Juvenile Sprint – Hightail
Could the Breeders Cup have kicked off any crazier? Hightail, a maiden from the Lukas barn, wins the first race of the event. Although the victory was shocking, on paper Hightail could match up with what turned out to be a weak field. He had been beaten by some good horses, and the cut back in distance was something he needed. The horse showed some guts rallying on the rail and nosing out heavy favorite Merit Man. Even though this was a sprint, look for Hightail to be on the Triple Crown trail this Winter/Spring as we know D Wayne Lukas will run him in Derby preps from here on out.
Marathon – Calidoscopio
What can you say…who really knows about the Marathon? It’s form never holds up for future races, and the race is always more of a “pass” type race at the betting windows. Calidoscopio left little doubt he was the best on Friday, and the party in the winners circle was really fun to watch. Other than that, I didn’t take much away from this one.
Juvenile Fillies Turf – Flotilla
After watching the replay of this one, there is no doubt who the best horse was! Flotilla had a tough trip in behind horses, and had to go very wide into the last turn, but still prevailed to an easy victory. She’ll be one to watch for all the horse racing fans across the pond. Watsdachances ran a solid race, but never was really a threat to the winner. The second best race was probably ran by Summer of Fun. She was running the fastest in the late stages and might be one to watch when the distances get longer.
Juvenile Fillies – Beholder
This was Hansen and Union Rags all over again, the filly ! First of all give credit to Beholder. She ran a brilliant race, and deserved this victory. Her ability to stretch out and carry her speed over two turns is a scary thought moving forward. With that being said, you have to wonder if Executiveprivilege would have caught her with a straight stretch run. She’s had a drifting problem in past races, but it never hurt her like it did on Friday. I think both of these fillies are going to move forward from this and developed a rivalry. The east coast horses struggled in this one. Dreaming of Julia didn’t bring much to the table, and it looks like Kauai Katie might be more of a sprinter.
Filly and Mare Turf – Zagora
When you look up “Hall of Fame Turf Rides” on Wikipedia, there should be a video of the ride Javier Castellano gave Zagora in this one. Zagora was questionable at this distance, but Javy gave her a PERFECT ground saving rail trip. She only moved off the rail once, and that was a small three wide move on the turn to get clear running. Several of the other top candidates had troubled trips, including The Fugue.
Ladies Classic – Royal Delta
Simply brilliant performance by Royal Delta! Smart ride by Mike Smith as well as he took advantage of a speed favoring track and grabbed the early lead. She ends the year as the clear Older Female of the Year, and probably deserves a look or two at horse of the year. My Miss Aurelia ran a tremendous race as well, and could use this as a spring-board to a big 2013. It was sad to see Questing not show up, and Awesome Feather didn’t bring much either. With Royal Delta planning to come back next year, can we dream of a rematch with My Miss Aurelia…or even better…perhaps she’ll take on the boys in the Classic.