble of his own in the Vosburgh. Euroears won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby this summer at Del Mar in his first start since travelling to Dubai to finish second in the Golden Shaheen.

Trainer Bob Baffert said he’s not overly concerned by the fact Euroears drew the rail.

“He’s just as likely to break slow from the outside as he is the rail, but at least if he breaks slow he’ll have room to negotiate, unlike in the Vosburgh when he got caught in traffic,” Baffert said.

Giant Ryan breaks alongside Euroears and also figures to show some early foot coming off his wire-to-wire, half-length victory over Force Freeze in the Vosburgh. The win was the sixth straight for the New York bred, a former claimer, who is trained by Bisnath Parboo.

An early speed duel would enhance the chances of Jackson Bend, Force Freeze, and Amazombie.

Trainer Nick Zito opted to enter Jackson Bend in the Sprint rather than his first preference, the Dirt Mile. Jackson Bend, who is undefeated at distances of seven furlongs or shorter, was second best in the Grade 2 Kelso behind Uncle Mo after rallying from well back to capture the Grade 1 Forego this summer at Saratoga.

Breeders' Cup Sprint: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

“I decided to go in the Sprint for several reasons, including pace and the depth of the Dirt Mile field,” Zito said. “In addition, I think a victory in the Sprint could earn Jackson Bend an Eclipse Award.”

Force Freeze has started just twice since returning from Dubai and being switched to trainer Peter Walder’s barn late this spring. Force Freeze defeated Grade 1 winner Jersey Town by four lengths winning the Teddy Drone at Monmouth Park on July 31 before finishing second over a sloppy track in the Vosburgh.

“I thought he ran a great race in the Vosburgh, considering he was against the bias and racing over a track I don’t think he cared for,” Walder said.

John Velazquez will be aboard Force Freeze for the first time in the Sprint.

Amazombie comes off his most important win, a come-from-behind, three-quarter-length triumph in the Grade 1 Ancient Title at Santa Anita. Amazombie also was deprived of another graded victory earlier this year following a controversial disqualification in Hollywood Park’s Los Angeles Handicap.

BREEDERS’ CUP SATURDAY: Streaming video and live chat on


D. Fawkes J. Rosario 78, 99, 100 Had excuses in his last two; can upset this off his fine early-season form 20-1

Big Drama
D. Fawkes R. Dominguez 88, 120, 108 Defending champ sparsely raced in '11, missed final prep; cause for concern 2-1

Jackson Bend
N. Zito C. Nakatani 112, 107, 108 Shocked he didn't go in Dirt Mile; at his best with more distance than this 3-1

W. Spawr M. Smith 104, 100, 99 Sharp now, which makes him dangerous considering questions others have 6-1

B. Baffert R. Bejarano 62, 105, n/a Ignore Vosburgh; strong win two back, but might find the pace here too hot 5-1

Force Freeze
P. Walder J. Velazquez 103, 101, n/a Good try in the Vosburgh, albeit with the grain of the track; in career form 10-1

Giant Ryan
B. Parboo C. Velasquez 104, 98, 105 Has won six straight, but his Vosburgh win most recently was bias-aided 8-1

T. Pletcher J. Castellano 93, 100, 99 Not sure he's quite good enough, and he's at his best with a bit more distance 15-1

Hamazing Destiny
D. W. Lukas R. Albarado 88, 97, 91 Was a surprising second in this last year; his recent form has not been sharp 15-1

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:24 AM

Breeders' Cup: Trappe Shot, The Factor top competitive Dirt Mile field

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Four horses are stretching out in distance. Four horses are cutting back. The only member of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile field who last ran at the distance was beaten 11 lengths.

Such is the dilemma facing handicappers when trying to come up with the winner of the $1 million Dirt Mile, which despite a boatload of defections – both expected and unexpected – came up an extremely competitive race. As it is run at Churchill Downs, the Dirt Mile is a one-turn race.

Trappe Shot, Caleb’s Posse, and The Factor were three of nine horses pre-entered in the Dirt Mile and another Breeders’ Cup race. Their connections felt the Dirt Mile was the right race.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin points to Trappe Shot’s victory in the Long Branch at 1 1/16 miles and his runner-up finish to Lookin At Lucky in the Haskell – both last year – as races that showed him the mile will fit Trappe Shot. To date, Trappe Shot’s biggest victory came in the six-furlong True North.

