It’s Turf Classic Day at Belmont Park this Saturday with the highlight being the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. It is a mile and a half on turf and a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Named after the legendary Joe Hirsch, a racing columnist and the founding President of the National Turf Writer’s Association - read more about Joe here.
Let’s take a look at the compact field of 7, from the rail out.
- Red Rifle- Is it curious that Javier Castellano jumps back aboard this horse after being the regular rider for Twilight Eclipse? No matter, Red Rifle is a very handy horse who has enjoyed the right kind of trips in his last several starts He switches off nicely, can be in between horses and has a nice turn of foot. Second behind the highly regarded Euro, Flintshire in the Sword Dancer. Two nice maintenance works since his last start, I think Red Rifle is ready for his first Grade One win.
- Perfect Title – A “Huddie” contest pick for me this year, who helped with my 10th place finish overall…yes. It’s a very ambitious spot for him. Cut out to be a nice horse early on, he may have found a new life on the turf. If he’s good enough, the added ground won’t hurt him.
- Big Blue Kitten – The best of the 3 Chad Brown trainees, where have we seen a Ramsey-Kitten favorite before? This millionaire, Grade One winner is the class of the field and always shows up. He is ITM in 25 of 28 starts, and the deserving favorite.
- Twilight Eclipse – Another Grade One winning millionaire and several times the bridesmaid to last year’s Turf Champ, Main Sequence, he picks up Rosario. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t get a piece.
- Slumber – Second of the Chad Brown charges, and another millionaire. He’s tried the distance 5 times with no success, but excuses in last two with very troubled trips. But –Beware- it looks like blinkers have helped this colt.
- Quiet Force- Former claimer on the west coast last year, looks to have improved under Maker’s care. Throw out his last on yielding turf which he may have disliked. He is a son of Dynaformer and out of a Royal Academy mare, which indicates he should relish the added ground. Looks like a lot to ask of him however.
- Shining Copper- WILL BE SENT. Chad Browns 3rd entry and look for him on the front end. However he needs to carry his speed another quarter of a mile and must hold off the closing kicks of a few very talented campaigners. Hung tough to the fast closing The Pizza Man at Arlington. Strange things happen in turf marathons when a speed horse is left alone on the lead. He’s your horse if you like that dynamic.
I like Red Rifle in here and I think it’s his time to shine. He looks to still have some upside. It will take a good trip, as always, in these events.
Very curious about just how much talent Perfect Title has and would not be shocked for him to run very well in here, at a price.
Big Blue Kitten is just so consistent, and he has his partner Jersey Joe in the tack. If there’s a sure thing, you can bet that he will be “right there”
The same can be said for Twilight Eclipse, rarely runs a bad one.
Enjoy Turf Classic Day at Belmont! And, as always, #fastandsafe to all our equine friends.