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Oct 08, 2010

Overlooked Richard's Kid takes Goodwood Handicap

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor


Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Normally if a horse is coming off two straight wins in the $1 million Pacific Classic, he would be one of the favorites in his next start. Not Richard's Kid.

Coming off his second victory in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar, Richard's Kid was only 8-1 in the seven horse field for the 1 1/8-mile Goodwood on Saturday at Hollywood Park.

Last year, also after winning the Pacific Classic, Bob Baffert's horse went off 6-1 in the Goodwood and finished third versus nine thoroughbreds, one- length behind winner Gitano Hernando.

Already assured a spot in this year's $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, Richard's Kid defeated 3-5 favorite Twirling Candy in this year's Goodwood. Twirling Candy suffered his first career loss after notching four straight victories in his first four lifetime starts. He was fourth while 2-1 second choice Crown of Thorns finished second to Richard's Kid.

"I just followed the instructions," said winning jockey Alonzo Quinonez. "let him break and let him find his stride. We were last, and I said well I'm just going to save ground. From there everything went good. I never had to move out, I stayed inside the whole way. I'll take it."

Along with defending champion Zenyatta, other horses expected to join Richard's Kid in the Classic on November 6 are four-year-olds Blame and Quality Road,

Blame was upset by Haynesfield in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

"He (Haynesfield) goes out every day and puts out his all for us," noted assistant trainer Toby Sheets who works for Steve Asmussen. "I wasn't sure if he would get the 1 1/4-miles, but he's won at 1 1/8-miles and kept on going. He made it look easy. It was exciting (that) he saved it for home.

"It's taken lots of time. It's nice to have an owner like Mr. Weinstein (of Turtle Bird Stable) who's not in a rush and gives them time to develop."

Blame, who has been second behind Zenyatta in the NTRA Poll, was the odds-on favorite for the Gold Cup. He was never able to catch the front running Haynesfield this past Saturday, but was a creditable second.

"There's not much you can do," said Al Stall, Jr., trainer of the beaten favorite. "That was another one of those races that was out of control - you can't win 'em all. We're in good shape, though. He's had quite a bit of time off, so we'll be okay (for the Breeders' Cup Classic).

"We're disappointed that we didn't win, but he's still on track for the Breeders' Cup."

Blame will return to Keeneland to train for the 1 1/4-mile $5 million Classic which returns to Churchill Downs for the first time since 2006. The last two years the Breeders' Cup was conducted at Santa Anita Park which had a synthetic main track.

Zenyatta has now won all 19 career starts for more than $6.4 million making her the richest female in North American racing history.

"As she has grown and developed, she is better at longer distances," trainer John Shirreffs said about Zenyatta following Saturday's win in the Lady's Secret Stakes at Hollywood Park. "How could you ever doubt her? She's done some amazing things in the last sixteenth of a mile of races. Until the wire comes - she's got that ability to dig down. Her heart must be huge. She can always dig down and find a little more. She never gives up.

"We're really blessed to have Zenyatta do this. God made her very special, and we're just enjoying it."

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