October 30, 2009

The Fantastic Fours - Take 2

One week from Day 1. Breeders’ Cup is so close, I can smell the sweet fragrance of the Fall championship racing of my youth. It is true what they say, olfactory receptors can snap you back into distant memories more acutely than any of the other senses. The smell of the Autumn air fires millions of neurons, making me instantly happy and thinking horses. The early homework has been done. I have tore into the pre-entry past performances with all the voracity of a rottweiler with a new chew toy. Listed below are my top four choices for each Breeders’ Cup race…I have included the fourth horse especially for all my friends who like a little action in the superfecta.

MARATHON
1. Cloudy’s Knight - Oh what a story this would be! His last race was super.
2. Mastery - European youngster is a classy sort who loves the distance.
3. Nite Light - Will be joined on the front end by Black Astor.
4. Father Time - Not quite as good as Mastery in England.

JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
1. Smart Seattle - Motion charge is primed to return to the winner’s circle.
2. Lillie Langtry - Euro shipper has great form in England and Ireland.
3. House of Grace - Beware the undefeated filly down the lane.
4. Hatheer - Should appreciate the return to turf.

FILLY & MARE SPRINT
1. Ventura - Defending champ’s in fine fettle and is strictly the one to beat.
2. Informed Decision - Hard to ignore her 6 for 6 record on synthetics.
3. Evita Argentina - Her last effort was not the real Evita Argentina.
4. Seventh Street - Classy filly drops down in distance; beware.

JUVENILE FILLIES
1. Blind Luck - Unheralded filly does nothing wrong; closing in on an Eclipse.
2. Beautician - Trip at Keeneland was a nightmare; gets another chance.
3. Always a Princess - Off the pace & more experienced, she’ll be a handful.
4. Devil May Care - Undefeated Pletcher filly has talent.

FILLY & MARE TURF
1. Pure Clan - Quality filly is versatile; ready to pull of a West Coast upset
2. Magical Fantasy - Streaking filly is a threat to defend her home turf.
3. Forever Together - Defending champ should appreciate return to firm.
4. Midday - Classy 3-year-old shoulders European flag.

LADIES’ CLASSIC
1. Careless Jewel - Speed to burn; Can they catch her?
2. Music Note - A monster at three, she is rounding back into scary form.
3. Proviso - First performance on synthetic puts her in with a chance.
4. Lethal Heat - Beware the game California bred.

JUVENILE TURF
1. Interactif - The most promising U.S. turf juvenile in years should win this.
2. Pounced - Gosden colt may be the European’s top threat.
3. Buzzword - Experienced juvenile carries the Godolphin silks.
4. Viscount Nelson - Bred to be a champion, but may prefer a softer turf.

TURF SPRINT
1. Diamondrella - Might be just the mare to nail the boys going down the hill.
2. California Flag - Speed is always dangerous on this course.
3. Silver Timber - Getting better with each start; streaks down the stretch.
4. Yankee Ingenuity - Longshot play may love the firm Santa Anita turf.

MILE DIRT
1. Mastercraftsman - Too much class to ignore.
2. Chocolate Candy - I’ll try this guy one more time at juicy odds.
3. Midshipman - Returns to the scene of his biggest triumph; dangerous.
4. Crown of Thorns - One mile distance should benefit this Mandella charge.

JUVENILE
1. Lookin at Lucky - Does what he has to do; the best juvenile in the country.
2. Aikenite - Getting better with each run; Lucky’s #1 threat.
3. Pulsion - Long winded son of Include should be up for a share.
4. Eskendereya - Steps up in class, but this one is very intriguing.

MILE
1. Godilkova - Champion filly looks to join Miesque as female Mile repeaters.
2. Court Vision - Dutrow says he has him figured out…maybe so.
3. Justenuffhumor - Will firm turf bring back his best stuff?
4. Cowboy Cal - Is never easy to run by this salty son of Giant’s Causeway.

SPRINT
1. Gayego - Godolphin has this talented colt ready to roll, all systems go.
2. Capt. Candyman Can - Can not deny this honest sprinter’s consistent rush.
3. Zensational - Grade 1 talent finally faces the acid test.
4. Fatal Bullet - Speedy Canadian loves the synthetics.

TURF
1. Presious Passion - America’s best hope will lead them on a merry chase.
2. Conduit - Returning champ will be tough to deny in the lane.
3. Spanish Moon - Sir Michael Stoute has this horse fresh and ready.
4. Dar Re Mi - Would not be a surprise if the filly proved best in here.

CLASSIC
1. Rip Van Winkle - The 2nd best colt in the world should love 1 ¼ on Pro-Ride.
2. Einstein - A very tough customer and he likes this surface.
3. Gio Ponti - Probably not his best surface, but still a big threat at 1 ¼.
4. Colonel John - It is put up or shut up time; ready to bring his best?

7 comments:

Heather said...

i like your picks, Brian. however, i have to go with Kodiak Kowboy in the Sprint, for my own reasons ;) and LOVING House Of Grace in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. i saw her work at Keeneland a few months ago, and loved her :)

Brian Zipse said...

Heather,

I respect both of your picks...I have House of Grace at #3 in the JFT and she could have easily been higher and Kodiak Kowboy was tough to keep out of the top 4. He is a nice horse and certainly has a chance.

LDP said...

Hmmmm, Classic is tough for me to handicap. My top four are CJ, SB, RVW, and if Zen does run she would be the last of my four, the other three are in no particular order. Dirt Mile I love both CofT and the master. I think CofT is primed, and with no Gayego, pretty good. Midshipman is dangerous, but I think he's too lightly raced. If it were on dirt I would go Pyro. Sprint, i'll eat the chauck with Zen and Gayego.

Luvbarbaro said...

I also think Kodiak Kowboy is great, but you are the professional when it comes to handicapping! :>)

I personally think Music Note could give Zenyatta a run for her money, if Zen races in the Lady's classic -- we'll see.

As far as the Classic, I really do like Einstein, but I'm not so sure he can pull it off. Summer Bird maybe, GP is great also.

Brian Zipse said...

Zenyatta would be my pick in the Ladies Classic, but it appears slightly more likely at this time that she will be in the Classic, which puts her right in the middlw of a large group of contenders.

Ciarán said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ciarán said...

Ah you've done a very good job with your selections. I'd expect a very big show off Zacinto in the BC mile but expect Goldikova to win it. I think AP O Brien is going to get his classic with Rip van Winkle this year! A crack European miler, and last year showed they can play a big part. I expect a good run out of Red Rocks in the Turf. Back with Brian Meehan expect to see the horse we saw a season ago. That said he'll have a good bit to find on the market leaders but could squeak into the prize money!.