It’s on to Saturday’s card at Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs turf track is a tight seven furlong left handed oval so a low draw is a distinct advantage in the Mile and also in the two juvenile races run on the dirt which begin close to the first sharp left handed turn.  High numbers are not unfavoured in the sprint due to the relatively long run to the home turn.  Despite not being the force he was, D. Wayne Lukas still leads all trainers at these Championships with twice the number of winners of second placed “Shug” McGaughey.  Mike Smith is still the winningest jockey with Garrett Gomez and Frankie Dettori tied for second.  Frankie is expected to take some giant strides towards the top of the all time Breeders Cup jockey table this weekend.

Saturday is for the Boys (and Zenyatta).   The track is expected to be fast (dirt) and firm (turf).  All times listed are Jamaican times.



Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade 2; 1m; turf; 12:50 p.m.)

A trappy race with the top two on form from Europe namelyMaster of Hounds and MantobaMantoba has looked progressive on his last two starts with the tongue tie fitted but has also seemed to be a stayer in the making (his dam was successful at up to 1 ¾ miles) and this tight mile (he won at Newbury and Newmarket on two straight courses) may prove too sharp.   Master of Hounds won his only race around Tipperary’s tight turns so won’t be inconvenienced by this but is another one looking to be suited by a bit further and he has had a long season, running all of 5 times (winning only a maiden) including three hard races against classy types like Dunboyne Express and Roderic O’Connor (twice) and finally third to Casamento in the Racing Post Trophy.  Aidan O’Brien has a history of making the Breeders Cup races almost an afterthought and this might well be a bridge too far for Master of Hounds.  At his likely short price he can be opposed and the best candidate is the American BANNED who has won both his races stepped up to a mile (only 3 career starts) without his jockey having to use a whip.  He’s got limitless scope for improvement and is just the sort of unexposed 2yo for a race like this.


Breeders Cup Sprint (Grade 1; 6f; dirt; 1:30 p.m.)

This is certain to feature a torrid early pace including both fancied horses Big Drama and Vosburgh winner Girolama.    This race usually comes too soon after the Vosburgh as a result of which only one of the last 17 Vosburgh winners have done the double and that was when there were two more weeks between the races.  Big Drama will be very popular but is yet to win a Grade 1 after 4 attempts and looks vulnerable to an unexposed improver.  The two that fit this bill include Wise Dan who won an optional claimer at Churchill Downs in May by 3 ½ lengths and who will be very well suited by the fast early fractions here.  As an unexposed 3yo having just his fifth start there’s lots to come in the tank and he is a danger to all.  However, at the likely prices, I can’t resist a flutter on Steve Margolis’ CASH REFUND who looked like a future star when winning 5 of his first 6 races at this trip including an allowance race at Churchill Downs by all of 7l before training setbacks caused two losses and he was finally taken off the track in June.  He will run off the 4 month lay-off here; is catching pigeons at exercise and Margolis has sounded bullish about his chances.  This is a fantastic each way value and the exacta box with Wise Dan could easily make us independently wealthy.


Breeders Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 2; 5f; turf; 2:15 p.m.)

Another mad dash featuring last year’s winner (race run at 6.5f) California Flag who was very disappointing on last (not knocked about when weakened 11th of 11 behind SILVER TIMBER).   The closers SILVER TIMBER and Chamberlain Bridge could have it between them and, based on their running in the Grade 3 Turf sprint over course and distance in April, where SILVER TIMBER gave Chamberlain Bridge (steadied 3f out) 6lbs and beat him a neck (Central City a nose further back in third), it’s SILVER TIMBER that gets the edge.  An outsider to watch is Grand Adventure who was a neck behind the selection in a Grade 3 at Keeneland over 5.5f.


Breeders Cup Juvenile (Grade 1; 8.5f; dirt; 2:55 p.m.)

A one horsed race really as BOYS OF TOSCONOVA (BANKER BET) another who hasn’t ever been shown the whip in two unbeaten runs (the second being the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes) is a shoo-in.  Rick Dutrow has gone on record as saying that BOYS OF TOSCONOVA is the best 2yo he’s ever trained and that includes BIG BROWN.  Uncle Mo, another scopey, far striding front runner, would be a good thing had not BOYS OF TOSCONOVA been in the race.  This is the EXACTA OF THE DAY


Breeders Cup Mile (Grade 1; 1m; turf; 3:40 p.m.)

Another top class mare, Goldikova, goes for a Breeders Cup hat-trick here and she boasts by far the best form.  However, her previous successes were both at Santa Anita and she, like Zenyatta, isn’t getting any younger.  In that context, she didn’t need the number 10 post position adding to her grief and it should pay to make her the LAY OF THE DAY.  The two to look to for her defeat must be Paco Boy who she has narrowly beaten twice and the young, improving upstart DELEGATOR (nap) whose connections have been careful not to repeat last year’s error when he came to the Breeders Cup on the back-end of a hard season and who will run over a mile for the first time this year tomorrow.  He’s one to bet on..


Breeders Cup Turf (Grade 1; 1m 4f; turf; 5:00 p.m.)

With all that Champ Pegasus is on the improve and Winchester a Belomont specialist, in top form, this should be a simple task for WORKFORCE (BANKER BET) his connections take the decision to chance him on the firmish ground.


The Breeders Cup Classic (Grade 1; 10f; dirt; 5:45 p.m.)

Probably the best Breeders Cup Classic of all time featuring the sublime unbeaten mare Zenyatta and top 3yo LOOKIN AT LUCKY.  Game front runner Haynesfield and course specialist Blame will also come into the mix but it is the clash of the BIG TWO that all will come out to see.  The heart cries put for Zenyatta to end her brilliant career unblemished and with a hat trick of Classics but she’s 6yo now; not as effective on dirt as synthetics where she won her last two Classics; and in LOOKIN AT LUCKY she’s up against a 3yo out of the very top drawer who is himself unlucky not to be undefeated.


Friday’s TOP THREE:                                                                                            WORKFORCE (BANKER BET) in the Turf;                                                       BOYS AT TOSCONOVA (BANKER BET) in the Juvenile                                DELEGATOR (NAP) in the Mile

Good Luck!



  1. Ian Parsard Says:


    Interesting as usual. We’ll see how well you do this time around.

    Good luck

  2. howham Says:

    Stick to law

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