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Nov 05, 2004

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


            The Breeders’ Cup has come and gone and we did get to see

 many exciting races that will eventually crown division champions and Horse

 of the Year. We will take a look at the first five races this week and then the

 rest of the Breeders’ cup card next week.

            In the first Breeders’ Cup race the Distaff, we saw a first for trainer

Todd Pletcher. This was his first Breeders’ Cup win when he scored with the

 2-1 favorite ASHADO. After breaking well from post one she sat in fifth early

before making a move on the turn to strike the lead and go away for the score.

 She was a length and a quarter clear of the fast closing STORM FLAG FLYING

 with STELLAR JAYNE another neck back in third. With AZERI opting to the

Classic this made the Distaff one of the more competitive races on the card. With

her win ASHADO should take three year old filly honors at the end of the year.

            In the next race, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, we saw a very

promising filly. SWEET CATOMINE, who had trouble on the final turn and was

 forced to check. She was still able to overcome that bad trip and easily rolled by

 the leaders for the score. She was sent off at 2.30-1 as the slight favorite.

BALLETTO, the third choice under Jerry Bailey finished second with

RUNAWAY MODEL third. SENSE OF STYLE, who was sent off at 3.50-1 never

 fired and finished a well beaten 9th. With this win we saw a very promising prospect

 for next year and obviously SWEET CATOMINE will be two year old filly champ.

            In probably the most competitive race of the day the Breeders’ Cup Mile

 we saw our first longshot of the day. SINGLETARY, sat a perfect stalking trip, took

over in deep stretch and had enough to hold off the late charging, erratic

 ANTONIUS PIUS who finished second at 31-1. SIX PERFECTIONS, last year’s

 winner finished a troubled third. The lukewarm favorite, three year old

ARTIE SCHILLER never ran a step while finishing 12th. Living up to it’s reputation

 as the most competitive race on the card we saw an exacta payoff of $1,495.60,

 a triple payoff of $12,435.20 and a superfecta payoff of $107,388. The time of

 the race was slow, 1:36:4, but this race was run over a yielding course that was

 not playing fast.

            The next race the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, which had a field of 13 horses

 was just as competitive as the Mile. After breaking well from his inside

post, SPEIGHTSTOWN chased a very quick half in 43:2, he found a hole on

 the inside and took it never looking back to score by more than a length. KELA

 was a fast closing second, as a close third choice, despite having to come with

 a wide run. CLOCK STOPPER, who might have been the best horse in the race

 was absolutely flying at the end of the race after breaking very slow and then

raced slow thereafter before closing with a huge run to finish 6th. With that

being said SPEIGHTSTOWN made a strong play for the sprint championship

 with this win. Many had felt that PICO CENTRAL had the championship sewn

 up. However, with this win SPEIGHTSTOWN showed he was the best on the

 biggest day. The connections of PICO CENTRAL did not want to supplement

their horse and it may have cost them an Eclipse award. Whoever wins the

Sprint Championship, there will be disappointed connections.

            In the next race the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf race we saw the

 lowest price on the card. Odds-on choice OUIJA BOARD, stalked the pace in

 fifth behind a very slow pace but had plenty of kick to score going away in the

 drive. FILM MAKER held on gamely to finish second over a fast closing

WONDER AGAIN. The leader MOSCOW BURNING, who laid down some

 very slow fractions could only manage fourth. Second choice in the race

LIGHT JIG, never got going and finished a well beaten seventh. Even though

 this was her only start in this country OUIJA BOARD proved that she is easily

 the best turf filly or mare not only in this country but in the world.

            Next week we will take a look at the last three Breeders’ Cup races,

the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the big one the Breeders’

Cup Classic.



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