Just short of three weeks out from the World Championship
races at Santa Anita, news broke that proved that you can never take anything
for granted. About a month ago I wrote an article giving a brief rundown of
those that had earned a fees paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and listed those that were also being pointed
toward the race. A lot can happen in the span of a month, as evidenced by the
shakeup in the lineup for the mile and a half race.
Just over a week ago, dual challenge winner Novellist was ruled out of the Prix de
l’Arc de Triomphe due to a fever. Trainer Andreas Wohler then made the decision
to send his multiple Group 1 winner to Japan for the Japan Cup on November 24
rather than travel to California for the Breeders’ Cup due to the timing. Arc
winner Treve is also more likely to
head east rather than west for her next start. Should she race again this year,
it will likely be at Hong Kong in December rather than California in November.
This morning news broke that Camelot, who had recently come under consideration for the Breeders’
Cup Turf, had been injured. While pulling up from his morning work, it was
discovered that he was lame. The injury was not considered serious, but it did
mean that the colt would be unable to continue to train for the November 2
race. On account of the injury in conjunction with the fact that he never fully
regained top form after a bad bout of colic, it was decided that Camelot should
and Lucayan are also now unlikely
for the Turf. Finnegans Wake, most recently 2nd in the Bowling Green
Handicap, is a candidate for the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland on October 26.
Lucayan will likely make his next start in the $1 million Canadian
International at Woodbine, also on October 26.
Takarazuka Kinen winner Gold Ship is also unlikely to make the trip to California.
Due to the defection of Novellist and the unlikely start of
Treve, Grandeur is now under
consideration for the Turf. The 4-year old gelded son of Verglas has spent most
of his career racing across the pond, but last year he raced three times in
California, recording wins in the G2 Twilight Derby and G2 Hollywood Turf Cup
and a second in the G1 Hollywood Derby. In his only start in the States this
year, Grandeur finished 7th in the Arlington Million. Trainer Jeremy
Noseda has put a line through that effort, however, because the gelding exited
the race lame.
The defending Breeders’ Cup Turf champion Little Mike cut it close, but he earned
a repeat fees paid trip to California to defend his title via a win in the Joe
Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational. Changing tactics, Little Mike and jockey Mike
Smith rated off the pacesetters rather than contend for the lead. The new
battle plan paid off in a big way as Little Mike was able to gain the lead
turning for home and still have enough to hold off the furious closing kicks of
other Turf probables Big Blue Kitten
and Real Solution.
British bred Flintshire
and Slumber, most recently 8th
in the Arc and 4th in the Joe Hirsch respectively, have also tossed
their hats in the Turf ring. They are joined by Argentinean invader Indy Point, winner of the G2 John Henry
Turf Championship in his last start, John Henry runner-up Vagabond Shoes, Dixie Stakes winner Skyring, multiple Grade 1 winner Point of Entry, Gran Premio 25 de Mayo winner Ordak Dan, and the Ramsey duo of Big Blue Kitten and Real Solution.
Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes winner The Fugue is still considered a “maybe” based on her qualification for both the
Turf and the Filly & Mare Turf.
Point of Entry will enter the race off a nearly 5 month
layoff due to a hind-leg fracture that required surgery. He has had 5 recorded
works since returning to training, and trainer Shug McGaughey stated that he
has time to get two more works under last year’s Turf runner-up’s belt. Both
McGaughey and John Velazquez, who was aboard Point of Entry, were both very
pleased with Sunday’s 5 furlong 1.01:24 bullet work over Belmont’s inner turf