BC Top 5

Re: BC Top 5

Postby Big Ten » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:34 pm

There is no sure thing in horse racing. One thing is certain, the 2017 BCC has got very interesting. What once perceived as a coronation for Arrogate has become a bettors' dilemma. Believe in Arrogate to win or back off him and try to beat him. Del Mar is like the Saratoga of California. I still remember Dare And Go ending Cigar's win streak 21 years ago like it was yesterday. I remember a lady's reaction standing near Mandella with a stunned look on her face.

Believe in Arrogate/Baffert BCC 4peat and with higher odds and or believe that maybe Arrogate hasn't improved as a 4YO like what happened to Sunday Silence, Easy Goer, Curlin, and Rachel Alexandra and take your chances on another horse to upset? Zenyatta nearly lost to Anabaa's Creation after Mikey fell asleep on the wheel after a 1:14 split. Zenyatta barely beat Rinterval the following year. Has Mikey learned his lesson that Del Mar's stretch is short?

If Arrogate doesn't position himself early enough, he can be in for a rude awakening again like we saw yesterday. The horse leading at the stretch won't give up that soon. It is why a deep closer like Zenyatta probably hated Del Mar when it was still on synth. Get too close in a speed duel, and it is Cigar losing to Dare And Go all over again. At least this year's BC Classic in a tricky track like Del Mar (which I loathe) may not be so predictable and boring.
Rock Hard Ten. Zenyatta. Cigar. Ghostzapper. Lava Man. California Chrome. American Pharoah. Seattle Slew. Secretariat. Affirmed.
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby Kennedy » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:53 am

stark wrote:Jay Privman‏ @DRFPrivman

Sadler on fence re: Pacific Classic with Accelerate. May take shot at 1 1/4 miles since 3 for 3 here but goal remains BC Dirt Mile


I do still think that Accelerate needs another good race to convince his connections to take on the Classic. He's a decent horse who has a real chance to pickup a check in any of the big route races in California. The reason why I'd be really tempted to go for the Classic with him is that I think he's just as likely to finish 3rd in both races.

3 for 3 at Del Mar doesn't hurt either.

On the Arrogate front I'm not sure this really changes much other than damaging an aura of invincibility. I don't think he was exposed he just ran really really flat. Maybe he was babied a bit after coming back from Dubai?

I remember Midnight Lute coming to Del Mar for his seasonal re-appearance after the Cigar Mile in the previous season. He was dreadful and didn't race again until he won the BC Sprint.

What Baffert may lack in his preparation off a long layoff he makes up for in big day readiness.
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby Kennedy » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:58 pm

August

Classic
Arrogate
Gun Runner
Shaman Ghost
Accelerate
Collected

Shockwaves in the division as Arrogate throws in a no show on the BC host track! I'm not ready to drop him off my top spot though. I am not convinced that he cannot run well at Del Mar. I am still convinced that if he runs well no one else can run with him.

While we're in the mood of overlooking a summer lull I'm not that bothered by a prospective BC Classic candidate losing to Keen Ice. Shaman Ghost is better than that and should come back looking tough in the fall.

Accelerate can hopefully earn his connections faith and trust to the point where they want to take on a race like this. He's a solid horse who can certainly win if his opponents don't run well. The trick for him is to improve enough that he can overcome a top horse who is on their game. We haven't really seen that from him.

Turf
Highland Reel
Ulysees
Frontiersman
Money Multiplier
Almanzor

This division is completely without an anchor because we never know what European participation might look like and the North American Turf routers make the Classic 3yo's look consistent. I've added Money Multiplier to my list hoping that his first stakes win has seen him turn a new leaf. He was a half length away from being the top American in the BC Turf last fall and the way he bossed the field in his seasonal debut at Monmouth potentially signaled a new no nonsense twist to his "nearly there" career thus far.

