Winners win: 48% of Breeders’ Cup winners in the past 10 years won their final prep race, according to Jon White’s research, and 86% finished in the money. Of course, most Breeders’ Cup starters are coming off strong performances — in 2012, 28 of 59 runners on BC Friday won their last race (43 were in the money), and 41 of 103 on Saturday did (75 were ITM). In 2011, 29 of 69 runners on BC Friday won their previous starts (55 were ITM), and 40 of 104 on Saturday were winners (80 were ITM).
New York wins? Heading into last year’s Breeders’ Cup, starters coming off a prep race in New York didn’t have a great record in Arcadia. In the five previous Breeders’ Cup runnings at Santa Anita, 17 New York-prepped horses finished in the money, and only one won. In 2012, though, horses who prepped in New York won two races on BC Friday, and four races on Saturday. Another four finished second or third on Friday, while five did the same on Saturday, out of a total of 11 New York starters on Friday and 25 on Saturday. The Classic was a particularly New York affair — the top four finishers all last raced in the Jockey Club Gold Cup or the Woodward.
Stats and charts for every Breeders’ Cup are available here.
Today’s group and graded stakes with potential Breeders’ Cup implications from Newmarket to Churchill Downs, listed in order of approximate post time:
Race names link to summary results, winner names to replays.
There’s also the ungraded Unzip Me Stakes at Santa Anita (post time 9:14 PM ET), and almost a full card’s worth of maiden special weights for juveniles: Race two (1:36 PM ET) and race three (2:07 PM ET) at Belmont; race one (4:00 PM ET), race three (5:04 PM ET), and race four (5:37 PM ET) at Santa Anita; and race three (6:56 PM ET) and race six (8:30 PM ET) at Churchill Downs.
Among the many notable runners today are Pachelbel, the first foal of Music Note, winner of several stakes, including the 2008 Mother Goose and 2009 Beldame, making his first career start in race two at Belmont for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and Take Control, the now 6-year-old son of Azeri and A.P. Indy making his first start in more than a year and just his fourth career start overall. What’s he been up to? That’s a good question.
1:00 PM: Hello Race Fans picks for today’s 10 G1 races are up.
When trainer John Shirreffs knew that he wanted to work with Thoroughbreds:
“I got on his back, and I could feel his heart pumping under my legs,” Shirreffs, 68, said. “It was so clear that he wanted to work with me. It was magnificent, and from then on I wanted to know everything about them and the people who worked with them.”
Less poetically, it was 10 years ago today that I and Mr. Railbird went to Suffolk Downs for the first time and won $39 on a chestnut gelding named Ascot Doll. My life hasn’t been the same since, and I couldn’t be more grateful — for every friend I’ve met through horse racing, for every opportunity I’ve been given in the game, and to every horse I’ve watched run.
The Breeders’ Cup announced today that it’s bringing back the Distaff, which was cast aside for the Ladies’ Classic in 2008. Alicia Wincze called the news “the most popular name restoration since Prince,” and for at least an hour on Twitter, that seemed true. It may be minor, but restoring the Distaff for the 30th running of the BC is a feel-good, fan-friendly bit of change, a return to a classic word with resonance in the game, evoking greats such as Personal Ensign and Azeri. “I couldn’t help doing handsprings,” cheered Bill Finley. Thanks to the Breeders’ Cup, or, as Exacta-Mundo says much better,
… hats off to the Breeders’ Cup for proving themselves yet again to be an organization that takes fan feedback seriously and WELCOME BACK DISTAFF, WE MISSED YOU!
Celebrate by enjoying three great Distaff moments.
About the $1.2+ million topper of the Saratoga select yearling sale:
“It’s hard to get into those pedigrees,” Hogan said. “[She's from] an old Phipps family and has a great pedigree. If she works out to be a good race filly, you’ve got the residual [value]. She’s a half sister to a really good horse and with that kind of pedigree she could be a good hen.”
Buying, the real gamble. Not that Optimizer’s little half-sister by Dynaformer is going to sink anyone in this deal if she doesn’t perform. “When you have one billionaire (Brad Kelley) selling to another billionaire (Goncalo Torreabla) you know it is a good time to be in biz,” observed Byron Rogers.