“We wanted to do it this year, but the timing of the races didn’t allow it except on Kelso day, and that was a Grade 2, and this is a Grade 1 horse,” McLaughlin said. “Uncle Mo was a prohibitive favorite in the Kelso. We weren’t afraid of him, we were trying to be a Grade 1 winner.”

McLaughlin said he feels Trappe Shot was compromised by speed-favoring, wet surfaces when beaten as the favorite in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga and the Vosburgh at Belmont. Saturday, Trappe Shot will break from post 9 under John Velazquez.

The three primary speed horses – The Factor, Shackleford, and Tapizar – drew the three inside post positions.

That should help Trappe Shot and Caleb’s Posse. Caleb’s Posse won a pair of one-turn stakes at Saratoga, including a nose victory over Uncle Mo in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at seven furlongs. Uncle Mo came back to win the Kelso impressively, but opted for the Classic.

Trainer Donnie Von Hemel opted to prep Caleb’s Posse in the Indiana Derby, a two-turn race at 1 1/16 miles, where he finished third. Though the distance of the Dirt Mile is longer than the Amsterdam and King’s Bishop, Von Hemel said he believes the race is still a sprint.

“It’s a one-turn race, and usually, it plays out like a sprint with pace,” said Von Hemel, whose horse will break from post 8 under Rajiv Maragh.

One of the strongest closers expected for the Dirt Mile, Jackson Bend, winner of the Grade 1 Forego, elected to run in the Sprint instead.

The Factor won the Grade 1 Pat O’Brien going seven furlongs at Del Mar before getting fried in a speed duel when he finished fourth in the six-furlong Ancient Title at Santa Anita. The Factor drew the rail that day and was forced to use speed to obtain some position. Trainer Bob Baffert also felt his horse was a little flat for the Ancient Title.

Based on The Factor’s sharp six-furlong work in 1:10.60 on Monday at Santa Anita, he said he feels the horse is back to form. Unfortunately, The Factor drew the rail again.

“I think the mile is a good spot for him once he gets into that stride of his,” Baffert said. “The way he worked the other day, he looked like his old self.”

Shackleford ran in all three Triple Crown races and won the Preakness at 1 3/16 miles. He is coming off a second-place finish in the Indiana Derby, but his training here this week has led trainer Dale Romans to say the competition “will have their hands full.”

Trainer Steve Asmussen has the intriguing duo of Wilburn and Tapizar. Wilburn’s 4 3/4-length victory in the Indiana Derby was his third consecutive victory. His form is reminiscent of Morning Line, a late-developing 3-year-old who got beat a head in this race last year.

Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

“He got a dream trip, the door was open, but he went through it very impressively,” Asmussen said of Wilburn’s Indiana Derby. “I do think with a horse as big as he is, he’s going to have to get a trip. With Julien [Leparoux] being on him, I think he’s in very capable of hands to work out the trip.”

Tapizar, who missed eight months because of a knee chip, comes into the Mile off a front-running score against a stakes caliber field in a Belmont allowance race Oct. 8.

“I definitely thought he looked fast,” Asmussen said.

Jersey Town won the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct last fall, making him the only member of the field to have won a one-turn mile race. He is coming off an 11-length loss to Uncle Mo in the Kelso.

Tres Borrachos got an all-fees paid trip to the Mile by winning the San Diego at Del Mar in July. That was his only win in his last 16 starts.

BREEDERS’ CUP SATURDAY: Streaming video and live chat on


S. Asmussen J. Leparoux 103, 99, 95 Benefitted from a great trip winning Indiana Derby; might get another here 5-1

Trappe Shot
K. McLaughlin J. Velazquez 97, 112, 111 The stretch out in distance suits; just question who he beat in his big victories 2-1

The Factor
B. Baffert M. Garcia 90, 104, 84 Didn't like the way he gave way last out, must deal with Tapizar early here 5-2

Caleb's Posse
D. Von Hemel R. Maragh 92, 106, 105 Will appreciate the return to one turn, and would relish a contested pace 6-1

D. Romans J. Castanon 95, 68, 96 He's 0 for 4 since he upset the Preakness, a win that he must validate now 6-1

Jersey Town
B. Tagg C. Velasquez 97, 100, 90 Crushed in the Kelso, but the top two in there aren't here; current form iffy 15-1

B. Baffert R. Bejarano 102, 91, 85 Got a favorable pace set up when second in Ancient Title; in over his head 20-1

S. Asmussen G. Gomez 95, 81, 98 Nice comeback win; this is a lot to ask from a colt whose quality is unknown 20-1

Tres Borrachos
M. Jones J. Rosario 93, 90, 97 This 'Win and You're In' race winner has never been up to this sort of task 30-1

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:27 AM

Breeders' Cup: Europeans figure to dominate Turf

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Cape Blanco, retired now, came and quickly conquered, shipping three times from Ireland to the United States and winning three of this country’s top grass races, the Man o’ War, the Arlington Million, and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Back home, Cape Blanco had finished sixth, fourth, and 13th the last three times he raced on turf.

