In Ontario, all eyes were on the jaw dropping rally by PINK LLOYD last weekend in the Overskate Stakes while in horse racing land, overall, eyes are on the Breeders’ Cup WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS on Friday and Saturday…
Pink Lloyd adds another brick to his wall
The chilly temperatures and brisk winds rolled in on the weekend.
The weekend highlights are topped by the breathtaking run by PINK LLOYD, who left most speechless, except of course his fun loving trainer Robert Tiller.
“I’m not speechless,” said Tiller after the victory. “I’m going to say it right now: I can’t remember the last horse that’s won seven stakes in a row, the 126 pounds with the Beyer’s (Speed Figures) he’s had. If he’s not the greatest sprinter in Canada and he’s not the best horse in Canada, I give up. What are we supposed to do for an encore here?”
Despite carrying 126 pounds, seven more than his nearest rival in the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-olds and up, Pink Lloyd was a dominant three and a half length winner with Jacks Escarpment a runner-up in their second straight match up. Supplemental entry Roxy’s Vision rounded out the top three.
Pink Lloyd broke from the outside post nine and tucked back to seventh before coming through between horses in the final turn and taking off down the stretch. He powered by pacesetter Singandcryindubai (:22.96, :44.98 and 1:09.32) and won the seven furlong sprint in 1:21.73.
His Beyer Figure was 95.
Much of the talk, post race, was why Pink Lloyd was not in California for the Breeders’ Cup but the big, delicate gelding is not a Breeders’ Cup nominee and thus the Entourage Stable, headed by Frank DiGiulio Jr, would have had to put up $150,000 (US) to enter him.
The Kennedy Road, Grade 3, is next for Pink Lloyd. The gelding is up against Melmich, who is unbeaten this year as well, for Horse of the Year honours.
Melmich races in the Autumn Stakes next this weekend.
On Sunday in the race after Pink Lloyd, GLENCAIRN (Candy Ride) won an allowance race with an 86 Beyer Figure. Owned by Bill Werner and trained by Roger Attfield, the chestnut posted a mild upset in the 1 1/8 mile race, winning by a neck over odds-on Aurora Way under Jerome Lermyte.
The PRINCESS ELIZABETH STAKES, worth $225,000 and the most prestigious race for Canadian bred 2-year-old fillies, was a thriller as Ivan Dalos’ Avies Mineshaft, from the red-hot Josie Carroll barn, hooked up with the Tony Gattellaro trainee CLICKETY CLACK and head bobbed each other to the wire.
The field was smaller and not all that stellar, but a good story came out of the 1 1/16 mile race.
As Clickety Clack (Silent Name(Jpn) – Boama, by Two Punch) was determined the winner after the photo was blow up a zillion percent, the track flooded with young people who followed Gattellaro to the infield winner’s circle.
Purchased for $20,000 at last year’s Canadian Premier yearling sale by Gattellaro and Tamara Baker for a group of longtime friend, the filly was bred by Woodbine outrider Robert Love and his wife, trainer Michelle Love. The filly was coming off her maiden win and showed amazing grit to somehow get a nostril whisker in front at the wire. Gattellaro is active in purchasing horses to syndicate with newcomers to the game and hopefully this big win leads one of those to buy another horse.
MOONLIT PROMISE (86 Beyer) romped in the Ontario Fashion Stakes (Grade 3 ) on Saturday
On Friday, GRAY PHANTOM posted an 84 Beyer Figure, the highest of the day, in a $25,000 claiming event. Augie Onsei owns the gelding and Marty Drexler trains. The Drexler barn has won 4 of its last 12 races and is one of the top barns of 2017.
BREEDERS’ CUP GETTING CLOSER
By Bob Ehalt
The Breeders’ Cup Classic was a race that helped turned Arrogate into one of the sport’s great superstars.
Now it will provide the final chapter in a spectacular career, scripting a finish that either return him to the very top of the racing world or conclude a string of disappointing losses for a horse who seemed virtually invincible some four months ago.
A field of 11 was drawn Monday for Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the centerpiece of the two-day, 13-race, $28 million World Championships at Del Mar.
Arrogate, who prevailed over California Chrome in last year’s BC Classic at Santa Anita, may be the defending champ and North America’s all-time leading earner with $17,302,600 in the bank, but favoritism in the mile-and-a-quarter epic that will settle Horse of the Year honors was bestowed on a rival he has beaten in each of their two meetings.
