Let's start by saying that this year's Breeders' Cup is one of the toughest to handicap in many years, with deep, wide-open fields, none of which, except perhaps one, have a clear-cut favorite that stands far above the others
It is time for the questions to be answered, as 14 horses, seven of them 3-year-olds, will contest the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park, with Horse of the Year up for grabs.
It seems like just yesterday Stevens looked to have little or no shot to make the Breeders' Cup following knee reconstruction surgery. But if there is one thing we have learned about Stevens it is to never count him out.
Todd Pletcher appears to hold a strong hand in the $200,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park Oct. 26 with the duo of Teen Pauline and Dame Dorothy, who are both riding three-racing winning streaks.
Let's face it, the older horse division that at one time looked like a sure thing to dominate the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), has pretty much fallen apart. Could a horse like Zivo jump up and beat the 3-year-olds?
With the once-powerful older horse division now all but depleted, the spotlight in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) shines on the 3-year-olds, who should be as dominant at the mutuel windows as they look to be on the track.
For all those with aspirations of winning either Horse of the Year or the Older Male title or the Male Grass title, there is a force out there even stronger than Eric Guillot's voodoo dolls. It is the curse of Wise Dan.
Centennials Farms' Wicked Strong, who clipped heels in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and unseated jockey Rajiv Maragh, will not be sent to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup and will be put away for the remainder of the year.
Although Super Saturday in New York and California had several twists that no one was expecting, it did help clarify the Breeders' Cup picture to some extent, but also raised questions as well.
California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I), will break from the rail in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) Sept. 20 at Parx Racing.
Midwest Thoroughbreds' The Pizza Man will be making his first delivery outside the Chicago area 18 months, as he looks to extend his five-race winning streak in the $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (gr. IT) at Woodbine.
Arlington International offers two of the last stakes run on Polytrack in the United States this year, as 2-year-olds take the stage in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) and Arlington-Washington Lassie Sept. 6.
This year's edition of the $400,000 Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs Sept. 6 drew a competitive filed of 11, headed by the one-two finishers of the Ohio Derby and the first three finishers of the Prelude Stakes.