October 16, 2009

Leggo My Gayego

With just three short weeks to go until the two-day horse racing bonanza that is the Breeder’s Cup, your fearless author is ready to go out on the proverbial limb and start touting some horses that will not be favored come November 6 & 7. That’s right, no odds-on chalk for this guy, only live horses with square odds and a real chance to win. The first Zipse Special comes in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

In the Sprint, we will have a heavy, heavy favorite in Zensational. The 3-year-old Bob Baffert trainee has dominated the California sprint scene, easily racking up Grade 1 wins. I expect him to be in the 4-5 range, and at those odds, every other horse in the field should have betting value. I say “no thank you” to the favorite who has been running in small fields against weak competition. Instead, I look for the bold, blue silks of worldwide powerhouse Godolphin to be carried into the winner’s circle of the Sprint with Gayego, their 4-year-old son of 1992 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Champion Gilded Time.

Much like his sire, Gayego has been ambitiously placed throughout the entirety of his career. A sharp winner in his very first start, Gayego moved quickly up the ranks and won a big Kentucky Derby prep in just his fifth start. That win, his most important to date, was won on pure class, as the 1 1/8 mile distance of last year’s Arkansas Derby does not suit his talents. That major win thrust him into the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but the classic distances proved not to be his cup of tea. As he matured, he has developed into a world class sprinter. In races under a mile, he has a sparkling record, as he can relax early and make a powerful move on the far turn. He has already defeated a world class sprint field in his first start of the year in Dubai. This year he is unbeaten in three sprints and with his win in the recent Ancient Title, Gayego has proven to travel well over the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface. His earnings of $1.3 million, in his well spaced 13 race career, point out his class, and with only four races so far this year, he is a fresh horse. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor should have him ready to peak at race time.

Heavily favored Zensational will have plenty of company early as the leading pack carves out testing fractions. This will set things up perfectly for a horse of quality to pick them up in the stretch and that horse will be Gayego as he rolls by them all down the lane. Gayego will win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and will be named the 2009 Sprinter of the year, remember you heard it here first.


LDP said...

Of all the entries in the Sprint Gayego scares me the most. That Ancient Title win was unbelievelbe coming off such long layoff. FB will fade when Zensational can match his speed and force him to really run to be on the lead. I do think that we will see the steel gray and dark bay colors crossing the wire fairly close togeather, I just think it's Zensational.

LDP said...

Oh, forgot to mention what a clever title that was, love the leggo my gayego. Lol.