Gun Runner, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, lost by 15 lengths to Arrogate in last year’s Travers (G1), when Arrogate romped by 13 ½ lengths, and was second, “only” 2 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Juddmonte Farms star in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 25.
Since then, Arrogate, a winner of 7 of 10 career starts, was a stunning fourth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap and second by a half-length to stablemate Collected in the Pacific Classic (G1), both at Del Mar. Meanwhile, Gun Runner became the sport’s Superman with consecutive Grade 1 wins in the Stephen Foster, Whitney and Woodward by a combined 22 ¼ lengths.
Now, in Arrogate’s final start before heading to a life at stud, he will get one last chance to revert to his incomparable form when he reeled off wins in the Travers, BC Classic, Pegasus World Cup (G1) and Dubai World Cup for Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert.
“You want your horses to go out on a high note,” said Baffert, who is seeking to extend his own record with a fourth straight BC Classic win. “Last year, he did what he did and he was not Horse of the Year. In July, he was a lock for the award. Now it’s coming down to the Breeders’ Cup with Gun Runner, Arrogate, Collected and West Coast, and they are all in top form.”
The 2-1 second choice in the BC Classic, Arrogate landed the rail at the Rood and Riddle post position draw, but jockey Mike Smith does not see that an obstacle to victory for his colt.
“I learned a long time ago that a good horse can make a bad post look good,” said Smith, the all-time leader in Breeders’ Cup wins with 25. “He had the rail in the Travers and Pegasus and they were probably his best races. I’ll be aggressive with him out of the gate. I’ll ride him hard and see where that puts me. If he can fire his ‘A’ race, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.”
Arrogate, in line to join Tiznow as the only two-time winners of the BC Classic, put in his final work for the eagerly awaited showdown by covering five furlongs on Monday in 1:00 at Santa Anita and drawing a rave review from Baffert.
“He looked great for him,” Baffert said. “I’ve been happy with all of his works. I don’t see why he wouldn’t run a big race.”
While Baffert likes how Arrogate has been training for the BC Classic, he admits he also expected a better performance out of the son of Unbridled’s Song in the Pacific Classic and San Diego over a deep surface at Del Mar.
“I thought he was doing pretty well going into the Pacific Classic and came up short there,” Baffert said, adding, “I’m not going to use (the racetrack) as an excuse for Arrogate. I think he’ll handle it fine.”
There are no such question marks hovering over Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner, who drew post five and enters the BC Classic in rare form.
“Preparations went extremely smoothly for him,” said trainer Steve Asmussen, whose 4-year-old has been training in California since Sept. 25 and put in a 1:11.80 six-furlong drill at Santa Anita on Oct. 23. “The weather has cooperated and we were very pleased with his (Oct. 23 work). He came out of it in good order. We’re very excited for the days to come.”
In light of the role reversal since their last meeting, when Arrogate was a huge, odds-on favorite in U.S wagering on the Dubai World Cup, Asmussen is confident his horse is poised for a strong effort.
“I feel very good about where we’re at right now. What has happened since the World Cup is, you know, surprising to a lot of people,” said Asmussen, who sent out Gun Runner to a second-place finish in last year’s Las Vegas Breeders Cup Dirt Mile (G1). “(I’m confident because of) the way that he’s run all year and the way that he has trained. I feel that he’s at a very high level in the way that he’s running, and as fast as he’s running. As far as Del Mar and never running over the racetrack, he has accepted quite a few racetracks. He has traveled well.”
DIXIE MOON jogs at Del Mar
A solid package of Canadian-breds and Canadian owned or bred horses will try to take home big money on Friday or Saturday and the 2 main locals Dixie Moon and Ami’s Mesa, have arrived at Del Mar.
The video below shows Dixie Moon jogging on the Del Mar track on Tuesday morning.
The filly will race Friday, Interestingly, Canadian David Anderson, breeder of Juvenile Fillies starter Wonder Gadot, has some excitement right off the bat on Friday when LOOSE ON THE TOWN gets things warmed up for the St. Thomas breeder in the Damascus Sakes which is race 1 on Friday at Del Mar
Loose on the Town is by Speightstown from Gauze by Saint Ballado and he is owned by Jim and Susan Hill, who used to race horses at Woodbine.
The gelding is coming off a series of fringe placings in stakes races and he is a 7 to 2 chance in the Damascus.
ARROGATE’S final workout