Moon to rise at Santa Anita
Our Man On The Spot previews Saturday's action at the Breeders' Cup meeting at Santa Anita.
- Related Content
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (18:50)
European raiders have won three of the five renewals with Aidan O'Brien picking up last year's race. He runs Dewhurst third George Vancouver here who makes more appeal than stablemate and Listed winner Lines Of Battle. Dundonnell has leading claims on his defeat of Steeler at York as the latter went on to beat today's rival Artigiano at Newmarket when the favourite, FANTASTIC MOON, was hampered and only finished fifth. Jeremy Noseda's colt is fancied to prove that running all wrong and come out best on a fast surface that will suit. The home challenge looks a strong one as Balance The Books has already beaten Brown Almighty and Joha and the latter has subsequently won a Grade 1 trial at Keeneland. Chad Brown also runs Noble Tune, a major threat on his impressive victory in the Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont and preferred to Gervinho, also unbeaten having scored over C&D last month.
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (19:35)
GROUPIE DOLL will probably start favourite for this and rightly so. She's won four in a row since blinkers were applied with a Grade 1 victory on the Dirt at Churchill Downs back in May her most impressive effort. Last year's first two home in this, Musical Romance and Switch, were both well beaten by Bill Bradley's filly in Louisville and she'll take some catching. Musical Romance gave the form a boost when landing a Grade 1 event herself in July but along with Turbulent Descent, who flopped in this contest last season, she found Dust And Diamonds too good in the Gallant Bloom at Belmont in September. The latter should run a big race on that form and could prove the main danger.
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (20:14)
Well beaten in this race last year, Jersey Town returned to something like his very best when winning the Grade 2 Kelso at Belmont last time. SHACKLEFORD finished runner-up on that occasion, his second start after a layoff, but Dale Romans' charge seems to need a couple of outings to put him right as when winning the Grade 1 Metropolitan in New York earlier in the season and a repeat of that effort would make him hard to beat. The progressive Godolphin-owned colt, Emcee, looks a real threat if staying the extra furlong after landing a Grade 1 at Saratoga last time but Tapizar has plenty to find with the selection. We may not have seen the best of the three-year-old's Delegation and Fed Biz yet as both have recorded respectable speed figures this year and have scope for improvement.
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (20:57)
California Flag won this over C&D in 2009 but hasn't raced since scoring back at this track in April. Unbridled's Note has the more recent form with a victory in a prep-race over track and trip when beating Chosen Miracle though he'll need to step up on that to land this prize. Great Attack beat Bridgetown back in May but the latter has hit top form since over slightly shorter trips as when defeating Great Mills at Keeneland last month. A three-time winner on synthetic surfaces, Reneesgotzip may figure if back to her best along with Woodbine Grade 1 winner Next Question, but the Ballydoyle sprinter Starspangledbanner doesn't seem the force of old nowadays. In what looks an open affair, a chance is taken on CAMP VICTORY as he impressed when winning a Grade 1 at Hollywood in June and Mike Mitchell's charge will go very close with a reproduction of that.
Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (21:36)
Bob Baffert has a strong hand in this given Title Contender got off the mark with an impressive win over a mile at this track. He still has some catching up to do with stablemate Power Broker, however, as the latter won the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes over C&D in September. Capo Bastone has plenty to find with Power Broker on that running and Fortify has six lengths to make up with the unbeaten SHANGHAI BOBBY. Todd Pletcher's colt needed only to be pushed out when sluicing up in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont last month and Pletcher's 2010 winner, Uncle Mo, won the same race in similar fashion before taking this. Dynamic Sky has yet to race on Dirt but Monument is another C&D winner and Speak Logistics has done nothing but improve. However, both look some way behind the leading contenders in this company.
Breeders' Cup Turf (22:18)
European runners have dominated this event over the years and St Nicholas Abbey added his name to the list in 2011 after defeat in the Arc. He's followed a similar path this time around as he floundered in the testing ground at Longchamp last time but will take the beating back on firm ground. The home team fancy they have one to beat him this year in the highly progressive POINT OF ENTRY. The winner of his last five starts on Turf including a hat-trick of Grade 1 races, he beat another Ballydoyle runner in Treasure Beach and Arlington Million winner Little Mike, to land the Joe Hirsch at Belmont last time. Shug McGaughey's colt looks the real deal and gets the vote. Shareta also struggled in the Arc on heavy ground but the Yorkshire Oaks heroine will be more at home on this surface while recent Grade 2 winner Slim Shadey makes more appeal than Dullahan. Brian Meehan's former inmate Cogito attempts the longer trip for the first time with Frankie Dettori on board.
Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (22:58)
Coil won a Grade 1 sprint over C&D last month beating Capital Account by a neck with Jimmy Creed and Amazombie in close attendance. That looks a red hot trial for this especially as the latter won last year's renewal. Those four are hard to separate so it could pay to look elsewhere and THE LUMBER GUY is worth a second glance. The lightly-raced three-year-old posted his best effort so far to win the Vosburgh Stakes in New York in September but there was no fluke about it as he had previous Grade 1 winner Poseidon's Warrior back in third. Michael Hushion's grey might just be good enough to land this. Smiling Tiger has been unable to match last year's high-class form so far this season but it's interesting that Bob Baffert returns the unbeaten Fast Bullet to action at this level on the back of a couple of fast workouts at the track.
Breeders' Cup Mile (23:40)
With the exception of a brilliant hat-trick for Goldikova, the home team have had plenty of winners in recent years and there's lots of confidence behind Wise Dan for this year's renewal. He's won three Grade 1 Turf races this season in fine style and is certainly a leading contender but has never come up against the likes of EXCELEBRATION. Only Frankel has prevented Aidan O'Brien's colt from winning his last eight races and he looked better than ever when landing the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth at Ascot last month. He also beat Moonlight Cloud at Deauville earlier in the year and she's high-class filly in her own right winning the Prix Du Moulin last time. The American's have another smart miler in dual Grade 2 winner Obviously while last year's Kentucky Derby hero, Animal Kingdom, is an intriguing runner on his first start since February.
Breeders' Cup Classic (00:35)
The 2011 renewal was below par and it has to be said this year's contest doesn't look any better. GAME ON DUDE finished runner-up at Churchill Downs in last season's Classic but, given he's unbeaten in five starts at this track including a Grade 1 event here last time, Bob Baffert's charge gets the vote to go one better this time around. Flat Out was last year's disappointing favourite and he and Fort Larned have been taking it in turns to beat each other. The former came out best at Belmont on their latest meeting when Ron The Greek was well beaten. The hard to predict To Honor And Serve never threatened winning stablemate Drosselmeyer in last year's running but just got the better of Mucho Macho Man at Saratoga in September while Richard's Kid and Nonios finished behind the selection at this track last time. Alpha had been progressing well before a below par effort behind Handsome Mike when odds-on at Parx on his latest start and could be thereabouts.