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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Breeders Cup Notes - Oct 26

- Post positions are being drawn as I write this, as I’ll post links in the sidebar as soon as they are in. With full fields expected for most of the races, the post positions could cause some significant changes in the way we’re looking at these races.

Two more scratches this morning. The defection of Pomeroy from the Sprint is a big blow to those who were hoping he would run back to his race at Saratoga and thereby pressure Lost in the Fog; one less potential obstacle the favorite will have to deal with. And the scratch of Keeneland Kat from the Juvenile Fillies sends me back to the drawing board to find another upset candidate.

- Here’s what they think about us: Check this out, from the UK’s Telegraph:

"The environment is completely different for the whole week," [Alkaased/Starcraft trainer Luca] Cumani explained. "The track on which you are training and racing is different in shape and size, there are horses buzzing around everywhere in the mornings, and it has a different surface, and there is a different style of racing," he pointed out.

He is too much of an internationalist to also hammer home the biggest difference of all - the Europeans are competing against horses who have been trained and raced all season on drugs, of various dosages and descriptions, depending on where the horses are based. With all these factors conspiring against the visitors, it is a miracle they have ever managed to win a single race.
Well, that’s pretty harsh, but as you can see from this page on the website of the UK’s The Jockey Club, the drug rules there are far more restrictive. In fact, looking at that list, I'm not sure that even carrots would be permitted!
With the exception of racing in the USA, where many states permit the use of substances such as bute (painkiller) and lasix (stops internal bleeding), all recognised racing countries aim to run their sport completely drug free. In recent years several European racing authorities - primarily Britain, France & Ireland - have sought to harmonise their drug testing procedures so that whichever country a horse runs in, its dope testing sample receives exactly the same treatment.
That's all very commendable, but let’s not make it seem like nobody ever tries to cheat there, ok?

- Though track superintendent Jerry Porcelli told the NY Post that the turf would be "good to yielding” come Saturday, not everyone seems to agree.
Trainer Graham Motion, who won the $2 million Turf last year with Better Talk Now on a yielding course at Lone Star Park, is not persuaded. "After all the rain they've had, I think it's going to be heavy," he said.

The designation "heavy" is the wettest of all. Courses usually go from firm, to good, to yielding, to soft, to heavy.

Jimmy Toner, a master of the grass art, is also dubious. "I just can't see it drying out," he said. "There was a lot of give in it Monday, and Monday night we got another inch of rain." [NY Post]
Keep an eye on Camani and what he does with Alkaased, because he’s insistent on not running him if the turf is too heavy, so that could provide a clue one way or another. [BBC is reporting that Alkaased is out due to a bad blood count. Well, it was a good thought, anyway.] As for the possible favorite Azamour, one only need to look at his past performances to see that he doesn’t like it soft. The other Europeans Bago and Shirocco would seem to be OK; I read somewhere, having lost the link somewhere in the overwhelming amount of information today, that the latter has been scratched in the past when the turf was too hard. And despite his fine workout the other day, Bill Mott, citing the tendency of offspring of Theatrical to prefer firm going, still sounds uncertain about Shakespeare’s prospects.

- Check out this article from Brisnet.com before you decide to commit too much time and money in the Pick 6. It seems you don’t have to invest that much of either to land a big score on Saturday.
In 21 years of Breeders' Cup action, 142 exactas and 84 trifectas have been offered. The average $2 exacta has returned $224. The average $1 trifecta payoff has been just over $1,420, with more than half resulting in taxable trifectas..
In fact, you can earn a nice dinner out that night just by picking the right winner.
From the 153 Breeders’ Cup races to date, how many times do you think a longshot at odds of 20-1 or higher has placed first or second? Would you believe 47 times! That’s a lot of longshots in the top two. In fact, it has happened in 30 percent of all the Breeders' Cup races.
One more fascinating tidbit in this article I wanted to highlight:
Which Breeders' Cup race offered the first trifecta wager? Not the first Cup race in 1984. Amazingly, the 1990 Classic (G1) was the first race to offer this popular wager. The first six years of the Breeders' Cup did not have a trifecta bet on the wagering menu. As strange as it sounds, it was not until 1994 that a trifecta was offered on every race.

The Breeders' Cup was a little more progressive with the exacta, offering it on the full card beginning in 1988. However, several Cup races prior to that only allowed straight wagering (win, place and show).
That seems absolutely unimagniable, doesn't it? As much so as not having any replays until after a race was official and actually having to sweat out the photo by just staring at the board and waiting for them to post the numbers.

1 Comment:

Walter said...

...just saw the post positions...the first thing taht jumped out at me was my choice for the Classic, Rock Hard Ten, having drawn the 1-hole..."OH SHIT!" i thought...but after a few moments of thought, it occured to me that there's very little speed to his outside...in fact, there's not too much speed in the race in general...it shouldn't be too hard for RHT to secure a good position, me thinks...knock on wood...

...the other thing that caught my attention was Shirocco, 20/1 on the morning line...WOW...quick note about Shirocco, i was looking thru the barn notes yesterday (links available on Bloodhorse and the Sporting Life microsite), and when i came to Shirocco, there was a quote from trainer John Gosden (an impartial observer who saddles Leo in the Juvenile and Karen's Caper in the F&M Turf)...he said as Shirocco walked into the quaratine barn, "There's the Turf winner. He loves soft ground."...i sure hope he's right...