Week of October 17, 2011
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
The 2011 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races have ended, but if we take our queue from Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup winner Forever, contenders have two more weeks to prepare!
The QE II Challenge Cup was anticipated as show down between Garden City (replay) winner Winter Memories and Del Mar Oaks (replay) winner Summer Soiree. Summer Soiree faded after an uncontested lead and Winter Memories never fired, but Forever, who ran a game second in last week’s First Lady Stakes (replay) at Keeneland was fresh and ready to go. You may remember that her connections were quoted as saying “She ran very well yesterday and we hope she runs better next week.” The Irish filly may come back for the Breeders’ Cup but will be heading home for now.
Sire Montjeu had a big day at Woodbine on Sunday as the sire of the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor winner and first and second place finishers of the featured Grade 1 Canadian International. Miss Keller, who hasn’t won since last September, scored her first Grade 1 and became a millionaire with a gutsy performance in the E.P. Taylor. No word yet as to whether or not she’ll go on the Breeders’ Cup. Sarah Lynx became the ninth filly or mare to win the Canadian International when she demolished the field at odds of 22-1, scoring her first Grade 1 win. No official word on what’s next Sarah Lynx but it doesn’t look likely that we’ll see her in Churchill in a few weeks. Regally Ready , on the other hand, will make his next stop in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint after wiring the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes.
Elsewhere, Boisterous rallied late to take the Knickerbocker at Belmont Park and is likely to make his next start in the Grade 2 Red Smith at Aqueduct on November 5. Applauding, the 2-year-old filly who broke the six furlong track record at Keeneland in her maiden, will stick to synthetics for now and target the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet on Dec 10 at Hollywood Park. At Calder Mad Flatter beat Mambo Meister for the second year in a row in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck. After last year’s win Mad Flatter went on to run 12th in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, no word on whether he’ll try again this year.
Here Comes Frazier, the 2-year-old that tried to jump the fence in the stretch drive of last weekend’s Bourbon Stakes (replay) underwent successful surgery last week. Trainer Ken McPeek even noted that he might have shot at racing again, albeit not in the near future. Rapid Redux brought his record to 18 wins in a row last Friday at Charles Town. He’s now one race away from tying Zenyatta and Peppers Pride for the North American record. Owner Robert Cole noted “Weâ€™re going to try as hard as we can to make history, but weâ€™ll need some good luck.”
Next weekend is extremely quiet on the graded stakes front but news of Breeders’ Cup preparations will dominate for the next couple of weeks. Make sure you’re up to speed with our primer on workouts, we’ve added a list of Twitter accounts that include workout information!
Tomorrow ESPN will air its documentary on Charismatic and Chris Antley at 8pm ET. Charismatic won the 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness almost won the Triple Crown. Whether you’re familiar with the story or not, you’ll want to be sure to catch this film. Additional airings include Wednesday 19th at 9pm ET and Sunday 23rd at 10 pm ET according to the ESPN site.
Keep with all the racing commentary and news at Raceday 360 Wire!
Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker
See you at the track!