Monday, November 01, 2010

The Breeders Cup

The Breeders Cup World Championships are taking place this coming Friday and Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. All the races promise to be interesting and exciting, and I plan on watching as many of them as I can, but the highlight of the event, to my mind, will be the $5,000,000 Breeders Cup Classic, the last (and biggest) race of the event. The reason for this is primarily that Zenyatta, the unbeaten super-mare, will be attempting to repeat her victory in last year's Classic (which I was fortunate enough to actually be at) and retire a perfect 20-0. She will be facing some tough competition in this race, probably tougher than she's ever faced before. The contenders include Quality Road and Blame, two very good horses who have both won a number of graded stakes events, and Lookin at Lucky, the winner of this year's Preakness Stakes. Gio Ponti, runner-up in last year's Classic, may also be among the contenders, as well as Richard's Kid, winner of the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic at Del Mar this last August. Basically, Zenyatta won't get a walk in the park. But I am encouraged by the fact that, although Zenyatta has run primarily on the synthetic track surfaces of California throughout her career, her connections believe that she actually prefers dirt, which of course is what constitutes the main track of Churchill Downs. CD also features a rather long home-stretch, which favors Zenyatta's come-from-behind style. Lastly, trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Mike Smith both feel that she is coming into this year's Classic in even better condition than she did last year's Classic, added to Smith's avowal that he has never yet had to really ask Zenyatta to give everything that she has. If he does ask her this time, I wonder what kind of an amazing performace we might see. At any rate, I will be standing proudly with the rest of her fans this Saturday, rooting for the mighty Queen Z to thunder past the field to victory for the 20th straight time.


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