Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM
BREEDERS’ CUP BULLETIN
Volume 10…Number 8
Friday, October 25
Eighteen 2012 Placed Breeders’ Cup Contenders
Return To Do Battle
Nine Of The Fifteen Winners Are Back!
Its one week and counting until the 2013 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2.
Today the DAILY COUNTDOWN to the Cup continues as the Jim Hurley Breeders’ Cup Bulletin presents Part II of the analysis of the horses who ran in last year’s Breeders’ Cup races and have been pre-entered to either defend their crown or finish the job they didn’t a year ago. Among the veteran Cup contenders are 9 horses who won a year ago and another 9 who placed. In today’s edition I’ll take a look at the “try again” horses that are pre-entered to run in a number of Saturday’s races. Check back tomorrow for Part III as I look at the remaining returnees entered for Saturday’s races.
(List Of Breeders’ Cup Races)
Friday, November 1
BC MARATHON – 1 3/4 Miles - $500,000
BC JUVENILE FILLIES TURF – 1 Mile (Turf) - $1,000,000
BC DIRT MILE – 1 Mile - $1,000,000
BC JUVENILE TURF – 1 Mile (Turf) - $1,000,000
BC DISTAFF – 1 1/8 Miles - $2,000,000
Saturday, November 2
BC JUVENILE FILLIES – 1 1/16 Miles - $2,000,000
BC FILLY & MARE TURF – 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - $2,000,000
BC FILLY & MARE SPRINT - 7 Furlongs - $1,000,000
BC TURF SPRINT – 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - $1,000,000
BC JUVENILE – 1 1/16 Miles - $2,000,000
BC TURF – 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - $3,000,000
BC SPRINT – 6 Furlongs - $1,500,000
BC MILE – 1 Mile (Turf) - $2,000,000
BC CLASSIC – 1 1/4 Miles - $5,000,000
For the purposes of this analysis the returning contenders (based on those pre-entered by the October 21 deadline) will be listed race-by-race. The four Juvenile races of course have no returning runners.
BC FILLY & MARE TURF:
Lady Of Shamrock – John Sadler’s 4-year old Scat Daddy filly was in fine form when she ran in last year’s edition of this race. She had won a pair of Grade I races in her final preps, scoring from well off the pace in each as she won the American Oaks at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 14 and the Del Mar Oaks on August 18. In the BC Filly & Mare Turf she took her usual place at the back of the pack, starting dead last after being bumped and squeezed at the start. Although she only managed to check in fifth it was a strong effort and one that presented plenty of hope for the future. It was her first ever start against her elders and she was beaten only 2 ½ lengths. The difficulty in gauging her chances one year later is that although one should expect that maturity would be to her advantage, Sadler has to be wondering where the hope for the future went. She has had six races since last year’s edition and though she has not embarrassed herself against a steady diet of Graded Stakes rivals, she has not been able to utilize her consistent closing kick well enough to find the winner’s circle. In her first five races of 2013 she took runer-ip honors four times and finished third once before checking in a troubled fifth in the Grade I Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita on September 28. If Sadler is looking for a silver lining he can refer himself to the fact that she still made up considerable ground and that she was only beaten 3 ¼ lengths total vs Tiz Flirtatious, Marketing Mix and Vionetta, each of whom are pre-entered for the Filly & Mare Turf. The conditioner certainly remains optimistic, as the strong drills on 10/12 and 10/19 would indicate. While it’s tough to put her on top, you leave her out of the minor awards at your own peril.
Marketing Mix – Last year Marketing Mix ran in the BC Filly & Mare turf following a strong rallying second in the Grade I Beverley D at Arlington and a decisive win in the Grade I Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita and was equally tough in her Breeders’ Cup effort as she bid to take the lead, gave it up to the eventual winner Zagora but came back on to secure the place. Trainer Tom Proctor must be of the school that believes in repeat patters because he took the same route again this year. After she opened the season with back-to-back wins, first in the Grade I Gamely at Betfair in which she beat both Tiz Flirtatious and Lady Of Shamrock, who she’ll meet again on November 2 and then vs the boys in the Grade III Sunset Handicap at Betfair her performance in the Beverly D was a bit flat as she checked in and even fourth behind Dank and Gifted Girl, a pair of European ladies who are also pre-entered in the Filly & Mare Turf. In her final prep, however, she was her old self as she made a strong bid between rivals to grab the place spot, beaten a head by Tiz Flirtatious. She has breezed twice since the Rodeo Drive and is always to be considered a major threat…as her 15-9-4-0 career turf slate would indicate. All this mare does is contribute to an incredibly deep field.
