Thursday, August 13, 2009

Breeders' Cup Top 10 - Ladies Classic

Ladies Classic Top 10 - Aug 13

1. Zenyatta (1)
2. Acoma (2)
3. Cocoa Beach (4)
4. Seventh Street (6)
5. Music Note (5)
6. Life Is Sweet (7)
7. Ghanaati (8)
8. Again (9)
9. Milwaukee Appeal (10)
10. Miss Isella (new)

Dropped: Rachel Alexandra (3)

This is a tough group to get the order right. Coming up with the 10 most likely winners is not all that hard but the indecision over participation is what's killing me. The obvious and primary difficulty is what to do with Rachel Alexandra. She is the best horse and I think she wins by a street if she runs but we have her owner swearing on the Good Book that she won't go to California.

For me it comes down to whether or not I believe Jess Jackson. I've decided that I do believe he's a stubborn idiot that will pass this race despite Rachel's prior form on synthetics. I think racing will be the poorer for it but that will be the way it is. So Rachel is off my list entirely despite being one of the best fillies of all time.

I wavered quite a bit over who to add on at the bottom of the list. I'm quite partial to Mandella's filly Patricia's Gem but she scratched out of a recent chance to meet Zenyatta so I get the feeling that the main track is only a consideration if Zenyatta isn't around. She could still attempt this race if Zenyatta goes to the Classic but I settled on Miss Isella instead. I've gone against Miss Isella in every single stakes start she's made but that hasn't been a terribly good idea since she's shown really top class form this year. She's even run well away from Churchill which was something I was skeptical about. I think she's just an overall solid filly that is going to give you something to cheer about each time she runs.

Zenyatta nearly lost her place atop this list with that latest effort. I know she closed quickly and the scare was more likely to do with rider error but those were pretty terrible horses she was running down and a repeat of that kind of effort against this kind of horse will surely see her lose. She's still the queen but that race showed some vulnerability that she's never quite displayed before. Bad horses have gotten away with slower paces before with Zenyatta but she always had no trouble getting them.

Good news for this division is that Cocoa Beach is back in form after one of the worst performances I've ever seen from a 1/5 shot. She never ran a step at Belmont but at Saratoga on the grass she looked good again. Visually it was a bit worrying that she had so much trouble dispatching a G-3 type horse but the Beyer figure came back solid and I'm convinced that it was a decent effort and it puts her back on the right track. Cocoa Beach will be a very tough horse to beat for the rest of this year.

I'm not that impressed with Seventh Street, I still think she's not quite as good as her stablemates going two turns but Music Note is taking a while getting back into things and it looks like she is coming back in a sprint race so connections are even a bit leery of her right now. You have to think that a horse with Music Note's record would be looking at two turn races. But she is headed to the Ballerina while Seventh Street, a very capable sprinter, is going to the Personal Ensign at 10f. It just made me wonder how much they really trust Music Note right now so I flip flopped her with her stablemate in the standings. At their best I still feel that Music Note is the better horse.

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