Derby Notes for 4/22
Jacques Cartier Stakes
Sovereigh Award Winners
Derby Security & Parking
Arkansas Derby Day
Kentucky Derby Contenders
A view of the Breeders' Cup statue in the paddock
The Stick Studios, Ft.Lauderdale
This Article is republished with exclusive permission from www.TheStickHorseRacing.Com to Cindy Pierson Dulay's Horse-Races.Net
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*BREEDERS CUP 2006 - WE LOVE IT! A FABULOUS AND STUNNING DAY FOR HORSE RACING'S FINEST*
We are going to give you a recap of the favorites and some longshots we are examining, plus some strategy tips to keep you on your toes. Remember, if you want to WIN BIG at this years Breeders Cup, you will have to Order our Breeders Cup 2006 Special Gold Rush Selections Sheet.
Let me start out by ranting on about how sorry I am to read the distress of my fans who feel the Hard Edge is just too controversial, and too tough on the loyal Horse Racing fans who have followed us for the last 9 years on the internet. I will take a rest from that persona, and be back in full as MC, "The Stick", lifetime patron of Horse Racing, and the industry as a whole.
The big question on everyone's mind is, will Bernadini finally shine through as a top level handicap horse? Running against the very best older horses in racing today, he will have to prove himself in order to win. Your going to be surprised by my answer.....I sure hope he does. Racing needs a hero, and despite my obvious dislike of his previous races, it would be nice to see him prove me wrong and really run big against such a top level field on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Will we ever see a Breeders Cup Juvinile winner return as a 3 year old and win in the Kentucky Derby? We will have a lot more to say about that when we get to the discussion of that race.
How will the European runners spar with our homebreds ? Will Kentucky Bluegrass prove to be too firm or will our own local hero's come up empty in the final yards ?
For the Answers to these questions and more, read on Horse Racing Fans.
Now for the Races, Let the Games Begin!
*PLEASE NOTE - THE HORSES COMMENTED ON HERE IN OUT SUPERSTORY ARE *NOT* OUR SELECTIONS. THEY ARE MEARLY HORSES OF INTEREST TO TALK ABOUT.
*OUR WINNERS AND SELECTIONS ARE ONLY GIVEN OUT TO OUR PAYING CUSTOMERS WHO WANT TO GET A BETTER PRICED HORSE TO PLAY THEN THE FAVORITES.
*Juvenile Fillies - 1 1/16 Mile - $2,000,000*
Is everyone "Dreaming of Anna"? She brings in an undefeated 3 race win streak at three different tracks. However, to this writer, she looks more of a turf runner then a dirt star. 5/2 morning line is a gamble if you like her.
Cash Included comes in from the Coast with two big stakes win under her belt. The only question is, will she translate her California speed to a win at Churchill.
Appealing Zophie was doing just fine until she encountered the Equitrack surface at Keeneland, and promtly finished 6th. This girl may be better then her odds would suggest.
Octave looks to give Todd Pletcher a live chance at winning this very wide open race. While always making an in the money appearance, we think this one might make the exotics payoff's worthwhile.
*Juvenile - 1 1/16 Mile - $2,000,000*
Trainer Todd Pletcher stacks the deck in his favor with 3 colts who all have a chance to win.
Circular Quay was undefeated going into the Breeders Futurity. While he finished 2nd in that race, his effort was powerful and flowing. There are many questions yet to be answered by this one, including the distance. Also, can this one translate his closing power as he stretches out? Maybe, maybe not.
King of the Roxy is yet another sprinter who is trying to stretch out to the 1 1/16 Mile distance.
Scat Daddy has to have one of the worst names we have ever seen, but this one was undefeated until he ran into Circular Quay.
Will the Pletcher triumvirate bring home the gold for TP on Saturday in the Juvenile?
Wait...wait...wait...What about the Colt that just broke his Maiden? Teuflesberg! Yes, Teufelsberg just broke his maiden, but check out his race in the Sanford against Scat Daddy. As a Maiden(A horse who has never won a race), Teufelsberg almost held off Scat Daddy to the wire and just lost by a neck to that very nice horse. You can expect long odds on this one, but to tell you the truth, we will not be playing him.
