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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2023 Breeders Cup - News and Notes

Lemon Pop - Mile Championship Nambu Hai

In an attempt at diversion from the chaotic and massive hell on earth that we are witnessing on a global scale, immersion into the equine side appears to be the best medicine.

In reality, horse racing seems to be quite trivial at the moment. Countries are on fire at this very moment and fellow human beings are being slaughtered by barbarians who appear to have jumped from the era of Atilla the Hun.

My keyboard wants to dive into every failure, atrocity, embarrassment, injustice, falsehood, and imminent danger of the last three years, but I also believe in an individual's right to his own ideology, thoughts and beliefs. The dignity of a man to pursue his own course without having to withstand another shoveling his own ideology down the throats of others.

With wide open borders and thousands upon thousands from unknown origins encouraged to pour in over recent months for obvious reasons, please, stay safe in your travels. Keep your family close and rely only on your own intuition and not the hypocritical musings of others. None of that incessant babbling will help anyone when all is said and done.

I will only state that I hope the majority finally sees things clearly with their own eyes and shuts out the never-ending noise of make-believe fear. The daily hum of that tune which truly exhibits their own fears and their one-sided faults that reek havoc on their own mental state - year in and year out. What is happening across the waters and that threat of occurring here should be the only real topic to acknowledge.

A populous that sides with common sense, law and order, justice and "democracy" for every soul and not just for those you side with, and the constitutional freedom for everyone - on both sides - is all that one can pray for.

Now, on with the HORSES.

City of Troy - The over-achieving two year old will make his third start in the Dewhurst today at Newmarket. Aiden O'Brien stated that while the unfavorable rainy conditions were not ideal for his charge, he would likely run him anyway. Unfortunately, the world class trainer also stated that this race will likely be the last of the season. Appears that America's trainers can breathe a sigh of relief on Breeder's Weekend.

UPDATE: He MASSACRED them!!! Come on Aiden, just one more race!! One more on Breeder's Weekend!

Gate Three - The Dewhurst Stakes 10/14/2023

Locked - What appeared to be an impressive win in the Futurity to secure his gate in the Juvenile is highly suspect for its translation to the Santa Anita track. Uninspiring and extremely slow calls on that bias, with a final time in 1:45.06 and the half in a sluggish 48.23 is completely opposite of any advantage at Santa Anita. Visually impressive "slow" wins on opposite biases hold no advantage when pitted against a new group on a true speed bias.

Muth - One of a few Baffert contenders with massive advantage. Based on the final tally from his American Pharoah Stakes win, he puts Locked to shame for the Juvenile. Off the pace, final time 3 seconds faster, half in 46.49, bias for bias, training at proper facility and home field advantage. No comparison. Baffert is stacked for this race.

Ushba Tesoro - In a resounding obliteration of his opponents first back after layoff, this Japanese superstar will walk into the Classic gate with one heck of a resume. The importance of the temperature on November 4th in California is an understatement. The late speed of this horse is overwhelmingly dominant on the prospective field, but his quirkiness and specific needs resemble that of a pampered movie star. Gotta love him!

Elite Power - The Breeder's Cup Sprint will be this Eclipse Champion's last show before retirement to Juddmonte Farms. He'll be entering a gate up against Speed Boat Beach, the Baffert trained speedster who broke a 5.5f track record first time out on the DelMar track. These two horses will be the stand-outs, with one who has home field advantage and the other who has never been let loose on a "sprinters paradise" of a biased track like Santa Anita.

Lemon Pop - This Godolphin Monster went "scorched earth" in the Mile Championship Nambu Cup just last week and talk of a possible showdown against America's Hero Cody's Wish could be a dream scenario in the making. Lemon Pop, a standout from the beginning here at the Club (hayes.gerard!) upon his debut back in 2020 would absolutely thrive at Santa Anita.

Lemon Pop had already secured a berth in the Breeder's "Win and Your In" February Stakes and he slammed that stamp as one of the best Mile Dirt runners in the world with his last performance. This horse is looking at three possible routes for his next showdown: The JBC Sprint on Nov 3 (NAR), The Champion's Cup at Chukyo on Dec 3, or the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile on Nov 4.

Get this boy on a plane!

Gate 3 - Nambu Cup - October 9, 2023

Emblem Road - The 113 to 1 longshot winner of 2022 Saudi Cup will test his luck in the Longines Breeder's Cup Classic. His last race, a 3rd in the Dubai World Cup behind Ushba Tesoro and Algiers was a valiant effort, however, far removed from the quality he will face in the Classic in November.

Songline - The Breeders Cup Mile may host one of the most impressive Japanese invaders this year. This filly is fast as lightening and not one to be taken lightly. Impressive recent workout shows connections mean business. Appleby and O'Brien may have some serious competition on their hands. Here she is, flying in the middle.

Algiers - Second place finisher behind Ushba in the Dubai World Cup has become quite a headscratcher. The connections sought to race this horse in America to determine form for a possible start in the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile. What possible "form" could have been ascertained in conjunction with the slick fast dirt of Santa Anita with his race on All Weather Surface in the Durham Cup at Woodbine? More questions arise for handicappers than any answers.

The son of Shamardal (listed IC chef) did not win the race and settled for second. Was it the tapeta surface that cost him the race? Will his form take a major upgrade on the fast dirt in California?

On the flip side, the fact that he was trapped behind horses and just missed the wire by only a half of a length actually shows excellent form on AWS, which again, contradicts the Santa Anita bias. Which way do we go?

This prep race certainly did not produce any definitive evidence one way or the other. Not sure what the connections had in mind here, last I checked Toronto isn't even in America and that AWS bias is quite the opposite of Dirt at Santa Anita.

With Saudi Crown, Cody's Wish, Gunite, Zozos, and possibly Lemon Pop vying for that trophy, along with the Algiers questions, the Breeder's Cup Dirt Mile on that Santa Anita track should prove to be the hardest handicapping challenge of the weekend.

Japanese Invaders - Definite so far: They are all boarding a plane on October 24th.

Classic: Ushba Tesoro and Derma Sotogake

Turf: Shahryar

Filly and Mare Turf: Win Marilyn

Mile: Songline and Win Carnelian

Turf Sprint: Jasper Krone

Filly and Mare Sprint: Meikei Yell

Juvenile: Ecoro Neo

Aiden O'Brien Invaders - Definite so far:

Turf: Bolshoi Ballet - Auguste Rodin - Broome

Filly and Mare Turf: Warm Heart

Juvenile Turf Fillies: Opera Singer

Juvenile Turf Colts: Capulet - Unquestionable - Mountain Bear

Two Major Blows - It is unfortunate that two headliners will miss the Breeders Cup this year. Both Echo Zulu and Luxembourg with heartbreaking issues. Luxembourg with a foot abscess and will now also miss the British Champion Stakes. Echo Zulu with two fractured sesamoids after her workout with Gunite.

Echo Zulu's injuries, which occurred on the souped up slick Santa Anita track, is hopefully not a prelude to dangerous conditions for speedy contenders on Breeder's weekend. Understanding that the SA bias, which caters to overt speed, can also lead to unsafe conditions to the extreme. Speedy contenders on an extreme speed bias leads to easy wins, but it is also a wickedly dangerous combination.


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