NO HOLLYWOOD ENDING
Zenyatta runs out of racetrack (photo by www.horse-races.net, Cindy Pierson Dulay)
Who’s to blame? Or should it be said, who’s to Blame? Surely every single soul watching the stretch run of the Breeders’ Cup Classic last evening at about 7:46 p.m. was screaming with glee as super-mare ZENYATTA finally got rolling, angled out several paths from behind a wall at the top of the stretch and was simply flying.
For several moments, it looked like she would do it. But when the wire arrived, she was a head shy of the colt Blame, a 4yo Claiborne bred by Arch who was the one that most figured would be the toughest rival for the mare.
It was incredible to watch the proceedings on ESPN/TSN when Zenyatta left the barn and walked to the paddock.
The commentators stopped talking and we listened to the roar of the crowd as Zenyatta high stepped and pranced her way to the tunnel.
She actually got a little wound up as she entered the paddock – she was beebopping and scattin’ all over the place when finally her interests tried to quiet the crowd down.
She was bet off the board, fans wore hats designed with her in mind, pins, shirts and carried signs.
She looked like a monster going into the gate.
And then she broke sluggishly and fell far behind.
It was shocking to see how far she dropped back, her jockey Mike Smith admitted she was a bit discombobulated by the dirt kick-back. While fans worried, Zenyatta then turned on the jets.
Her furious rally was something to behold, it was too much for us to watch and yet to too little to win her 20th straight.
Smith could not speak, Claiborne folks were gracious in the win but it just was not the way it was supposed to end.
The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, one of hundreds of papers that had the bad news on the cover
GOLDIKOVA, well, she just might be the best mare in the world
Three years, three different sets of rivals, three Breeders’ Cup Mile wins.
GOLDIKOVA sent shivers down the backs of viewers when she blizted a trail to win this year’s Mile under Olivier Peslier.
What was cool was her lad/groom, who was shown by ESPN cheering and running and leaping as she came down the course and he kept running after her as she crossed the finish line.
Just super footage all day from the TV show.
WOODBINE 2YO PREPS IN SPOTLIGHT…
More Than Real, Pluck exit Natalma, Summer to win Cup races
Trainer TODD PLETCHER is a fan…this is a quote from him courtesy brisnet.com:
“Yeah, I’m going to try to get a More Than Ready colt and a More Than Ready filly and take them to Woodbine next year. The one thing that I think was key about this race for these two horses was the spacing was very good. We had extra time…It just seems the timing, the space worked very well. Obviously, Woodbine is a terrific place to run on the turf. We were fortunate it worked out well for both horses.”
BREEDERS’ CUP STUFF from WATCHING ON TV
Gosh, horse racing cannot get lucky on big race days. While jockey fighting might have actually lured more fans into taking an interest in racing (hockey fights are cool, right?), the breakdown of the 2yo ROUGH SAILING in the first race of the day, the Juvenile Turf, was tragic. The 2yo slipped from his hind end and then crashed down, likely breaking the shoulder than was fractured when he fell.
Meanwhile, PLUCK, the dark bay More than Ready colt from Team Valor, stumbled at the start and was far last heading into the last turn of the 1 1/16 mile race. Pluck, who had won a slow Summer Stakes at Woodbine, blew past his rivals through the stretch and it was an impressive run.
Harold Queen’s homebred BIG DRAMA, by Montbrook, led all the way to win the SPRINT, to provide the owner with his biggest win after about 50 years in the business. It was the first Breeders’ Cup win for jockey Eibar Coa. ATTA BOY ROY was vanned off but was reportedly fine after the race.
The TURF SPRINT was a wild one and what a story with CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE, bred by Canadian Eugene Melnyk in Florida, who blew by Melnyk’s Bridgetown to win the 5 furlong dash for Carl Moore and trainer Bret Calhoun.
Chamberlain Bridge, by War Chant, debuted at Woodbine in 2007 for $16,000 claiming for trainer Layne Giliforte and Melnyk, and at odds-on he finished 2nd.
The gelding then was sent to Presque Isle where he won his maiden for $25K and was claimed by Maggi Moss. She had the horse only a few races until he was claimed for $35K by his current owner.
UNCLE MO was breathtaking. The 2yo Indian Charlie colt is unbeaten in 3 races and was a dominating winner of the Juvenile.
Even trainer Todd Pletcher looked almost shaky when he said, “I don’t get goosebumps very often, but that was impressive.”
DAKOTA PHONE was Saturday’s unlikely winner. He came from miles behind to win the Dirt Mile over MORNING LINE who almost survived a frantic pace duel. The son of Zavata (by Phone Trick) obviously is a one turn specialist. MINE THAT BIRD was 10th and incredibly, someone is making a movie of this horse?
Yes, his Derby win was the stuff of fairy tales but the story has taken a sad turn since that day.
Frankie Dettori got his Breeders’ Cup win for 2010 in just the nick of time. DANGEROUS MIDGE, with blinkers and Lasix added, did not corner well and always look to be in trouble but he powered away to win the Turf for the same trainer and rider combo of Turf winner RED ROCKS. Dangerous Midge is a true blue Kentucky dude – he’s by Lion Heart out of a mare by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.
Well, he told me about five times that he loved me, and we haven’t had much out of him other than that really. So, no, we haven’t discussed the race at all yet.”
—trainer Brian Meehan on his discussion with jockey Frankie Dettori after DANGEROUS MIDGE’s (Lion Heart) victory in the Turf (G1)
GLOBE & MAIL REPORT ON ZENYATTA
BY BEVERLEY SMITH
“It wasn’t very good at all in the beginning,” Smith said afterward. “Got away just a little slwo and got squeezed out of there. I was just having a rough time of it going underneath the wire for the first time. She just wasn’t levelling out like I wanted to. The … dirt hitting in her face was a lot of it. She just wasn’t used to that part.”
Because she fell behind so far, Zenyatta just had too much to do against such a top field, Smith said. She finally picked up the pace on the backstretch, but then, Smith couldn’t let her run free: a wall of horses was in front of her. He had a decision to make: to go wide around them – which would commit him to go wide around the turn – or find a shorter route inside. He chose to go inside.
PACHATTACK, POOL PLAY POSSESS POWER
PACHATTACK, attacked the Polytrack with aplomb and won the Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine yesterday in track record time. The PULPIT gal led all the way for the Deegan family and trainer Gerald Butler.
Later POOL PLAY won the prep for the Valedictory in 2:43.83, beating the record for 1 5/8 miles of 2:45.
NORM FILES PHOTO