Well, it must be Breeders' Cup time because Joe Drape and the NY Times rolled out their ritual front-page-of-the-sports section column on the dark side of the sport.
You cannot hold a Breeders’ Cup, a series of championship races for the world’s best horses, without the issue of medications and illegal drugs coming up. [NY Times]Well, actually, you can.
OK, I'm not going to do a formal handicapping post. I've been thinking out loud here over the last couple of weeks, and you know which horses I'm interested in....if you could possibly care. What do you need me for when you have experts like Drape? Besides, I want to keep my options open in the relative handful of races I'm interested in betting, at least as of now. There are a few races, like the Turf Sprint, that I honestly have barely even glanced at...and I'm looking forward to handicapping them during the day just like I would a 25K claimer at the Big A.
I don't really care for the order of the races on Saturday....and not because the Dirt Mile is the 9th, third to last on the day. Sure, it breaks up the continuity of the whole World Championship thing.....kinda like Good Charlotte playing between Sonic Youth and Guided By Voices (something to look forward to on the day after BC Saturday). But it is an awesome betting race. Would be a great way to start a Pick Three, or continue a Pick Four starting with the Mile leading up to the Classic, and Zenyatta, who, as jp has pointed out, figures to present better value in the multi-race wagers than she will in the win pool. Problem is that the Turf kinda sucks as a betting race, and figures to suck, period, should Workforce scratch, as appears likely to be the case.
Honestly, I don't really care much about the race either way; the Arc winner and some other Euro who's second choice against a field of highly mediocre American horses, yawn. Yeah, I'm sure you can tell I haven't paid much attention to racing overseas of late. There's plenty enough - some would argue far too much - of the sport over here. to keep us all busy.
A reader mentioned Haynesfield, and, as I've said, I do believe that he's developed into a serious racehorse. Mike Welsch has been ga-ga about this one, and wrote that he's a major upset threat if allowed to relax on the lead once again in his present form. Problem is that I don't believe that he will be able to relax on the lead in this field; I think it shapes up tough tactically. I really do like Blame to complete the exacta, and to take it all if Zenyatta falters for any reason at all.
As suebroux pointed out, Welsch hated the last workout by Switch, who, he says, "really fell apart during the latter stages after a quick beginning, drifting out coming to the wire and shutting down completely during her gallop-out." Oh. Sadler said the workout was fine, noting that the track was a little heavy, and that she actually worked six furlongs (in 1:13 1/5), not the five she was credited with. I like to say that I pay attention to workout reports when they reinforce my opinion, and consider them to be "too much information" when they don't. In this case, it will depend upon the odds. In any event, plenty of horses to like at fair odds if you're committed to beating Rightly So, as I am.
Posters on this TVG Community board noted that Steve Crist picked the filly despite his paper's clocker's opinion....and I don't know which makes me more wary of her. (Not because I think Crist is a fool, just because I tend to go off longshot-types when public handicappers start to pick up on them.)