Before the Breeders’ Cup began we listed 10 story lines that would define this year’s event. Lets see how these story lines turned out…
1. Will the Classic Determine Horse of the Year and 3 Year Old of the Year?
Maybe. Bayern certainly went a long ways towards winning these awards with his Classic victory, but it is a race that is surrounded by controversy. Many are crying for California Chrome to run in the Clark Handicap, and are also saying if he does in fact go and win that race that he will be Horse of the Year. For now everything is still up in the air….stay tuned!
2. Can California Chrome Rebound?
Yes! He ran a terrific race and proved that he is pretty much back to his Derby and Preakness winning form. The performance was nice to see as the California crowd certainly favored him over all the other runners in the Classic. Here is to hoping he’s back next year.
3. Can the 3 Year Old’s Save the Breeders’ Cup?
You would have to say yes. The top 5 Classic finishers were all three year olds, and a three year old won the Distaff and Turf Sprint. A job well done by a crop that turned out to be pretty decent.
4. Will the European horses come through?
Definitely not. They were really bad, and there really was no explanation for it. A total mystery but also a big win for the American horses.
5. Who will pick up for the slack for us losing American Pharoah?
Texas Red sure did, but everybody else really didn’t. The good news for American Pharoah….he beat Texas Red easily the last time the two horses met.
6. Can Close Hatches rebound?
No…sadly this horse has lost her form in a huge way as she finished last in the Distaff. The old saying goes…when mares lose their form they usually don’t get it back. Looks to be the case here.
7. Is Goldencents the only single?
YES! He was the only horse to run to the hype. He was simply brilliant in The Dirt Mile, setting fast fractions and hanging on for dear life against a tough customer in Tapiture.
8. Will Mike Smith dominate the jockey competition?
No. It was a “bad” Breeders Cup for Mike Smith as he “only” won once. Judy the Beauty in the Filly and Mare Sprint started off his Saturday with a bang, but the legendary jockey never could find the winners circle again.
9. Will we see as many repeat winners as last year?
No. Only Goldencents was able to earn a repeat victory, showing you just how hard it is to win back to back Breeders Cup Championships.
10. Can Pletcher get his first Juvenile Filly winner?
No. His heavily favored Angela Renee didn’t fire and was never a factor, and Feathered made a big move on the turn only to fade to fourth. Meanwhile, his “coach” D Wayne Lukas stole the event with Take Charge Brandi at 60-1.