Posts Tagged ‘To Honor And Serve’

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

To Honor And Serve Returns in Fountain of Youth

2011 Kentucky Derby hopeful To Honor And Serve, winner of the 2010 Nashua and Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct, tops a field of eight in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb 26. The nine furlong event is the 10th race on Saturday’s card.

The exciting 3-year-old son of Bernardini, out of Deputy Minister dam Pilfer, finished second in his sprint debut at Saratoga last summer before reeling off three straight wins to end his juvenile campaign. He defeated recent Risen Star Stakes winner Mucho Macho Man in the Nashua and Remsen.

Bill Mott trains To Honor And Serve for Live Oak Plantation. John Velazquez, who was aboard for the Remsen, will be back in the saddle on Saturday.

To Honor And Serve has worked six times at Payson Park in preparation for his 2011 bow, including a bullet four furlong move on Feb 20.

His competition includes graded stakes winners Soldat and Gourmet Dinner.

 

 

 

To Honor And Serve Works at Payson Park

To Honor And Serve breezed five furlongs in 1:04.20 on Jan 30th. The move was his third since arriving at the Payson Park Training Center in Florida. He went four furlongs in :51 on Jan 24th and three furlongs in :39.80 on Jan 16th.

The 2011 Kentucky Derby hopeful began his career with a place finish behind subsequent Stakes winner Astrology at Saratoga last summer. He ended his juvenile campaign with three straight wins including a pair of Graded scores against recent 4th place Holy Bull finisher Mucho Macho Man.

To Honor And Serve, trained by Bill Mott, is expected to make his 3-year-old bow in the Feb 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.