Time to bring on the milers! The First Lady kicks off the three grade one miles we will be treated to on Saturday, and I've got to say this is a dynamite field. Trying to pick a winner was not easy at all, and who can expect it to be when you have Proviso and Wasted Tears facing off!
Wasted Tears is on an absolute roll, winning all five of her starts this year. She is one for one over the Keeneland turf and has a sparkling five wins and one second in eight tries at the mile distance. Proviso may not be riding an unbeaten season, but she has been absolutely spectacular over the lawn, winning three out of three tries, and even beating colts. Both fillies enter this race off of razor thin winning margins in their last races. Proviso beat Shared Account by a head while Wasted Tears held gamely, beating out Lilly Fa Pootz by a scant nose. Both are gritty, and both are forces to be reckoned with over the green. Who will come out on top?
After the fillies kick things off, the boys take over in the Shadwell Mile. Here we see Gio Ponti shorten back to a mile after getting shocked in the Arlington Million. The cut back in distance should suit the defending Male Turf Champion well. Courageous Cat, the brilliant blaze-faced colt who finished second to Goldikova in last year's Breeders Cup Mile, chooses a tough spot to come back after his tough run in Dubai in March. If he's anywhere close to peak level he should be hard to handle.
A couple of horses to watch for here are Get Stormy and Enriched. Both will break like rockets and will probably be winging out on the lead. Get Stormy has rail position which may give him the lead, but Enriched has proven that he can really fly. Twice this year the speedy gelding has run some pretty crazy half mile splits and in both races he proved he could not only take the heat but excel under it.
The Oak Tree Mile will finish it off for the trio of milers and here the speedy Sidney's Candy will be looking for his second straight overwhelming turf performance. Last out in the La Jolla, Sidney's Candy ran his rivals off their feet and into the ground while also spinning the clock dizzy. Running a half mile in 45 and four and six furlongs in 1.08 and four and winning is amazing, winning by five and setting a new stakes record is phenomenal. If he can duplicate that performance he will be tough to beat here and will give Goldikova one heck of a challenge on Breeders Cup day.
Victor's Cry would seem the most likely to upset the chestnut fireball. He has a win over this track, beating the speedy Karelian, who upset Gio Ponti, earlier this year and gave Court Vision all he wanted last year in the Shadwell Turf Mile. Since then he has been beaten around pretty good -- first getting dominated by The Usual QT in his next outing then running a dull ninth in this year's Shadwell Turf Mile. However, he is returning to the site where he ran down Karelian, and that might be enough to bring the wow factor back for him.
So with all the excitement, what is your take on this weekend's upcoming races? Do think Sidney's Candy will win in some sweet style? Will Proviso or Wasted Tears take the First Lady? Will Gio get back to the winner's circle? You tell me.