The Breeders’ Cup Aftermath

breederscup_186657445_620x350There are plenty of opinions on the running of each Breeder’s Cup race this year, but however you fared this year at Santa Anita the question remains – where will they go from here and will 2014 be as fruitful for the victors as this year?

The Marathon – London Bridge – This son of Arch was the only three-year old in this year’s marathon, and proved his endurance and quality on another surface in his first race in America. He won in nearly identical (though not quite as impressive) fashion as Caliedoscopio, at about half the price. Not only will he leave this continent again, he’ll head to Australia to resume his career. While we simulcast plenty of Australian racing, seeing him again in this country may be a long shot.

The Juvenile Turf – Outstrip – As with most of the turf races this year, the Europeans proved their dominance by filling a short-priced exacta in the Juvenile turf. One has think that the Lasix issue helps the foreign animals that don’t use it regularly, besides the fact that their turf racing is simply a cut above most of our races in America. Outstrip wasn’t favored but took a fifth victory in this race in its seven runnings back across the Atlantic. While he seems well-adjusted to racing here, there is simply more for him in the three-year old ranks overseas on turf and if we see him at all next year it won’t be for a long time.

The Dirt Mile – Goldencents – He’s sort of had the look of a speedy miler his entire career, and after playing bridesmaid following his failed Triple Crown campaign all of the pieces came tomorrow. Things played pretty perfectly into his hands, from the tracking outside post position to the front-end favoring dirt. That’s not to take anything away from the grueling race he turned in, as he earned this victory from start to finish. However, he’s one that really thrives in his back yard and may be overbet should he ship East again. He seems to have found his niche and he will win races, but don’t accept too low of a number when he’s not in California. The connections intend to race their colt as a four-year old the Strub Series certainly looks like a good fit.

The Juvenile Fillies Turf – Surprisingly, a European winner scored again at a decent price. Yes, she was an upset in the group 1 she won overseas but she validated that in a big way on Friday. However, like the above colt and many other Euros we’ve seen score on Breeders’ Cup day there’s no certainty that we’ll ever see her again. Testa Rossi, one of four Chad Brown entrants, ran a bold second but she was nothing special in Europe. The only real conclusion to be drawn from this bunch is if that runner returns better as a three-year old she will be doubly tough.

The Distaff – Beholder – Wow. I have never been accused of being a Beholder believer despite liking her in her BC race last year, but she silenced me big time after Friday. Yes, she was holding home court advantage but all entrants proved they can bring their best on the road and she wiped the floor with them. Gary Stevens fits her like a glove, and right now both of them are in a zone. Royal Delta was a no-show, and the rest simply don’t have the race in them to beat Beholder when she’s on. Boy, was SHE ON. If she decides to carry forward in 2014, she will win races at short prices but she will be a blast to watch. In fact, her crop is one of the stronger generations of females we’ve seen in a while and they will win all over the place.

Saturday

The Juvenile Fillies – Ria Antonia – The heartbreaker that cost many a gambler the early pick five on Saturday is a puzzling preposition. She came in with a few accolades and really didn’t leave with many more, as her win via DQ was only the second of her career. She’s a Tiger ran the more demanding race of the two and will certainly be the more heavily touted filly going forward, but neither of the exacta pair really make you think “Oaks Winner” in the replay. She’s a Tiger’s brother too, has to make one think that distance may not be in her future. Talent at this point in her career may have carried her this far rather than actual desire to route. This appears to be a group with a lot of growing up to do, and no standout leader at this point. No one can say that either ran poorly or didn’t deserve the win, but it just wasn’t a race that caught the eye visually or final time-wise. Rosalind, the show filly, was picking up checks in similar fashion all year and wasn’t threatening those two. I’ll be searching for an Oaks filly elsewhere most likely.