Mile
Midnight Storm
Om
Bal a Bali
Ribchester
Lancaster Bomber

No movement to the heirarchy and virtually no races to comment on. I've never seen the Eddie Read as a great source of anything other than false hopes for the Mile. I think the current big races from reformed Turf sprinters Hunt and Disco Partner really just show that talent is currently thin but the 3 US hopes at the top of my list still hold the keys to the division in my mind.

Sprint
Drefong
American Anthem
Mind Your Biscuits
Ranson the Moon
Roy H

It's a bit of a theme that yet another division is in chaos but I'd urge some caution here. Drefong had a freak outing and is likely still an extremely good horse. Challengers like Ranson the Moon and Roy H have actually shown some consistency which is nice. The problem for all of them is that the standard they're setting in terms of quality is not all that high. That means they're all susceptible to potential new shooters like American Anthem or Coal Front or maybe even Mr. Crow.

Dirt Mile
Danzing Candy
Mor Spirit
Sharp Azteca
Honorable Duty
Follow Me Crev

I have rarely seen a time when so many good horses seemed to be legitimately prepping for this race. Sharp Azteca was likely the biggest mover of the month. I saw his participation at Monmouth as a sign that they are more likely to chase this race than the Sprint.

Distaff
Songbird
Stellar Wind
Vale Dori
Abel Tasman
Rainha Da Bateria

Some may wonder what Rainha Da Bateria is doing on this list...my answer is that she is 100% speculation on my part but I do have some logic behind my random addition. First of all the BC FM Turf is really strong this year and is the same distance as the Distaff. Chad Brown just lost his main Distaff hope (Paid Up Subscriber) and I counted no less than 9 horses he could legitimately enter in the FM Turf. At some point you think he'd turn his eye to having one in the Distaff. He nearly did that last year in the BC Juve Fillies with New Money Honey then he changed course and duly won the Turf equivalent with her. But to me it shows a willingness to look at it as an option. Turf to dirt is a powerful angle (think Good Samaritan) and Rainha Da Bateria has perhaps the most "main track" pedigree of all his top class turf fillies. She actually tried the main track once earlier in her career. While she got blown out by Stellar Wind her speed figure was actually totally in line with what she was getting on the Turf in those days. Now that she is, on average, 20 Beyer points better than she was then perhaps her form would translate? Her average BSF this year (96.5) is higher than Songbird's average.

Beyond the top 4 on my list the division feels like it has nobody or at least no one worth considering for a national championship. The top 4 are all good horses so the winner is likely one of those 4 but I don't mind including a stranger rather than a relative no hoper who is currently part of the division

FM Turf
Lady Eli
Avenge
Antonoe
Dacita
Hawksmoor

Lady Eli may be special but even she will have her hands full winning this race this year. It feels wide open not because there is a lack of quality but because there are so many really good horses and usually you can count on the 10f distance weeding some of them out but the 9f distance levels the playing field a great deal. I expect this to be one of the most exciting races of the card even if its won by the heavy favorite.

FM Sprint
Bendable
Paulassilverlining
Finest City
Curlin's Approval
By the Moon

Turf Sprint
Why Two
Lady Aurelia
Green Mask
Disco Partner
Pure Sensation

I think Disco Partner is a hot horse right now but I have my doubts that he can ride that mojo on the east coast all the way to dominance on the west coast in the late fall. He is good though.
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby Sparrow Castle » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:14 pm

