BREEDERS’ CUP – FRIDAY FOCUS
COMMANDER going for SOVEREIGN AWARD honours at Breeders’ Cup – read more below
FRIDAY – BREEDERS’ CUP DAY ONE SELECTIONS AND NOTES
4:45 p.m. EASTERN- MARATHON – 1 3/4 miles
Canadian content – COMMANDER, owned by Glen Todd’s North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, trained by Troy Taylor 6-1
POOL PLAY, Canadian-bred by Silver Deputy, bred by Windfields Farm
THOROUGHBLOG : OLD TIME HOCKEY, POOL PLAY, INDIAN JONES
I picked 2 sons of SMARTY JONES to be factors in this long race. I have no idea who will be happiest with the distance other than POOL PLAY, who won the Valedictory on Polytrack at 1 3/4 miles a couple of years ago.
5:25 P.M. EASTERN RACE 7 JUVENILE TURF
1 mile, grass
Canadian content – ONTOLOGY – owned by J. Paul Reddam
European colts are always tough in this race, especially those trained by Aidan O’Brien.
THOROUGHBLOG PICKS : GIOVANNI BOLDINI, OUTSTRIP BOBBY’S KITTEN
6:05 P.M. DIRT MILE
Canadian content – BROADWAY EMPIRE, Canadian-owned and trained by Albertans
THOROUGHBLOG PICKS – VERRAZANO. GOLDENCENTS, BROADWAY EMPIRE
6:50 P.M. EASTERN JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
Canadian content – MY CONQUESTDORY, won Woodbine’s Summer Stakes, trained by Mark Casse, ridden by Eurico da Silva
*very tough race to sort out and trip is going to be a huge factor
THOROUGHBLOG PICKS: SKY PAINTER, CLENOR, MY CONQUESTADORY, CHRISELLIUM
7;35 p.m. EASTERN – DISTAFF 1 18 miles
PRINCESS OF SYLMAR and ROYAL DELTA battle it out again, must catch BEHOLDER
CANADIAN NEWS/NOTES – FOR FRIDAY!
COMMANDER IN MARATHON
A year ago, one of Canada’s top older horses headed south from British Columbia to California, the bright lights, the big stars, to try the best horses in the world
But Commander, the speedy bay gelding owned by Glen Todd’s North American Thoroughbred Horse Company became too rattled from the experience. The big crowd and the noise shook up the Broken Vow 5yo and by the time he was on the track for the race, he was all washed out.
It will be up to trainer Troy Taylor and the horse’s caretakers to try and get the 12-time winner more settled as he goes for a second Breeders’ Cup Marathon attempt on Friday. The gelding is just 6 to 1 in a weak field for the 1 3/4 mile event.
A victory would ensure champion older horse honours in Canada and quite possibly, HORSE OF THE YEAR.
Commander is 4 for 8 this year with wins in te Grade 3 Premiers Handicap, Westerner, Fred Jones and Spangled Jimmy All but one of those wins came at Northlands Park. Aaron Gryder will ride Commander.
The presence of Ever Ride and Blueskisandrainbows may make Commander’s task tough as they are front runners.
FROM THE PROVINCE
Next Friday at Santa Anita in California, local horse owner Glen Todd will have his local equine hero Commander competing against the top runners in the world in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, a race that will be seen by million globally.
Todd attended the ‘Big Show’ last season with Commander, who did not fare well in the same race. This is a chance for him and his star pupil to return home to B.C. with a different result.
“Last year Commander wasn’t himself,” says Todd. “He had washed out (sweated) before he ran. Then he got into a speed duo early with another horse.
POOL PLAY IS..POOL PLAY
Canadian-bred old timer one of last stars bred by Windfields Farm
The horse has had an unusual past as he was a $60,000 weanling purchase from Windfields by Aspiration Stud. He was then re-sold as a yearling for $625,000 at Keeneland Sept. 2006 to Geathers Racing.
He debuted 2 years later for WINSTAR FARM LLC, was 2nd and then won his maiden 4th time out. Soon after, he was bought by Will Farish.
In 2009, Pool Play won the Grade 3 Durham Cup.
“Pool Play is Pool Play. As he’s getting older, he’s lost all of his speed,” said Casse, who saddled him to an eighth-place finish in last year’s Classic. “But he can run all day long so we’re going to give it a shot. He goes along at one speed, but he still can go. His endurance level is as good as ever.”
Pool Play is the only horse in the field to have won at the Marathon distance of 1¾ m, or longer.
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
MY CONQUESTADORY will indeed compete in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday. The Artie Schiller 2yo filly drew post 14 for the 1 mile turf event and caused Woodbine’s leading trainer Mark Casse to suggest the filly would not race.
The stable has had a change of heart and one of Woodbine’s top jokeys, Eurico da Silva, will get a chance to work his magic and work out a trip for the unbeaten Kentucky-bred.
Breeders’ Cup notes from Breeders’ Cup:
Although trainer Mark Casse and Conquest Stables co-owner Ernie Semersky seriously considered declaring My Conquestadory after she drew post 14 on Monday, the undefeated dual Graded stakes winning filly was still a go on Tuesday morning.
“I think everybody has had a little time to take it all in. Right now, we think we’re probably going to run. She deserves the chance,” said Casse.
The major determining factor is the courage and ability the daughter of Artie Schiller displayed in her last effort, the Alcibiades, when she overcame a world of trouble and then made a stunning middle move in traffic to go from 10th to first and prevail by 1 ¾ lengths in just her second start.
“Had she not done that, we probably would be passing for sure,” Casse said. “She’s shown she can handle adversity, although this is a much tougher field. In any race, you have to have things go your way, and hopefully things go our way. If they go our way, she should have a good chance of winning and if she does, she does, and if she doesn’t she doesn’t. That’s why they call it horse racing.”
My Conquestadory and Juvenile contender Conquest Titan, also owned by Conquest Stables, each galloped 1 1/2m under exercise rider Juan Bernardini on Tuesday morning.
“Conquest Titan is a horse who we always thought is one of the best 2-year-olds we’ve had,” said Casse, whose 15 previous Breeders’ Cup starters include 11 runners in Juvenile races and is the trainer of multiple juvenile Sovereign Award winners and a 2yo Canadian Horse of the Year. “We’ve had some success with our 2-year-olds so far, so that says a lot for him. He’s trained as good as any horse we have over at Churchill. We were disappointed in his first race (a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs), but he had some excuses and then he won the stake (Swynford) up at Woodbine.”
Last out, the son of Birdstone was fifth in the Breeders’ Futurity on Keeneland’s Polytrack.
“With the (rainy) weather at Keeneland that day, Eurico (Da Silva, his regular jockey) told me that he couldn’t see half the race. So it wasn’t the way you’d want to go into the Breeders’ Cup, and I didn’t intend on going into the Breeders’ Cup with him, but his last work on the dirt at Churchill was so good we figured we’d give it a chance. So we’ll see,” Casse said.
Conquest Titan breezed 5f in 1:00 4/5 on October 21 at Churchill Downs and the move was the second fastest of 57 horses traveling the same distance.
***LOS ANGELES TIMES STORY – MONEY TO BE MADE AT BREEDERS’ CUP
By Eric Sondheimer
October 29, 2013, 5:14 p.m.
For gamblers, this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita offer the most challenging but potentially the most lucrative betting opportunities of the year.
“It’s high risk but also high reward,” Daily Racing Form national correspondent Jay Privman said.
Last year, 10 of the 15 Breeders’ Cup race winners paid $20.40 or more on a $2 bet, and there were four winners that returned $32.60 or higher.
Typically, in the Breeders’ Cup large fields are stocked with Grade I or Group I winners and that leaves the opportunity for surprises, especially if racing luck isn’t on the side of the favorite. In last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, Game On Dude went off at odds of 8-5 but didn’t break well and ended up in seventh place, 15 lengths behind the winner, Fort Larned.