The lesson? The right European can dominate a group of American grass horses that generously could be called mediocre. The problem? There are five Euros in the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, and a case can be made for any of them. It’s all about which Euro shipper best adapts to the particular demands – tight left-handed turns, faster pace – of American racing.

“That is always a ponderable of Europeans,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms. “We have longer straights and gentler turns. You can work horses all you like on nice narrow tracks, but you don’t know until you try them in a race.”

Juddmonte has won four Breeders’ Cup races, but is overdue for a Turf victory, having gone 0 for 10 in the race with luminaries as bright as highly rated Arc de Triomphe winner Dancing Brave. They have two chances in this year’s race: Sea Moon, a 3-year-old long on potential and fairly short on actual accomplishment, and Midday, a BC veteran who won the Filly and Mare Turf in 2009 and finished second in that race last year.

Michael Stoute, a four-time Turf winner, handles Sea Moon, whose form should put bettors in mind of Conduit, who won the Turf when he was 3. While Conduit won the St. Leger Stakes in his last race before the Turf, Sea Moon finished third in the St. Leger, but his trip in that long-distance race was troubled.

“He just got continually blocked in,” Grimthorpe said. “It was incredibly frustrating.”

The St. Leger marked Sea Moon’s Group 1 debut, but his eight-length win in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes in August suggests Sea Moon has considerable upside.

“We had him as a potential [Epsom] Derby horse at the beginning of the year, but he took a while to come, minor issues,” Grimthorpe said. “He’s a progressive horse.”

Midday, by contrast, simply is what she is after 22 starts at age 5. But what she is, is one of the world’s most accomplished mares, with six Group or Grade 1 wins and almost $3.5 million in earnings. Midday, however, ran below form at Churchill last year when edged in the Filly and Mare Turf as the odds-on favorite, and Juddmonte hopes the longer 1 1/2-mile distance of the $3 million Turf gives Midday more time to sort herself out. Regular rider Tom Queally has the mount, while Ryan Moore, Stoute’s stable jockey, rides Sea Moon.

Sarafina, another filly, might be as good as Midday. She had won six of nine starts and never finished worse than third before coming home a flat seventh as one of the favorites in the Oct. 2 Arc. Hot weather and a fast-playing course – neither of which will be in play Saturday – might have accounted for the dud, but Sarafina has made her first trip outside France this week and was agitated during her first two mornings of American training.

Breeders' Cup Turf: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

“She seems a little worried,” exercise rider Eric Alloix said as he brought Sarafina back from the track Wednesday morning. “But I’m not.”

Trainer Alain Royer-Dupre, due in Louisville late this week, won the 1984 Turf with Lashkari. Christophe Lemaire has the mount on the three-time Group 1-winning filly.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien’s two Turf entrants, Await the Dawn and St Nicholas Abbey, also can contend. Await the Dawn had been considered a BC Classic hope until a late-summer illness set him back. St Nicholas Abbey was a top 2-year-old of 2009 before a lost 3-year-old season. He beat Midday by one length in the Coronation Cup in June and led the Arc at the top of the stretch before fading to fifth. Both O’Brien horses like firm going and a left-handed course.

Dean’s Kitten looks like the leading American hope. Third in the Arlington Million and a close second in the Joe Hirsch, Dean’s Kitten has come forward this year through maturation and longer distances. His trainer, Mike Maker, noted the lack of pace in the three-turn Turf.

“We might inherit the lead,” Maker said. “I don’t mind being controlling speed at all.”

But with five capable Euros in town, it might not matter.

