|Day Results||10 / 2-5-7|
|2020 Overall 1511||1511 / 530-513-645|
|Win % of Top Pick||35.08%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||37.24%|
|2020 Top Pick in the Money –981-1,511||64.92%|
|Top Selection ITM / CD 40-61||65.58%|
|Top Selections Win / CD 19-61||31.15%|
|“Key Horses” @ CD 7-2-0-1||28.57% Win / 42.86% ITM|
|“Key Horses” in 2020 201-68-44-28||33.83% Win / 69.65% ITM|
We are here. We have made it.
Despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us — a pandemic; social issues; and a Presidential divide — we have overcome. Yet, again.
Today, we will embark on the first day of the annual Breeders’ Cup Championships. The glorious event will be held at Keeneland, and most of the persons that did purchase tickets to attend will be refused to enter the grounds. But that is another story for another day.
Today, is for positive vibes.
Today, is for the best Thoroughbreds in the world to start facing off against the best Thoroughbreds in the world. Man to man. Woman to woman. And, in some cases, woman to man.
Today, is for the opening of The Louisville Thoroughbred Society. If you have not seen it? You have not seen the world’s best, most premium, most beautiful location to watch — and wager — on Thoroughbred racing. It has been 41/2 years in the making. Like to say it has been worth the wait. But words cannot describe. Unreal.
Today, is for us to win some money, too. Lots of it. And, have fun doing it.
So, with no further adieu, here are today’s Breeders’ Cup selections. And, why:
|BC Juvenile Turf Sprint|
|Golden Pal||Second of July||After Five||Bodenheimer||Amanzi Yimpilo||Dirty Dangle||14-13-9/10-8-12/5-3-6|
|BC Juvenile Turf|
|Mutasaabeq||Outadore||Abarta||Gretzky the Great||Fire At Will||Sealiway||6-8/3-11-7-1-4/2-9-5/14-10-12-13|
|BC Juvenile Fillies|
|Simply Ravishing||Princess Noor||Girl Daddy||Dayoutoftheoffice||Vequist||Thoughtfully||1-7/5-3-2/4-6|
|BC Juvenile Fillies Turf|
|Plum Ali||Campanelle||Aunt Pearl||Royal Approval||Madone||Spanish Loveaffair||4-10-5/11/9-12-3-14/2-13-8/6-7|
|Essential Quality||Jackie’s Warrior||Sittin On Go||Keepmeinmind||Reinvestment Risk||Rombauer||5-7/9-6-3-13/1-11-2/4-14-10|
Juvenile Turf Sprint:
Here’s a look at our analysis: 14-13-9/10-8-12/5-3-6
- Golden Pal (Uncle Mo — Lady Shipman, by Midshipman): This February foal has a couple of months age on our second pick, and at this stage of the race career, that can make the difference and mean a lot. Plus, this one comes from a more upper crust pedigree, as well. The sire, Uncle Mo, is generally considered one of the best in the sport today. This year, Uncle Mo is the current leader in siring the leading number of Graded Stakes winners. He has 13, while Into Mischief is second with 11. Some of his best runners, to date, are Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (who is off to a great freshman stallion season, in his own right), Unbridled Mo, Bast, Outwork, Laoban and many others. The dam, Lady Shipman, was no slouch on the racetrack, either. She was a Graded Stakes winner and compiled a record of 13 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds in 21 starts. She finished the racing career with over $900,000 in purse earnings. Interesting note: Lady Shipman ran 2nd in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (this same race) right here at Keeneland. Golden Pal was offered for sale at the 2018 KEE September Yearling Sale by the Taylor Made Sales Agency. He did not bring the reserve price and was not sold for the final hammer price of $325,000. In three starts so far, Golden Pal has a win and 2 seconds and has earned over $73,000. The colt broke his maiden in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 21. Led from start to finish that day and beat a well-respected runner-up in Fauci. Has not raced since then, but is trained by one of the gurus of the 2YO sector — Sir Wesley Ward.