Kennedy wrote:August

Distaff
Songbird
Stellar Wind
Vale Dori
Abel Tasman
Rainha Da Bateria

Some may wonder what Rainha Da Bateria is doing on this list...my answer is that she is 100% speculation on my part but I do have some logic behind my random addition. First of all the BC FM Turf is really strong this year and is the same distance as the Distaff. Chad Brown just lost his main Distaff hope (Paid Up Subscriber) and I counted no less than 9 horses he could legitimately enter in the FM Turf. At some point you think he'd turn his eye to having one in the Distaff. He nearly did that last year in the BC Juve Fillies with New Money Honey then he changed course and duly won the Turf equivalent with her. But to me it shows a willingness to look at it as an option. Turf to dirt is a powerful angle (think Good Samaritan) and Rainha Da Bateria has perhaps the most "main track" pedigree of all his top class turf fillies. She actually tried the main track once earlier in her career. While she got blown out by Stellar Wind her speed figure was actually totally in line with what she was getting on the Turf in those days. Now that she is, on average, 20 Beyer points better than she was then perhaps her form would translate? Her average BSF this year (96.5) is higher than Songbird's average.

Beyond the top 4 on my list the division feels like it has nobody or at least no one worth considering for a national championship. The top 4 are all good horses so the winner is likely one of those 4 but I don't mind including a stranger rather than a relative no hoper who is currently part of the division

FM Turf
Lady Eli
Avenge
Antonoe
Dacita
Hawksmoor

Lady Eli may be special but even she will have her hands full winning this race this year. It feels wide open not because there is a lack of quality but because there are so many really good horses and usually you can count on the 10f distance weeding some of them out but the 9f distance levels the playing field a great deal. I expect this to be one of the most exciting races of the card even if its won by the heavy favorite.


It's a pleasant surprise to see Rainha Da Bateria on your list for the Distaff. She's been on my radar for awhile, and I've wondered where they might go with her. I agree with your reasoning here, and one more factor might be that both Rainha Da Bateria and Hawksmoor are owned by Lael, but with Delacour training Hawksmoor. They did face off in the Beaugay won by Hawksmoor in May, the first race off the winter layoff for both. They both won their "next out" races, and it's likely both are headed to the Beverly D, although I think the Jacksons would prefer not to run their girls against each other. I understand both are headed to their broodmare band eventually, maybe as soon as next year for Rainha Da Bateria, and separating them for the BC would give them each a chance to step up and get that big win.
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby Senator L » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:01 am

They would have to nominate Disco Partner. His next start is the Troy.
Sounds like if he wins out they will do it
No one has ever bet enough on a winning horse.
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby BaroqueAgain1 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:33 pm

El Deal put himself on my radar for the Sprint with his recent impressive win in the G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga.
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby Kennedy » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:29 pm

September

Classic
Arrogate
Gun Runner
Shaman Ghost
Collected
West Coast

It’s been a crazy summer for many of the top prospects in a wide variety of BC races with Arrogate, Songbird, Lady Aurelia, Highland Reel, Midnight Storm and Drefong all suffering losses and some of them bad losses that really make you question them. In Songbird’s case we unfortunately see her retire outright.

In the Classic where we’ve seen Arrogate get beaten twice in a row at Del Mar I think there are major questions but at the same time my ranking is more or less the same? I think it’s important not to overreact and I think that there is enough there to suggest that Arrogate is still the top dog.

I think it’s easy to forget that this horse is still shaking off a trip to Dubai. A few years back the “Dubai curse” is all you’d hear about. The curse isn’t so much a thing but I think the recognition that a trip across the world and back can take a physical toll is a good one. I’m not convinced that Arrogate lost because he hates Del Mar. I rather suspect he lost because he is out of form. Form is something you can get back and I do think Baffert will be able to get him back to form. A return to form almost assures him a return to the winner circle because no one is as good as he is.

Gun Runner is a really good horse who should win the Woodward and could win the Classic but I think 9f is his best distance still and he’d struggle against top speed and good closers in a 10f race.