BREEDERS’ CUP SATURDAY: Streaming video and live chat on


Sea Moon
M. Stoute R. Moore n/a, n/a, n/a His win two back was only in a Gr. 2, but he's dangerous if he duplicates that 9-2

H. Cecil T. Queally n/a, n/a, n/a Intriguing that this Cup veteran chose this over a 3rd straight F&M Turf start 7-2

A. de Royer-Dupre C. Lemaire n/a, n/a, n/a Form prior to her Arc loss was stellar, and she's had lots of success vs. males 5-2

St Nicholas Abbey
A. O'Brien J. O'Brien n/a, n/a, n/a Seems a half-notch below the best Euros here; not totally out if it, however 6-1

Await the Dawn
A. O'Brien J. Leparoux n/a, n/a, n/a Disappointed in first Gr. 1 attempt last time; freshened since, must improve 4-1

Dean's Kitten
M. Maker R. Dominguez 104, 97, 84 Comes into this off the best race of his life, but that was on very deep going 10-1

Teaks North
J. Sallusto J. Castellano 93, 100, 96 That he's won two Gr. 1 races this year could win you a bar bet; in deep here 20-1

Brilliant Speed
T. Albertrani J. Velazquez 92, 90, 89 Back to turf, which is what he does best, but this 3yo is aiming very high here 20-1

Stately Victor
M. Maker M. Smith 91, 99, 89 Limited synthetic specialist doesn't seem as good on turf; way overmatched 30-1

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:29 AM

Breeders' Cup: Union Rags puts Matz in familiar spot

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It was a little more than five years ago that trainer Michael Matz led an unbeaten colt to Churchill Downs in a quest for greatness, and the horse, the ill-fated Barbaro, fulfilled expectations, decisively winning the 2006 Kentucky Derby in what would be the final victory of his short career.

Sadly, as few racing fans can forget, the colt would succumb in January of the following year following complications from a shattered hind leg he suffered in the 2006 Preakness.

Now Matz is back under the historic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs with another unbeaten colt: Champagne winner Union Rags, who, like Barbaro, has the opportunity to establish himself as the nation’s best, this time in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

The task is far from easy against a field of 12 opponents who represent the elite of the male 2-year-old division. Besides Union Rags, the race drew four other Grade or Group 1 winners – Breeders’ Futurity winner Dullahan; Crusade, winner of the Middle Park Stakes in Britain; Del Mar Futurity winner Drill; and Norfolk winner Creative Cause.

No horse, however, has the résumé to match Union Rags, who after winning a five-furlong debut race at Delaware Park, went on to capture the Grade 2 Saratoga Special at 6 1/2 furlongs before his victory in the one-mile Champagne.

The form from the Champagne has held up, with a pair of off-the-board finishers winning their next starts.

The chief uncertainty with Union Rags is inexperience. The colt has never raced around two turns or as far as 1 1/16 miles, the distance of the Juvenile.

Matz believes Union Rags will be more effective the farther he runs. “I don’t think two turns is a problem,” he said.

Union Rags is a son of Dixie Union out of the Gone West mare Tempo. But while many Gone West mares drop stayers and middle-distance runners, Union Rags’s siblings have largely been sprinters. The average winning distance of all foals out of Tempo is just 6.3 furlongs.

Matz is uncertain where jockey Javier Castellano will have Union Rags placed in the early stages of the Juvenile, noting that the colt’s running style has differed with each race, depending on traffic issues and other circumstances.

“I think whatever it presents, he’ll handle it, either close to the front end or behind,” he said. “I think he’s a winner. And I hope he doesn’t prove me wrong on Saturday.”

If there is one thing that appears clear in the Juvenile, it is who will be the likely pacesetter. The speedy Hansen, a runaway winner of a maiden race and the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway, has run off to commanding early leads in his pair of races – large margins he has maintained or extended to the finish.

With so much on the line in the Juvenile, his connections opted to change riders, replacing regular jockey Victor Lebron with Ramon Dominguez, last year’s Eclipse Award-winning rider.

“Obviously he is having another great year,” said trainer Mike Maker. “I expect he’ll fit the horse very well.”

Hansen and six other entrants are shifting surfaces to dirt after having last raced on synthetic or turf tracks.

Only three runners – Creative Cause and longshots Fort Loudon and Speightscity – have won going two turns on dirt.

Speightscity, in what is a rarity for a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile race, is actually cutting back in distance after winning a 1 1/8-mile maiden race at Saratoga Sept. 2.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

Despite not having raced since and missing the Champagne due to an injured foot, his ever-confident trainer Gary Contessa is excited about how his colt is approaching the race.

