The Brock Talk

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Breeders' Cup Thoughts, Comments and Questions

Despite the fact that owner Jerry Moss indicated in a post-Classic press conference that Zenyatta may have run her last race, promoters and presidents are pressing on.

Gulfsteam Park new president and general manager Tim Dunn has indicated they will try to recruit the two super stars to Florida for the grade 1 Donn Handicap on Jan. 6, the day before the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Sam Houston Race Park and Gallery Furniture have announced a $1.5 million race at 1-1/8 miles on dirt for Jan. 30 as part of their John B. Connally Turf Festival, "in the event that both parties are interested in participating,” said Andrea Young, president and chief operating officer of Sam Houston in a press release.

Zenyatta came out of the Classic in good order and remains at Santa Anita while Rachel Alexandra is in Steve Asmussen's barn at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up Gio Ponti may be pointed toward another multi-million dollar, international event as trainer Christophe Clement suggest the Dubai World Cup may be a target in late March.

Who was the last Breeders' Cup Classic winner to not be named Horse of the Year? Answer below.

Although trainer Bob Baffert was incredibly dissappointed in the second-place finish by Lookin at Lucky in the Juvenile, odds are the son of Smart Strike will be the favorite on most Kentucky Derby future books this winter. Baffert will also be losing his brilliant Sprinter Zensational, who will be retired to Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Kentucky for stallion duty where he will stand for a $25,000 fee.

What'd I tell ya about Presious Passion? Was he fun to watch or what?

A favorite Tweet:
skipaway2000 Kanye West: "Yo Rachel, Im really happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Zenyatta had one of the best races of all time!!"

I loved the Randy Moss big betting board on ESPN's Breeders' Cup telecast which allowed Moss to illustrate a wagering strategy with win and exacta bets before each race. It was entertaining and educational.

Early television ratings indicate that the Breeders' Cup telecasts on ESPN from 3:30-6:30 remained relatively flat compared to last year with a .9 rating. The 1:30-3:30 segment on ABC dropped slightly and Friday's telecast remained fairly steady. Total common pool wagering for both days dropped approximately 7% compared to last year with two fewer races carded while on-track attendance was up.

I'm not going to say I'm encouraged by these numbers, but considering the economy in general and the California economy specifically, I'd say there's more silver lining there than what it might appear.

I think Quality Road is still a little hacked about how things went at the starting gate at Santa Anita before the Breeders' Cup Classic. Scratched after refusing to load into the starting gate and superficially hurting himself in the process, the Florida Derby winner trained by Todd Pletcher was reportedly not to keen to step on his return flight to New York either. While there was no incident of any consequence at the airport, Pletcher and transportation officials decided not to push the issue with the colt. Quality Road will now travel back to New York via van with a layover and a few days rest at Churchill Downs.

Trivia Answer: Pleasantly Perfect won the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic while Mineshaft was given the Horse of the Year title with seven wins from nine races that year including the grade 1 wins in the Pimlico Special, Suburban Handicap, Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Breeders' Cup Turf winner Conduit will be retired to stud at Shigeyuki Okada's of Big Red Farm in Japan. Colonel John, fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic and winner of the 2008 Santa Anita Derby (gr. 1) and Travers (gr. 1) has been retired and will stand at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.


Anonymous said...

baffert cant be as md as me use him with the camel jok second how could they let that horse out between horses so late in the race he had a hole you rive a truck threw. if i said it once i said 100 times we must see zenyatta and rachel i hope at gulfstream but i'd take oaklawn would even make my maiden voyage to see it.

Anonymous said...

I'm still miffed about the Breeders' Cup being run on synthetic. Because of it we missed Rachel vs. Zenyatta, a Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner who couldn't win in Italy and now we have $35,000 claimers (Furthest Land) winning BC races! The horse couldn't run in allowance races on grass, couldn't win the claiming crown jewel on dirt, but they finally found something he could run on....maybe. I think it more of a case that he hated it the least. Maybe they should just light the turf course on fire & run all the BC races across that garbage & make the thing a total crap shoot. Thank God its at Churchill Downs next year.

Steve Munday said...

Jasen, that was a rant but I have to agree with you.

Philip4361 said...

Next year the Breeders' Cup may be run under the lights at Churchill. What if Jackson says she doesn't like running at night?