*Filly and Mare TURF - 1 3/8 Mile(TURF) - $2,200,000*
The mainstream media has already named the winner of this race. Its Quija Board. How can she lose they all say, she won the race 2 years ago and was second last year. She won the Prince of Wales against the boys and the Nassau against the best girls of Europe. Not to mention many 2nd and 3rd place finishes against males in Europe. Its a done deal, right? WRONG! Just because you won this race 2 years ago, it does not mean you will win it again this year. Just because you win against boys does not mean you will always automatically win when your back in against the girls. Well almost wrong on that one. She has been undefeated against the girls all but twice. The Breeders Cup last year, she finished 2nd, and the Listed Montrose she finished 3rd. However, after that, she has always defeated the girls.
What about the American Hope? Who is the Mare who will bring the race home for America? Its Honey Ryder. This Todd Pletcher trained mare has won 9 of her last 12 starts.
Todd Pletcher has a pretty full plate on Breeders Cup day, but to tell you the truth, we think this will hurt Pletchers chances. When a trainer has one or two solid runners, they can fixate and focus on them. For Pletcher, he has so many horses running on this day, that he cannot truly devote all his thoughts and efforts to prepaing just one of them. This may translate into small errors such as inability to talk through the race to all his jockey's, especially in races with multiple horses. How about making sure the right equipment is on all his horses and they are ready to run? He is going to have be on his toes and running back and forth to get everyone saddled and out to the track from the barn and back in after the race. Despite all the grooms and support staff, Todd Pletcher cannot afford to stand still for even a minute in between races.
We have to tell you, both of these mares are going to bet heavily and they are not our TOP pick for the race.
Want to take a gamble and play a wild longshot, that is in our Top 5 Picks? Germance can hit the board or the Superfecta with a solid late run. This one was undefeated into her first four races including group 1 stakes. She lost once in Euorpe and then was 4th with a poorly timed ride in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Keeneland. Maybe the connections thought the race was going to be run on Equiturf, the grass version of Equitrack(Just Kidding).
*Sprint - 6 Furlongs - $2,130,000*
The Breeders Cup Sprint is always a wild race. We cannot say how wide open this particular race is, but suffice it to say, WOW!
The California Speedball, Bordenaro won the Ancient Title at Santa Anita in 1:07 4/5 for 6 Furlongs. That is an incredible time, even if you take into account that California tracks run faster then their east coast and mid west counterparts. There are many possible problems for this one, not the least of what will he do if he is outrun in the first furlongs? Also, NO BUTE allowed at Churchill and it is allowed at Santa Anita. Will this affect Bordenaro's race? It did'nt at Gulfstream or Oaklawn, but you dont really want to change anything about what a horse uses to race with coming into this big race.
Dubai Escapade is a wildcard. Look at his record. He is 6 wins from 8 starts and he lost his first start and a really oddball race at Calder in July. Also there is a 2 pound weight advantage for her being a filly running against the boys. They have won in the past! But we would not give this one out to play, just to notice in evaluating the race.
Henny Hughes was quoted by me on my weekly radio program as being the horse who will win this race. After looking at his effort in the Vosburgh, I have to ask...has he left his best race in the prep race for the Breeders Cup? 1:08 flat was a phenomenal effort, but unlike Bordenaro's race where he was not pressed, Henny weas pressedthe entire way. I would not be surprised to see Henny Hughes bounce, and bounce big after his last two huge efforts.
You can make a case for almost every horse in this race to win. However, there are some solid horses in this race looking to be peaking and ready to run their best races on Saturday. We will save them for our paying customers, but let me tell you, if we hit the Breeders Cup Sprint, we will have some big prices!
*Mile - 1 Mile(TURF) - $2,170,000*
ARAGORN, ARAGORN, ARAGORN, ARAGORN. But then again, Del Mar and Santa Anita turf courses are made of all natural fiber and goodness. Churchill Downs turf course is pure Bluegrass baby!
The best turf miler in Europe has made the voyage to be here. Araafa is the Euro hope. This one has won the St James Place and the Irish 2,000 Guineas. However, we're not going to be running slow early and finish in a pedestrian 1:39 in Kentucky.
Gorella's connections decide to roll the dice and go up against the boys at the mile distance. With a nose and a neck win over Karen's Caper and Pommes Frites, we think Gorella has been thrown to the wolves. She is a wonderful filly, but why the heck would you want to run against the boys for less money then going against the girls at a distance you can handle? This was a questionable decision, lets see if it works out for them.
*Distaff - 1 1/8 Mile - $2,260,000*
We again have multiple Todd Pletcher horses entered into a Breeders Cup race. Fleet Indian and Spun Sugar both bring solid records into this race.
