A busy weekend on grass helped pinpoint some of the top contenders for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I). But one of the best probably won't be in the field for the big race. After Timboroa upset favored King Cugat in the Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, trainer Bobby Frankel said the 5-year-old son of Salse probably would end up in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) instead because he would have to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup.
Racing on or near the lead throughout, Timboroa rolled to a three-length victory in the 1 1/2-mile race. Owned by Edmund Gann, the bay horse previously had won this year's Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) and the 2000 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT). He also was a group won winner in Italy last year.
King Cugat, 11th in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) last year, finished second in the Turf Classic but returned from the race with a strained ligament in his left foreleg and will be sidelined for the remainder of this year. Cetewayo, making only his second start of the year, finished third. Poor Mutafaweq continued to struggle, finishing last in the field of six.
While Timboroa probably won't show up for the BC Turf, don't feel sorry for Frankel. The trainer has another standout in Senure, who headed White Heart in the final strides to take the 1 1/4-mile Clement Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Santa Anita. A 5-year-old son of Nureyev, Senure was sent off the favorite. He was declared the winner of the United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) earlier this year after With Anticipation was disqualified. Humberto Ascanio, an assistant to Frankel, said he was told by his boss that a good performance by Senure would earn him a Breeders' Cup trip. The horse is a Juddmonte Farms homebred.
The Canadian International (gr. IT) at Woodbine was a bit of a muddle because it was so roughly run and sparked a flurry of foul claims. Sheikh Hamdan's Mutamam was upheld as the winner over Paolini. A 6-year-old son of Darshaan, Mutamam took the lead midway through the final turn of the 1 1/2-mile race. After some shuffling by the stewards, the young, but promising Strut the Stage wound up in fourth in a dead-heat finish with Falcon Flight.
With Europe's brightest stars, Galileo and Fantastic Light, headed for the Classic (gr. IT), the Turf appears to have no dominating horse among its candidates. However, based on this weekend's results, there is enough grit and talent out there to produce one of the day's most exciting finishes. Perhaps the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) will provide us with more prospects, even though the Euros appear reluctant to tackle that race and the Turf in the same year.