- Wait A While was the star of the preps today, and, in my opinion, is the one horse we saw today who looked like a serious Breeders Cup contender. [NOTE: This post was written before the Oak Leaf.] She's four for four on the grass with two Grade 1 wins and a combined winning margin of almost 20 lengths. It was last September that she won her turf debut in a maiden special at Belmont in her second start. After the race, I posted:
Wait A While (Maria’s Mon) was 2-1 when finishing a well-beaten 5th in her debut at Saratoga, but was sent off at 6-1 in this, her turf debut. She was steadied in traffic, hit the rail and dropped back suddenly, but circled the field 4 wide on the turn, and won going away by 5, wow.But who that day would have thought we were looking at a contender for the Filly and Mare turf? Maybe not even Todd Pletcher, who ran her on the dirt her next six races (two of those off the turf stakes races, and three of them wins, all on off tracks). But despite that, no one was fooled when she returned to the grass and was bet to 5-2 in the Grade 1 American Oaks.
As she's done since returning to grass, she made it look easy in the Yellow Ribbon in her first race against elders, and won as if there's plenty left in the tank for Churchill. She has tactical speed and a big closing kick; she got the final quarter today in 23.09.
Ashkal Way was also very impressive in winning for the fifth time in six U.S. starts, though not in a way that suggests he can run with the best turf milers in the world. But he's as consistent as can be, and has a big heart, once again showing his toughness in lasting over a stubborn, and, at 11-1, overlaid Free Thinking. I mentioned the latter in my preview, and for once, I listened to myself and nailed the $142 triple. The bettors made Frankel's Art Master - the hype horse - the 8-5 favorite; nice win price on the winner at 2.10-to-1.
And I would agree with Randy Moss' assessment on ESPN that The Tin Man did not finish in a way that would suggest that he'd last at a mile and a half against the European horses that will be here for the Turf.
- Past performances for the Arc (in pdf) available from the Racing Form here.
I'll be up for the early racing, but I must admit that I will be on my way to the Jets-Colts game by the time they're in the gate for Arc. So I won't be watching the race until I get home. If you see me at the game, don't tell me who won.