Fleet Indian has won her last 8 races and appears on the surface to be a solid favorite. However, this NY bred has been stalked by Balleto and she's alsmot breathing down Fleet Indians Neck.
Balleto has only won 3 starts, and looks like she prefers to run with others rather then off by herself. This is classic seconditis. However, This one should give Fleet Indian fits throughout the running of this race by sticking to her(no pun) and making her run a more demanding race, rather then relaxing. This may set up the race for another lady to run to the winners circle at Churchill Downs.
If you are from the South, and you have a love for Jambalaya, then perhaps you need to get Happy! Happy Ticket is that wonderful little girl from Louisiana who won her first 9 starts. She then was exposed to the upper echelon of grade 1 stakes races, and to her credit, won the Ballerina at Saratoga. While coming up empty in her last start against others in this race, we still love this one on a pure emotional level. This one is in the top 4 picks, but is not our top pick for the race. Expect 20-1 plus.
*Turf - 1 1/2 Mile(TURF) - $3,000,000*
Here is a news flash for you....are you ready.....Icy Atlantic is the RABBIT for English Channel in this race. Will it make a difference? Will Icy Atlantic blaze the way through 4 furlongs in 51 flat? Does it make any difference in handicapping this race?
Todd Pletcher tries to win a really big one here with English Channel. With 4 wins from 6 starts, you can bet a lot of money will be burned on this one.
2004 Breeders Cup Turf winner, Better Talk Now is back for another try. With almost $3 Million in earnings in 36 starts exclusivly on turf, you have to say this one can run when he wants to. Are his best races in the past or in the future? With Turf horses, age and experience are more of a plus then a detriment. Also, you dont have to win every race to make money just the big ones. This is the BIG ONE for turf horses.
Euro Star, Hurricane Run comes in with over $4 Million in earnings, and is another who has been touted as being, "Over the hill". Well, the last time he was as low weighted as 126 pounds, he won by 7 lengths. Also, coming in 3rd to Pride and Rob Roy in a group one stakes is hardly being over the hill.
California hope, TH Approval's connections must be wondering why no one is talking about their hopes. With 3 big graded stakes wins in his last 5 starts give him every right to do well in here. However, the California horses have traditionally not done well, with some exceptions, at Churchill Downs. This may be one of those times.
*Classic - 1 1/4 Mile - $5,000,000*
Here we are again. The biggest race in North America. The $5,000,000 Breeders Cup Classic is here. We have Americans and Europeans. 3 year olds and older. Left and right footed horses in fierce battle for the biggest prize of all, The Breeders Cup Classic.
Everyone is looking at Bernadini. He is the now horse, and while we do not have him picked in our top five selections, we do hope the fans come to the races and get excited about Horse Racing due to the buzz that has come out over this horse.
Invasor, looks to put his 3 race win streak on the line and really has more to prove and to gain with a big win in this race. With victories in the Pimlico Special, Suburban, and Whitney, Invasor can lay claim on title for Horse of the Year with a big win here.
California's favorite son, Lava Man, looks to show he can shine even when he does not have his sunglasses on in the West Coast Sun. With 7 huge wins in his last 7, everyone in California is saying, Berna...who? Lava Man looks to overcome all his critics, and if he is going to run the race of his life, this is the time to do it.
Kentucky's Favorite son, Perfect Drift, comes in for a 5th attempt at the Classic. How about $4.6 Million in earnings over 41 starts and 5 years? What a story that would be for Kentucky if this one can win big. 20-1 on a $4.6 million earner? You might see it here.
Don't forget Giacomo. Kentuckians never forget a Derby Winner. Even if they never win another race, they will forever be enshrined as Derby Winners. Giacomo will have many supporters in the stands at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
How about Europe's favorite son? George Washington, yes the same name as our first President, is the European hope in the Breeders Cup Classic. With victories in the Phoenix, National, 2000 English Guineas, and Queen Elizabeth the 2nd Stakes, Aidan O'Brien tries to bring home the American Gold with a big win here. However, racing 1 1/4 Miles is certainly not the same as racing in 7 Furlong and 1 Mile races. Will this one still have his powerful closing kic at the end of this distance race?
The Breeders Cup Classic brings together the finest horses from around the globe. Be cautious to think any horse is a lock in this race. We have 13 horses here, and every one of them has a right to win this race. There is no surprise in the outcome of this race. It will be a ..... Classic. G-d bless and WIN BIG!
Best Regards and Racing,
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