“He’s got the longest reach of any horse I’ve trained in my life - he just gobbles up ground,” he said.

Two Juvenile entrants will have equipment changes: Drill, the Norfolk runner-up, is having blinkers removed, and Optimizer, the third-place finisher from the Breeders’ Futurity, is adding blinkers.

Meanwhile, the uncoupled Aidan O’Brien-trained European representatives, Crusade and Daddy Long Legs, will both race with Lasix for the first time.

BREEDERS’ CUP SATURDAY: Streaming video and live chat on


Union Rags
M. Matz J. Castellano 92, 95, 66 Most impressive winning the Champagne and should route; the one to beat 5-2

B. Baffert M. Garcia 78, 90, 76 No match for Creative Cause in Norfolk, but gets better pace set up this time 5-1

Creative Cause
M. Harrington J. Rosario 84, 88, 88 Clear win in Norfolk, the only major two-turn dirt prep, albeit with easy trip 9-2

D. Romans K. Desormeaux 85, 76, 73 Closer got maiden win on Poly in Breeders' Futurity; should be rolling late 8-1

M. Maker R. Dominguez 80, 89 Don't know how good he is, but he set a wicked pace at TP, and still romped 12-1

Daddy Long Legs
A. O'Brien R. Moore n/a, n/a, n/a Strong Group 2 score in his last and his pedigree suggest he will take to dirt 10-1

A. O'Brien J. Leparoux n/a, n/a, n/a Recently upset a Gr. 1 at Newmarket and also has some dirt in his pedigree 12-1

D. W. Lukas R. Albarado 82, 79, 81 Raced on turf before the Poly Breeders' Fururity; tough spot to make dirt bow 20-1

K. McLaughlin G. Gomez 82, 84 No match for 'Rags' at Belmont; lots of room to improve, but he'll have to 20-1

Take Charge Indy
P. Byrne J. Graham 78, 85, 84 This will be his dirt debut; wasn't crazy how he gave ground late in last two 20-1

Fort Loudon
S. Gold L. Jurado 76, 70, 76 Swept the Florida Stallion Series at Calder, but he hasn't run fast enough yet 20-1

M. Casse L. Contreras 72, 64, 49 Won a two-turn stakes at WO on Poly; dirt a question and his Beyers are low 20-1

G. Contessa C. Nakatani 80, 55 Romped in nine furlong maiden race at Saratoga; hasn't been seen since 30-1

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:33 AM

Breeders' Cup: Goldikova seeks grand finale in Mile

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – When Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, the Swiss-born brothers who bred and own Goldikova, announced during the 2008 post-BC Mile press conference that they would delay retirement and bring the Mile winner back to race at age 4, a cheer went up from assembled media.

How quaint.

Three years later – three years! – Goldikova remains . . . Goldikova. She already has gone where no Thoroughbred has been before, winning a Breeders’ Cup race for the third straight year when she scored an emotionally charged victory here in the 2010 Mile. And 6-year-old Goldikova still comes back for more. She is the 7-5 morning-line favorite to win her fourth Mile while facing 12 foes in the last BC race before the Classic, and the 27th and last race of Goldikova’s career.

“Let’s say she’s a year older, a little heavier maybe, which is normal, but she still has the same way she wants to go, her action is the same,” said trainer Freddie Head, who has won the Mile five times, since he twice rode Miesque to victory.

“She’s still like a 3-year-old filly,” he said. “You look at her, and she never changes. She’s never had a day of problems in all her life.”

Based strictly on winning performances, Goldikova has declined in 2011. She has lost three races, as many defeats as she suffered in 2009 and 2010 combined, and she was rather soundly beaten by Canford Cliffs in the Queen Anne and by Immortal Verse in the Jacque Le Marois. But deeper analysis suggests Goldikova remains formidable. Her losses were second-place finishes, and the most recent one, in the Prix de la Foret, came by a head. Two losses came in straight-course miles, and Goldikova has proved untouchable here because her athletic build is made for tight turns.

“She likes the two turns, she loves running on the left-hand course,” Head said. “This is the perfect place for her.”

If history is any guide, Olivier Peslier will take a gentle hold of Goldikova after breaking from post 1, wait in midpack, look for room around the far turn, and take the lead at the top of the stretch.

