Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Breeders Cup Thoughts - Negative Reprise

Yesterday I took a look at horses who I felt were well suited to winning Breeders Cup races this year. In this post I will attempt to identify some horses that I would oppose at this early stage. Many things will change before now and the big day and none of the horses on my list are "bad" horses, on the contrary they are all good horses. They are merely good horses who I think will not have success on BC day either because of their likely preparation or overall suitability.

Dirt Mile
Lawyer Ron - I don't know why I feel compelled to oppose this horse. Maybe it's because I think he is truly at his best going 9f. The Mile will be competed around two turns which is to his advantage. I just think he is vulnerable from too many angles.
Corinthian - He's a heart breaker this one. He looks like he could take on the world one day and the next you wouldn't back him to outpace Jack Black over a flat mile. He's untrustworthy and given the Jerkens family record at the Breeders Cup he's a terrible gamble. Equally so if he turns up for the classic.

Filly & Mare Sprint
Pussycat Doll - Baffert has already said how 6f is too short for her but given her current form I'd also be doubting whether or not she'll even make it to the big day

Remarkable News - I know this horse made a fool of me by waltzing away with the Firecracker after I pontificated how he was unsuited to the Mile. But I still believe the assertion is true. He is a better horse beyond a mile, I don't think he'll have the pace all his own way in the Breeders Cup like he did at Churchill. Against top class milers I think he'll be found wanting.

Fabulous Strike - He has fantastic speed but he seems to need things his own way on the front end and the higher up in class you venture the less likely that becomes.
Silver Wagon - He is not a great 6f horse, he has enjoyed a Renaissance this year but even Aldebaran could not overcome the distance factor. Silver Wagon is really not that good at 6f but he may be entered in the Breeders Cup anyway just because he is a good sprinter.
Commentator - This horse is just entirely without guts, he'll look like a pop star if his competition sets out the silver tray with sanitizing lotion and moist towelettes. But the instant it gets down and dirty he folds.

Filly & Mare Turf
Citronnade - This is a pretty scary horse to go against given the fact that no one has gotten near her this year. She may even make it to the Breeders Cup unbeaten for the campaign but she will be vulnerable on BC day. She has not yet been beyond 9f and the BC is 11f. Also if she continues to have success there is no way the competition will leave her alone in the early going. One of the reasons she is also undefeated thus far is because Bobby Frankel is a master campaigning trainer, he knows when his horse is ready and he places them in excellent spots. If something looks slightly amiss he scratches. He is not as effective when he has to point for a specific date. That is why his Triple Crown and Breeders Cup[records are not as good as his normal numbers.

Balance - I don't really trust Balance, she is a genuine two turn horse but I think overall she just is not fast enough. She's solid and perhaps could hit the frame but it is really tough to see her winning.
Take D'Tour - If this race was at Belmont around one turn she would have a great chance but Take D'Tour is simply not as good going around two turns. There will likely be ample pressure on her in the shape of Todd's army and its really difficult to envision her wiring the field despite her class and talent.

English Channel - Monmouth seems to be his favorite track and in all likelihood he will enter the BC off of some good form so the price should be pretty low but I am just not convinced that he can go 12f in good company. Europeans have dominated the race and that should continue.
On The Acorn - This is just a class play. Although he has had a great first half of the year, dominating Santa Anita in the spring is usually not the recipe for success in the fall.

Master Command - Anyone who saw the Stephen Foster will skim over the commentary. Master Command has no problem looking like the Commander In Chief when the fields are short and of low quality but I don't think he will ever win a tough contest like the Breeders Cup Classic.
Hard Spun - This is a very good horse but unfortunately for him I don't think he is going to beat Street Sense or Curlin let alone both of them. He may end up being a bit of a bridesmaid over the summer and fall. Speed is always dangerous but I think the other two are simply better when it counts.
Lava Man - His travelling issues are well documented but still when he shows up to the Breeders Cup we will all take a hard look at his race record again and convince ourselves that maybe he has a shot this time. Sentiment will take over and he'll be less than 5/1. In my opinion he'll have less of a chance this year than he did last year. He'll have had a long hard season and a lot of older horses tail off at the end of the year. Plus his travelling issues make him a bad bet outside of California.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great post// very descriptive and colorful // fun to read // i agree with all, save Commentator and Corinthian somewhat // no special reason other than i think they are pretty talented and are at the top of their game despite any minor setbacks // i am at a disadvantage because i haven't taken the time to follow the Europeans, but i think if he can hold his form, having already won at Monmouth, i think English Channel will make some noise this year / he was a closing third last year with Icy Atlantic as the rabbit // i think he is even beter this year // again, an enjoyable and informative post // thanks // chicago gerry