Friday, September 28, 2012

Super Saturday

                                                                        Santa Anita

"Super Saturday" closes out the month of September with 11 Graded races across the US. On the East Coast, Belmont is host to six graded races including the $1,000,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup(G1). While out on the West Coast, Santa Anita opens its fall meet with five graded races on the card Saturday. All of these graded races are preps and considered "Win and You're In" races for the Breeders' Cup, which is only a month away.

While it may be called "Super Saturday" this year's three-year-old class certainly cannot feel too super and it doesn't look very promising the rest of the year either. Atigun and Fast Falcon are the only two representing this three-year-old class in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Saturday. Both of whom have not won a graded race yet in their career. After winning the Jim Dandy(G2) and Travers(G1), Alpha looked to be the next promising three-year-old to carry this class, but ran a disappointing 6th in the Pennsylvania Derby last time out. Dullahan is making his next start on turf in the Jamaica Handicap and it is uncertain if he will even take a shot at the Classic.

On a positive note the 2013 Run for the Roses officially begins. The new "Road to the Kentucky Derby" point system will be underway this Saturday as the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket and the FrontRunner(G1)(formerly known as the Norfolk) at Santa Anita kick-off things for the two-year-olds. This new system replaces cash earnings with points being awarded to the top four finishers. It starts with the Prep Schedule (September-February) awarding points of 10-4-2-1 with the points increasing to 50-20-10-5 for the "First Leg of Series" (February-March) and ending with the "Second Leg of Series" (April) awarding points of 100-40-20-10.

The $250,000 FrontRunner will be the first time these young two-year-olds will be tested at 1 1/16 miles. Know More is the only one coming into this race with a graded win, while Bob Baffert has three horses entered. It is an interesting field with a lot of unknown two-year-olds early in their careers who look to make a name for themselves. The winner of this race will find himself loading up in the same gates a month later as one of the favorites in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

9/29 Santa Anita 7:14 EST
Two-Year-Olds, 1 1/16m

Race #7

Know More 3-1
Only graded stakes winner in field. Winner of Best Pal(G2) in his debut and second in Del Mar Futurity(G1) last time out. The horse to beat will be there at the end. 

Carving 6-1
One of Baffert's three entries is undefeated in 2 career starts. Only one in race to have a win over the dirt. Might be one of the new names you add to your stable of two-year-olds. 

Dry Summer 5-1
Coming in off back-to-back wins which included a stakes win on the turf. Highest last race speed rating (tie).  Can he transform his success over the all weather and turf to the dirt is the question. 

Gabriel Charles 6-1
Impressive maiden win in debut but followed up with a disappointing sixth-placed finish in the Del Mar Futurity.  Looks to throw out last race due to bad trip and you can't count out the son of 2008 winner Street Hero. 

EX/TRI BX: 7,1,5,2

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