Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Where To Begin...

So much happened this past weekend over racetracks around the world that I am just not sure where to begin.

Of course, Zenyatta ran in the Lady's Secret and made it a perfect 19 for 19 in her career. It was another instance of saying, "She's not going to get there." and as soon as you finish saying it, you have to say, "Oh, yes she is." The Grand Dame of the American Turf just barely ran down Switch to win the Lady's Secret at the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park on Saturday. Zenyatta is still pointing for a repeat try in the Breeders' Cup Classic on November 6 at Churchill Downs, but I am not sure that's the best spot for her that weekend. She might be better served to run in the Ladies' Classic on Friday, which is no pushover of a race either with Blind Luck, Havre De Grace, and a pretty decent field shaping up for that race as well. Meanwhile, Switch appears destined to run in the Filly And Mare Sprint on Breeders' Cup Friday.

Meanwhile, the other top choice for Horse Of The Year honors, Blame, suffered his first defeat of 2010 and he lost conclusively to the front-running Haynesfield. Haynesfield exploded to a five-length lead going around the far turn at Belmont Park and never, ever looked back. Blame got started late and ended up running second, but it was never really much of a horse race. Haynesfield was just that dominant. It would appear that they will be matched up again in the Classic, along with Zenyatta, Quality Road, and what might be the best field for a Breeders' Cup Classic in a while.

The declared leader of the Juvenile Filly ranks, Tell A Kelly, stretched out for the first time around two turns. She ended up getting beat by a 32-1 longshot, Rigoletta, in Oak Leaf Stakes. In Tell A Kelly's defense, I really found the ride she got to be indefensible. She was in traffic trouble most of the way around and had to try and rally from in between horses, which is difficult enough for an experienced horse to deal with, much less a lightly race two-year-old filly going two turns for the first time. I still expect her to be the favorite for the Juvenile Fillies for the Breeders' Cup on Filly Friday.

Europe also leapt into the picture for the Breeders' Cup in a big way with two-time defending champion of the Breeders' Cup Mile, the brilliant Goldikova, winning her final prep race on the Arc undercard at Longchamp. Goldikova held off the late run of Paco Boy to win the Prix de la Foret. Meanwhile, in the Main Event, Workforce won an exciting rendition of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He barely held off longshot Nakayama Festa to prevail in the French Classic by a head and earn an Arc triumph for trainer Sir Michael Stoute. The rumor is that Workforce will now be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Turf.

All in all, it was a frenetic weekend that produced highs and lows and all kinds of excitment on racetracks all over the world. Even though I didn't cash a ticket on any of it, I still loved every minute of it. Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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