Fall Stars Weekend preview

by TCI 4 years ago

The TCI Boys break down the final major weekend of Breeders’ Cup prep action, and update the Top 5s in the major divisions after the results of “Super Saturday” last weekend. Which contenders are on the rise, and which fell, in the shake-up of this week’s TCI Top 5s? Watch it. Comment.

CLICK HERE to view this week’s issue of the TC Insider Breeders’ Cup Top 5s


  • 1JoeP

    Hi Joel – Breeders Cup 4 wks. away and the picture is getting clearer. BC Sprint Div – Very impressive win at SA by Points Off the Bench. He likes the track and has to be considered as one of the favorites in the Sprint. Joel – Sum Of the Parts is an interesting colt. Nice win by him. He really bounds quickly out of the gate, this could be a real asset in the Sprint, if he can hold his speed he could be dangerous. What are your views of Sum of The Parts as a contender? BC Turf Div – Joel – What do you think of Indy Point and the Fugue as 2 horses pointing toward the BC Turf? The Fugue looks like a quality Euro filly and could take on the boys. Nice win by Silver Max in the Shadwell Turf Mile. Hopefully Wise Dan comes out of this race in good shape. You know that in the BC mile that Johnny V. next time won’t let Silver Max get loose on the lead. Silver Max does seem fit and ready. Speed is an asset in any race. I was impresssed by the late flying Honor Code to get up for 2nd in the Champagne. Nice win by Havana, but I believe that at 1 1/16 this plays more into Honor Codes favor. Joel – Verrazano will likely be the favorite in the Dirt Mile. Last time out Pants on Fire set a track record in his most recent race. Would you give Pants on Fire a real chance in pulling the upset? More races on Sunday to clear up the BC Juv. Turf Division. Oct 21 is the day that the pre entries will be announced. Fun time for us horse race fans!

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hey Joe!

      The Sprint may be one of the toughest divisions to figure this year. I have felt this coming on since Fast Bullet, Jimmy Creed, Trinniberg and others have lost form or retired. Anything can happen IMO.

      No question that Sum of the Parts’ gate speed makes him the speed of the speed, but there will be plenty of speed per usual IMO. I’m not convinced he can hold them all off, but this year’s group is seemingly weaker than last year’s, and he took them a long way and ran well last year in defeat.

      I agree with you that Points Offthebench deserves a lot of respect now for his fast win over the track and distance. His style is seemingly perfect because he has enough speed to stay in contact with the field, which is so important IMO, especially at Santa Anita….i don’t like deep closers in this race most years, unless they’re freaks like Midnight Lute. So POTB fits very nicely as a top contender…just wish he could straighten out his lead change turning for home…lugging in will likely cost him in the Breeders’ Cup is he does that again.

      As for the Turf, I personally don’t think Indy Point is fast enough to win the 1 1/2-mile Turf… I can’t see him running past Little Mike, and I can’t see him showing the same acceleration of the best Euros either…so he’s not one I think too highly of in this race. The Fugue is one of those with a dynamic turn of foot. She is a contender, but we’ll have to see which Euros come over before I can tell what level of contender she’ll be…because I do believe some of the boys from over seas are better than her at 1 1/2 miles. But I think there’s little doubt she’ll be in the top 3-4 in the betting.

      I was at Keeneland for the soaker on Saturday and I’ll say this: That track – even though it’s supposed to be “all weather”, took on a ton of rain in a short period of time…and it was very visibly holding plenty of water, which obviously had to reflect how it was playing…times were fast and some horses clearly liked it better than others. Silver Max’s speed held well…Wise Dan ran well but wasn’t as brilliant over it as he usually shows. I do not view Silver Max as a BC Mile contender…I think Obviously (Ire) and the other speed horses will cause major problems for Silver Max next month. I still view Wise Dan as the horse to beat, but the Euros are always collectively the best in the world at a mile on turf, and I think if the right milers there come over for this race then Wise Dan will be challenged in earnest.

      I agree that Honor Code ran well and should still be the horse to beat at Santa Anita, however his late-closing style could hurt him over that track. I was impressed by Havana but I think we saw inside speed hold up well in both of the one-turn mile races Saturday (Frizette too) so I was not surprised he held off the closers. My question for Havana would be: How far will he go? He has an unusually difficult pedigree to figure IMO…many of his siblings went around two turns but were cheaper horses. Dunkirk as a sire should give him plenty of stamina from that rich Lane’s End female family of KY Oaks winner Secret Status, so that’s a Plus.

      I agree Verrazano is the early favorite for the Dirt Mile depending on who else shows up in there. Pants On Fire is a bit of enigma…I’ve always liked the horse since his La. Derby win but he’s so inconsistent. To me, a mile at Churchill is so much different than a mile at Santa Anita, so it’s hard for me to give him a lot of credit for his last win – although I take nothing away from it. We have seen the Dirt Mile produce longshot results so if you like him stay with him! I could see him running well just on the premise that he’s doing well and many other of the top horses in recent years have run in the Dirt Mile because they were tailing off and no longer good enough to be Classic horses…probably a reason so many longshots have won simply because the better horses were not in good form to uphold their favoritism in the race.

      Less than 4 weeks!! Can you believe it?

  • 1JoeP

    Hi Joel – I’ve been preparing my lists for Nov 2. BC card when today I read that BC Juv. Turf will be Nov 1, and Dirt Mile also Nov 1 according to Bloodhorse. It looks like Nov 2 will have 9 BC races. F & M Sprint, T Sprint, Juv., Juv. Fillies, Turf, F&M Turf, Sprint, T Mile, Classic. Does this information look correct to you Joel? If so, I better begin now to research F&M Sprint, and Juv. Fillies to add to the other 7 Divisions that will be running on Saturday Nov. 2.

    • Joel Cunningham

      Joe, you are correct. The full menu of races each day along with race order and post time is here: http://www.breederscup.com/races
      Hope this helps!

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