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Haskin: Where to Go With Rip Van Winkle

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?

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