Breeders’ Cup Classic 2011 Report – First Dude, Win Machine

Older Males

The road to the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic has been a bumpy one in the handicap division and win streaks have been few and far between, but First Dude pulled off a rare hat trick in the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup.

First Dude

Baffert has taught First Dude to relax and win - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

First Dude’s sudden winning spirit can be attributed to trainer Bob Baffert and his newfound patient running style. He garnered a 106 BSF for his Gold Cup nose decision over stablemate Game On Dude. Beaten favorite Twirling Candy was another neck back in 3rd, followed by Setsuko and defending champ Awesome Gem. The SoCal crew could meet again in the Aug 28 Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

The local prep for the Pacific Classic, the G2 San Diego, will be run at Del Mar on 7-30.

The next major race for older horses is Saratoga’s G1 Whitney on Aug 6. The stellar field is expected to include Giant Oak, Morning Line, Rail Trip, Sidney’s Candy, and Tizway.

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 July 12th.

My top ranked sophomore Coil was shooting for a four-bagger in the G2 Swaps but was headed late by Neil Drysdale longshot Dreamy Kid.

Coil ran well chasing slow fractions and was simply outfinished in a typical synthetic race. The son of Point Given could go much better on conventional dirt in either the Haskell or West Virginia Derby.

Dreamy Kid has the right connections and owns a late blooming pedigree so his Swaps surprise may not have been a fluke.

Two upcoming big 3yo races, the G2 Jim Dandy (July 30) and G1 Haskell (July 31), could provide some much needed clarity to a chaotic division.

The Jim Dandy is expected to include Alternation, Brilliant Speed, and Stay Thirsty.

Pants On Fire, Ruler On Ice, and Shackleford are the marquee Haskell names.

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