November 4, 2009

Eclipse Awards and the Breeders’ Cup

Wondering what the Breeders' Cup races will mean to division titles?

2-year-old Filly - This is a division that traditionally goes to the Breeders’ Cup winner, and this year should be no different. Hot Dixie Chick, the current leader of the division, will lose her lead as soon as the first juvenile filly crosses the wire. I like Blind Luck in the race, which will clinch the award for her.
winner - Blind Luck

2-year-old Colt - The winner of the BC Juvenile is likely to win the Eclipse Award. Having said that, I expect the order of the division not to change, as the horse I expect to win is Lookin at Lucky, who is already the leader of the division.
winner - Lookin at Lucky

3-year-old Filly - Rachel Alexandra is the champion. A win in the Ladies Classic would give Careless Jewel an impressive resume, but only good enough for second place for the award.
winner - Rachel Alexandra

3-year-old Colt - Summer Bird has already done enough to win the coveted 3-year-old championship and does not need to win the Classic to maintain his lead. I see only one scenario that could change the order of things: If the Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird, were to pull off another surprise and win the two biggest races in the nation, he would have a strong claim to the division title. I do not expect another Mine That Bird surprise.
winner - Summer Bird

Turf Female - A wide open division will be decided on Breeders’ Cup Day. Almost anyone in the race can annex the championship with a victory. If the Filly & Mare Turf winner has a questionable resume, Goldikova is waiting in the wings and can steal the award with an impressive win in the Mile. I predict Pure Clan will win on Friday and be named our champion turf mare.
winner - Pure Clan

Turf Male - Gio Ponti is the deserving champion unless one thing happens: If Presious Passion were to go wire to wire in the Breeders’ Cup Turf he could steal the Eclipse Award. Oddly, if Gio Ponti were to win the Classic on the synthetic surface, it would probably not matter what Presious Passion does in the Turf. I think Presious Passion can get it done.
winner - Presious Passion

Sprint Female - If the voting for the champion female sprinter were awarded today it would certainly go to Informed Decision who has five stakes wins this year including a head decision over Ventura in April. Her hold is tenuous though, as a Filly & Mare Sprint win by Ventura, Seventh Street, Sara Louise, Game Face or Evita Argentina would be enough to overtake the division. I like Ventura.
winner - Ventura

Sprint Male - Zensational is the leader of the division, but if he loses, others are ready to take the mantle with a win in the Sprint. I like Gayego in the BC, which will easily be enough to propel him to the championship.
winner - Gayego

Older Female - Zenyatta is the worthy repeat champion. A win by Music Note or any other older female in the Ladies Classic will not be enough to dethrone the champ.
winner - Zenyatta

Older Male - Talk about a wide open division. If any older male can win the Classic, the Eclipse Award is a done deal. I am not picking an older male to win the Classic, so that brings it back to the current leader, Einstein. Despite only two wins this year, I believe Einstein has been consistently good enough to hold on to the division lead.
winner - Einstein

Horse of the Year - Rachel Alexandra is the overwhelming leader for the year’s biggest award. Her eight stakes wins out of eight races double her nearest competition, as Zenyatta, Summer Bird and Gio Ponti all have four wins this year. Having said that, if any of the aforementioned three can win the year’s biggest race, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, there would be voters willing to swing their vote to the Classic winner, especially if it is the undefeated Zenyatta. I will not. Rachel Alexandra has simply done more than anyone else. Classic or no Classic, she is my Horse of the Year.
winner - Rachel Alexandra

2 comments:

LDP said...

I agree with just about everything, though if Zensational wins the BC Sprint he wins best sprinter hands down. Also I would name Gio best older male as well as best turf, he's been the most consistent older male this year IMO.

Brian Zipse said...

Yes, IF Zensational wins then he is the champ...I say the favorite gets beat.