The first horse Head mentioned when asked to assess competition was Gio Ponti, who probably is making his final start. Second to Zenyatta in the 2009 Classic, Gio Ponti finished second to Goldikova in the 2010 Mile, coming home strongly but coming up 1 3/4 lengths short. Gio Ponti won the Oct. 8 Shadwell Mile like a horse who is in top form, but one wonders if that’s enough.

“In racing, it seems to be a business of dreams,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “You always have to hope. Goldikova beat us last year, but this is horse racing. He’s trained great. He’s very, very sound.”

Three other Europeans will try Goldikova. Zoffany nearly beat top-class Frankel in June but finished last in the Shadwell. Strong Suit is an improving 3-year-old who exits a dominant Group 2 win, but an outside draw vastly displeased his connections. Byword, from trainer Andre Fabre, has the class to contend, but his strong recent performance came over 1 3/16 miles.

“The mile is going to be on the shorter side for him, I don’t think there’s any doubt of that,” Juddmonte Farms racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said.

Turallure won his first Grade 1 on Sept. 18, running down Courageous Cat in the Woodbine Mile. In June, he finished fast to capture the Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill.

Breeders' Cup Mile: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

“I think he’s every bit as good as he was before Woodbine,” trainer Charles Lopresti said. “He’s carried his weight. He just keeps getting better.”

Courageous Cat finished second by a half-length to Goldikova in the 2009 Mile but has yet to come back to that high-water mark. Trainer Bill Mott thinks he can improve on this Woodbine Mile performance, where he held the lead for most of the long stretch.

“He was on the lead a long way that day,” Mott said. “I don’t think he needs to do that again.”

Sidney’s Candy figures to lead, Get Stormy figures to stay close – and Goldikova figures to win. She will be missed in 2012, but so will her trainer. Head’s voice wavers on the edge of weariness when asked variations of the same questions that have been posed for three years, but he inevitably dodges impatience and gives generous, honest answers. Goldikova has been a pleasure to watch. Head has been a pleasure to have around.

“That was a great moment last year,” he said. “Winning three times was something incredible. Saturday, I know it’s her last race. I want her to finish in a good way, winning or losing, I want her to have a good run. And that’s going to be it.”

BREEDERS’ CUP SATURDAY: Streaming video and live chat on


A. Fabre M. Guyon n/a, n/a, n/a Form seems a cut below, but he beat a next-out Gr. 1 winner in last; upsetter 12-1

F. Head O. Peslier n/a, n/a, n/a Going for 4th straight Mile; lost a step; might still be simply better than these 9-5

Gio Ponti
C. Clement R. Dominguez 100, 97, 101 Second to Goldikova in this last year; wonder if he hasn't lost a step as well 5-1

Strong Suit
R. Hannon R. Hughes n/a, n/a, n/a Currently in sharp Gr. 2 form, but he might prefer a slightly shorter distance 10-1

Courageous Cat
W. Mott P. Valenzuela 101, 103, 103 Second to Goldikova in this in '09 and his form this year is solid; contender 8-1

C. Lopresti J. Leparoux 102, 103, 93 Comes into this in career-best form; question if he can kick with Euros late 10-1

Mr. Commons
J. Shirreffs M. Smith 106, 98, 92 Has had tough trips, but is good, and is improving; has a bit of a shot here 15-1

M. Pender M. Garcia 108, 89, 99 Got a big Beyer winning his last; he'd have to duplicate it off this class jump 20-1

Get Stormy
T. Bush G. Gomez 99, 98, 93 Improved second to Gio Ponti in last; needs a giant step forward to threaten 15-1

Sidney's Candy
T. Pletcher J. Velazquez 97, 76, 100 Just doesn't seem to have the same spark since switching barns last summer 15-1

A. O'Brien R. Moore 72, n/a, n/a Didn't run a step in his U.S. debut last time; his second straight dull effort 15-1

Compliance Officer
B. Brown A. Solis 97, 96, 93 It was either this or Claiming Crown for streaking NY bred; interesting choice 30-1

Court Vision
D. Romans R. Albarado 96, 87, 85 Even when he's at his best, he tends to hang, and he's not at his best now 30-1

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:36 AM

Uncle Mo, Havre de Grace top improbable Breeders' Cup Classic cast

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – One year ago, Larry Jones was not even training, let alone training Havre de Grace. Six months ago, Uncle Mo was so sick he had to miss the Kentucky Derby, and it was far from certain he would ever race again.