- Second of July (Jack Milton — Wichita, by Curlin): This chap is already a gelding and is trained by Phillip Gleaves, who just so happens to be a former assistant of the late, great trainer Woody Stephens. This barn does not meet the definition of “mega-trainer” and the number of entires that it has at this level is relatively small. At the same time, it makes you want to root for the connections , too. The sire was an outstanding turf specialist in his own right, and experienced some great success over the Keeneland grass course, too. As a 3YO, Jack Milton won the G3 Transylvania Stakes here. As a 5YO, Jack Milton returned to win the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile over the Keeneland sod, too. This 2YO gelding is the best runner for the young stallion, who is a son of the highly successful War Front. Second of July is out of the dam Wichita, who was unraced but is by the highly respect broodmare sire Curlin. Wichita was sold at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2012 for $100,000. The second dam, Lady Dynasty, was a multiple Stakes-placed winner and earned over $140,000 in the career. Second of July broke the maiden in the career debut, pulling away late for a 3/4-length victory. He went off at odds of 68.25-to-1 that day. Came back to win the G3 Futurity at Belmont Park on Oct. 11, going 6 furlongs over the firm grass course. Came from off the pace to win by 1/2-length. Went off at odds of 15.50-to-1 in that one. Beat the Post Time favorite, After Five, who was closing from far off the pace that day, as well.
- After Five (The Factor — Idle Talk): This gray colt is another from the barn of Sir Wesley Ward, who reached in to purchase him at the Ocala Breeder’s Sale in March for $165,000. Just the October before — five months — this one sold for a rather modest $17,000. Nice pin hook. In just two starts to date, this one is still a maiden. He ran 2nd on debut at Kentucky Downs in mid-September. After breaking out at the start and losing a tremendous amount of ground, jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. was able to get him straightened out and headed forward. Closed to lose by a stinking nose to Trade Deal, another pupil of Wesley Ward. Came back to run 2nd to the Second of July in the Futurity last time out. Closed from well back in that one, too, having brushed the gate at the start and dropping to last at one point. Has run farther in both of those than the 5.5 furlongs that will be contested in the Breeders’ Cup. So, will need to be a bit sharper at the start. But this one may have the best closing kick of any in the race, too. The sire is another son of War Front and a classy individual who earned over $922,000 in just 13 career starts. The dam, Idle Talk, was Graded Stakes-placed and won over $312,000. Won 12 of 43 career starts.
- Bodenheimer (Atta Boy Roy — Beautiful Daniele): Has a Washington-bred ever won a Breeders’ Cup race? Interesting question. But the answer is no. This colt would be the first. Started the career at the little Canterbury Park in Minnesota. After winning that one, he moved out to Prairie Meadows. That is in Iowa. After a win there, he was travelled to Kentucky and a run at Kentucky Downs. Didn’t handle the hills and dales of that track, but Bodenheimer did return to his winning ways in the Indian Summer Stakes over the Keeneland sod on Oct. 4. He defeated 5 others that day, including Cowan, who is back to challenge him for more in this upcoming event. Interesting sort, to be sure. But will be battling a lot of good ones and history in this Breeders’ Cup Championship. Will take a lot of good fortune and luck to beat both.
- Amanzi Yimpilo (No Nay Never — Honourably): This is an Irish-bred filly, who will be called upon to defeat the boys in this Breeders’ Cup event. That is nothing new for her, though. She is coming off an impressive and stylish victory over the colts in the Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 26. Stalked the leaders and then put away her competition in that 5.5-furlong event — despite being bumped repeatedly on both sides. This gal is game as they can be and a bit salty, as well. Connections spent $300,000 to purchase her at the 2018 KEE September Yearling Sale, and she now has two wins and a third in the first 3 career starts. Another from the barn of Sir Wesley Ward, who often crosses the pond with his 2YO contingency to race at Royal Ascot. This one did not make the trip, though, and it is interesting why he picked this one to contest the boys, when he had a multitude of other fillies that could have done the same. But? This young sire is off to an amazing career in Ireland. The son of Scat Daddy has already produced the likes of Nay Lady Nay, Never Have I Ever, Vitalogy, and others. Amanzi is tough enough to stand her own here. We shall find out if she is good enough.
