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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pre-Entries

- The Form has the pre-entries up, with the excluded horses, in order of preference, for the races that were oversubscribed. Nothing there that is going to raise any hackles as far as I can see. Nor are there any real surprises either, except perhaps for Nobiz Like Shobiz having been pre-entered for the Mile despite Tagg's comments that he would aim for the Hollywood Derby instead. The major Euro entries that I picked up on from the UK press for my last Breeders' Cup post are indeed entered - Passage of Time and Simply Perfect in the F&M Turf, and George Washington in the Classic - so I'm relieved that I didn't end up looking stupid there.

Let's take a look at the horses who won "Win and You're In" races:

Lawyer Ron - Entered in Classic
Ginger Punch - Supplemented for the Distaff
Diabolical - Exported, skipping Sprint
My Typhoon - Qualified for the F&M Turf, but entered in the Mile
Jambalaya - Injured, Out of Turf
Shamdinan - Entered in Turf
Royal Highness - Injured, Out of F&M Turf
Student Council - Passing the Classic
Greg's Gold - Entered in Sprint
Crossing the Line - Passing the Mile
Curlin - Entered in Classic
Unbridled Belle - Entered in Distaff
English Channel - Entered in Turf
Fabulous Strike - Injured, out of Sprint
Tiago - Entered in Classic
Vacare - Passing the F&M Turf
Purim - Entered in Mile
Wicked Style - Entered in Juvenile
Off Duty - Passing the Sprint
War Pass - Entered in Juvenile
Out of Control - Passing the Mile
Tough Tiz's Sis - Supplemented to Distaff
Idiot Proof - Entered in Sprint
Panty Raid - Entered in Distaff (1) and F&M Turf (2)
Since the Classic only has nine entrants, and the Turf 12, the automatic qualifying aspect of the Challenge races had no effect on those fields. I'd say that the only horse that arguably actually won his way into the Breeders' Cup was Purim. The Mile has 18 pre-entries, and given his prior form this year, it's entirely possible that Host could have been selected over him by the committee had he not won (in which case, he likely wouldn't have been entered anyway). With the Sprint oversubscribed, Off Duty certainly would have bumped a horse that would have been considered more deserving had he been supplemented. None of the qualifiers for the F&M Turf are actually running in the race; had all three entered, then two that are in the field would have been bumped (though all three of them may have made the cut based on points or their form anyway).

The concept was obviously hurt by injuries and by non-nominated winners who declined to pay the hefty fees in order to get in. If they go to more automatic spots next year, there could be more of the controversy that they were hoping to generate today (though it will certainly raise more questions as to the worthiness of the new races themselves). It's a work in progress to be sure, but I still think they're on a right track.

- Jay Cronley lists his 31 reasons to love the Breeders' Cup, including:
Full cards featuring $5,000 claimers available at numerous tracks afterward for getting back to close to even, or to even itself. [ESPN.com]

3 Comments:

Jessica said...

What about Idiot Proof? I think he also needed the Challenge win to get in, what with only the G3 Jersey Shore to his credit ..

alan said...

Hey Jess. I didn't mention Idiot Proof because there was only 1 extra for the Sprint, and it was Forefathers, who hasn't won a race all year.

However, if Fabulous Strike and Diabolical had gone, then yes, Idiot Proof may have won his way in.

Jessica said...

Ah, of course! Obviously, I haven't spent any quality time with the pre-entry pps yet. Good thing I have nine days to study.