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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Notes - Oct 12

- Fabulous Strike is out of the Sprint. He was the 9-2 co-favorite with Midnight Lute in the futures line at Walter Hill, and Cristblog listed all of those lines the other day. With Smokey Stover listed as the 7-1 second choice, this defection may leave Baffert's horse as a decisive favorite. That 124 Beyer is going to look very imposing compared to the others he'll line up against.

By the way, Greg Gilchrist, Smokey Stover's trainer, is winning at a 40% rate this year, with 35 winners from 88 runners.

- Ballydoyle has apparently made a switcheroo in their plans for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

It is looking as if we will have two runners at the Breeders' Cup - Dylan Thomas in the Turf and Excellent Art in the Mile,' trainer Aidan O'Brien told the Racing Post.

'We haven't finalised plans just yet but they might be our only runners at the meeting.' [RTE Sport]
It had appeared that George Washington would be Aiden O'Brien's Mile runner when he skipped the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last month. Excellent Art ran instead and finished second to Ramonti, who will not be coming to Monmouth. George Washington will apparently opt for the UK's Champion Stakes instead. The European contingent figures to be relatively small this year. Last year's Turf winner Red Rocks is the only other major runner currently slated to appear, and he has not had much success this year with a Grade 3 win and two 4th place finishes behind Dylan Thomas. It's said that the Euros are not keen on the relatively sharp turns and short stretch at Monmouth; and several European horses may be considering the more expansive course (and subsidized expenses) at Woodbine for the Oct 21 Canadian International instead.

Dylan Thomas is listed as a solid 7-4 favorite for the Turf, and the Form's Alan Shuback tells why.
It may have been the slight give in the ground that impelled the Racing Post to give Dylan Thomas a 127 rating for his Arc triumph. That is 4 pounds less than his King George Racing Post Rating. By comparison, the leading American Breeders' Cup Turf candidate, English Channel, was awarded a mere 117 for his Joe Hirsch Turf Classic victory (Beyer Speed Figure of 106) and has never received a Racing Post Rating better than 122 (his best Beyer is 108). [DRF]
- Teuflesberg's surgery was termed successful. Dr. Bramlage told the Courier-Journal: "If you get past two weeks without any blood supply issues, then you're OK."


Anonymous said...

The whole issue of track configurations always confuses me. Is there really a difference between Monmouth and the other 1-mile ovals with less than 1000 feet from the final turn to the wire (like Lone Star and Santa Anita) that have served as Breeders’ Cup hosts? What do one-mile ovals like Churchill and Pimlico give up to get their longer stretch runs? And how much does degree of banking come into play?

This leads into the whole issue of what constitutes an appropriate host track. In my mind, with three dirt races at roughly a mile, the “World Championship” races shouldn’t be held at a track that cannot run such races around one turn out of a chute. Going around two turns, a horse that draws outside has too much to overcome with a short run into the first turn.

I wonder what it means to handle when the Euros don’t show up in large numbers?


Anonymous said...

Let's be honest Alan. The number of good horses that are either opting out of the Breers Cup this year or that have been injured lately is really, really, disappointing. Shakespere, George Washington, Fabulous Strike, Rags to Riches, Crossing the line to name just a few that come to mind.
One or two big withdrawals from the Classic this week and this thing becomes somewhat of a disaster in my opinion.

Alan Mann said...

Hadn't seen that about Shakespeare; that sucks. Yeah, there's a fair amount of defections, but you think anymore than any other year? I also agree with you about the Classic. For all the talk about the field being deep, if we lose any one of the top three it would really put a damper on the entire day.

Anonymous said...

I know it's part of the game,but the defections of Fabulous Strike and Shakespeare bring me down. I was looking forward to those on BC day.

The Classic division is a joke. I am still looking forward to the Distaff, unless we get some more bad news. Hope all stay healthy!