- Dirty Dangle (Not This Time — Chambray): This is another filly, who is both accomplished at the racetrack and appears to have been acquired privately after the last race — which was a win in the Woodbine Cares Stakes in Canada on Sept. 19. Was owned by Charles DeMizio and the trainer’s wife, Mary E. Biamonte, at that time. Now, the filly is under the tutelage of trainer Mark Casse and will tote the silks of new owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber. This one was originally sold for $8,000 at the 2018 KEE September Yearling Sale. Sold at the OBS-March In-Training Sale for a modest increase of $25,000. Now, she is a perfect 2-for-2 and could be headed to the Breeders’ Cup. Last workout, on Oct. 29 at Woodbine, was spot on. She won the last outing by 11/4 lengths after trailing throughout. She broke the maiden by beating the even-money favorite from the barn of Casse. Looks to be an over-achiever, but could make a true name for herself soon. One to watch.
How Do We Play It?
We bet the top two across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. We will key the Top Two over/under the “all button.”
Here’s our look and analysis: 6-8/3-11-7-1-4/2-9-5/14-10-12-13
- Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief — Downside Scenario, by Scat Daddy): I have absolutely no clue how you pronounce his name. I have to look at it several times just to be able to spell it. But I can tell you one thing. You might want to get use to hearing it. You may hear it a lot in the days and years to come. Lovingly. All one has to do to be impressed by this magnificent-looking 2YO colt is watch the replay of the G2 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 4. Just cue up the video. Sit back. And, watch. You shall see that this one is lingering around in last of the 11/16-mile event for much of the race. You shall see that rider Luis Saez did not seem to be either too worried or too much in a hurry, either. And, you shall see one of the most powerful and impressive runs of the year. By any horse. Of any age. At any time. The son of the magnificent Into Mischief circle the field and went 8-wide at the top of the stretch. And, he must have found a piece of magical ground in doing so. The carpet ride to the finish was exhilarating, as he consumed the 10 others and ran off to a 21/4-length victory by wire time. I had a text message earlier in the day that gave me the heads up about this one. It instructed me that I could bet with both hands. My friend and the text were both correct. The colt’s conversion to the grass for trainer Todd Pletcher was simply magnificent. This colt sold for $425,000 as a weanling at the 2018 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Shadwell Farm purchased the colt at that time off the Taylor Made Sales Agency. It may turn out to be one of the best bargains of the sale. So far, the son of the world’s hottest sire has 2 wins and a third in the first three career starts and is a G2 Stakes winner. Has already earned nearly $190,000. The first dam was a modest winner of one race, breaking the maiden at the Fair Grounds in MSW company. Second dam was even less impressive on the track, winning just once in 7 career starts. But this guy looks like he may just bring some notoriety to the family. Well on his way.
- Outadore (Outwork — Adore You, by Tactical Cat): This guy was not birthed until May 14, 2018. But the late foal is certainly making up for lost time. So far, in just two starts, Outadore has posted two wins. The first came at Saratoga in July, when he whipped 7 others in a MSW event conducted at 5.5 furlongs. Drew off to win that one by nearly 3 lengths for trainer Sir Wesley Ward. Came right back to impress again in the 6.5-furlong KY Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. After dropping off the pace a bit, the colt came with another big kick to rip away to a near 2-length win — finishing up the hill in pure style and grace. Beat both Fauci and Cowan in that one. Outadore has already passed through the Keeneland Sales ring twice. Sold as a weanling for $140,000. Came back nearly a year later to sell for $290,000 at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale. Now, he has already earned over $334,000 in just two starts. The sire ran only 5 times in the career, but the son of Uncle Mo won 3 of them and was second in another. The only time he was off the board was when he ran 14th in the 2016 Kentucky Derby — a race won by Nyquist that year. Outadore is his leading earning so far, but Outwork is off to a good start as one of the youngest on the roster at WinStar Farm in Versailles. The first dam won 8 of 47 starts and was Stakes-placed.
- Abarta (Into Mischief — Dame Marie, by Smart Strike): This colt catapults into high consideration for this Breeders’ Cup event by virtue of his fast-closing and high-velocity 2nd to the top pick Mutasaabeq in the G2 Bourbon Stakes. Abarta was next-to-last at about the same time as Mutasaabeq was last. They moved in a tandem. At least for a little while. Got beat by nearly 3, but that may be as close as anyone gets to the top pick in the Breeders’ Cup, too. Broke the maiden at first asking at Ellis Park on Aug. 28. Covered the 11/16-miles on the grass to get up by a nose over Tamanrassett. Went wide in the closing rally to do that, too. But this one is trained by Brad Cox, one of the hottest trainers alive today. Cost $200,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and now finds himself one big win away from a huge payoff. First dam of this one was Graded Stakes-placed and won 4 of 18. In her last start of the career, ran 2nd in the G2 Churchill Downs Turf Mile Stakes in 2014. Winner that day? Coffee Clique. Dame Marie whipped the likes of Centre Court in that one. Nice.
