JC / Railbird


Monday Notes

Frank Mitchell asks, “who are the great mares of the past 100 years?” Coming up with names isn’t a problem (there are so many), but refining the ranking methodology could be tricky. Record in open company has to be one of the criteria. Regarding that, you have to give Alan Shuback credit for pointing out the unpopular fact that, as the two near their final races in the Breeders’ Cup, Goldikova has proved more than Zenyatta.

The Racing Post rates Dewhurst winner Frankel “as the best European juvenile in the 21st century.” On the all-time list, he ties for third. No doubt Frankel’s freaky, and so is Champagne winner Uncle Mo, as measured by Thorograph. [More Frankel: BHA handicapper Mathew Tester bumps his rating up to 124. That’s the second highest for a Dewhurst winner this young century. It’s also second for the season to Dream Ahead’s top-rated nine-length Middle Park win, and as such, “doesn’t do justice” to the colt, sniffs Hotspur.]

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies lost one contender and gained another over the weekend. Oak Leaf winner Rigoletta has been ruled out with a splint injury. Undefeated homebred Awesome Feather earned herself a shot at Churchill Downs after winning the My Dear Girl division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder. “Breeders’ Cup!,” exulted owner-trainer Stanley Gold. “That’s what we discussed going into the race. If she won and did it right, we’d go …

So, I guess this guy plays football? And he visited Zenyatta?

The Big Three

Saturday’s Dewhurst Stakes drew a dozen possibles, including undefeated Frankel, Dream Ahead, and Saamidd, whetting interest in “the most eagerly-awaited two-year-old race of the modern era,” or, if you prefer, “the best race for two-year-olds in living memory.” Oh, my, that is hype. It makes all the post-Champagne Stakes twittering about the anticipated Uncle Mo and Boys at Tosconova match-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile look staid by comparison (for example, see Dick Jerardi, John Pricci). Some hype is certainly justified — it’s undeniably an intriguing scenario shaping up at Newmarket, with the flawless reputations of the Dewhurst Big 3 on the line.

Aside: Don’t worry about Frankel’s jockey, Tom Queally, who fell from a horse at Goodwood on Sunday. “He’s not concussed,” said the rider’s agent.

A few other buzz baby items to note: Wickedly Perfect, winner of the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland on Friday, and AZ Warrior, winner of the Frizette Stakes at Belmont on Saturday, were the second and third fillies to come back from the Debutante Stakes at Del Mar last month to score a stakes win. Rigoletta, third in that race to Wickedly Perfect and Tell a Kelly, won the Oak Leaf Stakes at Hollywood last week. The Debutante has also yielded a next-out allowance winner, with sixth-place finisher Sugarinthemorning winning at Hollywood on Sunday … Wickedly Perfect won’t make the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. A bone chip was discovered in her knee after the Alcibiades … AZ Warrior was one of two G1 winners for freshman sire Bernardini over the weekend. His other was Biondetti, taking the Gran Criterium in Milan for Godolphin. The colt is possible for the Breeders’ Cup, said trainer Mahmood al Zarooni … Aidan O’Brien trainee Together, second to undefeated White Moonstone in the Fillies’ Mile, could start in the Turf Fillies.

Housekeeping: Taking advantage of Equibase’s improved features, including the new horse profile pages with charts and workouts info, the spreadsheet’s been cleaned up (and should be much easier to use).