We are now only a mere two days away from Day one of the two day Breeders Cup Championship Events, how does it feel? This post will include my final two reviews of the Breeders Cup Turf and the coveted Breeders Cup Classic. On Thursday I will post my picks for Day one, Ladies Day of the Breeders Cup, Friday morning I will post my picks for Saturday's events and during the evening go over the events that took place on Ladies Day. Saturday I will do the same for Classic day, so be ready for flurry of updates and picks throughout the week.
The Turf this year has come up extremely strong drawing the defending champ Conduit, who has come back to defend his crown. Other Europeans include the talented Spanish Moon, champion filly Dar Re Mi, and 2006 Breeders Cup Turf champion Red Rocks. This year Spanish Moon has made a grand total of three starts, each at the 12 furlong distance of the BC Turf. In those three starts he has yet to finish worse than second. His form coming into this is excellent and he should be one of the largest threats to steal Conduits crown.
Red Rocks is an old ageless veteran of the game. In 2006 he won the Breeders Cup Turf, upsetting English Channel. In 2007 he would return yet again in the Turf to run third, to the horse he beat the year before, English Channel. He may not be the first stringer over in Europe but over hear he has the ability to run absolutely monster races, like his victory in the BC Turf and the 08 Man o War stakes, where he defeated the mighty Curlin who was trying the Turf for the first time.
Dar Re Mi may be a filly but she is one tough cookie and will be duking it out with the boys until the very end. In her career she has race 12 furlongs or over eight times, she was either first second or third in six of them and was a fifth the world's richest turf race, the Arc de Triomphe. Earlier in the year she beat the French champion Stacilita, only to be robbed of the victory and disqualified to fourth. There is no doubt this tough filly will be breathing down the necks of every male in that race and will make her presence know.
The America's best hope at defending our home turf in the Turf is Precious Passion. On a fast, firm course his front running style can be totally lethal to those trying to run him down. Precious Passion can open up as much as twenty lengths on a field, running fractions like a 45 and change half mile, and still keep on trucking through the stretch. He dares you to catch him and is unlike anything the Euros have ever seen. If they do happen to catch him, good luck trying to get by him because this six year old has the courage of a lion and stubbornness of a bull and will fight you down the stretch, Euros beware.
The Breeders Cup Classic has drawn another star studded field yet again. In this race we have two Travers winners, a Belmont winner, Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, Santa Anita Handicap winner, Arlington Million winner, Kentucky Derby winner and Ladies Classic winner. This is just what the race got from our own country. Trainer Aidan O'Brian is entering his European star Ripvanwinkle and is exuding confidence about his colt's chances of winning.
Summer Bird is coming into this race in superb form, coming off wins in the Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup. His works over the surface indicates that though he may not relish the surface, he could perhaps still run well enough to defend America's most prized race. The colt looks like he is in fantastic condition, his coat looking like it was painted in gold. Summer Bird is the picture of health as of now and is looking like a winner.
Turf star Gio Ponti chose this race over the turf because of his affinity for 10 panels and lack there of for 12 furlongs. He has won four grade ones this year ranging from distances of one mile to 11 furlongs. He was upset last out after making an early move in a bogged down turf course going 12 furlongs. He has proven to handle the synthetics and should relish the cut back down to 10 furlongs. Keep an eye out for this talented runner to make a huge bid for the lead turning for home.
The crowd favorite will no doubt be the unbeaten Zenyatta. Named for the album Zenyatta Mondatta, the behemoth filly will be looking to beat the boys for the first time. She relishes the Pro-Ride surface and closes like a run away train that has no way of stopping. She will not only be facing males for the first time, but running the 10 furlong distance for the first time as well. If she wins she will be the first female to EVER win the Breeders Cup Classic and so far the odds makers believe she could just be the one to do it.
Well this concludes my Breeders Cup reviews, hopefully they've been of some help for handicapping and you can pick some winners. I'll be back tomorrow to give you my picks for Ladies day, until then, over and out!