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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

View From Overseas

Sunday's Fr-G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamps in Paris is the big race on the world stage this weekend, and is where the Head Chef and I will be on what is forecast to be a sunny and unseasonably warm day, close to 80. Sure works for us! And that would be welcome news for a big day of American racing. However, with nothing but sun and a drying breeze forecast for the days leading up to the race, the prospect of a firmer than usual course is causing some consternation, and has prompted at least one trainer to make other plans. "..A watering plan has been put in place....with the aim of producing good ground for the weekend." [BRIS]

But it seems as if the Super Saturday program at Belmont is not being totally overlooked. The UK's Racing Post has a detailed look at what ranks as international racing over there; definitely worth the read. I always find it interesting to see what their take on us Americans and our silly drug-infused game run on the wrong surface. I admit I've become extremely jaded over the years as the former Fall Championship meeting has devolved into the BC Preview meeting. So it's nice to see that somebody besides us cares.

Don't know where he's getting his information, but the writer, one Sam Walker, has his own idea about what will and should transpire on Breeders' Cup weekend.

I think Havre De Grace will switch to the Ladies' Classic, setting up a winner takes all (including the HOY) showdown with Blind Luck.

Those fillies have provided the main narrative to a season which has been sorely lacking a stand out performer (until The Factor came along, but he doesn't count because he's a sprinter), so whichever comes out on top when it matters will gain a lot of hearts - and votes.
You've got to imagine what the big advertising draw will be for Breeders' Cup night. Willit be Tizway versus Stay Thirsty or Blind Luck versus Havre De Grace? I think we all know - and that then becomes the most important race of the meeting.

If Havre De Grace goes for the Classic, and loses, it might scupper the HOY chances of both fillies. Together they are stronger. The Ladies' Classic therefore looks the obvious choice. The logical choice. [Racing Post]
Heh heh, 'scupper.' Gotta love those Brits. One problem with his theory of course is that the Ladies Classic is run in virtual obscurity on ESPN 2 on Friday. I don't know that it's possible for it to be the "most important race of the meeting." Do you? Even if the two fillies meet? I'm sure that the required spontaneity to switch the race to Saturday would be lacking. You could bet that other sports, with full support of their TV networks, would find a way to make it happen. But let's reserve that discussion in the seemingly unlikely event that, contrary to the connections' stated intentions, the two do meet in the LC.

Also wanted to note that, according to the Racing Post's rankings, The Factor is by far and away the best horse in the country....the only one even listed amongst the paper's top ten.


steve in nc said...

"Arc de Triomphe loses Nathaniel, but may add Masked Marvel"

DRF apparently has learned of your travel plans, Alan, but what's with the costume?

Figless said...

Thanks for sharing and good luck tomorrow. NYRA is showing the Lonchamps card on NYC Channel 71 (still called the NYC OTB channel btw) and I presume on NYRA Rewards, I may dabble while preparing for the Belmont card, hopefully the rain will hold off long enough to get the early turf races in.