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Breeders' Cup Preview Review-Part 1


Heading into the 2011 Breeders’ Cup, gamblers will watch, re-watch, scrutinize and draw conclusions from all of the prep races that will take place over the first 2 weekends of October.  Here are the conclusions I took away from last weekend.

Royal Delta will be tough in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic.  Her runner-up finish in Belmont’s Beldame Stakes to Classic contender, Havre de Grace, will prepare Royal Delta for a prime performance at Churchill Downs.  In the Beldame, Life at Ten was given a loose lead, running the first quarter mile in 23.53 seconds.  Royal Delta rushed up to engage Life at Ten, gaining 3 ½ lengths in a second quarter run in 23.18 seconds, the quickest quarter of the race.   This would mean Royal Delta ran her second quarter in approximately 22.48 seconds, which is very quick for a race of that distance.  At this point, Havre de Grace was sitting a perfect trip and was not going to be beaten, but Royal Delta pulled away from the rest of her rivals and defeated the third place runner, Satans Quick Chick, by 5 ¾ lengths.  This performance reminds me of Royal Delta’s performance in the Coaching Club American Oaks, and how it set her up perfectly to capture Saratoga’s Alabama Stakes.  The path is also reminiscent to the one former Bill Mott-trainee, Ajina took to capture the 1997 Breeders' Cup Distaff.  As a 3-year-old, Ajina finished second to 4-year-old Hidden Lake in the 1997 Beldame, and then won Distaff over Sharp Cat later that fall.  With Havre de Grace pointing towards the Breeders’ Cup Classic, her toughest competition appears to be fellow 3-year-olds Zazu, Plum Pretty and It's Tricky.   Her gaining ground into the quickest portion of the Beldame signals her fitness and that she is peaking towards a top effort on Breeders’ Cup weekend.

Though Drill got drilled by Creative Cause in Santa Anita’s Norfolk Stakes last Saturday, look for him to build off that effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  Drill, running a route of ground for the first time, sat well off a slow pace.  The first six furlongs were run in 1:12.69, compared to 1:10.94 in the Oak Leaf Stakes for 2-year-old fillies run the next day.  On the final turn, Drill moved up strongly to engage the leaders but was boxed in with nowhere to go.  Once he was able to shake free in the stretch, Drill had too much ground to make up on Creative Cause, who had a perfect trip sitting just off the slow pace and getting a clear run without a straw in his path.  Drill got a much needed education in the Norfolk Stakes that will serve him well in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile where a quicker pace and longer stretch of Churchill Downs’ will benefit Drill’s closing kick.



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Older Comments about Breeders' Cup Preview Review-Part 1...

Good Points, I like Royal Delta to win the race, and to wear down Plum Pretty in the stretch. Also Drill is one of a few that can win the 2yr old race. West coast horses did not do so well last yr other then the dirt mile fluke which I took all so I was happy. Baffert horses this yr besides Drill dont look to promising.
@wps Ditto on that UR coment. Still want to see him around two turns where they seperate the men from the boys. Granted, nothing suggest he won't be fine.
Creative Cause ran a sub-30 second final 5/16 of a mile. Drill wasn't going to catch him that day....he would had to run like 29 2/5 in his final 5/16 to catch him. No horse does that on dirt, especially a 2yo making his first start around 2 turns. All I'm saying is watch out for him in the BC when the pace will definitely be faster & now he has a little 2 turn experience. All this may be total fodder considering how well Union Rags ran yesterday though???
It would have been closer had Drill changed leads when asked, but given the slow splits, CC was not going to be caught once he kicked clear. Drill has alot of maturing to do, somewhat to very green in all four outings. He looks like he may be a beast down the road when he gets it all figured out.
Seriously? CC took over the lead in the turn, from the outside. Drill caught two horses, but he did not gain any ground on CC. That horse could run in wet cement!
I'm with you on both of these, Jasen, especially considering there will be no Havre de Grace in the Ladies' Classic. Drill and Creative Cause are both very good and it would not surprise me to see them run 1-2 in the Juvenile.
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Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, NE.  From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10.  Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for handicapping the races has risen to a new level.  Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find “cap horses” in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

 

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charm’s 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race I’ve seen was Tiznow’s first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giant’s Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch.   My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping pick-4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

 

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do.  From week to week, I’ll explain angles I think are important to locate winners.  I encourage others to post picks they like too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions.  That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal.-Best of luck, Jasen Mangrum