American Turf Magazine
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Nov 15, 2004



            We will cover the final three races of the 2004 Breeders Cup

this week. The Juvenile, the Turf and the Classic closed out yet another exciting

day of racing.

            In the Juvenile, a look ahead of sorts towards next year’s Classic races

we saw the males go slower than the females by two fifths of a second. The top

two choices didn’t hit the board and the winner had never raced in this country

before this race and has never raced on the dirt. WILKO had raced overseas

 winning two out of ten races on the turf before scoring in his first try on the dirt.

After stalking the pace early in third, WILKO dropped back before angling out in

the drive to get up for the score over third choice AFLEET ALEX. WILKO was

sent off at 28-1 and paid $58.60 to win. SUN KING was third after making an

inside move down the backside but could not sustain that move and had to settle

 for third. The favorite ROMAN RULER never got going finishing an even fifth

while PROUD ACCOLADE the 5-2 second choice settled for sixth. Although this

 race can’t seal the fate for these two year olds it doesn’t bode well for the crop

 of three year olds next year. WILKO will be shipped to California and will be

 pointed to the Triple Crown. WILKO’S win in the Juvenile does not guarantee

 him the divisional crown, the Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park will probably

have a lot to do with deciding that.

            In the Turf we saw another huge priced horse. BETTER TALK NOW,

sent off at 27.90-1 closed from seventh early on to score going away. This win

 however was not without some controversy. There was a steward’s inquiry into

 the stretch run. BETTER TALK NOW circled the field five wide but drifted in

through the stretch causing some interference to MAGISTRETTI and the

odds-on choice KITTEN’S JOY. After looking at the tapes the stewards decided

 that there should be no change in the order of finish. The inquiry could have

 went either way but BETTER TALK NOW was clearly the best horse and it

was probably the best way to handle it. KITTEN’S JOY finished second with

 POWERSCOURT, who had made a premature move down the backside to

 finish third. Even with that second place finish, KITTEN’S JOY will probably

win the Eclipse award for top turf horse.

            In the Classic, the last Breeders’ Cup race on the card, the victory

went to the lukewarm favorite GHOSTZAPPER. He was sent off at 5-2, the

 same price as PLEASANTLY PERFECT but GHOSTZAPPER had more

money so he was considered the favorite. After breaking well, jockey Javier

Castellano sent the AWESOME AGAIN 4YO right to the lead and never looked

 back. After setting some moderate early fractions GHOSTZAPPER had plenty

left for the drive drawing away to score by three lengths. ROSES IN MAY who

 stalked the leader throughout was easily second best, finishing four lengths

clear of the third place finisher, PLEASANTLY PERFECT. AZERI, who

decided to try the Classic instead of running against the females in the Distaff

 was a well beaten fifth. This race was over when the gates opened and the

other two speed horses didn’t go to the lead allowing GHOSTZAPPER a

leisurely pace. GHOSTZAPPER, with his win has put the pressure on the

voters as they have to decide between him and SMARTY JONES for Horse

of the Year. With SMARTY JONES retiring after his failed attempt at a

Triple Crown because of a minor injury, it would seem that GHOSTZAPPER

 who won at a variety of distances against the best horses on the biggest day

 would have the advantage over SMARTY JONES, who never faced older

horses and raced only half the year. 


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