2014 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile: Can Goldencents Keep His Crown?

2014 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile: Can Goldencents Keep His Crown?
 
Goldencents has always been one of racing’s misfits. He is a dynamic and obscenely talented colt, who has shown flashes of absolute brilliance. Problem is, he’s never been able to put that brilliance into back-to-back races.
First the speedy colt was put against a buzzsaw by the name of Shanghai Bobby, who ended up being that year’s unbeaten champion juvenile. Then after two good efforts routing, he was put on the Triple Crown trail the following year. He spent half the season floundering in routes, but then returned to California, and to sprinting.
There he faced his elders three times at the distances of 6 and 7 furlongs. All three times he ran second, running races that many would agree, were too good to lose. After those three performances, his connections had two options run in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile or the Sprint. Both would have fit the speedy colt, but his connections felt that the colt needed a little more distance and opted for the Dirt Mile, where he delivered a brilliant and dominant win.
So far, this season, Goldencents’ bad luck has found him again. He shipped to Belmont for the Met Mile and met another buzzsaw in Palace Malice. He finished second again in the six furlong Bing Crosby, again, proving the distance might be a little short for his liking. He returned to winning form in the Pat O' Brien, but in his final prep for the Breeders' Cup, he ran a good second in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
Now he is aiming to defend his title in the race that gave him glory last season, but this year he faces a new cast of faces. Vicar’s in Trouble, who is best in middle distance races, will be around to try and force Goldencent’s hand early on. Tracking those two will be the other three-year-old in the race, Tapiture, second in the Pennsylvania Derby, a race that snapped a two race win streak. He, like Goldencents, has always had the talent, but always seems to run into bad luck.
Outside of the three-year-olds, the most likely threat to a repeat by Goldencents looks to be Fed Biz. For most of the career he has been the inconsistent type. Running world class performances and then laying an egg in his next start. This year, however, he’s been as consistent as they come. He just missed Goldencents in the Pat O’ Brien, and then just failed to hold off unbeaten Shared Belief in the Awesome Again. If he can just keep doing what he’s doing, he has the best shot at upsetting Goldencents.
So, who will it be? Will Goldencents return to the sight of his most prestigious victory, and repeat his success? Or, will familiar rival Fed Biz or an up and coming three-year-old dethrone him?


Meet Laura Pugh

Laura Pugh got her first taste of Thoroughbred racing when she watched War Emblem take the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2002. At that point, she fell in love with the sport, reading every piece of news and information she could get her fingertips on.

Laura has a long history with horses in general, taking her first ride on her fifth birthday, with her first official riding lesson when she was eight years old. Both years she attended college, she joined her school’s equestrian team, first at Virginia Intermont College and then again at Delaware State University. Unfortunately, after back and shoulder injuries, she had to hang up her saddle. 

In 2010, Laura began writing for Horse Racing Nation and has also contributed to Lady and the Track, TwinSpires and USRacing. She currently works at a local newspaper as a community reporter.

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