Breeders’ Cup Countdown: The Saturday Slate

Last week’s rankings focused solely on the Friday races scheduled for Breeders’ Cup XXVII.  Here is a look at the 8 races slated to go on Saturday, November 6, 2010, only two weeks from today!

JUVENILE TURF:

1.) Biondetti – With the Americans not really distinguishing themselves this undefeated Group I winner in Italy will fire a big shot.  His Gran Criterium win is available here and was very impressive.

2.) Rogue Romance – A last to first win in the Bourbon showed his versatility as he broke his maiden at the Spa while contesting the pace.  Here’s to hoping he lands here rather than the Juvenile.

3.) Air  Support – Many are going to say that he got the better of Soldat because of the surface and better trip but the With Anticipation is simply not a fair race to judge these two.

4.) Banned – Handy allowance winner at Keeneland has come to hand at once with consecutive victories for a very hot barn.

5.) Soldat – The nation’s first graded stakes winner on turf among the juveniles as he crushed the field at Saratoga.  His price for this event improved with a loss to Air Support.

DIRT MILE:

1.) Tizway – Earned a much-deserved graded stakes win last time out and has kept terrific company during two injury plagued seasons.  This will be his coming out party.

2.) Here Comes Ben – His trainer has been on a tear at Keeneland and Churchill is his home track.  His Forego win opened everyone’s eyes and the mile distance is right up his alley.

3.) Crown of Thorns – Everyone’s darling off a strong effort in the Goodwood but this will be his dirt debut.  When he’s been healthy he’s been good enough to make noise in a race like this.

4.) Aikenite – While he can be called unproven against graded stakes foes, he’s returning to the trip that has yielded his two best performances (allowance win at Belmont, runner-up in Derby Trial).

5.) Gayego – Presque Isle win was decisive and this distance seems ideal for him, but his dirt efforts have left a bit to be desired and he’s sure to be overbet.

TURF SPRINT:

1.) Chamberlain Bridge – His trip at Keeneland in the Woodford was absolutely dreadful and Churchill has treated him well over the years.

2.) Silver Timber – After a defeat at short odds at Saratoga he was largely forgotten but the comebacker was solid, albeit with a perfect trip.

3.) Rose Catherine – Facing males is uncharted territory but this gal is an absolute win machine.  Her tactical speed makes her very dangerous.

4.) Grand Adventure – His Nearctic runner-up finish was better than it looks as he was close to the rapid pace that completely melted down.

5.) Central City – He will lead the brigade to the front end in what’s shaping up as a frenetic opening half-mile.  Don’t discredit his ability to get brave.

JUVENILE:

1.) Jaycito – He has ground to make up on the two favorites in this affair but it’s shaping up as a fast-paced race and he’ll certainly be in line to benefit from such a setup.

2.) Boys at Tosconova – He’s the poster child for the underwhelming campaigns of good horses nowadays but his trainer is deadly when given 60+ days to get a horse ready.

3.) Uncle Mo – Unbeaten and untested but there are question marks about whether he can rate, a 2nd turn and what exactly was behind him in those two smashing wins.

4.) To Honor and Serve – Really hope they opt to stay conservative with this colt and run him in softer races up in NY but he has a world of ability and will be dangerous off a smashing maiden win.

5.) J P’s Gusto – It looked like the pack had caught up to him when he gave way in the Norfolk at Hollywood but his accomplishments this year are vast.

MILE:

1.) Gio Ponti – Is it blasphemy to go against two-time defending champion Goldikova?  Perhaps but the Mile looks like a great spot for this Eclipse Champion off of a scintillating prep race.

2.) Goldikova – She’s back for Round 3 and will be at a new locale after dominating at Santa Anita.  She might be even better going into this try and will be awfully tough to beat.

3.) Paco Boy – Goldikova has been his Kryptonite with two narrow losses to her this year.  The firmer turf in America may help his chances as he caps a terrific career.

4.) The Usual Q.T. – He moved a tad prematurely in the Woodbine Mile but finished strongly.  He’s going to need to run the race of his life but has been admirably consistent on turf over the last 15 months.

5.) Courageous Cat – The 2009 runner-up will be making his 2nd start off a long layoff and probably gained a great deal in the Shadwell Mile.  An improved effort would hardly surprise.

SPRINT:

1.) Warrior’s Reward – Needs to uncoil that big long stride a little earlier than he’s accustomed to but his best efforts have come over this strip and every new player in here seems to be a speedster.

2.) Big Drama – His consistency is admirable and training at Calder will guarantee he has a great deal of stamina when he tries the biggest test of his career.

3.) Girolamo – The cutback looked like a good idea with a win in a weaker than normal Vosburgh.  He’s going to be overbet in here but rates a big chance.

4.)  Smiling Tiger – Rapidly improving 3YO won the Ancient Title with a gritty stretch drive.  Dirt is a question but his trainer is well versed with it.

5.) E Z’s Gentleman – Needed a race when 3rd behind Smiling Tiger and won his only start over this track on Derby day.

TURF:

1.) Behkabad – Arc 4th place finisher will have a great opportunity to avenge his defeat at Churchill in a race that keeps losing major contenders.

2.) Workforce – His participation is in doubt and you have to wonder if he’ll be ready off of a strong Arc win.  No Arc winner has ever won the Breeders’  Cup in the same year.

3.) Al Khali – Best of American hopefuls exits a tough trip 4th place finish in the Canadian International.  He needs a clean run in Louisville.

4.) Debussy – Arlington Million hero was a bit dull in the Champion at Newmarket but he was taken out of his preferred running style in there.

5.) Winchester – He’s the most accomplished of the American based hopefuls for this thing.  However, no one’s confusing him as one of the favorites in here given the top two.

CLASSIC:

1.) Blame – Blemish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup does not take away from his strong season and serious win credentials at his favorite track.

2.) Zenyatta – The perfect mare is poised to try for a 2nd straight Breeders’ Cup Classic but will meet her toughest challenge yet.

3.) Lookin at Lucky – The best of the 3YOs won his prep handily and will certainly roll into Louisville well-prepared by a masterful trainer.

4.) Quality Road – Must move forward off of a Woodward that was not as good as it appears on paper.  Pace scenario in Louisville may work against him.

5.) Fly Down – Could be the surprise package in this affair as his JCGC was a strong race.  Win over the track makes him appealing at a price.

Pre-Entries for the Breeders’ Cup will be released on Wednesday.  Until then, best of luck at the races!

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