Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
With the Breeders' Cup
just around the corner and many of the
divisions still up in the air, I thought it would be a fun task to come up with
my pre-Breeders' Cup Eclipse. So without further delay, I give you the Dead Heat
Debates Eclipse leaders!
Two-Year-Old Male: Shanghai Bobby-
This colt has done nothing wrong in four career starts. He won
his debut all the way back in April, before returning in June to win the Track
Barron Stakes. Horses that start that early normally do not dominate further
down the line, but that is just what Bobby has done. As the months have gone by, he
has only gotten better. Not one single two-year-old had been able to close the maturity
gap as of yet. In his two most recent starts he took the Hopeful Stakes and the
Champagne in impressive and dominating style. There is no other Juvenile male
who can compete with his record. As of now he is your leading two-year-old.
Two-Year-Old Female: Executiveprivilege-
There are several very good fillies in this division, but none with the
body of work that this bay miss has. Five-for-five, four stakes, three graded
stakes, and two grade ones. Wins at distances ranging from five and a half
furlongs to a mile and a sixteenth. She dominated the Chandelier in her last
effort, and looks to add the Breeders Cup to that resume. She is your leading
filly as of now, but there are a couple who could snatch it if they prove better
in the Breeders' Cup.
Three-Year-Old Male: I’ll
He only made four starts this year, but in those four
starts he took three of the most important races in his division and beat the
best while doing it. Paynter had a shot, but through no fault of his own, he
was not able to follow up on his fantastic Haskell. No other horse has put
together a better resume in this division and I seriously doubt one will step
up in the Breeders Cup. With that in mind, this year, I’ll Have Another looks to
be your champion.
Three Year Old Filly:
This one was tough. I very much debated giving My Miss
the edge in this since she did win the head to head meeting in the
Cotillion. However, Questing's two grade ones at Saratoga replay in my head, and
I simply cannot forget the dominance she showed, when beating some very
talented and legit horses. Two of those, In Lingerie and Grace Hall just came
back to win graded stakes, with In Lingerie winning against her elders. The Breeders' Cup
could easily change my outlook on this should My Miss Aurelia win again, but
until then I think Questing has done just a tad more.
Turf Male: Point
One of the easiest picks I have. There is no other turf horse
in America with his resume, period. Wise
Dan has been impressive, but this one has more credentials over the lawn.
Turf Female: Lady
Are you happy West Coasters? I gave a horse of yours
recognition. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist some humor there. Anyhow, back to the
why. In five turf starts this filly has won four times and come in second once.
She has two grade ones and two more stakes to her credit. That is easily the
best record of any older turf female or three year old turf female. She, as of
now, has this division in a landslide.
This was tough. I really don’t see any standout here. Amazombie
was beaten plenty
of times including by this one. He only has three starts, which I’m not a fan
of, but with no standouts and knowing that his chances of winning the Breeders' Cup are solid, I’m putting him on top of a group that is basically leaderless.
Female Sprinter: Groupie Doll-
Pretty easy decision, after three losses earlier this season she
has taken her game way up with four straight graded stakes scores. Two of those
are grade ones, and what makes it even more impressive is the ease in which she
wins. I think she could go to the Sprint with the condition that division is
in. The only horse I see with a chance to unseat her is Contested
. Should that
won win the Breeders Cup she will have a total three grade ones and four graded
stakes. But as of now she is sitting second to this monster of a filly.
Older Male: Wise Dan-
No older male in the Classic division has impressed me much, but
this horse has been the picture of consistency all year. If not for a short
head in the Stephen Foster, nobody would dispute his Horse of the Year
credentials. Outside of that narrow lost he has won two other grade ones along
with two other graded stakes. It would take a loss in the Mile and a win in the
Classic by Game on Dude, Fort Larned or Ron the Greek for me to change my
outlook on this.
Older Female: Love
How much flack will I catch for this? While I want to put
Royal Delta on top, I feel as though with a total of two grade one wins, one on
each coast, one even coming over Royal Delta
, and two other stakes wins, that
Love and Pride simply has the edge. I understand Delta has the “wow” effect, but
that doesn’t take away that she seems to specialize in distance and around
Churchill. Love and Pride may have lost the Delaware Handicap, but was that due
to a blistering pace over a distance that may have been too far for her? She is
clearly capable of nine furlongs, and as of now with four stakes wins and two
grade ones she has the best body of work.
Horse of the Year: Wise
Dan- Point of Entry and Game on Dude are right behind him, but extra
points go to the most consistent horse in training for his versatility. Again,
I think that he was the best in the Foster, and he only lost a head in the
final stride of the race. Before and after that he has simply been brilliant. A
win in the Mile would ensure this title for him, in my opinion.