Archive for August, 2011

Breeders’ Cup Classic 2011 Report: Pacific Classic Preview

Older Males…and Females

Tizway is widely considered the early favorite for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic after winning the Grade 1 Whitney on August 6th. He earned a 111 BSF for his nine furlong win at the Spa, and his G1 Met Mile triumph on May 30 netted him a 113 BSF. The back-to-back grade one winner has his sights set on the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct 1.

Flat Out proved his G2 Suburban (113 BSF) victory was no fluke with a solid runner-up effort behind Tizway in the Whitney. The G1 Woodward on Sept 3 could be next, followed by a rematch with Tizway in the JCGC.

Havre de Grace

Watch out gents, here comes Havre de Grace - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Havre de Grace will take on the males in the aforementioned Woodward, a race that could attract Duke of Mischief, Friend Or Foe, Mission Imapzible, and Rule.

The next big test for older males is the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug 28. At this stage, the field is expected to include Blind Luck, Game On Dude, Setsuko, Stately Victor, Tres Borrachos, and Twirling Candy.

A Blind Luck victory in the Pacific Classic would give her a leg up on Horse of the Year honors, but her task will not be easy with enigmatic Twirling Candy, consistent Game On Dude, and a resurgent Tres Borrachos signed on.

Twirling Candy is suspect at ten furlongs but might be sitting on a big race after working a strong mile in 1:37.80 at Del Mar on Aug 21.

Three-Year-Olds

I have been covering the 3-year-old-crop of 2011 on Pick 6 Blog since last September and posted my latest Top 10 list on Aug 19.

My top ranked sophomore Coil is officially going in the G1 Travers following a 4f bullet in :46.12 at Saratoga on Aug 23.

Preakness hero and Haskell runner-up Shackleford heads the Travers probable list, along with Jim Dandy winner Stay Thirsty and Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice.

Stay Thirsty is probably the one to beat. His 106 BSF in the Jim Dandy is the top dirt route number for 3yo’s this year and he looms large with a similar effort.

Uncle Mo makes his much anticipated return in the G1 King’s Bishop on the Travers undercard. The Factor, originally slated to face Uncle Mo at the Spa, will stay in SoCal and tackle older sprinters in Del Mar’s Pat O’Brien on Aug 28.

Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic 2011 Report – Ultra Blend Edges Zazu

Older Fillies and Mares

Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic 2011 is less than three months away and California-bred mare Ultra Blend (94 BSF) threw her hat in the ring with an upset win in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar on August 6.

Ultra Blend

Ultra Blend wins the Hirsch - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The consistent daughter of Richly Blended rallied from last in the 5-horse field to score by a neck over 3-year-old filly Zazu. Heavy favorite Switch was another length back in 3rd, followed by St Trinians and Freedom Star.

Switch finished 2nd in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and is probably headed back to that race following her fifth straight route loss on Saturday. She is a 2-time grade one winner at seven furlongs.

In other filly and mare news, Blind Luck and Havre de Grace could renew their rivalry in Saratoga’s ten furlong Personal Ensign on Aug 28.

Speaking of the Personal Ensign, upset G1 Ruffian winner Ask The Moon might make her next start there as well.

Three-Year-Old Fillies

I already mentioned Zazu above and John Sadler’s promising filly has plenty of future options against her age group and older rivals.

Turbulent Descent (103 BSF) was much the best in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Test at seven panels on Saturday and she is expected to rest until the BC Filly & Mare Sprint.

Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty breezed six furlongs in 1:11.87 at Saratoga on Aug 10 and will likely make her next start in the G1 Alabama on Aug 20.

The aforementioned Alabama might also include Queen’s Plate winner Inglorious, It’s Tricky, Kathmanblu, Kinda Spicy, Royal Delta, and St. John’s River.

 

Breeders’ Cup Classic 2011 Report – Tizway Ready for Whitney

Older Males

The road to the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic is back in full swing at Saratoga with the Grade 1 Whitney on August 6th. Post positions will be drawn on Wednesday morning and the stellar field is expected to include Met Mile hero Tizway, Apart, Duke of Mischief, Flat Out, Friend Or Foe, Giant Oak, Mission Impazible, Morning Line, and Rail Trip.

Tizway

Watch out for Tizway in the Whitney - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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G1 Hollywood Gold Cup winner First Dude has been retired because of a tendon injury. It is a real shame since he was just beginning to hit his stride.

Gold Cup 2-3 finishers Game On Dude and Twirling Candy both have their sights set on the G1 Pacific Classic on Aug 28. The latter worked a strong five furlongs in :59.60 at Del Mar on 7-31.

The local prep for the Pacific Classic, the G2 San Diego, was captured by veteran Tres Borrachos. The former frontrunner is now coming off the pace for his new conditioner Marty Jones and he smartly ran down vastly improved early runner Kevlar Kid at Del Mar on Saturday.

The Del Mar showcase might also include Blind Luck, Bourbon Bay, Caracortado, Make Music For Me, and Setsuko.

Three-Year-Olds

I have been covering the 3-year-old-crop of 2011 on Pick 6 Blog since last September and posted my latest Top 10 list on Aug 3.

My top ranked sophomore Coil proved he deserved top billing with a sharp late running victory over Shackleford in Sunday’s Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park. The Bob Baffert trainee has shipped to Saratoga with an eye on the Aug 27 Travers Stakes.

Shackleford is also expected to make his next start at the Spa, with the aforementioned Travers or the Sept 3 Woodward against older rivals as possible engagements.

Belmont Stakes hero Ruler On Ice is headed to the Travers following a solid show finish in the Haskell.

I have always been fond of Stay Thirsty and he had his coming out party at Saratoga on Saturday. The smashing Jim Dandy winner earned a 106 BSF and has finally put it all together. The Travers is next for the Todd Pletcher trainee.

Earlier in July, Dreamy Kid beat Coil in the Swaps at Hollywood Park, and he gets a chance to prove that was no fluke when he starts as the likely favorite in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby on Aug 6.

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