What will America’s sweetheart do next? Having won the last showdown with Havre De Grace, Blind Luck has thrust herself into the leading lady position for the 2011 Horse of the Year Award. Now we all eagerly await the news from California on what her next assignment will be. What we do know is that the date of her next race will be August 28. Let’s take a look at her options. . . .
If her connections choose to keep her at home, Blind Luck will race against the boys for the first time in her illustrious career. The Grade I, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic represents a stern new challenge for the daughter of Pollard’s Vision. If she chooses this race she would find herself anywhere between the favorite to the third choice. In Twirling Candy she would face an extremely talented older colt who is still trying to pass the 1 ¼ mile test. In Game On Dude, Blind Luck would meet a challenger with probably a little less talent then Twirling Candy, but a horse who has proved dogged at the Classic distance. The advantage to the Pacific Classic choice is a victory would go a long way in proving that she is the best horse in America of either gender. Meanwhile a defeat at Del Mar’s signature event might be a disappointment, but would do little to take away from her stature as the top female.
Also at 1 ¼ miles (likely her best distance) is Saratoga’s Grade I $300,000 Personal Ensign Stakes. While the Personal Ensign would not present any new challenges for Blind Luck, it would possibly present the stiffest challenge. That challenge of course coming in the form of Havre De Grace. She has already met her arch rival six times and come out on top four of those times. Having edged her in the Delaware Handicap, Blind Luck currently holds the advantage in most fans’ eyes due to the combination of last year’s record and the most recent win. A win at Saratoga would firmly establish her as the best female horse in America; a loss however, should do the same for her rival.
The final option is Monmouth Park’s Molly Pitcher Stakes. This would be a good time to play which choice does not belong game. At a mile and a sixteenth, the Grade 2 race would not appear to carry neither the prestige of the other two, nor the juiciness to the fans of the sport. Maybe trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is looking for a breather after the difficult schedule she has already run this year, and before the Breeders’ Cup. Or maybe a deal is in the works to bump up the purse for the Molly Pitcher, which would further push NYRA to raise the purse of the Personal Ensign.
No offense intended to Monmouth, but clearly the choice should come down to Del Mar or Saratoga. At a $700,000 difference in purse money, I could not blame her connections if they choose the Pacific Classic. Her entry there would certainly spice up the Twirling Candy and Game On Dude rivalry. It would be a win for the fans. But on the other hand, how could we go wrong with Blind Luck-Havre De Grace #7? Maybe it is time for NYRA to buck their previous stance against raising purses to attract a horse, or in this case, two excellent horses.