Archive for the ‘Road to the Breeders’ Cup’ Category

Road to the Breeders’ Cup: Woodbine Mile

September 19, 2010

Despite being a new stakes race by general standards, the $1,000,000 Woodbine Mile has quickly become one of the most important Breeders’ Cup preps in North America.  A bulky and competitive field has been assembled and that’s basically the norm for this event.  Let’s take a closer look and hopefully assemble the correct pieces in this handicapping puzzle:

Aside from a failed bid against top competition at Leopardstown, #12 FAMOUS NAME has had a perfect 2010 and seems to be at his best in this, his 5YO season.  Trainer Dermot Weld, who has a history of shipping horses into the United  States with success, all the way back to Go and Go, including Dimitrova, Pine Dance, and Winchester.  There was basically no chance he was going to class up with horses like Cape Blanco and Rip Van Winkle in the Irish Champion, so this can be construed as a class drop.  This son of Dansili has run well on wet turf courses and the super-size lawn at Woodbine was still a bit damp on Saturday.  If you are of the belief that boggy courses generally favor late runners then #2 VICTOR’S CRY is one to take a long look at given his price.  He was bested by #11 THE USUAL Q.T. last time out but this son of Street Cry is more of a miler and should benefit from the one-turn configuration given his roots as a sprinter.  The Usual Q.T. has done absolutely nothing wrong in his stellar career as he continues to rack up wins left and right.  His 4th place finish in the Dubai Duty Free, which might be the toughest turf race in the world, will never be appreciated by those that are unfamiliar with international racing.  I’m anticipating the winner comes from these three but can understand why anyone would give a local like #13 GRAND ADVENTURE long look as he loves this course and now returns to a distance at which he can be successful.  SELECTIONS:  12-2-11-13

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Road to the Breeders’ Cup: Garden City

September 18, 2010

I previewed which races I’d be taking a look at on the Road to the Breeders’ Cup last week and there are two Grade I races this weekend that have ramifications for the two-day extravaganza at Churchill Downs.  Today it’s the Garden City at Belmont, which goes as Race 9 and is also the 3rd leg of the $300,000 Guaranteed Pick 4.

GARDEN CITY:

You don’t often see performances that are as dichotomous to the flow of a race as the Virginia Oaks effort from #1 CHECK THE LABEL.  After breaking slowly she was relegated to the back of the pack, continued to race well behind a very slow pace, advanced under skillful handling then inhaled her rivals under no more than mild urging.  After the Lake Placid was washed off the turf trainer Graham Motion opted to give this gal a bit of time and she comes into this event with a steady worktab.  There’s enough pace to set up her late bid and a damp late summer course will give her no issue.  #7 SNOW TOP MOUNTAIN is getting an extra furlong to work with after coming up short in consecutive races at a mile on the Saratoga inner turf course.  This gal has lacked the killer instinct it takes to win graded stakes races and is certainly going to have to elevate her game to contend for a major share here.  That doesn’t preclude her finishing second or making noise in the final furlong.  SELECTIONS: 1-7-4

I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at the Woodbine Mile.  Best of luck!