The Fugue – And speaking of an incredibly deep field, this 4-year old filly travels back from Europe for try number two after being blocked and steadied during her stretch run and having to settled for a length and a quarter beaten third as the 8-5 favorite in last year’s edition. Last year she was beaten a neck in the Group I Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York on August 23 in what was her final prep before heading to America. This year she not only blew out the Darley Yorkshire Oaks field by 4 widening lengths but followed that up with a win over the boys in the Group I Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 7. It was that last triumph that has given trainer John Gosden the confidence to also cross-pre-enter this brilliant Danehill filly in the BC Turf against the boys and do so as his designated first preference. She couldn’t be in better form right now and will, like last year, have had enough time since her final prep to more than gather her foundation. She must be considered o the short list of favorites in whichever race she contests.
DON’T MISS JIM HURLEY’S
2 DAY – 14 RACE BREEDERS’ CUP BLOWOUT
Friday November 1 – Saturday November 2
Win Selections – Exactas – Trifectas – Superfectas
Daily Doubles – Pick 3’s – Pick 4’s – Pick 6’s
DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY YOU COULD WIN?
In The Last 3 Years Of Breeders’ Cup Races…BASED ON A $2 BET
The Average Winner Paid $27.90…The Average Exacta Paid $225.90
The Average Trifecta Paid $1,999.80…The Average Superfecta Paid $18,453.20
The Average Double Paid $302.60…The Average Pick 3 Paid $4,183.80
The Average Pick 4 Paid $28,435.50…The Average Pick 6 Paid $498,470.30
One Pick 6 Payoff Was 5 Of 6 $95,070.00
GET ALL JIM’S TOP SELECTIONS
Click Here For All The Winning Info!
FILLY & MARE SPRINT:
Great Hot – Last year this then 4-year old filly was never in contention as she was shuffled a bit early on, moved out to make a move on the turn but was finished by the quarter pole and finished 9th of 10 at 50-1. A bettor who doesn’t dig too deeply into the past performances might be encouraged by her 3 wide rally for second in the 100K LA Woman Stakes at Santa Anita on October 5, but she used that same race as her final prep a year ago and…you guessed it, she finished second then as well so perhaps that ungraded race isn’t a strong recommendation for the company she’ll face once again. The A.C. Avila trained daughter of Orientate also drags a 1 for 16 win mark over the last two years so the best thing you can probably look forward to is getting to bet her at 50-1 again in 2013.
Groupie Doll – If you listen to the “what have you done for me lately” crowd you’d think that Groupie Doll should already be designated for brood mare duty. After all, she had no kick when she finished third in her final prep at Keeneland, losing to Judy The Beauty, who is also pre-entered and also finishing third three back in the Grade I Gardenia at Ellis Park. In between she did remember where the finish line is with a triumph over a good field that included Judy The Beauty when she took the Grade II Presque Isle Masters Stake. An analyst can’t be faulted for taking the position that she is a bit off form as her three 2013 races have been run to speed figures that are well below her career standard and the long layoff from last November until her first 2013 start on August 18 (she ran 9 times a year ago…9-5-2-2) could be a sign that she has slowed a step. Perhaps the decision to run her against the boys in the Grade I Cigar Mile just three weeks after her BC F&M Sprint win a year ago, a race in which she ran her heart out to lose by nose to Stay Thirsty was the cause of the slow recovery. Her resume makes her difficult to ignore but the sub-three digit BRIS speed numbers this year after turning in 100-112 (in the BC F&M Sprint win) figures in 8 of 9 races a year ago does put up a caution flag. All that being said, she did work a brilliant best of 34 half mile in :46 2/5 at CD on 10/18. They don’t make this easy.