Shaman Ghost is a slight doubt with the throat surgery but I think he could likely make it to the JCGC and could be ideally situated to be in good form for the Classic. I think he’s a top grade horse. An interesting side note with him is that he’s 7-4-2-0 at distances beyond 9f which is quite solid but he’s 1 for 4 at Belmont and was well backed each time. Since breaking his maiden he is 9-6-2-1 in all races away from Belmont. The only horses to finish in front of him are Arrogate, Gun Runner and Breaking Lucky. I think that there is a chance that he doesn’t particularly care for the surface at Big Sandy despite winning the Brooklyn there. What makes that interesting from a value perspective is that if he is to make the Classic he likely will get a prep in the JCGC at Belmont which may obscure his form somewhat. Don’t be scared by another underwhelming performance at Belmont. If he is in the Classic and looks good in his works he is worth a play.

Collected may not even attempt this race but I think after his win in the Pacific Classic it’ll be hard to divert him to the Dirt Mile. This horse has never lost on a fast track and while he may still project some miler vibes I think you have to accept what you see on the track and when he’s not been on an off track he’s been able to win on the pace, off the pace from 8-10f on 4 different tracks. Not too shabby.

It’s maybe harsh to drop Accelerate off of his last two races where he has earned increasingly higher lifetime best figures. But I actually didn’t like his Pacific Classic at all and I think he should switch gears to the Dirt Mile. I’m not sure if his connections agree but there was no real finish in him. 10f definitely looked too far.

West Coast has become a bit of a sleeper favorite for me. His presence on this list is really just because I think he has some real talent and is going to get better and better as time goes on. He is already #1 on my 2018 Classic list. I think 2017 may still be too soon for him in terms of his development but if Baffert decides to take on this race with him I think he could definitely hit the super and if Arrogate doesn’t fire he’s an interesting play because I think he’s better suited to 10f than Gun Runner and has more upside than Shaman Ghost.

Turf
Highland Reel
Ulysses
Money Multiplier
Hunt
Sadler’s Joy

I’m pretty used to the North American side of this division looking pretty ordinary but what shocks me a little this season is that older division in Europe is looking pretty thin as well. Not to disparage the top two on my list because I think they’re both really good but where are the other contenders? Who is the third best older male in Europe that stays 12f? I would bet against Enable coming and the 3yo’s who seem to be good this year are milers so all the sudden North America has a chance?

Or do they?…Highland Reel beat Flintshire last year and I think it would be unwise to forget how good Flintshire was and how good both Highland Reel’s races have been in North America. You know that O’Brien horses are capable of big things at the Breeders Cup and he is the horse to beat.

Sir Michael Stoute is also a pretty savvy BC trainer and his sights on the Turf with this horse rather than the Arc. He’s good and you could see from last years performance in this race that he was a horse on the improve and this year has just added weight to that. He’ll have a huge chance of beating Highland Reel.
I’m pretty pleased with Money Multiplier despite the loss in the Sword Dancer. He looks more dynamic this year. He looks like he’s taken a step forward to me and I do think he is the best distance turf horse in the country. 12f at Del Mar might also feel a touch shorter than in some other places. He’s got a big chance especially if the top two Europeans don’t show.

Hunt, I had to really fight myself to put his name in here. Not that I dislike him but a horse who seemed like he might be one of the best down the hill sprinters at Santa Anita last year is not really the kind you want to pile on going 12f but I have to hand it to his trainer he looks like he’s in the form of his life and I’m not sure if it’s just maturing or the track but he’s the hot horse on the grass in the west and I can actually see him being among the top North Americans.

Sadler’s Joy is half placeholder until someone from Europe emerges and half representative of a few North American’s that are more or less equal. Beach Patrol and Ascend are very much in this group and they’re all decent enough on their day without being championship quality. Albertrani did a good job of getting Twilight Eclipse to run solidly year after year and I think he’s got a good successor in this horse.

Mile
Roca Rojo
Midnight Storm
Oscar Performance
Ribchester
Om

Is it fair to say that I have no idea about this group and that anyone who lines up could win? There have been 7 races in North America that are run at a mile and are G-2 or above for males. None of these races were won by the favorite and in fact the avg finish position of the fav was 4th. The avg odds of the winners has been 12/1 and only Bal a Bali has won two of those 7 races. The trouble is that he also seems capable of just not showing up at all. So with no established quality to respect I think it’s worth looking around for more interesting options that may not be fully exposed.

