Sunday, October 30, 2011

Breeders' Cup Week

                                                        Headless Horseman

It's Halloween Eve and parents are getting ready for all the trick-o-treaters that will flood the streets tomorrow night while the kids are making last minute preparations to their costumes that they will be wearing to school and door to door throughout the neighborhood. It just so happens that it is also the eve of the Breeders' Cup post-position draw that will be held tomorrow afternoon, 1:00 EST at Churchill Downs.

The week for the "Super Bowl" of horse racing has finally arrived. The best of the best come together from all over the world on the two-day card with $26 million in purses on the line. An exciting element this year is that this will be the first time in Breeders' Cup history that both days of the Championships will finish under the lights. The Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic will cap off the card on Friday night, while the Breeders' Cup Classic will cap off the Championships Saturday night. 

Along with the large purses on the line, there are also honors to be won as the Horse of the Year, Eclipse Award is still up for grabs. The three-year-olds look to close out their triple crown year and be named three-year old champion, while the two-year-olds look to claim top honors as the one chase after as they get ready for the Derby prep races and their triple crown run in the year to come. This week is filled with anticipation and excitement and should lead us up to two exciting days of racing in Louisville on Nov. 4th and 5th. 

*Check back mid-week and i'll have my picks for many of the Breeders' Cup races.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Summer has come and gone. The leaves are turning and starting to fall. There is a cool breeze in the air across the Bluegrass. The month of October has arrived and tomorrow, Keeneland opens for their fall meet in its 75th anniversary year. 

Keeneland is considered Lexington's pastime, just as much as baseball is America's pastime. Founded in 1935 and open for racing since 1936, this race track holds a rich history and is only open two months out of the year, which makes it one of the most prestigious tracks in the country. As stated on Keeneland's website and many would agree, this is "a place that now ranks among venues such as Augusta Golf Course, Wrigley Field and Madison Square Garden as one of the finest sporting locales in the world."

Keeneland is in itself its own island. The atmosphere and landscape that are enough to satisfy. Keeneland is a place where you can go to get away. A place where you can go to relax. A place where you can go to party. A place where you can go that brings back memories and will bring you new ones. A place where you can spend time with family and friends. A place where you can see magnificent animals. A place where you can see thoroughbred racing at its best. A place where you can dream of cashing in and leaving with more than what you came in with. A place, win or lose, where you walk away with a sense of enjoyment. Words cannot do this place justice as you have to experience it for yourself. Horse racing fan or not, you will certainly not walk away disappointed. 

The aura of this race track is only one of the reasons that make this place so special. Opening weekend of the fall meet brings a handful of Breeders Cup prep races as well. The new class of top two-year-olds are ready to showcase what they have as they are preparing for next year's Triple Crown. Saturday brings the Breeders' Futurity which is another "win and you're" in for the (G1) Breeders Cup Juvenile, as these young horses vie to be crowned two-year-old champ. The field is full as fourteen horses will load the gate this Saturday in the Breeders' Futurity and two alternates are in place barring any late scratches. 

Check out HRN for the current Top 250 Two-Year-Old Males: 2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Breeders' Futurity Exotics:

5) Majestic City 7-2
Only horse in field that has posted triple speed figures(not once, but twice).  

 7) Shared Property 4-1
Took down the large (G3) Arlington Washington Futurity field on poly by coming on down the stretch. 

11) Take Charge Indy 5-1
Barely beaten out in the (G3) Arlington Washington Futurity. Pedigree suggests distance not an issue.

4) Motor City 15-1
Came from well back in the (G3) Arlington Washington Futurity to finish in the money. 

12) Optimizer 8-1
Only has raced on the turf so will be interesting to see how he moves over to the poly. Can never count out a D. Wayne Lukas horse.

*This field is loaded with talented two-year-olds, so anything can happen. Tough to peg as this is the first time for many of these horses going 1 1/16 mile. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Post "Super Saturday"


 Stay Thirsty                                                                                   Uncle Mo: Kelso

"Super Saturday" set everyone up for a very enticing Breeders Cup next month. Flat Out took the 1 1/4 mile Jockey Club Gold Cup by holding off Drosselmeyer. Game On Dude was able to hold off a late charging eight-year-old, Awesome Gem in the Goodwood. Uncle Mo proved he is back by beating the older horses easily in the Kelso. Havre De Grace, the promising and dangerous filly blew out the rest of the field in the Beldame. Creative Cause beat favored Drill in the Norfolk, most likely setting up a so-called rubber match  in the Breeders Cup Juvenile.

While the Breeders Cup Classic field will begin to form over the next few weeks, it certainly doesn't look promising for this years three-year-old class. Going up against their elders for the first time, Stay Thirsty and Coil both finished third in their races this weekend. They were able to finish in the money but were not a challenge for win or place. Now heading to the Breeders Cup, there will only be more talented horses to contend with. While Stay Thirsty still would have to be considered the favorite for three-year-old champion, he certainly does not have a lock on the award. With the resurgent Uncle Mo, if he chooses to run in the Classic were to somehow upset the expected loaded field, he would be back in the picture for top three-year-old. Don't forget about To Honor and Serve either, who came back from injury to take the Pennsylvania Derby a couple of weeks ago.

As these next few weeks begin to unfold, there certainly will be anticipation leading up to the many showdowns that are going to be watched at Churchill Downs the first weekend in November. In the meantime, check out Keeneland in Lexington, Ky as they open their fall meet this coming weekend.

*Hit the exacta and trifectas dead on in both the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Goodwood this past weekend.