Friday, October 16, 2009

With Major Preps Over Focus Turns To Breeders' Cup Day

Santa Anita Park

Last Saturday featured the most Grade I races on a single day for the entire year and the weekend featured a whopping 12 Grade 1's as prep time for the Breeders' Cup winds down with the big event just three weeks away. There are some cretainties and uncertainties as the Cup weekend draws near.

Their was major buzz around the cup that they could lure the winner of the Arc, Sea The Stars, to Santa Anita for the Classic. This week, trainer John Oxx said that Sea The Stars is being retired prior to the Cup. He has earned it with his perfect record for the year over the soft courses in Europe.

It has long been announced that likely Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra will not run in the Cup and her season ended with a win over older males in the Woodward on Saratoga's closing weekend. Owner Jess Jackson and trainer Steve Asmussen simply do not like to run on the synthetic tracks of Southern California.

There are some bright spots though. The sensational mare Zenyatta who last week ran her record to a perfect 13-0 is likely being pointed to the $5 Million Classic rather than the Ladies Classic. With wins on the synthetic tracks at Keeneland and Santa Anita by B list Europeans over the best America has to offer, Zenyatta may be the best hope America has for winning the Classic this year. There has been some talk that Gio Ponte, America's best turf horse, may also enter the Classic. Summer Bird winner of the Belmont, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup and Mine That Bird, the Kentucky Derby winner have both been confirmed for the Classic.