Midnight Storm deserves another chance plain and simple. I think his connections should leave him on the grass and let him settle into it a bit. His jockey said he seemed a bit confused last time out didn’t really get into running early which explains why a horse with such devastating speed went pretty slow early on. I think that wasn’t him on his game and he can do much much better. I think he is the best of this crowd if he can get back to his best.

I think Chad Brown will be looking for places to put his turf fillies instead of just stacking them all up against Lady Eli and Roca Rojo is likely the best miler of the bunch. She’s not as big and tough as Antonoe but I think she’s a handier filly with good quickness and is really a good two turn miler. I would expect her to prep in the First Lady and it won’t surprise me if she looks like the equal of the boys in that race.

Oscar Performance is already a Breeders Cup winner at this distance but in the much easier juvenile version. Still he looked like a machine that day in what his only attempt at the distance. Lynch has him performing excellently but I think if they were realistic he hasn’t looked capable of beating Beach Patrol at 10f let alone Highland Reel at 12f. He’s got speed, he’s got class, he’s quick, all the things you need to be a top class miler. His connections are planning on giving him a 12f prep for the BC so really only failure would bring him into this race which makes him harder to take but I do think he’s capable.
A soft ground reverse doesn’t do much to put me off Ribchester but I still think American course configuration will be his biggest hurdle. He has obvious talent he just needs the right trip.

Om is riding an impressively consistent 8 race losing streak and I think he’s got to be frustrating his connections a great deal. I’m not sure if he’s not good enough to win or if he’s just not interested in passing horses or if he just hasn’t had his big day but the talent is there and I feel like a major win will come. It’s just hard to say when.

Sprint
Drefong
Ransom the Moon
Mind Your Biscuits
Imperial Hint
El Deal

I feel like the Forego restored a natural sense of order to the division. At least at the top. The champ can still run and the rest may have their work cut out for them. It may have been the best performance of his life. While not the highest BSF earned in the division it’s a bad sign for everyone else.

I think every other slot in this division is a bit of a toss up. I have a soft spot for Ransom the Moon being a Canadian myself and growing up loving the Sam-Son Farm runners. It’s amazing that he’s been going longer on Turf and Synthetic for most of his life and what a change since moving to the main track and going one turn. 4 starts and just one loss to the super tough Danzing Candy by a neck. I know he may have been lucky in the wild Bing Crosby but this is a tough horse. I think he is one you can rely on to run hard rather than being one who might pop up with a huge new lifetime top. He might be the best of the stalking sprinters this year.

Mind Your Biscuits was just not up to his best last time out but is a horse you need to respect for the Sprint. Speed is obviously dangerous but it has a dangerous downside and it’s not uncommon to see someone sweep past the field. Mind Your Biscuits seems like the only real candidate to accomplish that. I’m not too worried about his latest failure. I think he can be back to his best by November.

Imperial Hint is the best horse who has not yet really gone mainstream and while the Sprint has a history of being cruel to horses who are “cheaper” I think he does have a real shot in a race where the pace is average. He wants to stalk the pace closely and for a little horse he is a remarkably good finisher. I feel like he could win or run 8th.

El Deal might be the speed of the speed and that makes him dangerous. I always want to have the fastest horse among my top 5 because the early leader can really have an impact on the Sprint. I actually spent a long time wondering if Takaful was the horse to fear on this file but for now I’ll stay with El Deal. Navarro is good at getting his horses to run hard early and very often they can burn off the competition.


Dirt Mile
Mor Spirit
Accelerate
Sharp Azteca
Honorable Duty
Battle of Midway

Baffert has Mor Spirit back on the worktab and there are few that can equal him on his best day. A two turn mile is perfect, the only real question marks are form and the surface. Having never raced at Del Mar it may give slight pause but honestly he is the horse to beat unless Collected drops into here. I might prefer if he had one start just to shake the rust off. I don’t think I want him straight from the Met Mile.

