|Sign up for KyForward news updates|
It’s time to start looking towards the championship weekend for American racing, the Breeders’ Cup. Talk Racing To Me will help you countdown to the big one, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where the almighty title of Horse of the Year is almost always on the line.
Last week there were four races that could have an impact on the Breeders’ Cup Classic picture. On July 4, it was the Swaps Stakes (Grade 2) for three year-olds at Hollywood Park. Blueskiesnrainbows (English Channel) took an early lead and held it all the way around, scoring by 3/4 lengths.
July 7, saw three big graded stakes races. At Hollywood Park, it was the Hollywood Gold Cup (Grade 1). Game On Dude (Awesome Again) was forwardly placed early on and he overhauled the pacesetter just after the first half mile. The result was never really in doubt after that. The final margin was 1 1/2 lengths.
Game On Dude has won all three of his starts in California impressively this year. His only defeat was a clunker in the Dubai World Cup (Group 1) in March.
On the East Coast, there was a stellar field that lined up for the Suburban Handicap (Grade 2). Trickmeister (Proud Citizen) set the early pace with Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) in close pursuit. Favorite To Honor and Serve (Bernardini) loomed large behind those two, but came up empty when it was time to go, finishing 4th. Mucho Macho Man took command entering the turn and won with ease by 2 1/2 lengths in an impressive time. Hymn Book (Arch) closed very well to take second place after being way back early on.
In the Grade 3 Ohio Derby, favorite Prospective (Malibu Moon) handled three overmatched opponents by 2 1/2 lengths.
There are no big races on the Breeders’ Cup Classic scene this week, but there will be plenty of action for other Breeders’ Cup races.
Top Ten Breeder’s Cup Classic Horses (Week 1)
1. Wise Dan
Still think he’s the best horse despite his loss by a head in the Stephen Foster last time out.
2. Game On Dude
Best horse in the West by far, has been spectacular in three races in California this year.
3. Union Rags
Is the best three year-old still standing; he needs a strong fall to claim the 3yo championship.
He is supremely brilliant but his best distance is probably 9 furlongs instead of the Classic 10.
5. Mucho Macho Man
He was impressive in winning the Suburban; the son of Macho Uno has been strong this year.
6. Ron the Greek
He has had two nice Grade 1 wins this year, but I just have not hopped on the bandwagon.
He has been rolling since last year; not sure if he’ll go for the Breeders’ Cup Classic though.
He is a rapidly improving colt who could make some real noise if he keeps on getting better.
Had been absolutely rolling through this year until a fifth place finish in the Stephen Foster.
10. To Honor and Serve
I still think he is really a horse to watch despite two straight defeats for the son of Bernardini.
Keep an eye on: Hymn Book, Successful Dan
None This Week
Last Week’s Races
7/4/12 – Swaps Stakes (G2) (1 1/8 miles, Hollywood Park)
7/7/12 – Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) (1 1/4 miles, Hollywood Park)
Winner: Game On Dude
7/7/12 – Suburban Handicap (G2) (1 1/8 miles, Belmont Park) Winner:
Mucho Macho Man
7/7/12 – Ohio Derby (G3) (1 1/16 miles, Thistledown)
Seth Kochera is a graduate of Georgetown College, working in the horse industry. He studies bloodlines and racing performance and shares his knowledge with KyForward readers. He’ll be following the road to the Triple Crown. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.