Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

Sea Moon to Win the Breeders’ Cup Turf

Day one of the serious Breeders’ Cup handicapping is complete, and have I got a winner for you.
Now is the time of year for the really good three-year-olds to step up and prove just how good they are. I love to see a sophomore at this point who is  getting better with each race, and that you have absolutely no question that they can stay the 1 ½ mile distance of the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Danedream’s domination of this month’s Arc is a great example of this type of coming out party. Or if you want specific examples for the BC Turf, how about Lashkari, Manila, Prized, Tikkanen, High Chaparral, Red Rocks, and Conduit, who all chose the biggest American turf race to run their finest race to date. I believe in eight days, we will be adding Sea Moon to this impressive list.
Sea Moon has only run five races in his life to date, but they are all good. After just missing in his career debut last year, the late-developing son of Beat Hallow came back nicely to win finishing up his juvenile season 1 for 2. This year he returned in June to easily win a handicap at York. Next up came a big step up in class for the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes in August. Running off by an eye-popping eight lengths, the Juddmonte owned and Sir Michael Stoute trained youngster displayed both class and liking for the 12 furlong trip that day in a big way.  
No longer a secret, Sea Moon was made a 2-1 favorite for the final leg of the English Triple Crown in his latest start. Unfortunately, his chances for victory that day were seriously compromised by an unlucky trip, and he checked in third in the 1 ¾ mile Group 1 St. Leger Stakes on September 10. Since then, his trainer, Michael Stoute, has been preparing him an appearance at Churchill. And in case you have forgotten, Stoute is already a four-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Sea Moon’s main competition is likely to come from fellow Europeans. A total of eleven horses were pre-entered in the Turf, but that number will probably drop to ten with the expected choice of Meeznah to run in the Marathon. Of the ten, it appears that the Europeans should occupy the five top choices in the field. Besides my pick, Sea Moon, the overseas contingent includes two topnotch females in Sarafina, who is held in such high regard in her native France that she has been bet down to 3-1 in the last two runnings of the Arc, and Midday, who is only one neck shy of winning back-to-back editions of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & mare Turf.  
The other two Euro entrants come from the powerful Aidan O’Brien barn, and both demand respect on their form overseas. Await the Dawn is a winner of five of his seven starts lifetime and was one of the most highly regarded horses in the world a few short months ago after his huge performance in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. Meanwhile, St Nicholas Abbey is a former juvenile champion and his victories include a strong, group 1 win over Midday earlier this year.
The rest of the field will be made up of a home team that looks less than imposing. Teaks North and Brilliant Speed boast solid form this year, but the former has never beaten this kind, and the latter has run exclusively against three-year-olds. Winchester is the most accomplished runner of the bunch, but failed in a weaker edition of this race last year, and most recently is coming off a race in which he looked completely disinterested in running. Finally Michael Maker has two horses in the race, and while Stately Victor appears to be a rank outsider, Dean’s Kitten is in the best form of his life, and is likely America’s best hope to make some noise.
Considering the proven abilities of the other four Europeans, it is quite possible that Sea Moon goes off as the fifth betting choice in the Turf. Tasty odds indeed for a horse I expect to win.
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Older Comments about Sea Moon to Win the Breeders’ Cup Turf...

I strongly believe that Midday hangs in the stretch and can never be trusted to take the top spot. St. Nick seems a cut below the others. I too like Sea Moon and Sarafina. How are people treating ATDs poor Judmontte International? Does he get a redo? Midday made him look second class there.
Here is his victory at York http://www.racinguk.com/video/race-replays/20110817/1806957
Sea Moons win impressive win came going that was quite sticky at York in August, several horses struggled with the looser ground during the festival there, i wouldnt bet a lot on him handling the tighter turns on faster ground, the OBrien pair have handled Chester though which is constantly on the turn
If there had been a decent cushion last year, it would not have mattered if it was fast because they till would have run. It was the fact that there was no cushion so the course was hard and jarring underneath, from what I have understood. Their comments were about the lack of a cushion so it was jarring the horses. They have no trouble running on firm at Santa Anita. It is all about the cushion.
If the going is as fast as last year then Mr Stoute will probably pull this one out
If Sarafina is in form and runs her race she wins. Sea Moon and St Nicholas Abbey are all solid, but St Nick has already lost to Sarafina. Await the Dawn to me is the sleeper. I could be wrong, but I don't think Midday is quite a top 12 furlong horse, especially against others with proven 12 furlong form. But it is coming up a big race.
I agree Sea Moon from down town runs past St Nich
Midday and Stacelita 1-2 for the girls :)
Hope not too, rayjay ... he's a live one! Midge, who you loved last year, was actually a 4yo, but I'm with you, Scott.
I thought Sea Moon was going to be my little secret. He was boxed in the length of the stretch of the St. Leger. Improving, plus Sarafina's main goal was the Arc, this is just an afterthought I hope that you haven't ruined the price.
You know this is my favorite angle, improving euro 3 year old in the turf.. Red Rocks, Conduit, Dangerous Midge!
Great minds think alike....Stoute also ran Conduit in the St. Leger before winning the BC Turf in 2008
I have a feeling that American bettors may go with the ones they know a bit more, hopefully leading to a 5 or 6-1 overlay on Sea Moon.
GREAT analysis, Brian. Unfortunately I don't think you'll get even 5-1 on Sea Moon.
I'd plump for Await the Dawn myself , check out the Ladbrokes market there, four horses at 4-1 co-favourite

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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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