- Gretzky the Great (Nyquist — Pearl Turn, by Bernardini): Some times, the horses that come out of Canada don’t get the respect that they deserve. Some times, they get lost in the shuffle and the cards are stacked against them. Some times, we all make mistakes. Gretsky the Great is named after one of the greatest in hockey history — Wayne Gretzky. It will be hard as heck to live up to that name and reputation. But this 2YO son of Nyquist is trying to do just that. In 4 career starts to date — all at Woodbine — the May foal has 3 wins and a second. In his last start, Gretzky the Great won the G1 Summer Stakes by a commanding and demonstrative 31/4 lengths. Ticket. Stamped. Now, we will see how he fares against some of the world’s finest. The first dam started the career in Ireland. Finished the career as a multiple Stakes-placed winner of 3 races. This Ontario-bred cost $295,000 to purchase at the 2019 Fast-Tipton October Yearling Sale. Has already won back $252,000 in purses. More to come. I bet.
- Fire At Will (Declaration of War — Flirt, by Kitten’s Joy): This late April foal is coming into the Breeders’ Cup off two impressive Stakes wins in a row. The first came at Saratoga in the With Anticipation Stakes, and the latter was in the G2 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont. The Saratoga win came over a sloppy track and against just three rivals. Beat the heavy favorite, but left a lot of questions to be answered. Some of those got answered in the Pilgrim, which was contested at 11/16-miles over a Belmont Park inner turf. Set the pace that day. Set the standard, too, galloping away to a 2-length. Beat the heavily favored Public Sector in that one, and really did it for fun. The young sire has already proven to be a pretty good daddy. His 3YO son Silver Prospector won a Graded Stakes over the dirt at Churchill Downs as a 2YO and just recently came back to win again in Louisville. Contender. Maybe.
- Sealiway (Galiway — Kensea, by Kendargent): This French-bred is a February foal and has a couple of months age experience on some of the main contenders. Comes into this one with a lot of experience on the track, too. Has already run 6 times and has 4 wins, a second and a third on the resume. Won a Group 1 at Longchamp in the last outing and certainly has the pedigree to be a tough out in this spot. If the grass is a bit more boggy than usual, this one is a must use for me.
How Do We Play It:
I’m all in on our top pick. Anything close to that last outing here? He lights them up again. But anytime you play a closer, you do so when some fear and trepidation. Must get a clean run. Must avoid traffic. Must not get trapped in and behind. Must. Must. Must. Still, I play Mutasaabeq to win/place/show and then key him over/under the “all button.” I will also key over the others listed above. The intriguing horses to me are Gretzky the Great and Sealiway. They both should be long prices, and they both may have a shot at hitting the board. I may team up Mutasaabeq with both of them, too.
Here’s our look: 1-7/5-3-2/4-6
- Simply Ravishing (Laoban — Four Wishes, by More Than Ready): This filly has fallen into the rather immense shadow of the imposing 3YO filly Swiss Skydiver — who is unquestionably the starlet of the barn’s operation. But one should not mistake. This filly is a star in her own right, and one that is emerging as bright as her more accomplished roommate. After the first three starts of her career, Simply Ravishing is a perfect 3-for-3 and has won both of her Stakes events by a combined 13 lengths (or darn near it). She has won over the turf, in her career debut, at Saratoga. She has won sprinting over the dirt, at Saratoga. And, she has won around two turns at Keeneland — the same spot of ground that she will contest on Friday. She has won on the lead. She has won stalking. Most of all, though, she has won. Always. The sire is a young son of Uncle Mo, and will be new to WinStar Farm in Versailles in 2021. In addition to this fine filly, the sire has already tossed Laobanonaprayer, who won the Mind of the Mist Stakes at Belmont Park, and Keepmeinmind, who ran 2nd in the G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity. His daughter Ava’s Grace ran 3rd in the G2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga, too. Nice start. The connections paid just $50,000 for this filly at the 2019 Fast-Tipton October Sale. Already, she has earned over $304,000. Nice purchase. And, it appears more to come.
