- Carriage Trail (Giant's Causeway) is typical of Shug in the way that she's progressed at her own slow and steady pace, coming into her own as a Grade 1 winner at the age of five. She only raced six times from two to four; but now has three wins in eight starts in 2008.
Carriage Trail earned a career high Beyer of 105, coming after her 103 running second to Wait A While in the Ballston Spa. She really seems primed for a top effort in the Breeders'Cup F&M Pro-Ride Classic, and we've seen Shug do that before. As with Pleasant Home, who was far less accomplished. And if you recall, she beat a big favorite too that day in Ashado...
So, yeah, just maybe I am suggesting that Zenyatta could be beaten by a blossoming mare such as this, ok? I know, she's unbeaten and awesome, and I've watched in amazement along with you as she's mowed down her opponents with majestic ease every single time she's raced. However, having, perhaps, just a little fun being contrary, for one thing, consider that speed figure-wise, she's not insurmountably fast. She's earned lifetime best 108's in each of her last two starts, certainly within the range of Carriage Trail should that one move further forward as one might anticipate.
And the other thing is, who has Zenyatta beaten? The now retired Tough Tiz's Sis, who never triple digit Beyered until she totally freaked out in the slop at Belmont? You might say Hystericalady and Ginger Punch, and I would still say, oh yeah, so who has she beaten? I thought the Distaff division was weak last year, and the continued lack of depth is indicated I believe by the fact that, according to Jay Privman in the Form, the Breeders' Cup F&M Pro-Ride Classic (it's catchy, don't you think?) figures to be the smallest of the 14 Breeders' Cup races held Oct. 24-25.
Although pre-entries are not submitted until next Tuesday, and final entries are not due until Oct. 21, a field of fewer than 10 seems certain.That should work to Zenyatta's advantage given her running style (assuming there's enough pace), with less chance of getting blocked by jockeys not respecting each other (loved that line). Still, there's always pace and racing luck involved, and you never know how good an improving horse can be. So I'm just putting the thought out there.
I do think Zenyatta is in the right spot though; y'know, the BC F&M race. The one on the main track. I had once (or twice) suggested myself that she should try the males, and Pricci appealed to Jerry Moss in an open letter . But the more I look at it (and track surface issues aside), I think that Curlin, even slightly diminished as I believe he is, would clean the filly's clock.