The weekend that was on September 30 and October 1 told us a few things about the upcoming Breeders’ Cup…we think…
A plethora of stakes races across this racing continent over the past couple of days saw some impressive efforts from many Thoroughbred teams. Here are a few takeaways.
Zozos was the best horse in the grade 3 Ack-Ack and he ran like it. Breaking alertly and going straight to the lead, this Brad Cox-trained four-year-old finished strong in winning by a length. Despite a strong showing and his first graded stakes win, this son of Munnings may not be headed to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup. Yes, he has earned a spot in the Dirt Mile, but the two-turn setup at the Great Race Place may not be especially suitable for his style.
Dr. Schivel will be a player to think about in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint after a gutsy triumph in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Having now won four of six lifetime starts at this track including this race for the second time, this five-year-old son of Violence is proven on this dirt. Heavy hitters from the East Coast like Cody’s Wish, Gunite, and Elite Power could enter the Sprint as well, which means this Mark Glatt trainee may be overlooked a bit at the window. Ah, the beauty of the Breeders’ Cup.
Slow Down Andy may be the horse on the rise in the Classic division. A very impressive outing in the Awesome Again Stakes saw this son of Nyquist take’em all the way. Masterfully prepared by trainer Doug O’Neill, this California-bred has only five career wins but has finished in the top three now in twelve of fourteen career starts. In what promises to be a wide-open Breeders’ Cup Classic, Andy could claim his share of the $6 million purse.
Cody’s Wish is one of the greatest stories in sports and he got back to his winning ways on October 1. A win in the Vosburgh Stakes at Aqueduct was his seventh triumph in his last eight starts and tenth from fifteen career trips to the starting gate. Likely the favorite in the Sprint, he did nothing to make us think differently.
Adare Manor ran like a champ in the Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on October 1. In picking up her fifth consecutive win, this daughter of Uncle Mo simply ran them off their feet. Her 5 ¼ length win could have been a lot more. Certainly, a horse for this course, trainer Bob Baffert will have her ready if they decide to run in the Cup.