Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Hoping to do better than the local weatherman, I venture out of the comfortable and into the murky game of future telling by making public my early selections for the 2012 Breeders’ Cup. A fool’s mission maybe, but hey, with only eight weeks to go until the big two days at Santa Anita, most of these horse will only see one more race before they lineup for the chance to win the biggest race of their lives.
As always, don’t be afraid to let me know the error of my ways…
go for the big game of the two-turn Juvenile, but he looks more like a one-turn specialist to me, and a very, very good one at that.
Juvenile Filly Turf – Funfair The Christophe Clement filly has been nothing if not impressive in her two fast wins on the grass. She will need to stretch it out in November, but looking at the pedigree and knowing her trainer, the trip should be no problem.
Filly & Mare Sprint – Groupie Doll It all came together for the Doll in the Humana Distaff and more of the same in November will earn her a championship. More on my feelings on this one coming in tomorrow’s blog.
Juvenile Fillies – Executiveprivilege My favorite juvenile filly in the nation is Al Stall’s Sign, but since I do not expect him to rush her into the Juvenile Fillies, I am going with the safe play, and the current queen of west coast juvenile fillies.
Filly & Mare Turf – The Fugue I have seen this young filly on video in Europe enough to know that she is the real deal and could well hold her American foes over the proverbial barrel. Ladies’ Classic – It’s Tricky If it were a mile and a quarter, Royal Delta would be the pick, but I was so impressed with It’s Tricky’s gutsy performance last time that I just could not pick against her. Hot sophomores, Questing and Potesta add spice to this interesting heat.
Marathon - Redeemed I’m still holding out hope that this might be my long shot play in the Classic, but as of now, he looks more likely for the Marathon. The fast dirt at Santa Anita should be good for the American cause, and I believe Samantha Siegel’s charge to be our best.
Juvenile Turf – Brown Almighty I had a hard time picking between this one from the first crop of Big Brown and the impressive rally of With Anticipation winner, Balance the Books, but in the end I had to go with the colt who I saw impressively win his debut at Arlington Park.
Sprint - Emcee The Forego sold me on this one. He will have to take his talent west, but I don’t see that to be a problem for the lightly raced colt who is getting very good at the right time. He has the speed to stay close, and the pounce to take over the race at the eighth pole.
Turf Sprint - Caracortado A wide open affair to be sure, but a healthy scarface rallying down the lane over the downhill course just seems to be a wise choice at this point. When healthy, he is a big time talent.
Dirt Mile - Coil He may be a bit of a dark horse with only a pair of races so far this year, but I have no doubt that the talent is there, and I believe a flat mile at Santa Anita will be right up his alley.
Turf – Snow Fairy Point of Entry looks great, and you know I cannot wait for the return to turf for Dullahan, but I have too much respect for European turf racing not to pick this fantastic race mare. It seems a certainty that Snow Fairy is coming over, and I, for one, cannot wait to see her in the flesh.
Juvenile – Know More Tough to pick any juvenile over the rest at this point, but I love this one’s first two races, and he looks to me to be a horse who should appreciate two turns. If his Del Mar form carries over a couple of hours north, I like his chances to clinch a championship for the O’Neill-Reddam duo.
Mile – Wise Dan I’m sure there will be some salty Euros coming over, and I have by no means given up on Mr. Commons, but I find it hard to ignore the talent of Wise Dan. If this is his BC race, he will be the one they all have to beat.
Classic – Game On Dude There are many good older horses in the nation that I could have gone with here, but in the end, I have to go with the Dude at Santa Anita. I consider him almost a sure thing to be in the mix at his favorite track, and has a legitimate chance to do one better than his runner-up finish last year. If the Breeders’ Cup were at Belmont this year, Mucho Macho Man would be the top choice.