The Brock Talk

Friday, October 30, 2009

Baffert Looks At Lucky Breeders' Cup With Zensational Four.

Trainer Saeed bin Saroor and his powerful Goldolphin Stable owned by Shiek Mohammed al Maktoum have come to te Breeders' Cup loaded for bear with a stable of 14 horses that are entered in all but three of the Breeders' Cup races. Representing the United States, trainer Todd Pletcher has his Nov. 6-7 booked with a baker's dozen group of thoroughbreds that will decend upon Santa Anita and the Breeders' Cup.

But the conditioner that may walk away with the most Eclipse statues next week might be Bob Baffert with his four Breeders' Cup entrants.

Two of the bigger favorites on the day will come from the Baffert barn with Zensational going for his fifth consecutive victory in the Sprint (gr. 1) and Lookin at Lucky trying to remain undefeated in the Juvenile (gr. 1). His Always A Princess should also be very competitive in the Juvenile Fillies (gr. 1) and I think Richard's Kid has a good chance at a price in the Classic(gr. 1).

The Californians are always tough in the Sprint, having won 8 of the last 11 runnings including the last two by the Baffert-trained Midnight Lute. It was also the Sprint that gave Baffert his first Breeders' Cup victory when Thirty Slews and jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won the $1 million race at Gulfstream Park in 1992.

Baffert seems to be using a similar preparating for the Breeders' Cup similar to the formula used for the previous three Sprint victories with Thirty Slews and Midnight Lute - thirty plus days rest between the previous race and the Sprint and a bullet work. But even without the winning pattern of training, Zensational brings in fine credentials having won three of Southern California's premier sprints this year. After winning an optional claiming race at Hollywood Park, he won the Triple Bend Handicap (gr. 1) at Hollywood, and the The Bing Crosby (gr. 1) and the Pat O'Brien (gr. 1) at Del Mar.

Most racing fans associate Bob Baffert with his silver hair and his three Kentucky Derby winners and while his hair may not get any more grey, Lookin at Lucky might be his next Derby star. Nothing has been able to stop the 2-year-old son of Smart Strike yet having won the grade 2 Best Pal and grade 1 Del Mar Futurity before coming to Santa Anita to win the grade 1 Norfolk during the current Oak Tree meeting. His Beyer Speed figures are not quite up to par for a Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, but the home field advantage over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface could be enough to give him the edge.

Always a Princess only has a maiden victory and a second to probable Juvenile Fillies favorite Blind Luck in the grade 1 Oak Leaf at Santa Anita to her credit in her brief career, but will be dangerous with any kind of significant improvement or perhaps a more relaxed running style. In the Oak Leaf she sprinted to the lead, only to be caught late by Blind Luck. With wire-to-wire winners in short supply during the current Oak Tree meeting and the added distance to 1-1/16 miles in the Juvenile Fillies, a more relaxing start will be necessary for Always a Princess to have much of a chance.

Richard's Kid will certainly not be among the favorites in the Breeders' Cup Classic with the likes of possibly Zenyatta, European star Rip Van Winkle and top 3-year-old Summer Bird as likely opponents but he will definitely be on at least the bottom two rows of my trifecta and maybe even at the top by weeks end.

He won the Pacific Classic (gr. 1) defeating fellow Classic entrant Einstein at Del Mar and came back with a solid third in the Goodwood (gr. 1) at Santa Anita behind upset winner Gitano Hernando and runner-up Colonel John. Jockey Alex Solis, who won the Classic in 2003 with Pleasantly Perfect, will be aboard Richard's Kid again.

Jockey Michael Straight Update From The Paulick Report
One Day At A Time Michael

Breeders' Cup NotableNeither Mine That Bird nor Summer Bird seem to be taking to the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita according to several reports. That may not be surprising considering a statistic Brad Free had in his Daily Racing Form column in their Breeders' Cup Special Edition. According to Free, sons and daughters of Birdstone are 5 for 31 on artificial surfaces. Four of those wins are Mine That Bird's when he raced at Woodbine at a 2-year-old. So what sire should the bloodline handicappers look for according to Free? Tapit.

No comments: