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Nov 11, 2011

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


The 2011 Breeders’ Cup is in the books, 15 races encompassed the Breeders’ Cup this year and it came over two days. We will take a look at some of the highlights of these two days. The newest race, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, a sprint race for two year olds was the first Breeders’ Cup race of the day on Friday November 4th.

               Run as the fifth race of the day, the Juvenile Sprint had nine horses go postward with the Bob Baffert trainee, SECRET CIRCLE going off as the 2-5 favorite. After two dominating wins in California, this two year old colt came out running sitting just off a very fast opening quarter in 20:4, he took control past the half mile, opened up into the lane and then held sway to score by a length. SHUMOOS, a two year old Pennsylvania bred filly, by way of England closed strongly along the rail to finish a clear second while making her first try over the dirt. HOLDIN BULLETS, a two year old gelding who was 1 for 1 winning a 4 and ½ furlong race way back in April, chased the pace and stayed on well for third. SECRET CIRCLE, a horse who is bred to run longer distances has a ton of ability and should be an interesting horse to look for next year.

               In the 8th race of the day, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, we saw a solid performance by another undefeated two year old. MY MISS AURELIA, who was 3 for 3 heading into this race was coming off a huge win in the Grade I Frizette at Belmont. Showing speed in all of her races, she stalked the early leader CANDREA through the first half mile, she took over the lead into the lane and scored a dominating three length win while being sent off as the 2-1 favorite. GRACE HALL, who was also 3 for 3 heading into this race was a clear second, six lengths ahead of another previously undefeated two year old filly WEEMISSFRANKIE. The two year old fillies have some high quality runners and it should make for a solid 2012.

               The final race of the day was the 10th race, the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. The slight favorite in the race was ROYAL DELTA who was coming off a distant second in the Grade I Beldame behind HAVRE DE GRACE. As the race unfolded, very close second choice PLUM PRETTY set some moderate splits while being pursued by ASK THE MOON and IT’S TRICKY, with ROYAL DELTA stalking from fourth. As they approached the top of the stretch, ROYAL DELTA was just getting in gear and rolled by the leaders in midstretch going on to win by more than two lengths. IT’S TRICKY ran on well to finish second with PACHATTACK getting up late for third; PLUM PRETTY tired to finish fifth. ROYAL DELTA, who was the leading contender for three year old filly of the year cemented this honor with this performance in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic.

               On day 2 of the Breeders’ Cup there were many upset scores. The final two races on the Breeders’ Cup card were the Mile and the Classic. A field of 13 horses went postward in the Mile, the great GOLDIKOVA was going for four straight wins in the Mile and she was sent off as the 6-5 favorite. GET STORMY set the early pace through moderate splits but he gave it up at the ¾ mark, GOLDIKOVA who had a nice spot down inside turned into the lane, angled out while interfering with multiple horses, put a half length in front but couldn’t finish it off tiring to finish third behind the longest shot in the race, 64-1 shot, COURT VISION. TURALLURE, who trailed the field of 13 came flying through the lane but came up a nose short to COURT VISION settling for second at 11-1. Somehow no inquiry was put up instead a jockey objection was placed against GOLDIKOVA and amazingly she stayed up for third in a poor call by the stewards at Churchill Downs. GOLDIKOVA was game in defeat but she was obviously not the same horse she had been in years past.

               The final Breeders’ Cup race of the day was the Classic that saw 12 horses going postward. FLAT OUT, the winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup in his last start was sent off as the 7-2 favorite. HAVRE DE GRACE was the 4-1 second choice with SO YOU THINK and UNCLE MO both going off at 5-1. Only one other horse was in single digits and that was three year old TO HONOR AND SERVE. GAME ON DUDE, the winner of the Grade I Goodwood in his prior start came out of the gate running and made the early lead through reasonable fractions of 23:3, 47:4, 1:12:4, 1:38:1 with a final time of 2:04:1. UNCLE MO, the 2010 two year old champion stalked GAME ON DUDE to the top of the lane but he didn’t have it and tired badly to finish 10th. He was retired the day after the race and would stand stud at Ashford Stud, the North American division of Coolmore, which purchased a majority interest in Uncle Mo from Repole in August. As they entered the lane, GAME ON DUDE still held the advantage but the closers started to run, DROSSELMEYER, the 2010 Belmont Stakes winner flew down the center of the track and rolled on by to score by a length and a half at 14-1 with jockey Mike Smith. GAME ON DUDE held well for second at 14-1 with jockey Chantal Sutherland trying to become the first woman jockey to win the Classic but came up a bit short, RULER ON ICE, the 2011 Belmont Stakes winner closed well for third.

               We will look at the horse of the year race next week, it is a very tough call this year as there is no stand out horse.

              



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