The Breeders' Cup is now pretty much a set of memories for the up-to-date racing fan and things are starting to shift to thoughts of the 2012 Kentucky Derby. The Hansen vs. Union Rags argument is percolating already and if you wanted to throw in Creative Cause and others, no one would probably dissuade you from doing so. There is another step for the soon-to-be three-year-old class coming up on Saturday, the Grade 2 $200,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. Here is the analysis:
#1 El Padrino- Todd Pletcher trainee crushed a field in the slop last time out to break the maiden at Belmont on October 29. However, it must be noted that his wet track Tomlinson number is high at 406. Was that 12 3/4 length win a product of his ability or was it a product of his liking a boggy surface?
#2 Souper Speedy- The 3-1 morning line favorite has raced just once in his career, but it was a win that produced a Beyer Figure of 81, which is pretty strong for a first lifetime effort. Again, the same question persists here as with #1 since the score came on a muddy track and this colt has a wet Tomlinson of 401.
#3 Done Talking- Back-to-back wins at Parx and Delaware make him one of the Mid-Atlantic candidates here. The price is nice at 15-1, but what exactly did he beat in those two races. The level of competition in the Mid-Atlantic is very good, but is it winning a New York-graded stakes race good?
#4 Our Entourage- From the stable that produced Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty comes this one, who ran fifth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. He was a winner two back over the turf at Belmont. His first race was a sprint on the dirt at Saratoga and he finished second. While the dirt racing history is sketchy, the workouts on the dirt have all been somewhat excellent.
#5 Mucho Mas Macho- Son of 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, Macho Uno, this is the most experienced horse in the field with seven efforts at Calder on the resume'. The only win in the bunch was a seven-length win in a race that was taken off the turf back in August. The morning line of 30-1 seems about right for this one.
#6 Stephanoatsee- A.P. Indy offspring has a win and a second in two tries at Laurel and posted a bullet workout on November 19 at Fair Hill, which makes him perhaps the strongest of the Mid-Atlantic contingent. The running style appears to be come-from-behind, which means he will need some pace to run at in here.
#7 Managed Account- He is the only horse in this race with a win at Aqueduct to his credit, getting home first in a $75K ungraded stakes race on November 6. Sixteen days later, he posted a bullet half-mile at Gulfstream, covering the distance in 47 seconds flat. He might sit just off the leaders here and first run at them could be crucial in this race.
#8 O'Prado Again- Broke the maiden at this distance of 1 1/8 miles last time out over the Polytrack at Keeneland. However, that race was taken off the turf and it honestly would appear that this one would prefer to be running on the greenery, much like other El Prado progeny we have seen lately.
#9 Speightscity- Sire won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint. Scored a win at the distance to break the maiden at Saratoga on September 2. Ran an unchallenging ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last out, but did run with the pacesetters for the first half of that effort. Corey Nakatani will have the riding assignment.
#10 Scatter A Star- The Chicago invader in this field has two wins and a second in the last three, all over the turf at Arlington and Hawthorne. In fact, this will be this colt's first try ever over a conventional dirt surface. This would seem like an awful lot to ask of him, but at 20-1, he might be worth a shot underneath.
TOP FOUR SELECTIONS: 7-9-6-3
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. They Are Off will be taking a week off next week, so tune in again in two weeks for more. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!