Tag Archives: Santa Anita

Breeders Cup Turf (G1)

Found

Found on her way out to contest the Irish Champions Stakes

Found is one of those rare things in flat racing, a mare the public have fallen in love with. It’s what she gives that his created this, her all.  She’s been second eleven times in her life but each time she tried her heart out. Her last three run’s have been the best of her life. At Leopardstown over 10f, short of her best trip she was the only one who could give Almanzor a run for his money. In the Arc over 12f her best distance, none could live with her and again at Ascot in the Champion Stakes she only went down to Almanzor’s wonderful turn of foot. No wonder the public love her so much. She’s here to defend her crown against another quality field.

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Her stablemate Highland Reel presents the biggest threat. He comes here a little fresher. He was given a break since the Arc where he chased home Found and did not return to Ascot for Champions Day, the scene of his greatest triumph when he took the King George there in the summer.

They both will love the trip and ground and will produce an epic battle coming down the stretch. It will be one of head and heart with the heart to come out on top.

Recommendation : Found 3/1 win

                                         Found and Highland Reel RFC 

 

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Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf (G1)

Lancaster Bomber on his way out to win his maiden at Leopardstown in August

Lancaster Bomber on his way out to win his maiden at Leopardstown in August

This is the tenth running of the Juvenile Turf and Aidan O’Brien will attempt to win it for the fourth time with Lancaster Bomber and Intelligence Cross representing Ballydoyle. Ryan Moore has chosen the latter leaving Seamie Heffernan to get the leg up on Lancaster Bomber.

Intelligence Cross is the higher profile of the two and will line up to face the starter for the seventh time. All his runs to date have been over 6 f and he’s troubled the judge twice so far winning a maiden at the Curragh and returning thereafter to take the G3 Round Tower Stakes. In between he was stepped into G2 company where he ran second in the July Stakes at Newmarket to Mehmas and then third to the same colt in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. The fact that he ran in those two tells you he was held in high regard at home. He returned to Newmarket for his last run where he was again stepped up in class for the G1 Middle Park Stakes. He ran well to be fourth getting closer to Mehmas beaten a 1/2 L, with The Last Loin winning from Godolphin’s Blue Point in second.

Blue Point then contested Europe’s most important juvenile race the Dewhurst at Newmarket over 7 f. He ran third behind Churchill and the 66/1 shot, Lancaster Bomber. Going off at that price the expectation was Lancaster Bomber was there to set the fractions for his illustrious stablemate. He had been asked to play the same role in the Futurity for Churchill at the Curragh in August but wasn’t able to do so. He hung that day never acting on the yielding to soft ground falling away to finish last of four.

In the Dewhurst the price suggested a repeat the dose tactic for Lancaster Bomber, he was there to do a job for his illustrious stablemate Churchill. The expectation was he’d wind it up before folding in the final two furlongs. Once he hit the rising ground coming out of Newmarket’s famous dip he didn’t fold, he rallied and battled all the way to line only to give way to Churchill’s turn of foot.

It was the ground and step up in trip that was the key and it’s a crucial piece of form as it puts him ahead of his stablemate through the Mehmas line of form.

The further step up in trip here to a mile will certainly suit Lancaster Bomber. He has a high cruising speed and will have time to hit top gear. He’ll act on the fast surface as he did in his maiden win at Leopardstown and also in the Dewhurst. He’ll relish the chance to blow them away.

No harm doing the forecast either as Aidan O’Brien has made a bit of a habit of getting that up lately in G1 company.

 

Recommendation: Lancaster Bomber 8/1 win

                                        Lancaster Bomber and Intelligence Cross RFC

 

Santa Anita Handicap (G1)

Once the most prestigious race on the West coast memories of old will be somewhat revived at Santa Anita with todays running of the Big Cap. It’s attracted three of America’s big guns for a mouth-watering clash. It’s goes off at 11.59 GMT but it’s got a high noon feel.

A nose separated Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge here in the Breeders Cup Classic in November. The favourite that day Game On Dude, the defending champion and twice a winner of this, never got into the mix that day but in the Clark Handicap at the end of November he did when he went down a head to Will Take Charge at Churchill Downs.

Now they all meet again.

Kathy Ritvo gave Mucho Macho Man a tune up in January when at Gulfstream Park he won by 14 L. There was never a question of him fluffing his lines and that run will have tightened him up nicely for this.

