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Nov 04, 2005

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


Well the Breeders’ Cup has come an gone but what an exciting day for racing. The day was wide open going in and that is the way it played out. Eight races in eight different categories, large fields and great betting opportunities.

The first Breeders’ Cup race was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. The favorite in the race was FOLKLORE who was sent off at 2-1. After breaking well from the rail, she stalked a very quick pace from the two spot, took over the lead and held on for the win over the hard charging WILD FIT. The latter was away at the back of the pack and trailed the field well behind before making a move on the turn, only to get stopped in the midst of her run but still ran on well for the place spot. ORIGINAL SPIN, previously undefeated could only manage a well beaten third.

The next race was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The favorite in the race was the undefeated FIRST SAMURAI with Jerry Bailey. The winner of the race STEVIE WONDERBOY, came from off the pace and scored with a solid late run to get up for the win by a little more than a length. HENNY HUGHES who was forgotten about after two losses in a row ran a huge race to finish second at 9-1. FIRST SAMURAI could only manage third and will point until next year. This crop of two year olds look strong heading into next year which should make for a great Triple Crown trail.

The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf was next and it saw another favorite go down. Last year’s winner OUIJA BOARD, did run well to finish second but could not get to the loose on the lead INTERCONTINENTAL, who was able to get away cheap on the lead and more importantly she was able to relax. FILM MAKER, another strong closer finished third despite a wide trip with no pace up front.

The Breeders’ Cup Sprint saw the heaviest favorite of the day in the undefeated LOST IN THE FOG (3-5). After breaking in third early and chasing the pace of an allowance horse, ATTILA’S STORM, he made his move at the top of the stretch but found himself in trouble as the calvery started to close in. SILVER TRAIN took over the lead and was all out to hold off the late close of TASTE OF PARADISE who had to steady in midstretch and alter course. LION TAMER closed strongly from the back of the pack to finish third over the pace setting ATTILA’S STORM. LOST IN THE FOG, faded to seventh and tasted defeat for the first time. The traveling or the competition finally got to him. It should be interesting to see what happens next year but the plans are to run him and possibly stretch him out to two turns.

The Breeders’ Cup Mile saw yet another heavy favorite go down. LEROIDESANIMAUX, who raced with aluminum pads on in the race finished second at 6-5. After chasing the pace from post 11, he took the lead but could not hold off the late charge of ARTIE SCHILLER, who got a perfect ride under Garrett Gomez. GORELLA finished a fast closing third. This race however was marred by the breakdown of FUNFAIR who had to be humanely destroyed after the race.

In the biggest upset of the day in both odds and on the track PLEASANT HOME came with a huge run to win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff by almost ten lengths. After two straight second place finishes and the biggest win in her career coming in a Grade 3 at Aqueduct, PLEASANT HOME raced towards the back of the pack early on before moving up the inside, swinging out and rolling by the leaders for an easy score. SOCIETY SELECTION won the battle with ASHADO for the place spot with STELLAR JAYNE checking in fourth. The horse paid $63.50 to win and keyed a $692.00 exacta and a $3,453 triple.

In the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the Europeans dominated, running 1-2-3-4, with SHIROCCO getting home first. ACE chased him home for the place spot with the lukewarm choice, AZAMOUR finishing third. BAGO, who was sent off as the third choice was fourth. The second choice in the race was SHAKESPEARE who never made an impact and finished a well beaten 12th.

The final race of the Breeders’ Cup card was the Classic. The slight favorite in the race was SAINT LIAM who was 2.40-1 while BORREGO was 2.60-1. After breaking awkwardly from post 12, he settled in a good fourth before making a wide move to the lead on the turn and holding for a length score. FLOWER ALLEY rebounded nicely with a solid second place finish with PERFECT DRIFT finishing third, a neck over the longest shot in the race SUPER FROLIC (69-1). BORREGO, who was coming off a huge score in the Jockey Club Gold Cup finished 10th, never making a move into contention. With this win and the failure of some other division leaders to score SAINT LIAM should be the favorite to win Horse of the Year. The only one with a shot is AFLEET ALEX who won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes but got hurt which caused him to miss the important Summer races and the Breeders’ Cup. SAINT LIAM proved from day one that he was the best horse in 2005 and should be rewarded as such.



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