The entire calendar features great things in the Thoroughbred racing game, but this time of year can be especially exciting as folks try and find their way to the Breeders’ Cup. Staged in early November, these year-end world championships are the greatest two days in sports. This year the iconic Seaside Oval at Del Mar is the host. Getting to this party is good, bringing a runner in right is even better. Saturday, October 2 offers three races at different localities that will have implications on the $6 million Classic. Let’s take a peak….
THE WOODWARD AT BELMONT PARK
The headliner in this group is Maxfield. Strong and strapping, this son of Street Sense has won seven of nine lifetime starts. Never worse than third, this Brendan Walsh trained behemoth looks to be primed for a big effort according to his cunning conditioner. This is a grade 1 race and that means it will be no cake walk. Fellow heavy hitters Code of Honor, Dr. Post, and the now Bill Mott trained Art Collector will also be there hoping for a ticket to Del Mar. We like Maxfield here as his kick down the lane is locomotive-like.
THE LUKAS CLASSIC AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
Luring the top ranked horse in the country, this run at one of the sport’s greatest venues will draw looks from all across the nation. Knicks Go hopes to do what he does best…Go. Rejuvenated once he landed in the Brad Cox barn last year, this son of Paynter has won six of his last eight starts. This frontrunner extraordinaire that has never won beneath the twin spires will be tested as the ever dangerous Tacitus and upset minded Independence Hall will be in the gates too. How good is Knicks Go??? I think the people in Louisville will find out on October 2.
AWESOME AGAIN STAKES AT SANTA ANITA
This grade 1 run at the Great Race Place may be the most intriguing of the bunch. Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is stepping up and taking on a salty group of older horses. Tizamagician is a battle tested front runner, Express Train won the San Diego Handicap in July, Tripoli took the Pacific Classic, and Idol has never been out of the money and won the Big Cap over this same dirt back in March. Trainer Bob Baffert will likely employ the very simple plan that has worked well for this son of Protonico…get out the gate and go. Will he have enough in the tank to cover the mile and an eighth and fend off a seasoned group?... We think the answer for Baffert and his Spirit is …YES !!!
The name of this game…Back a horse and get paid .