Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Looking For Daylight" in the Breeders Cup Turf

It’s here! Breeders Cup 2013 and two days of championship racing has arrived. This year the races are once again at Santa Anita, and winners in each division will have a huge effect on year end awards.

Thank you to the Handicapping Corner at ThoroFan for the opportunity to share my thoughts on the 30th renewal of the BC Turf.

Nineteen of the 29 runnings of the Breeder’s Cup Turf have been won by horses from Europe. That’s a huge statistic that’s impossible to ignore. They simply breed more distance turf horses, and many times, though not always, even their second stringers can compete with our top horses. But make no mistake, this is a salty bunch

Two fillies have been successful in this race, Pebbles (Aqueduct 1985) and Miss Alleged (Churchill, 1991) but that was before the female division had their own race. I had the pleasure of seeing them both .Though the Breeders Cup was held for the first time in 1984, it wasn’t until 1999 that the fillies and mares had their own championship race.

There is one filly in this race whose connections chose this race over the Filly & Mare Turf. And that is The Fugue, my pick to win.

So why would someone enter a filly in against colts when they could run against their own kind?

Well there are several reasons. The BC Turf is a mile and a half- the F&M Turf is a mile and a ¼. The purse is larger as well. They run for 3 Million. But the biggest reason that The Fugue is competing here according to her connections is redemption. That and the fact that the added distance will work to her benefit and give her a little more ground should she ensue traffic troubles. Like last year in the Filly & Mare Turf. Listen here, in a Blood Horse video, to trainer John Gosden talk about his filly and how she will “be lookingfor daylight” 

The Fugue is an aptly named 4 year old filly by Dansili out of stakes winner Twyla Tharp by Sadler’s Wells. With the influence of Sadler’s Wells on the dam’s side, one would think The Fugue would like wet ground. But in fact, she did not run in the Arc this year because of the ground conditions. Make no mistake, the Breeder’s Cup Turf has been on her dance card for a while and it is said, she much prefers running over the top of the ground. Her last two group one wins-one against the boys-were stellar. Draw a line through the Coral Eclipse Stakes as she was not 100%.

According to her Twitter account – yes she has one- she has shipped well and had some light exercise and a trip to the paddock on Tuesday. Social media pictures and video show a bright, healthy, alert filly, a year older a year stronger and ready to run a big one.

A prime effort is expected.

Let’s take a quick look at the rest of the field, from the rail out.

  1. Vagabond Shoes – A Gr.2 winner that has never been the distance. Three tries on the course has produced one second place finish.
  2. Teaks North – Millionaire 6 year old has a prep on the course and is working well, but appears in deep.
  3. Twilight Eclipse – Another Gr.2 winner but with 2 wins at the distance. Longshot possibility to get a share.
  4. Little Mike – Defending champ and looking like he’s returning to form, with a game win in the Turf Classic. He’s been there and done that and lookout if he gets loose on the lead.
  5. Skyring - While his daddy English Channel was successful in this race, this colt has a long way to go and will be every bit of his 30-1 line.     
  6. Tale of a Champion – Ran in the BC Turf Sprint last year and does have a win over the course. Don’t see him making any impact here.
  8. Point of Entry – Multiple Gr. 1 winning son of Dynaformer  loves this distance. A top class horse, he suffered a condylar fracture in his right hind leg in June Expert old school connections, he is coming into this off a layoff, with no prep and has to ship. Undoubtedly capable for the top prize but lots to overcome.
  9. Indy Point – Multiple stakes winner in Argentina, with a win over the course in his last- a Gr 2. Connections know how to win a Breeders Cup.
  10. Big Blue Kitten – One of two Kittens Joys’ / King Ramsey horses. Multiple Grade 1 winner of 10 races, he is as consistent as they come.
  11. Magician – Euro son of Galileo with First Time Lasix. He has some class, but this is his biggest test yet.
  12. Real Solution – The other “kitten” he has loads of talent and some upside potential.

My play for the win is The Fugue. My superfecta box is The Fugue/Point of Entry/Little Mike / Big Blue Kitten.

Good Luck and enjoy Breeders Cup ’13. And to our equine friends “Be Fast, and be Safe”


  1. I'm rooting for Point of Entry here, it's going to be tough for him to win after the injury and lay-up, but he's so classy I can't pick against him. Big Blue Kitten has been awesome lately and he'll be my second pick. Eager to see The Fugue runs here as well.

  2. You could have the winner Brian, POE should run huge. Thanks for visiting!