Can Goldikova’s brother halt the Mile streak of Wise Dan?

October 09, 2014 08:02am
Goldikova BC CD 615 X 400
Photo: Reed Palmer Photography

 

Anyone who has watched the Breeders' Cup for the past three decades is quite familiar with Freddy Head. The French jockey turned trainer was the first to ride a horse to win back-to-back editions of a World Championship race when he booted home Miesque to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1987 and 1988. Twenty years later he came back to dominate the same race when he tightened the girth on the great Goldikova, as she became the only horse to win three times in the Breeders’ Cup, stylishly scoring in the Mile in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Now, with America’s defending two-time Horse of the Year on the brink of matching Goldikova’s amazing feat, Head will once again be back to raid the richest middle turf race in the United States with another French invader, and in Anodin, Head just may have one of the more dangerous roadblocks to the Wise Dan express.

 


Interestingly, the four-year-old bay colt has a pedigree to die for, at least as far as the BC Mile goes. Not only does he have the same trainer, owner, and breeder as Goldikova, but in fact, Anodin is a full brother to the great Breeders’ Cup champion. Just imagine how much satisfaction Head may get in preserving the Cup record of Goldikova, while doing it with her little brother. Still, the large question remains … does the Wertheimer and Frere homebred have the goods to actually defeat Wise Dan, and continue Head’s extraordinary record in this race?

 


Of course, the ultimate answer will not be determined for a little over three weeks yet, but in the meantime, let’s delve deeper into the racing career of Anodin.

 


A non-winner since the summer of 2013, Anodin’s 2-for-13 lifetime mark is not going strike fear into a single Wise Dan supporter. There is plenty more there, than only a spotty record with this one, though. His only two wins came last year at the flat mile distance, and although he hasn’t won this year, Anodin is a better horse at four. He has run several good races in 2014, most notably an excellent third to Toronado and Verrazano in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, in which the diminutive colt made first run at the leaders. Sandwiched around that effort in June were a pair of second place finishes in Group 1 affairs in France, in which he was only defeated by two of the premier turf horses in the world, in Cirrus Des Aigles and Kingman. 

Having been pointed for the Breeders’ Cup Mile for much of the year, Head believes that much like his sister, Anodin is well suited for the demands of one mile on the firm turf of Santa Anita. Since his good runner-up placing to Europe’s top miler in the Prix Jacques le Marois, Anodin has only run once, a disappointing fifth place finish in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret on Sunday. Find the familiar light blue silks, though, and you will see the nightmare trip the son of Anabaa was forced to swallow on that afternoon.

Can he defeat Wise Dan? Maybe no horse can, but if the big horse has an off day, the Breeders' Cup Mile legend, Freddy Head, has one of the more interesting upset candidates in Anodin.

 

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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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