One year ago, So You Think was competing in the Melbourne Cup, his 12th start in a career that had been exclusively in Australia. And one year ago, Flat Out was still a month away from returning to the races following a layoff of more than 20 months.

The chances of any of them, let alone all of them, being in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday at Churchill Downs was a decided longshot. Yet, remarkably, they are the four top choices in the Classic, the last of 15 Breeders’ Cup races to be contested at Churchill Downs on Friday and Saturday.

This is the 28th Classic, but it would be hard to find one that has as many compelling story lines. Interest in the 1 1/4-mile race is high, centered primarily on Havre de Grace, who is trying to join the great Zenyatta as females to win the Classic, and Uncle Mo, who is attempting a comeback that would make Lazarus envious.

But the contention in this Classic is as deep as the Mariana Trench, owing to questions about whether Havre de Grace and Uncle Mo are up to the task. Havre de Grace did beat the boys once, in the Woodward, but this is a tougher, larger field. Uncle Mo, who owns the fastest Beyer Speed Figure in the Classic, never has raced 1 1/4 miles, and never has won beyond 1 1/16 miles.

So You Think and Flat Out are equally worth embracing, and questioning. So You Think is an international superstar, with five Group 1 wins in Australia, including two runnings of the prestigious Cox Plate, and three more Group 1 wins this year in Ireland and England. But this will be his first race on dirt.

Flat Out comes off a win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and has trained brilliantly all week, but there are questions as to whether he is as effective at Churchill Downs, where he is 0 for 2, as at spacious Belmont Park, where he is 2 for 2.

As a result, nearly every one of the 12 runners in this field is afforded a chance to at least hit the board, if not win. Irrespective of the great story lines and championship implications, it’s simply a terrific betting race.

“Like most Classics, this is an extremely tough race to win,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains both Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty.

Uncle Mo is making only his third start since returning to action in late August. The distance of the race is among the hurdles facing Uncle Mo.

“He’s done nothing in any of his races to indicate to me that he won’t do it, but, with any horse, until they do, you don’t know,” Pletcher said. “He’s done some exceptional things in the morning, and in the afternoon.”

Compared to Derby time, Uncle Mo “is training much better,” said John Velazquez, the jockey for Uncle Mo.

“He’s stronger, willing to do everything,” Velazquez said. “We have a fresh horse.”

Pletcher and owner Mike Repole will also send out Stay Thirsty, who won Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes before finishing third to Flat Out and Drosselmeyer in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He has trained sharply all week.

“Beware of the underdog,” Pletcher said. “He seems as good coming into this as he was before the Jim Dandy and the Travers.”

Havre de Grace has won five times in six starts this year, and already has wrapped up the Eclipse Award as champion older female. A win here makes her Horse of the Year.

“She should settle mid-pack,” Jones said. “Game On Dude and Uncle Mo should be up there, and To Honor and Serve. Hopefully we can draft behind them, and then get first run on Flat Out. I think she’ll get a good, clear run.”

Flat Out has been nursed through severe foot issues by his trainer, Scooter Dickey, a likeable former jockey whose biggest win as a rider came in a $25,000 race at Ak-Sar-Ben. He had never won a Grade 1 race until the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Dickey trains just five horses, and said the anticipation of this race has left him excited and anxious.

“I’ve been sleeping an hour less every night,” Dickey said.

So You Think, part of a large contingent of horses brought to the Breeders’ Cup by trainer Aidan O’Brien, is usually prominent early in a race. Nick Luck, the learned European broadcaster, believes So You Think will have a major say in the outcome if he can track the leaders while in the clear.

Game On Dude used his front-running style to capture the Santa Anita Handicap and Goodwood Stakes this year, thus putting him in contention for Horse of the Year and champion older horse should he win.

“He’s been flying under the radar,” said his jockey, Chantal Sutherland, who is attempting to become the first female rider to win the Classic.

Breeders' Cup Classic: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

Bill Mott sends out Drosselmeyer, last year’s Belmont winner, and To Honor and Serve, who comes off a win in the Pennsylvania Derby. To Honor and Serve, like Uncle Mo, was considered a leading Kentucky Derby contender at the beginning of the year before going to the sidelines, in his case for a splint that was pin fired.

Headache, Ice Box, Rattlesnake Bridge, and Ruler On Ice – all 30-1 shots on the morning line of Churchill Downs’s Mike Battaglia – will have their best chance if the pace is hot.

Ruler On Ice and Rattlesnake Bridge were second and third behind To Honor and Serve in the Pennsylvania Derby.