- Princess Noor (Not This Time — Sheza Smoke Show, by Wilko): Earlier this year, before she ever ran in a race, this 2YO filly set the sport’s newswire on fire. At the OBS April 2YO Sale, she fetched a final hammer price of $1.350 million for a team led by Gary Young. Since then, she has ended up in the hands of owner Zedan Racing Stables and the talented barn of trainer Bob Baffert. And, she has not disappointed. At all. After 3 starts? She has 3 wins. She has 2 Graded Stakes wins. She has 1 G1 Stakes win. And, she has totaled over $303,000 in purse earnings. All she has to do is earn $1 million more now to break even. Right? Well, probably less than that considering her residual value — which can grow immensely this Friday in the Breeders’ Cup. Like our top pick, she one has showed some serious diversity and some serious leg whip. In her last start, she won the G2 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita by a growing 81/4 lengths. And, she did this after starting at the rear of the back when stretching out to Friday’s distance of 11/16-miles. In the race before, she flashed more speed in the 7-furlong Del Mar Debutante Stakes. But the outcome at the wire was much the same — winning by over 61/2 lengths. Promises to be a heckuva showdown between the hometown girl and the West Coast starlet. Time will tell. This time.
- Girl Daddy (Uncle Mo — Cara Marie, by Unbridled’s Song): Any other year and by any other standard, this April foal may be at the head of the class going into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. After all, she has done nothing wrong to date. The only thing she has done — too — is win. Girl Daddy broke the maiden in July at Ellis Park, the new summer home for many of trainer Dale Romans’ top 2YOs. She ran off that day to a near 6-length win while traversing the 6-furlong test. The next time out, Girl Daddy came from a bit off the pace to capture the G3 Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs. She flashed her brilliant turn of foot and distanced Crazy Beautiful in that tilt. No problem. No contest. Now, this $500,000 yearling purchase of a year ago, will face her stiffest competition to date and her toughest test. But, then again, the connections of the other two may have to admit the same thing. The first dam of this one was the best of the moms in this group. Cara Marie was Graded Stakes-placed and won 2 of 10 starts. In just her 6th career start, she ran 3rd in the G2 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga. The third dam, Miss Caerleona, was a Graded Stakes winner. She won the G3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs in 1996 when Bail Out Becky was disqualified. This gal is a looker in her own right.
- Dayoutoftheoffice (Into Mischief — Gottahaveadream, by Indian Charlie): Like the top 3 candidates, this one is also undefeated. She is a perfect 3-for-3. Meaning? Our top 4 fillies rated in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies is now a combined 11-for-11. And, all have the credentials to match the wins. This gal has wins in both the G3 Schuylerville at Saratoga and the G1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park. In the last one, she zoomed to a 2-length win over Vequist while racing at the flat 1-mile distance. And, she did it stalking the leaders until rider Jurnior Alvarado called on her for more. Can’t argue with the sire power here. One of the best in the sport. Maybe ever. Not without a chance, too.
- Vequist (Nyquist — Vero Amore, by Mineshaft): This filly was RNA’d after not brining the necessary funds at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. And, what a good decision that was for the connections that ended up with her. After running 2nd in the career debut for a group called Richie’s World Stables, this one was apparently purchased privately by a team headed by Gary Barber and led by trainer Mark Casse. She immediately paid dividends, winning the G1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga in early September. Won the 7-furlong Stakes that day by a mere 91/2 lengths. Merely. Made a serious run at Dayoutoftheoffice in the G1 Frizette, but just could never draw even with that one late. Still, this one has a chance on Friday, too. Credentials are there. In addition to being by a Kentucky Derby winner and one of the hottest freshman sires in the land, Vequist is out of a Graded Stakes-placed dam. Vero Amore ran 2nd in the G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in 2014, losing to the top notch Stopchargingmaria by less than a neck. Blood runs thick.
