Saturday, November 5, 2011
We got the day off right with my Secret Choice, the most likely winner of the two-day event, taking the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint. I thought I was on a roll as Stephanie's Kitten won the Juvenile Fillies Turf at 6-1 odds, but things began to go awry when Musical Romance won the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Sprint at 20-1 and Perfect Shirl won the Emirates Airlines Filly and Mare Turf and paid $57.20. I had neither and they both ruined pick-3 tickets.
Today is another day filled with more Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs and I'm hoping Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott get my day started off right and I'm raising my glass to the East toasting trainer Charles "Scooter" Dickey and Flat Out.
Here are my selections and comments for the day.
Breeders' Cup Marathon
#1. Birdrun - As I said, I'm hoping trainer Bill Mott keeps his winning going after taking the Ladies Classic last night with Royal Delta. This son of Belmont winner Birdstone has already shown he can run all day after winning the 1-1/2 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park in June. He won't need to run all day, but a good last quarter in the 1-3/4 mile Marathon is what I'm looking for.
Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
#5. Wrote - Tough race to widdle down to one winner, but European invader Wrote will get the nod from The Brock Talk in the Juvenile Turf. He comes from the barn of Irish superstar trainer Aidan O'Brien who saw Wrote finish third in the group 2 Juddmonte Farm Royal Lodge Stakes in his last race. I like to see a last race that is a bit sharper, but he encountered some traffic challenges that looked to have cost him. A cleaner trip in the Juvenile Turf should provide better results.
Breeders' Cup Sprint
#5. Jackson Bend - Made a big run at Classic fave Uncle Mo in the Kelso Handicap last time out, but was shut off by Uncle Mo while trying to make a move at the top of the stretch at Belmont Park. I'm not saying he was on his way to defeating Uncle Mo, but it looked like he lost enough momentum to keep him from launching a bigger challenge. There's no Uncle Mo in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and Jackson Bend should again show the form he had in winning the grade 1 Forego at Saratoga in September.
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint
#8. Regally Ready - His be st race came over the Churchill Downs Turf Course at today's distance of five furlongs when he captured the grade 3 Turf Sprint in May. Last November, he won an allowance race by seven lengths, again on Churchill Downs turf at five furlongs, so this is you "Horse for the Course" angle.
TVG Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile
#8. Caleb's Posse - A disappointment running third to Wilburn in the Indiana Derby (gr. 2) where a slow-slow pace hurt this come-from-behind specialist. Considered a possible Kentucky Derby horse early in the year, Caleb's Posse won the one mile Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park in January. Also won the Ohio Derby (gr. 3) at 1-1/16 miles in June and two graded sprints at Saratoga in August.
Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Turf
#9. Midday - Upset second-place finisher in last year's Filly and Mare Turf, Midday returns to Churchill this year to take on the boys. Although this race has never been won by a horse going gate-to-wire, there is a shortage of speed in the 2011 version of this 1-3/8 mile race. Was restrained and taken back to last in the early stages of her last race, where she finished her career worst fifth in the group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot. In her previous races this year, she was much closer to the early lead and won the group 2 Totesport.com Middleton Stakes at York in May and the group 1 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in July.
Breedes' Cup Juvenile
#2. Dullahan - Morning line favorite Union Rags will be difficult to beat but Dullahan brings plenty of ammunition into the Juvenile. Trained by Dale Romans, Dullahan won the grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland last out after being steadied in the first turn. Coming off of the Polytrack surface to Churchill Downs is of less concern as time goes on after Animal Kingdom won the Derby coming off a Polytrack win at Turfway Park.
TVG Breeders' Cup Mile
#1. Goldikova - I'm not picking against her. I'm not betting against her. I'm just going to sit back and watch the great mare try to win her fourth straight Breeders Cup Mile.
#2. Flat Out - Favorite Uncle Mo won't be able to get the 1-1/4 mile Classic based on his breeding and quite frankly his one mile preparation for this race. The big filly Havre de Grace looks good on paper, but her training this week as been suspect. That leaves Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Flat Out at 6-1 odds.