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A Look at the 2011 Breeders’ Cup

All eyes in the thoroughbred horse racing world will turn to Churchill Downs on November 4th and 5th for the Breeders’ Cup.  This years rendition will have a brand new race for Juvenile’s going three quarters of a mile on the dirt, appropriately named the Juvenile Sprint.  This brings the cumulative number of Breeders’ Cup races to fifteen held during the two days.  This will also be the second straight year the event will be run at Churchill Downs.  in 2012 the event will return to Santa Anita for the third time in five running’s.  A decision has not been made as to where the Breeders’ Cup will be held in 2013, will it return to Belmont or is there still a chance that it will be permanently relocated to either Santa Anita or another track?   That’s a topic for another time so for now let’s focus on the present.

Nearly all of the final prep races have been run and while the fields are far from decided there are alot of surefire runners.  In the Classic the top contenders are the amazing mare Havre de Grace, the brilliant Uncle Mo and the gutsy veteran Tizway.  In the Ladies Classic the amazing Plum Pretty will vie for top-billing with fellow three year olds Royal Delta and Zazu.  The Turf will undoubtedly be headed up by a European shipper as will the Filly and Mare Turf.

In the Sprint the extremely fast Big Drama will try to repeat as champion after a very sporadic campaign.  In the Juvenile it will be east coast versus west coast as the amazing Union Rags (east) will clash with rivals Creative Cause and Drill (west). The headliner of the Breeders’ Cup will undoubtedly be Goldikova in the Mile as she attempts to become the first four time winner of a Breeders’ Cup race.  Jackson Bend leads the Dirt Mile after two brilliant wins at Saratoga.  The Filly and Mare Sprint is led by the brilliant three year old Turbulent Descent.  The Juvenile Fillies will be made up of the precocious My Miss Aurelia, the dominating Grace Hall and two-time Grade 1 winner Weemissfrankie among others.

The Juvenile Turf favoritism will undoubtedly fall on Finale, conqueror of the Summer Stakes in workmanlike fashion.  The amazing filly Elusive Kate will be the chalk for the Juvenile Fillies Turf if she makes the journey from Europe.  The Juvenile Sprint field is still in flux and will depend mostly on who does and who doesn’t compete in the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies.  Likewise the Turf Sprint and Marathon fields are far from decided at this point in time.

While the fields are far from decided right now one thing is for certain, the Breeders’ Cup will be two amazing days of racing.  There will be many an opportunity to take down a life-changing score on the bevy of inter-race and intra-race wagers.