OK, we’ve made it through September, picking up a few Breeders’ Cup
horses along the way, and now it’s time to gear up for the big prep
weekends at Belmont, Hollywood Park, and Keeneland, and, of course, at Longchamp. Only then will the BC races be truly defined.
This past weekend saw several interesting races in Europe. At Ascot Saturday, Rip Van Winkle
was nipped right on the wire by Godolphin’s Poet’s Voice in the Queen
Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I), a race he won last year. So, now comes the
question, in which direction does Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore go with
their son of Galileo? Considered by his connections a miler who can
stretch out to 1 ¼ miles, two of his best performances came in last
year’s 10-furlong Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I), when he was beaten only a
length by superstar Sea The Stars, who had to come again to beat him,
and this year’s 1 5/16-mile Juddmonte International (Eng-I).
Rip Van Winkle’s
pedigree is pretty much all grass and he did try the BC Classic (gr. I)
last year, only to tire badly, finishing 10th. Galileo didn’t fare much
better in 2001. So, why even consider the Classic again?