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Monday, October 02, 2006

Short, Slow Field For Gold Cup?

- As was originally reported on ESPN's stakes coverage on Saturday, Invasor is out of the Jockey Club Gold Cup with a fever. Now, in addition to Dylan Thomas, we're looking at Awesome Twist, Andromeda's Hero, and maybe Sun King. Man, could there possibly be three bigger plodders than those three?? And Dylan Thomas comes from off the pace as well, so if this is the field, Bernardini is going to be out there by himself, at least in the early and middle stages. May not be much of a test for the Preakness/Travers winner, unless Dylan Thomas takes to the Belmont dirt in his first try on the surface. If he doesn't, we may still not know as they load into the gate for the Classic how Bernardini will react if he's challenged in the stretch by a quality older horse like Lava Man or David Junior. It's something to consider, and I would think that Bernardini's connections may very well be disappointed by Invasor's illness. The Whitney champ could have given Bernardini at least a bit of a challenge and given him some experience in that regard, even if I didn't think he could beat him.

[EDIT: The Form is reporting today that Spanish Chestnut will be entered as a rabbit for Dylan Thomas. Oh boy...]

- If Bernardini does get beat in the Classic, and say, just for fun, that Wait A While crushes a Filly and Mare Turf field that includes the likes of Ouija Board and Alexandrova, is there a scenario in which Pletcher's filly could win Horse of the Year?


Anonymous said...

I don't think Bernardini's connections are looking for a challenge, so much as they would like to see him come from off the pace again. We all know he can do it, as he looked fantastic swooping to his Preakness win. But i know if it were me, i would rather Bernardini weren't heading into the Classic off 3 straight front-running perfpormances (particularly 3 easy ones). That won't be good when Lava Man lines up against him. I'm very glad to see that Spanish Chestnut will be entered, and i predict he will have zero effect (for Dylan Thomas' purposes, anyway). Bernardini will simply lay behind Spanish Chestnut, and assume command whenever he feels like it. The only problem i can envision is that perhaps Bernardini (fresh off his front-running wins) might get a little keen/rank if he sees Spanish Chestnut running away from him up front. Far better the Jockey Club than the Classic, if that's going to happen. In any case, i think having a target this time will do him a world of good.

Alan Mann said...

Agreed about Spanish Chestnut. Bernardini should not be hindered by having a target in fromt of him like that. But given the way the field was shaping up, I can't blame them for wanting to have some kind of speed in there.