Accelerate was my longshot pick for the Classic right from the start and his win in the San Diego went some way to establishing the case that on a given day he can produce a big race. But seeing him struggle home in the Pacific Classic showed his distance ceiling and despite earning a lifetime high BSF (inflated number warning?) in the Pacific Classic he clearly didn’t stay 10f. This is his game and he might be the form horse in the division. It’ll take a sharp race to beat him.

Sharp Azteca is a really cool horse with a high ceiling and a high floor as they’d say in fantasy. That means he’s capable of the brilliant but even on an off day he’s still a runner and I feel like he is a pretty complete package. East coast, West coast, South, Central and Dubai he puts in a good shift and his speed makes him so adaptable and dangerous every time. He could be great value if the crowd’s flock to Mor Spirit. I don’t think the gap in the Met Mile is the real differential between them and I think the switch to a one turn configuration favors the speed not the stalker.

Honorable Duty is a little bit under the radar and I feel like he still needs to earn his way into this race, which is by no means certain but if I owned him I’d want to give him a shot. Course configuration is his friend. I’m sure he’d hope just to face one of the top 3 rather than all of them but he could have an upset in him.

You always knew that Battle of Midway was going to be a good horse and I think it’s taking him some time to come into himself but I would definitely look for him to hit the board in a race like this. I’d hope that he could get one more start in, maybe in the Awesome Again, and use a good showing there as a springboard. He might actually have the best BC winning chance of all 3yo males this year.

Distaff
Stellar Wind
Vale Dori
Abel Tasman
Forever Unbridled
Rainha Da Bateria

This race definitely misses Songbird and while Stellar Wind is a top notch horse with an excellent resume I think she’d have me looking to play against her on the day. The positives are clear. 6 G-1 wins, 5 wins from her last 7. Never lost in 3 starts over the track. She is the worthy favorite. What worries me is that in her career she’s been in 3 championship events. The KY Oaks and 2 BC Distaffs. In those races she is 3-0-1-0. She is 10 for 12 otherwise with just a debut loss and one to Beholder. But what is it about big days that cause her to run below expectation?

Vale Dori suddenly looms the lone speed in this division and may be genuinely difficult to pass but she has also lost to Stellar Wind 3 times already so it may be hard see her pulling it off. She does like to win though which is a really good sign and she looks really tough.

Abel Tasman is still a bit short of the level of her older rivals but is a talent that is progressing nicely. I think she’ll have a big part to play.

It was great to see Forever Unbridled back in action even if it came at the expense of Songbird. She is a solid mare who I think is a touch pace dependent but she feels like a really safe play to hit the board. Remember she actually finished in front of Stellar Wind in last year’s race.

Rainha Da Bateria is still a shot in the dark play with no indication from her connections that she would try but I feel like the Distaff is all the more ripe for a turf horse to try out the division with Songbird’s retirement.


FM Turf
Lady Eli
Antonoe
Dacita
Hawksmoor
Cambodia

Significant to note that I have no Europeans in this group. Obviously it depends on who they send but I really think the home team is quite strong and will take some beating. Lady Eli is just a machine and I think she’s elevated her game just a bit this year. I think the only way she gets beat is if someone comes late on the outside and Lady Eli doesn’t really get a chance to see them.

Antonoe is capable of some big performances and I don’t think the trips have worked out well for her in the last two. I think a big field will help her because there won’t be this need to try and attend the early pace. I think she is better if taken back and allowed to make one run. Short fields have required some tactical tweaking and I don’t think it’s her game. She is capable of a very fast quarter at some point in the race.

Dacita seems like the horse most likely to be flying on the outside late that just nips the leader on the wire. She is a firm course specialist and will be dynamite if she gets some pace to chase.

