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.
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.
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.