Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

2010 Breeders’ Cup: Part 2

Posted by Brian Appleton on November 9, 2010

Here we are for part two of the Breeders’ Cup results, but before I get into the races themselves I would like to cover some of the post Breeders’ Cup news.

Goldikova, three time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner and the greatest filly in Breeders’ Cup history, will remain in training in 2011 with her goal being a 4th consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile victory. The word “unprecedented” doesn’t even come close to doing this feat justice. This is just plain brilliant and one of the greatest gestures of modern thoroughbred horse racing sportsmanship ever displayed. Brothers Alain and Gerard Wetheimer, who bred Goldikova as well as race her, made the announcement two days after the 5-year-old mare’s dazzling Mile win.

“We decided to keep her in training because she’s in great shape,” Alain said. “The other reason is that if more older horses are kept in training, it’s good for the public because they get used to seeing them and there’s a good chance of it bringing people to the racetrack. If you only keep them one year, people don’t see them enough; they don’t get attached. I think it would be good if more people were able to do that.” He continued, “When you have a big stable and have a good mare, there’s no reason not to try to keep her in training.”

Let the praises roll, I for one am beyond just excited and thrilled that Goldikova will attempt to enhance her already sparkling reputation more by winning a 4th consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic:

 

Blind Luck was the filly to beat entering the Ladies Classic but it was Unrivaled Belle that stole the show. After a banner year for Unrivaled Belle in which she defeated Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra by a head in the La Troienne (gr.2) in late April, Unrivaled Belle put the icing on the cake with a powerful victory in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic over a stellar field of fillies and mares.

Breaking from the gate like a shot Unrivaled Belle sat just behind the three leaders, head bobbing with Milwaukee Appeal down the backstretch for 4th and 5th position. Havre de Grace sat just behind those two while Blind Luck trailed the field with a seriously compromised Life At Ten well back in last. Entering the far turn Unrivaled Belle moved to the lead with effortless strides as Havre de Grace surged forward on the outside and Blind Luck began to come alive from the back of the pack. Into the stretch Unrivaled Belle quickly began to distance herself from Havre de Grace with little urging from jockey Kent Desormeaux as Blind Luck came widest of all under a full head of steam. In the end it was Unrivaled Belle an easy winner by 1 ¾ lengths over a gallant, but late, Blind Luck with Havre de Grace third.

The winner was great in victory but I have to admit that my heart was with Blind Luck on this one and it was a shame to see her come so close and lose. She easily sewed up three-year-old filly honors with yet another gutsy performance here. Life At Ten was the real shame in the Ladies Classic this year. After being “unusually quite” according to trainer Todd Pletcher in the saddling ring and failing to warm up according to jockey John Velasquez, Life At Ten broke sluggishly from the gate and trailed the field all the way around. It has been speculated by Todd Pletcher that she may have had an allergic reaction to Lasix and began to tie up. It’s easy to criticize when you aren’t the one in the position to make decisions but in this case Life At Ten should have been scratched as soon as they realized something was wrong with her. It was just sheer dumb luck that she came out of the race unscathed.

 

Breeders’ Cup Sprint:

 

The Breeders’ Cup Sprint is always one of the most exciting races of the year, simply because of the fantastic energy the contestants explode from the gate with that continues all the way to the finish line.

In a year where both leading sprint candidates, Majesticperfection and Discreetly Mine, were sidelined by injury, Big Drama turned what was supposed to be an evenly matched contest into an absolute rout.

Bursting from the gate in the field of 12, Big Drama aggressively rushed to the lead and the race was over from there. Cruising through rapid fractions of :21.34 for the opening quarter and :44.58 for the half with Atta Boy Roy and Cash Refund in close pursuit, Big Drama continued into the turn looking strong under jockey Eibar Coa. Flying into the stretch three-wide, Big Drama gradually eased away for a 1 ½ length victory. Finishing second by a head over Smiling Tiger was Hamazing Destiny.

Big Drama’s record for the year now stands at 4 wins in 6 tries which should be enough to win him an Eclipse Award as top sprinter.

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4 Responses to “2010 Breeders’ Cup: Part 2”

  1. Brian,

    I have to wonder if LIFE AT TEN was tying up for some other reason. She’d been administered Lasix in all her starts this year and last year. Something fishy no one’s disclosing with her.

    As for GOLDIKOVA, fantastic she’ll be back but it’d be even better if she were to race/train in the U.S. Alain Wertheimer is right, it’s good for fans to see horses come back for more, to develop a following. Unfortunately, she will only be followed by die hard racing fans like you and I through the internet/TV…the casual racing fan doesn’t even know who she is. That same fan certainly knew ZENYATTA, but that glorious ship has sailed. So, the casual fan went back to pro/college football and/or college basketball and will forget all about horse racing until five minutes before the Kentucky Derby.

    Eibar Coa won the sprint for BIG DRAMA. Getting him into the three path made all the difference. The rail was absolutely dead all weekend long. WISE DAN ran huge considering this…he galloped out even w/ the winner. IMHO, if WISE DAN had gotten out, he would have run down BIG DRAMA. I can’t say he’ll definitely win next out, depends on what track he returns. Perhaps the G.3 Kenny Noe at Calder December 4?

    That said, BIG DRAMA gets the Eclipse on the strength of this win, the G.2 Smile Sprint, and two other G.1 runner-up finishes. DISCREETLY MINE will probably get some votes with wins in a G.1, two G.2’s (one routing), and a G.3 but those were all against 3y.o.’s only.

  2. Hey Rob,

    I agree, Wise Dan was flying at the end and making up ground by leaps and bounds. Big Drama did run an excellent race though and Coa deserves all the credit for giving him such a smooth and flawless ride.
    With the Sprint win I’m sure Big Drama will get the Eclipse. If Majesticperfection had remained sound I would have really loved to see him try the Breeders’ Cup, he was a monster. It should be fun to see Discreetly Mine racing next year, hopefully he can liven up the older horse sprint category in 2011.
    I’m hoping to see Fabulous Strike return to action next year, he’s one of the most gifted sprinters of the last decade in my opinion.

  3. Hey Brian,

    Did you see WISE DAN won two weekends ago in an allowance? Lopresti was so very unlucky last weekend when SUCCESSFUL DAN had a nightmare trip in the Clark when at least five lengths best of that field.

    As for the Sprint Eclipse, no doubt it should go to BIG DRAMA and I agree that DISCREETLY MINE will be a compelling horse to watch at age 4. Do you think he may travel to SA for the Malibu Dec. 26?

    One to watch from out here is late-developing 3y.o. ALCINDOR for the Thoroughbred Legends/Baffert team. The son of UNBRIDLED’S SONG has been given plenty of time, a la ZENYATTA, which is a definite shift for that owner/trainer group. ALCINDOR really dazzled me in his win last Sunday at Hol. He could be any kind going forward and I’ll be anxious to see how he handles the new dirt track at Santa Aniita in the Malibu.

    Belated Thanksgiving wishes and hope you have a fantastic December celebrating the holidays.

    • I didn’t see it (Wise Dan’s race) but I did read about it later and he ran a terrific race in the Clark considering what he went through.

      I’m guessing that Discreetly Mine won’t go to SA for the Malibu only because Pletcher doesn’t ship to California very often and I think they might start him in an easier spot when he comes back, probably an allowance or listed stakes I’m thinking.

      Alcindor is new to me, I’d love to see his race, do you know where I could find it?

      Thanks Rob, same to you and an early Merry Christmas!!

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