Oct 14, 2005
AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD
By: JOE GIRARDI
The weekend of October 8th and 9th was the final weekend of prep races leading into the Breeders’ Cup, especially in New York and California. Belmont got a ton of rain and the races were run over a very sloppy track while the weather in California was perfect.
On October 8th Belmont hosted two races for two year olds as their final preps for the Breeders Cup. Two year old fillies in the Grade I Frizette and the Grade I Champagne also for two year olds both races were run at one mile. In the Frizette, the Todd Pletcher trained ADIEU ran her record to four wins from five starts. Sent off as the 8-5 favorite she was chasing the very fast pace while racing off the rail, took over the lead and ran on well to the wire to score by two lengths. The final time of 1:38 flat was not that great considering the final quarter mile went in over 27 seconds. ALONG THE SEA is a two year old filly that is on the improve and she ran very well for second, well clear of third place horse, KEENELAND KAT. The rest of the field didn’t do much running and would be a surprise to see them step it up in the Breeders Cup. Although ADIEU is a solid runner she is no lock to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies which should make it a very interesting race from a betting standpoint.
In the Champagne the 3-5 favorite was FIRST SAMURAI who ran his record to a perfect 4 for 4. He seems to be learning the game more and more and is now running more like a professional. The second place finisher was HENNY HUGHES who chased a ridiculous pace of 43:3. Although he was almost 10 lengths clear of the third place finisher he lost his best chance to win with his tactics. His trainer at the time, Patrick Biancone told jockey Gary Stevens to go to the lead at all costs and it looks like it cost him the race. After the race the owners, who reportedly purchased the horse for more than 4 million dollars after his second career win, made a trainer change to Kiaran McLaughlin. With better tactics and that race under his belt HENNY HUGHES has the best chance of defeating FIRST SAMURAI in the Breeders’ Cup and the price will be a good one.
At Santa Anita they hosted two more prep races for the Breeders’ Cup. In the Ancient Title, a Grade I stakes for three year olds and up run at six furlongs saw the favorite, CAPTAIN SQUIRE go wire to wire. The Jeff Mullins trainee ran in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and finished seventh. In this year’s weak sprint division he has as good a shot as any as long as he makes it to the race.
The next race was the Grade II Oak Tree Mile on the turf for three year olds and up. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile winner SINGLETARY was prepping in this race and didn’t disappoint scoring impressively with a last to first move in this field of six. The time of the race, 1:34:2 was solid considering the early fractions were not fast at all. Although there are some solid Europeans shipping in for this race, SINGLETARY will be a tough one to tackle if he can repeat that performance.
With the Breeders’ Cup just two weeks away don’t forget that American Turf Monthly will be handicapping all the Breeders’ Cup races and will be giving those selections out the day before on October 28th, between, 5 and 7 pm (ET) and on the day of the Breeders’ Cup, October 29th, between 9:30 am and 12 noon (ET). Remember that fax and email are also available. Selections for all 8 races only $25.00. Advance sign up preferred.
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