Teddy’s Promise – Just as she did last year, the 5-year old mare figures to bring plenty of speed to the affair. The Ron Ellis trained daughter of Salt Lake drew the tough rail post a year ago and was sent to the lead by Joe Talamo. If nothing else she ensured that they would all have to run their eye balls out and they did as the 7 furlongs was turned in 1:20 3/5 by Groupie Doll. This is another of those runners that are a tricky horse-for-the-course read because despite the failure in the BC F&M Sprint last year she has run very well over the Santa Anita main track. Most recently she easily took her final prep on October 5, the LA Woman Stakes under steady handling and she began her current campaign with wins in an overnight stakes on December 29, a win in the Santa Monica Stakes on January 26 and a second in the Grade III Las Flores Stakes on March 10. In fact, since her debacle in her Cup race last year she has hit the board in all seven tries 7-4-2-1) so might show improvement this time around for a trainer who is a quite impressive 22% winner in graded stakes tries.
BC TURF SPRINT:
Mizdirection – This is one of only three of the fourteen runners from last year’s edition of the BC Turf Sprint that have returned for the 2013 contest. But what a three. This now 5-year old race mare will be joined by Unbridled’s Note, who finished second and yet another from the distaff ranks, Reneesgotzip, a now 4-year old filly who finished third last year. Even without the addition of a deep group of very live newcomers this sprint is once again guaranteed to be a bettor’s dream, just as it was a year ago when Unbridled’s Note was sent off as the 4.7-1 favorite and Mizdirection the fourth favorite at 6.9-1. This year Mizdirection has been off since June 8 so will race off works but it is important to note that trainer Mike Puype did the same thing a year ago when she won this race off works following a May 27 layoff. She went to the sidelines after a disappointing fifth in the Grade I Just A Game at Belmont but that was a mile race and she did show her usual speed before backing up late. She continues to work forwardly with a :59 2/5 drill on 10/3, a 1:14 4/5 drill on 10/12 and a 1:24 drill on 10/18…all over the Santa Anita turf course. And in closing it is perhaps important to note that the daughter of Mizzen Mast is a perfect 6 for 6 over the Santa Anita lawn.
Reneeasgotzip – What is probably the most interesting aspect of this 4-year old City Zip filly is that in her 12 race career…a career in which she has won 7 times and placed 3 times from 12 starts she has only raced on turf once, when she finished third in last year’s BC Turf Sprint. After that performance trainer Peter Miler sent her back to the Betfair synthetic surface a month later to win an overnight stakes and to the main track on opening day at Santa Anita (12/26) to miss by a neck to Book Review (who is entered in the Filly & Mare Sprint) in the Grade I La Brea. Following that race she was given a 7 month break and has returned to win her two 2013 starts by daylight margins over the Del Mar synthetic surface, a conditioned allowance on July 18 and the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap on August 18. She is also cross-pre-entered in the Sprint (also against the boys) but this race is listed as first preference. One question mark that arises is that last year she went into the race with preps on September 5 and October 6 whereas this year she will enter off an 11 week break and did not get back to the track until she began working again on 10/1. Tough call.
Unbridled’s Note – After splitting the two ladies to finish second in last year’s edition of the BC Turf Sprint the 4-year old colt has managed just one win from five tries. This can be a bit misleading, however, as two of those five races have come over the Santa Anita turf course at this 6 ½ furlong distance. The son of Unbridled’s Song began his 2013 campaign by winning an overnight handicap on February 23 and in his most recent race returned to the Santa Anita grass and after tucking in for most of the trip came out too late in the stretch and though he closed considerable ground he settled for show honors, beaten a ¼ length in the Grade III Eddie D Stakes by Chips All In and Boat Trip, each of whom are pre-entered for the BC Turf Sprint. Though he only managed to get third it must be noted that his off the pace effort was a mirror-image of the same trip he had the year prior when he also used the Eddie D as his final prep. Steve Asmussen has kept the horse on edge in the morning with a pair of drills since the 9/27 prep and even with a number of serious new shooters signed on in 2013 this colt still has to be considered a major threat.