A few of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup contenders I’ve spotted around Santa Anita …
Animal Kingdom (Mile)
Groupie Doll (Filly and Mare Sprint)
Sky Lantern (Juvenile Fillies Turf)
Game on Dude (Classic)
Richard’s Kid (Classic)
Ron the Greek (Classic)
Pool Play (Classic)
Point of Entry (Turf)
Furthermore, there are bad memories from the last two occasions the Breeders’ Cup was held at Santa Anita. In 2008 and 2009, the main track was a synthetic surface, and European horses won a disproportionate amount of races. It’s been switched back to conventional dirt since then, but East Coast horses routinely have trouble with the surface.
Re: East Coast horses, sure, the stats are bad — particularly for New Yorkers.
But bad memories? Coming after the horror of the 2007 Breeders’ Cup — watching George Washington slump into death on the sloppy Monmouth stretch and listening to the unknowing crowd clap as his lifeless body was driven away in the horse ambulance in the gathering gloom of a chilly twilight remains one of my worst racing memories — the light, warmth, and lack of dying horses at Santa Anita* in 2008 and 2009 was wonderful. There, at least, people were cheering for the living. I’m so glad the BC is back in Arcadia.
*I admit to being a little worried about what might happen this year. The publicly available Equine Injury Database stats for Santa Anita haven’t been updated since April 2012, but the fatality rate is up post-synth (PDF).
Dick Jerardi doesn’t care where a single comes in a bet sequence: “The way I look at it, there are two possibilities: I am going to be right or I am going to be wrong. When that is determined is irrelevant.”
Breeders’ Cup Turf Trends: It’s all about the finish.
As much as I’d like to think Excelebration will be the second-favorite to Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (and available at 3-1 or better), raceday betting will probably look more like the current ante-post odds.
Appreciating Frankie Dettori, “global proponent of la dolce vita.”
10/31/12: Official programs with full PPs for Friday (PDF) and Saturday (PDF) / Hello Race Fans cheat sheets for the Ladies’ Classic and Classic / Mike Welsch’s Breeders’ Cup Clocker Friday report card