- The picture for the Filly and Mare Turf on Breeders Cup day got shook up a bit over the weekend with the Flower Bowl at Belmont, in which Melhor Ainda disappointed and Riskaverse re-emerged as a contender with a game victory over rival Wonder Again. For the winner, it was her first win since taking the Flower Bowl a year ago, and trainer Pat Kelly said that he’s been playing catch up all summer.
She trained really well since the race at Saratoga. She hurt her ankle in the New York Handicap (G2). We had to back off her and start all over again. Usually, she has five or six races under her belt now, and she gets better in the fall. [Thoroughbred Times]Riskaverse and Wonder Again will likely hook up again in the Filly and Mare Turf. As for Melhor Ainda, it was her third straight loss, but first bad race, and John Velasquez said "She didn't break again…..I should have just dropped her in.” [Bloodhorse] Well, yeah! She was four wide on the first turn and never recovered. For all of Velasquez’ considerable skill, I find that at times he seems to pull the bonehead play.
The result establishes Megahertz as the clear favorite, at least amongst the U.S. contenders. What can you say about her win in the Yellow Ribbon? It’s always something when you see a horse go from last at the top of the stretch to first under the wire, but she just makes it seem routine. In fact, I would question Alex Solis’ decision to thread his way between horses instead of just circling the field; for a brief instant, it looked like she could encounter traffic. But Solis said he wasn't concerned about getting through the hole because he knew he had plenty of horse. [Bloodhorse]
The race lost one of its European contenders when Shawanda suffered a pelvic injury when she weakened to finish sixth in the Arc de Triomphe; her racing manager said that that would “probably be it for the season." [Sporting Life]
Defending champion Ouija Board is on track to defend her title after returning from injury to win at Newmarket on Sept 24. It was her only action of the year other than a distant 7th in June when she got hurt, and she’ll have to be quite sharp in order to hold off Megahertz, that’s for sure.