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Zipse At The Track

Mott’s Marauders

For the better part of 30 years now, I have considered Bill Mott one of the finest trainers in the world. He may have never won the Kentucky Derby, but with countless training titles, and the patient handling of horses like, Heatherten, Sefa’s Beauty, Taylor’s Special, Theatrical, Fraise, Paradise Creek, Ajina, Escena, Go Between, and of course, Cigar, Mott has cemented himself a lofty place among the elite of America’s trainers. But until last year, it had been a long time between drinks of water for Mott at the Breeders’ Cup


Hard to believe, but Mott was suffering through a twelve year drought at the World Championships before Unrivaled Belle sprinted home to win last fall’s Ladies’ Classic. This year, the 58-year-old trainer is primed to not let twelve months, let alone twelve years, go by before adding to his Breeders’ Cup win total. Cigar’s win in the 1995 Classic may have been Mott’s finest moment so far in the Breeders’ Cup, but with the string of horses he is bringing this year, winning more than one of the big races could be in the cards for the first time in his Hall of Fame career. Let's take a look at his formidable BC lineup...

Royal Delta (Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic)   6-1
Still in the running for the 3yo filly championship, Royal Delta has been a bit of an enigma this year. When she is good, she is very, very good. Conversely, on other days she has looked positively ordinary. With the likelihood of Havre de Grace running against the males, this year's Ladies' Classic looks wide open. With a repeat of her performances in the Alabama and Black-Eyed Susan, Royal Delta might not only be a factor in Louisville, she may be the one to beat.

To Honor and Serve (Breeders' Cup Classic)   10-1
The Live Oak Plantation youngster has proven to be one of the most talented horses of his foal crop. He did it last year with big fall wins at Aqueduct, and now after a setback early this year, Mott has him back in fine fettle. His allowance win at Saratoga was eye-catching, and his follow-up romp in the Pennsylvania Derby was one of the finest races run by a sophomore all year. Any further improvement could well see Mott celebrate his second BC Classic victory.

Courageous Cat  (Breeders' Cup Mile)   10-1
Yes, I know Goldikova, as well as a few other tough Euros, will be here, but just take a look at the consistency of this topnotch miler. He was game as could be in his last race, the Woodbine Mile, and possesses that kind of running style that could give him first jump as the dash to the wire begins. Maybe, just maybe, if Goldi has indeed lost a step, Courageous Cat has as good as chance as anyone to be the one that gets to the finish line before the rest.

Birdrun (Breeders' Cup Marathon)   6-1

This one is actually my top pick in the Marathon. He has proven his class this year with a win over Drosselmeyer in the Brooklyn, and his prep, in which he showed good speed in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, should set him up perfectly for his distance test at Churchill Downs. His two 12 furlong races prove he can go the distance, and in a race this long, I often look for the horse who will be leading as the field turns for home. I think Birdrun is a strong candidate to do just that, and then lead them all on a merry chase to the wire.

Drosselmeyer (Breeders' Cup Classic)   20-1

Of the five BC contenders in Mott's Barn, this one might be the only one who would be a bit of a shocker. But let's face it, in this year of continuing surprises, seeing a longshot winner of the Classic should not be too much of a surprise. He is a Belmont winner, is coming off his best race of the year, when 2nd in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and could be a benefactor of tiring frontrunners at the classic 1 1/4 distance. And oh yeah, he is trained by the master, Bill Mott.


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Older Comments about Mott’s Marauders...

Pretty good double for Mr. Mott!
If you plug into this website Thank You to Bill Mott, and Becky Maker where ver you might be for teaching me the things that you did ,when we worked together.LOL,Best of Luck with whatever you mmight be doing now,and May God Bless!
Thanks Brian, my bad. That was a great day for Mandella.
You're thinking of Richard Mandella, railbird33.
BayRoan, History? no. Mott took four Breeders' Cup victories several years when Santa Anita hosted the original -one day of races. You'll be happy to know- none were chalks.
I like Royal Delta in the Ladies Classic & think Courageous Cat is USA's best chance in the Mile. Drosselmeyer is a strange horse, I guess he could land in the Super in the Classic. He reminds me of an Awesome Gem or Fly Down when they hit the superfecta in the last few years.
I'm so excited about this, I can hardly stand it! But I hate it that Bill is putting two horses in the Boy's Classic... as long as one of them wins and the other finishes no worse than 3rd, that would be totally kick-ass! Wouldn't it be history if Bill took the Circle with all 4 races!! ;)
Drosselmeyer needs to run in the marathon .....he would be 3-1 instead of 100-1...
Mott does not change his patient training methods under any circumstances and I have so much respect for that. Probably why the KY Derby is a tough race for him to win. I always root for him to do well.

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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, and American Pharoah. 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. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, 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 co-hosting the popular racing show, 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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