Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Collection Of Thoughts

- The races we have on tap this weekend are being billed as Breeders Cup prep races but really they will tell us very little about the contenders in question if all goes to plan. Any Given Saturday is not facing anyone of note in the Brooklyn. This supposed test against older horses is turning into a match race with CP West. Octave faces the decent Moon Catcher in the Cotillion but I think anything other than a win will see her deserted on BC day. Grasshopper won't even be in the BC without a win in the Super Derby. He is facing some very poor horses and if his forms holds at all he should win by open lengths. If all these horses win we actually learn nothing new about them. They will not be any more solid as contenders for the BC on Monday than they are today. But of course the future bet prices will get slashed.

- I hate to be a party pooper but the attrition we've seen this week is likely a sign of things to come rather than an outlying bad week. Rags To Riches, Manduro, Jambalaya and Price Tag were all declared out of the Breeders Cup this week and there will likely be another few high profile names to follow. That is simply the way racing is. While it's fun to speculate how Lawyer Ron and the big 4 3yo's will matchup in the Classic it's more realistic to assume that at least one of them won't make it to the showdown.

- I'm no expert on the composition of track surfaces but it has always been my impression that Monmouth is the closest thing the East has to the old California dirt tracks. Who knows how it will play in cold weather but it may be worth finding those horses who loved the old dirt tracks but have fallen on hard times, synthetically speaking.

- I wonder if the Europeans are a little wary of Monmouth and its tight turns. As of now very few have even mentioned the Breeders Cup as a target. One would assume that Ballydoyle and Godolphin will send raiding parties but as of now there have been no indications as to who we should expect. The only thing we do know is that Red Rocks (Turf), Passage Of Time (FM Turf), Tariq (Mile) and Benbaun (Sprint) are considering a tilt at the championships.

- I sure hope the Breeders Cup and Canadian television have come to an understanding regarding the airing of this event. ESPN is off limits in Canada and no station picked up the broadcast except the obscure TSN HDTV channel. I'm sure about 5 people watched. I'm not looking forward to squinting at a small screen from a webcast.

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