Archive for November 1st, 2011

2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Preview

Post positions were drawn for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Monday and hopefully a few of horses entered will make it to the starting gate in the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Below is the advance I wrote on Horse Racing Nation.

It’s East vs. West as Champagne hero Union Rags takes on Norfolk winner Creative Cause in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

Union Rags

Union Rags tries to stay unbeaten in BC Juvenile - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Morning line favorite Union Rags made it 3-for-3 in his promising career as he overcame trouble to impressively capture the G1 Champagne at Belmont Park. On Saturday, he will try to navigate two turns for the first time from post ten.

Creative Cause is 3-for-4 so far with his lone setback a troubled 3rd (place 2nd via DQ) in the G1 Del Mar Futurity. He exits a smart triumph in the G1 Norfolk and is proven over a route of ground.

Champagne runner-up Alpha could easily move forward in this spot. Kiaran McLaughlin’s well-bred son of Bernardini romped in his Saratoga debut before rallying for the place behind Union Rags last time. The Godolphin colorbearer should excel around two turns and has plenty of upside with only two races under his belt.

Drill has traded decisions with Creative Cause in his last pair. The Bob Baffert runner owns fine tactical speed and is a grade one winner.

The mystery horse in this affair is undefeated colt Hanson. Tapit’s juvenile son crushed his rivals in both synthetic starts including the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway Park last time. He looms a pace factor at the very least but must prove he can handle conventional dirt against a full cast of classy rivals.

G1 Breeders’ Futurity 1-3 finishers Dullahan and Optimizer will try dirt after doing the bulk of their damage on turf and/or synthetic. The former is a 1/2 brother to Mine That Bird, and the latter has run well over a route of ground in all three turf/synthetic starts for Wayne Lukas.

The BC Juvenile baker’s dozen is completed by Take Charge Indy, Crusade, Prospective, Speightscity, Daddy Long Legs, and Fort Loudon.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile 2011

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Odds

2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic Preview

Post positions were drawn for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic on Monday and below is the advance I wrote on Horse Racing Nation.

Uncle Mo gets the 5-2 morning line nod over Havre de Grace in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

Uncle Mo

Uncle Mo is the 5-2 BC Classic favorite - photo by Eclipse Spoprtswire

Two-year-old champ Uncle Mo has overcome health problems to be the improbable favorite in the biggest race of the year. The Pletcher/Repole runner was forced to miss the Triple Crown series with an intestinal problem and has been a force since returning at Saratoga. He ran too good to lose in the G1 King’s Bishop and exits a visually impressive score in the G2 Kelso at Big Sandy. He has yet to win beyond a mile and a sixtenth so Saturday’s ten furlong trip is a question he must answer.

Havre de Grace will take on the boys but that should not pose a problem because she beat the gents in the G1 Woodward at the Spa in September. She tuned up for this with a facile triumph in the G1 Beldame and tries to become just the second female to ever win the BC Classic.

G1 Jockey Club Gold cup hero Flat Out will try to turn the tables on Havre de Grace. The fantastic filly got the jump on him in the G1 Woodward but the ten panel trip might even the odds. He is training well for this engagement but both wins this year occurred at Belmont Park.

Overseas invader So You Think gives conventional dirt a whirl for Aidan O’Brien. The classy New Zealand-bred has captured eleven graded/group events on turf in Australia, Great Britain, and Ireland from seven furlongs to a mile and five sixteenths. Saturday marks his third start in five weeks but he seems to thrive on activity and can compete here if he handles the footing.

To Honor And Serve is stuck out in unlucky post thirteen and figures to attend the pace with railsitting longshot Prayer For Relief and G1 Goodwood winner Game On Dude. The Mott trainee exits back-to-back sharp prominent throughout wins including the G2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Sept 24.

PA Derby runner-up Ruler On Ice deserves a look at a big price. The surprise G1 Belmont Stakes winner gave To Honor And Serve ten pounds and showed newfound rallying ability over a speed favoring surface at Parx last time. He will be finishing under Garrett Gomez.

Stay Thirsty hit his best stride at Saratoga this summer with wins in the G2 Jim Dandy and G1 Travers. He was last seen landing the show in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and must prove he can fire a big shot away from his New York home.

The remainder of the Breeders’ Cup Classic field consists of Drosselmeyer, Ice Box, Rattlesnake Bridge, and Headache.

Breeders' Cup Classic

Breeders' Cup Classic Odds