It's 4:30 a.m. and I have got to get some sleep! Here's my analysis of the first two BC races; I'll post the others as the day progresses (but at least an hour before each post time). Good luck to everyone! Enjoy :)
Juvenile Fillies (1-1/16 mile):
Zee Zee won easily against her own sex on turf last out at Louisiana Downs, but two back she finished second at Saratoga to…now BC Juvenile Turf champion Nownownow. Can she successfully make the transition from turf to dirt? Also, how good is that last race, as the second and third place horses out of it did not perform well on Monmouth’s Friday card, finishing a distant eighth and ninth in the grassy Epitome Breeders’ Cup Stakes on turf (Cato Major and Sammy Van Ammy)?
On the other hand, colt Margo’s Gift, who finished third to Smarty Deb last out in the Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs, impressively got up to win the Favorite Trick Breeders’ Cup Stakes on that same card. Smarty Deb has an excellent off-track pedigree, by Smart Strike (Mr. Prospector) out of a Wild Again mare, stakes winner Taste the Passion. I like underdogs and I like her chances.
As for the regally-bred, look no farther than Izarra, daughter of Distorted Humor, and grand-dam is Breeders’ Cup Distaff champion Bayakoa, who loved the slop. She strikes me as a bit too green yet, so I’ll include her in the exotics but hold off on the win.
1. Smarty Deb
2. Zee Zee
Longshot: Clearly Fox, daughter of BC Classic winner Volponi.
Juvenile (1-1/6 mile):
I suspect this race will begin much like the G1 Champagne, with Z Humor and War Pass out quickly along the rail, and that will be to their advantage with the first turn quickly upon them. Pyro will hang back, but on pace. Like that race, I look from a big performance from Pyro who should relish the extra distance; his breeding (by Pulpit, out of a Wild Again mare) indicates he should love the slop, so I’m making a stand for him here.
For me the real question is, which Tale of Ekati will show up, the one who wanted the lead in his 8+ length maiden victory first out at Belmont, or the one who rated behind the pace then busted ahead along the rail to win the G2 Futurity? He is a blueblood, by Tale of the Cat out of the Sunday Silence mare Silence Beauty, who is a half-sister to the incomparable Sky Beauty; another half-sister is Our Country Place, dam of 2005 BC Distaff winner Pleasant Home. It’s in his blood, but Barclay Tagg was not happy with Coa’s aggressive four furlong work on him five days ago. Did it take too much out of him? Also, can he get two turns?
I keep coming back to Wicked Style’s facile G1 Breeders’ Futurity victory, with a large field over a 1-1/16 mile distance. His sire is 2000 BC Juvenile champ Macho Uno; I’m betting on him making Daddy proud!
1. Wicked Style
3. War Pass
Longshot: Overextended, who won his last race (at 1-1/16 mile) with such a rush that you could almost see the light bulb going off in this horse’s head—ah, so that’s what running is all about. Frankie Dettori gets the mount for Doug O’Neill, who saddled Maryfield to victory in the BC F&M Sprint on Friday.