Posts Tagged ‘Havre De Grace’

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

2011 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic Preview

The pre-entries were announced on Wednesday for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and I have included comments on all early entrants below.

Royal Delta

Royal Delta is working well for Ladies' Classic - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

At this stage it looks like nine horses will line up in the Friday feature. The pace figures to be provided by Ask the Moon and Plum Pretty.

Royal Delta continues to impress clockers at Churchill Downs as she attempts to rebound from a distant place finish behind Havre de Grace in the goo at Belmont.

Ultra Blend always runs her race and is a live contender if she brings her strong Southern California form to Kentucky.

Probable Starters:

Ask the Moon (Javier Castellano) – Dual G1 winner figures to attempt a wire job.

It’s Tricky (Ramon Dominguez) -Two-time G1 winner always fires on fast dirt.

Miss Match (Garrett Gomez) -Back with female friends after failed tries in G1 Hollywood Gold Cup and G1 Goodwood.

Pachattack (Rajiv Maragh) -Back-to-back runner-up efforts in the G1 ranks.

Plum Pretty (Rafael Bejarano) -Exits big Parx win. Captured G1 Kentucky Oaks at CD.

Royal Delta (Jose Lezcano) -Which filly will show up Obvious threat if she runs back to Alabama.

Satans Quick Chick (Edgar Prado) -Spanked in G1 Beldame. Has dropped seven straight.

Super Espresso -Disappointed in G1 Spinster. Speed figs going the wrong way.

Ultra Blend – Gem of consistency became G1 winner at Del Mar Aug 6.

Unlikely Starters

Aruna

Aruna goes next in the BC F&M Turf - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Aruna -Failed to impress in recent Churchill work so she’ll go in the F&M Turf instead.

Champagne d’Oro -Cross-entered in F&M Sprint and more likely to run in that spot.

Great Hot -G2 Raven Run winner probably goes in the F&M Sprint.

Havre de Grace – Horse of the Year candidate will take on the boys in the BC Classic.

Medaglia d’Amour – Likely to choose F&M Turf over this.

Switch – 2010 F&M Sprint runner-up is expected to go in that event again.

Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic 2011 Report: Ask The Moon Wins Again

Older Fillies and Mares

Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic 2011 is less than two months away and the head honchos in this division, Blind Luck and Havre de Grace, could meet for the seventh time in the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont Park on October 1st.

Havre de Grace whipped the boys in the G1 Woodward at Saratoga on Sept 3, and her arch rival Blind Luck passed on the Pacific Classic. The latter is eyeing the G1 Beldame or G1 Lady’s Secret, both on Oct. 1.

Blind Luck

Blind Luck worked a strong 4f at Hollywood on Sept 8 - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Speaking of Blind Luck, she worked four furlongs in :47.40 at Hollywood Park on September 8.

Surprise G1 Ruffian winner Ask The Moon did the wire job thing again in the G1 Personal Ensign. She might travel west for the G1 Lady’s Secret, a race that might also feature Blind Luck.

Others looking at the Lady’s Secret include Ultra Blend and Zazu. The former worked 4f in :50.40 at Del Mar on 8-21, and the latter went 5f in 1:01.40 at Del Mar on 9-5.

Three-Year-Old Fillies

Royal Delta turned the tables on It’s Tricky in the G1 Alabama and it should be interesting to see where the talented 3yo fillies show up next. The Beldame is possible for the Alabama winner but that one is coming up tough and there are other options out there, including Keeneland’s G1 Spinster on synthetic footing.

Royal Delta breezed 4f in :51.64 at Saratoga (training track) on 9-3, and It’s Tricky has not worked since landing the place in the aforementioned Alabama. The latter could go next in the G2 Cotillion at Parx on Oct 1.

Breeders’ Cup Classic 2011 Report – Ladies First

Older Males…and Females

Look out Tizway. There’s a new sheriff in town and her name is Havre de Grace. The talented daughter of Saint Liam threw her hat into the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic ring after winning the Grade 1 Woodward against males on Sept 3.

