The Breeders’ Cup prep season is really heating up now! No, the Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion Stakes were not official “Win and You’re in Races,” but they might as well be, as the winners will be Breeders’ Cup players. Let’s take a look at this week’s stars after the action at Parx and Belmont Park.
1. West Coast
West Coast is clearly the best coast. The Bob Baffert trainee continues to prove superior over his rivals following back-to-back Grade 1 wins in the Travers and the Pennsylvania Derby. He’s now without question the most dominant dirt 3-year-old in the country. With his recent performances, it’s really a shame that he wasn’t ready for the Triple Crown Trail, as he could’ve made some serious noise. Now the up-and-coming colt has thrown his hat into the Breeders’ Cup Classic ring, and if he keeps running like this, then he’s a legitimate contender. Plus, he’s already proven that he’s very effective at a mile and 1/4. Bob Baffert is once again loaded for the Classic this year.
2. Sharp Azteca
Despite his trainer’s recent YouTube troubles (warning: NSFW language), Sharp Azteca just keeps on winning. Jorge “The Juice Man” Navarro has always campaigned Sharp Azteca perfectly and has him poised to make a run at the Breeders’ Cup Mile after his impressive Grade 2 Kelso Handicap romp. With many talented horses pointed to that race, it won’t be an easy task, but at this point, Sharp Azteca will either be the favorite or second choice. This was the perfect final prep for a horse that has always been very talented.
3. It Tiz Well
The great Abel Tasman has been defeated! It Tiz Well is improving with every race and finally broke through with a fantastic performance in the Grade 1 Cotillion. She proved last out in the Grade 1 Alabama that she was really starting to improve and capitalized in this spot with a very smart stalking trip. Abel Tasman made a huge move on the backstretch, but It Tiz Well stayed patient and pounced on the leaders at the perfect time. This win will most likely springboard her into the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.