I feel like I haven’t really settled into how good Hawksmoor really is. In her last two she beat Dacita and Quidara who came back to give Lady Eli a run for her money. The form reference is there and perhaps he’ll be the horse they all need to pass in order to win. Potentially one that could be a bit under the radar if she doesn’t win her last prep.

Cambodia is in good form and it’s conceivable that she might be the only stakes winner in the field who has ever won at Del Mar. Not sure how much that counts for but she has been very consistent.

FM Sprint
Skye Diamonds
Bendable
Finest City
Paulassilverlining
Constellation

Skye Diamonds has really just become too good to ignore. 5 for 6 this year and two solid sprint wins in a row. Has a nice stalking style and seems like a determined finisher. With some of the east coast options faltering a little I think she’s the one to beat.

Was Bendable’s last race just a summer lull or does she need a bit more of a meltdown? Perhaps a bit of both. I do think that Mandella prepares his horses so well for big days. If they have talent he has a way of getting it to show when it matters. This is most of the logic for the play here. Bendable is capable of a big race so I’m keeping some faith here.

Finest City is basically the same horse she was last year and is certainly capable of retaining her title. She’s never been the find of horse that is going to win every time but 7f on the main track is her specialty and I think she should run a great race once again.

Paulassilverlining ran pretty poorly last time out which is uncharacteristic for her. Sometimes you worry when a seasoned campaigning mare just goes flat but I do think she can bounce back. I’d want to see her a bit more aggressive next time out. I certainly trust Chad Brown to get her ready.

Constellation struggles to make the most of her talent but is a really good horse. Perhaps a change of equipment or style might do her good after 4 straight second place finishes but she’s a G-1 winner and is a big danger.

Turf Sprint
Green Mask
Pure Sensation
Disco Partner
Lady Aurelia
Tribalist

I had a rethink on this race and decided to see what seems obvious and that is that the top 3 horses on my list are capable of some huge efforts and will be very tough to beat. Green Mask was a solid horse who didn’t seem to win often enough in 2016 but this year he’s won 3 of his last 4 with some huge numbers for a turf sprinter. I think he’s an experienced horse who has just settled into a real zone.

Pure Sensation is already in the clubhouse and he’s got a decent record to sit on. There may be a slight concern that he can pull it off on the biggest stage but his best race is good enough to beat anyone. I think his connections would feel better if this race were at Parx he’d be a shoe in. He’s 4 for 4 there and 4 for 10 on the grass elsewhere. But he has certainly run well enough on other tracks to give him a shot here and I think coming in fresh is a good move.

Disco Partner is just as good as his stablemate but I think he needs a bit of a setup to win going shorter than 6f. He might get that setup in a big field on a big race day. It’s not unusual for the pace to get out of hand when the field is full and the energy of the crowd transfers to the entrants.

Lady Aurelia gets a ton of attention as a budding star but I think it’s worth remembering that she’s a 3yo filly and she’s been facing European sprinters who are actually weaker than the North Americans. She’s good but the 3 I have ahead of her are really quite good and will be tough for her to handle. Speed is an asset but I’m not sure that all the travel is. In many ways she is a similar prospect to Lady Shipman and she may find some of these old campaigners tougher than they look.
You almost never see a horse with a record like Tribalist. He has run in 5 different calendar years and only has 6 career starts. Other than an anomaly in 2014 he generally gets a year between starts and yet he is 4 for 6 with his only loss on turf coming by a head on the downhill course at Santa Anita while a maiden. How many entrants in this years BC can legitimately say that they haven’t lost a race in 3 years? On form he looks too slow to win this race but I think that horses will generally improve with a bit of racing and it’s much harder to win off a year layoff than it is to build off of a series of races. I would not be shocked if he improves. Obviously injury is a concern, it has to be. But he is on the worktab and if he stays fit we might see him fulfill some of the potential his owners have waited 5 years to see.