- Thoughtfully (Tapit — Pension, by Seeking the Gold): This filly cost $950,000 to snare at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sale at Saratoga. And, it didn’t take her long to start paying dividends, too. She broke the maiden on debut at Churchill Downs on June 11. Won that one buy nearly 9 in a 5.5-furlong sprint over the dirt. Gone. Came right back to win the G2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga in mid-August. Won that one by 5 while traveling 6.5 furlongs over the dirt. The only blemish on the resume so far is the last race — when she was a disappointing 4th to Simply Ravishing in the G1 Alcibiades. No excuses that day. Just didn’t fire when stretched out to two turns for the first time. But here’s a little warning. Don’t be so quick to dismiss a daughter of Tapit. May take them a minute to learn a lesson. But once it’s learned? Watch out. The second dam of this one is Furlough, who was a multiple Graded Stakes winner of over $670,000. She won the G1 Ballerina Stakes in 1999 — beating the likes of Catinca, Hurricane Bertie, License Fee, Marley Vale and others. Blood runs deep here, too. Beware.
How We Play It:
We are going to play Simply Ravishing to win/place/show and then key her over/under all the horses listed here in the exacta. Our first Key Play of the Day.
Juvenile Fillies Turf:
Take a look at our top picks: 4-10-5/11/9-12-3-14/2-13-8/6-7 (Take a Look at “How I Play.” My first Upset Special of the Day.)
- Plum Ali (First Samurai — Skipping, by Stroll): Like the top contenders in the “dirt version” of the Juvenile Fillies, this April foal has racked up an undefeated record after the first three career races. Broke the maiden at Saratoga in late July. Won that two-turn even by an easy 2. Travelled to Kentucky Downs next and won the Juvenile Fillies Stakes there by an easy 3. The runner-up came right back to win the next out, too. Then, this one went back to NY to annex the G2 Miss Grillo Stakes by an easy 21/4 lengths. Three outs. Three wins. Three easy wins. No reason to believe that she won’t be ready to go come Friday. The only thing different, though, may be the level of the competition. And, this one does rally from off the pace — most of the time. That means she will need a clear path or the overland route. Obstacles. But certainly not unsurmountable. The first dam of this one didn’t win in 8 career starts. The second dam, by Saratoga Six, won 7 times in 22 outings and earned nearly $200,000 — but no black type. The third dam was by Halo and won just one of 5. Not much to write home in terms of runners. But this one is certainly making up for it.
- Campanelle (Kodiac — Janina, by Namid): This Irish-bred filly is a perfect 3-for-3, too. And, this one is not only a world-class runner, she is a world-class traveller. After breaking the maiden at Gulfstream Park in May, she went to Royal Ascot and won the Group 2 Queen Mary. From there, she was off to France, where she won a Group 1 event in Deauville. Now, she’s back for Sir Wesley Ward. She’s back home, where it all started — on the green, green grass of Keeneland. The works are just modest enough, but the record restores hope in the way she runs. Has to be considered. Just has to be.
- Aunt Pearl (Lope de Vega — Matauri Pearl, by Hurricane Run): This is another Irish-bred runner and another undefeated filly. This one comes from the barn of Brad Cox, who has a sparkling record when it comes to teaching fillies how to win. This one certainly has a chance to be the next one in a long, long line of fillies to excel for this trainer. She broke the maiden at Churchill Downs by 5. She won the G2 Jessamine over this same turf at Keeneland by an easy 21/2 lengths. At no point, yet, has she faced another eye ball equal to hers. Has speed to burn. And, she may burn the rest of them from start to finish.
- Royal Approval (Tiznow — touch the Moon, by Malibu Moon): This is yet another pupil of Sir Wesley Ward, who we have knighted as the current “king” of the 2YO racing in NA. She is coming off back-to-back wins, including an impressive victory in the G3 Matron at Belmont Park in her last outing on Oct. 11. Will now have to stretch out to two turns for the first time. Barn wins with .17% of those doing it. But this is a tough place to try it for the first time.
- Madone (Vancouver — Indian Love Call, by Cherokee Run): Another undefeated challenger shows up here. Three starts, to date. Three wins. Has not faced Graded company, as of yet, but this deep, deep closer has managed to win both the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar and the Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita. Extra ground here should not be an issue. Dam of this one has two turf winners from 6 starters and 5 winners overall. Chance in this crowd.
- Spanish Loveaffair (Karakontie — Spanish Bunny, by Unusual Heat): After winning the first two outings, this one caught up with Aunt Pearl at Keeneland in the Jessamine. No match to match strides with that one, but no-one else has managed to do that either. Be interesting to see if she can carry her speed over this route of ground. May fall a bit short when the real racing begins late.
