The Brock Talk

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ladies Still Classic With Jewels, Music And The Beach

Now that it's official that super mare Zenyatta is running in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday, one might think the Ladies Classic will be compromised in popularity. Certainly fewer fans will tune in to watch the Friday card on ESPN now that Zenyatta has decided to take on her male counterparts, but I still have the Ladies Classic ranked among my most anticipated of the weekend.

Morning line favorite Music Note (photo) has won seven of her 11 career starts and hasn't started outside a grade 1 race since the weekend Big Brown won the Preakness last May. She's the best of the New York mares having demolished her competition in the grade 1 Ballerina and grade 1 Beldame in her last two starts and may have given Zenyatta a run for her money if she had entered the Ladies Classic. She is trained by Saeed bin Suroor for the powerful Goldolfin Stables, who will also start Cocoa Beach in the Ladies Classic.

There are storylines galore in Ladies Classic with close second choice Careless Jewel going for her sixth straight win and the John Sherriffs-trained Life is Sweet trying to take advantage of her neighbor (Zenyatta) staying in the barn on race day for a change.

Fans of the very popular Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel have plenty reasons to not miss the Ladies Classic as well. Frankel has been absent from his barn for months battling health challenges that hasn't stopped him sending his usual arsenal to the Breeders' Cup.

Proviso will be saddled by Frankel assistants Humberto Ascanio and Sally Lundy in the Ladies Classic and comes into this race off of a victory in the grade 1 Spinster Stakes at Keeneland. She was disqualified from her Spinster win and placed second for inteference in the stretch but was still impressive considering it was her first start in the United States and she acheived a 99 Beyer speed figure in the performance.

After finishing as the runner-up to Zenyatta in this race last year, Cocoa Beach has never quite returned to her top form and has been relegated to second string status in the bin Suroor barn behind Music Note. She was a good third behind Zenyatta and Lethal Heat in the Lady's Secret at Santa Anita in her last start, but her morning work this week made one think she might be on the verge of a big race. The time was a good :59.40 for five furlongs, but she looked effortless in skipping over Pro-Ride in the pre-dawn work while her exercise ride sat motionless aboard. At 8-1 in the morning line, she's worth some consideration.

So if you've decided that you're going to work Friday now that Zenyatta is racing Saturday, you may want to consider rehearsing your flu voice. You know... when you call in sick.

1 comment:

Celeste said...

You are so right! Even without Big Z, it is still going to be a great race. I can't wait!