Juvenile
Free Drop Billy
Bolt d'Oro
St. Patricks Day
Sporting Chance
Honorable Treasure

Much can change among this group and I expect that the names on this list won’t necessarily be the hot prospects two months from now but I feel as good about them as I can at the moment. Free Drop Billy seems like a horse you can be reasonably confident in and there is every reason to believe that he will improve going longer. If I close my eyes I can already see him winning the Breeders Futurity and perhaps he could give his connections a bit of solace after coming so close with the aptly named Not This Time last year. I think it shocked quite a few people when he was backed into favoritism in the Sanford but I think that’s a sign of the deep confidence his stable has in him.

Bolt d’Oro will likely vie with a Baffert trainee for favoritism in the Juvenile and there is much to like. He looks powerful and is likely to improve. He has a big win over the track and there is no reason to think he won’t get better.

I think the emotional association fans will have to St Patrick’s Day on account of his relationship to American Pharoah might make it hard to get a decent price but I think this horse can run and there is a good chance that he might be able to get the one his famous brother had to skip. Baffert rushed him back pretty quickly after his debut, likely in an effort to get him to the Frontrunner and then the Juvenile so I think he has the stable confidence as well as some of the bluest blood in the country.

I think you can generally trust that Wayne Lukas will get the most out of his juveniles even if it means pushing them over the edge. While they last they usually run hard and I think he has a talented one in Sporting Chance. I don’t know what made him bear out in the Hopeful but as long as those antics don’t repeat he has every chance to have an impact.

Honorable Treasure owns the second highest BSF earned in this crop. I know it was an off the Turf event but he really looked like he could run and perhaps even improve.

Juvenile Fillies
Spectator
Moonshine Memories
Separationofpowers
Piedi Bianchi
Dream It Is
Last edited by Kennedy on Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:56 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby BaroqueAgain1 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:37 pm

Sir Michael Stoute is also a pretty savvy BC trainer and his sights on the Turf with this horse rather than the Arc.

I read on RacingPost that Ulysses may run in the Arc...and then also run in the BC Turf.
It could still be possible that Idaho will show up at Del Mar. His last run in the Sword Dancer wasn't spectacular, but for some reason the usually-dependable Ryan Moore got involved in a speed duel with Frank Conversation. If Idaho redeems himself with a better run in the Pattison International at Woodbine, we may still get to see Highland Reel's little bro try to follow in his hoofprints. ;)
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby Tessablue » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:15 pm

Curious to hear your thoughts about the Sprint, Kennedy... Imperial Hint was insane yesterday.
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Re: BC Top 5

Postby Big Ten » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:58 pm

2017 is not what I expected with Songbird retiring, messy 3YO male crop, and Arrogate's recent losses in Del Mar.

With that said, Arrogate still #1. Gun Runner is in better form now. Collected might love Del Mar more. West Coast with a nice Travers win. Accelerate likely goes to the Dirt Mile. Arrogate, ftw. But I wouldn't play him under 2-1. I'm not sold at any East Coast shippers. Baffert going for BCC 4peat and might still win it without Arrogate winning it a second time.

I believe Arrogate goes off even money or no lower than 8-5 because there are people who want to see him earn over $20M and believe he will bounce back like Tiznow did. The sentimental favorite but a foolish play if low odds. If that's the case, I will just watch the race or put a small wager on a different horse.

As a racing fan, I want to see Arrogate win. Then again I watched Cigar and Zenyatta lose their final races and 2nd BCC win attempt as the sentimental picks. First time BC is held at Del Mar, and watch if the longest shot on the board wins it. Arcangue Sequel. Del Mar is weird like that.

Big Money Mike needs to live up to his name. Unleash the big, gray train and win by daylight.
Rock Hard Ten. Zenyatta. Cigar. Ghostzapper. Lava Man. California Chrome. American Pharoah. Seattle Slew. Secretariat. Affirmed.
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