Havre de Grace

Havre de Grace beat the boys at the Spa - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Havre de Grace will return to the distaff ranks for Belmont’s G1 Beldame Oct 1, where she could meet her nemesis Blind Luck (see below). After that it is on to Churchill Downs for the Ladies’ Classic or male Classic. She earned a 111 BSF in the Woodward.

Flat Out followed up his solid place finish behind Tizway in the G1 Whitney with another runner-up effort in the Woodward. He seemed a bit uncomfortable racing wide and in between horses on the backstretch and found his best stride late. He romped earlier this year in the G2 Suburban at Belmont and his preferred wide, sweeping style works well at Big Sandy. The G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and a rematch with top dog Tizway on October 1 is up next.

Rule set the Woodward pace and held the show in a respectable effort. He is a cut or two below the best but his early speed must be respected in a shallow handicap division.

Acclamation got away with soft splits and held Twirling Candy safe in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug 28.

The Goodwood on Oct 1 at Santa Anita is next for Twirling Candy, followed by the BC Dirt Mile or Classic.

Acclamation will probably go in the BC Turf if he points to any Cup race. No word on his next start but the grassy ten furlong Clement L Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita on Oct 2 makes sense.

Talented late running filly Blind Luck passed on the Del Mar showcase and is expected to go next in the Lady’s Secret at Santa Anita or Beldame at Belmont, both on Oct 1. She worked 4f in :47.40 at Hollywood Park on Sept 8.

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 Sept 8.

Stay Thirsty is once again my top ranked 3YO after winning the G1 Travers. He will face older in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Some well known former top ten members have returned to my list, including The Factor, To Honor And Serve, and Uncle Mo.

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 Ladies’ Classic 2011 Report – It’s Tricky at the Spa!

Older Fillies and Mares

Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic 2011 hopefuls Blind Luck and Havre de Grace hooked up for the sixth time on July 16 and once again they put on a show in the Delaware Handicap.

Blind Luck and Havre De Grace at Delaware Park

Blind Luck beats Havre De Grace again - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Havre De Grace was racing over her home track and got a jump on her nemesis but none of that mattered as Blind Luck got her nose down on the line to take a 4-2 lead in the ongoing head-to-head rivalry.

Blind Luck is looking at the Aug 28 Personal Ensign at the Spa. Havre de Grace could also show up in that spot but might take on males in Saratoga’s G1 Woodward on Sept 3 instead.

In other filly and mare news, Awesome Maria is out for the year with a non-displaced condylar fracture of her left foreleg.

Three-Year-Old Fillies

Saratoga’s G1 Coaching Club American Oaks featured graded winners Buster’s Ready, Plum Pretty, Joyful Victory, Royal Delta, and It’s Tricky, and the latter proved her G1 Acorn tally in the mud was no fluke.

It's Tricky

It's Tricky wins G1 CCA Oaks - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

It’s Tricky intently tracked G1 Ky Oaks winner Plum Pretty and it was those two dominating throughout with the former wearing down her more fancied rival.

Royal Delta was a distant 3rd in a race she obviously needed and can go much better in the Aug 20 Alabama.

     {Vote for your favorite 3-year-old-filly at Horse Racing Nation}.

The aforementioned G1 Alabama is shaping up as a strong renewal. In addition to the top three CCA Oaks finishers, the ten furlong Spa event is expected to attract Queen’s Plate winner Inglorious and Ky Oaks runner-up and G2 Delaware Oaks winner St. John’s River.

Inglorious breezed 5f in 1:00 at Woodbine on 7-22, and St. John’s River worked 5f in 1:00.67 at Saratoga on 7-27. Robby Albarado will ride the latter in the Alabama.

Also pointing to the Alabama is recent G2 Hollywood Oaks winner Zazu. John Sadler’s multiple graded winner worked 6f in 1:14.80 at Del Mar on 7-23.