Posts Tagged ‘Awesome Gem’

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.

Breeders’ Cup Classic 2011 Report – He can Flat Out run

Older Males

The handicap division is a total crap shoot this year and the road to the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic yielded another surprise when Flat Out (113 BSF) dusted his rivals in Belmont’s G2 Suburban on July 2.

Awesome Gem beat him in the Lone Star ‘Cap and Pool Play bested him in the Stephen Foster but the Suburban belonged to Flat Out. He sat a wide stalking trip and loved the sweeping turns at Big Sandy, leaving quality rivals Rodman and Hymn Book in his wake.

Flat Out

Is Flat Out the real deal? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Was the Suburban for real or was it more of a case of Flat Out taking advantage of an oval that typically flatters his wide rallying style? We will find out more about his true talents at Saratoga this summer.

The G1 Hollywood Gold Cup will be run on July 9 and Twirling Candy is the marquee name. He meets the likes of Big Cap 1-2 finishers Game On Dude and Setsuko, along with defending champ Awesome Gem.

Impressive G1 Met Mile hero Tizway will try to stretch his speed nine furlongs in the G1 Whitney at Saratoga on Aug 6, and he may meet Pool Play and recent WinStar/Pletcher purchase Sidney’s Candy.

Overseas runner Await The Dawn reportedly has his sights set on the BC Classic for Aidan O’Brien, and he has dirt influences in his pedigree with Giant’s Causeway on top and Dixieland Band on the dam side.

Three-Year-Olds

The sophomores are much like their older counterparts as the keep taking turns beating each other. 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 June 29th.

The 3-year-old division could get a much needed shot in the arm if Uncle Mo makes it all the way back from illness. He will head to Saratoga next week for Todd Pletcher and if everything goes perfect he could show up in the Aug 27 King’s Bishop.

Some late blooming 3yo’s to watch include Bold Warrior, Raison d’Etat, and Bob Baffert’s Smash, who goes in Saturday’s G2 Carry Back at Calder.