How We Play It:
While Plum Ali and Campanelle have startling credentials and no one change argue with their style and grace, I am going to ante up with Aunt Pearl. The win over the track is one factor. The way she handled the surface and the competition is another. She is classy and fast. Two nice ingredients when it comes to Thoroughbred racing. I bet Aunt Pearl across the board and then box the top 3 choices in one exacta. I will key Aunt Pearl over/under the “all button” in two smaller units.
Here’s our look at the race: 5-7/9-6-3-13/1-11-2/4-14-10
- Essential Quality (Tapit — Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality): This undefeated 2YO colt is regally bred and the beautiful gray sheen is benefitting a king. He is a homebred for the powerful Godolphin Stables, which has been attempting and trying for years to have a prime Kentucky Derby contender. The principals have tried buying one. They have attempted breeding one. They have searched high and low for that preverbal needle in the haystack. Yet, they have always found to be waiting and wanting on Derby Day. Now, they may have one to fill that bill and make that case. On Friday, the connections hope to take the next step in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. And, there is no reason at all to believe that this one want stamp his passport to the biggest and best stages yet to come. He has speed that he flashed when stretching out to two turns for the first time in the Breeders’ Futurity. Controlling type speed that allows him to set his home spot in the race; dictate his own terms. And, he can wait and be patient, too. In his debut, he broke near the back of the back and when he began to make his move, he had to idle back down and wait for an opening. When it came? He went. These types don’t come along often. Just ask Godolphin — which has probably spent more time and money trying to get to this spot. But when they do? You cherish and relish. This one is that kind.
- Jackie’s Warrior (Maclean’s Music — Unicorn Girl, by A.P. Five Hundred): This February foal is a bit more modestly bred, but his credentials glean just as bright. Has raced four times so far. Has won four times so far. And, none of the finishes have been close to being close. Stretched out to win the G1 Champagne last time out when traveling a mile for the first time. Now, he will be asked to carry his abundant speed just a tad farther. This one will throw down the gauntlet. And, the fractions. Can the others corral? We shall see.
- Sittin On Go (Brody’s Cause — Set’n On Ready, by More Than Ready): This guy is owned by the Albaugh Family, another racing powerhouse that has been searching for that elusive Kentucky Derby win about as long as the Godolphin group. And, this one is by the young stallion Brody’s Cause — who just so happened to be a Kentucky Derby starter and is still owned in part by the Albaugh family. No better way to find that circle of roses than with a horse you owned and raced in the big event itself. Sittin On Go is yet another undefeated challenger in this race. He is 2-for-2 coming in, with a MSW win at Ellis Park and a victory in the G3 Iroquois Stakes on KY Derby Day this year. He won just a few minutes after Essential Quality showed off his essentials. This may be the best true and best closer in the group. Has come from off the pace in each of the first two wins. And, the dam of this one was a Stakes-winner, too and has produced 3 winners from the first 3 foals. Watch for this one to be moving late. And, perhaps, great.
- Keepmeinmind (Laoban — Inclination, by Victory Gallop): This one is still eligible for the MSW category, having run a couple of seconds in the first two starts of the career. But don’t be alarmed by that fact. Remember Good Magic? He won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a maiden and went on to have a pretty good career for trainer Chad Brown. Keepmeinmind is another deep closer and may benefit if a rapid pace scenario materializes in the early stages. Ran behind Essential Quality in the Breeders’ Futurity. No match. But who is?
- Reinvestment Risk (Upstart — Ridingwiththedevil, by Candy Ride): From the barn of Chad Brown, and how do you dismiss any that depart the stall with this guy in tow? Won the debut race at Saratoga by nearly 8. Has since run twice behind Jackie’s Warrior. But this March foal may want to extra distance that the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will offer. Bears watching.
- Rombauer (Twirling Candy — Cashmere, by Cowboy Cal): This April foal ships in from California after running a game second in the G1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 26 for highly talented and highly under-appreciated trainer Michael McCarthy. (The guy can train.) Broke the maiden on the grass at Del Mar and then had all kinds of traffic issues in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf. But the late close in the first dirt race was impressive. Don’t dismiss here. Will be some odds.
How Do We Play It:
We are all in. We play Essential Quality to win/place and then key him over/under the “all button.” We will also key him over (only) the next five horses listed. We have seen this son of Tapit. And, we like him.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene