Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pre-Entries are Out!

11 races, 141 horses, a Derby winner, an Arc winner, and a horse named after a Pearl Jam song. Man, you have to love when they announce the Breeders Cup pre-entries. Here are ten quick thoughts after perusing them rather swiftly:

(1) There are 23 horses pre-entered in the Juvenile Turf, of which just over half will start. This race is going to be an even bigger bear than we initially thought.

(2) Barclay Tagg smartened up and entered Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Mile, presumably partially because of the withdrawal of Shakespeare. I can't say he's going to be my pick---he's going to be a really short price versus his odds, a la Peace Rules in 2003 and Artie Schiller in 2004---but he makes a rather blah affair a lot more interesting.

(3) Dylan Thomas is coming for the Turf, great, blah blah blah. Much more interesting is the presence of Champs Elysees, who's a full to Dansili (sire of last year's Arc winner Rail Link, and loser of the 2000 Mile by two noses) and out of the same dam that's produced BC F&M Turf winners Intercontinental and Banks Hill. I'm not convinced that 1 1/2 miles is his best distance (witness the lackluster performance of his brother Cacique last year), but he'll be a veeeery intriguing alternative to Dylan Thomas at a square price.

(4) Speaking of Euros, not a bad group this year. I can't say I'm overwhelmed, but better than early reports were indicating.

(5) There are NINE horses entered in the Breeders Cup Classic. Nine. That's it. Of which two of them (George Washington and Diamond Stripes) are cross-entered in other races. My guess is the former stays and the latter goes for the Dirt Mile, making this field hideously small, if contentious.

(6) No Darjina, but a pair of interesting fillies in the Mile in My Typhoon and Precious Kitty. With the successes of Six Perfections and Gorella in recent years, they have to be taken seriously.

(7) Where the hell is Shakis? Bah.

(8) The trickiest betting proposition of the day will probably be how heavily to use Midnight Lute in the Sprint. He may not be a true 6-furlong horse, but that enormous Gowanus Speed Figure in his last looms large.

(9) If Oprah Winney wins the F&M Sprint, I officially disavow that as a legitimate Breeders Cup race.

(10) Last but not least, the Dirt Mile features two of the most fascinating talents in racing in Discreet Cat and Corinthian. On talent alone they should run 1-2, but nobody would be surprised if they ran up the track either. That's gonna be fun.

Previews and more thoughts to come....

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