Ice Box, last year’s runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, was sixth in the Woodward and seventh in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in his last two starts.

Headache won the Hawthorne Gold Cup in his last start, his third win in his last four races. He is 3 for 7 at Churchill Downs.

“He obviously likes it here,” said his trainer, Mike Maker. “The pace should be fast. And he’s won at a mile and a quarter.”

BREEDERS’ CUP SATURDAY: Streaming video and live chat on


Flat Out
C. Dickey A. Solis 107, 109, 106 People are thinking he's only a Belmont Park horse; he can run big anywhere 6-1

So You Think
A. O'Brien R. Moore n/a, n/a, n/a Had a terrific season in Europe, and connections feel he will handle the dirt 8-1

Havre de Grace
L. Jones R. Dominguez 105, 111, 106 Filly is having an outstanding campaign, already beat males two starts back 3-1

Uncle Mo
T. Pletcher J. Velazquez 118, 106, 92 Brilliant when on his game, but I think this distance might be too far for him 5-2

To Honor and Serve
W. Mott J. Lezcano 104, 102, 84 Always had huge potential, but this is the toughest assignment of his life 12-1

Stay Thirsty
T. Pletcher J. Castellano 103, 101, 106 I believe this one is better at Saratoga than elsewhere, but he has improved 8-1

Game On Dude
B. Baffert C. Sutherland 102, 98, 106 He is game and almost always fires, but he has never been as good as these 12-1

Ruler On Ice
K. Breen G. Gomez 101, 95, 92 Decent effort when second most recently; can be along late for a tiny share 20-1

Rattlesnake Bridge
K. McLaughlin C. Borel 95, 99, 91 Has potential, but if he won this, it would be his first graded stakes victory 20-1

W. Mott M. Smith 104, 82, 91 Should have stuck with the Marathon despite his surprising second last time 15-1

M. Maker P. Lopez 99, 99, 100 Consistent Grade 2-3 type is in way over his head against the best in this spot 30-1

Ice Box
N. Zito C. Nakatani 90, 84, 90 His form since last year's Derby is poor, and he is a rank outsider in this race 30-1

Prayer for Relief
B. Baffert R. Bejarano 94, 98, 97 Withdrawn -

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33353 Followers:38
11/05/2011 02:39 AM

Churchill Downs: Buckleupbuttercup can cap Kenneally's day

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With a runner in the first and one in the last and 7 1/2 hours in between, Saturday portends to be a long – but potentially successful – day for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

After sending out morning-line favorite Jump Up in a first-level allowance in the opener at 12:05 p.m., Kenneally may have the horse to beat, Buckleupbuttercup, in the Grade 2, $150,000 Chilukki Stakes for fillies and mares at one mile. Post time for the Chilukki is 7:40 p.m.

Buckleupbuttercup is 3 for 3 at Churchill Downs, including a victory in the Eight Belles Stakes going 7 1/2 furlongs here in 2010. Buckleupbuttercup has alternated a good-race, bad-race pattern and she is coming off a last-place finish in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont in her last start. Kenneally felt that Buckleupbuttercup was compromised by being down on the inside in the Gallant Bloom, at a distance – 6 1/2 furlongs – that is shorter than her best.

“Things have to go her way for her to run her best race, and she just hasn’t had things go her way,” Kenneally said. “However, she’s back at Churchill, and she’s 3 for 3 at Churchill. She’s run well, here she trains well here, and she’s coming into the race real good.”

There also appears to be ample speed in this field, and Buckleupbuttercup is better when there is pace. Javier Castellano will ride Buckleupbuttercup from post 3.

Persuading is 3 for 5 at Churchill, including a third-level allowance victory going a one-turn mile in an-off-the-turf race run in the mud in June. Her last two races, on turf and synthetic, have not been good.

“She’s a very good filly. We’re waiting for her to have that major breakthrough race, because I know there’s more there than she’s done so far,” trainer Dale Romans said.

The unknown in the race is the Peruvian-bred Anunciata, trained by Michael Matz. Anunciata went 9 for 17 in Peru and makes her North American debut and first start since March 26.

“Fitness-wise she should be able to compete at a mile,” Matz said. “She hasn’t competed in awhile so it might end up she needs a race, but there’s not much more I can do working her to get ready for this race.”

After facing males in her last two starts, Maristar returns to face her own gender in the Chilukki.

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