D Wayne Lucas gave Will Take Charge a run at Gulfstream Park also but surprisingly he didn’t win when going down a 1 1/2 L to Lea. It wasn’t a bad run but he was always being held. Maybe the excretions of the Breeders Cup and the Clark runs just caught up.

Bob Baffert gave Game On Dude his traditional prep for this in the San Antonio Stakes. Already a winner twice of it he went off a long odds on favourite. He broke well but ended up in an early battle with Blueskiesnrainbows in the first half of the race and by the time he reached the turn the energy sap left him a spent force and he trailed in 6 L behind. The beneficary was Blingo who came with a sweet turn of foot to pick off the tiring horses coming back to him and get the better of Imperative by 1/2 L with American Blend 4 1/4 L back in third.

The current form would give Mucho Macho Man the edge not having blotted his copybook as the other two have but the San Antonio was run in a quick time and it would be foolish to ignore the claims of the winner. Blingo recorded his first pattern win at Grade 2 level and he might just step up on that here.

Recommendation : Blingo 16/1 ew

The Breeders Cup (Grade 1) Day 2

The Fugue on Irish Champions Stakes Day

The Fugue on Irish Champions Stakes Day. Photo Pattern Racing.com

A bumper day of Grade 1 action with 9 top level races in Santa Anita on day 2 of the Breeders Cup 2013.

European horses struck gold in 3 out of the 5 on day 1 and come into the day 2 with some real big guns. Again there’s not a lot of depth to the challenge with only 7 European runners.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Dank will go off favourite in the Fillies and Mares Turf over 10f with with Romantica from the Andre Fabre team priced up second favourite. The Stoute filly has already won in America when last time out she took the Beverely D Stakes on Arlington Million day. The Fabre filly won the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August before running 12 L behind Treve in the Arc. Opposing are the ex Irish trained Laughing and the ex French trained  AlteriteLaughing certainly benefited from the move to the States having won her last 4 including 2 G1’s The Diana Stakes and last time out the Flower Bowl Invitational where she beat Tannery who then franked that form taking the G1 EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.

In the Turf over 12 f The Fugue has very strong claims proving herself top drawer this summer taking the Yorkshire Oaks against her own sex and then following up in the Irish Champion Stakes beating the colts Al Kazeem and Trading Leather. She’s joined by the Irish Guineas winner Magician who rattled home on firm at the Curragh. Last years first and second are back Little Mike and Point Of Entry. The former looked to have lost his way a little but bounced back to form in the Joe Hirch Invitation while the latter has only run twice since. Both were winning Grade 1 performances. In February he beat Animal Kingdom in the Gulfstream Park Handicap and in June he won the Woodford Reserve at Belmont. This has been his target all year.

In the mile Aidan O’Brien runs Cristoforo Colombo who would look to be up against it and Richard Hannon runs Olympic Glory who must have an outstanding chance if he can handle the ground. He put in a great performance when just touched off by Moonlight Cloud in the Jacques Le Marois and capped that on champions day winning the Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes on soft ground. Wise Dan is probably the most consistent turf horse in training at the moment. Since winning this last year he’s added 5 G1’s since but was surprisingly beaten by Silver Max in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keenland at the beginning of October.

The most consistent dirt horse is Game On Dude who will go off favourite in the Classic the finale event. He held the same status this time last year when beaten by Fort Larned but has run and won six times since with the highlight being the Big Cap here at Santa Anita when he simply looked awesome. Two European challengers come into the field with Ballydoyle sending Declaration Of War and Marco Botti sending PlanteurThe Coolmore bound Declaration Of War has not been seen since winning the International at York in August. This will be his last run and it was revealed he went to work on Southwell’s fibre sand to get some experience of the kickback he’ll have to cope with here. He worked with two G1 winners sitting in behind before readily pulling clear. The manner of the workout was enough to convince Aidan O’Brien that this was his best chance of capturing the classic since Giant’s Causeway who was so narrowly touched off by Tisnow in 2000. If he can handle the dirt he has the class to beat Game On Dude.

Recommendations :

Fillies and Mares Turf Laughing PMU Price win and place

Breeders Cup Turf : Point Of Entry 5/1 Win

Breeders Cup Mile : Wise Dan 1/1 Win

Breeders Cup Classic : Declaration OF War PMU Price win and place