November 5, 2010

Ladies’ Day

It feels funny to call it Ladies Day when Zenyatta and Goldikova did not make their way to a Breeders’ Cup starting gate, but that is exactly what we had on a cool and crisp Friday card at Churchill Downs. The atmosphere was one of excitement, as day transformed into evening midway through the opening act of the World Championships of Racing.

My star of the day was Awesome Feather, who took flight today when soaring home in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. The Jacks or Better owned bay filly, easily handled her transition into grade 1 competition, winning by 2 ¼ lengths over surprise pacesetter, R Heat Lightning. In the process, the daughter of Awesome of Course completed a perfect 6 for 6 season. The Florida bred miss had never raced away from Calder Race Course previously, but the acid test proved to be no problem. Awesome Feather wrapped up the divisional championship with the win, and will now enter the auction next week at Keeneland.

Unrivaled Belle finally won the big one in the Ladies’ Classic. The grey filly, trained by Bill Mott, ran the race of her life to repel the late run of the reliable Blind Luck, to win by 1 ¾ lengths. The popular Blind Luck finished one length clear of her familiar sophomore rival Havre de Grace, who was third. Unrivaled Belle displayed a new dimension tonight as she relaxed in fifth in the early stages, before taking command as the horses were nearing the stretch. The victory broke a string of three straight seconds since running her previous best when defeating Rachel Alexandra over the Churchill Downs oval this April.

The day’s big payoff came when Shared Account shocked the crowd of over 41,000 by outfighting heavily favored Midday to take the BC Filly & Mare Turf. Under her usual rider, Edgar Prado, Shared Account relaxed off the early pace, and along with Midday, burst through from between horses on the inside. It briefly looked like the European champion would be too tough for the American longshot, but that idea was quickly squashed as it was the 46-1 who proved strongest late. She reached the wire clear by a neck over Midday in the eleven furlong race on firm turf.

Dubai Majesty is only getting better with age, and now in her 34th career start, the five-year-old Bret Calhoun trained sprinter is a Breeders’ Cup winner. Impressively sweeping by her competition turning for home and easily drawing clear to win by an impressive 2 ¼ lengths over bridesmaid Switch. Much like Awesome Feather, the win will not prevent Dubai Majesty from being up for sale. She will be enter the sales ring next Sunday in the upcoming Fasig-Tipton sale in Lexington.

More Than Real, despite running erratically, proved much the best in the Juvenile Filly Turf, serving up a tasty main dish for owner and celebrity chef, Bobby Flay. The daughter of More Than Ready registered a decisive two-length victory by easily holding off the heavily favored Winter Memories and the late running Kathmanblu in the one mile turf affair. It was only the third lifetime start for the winner, who seems to have a bright future for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Eldaafer won the race, but the real story in the Marathon was the post-race fisticuffs between riders Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano. I had the feeling that I was at the fights and a horse race broke out. If not for the rather large men pulling Borel away from Castellano, things could have turned into quite the donnybrook. Borel was incensed, while Castellano was DQ‘d from second place aboard Prince Will I Am for his dangerous maneuver entering the stretch. Martin Garcia did well to stay aboard his mount Romp after the incident.

What will tomorrow bring? My guess is everything good we saw today, times ten. Zendemonium anyone?

Photo Courtesy of Reed Palmer


Anonymous said...

What was your take on the Life at Ten situation?

tweetypie said...

I say yesterday was very exciting,disaster was avoided,and I hope & pray for the same today!

Brian Zipse said...

Life at Ten needed to be scratched, I will say more soon.

Today shoud be a whole lot of fun!

LDP said...

Just thought Apart and Nobles Promise deserved some mention :) Plus Backtalk who ran second to the classy Nobles Promise on the undercard. Apart just keeps looking better and better, Nobles Promise if handled right could be one of next years leading contenders for the Dirt Mile and Backtalk for the Sprint.

Back to the BC, UB ran huge, I'm glad I called that and that she proved that beating RA was no fluke. She's a serious mare and now that she knows how to relax I think we'll be seeing a lot from her next year. Too bad on LAT, if she had been herself it would've been interesting to see who would've come out on top between her and UB.

Awesome Feather was just that, awesome. Brian thanks for bring her to my attention. Her and R Heat Lightning were my top two and both were giving their all. The former just seems to be a tigeress on the track.

Brian Zipse said...

I agree LDP, Apart looks the part of a real good 10 furlong horse, and I would be surprised if Noble's Promise is not a big star next year. He is that good.

Vivian said...

It was an interesting day, to say the least. Going to be watching all the action in the comfort of my own home, and still sorry I will not be there in person.