27 things I took away from BC 27

1.) Calvin Borel was awfully mad after the Marathon.  It had a lot to do with Javier Castellano making a wreckless move that could have injured a horse or rider.  It had more to do with Borel being on a horse that was moving comfortably and seemed to be a few furlongs away from giving him his first Breeders’ Cup win since he piloted Street Sense to a Juvenile win in 2006.

2.) If I was an owner and wanted Calvin Borel on my horse before the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, then I really want him on my horse afterwards.  I loved seeing that type of fire and tenacity.

3.) Good for Bobby Flay.  He purchased More Than Real after her debut win at Saratoga and it paid off handsomely.  This was perfect Garrett Gomez ride, Part I.

4.) Was anyone else shocked to see that More Than Real’s win broke Todd Pletcher’s 20 race losing streak with 2YOs at the BC?  I knew his record was terrible going in but it just seemed surprising.

5.) Horses like Dubai Majesty are very easy to cheer for.  She won stakes races this year on dirt, turf, and synthetics and stayed in top form for nearly six months. 

6.) Kudos to Jamie Theriot and Bret Calhoun, who deserved to get a bit of attention on racing’s biggest stage.

7.) Stanley Gold is the best 2YO trainer in the country that no one knows about.  He has now conditioned two horses to win the Florida Stallion Series in the last two years and Awesome Feather delivered an even bigger win.  Thank goodness we had dirt for her to prove herself over while Jackson Bend stayed in the barn last year.

8.) If you thought Edgar Prado’s career was fading into the sunset then you have to recognize that his ride on Shared Account was what made him one of the best jockeys of this decade.  He was cool, calm, and collected the entire way, saving ground throughout and helping her deliver a finish that denied a heavy favorite.

9.) Ignore Graham Motion-trained turf horses in the Breeders’ Cup at your own risk.  Hopefully I remember this going forward.

10.) It was nice to see Unrivaled Belle return to the site of her biggest win and deliver again when everyone was watching.  She was given a perfect ride by Kent Desormeaux, a jockey who I’ve poked fun at more than any, and held off the two best 3YO fillies in the country. 

11.) Blind Luck is a deserving 3YO Eclipse Award winner.  She danced every dance, came up short in a couple of tough spots but stayed one of the best horses in training from February of this year.  Here’s to hoping she and Havre de Grace treat us to more great battles next year, with horses like Unrivaled Belle still around.

12.) How cool was the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic being run under the lights?  I guess traditionalists will have issues but it was a great addition and added to the experience.

13.) One horse went down in the Juvenile Turf and one horse was adversely affected by that unfortunate spill.  That horse was Pluck, who was held together nicely by Garrett Gomez then rolled past them all in the final furlong.  RIP Rough Sailing.  This was perfect Garrett Gomez ride, Part II.

14.) What do you do when you’re in a disadvantageous post in a race loaded with speed?  You go straight to the front and put them on the chase and that’s exactly what Eibar Coa did with Big Drama. 

15.) How much would Majesticperfection have won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint by?  Trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Satish Sanan have to be wondering “what if?”

16.) Chamberlain Bridge had a foot abscess a week before the Turf Sprint.  He drew the rail and hates being inside.  He was 0-3 against Silver Timber coming in.  However, none of that mattered as he was given another perfect ride by Jamie Theriot and rolled to victory late. 

17.) How good is Uncle Mo?  He has shown more potential than any other 2YO in this decade and now we can only hope he stays healthy and continues to develop as a 3YO.

18.) How unfortunate is Boys at Tosconova to have been foaled in 2008?  He would have been a handy Juvenile winner, more than likely an Eclipse Award winner, and the buzz horse going into 2011 if not for Uncle Mo.

19.)  Goldikova.  Wow.  Is there any more that needs to be said? 

20.) Jerry Hollendorfer might not have won with the horse he planned this weekend but Dakota Phone’s 37-1 upset capped off what was quietly a good year for the veteran campaigner. On the other hand, wasn’t this the only fitting way for the biggest races in 2010 to end for Nick Zito?  He has seemingly had no luck at any point this year and you’ll never convince me that Morning Line didn’t run the best of any horse in the Dirt Mile.

21.) This year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf might have been the worst of any in the 27 year history.  A horse that was considered laughable at Group I competition in Europe scored and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget is now 0-19 in America in the last five years.  Thumbs down to Workforce’s connections for scratching.  The turf didn’t bother Goldikova and last I checked, Workforce won the Epsom Derby over a very hard turf course.

22.) The Breeders’ Cup Classic was everything a racing fan could have asked for and more.  The two best horses in the race squared off in a showdown in deep stretch under the Twin Spires and Blame proved best.  Zenyatta lost nothing in defeat.

23.) Zenyatta did not have a bad trip, anyone telling you that has a very limited understanding of trip handicapping.  She was well off the pace, but it was a legitimate early clip and she has never exactly shown a great deal of early interest whether running on dirt or synthetics.

24.) Blame is the 2010 Horse of the Year.  It’s not a Lifetime Achievement Award.  If the NTRA wants to separately come out to the annual Zenyatta retirement party and give Jerry and Ann Moss an award showing their appreciation then that’s fine.  They should be applauded for keeping their prized possession in training for this long.

25.) How can you not get a little excited about the 2011 Derby with Uncle Mo and To Honor and Serve (who won the Nashua handily on Saturday)? 

26.) I don’t know about you but I was really happy to have the Breeders’ Cup back on dirt.  The races seemed more competitive and the wagering opportunites were tremendous.  I will say, nothing matches the Turf Sprint being down the hill though.

27.) A salute to the horses and people that made Breeders’ Cup 27 special, from a jubilant ownership group of Shared Account, to the deft maneuvering of Pluck by Garrett Gomez, to the long powerful strides of Uncle Mo, to the frighteningly rapid acceleration from the inimitable Goldikova, to the thunderous final furlong from Zenyatta in her quest to catch Blame, it was a special two-day event.  That, and so much more, is what makes the Breeders’ Cup special.

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