Posts Tagged ‘Switch’

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 – 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 – Blind Luck is back!

Older Fillies and Mares

Blind Luck garnered a 96 BSF for her late running tally over Switch in the Grade 1 Vanity at Hollywood Park. Last year’s 3yo filly champ has now won back-to-back after landing the place in five straight. She goes next in the July 16 Del ‘Cap or the Aug 6 Clement Hirsch.

Blind Luck

Blind Luck photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Nine furlongs is not the best distance for Switch but she was hardly disgraced in the Vanity and it could have been much closer if Rosario pulled the trigger sooner. Last year’s BC Filly & Mare Sprint runner-up will probably target that race again but might stick to the route game for now.

Santa Margarita winner Miss Match ended up a solid 3rd in the Vanity. She might be better on conventional dirt.

St Trinians is clearly not the same mare that gave Zenyatta a scare in the 2010 Vanity. She runs well fresh and could use a bit of a breather.

Unrivaled Belle flipped in the paddock prior to Belmont’s Ogden Phipps and was forced to scratch. The Mott trainee subsequently retired so there will be no Ladies’ Classic repeat for the daughter of Unbridled’s Song.

Awesome Maria took full advantage of Unrivaled Belle’s absence in the Phipps and uncorked a 100 BSF for her winning effort. She is 4-for-4 in the graded ranks this year and look for the Pletcher trainee to show up at the Spa this summer.

Life At Ten has not been the same since her infamous last place effort in the 2010 Ladies’ Classic and could hit the breeding shed in the near future if he career continues to sputter.

Havre De Grace looked good capturing the Azeri, Apple Blossom, and Obeah to begin her promising 2011 campaign for Larry Jones. The Delaware Handicap is next and she could take on males later this year with continued development.

Three-Year-old Fillies

Two graded routes on tap this weekend for sophomore fillies. Joyful Victory takes on Buster’s Ready in the Mother Goose at Belmont Park and Plum Pretty is the one to beat in the Hollywood Oaks.

Joyful Victory

Joyful Victory photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Joyful Victory is one of my favs but she will have to elevate her game in the coming months. She looked great in a pair of wins at Oaklawn (Honeybee, Fantasy) earlier this year but is 0-for-3 in Grade 1 races after a disappointing 4th in the Kentucky Oaks. The Mother Goose came up light and she is an obvious low odds threat.

Buster’s Ready raced wide chasing a fast pace in the Black-Eyed Susan and was clearly second best behind visually impressive winner Royal Delta. The Todd Pletcher trainee continues to improve and could give Joyful Victory fits on Saturday.

Alseera is a $500,000 Keeneland sales grad for Kiaran McLaughlin. She exits back-to-back wins and might get brave if able to shake loose early in the Mother Goose.

{Check out the 3-year-old filly power rankings at Horse Racing Nation}

Plum Pretty just lasted over St John’s River in the Kentucky Oaks and was supposed to go in the Mother Goose but a slight temperature altered her plans and she will now go in the Hollywood Oaks.

Bob Baffert’s fleet filly should get a soft trip on or near tepid early splits at Hollywood Park on Saturday.

Zazu rallied for the show in the Kentucky Oaks and has beaten Plum Pretty on two of three occasions. She needs pace help and won’t get it in the Hollywood Oaks.

Big Tiz owns fine early-pressing speed and attracts PVal for her Oaks assignment. She could beat Plum Pretty if that one stubs her toe.