The Filly & Mare Turf – Dank – What else can you say? This race went exactly according to plan & the odds board. They finished in a clump but the best mare won and the second best mare ran second. Neither one really has reason to stay here or return for a while, and even if they do the value will not be there. Hats off to a couple of fantastic fillies but they shouldn’t be padding wallets in the US anytime soon.

The Filly & Mare Sprint – Groupie Doll – With only one faint possibility at seeing the champ again (Cigar Mile), discussion of next year is off the table. She was just bought for $3.1 million and we’ll likely discover Atlantis before seeing her race again.

The Turf Sprint – Mizdirection – See Groupie Doll.

The Juvenile – New Year’s Day – The little boys finished up even slower than the girls, but the winner seems to have a little more promise/upside than his counterpart. This was only his third start, and each one seems to be a bigger step forward than even Bob Baffert expects. The difference between the two juvenile races seems to be that many more of the males showed up, whereas some of the fillies turned in complete duds. Havana ran a brave, wide race but was just out of horse when the challenge came on the inside. Tap it Rich just didn’t pick it up but is another with upside considering his inexperience. That one will probably need some time to fill out his big frame too, but will most likely not provide value considering his conditioner. It was sort of a stagger-fest down the stretch but I’ll be watching a few of these down the road, including the winner.

The Turf – Magician – It’s a pattern in this year’s cup, but the best two took the money across the ocean again. The Fugue ran a huge race but the winner got the smarter trip after the early fractions, and finished better than yours truly could imagine after that kind of layoff. Hindsight is 20/20 though, and won’t change the result. Oodles of credit go to all runners in a pretty cleanly run race, but as usual the local troops were overmatched.

The Sprint – Secret Circle – He’s a unique sort like Beholder, and joins a select list of winners of two different Breeders’ Cup events. The problem is his obvious delicacy, but the speed & natural ability are glaring. As with New Year’s Day though, the problem with this colt going forward is the sure lack of value. There are enough sprint stakes in California to keep him home all of 2014 and enough on the East Coast to prevent another challenge like the one put forth on Saturday. The good thing about the Sprint is that the most common distance in America produces the biggest pool of contenders at the beginning of each year and usually keeps things interesting right up to the wire in November. Trinniburg is a perfect example of how hard it is to stay competitive in these ranks and why this race only has one repeat winner.

The Mile – Wise Dan – What a guy. For as tough as he is to beat, beating him twice in a row is damn near impossible. He’s another… what do you say? Different jock? No problem. Different trip? No problem. Different course? You see where I’m going… His connections take the best of care with him and he takes care of himself. No price will ever be found until he loses twice in a row, but he’s not the sort of horse that you go to the track to get rich with. He’s the reason you pay admission. There’s no telling how long he can stay this good, but until he proves otherwise just keep enjoying the show.

The Classic – Mucho Macho Man (pictured above right) – Holy Gary Stevens. He had so much good karma in tow with those 126 pounds, how can you not feel good about his win? I know personally my tickets didn’t care for the result, but in retrospect leaving him out of anything was a mistake after his win in the Awesome Again. He doesn’t always get the job done (ahem, 2012) but his campaign led up to this spot perfectly and the ride he received could not be matched by anyone else’s in the field. Many will claim that Will Take Charge should have won, but that’s the difference the hot-riding Stevens made. He’s somehow conned MMM into a win streak, but the possibility of it continuing is iffy. His stud value will probably never exceed the present, and with the breeding industry being as lucrative as it is he may join a couple of others in this year’s classic in the breeding shed in 2014. Both he and the distaff winner shut me up, and kudos to the connections of both. It is not an easy thing to do.

In all, I will not be playing as many winners from this year’s cup as last year’s. I must give credit to the connections of many of the 2012 champions though, as this year saw a brave return by more of them than I ever expected. Hopefully many of you cashed in the cup and best of luck in the remaining weeks of 2013!

This blog was written by Canterbury Paddock Analyst Angela Hermann. Angela just completed her third year as Canterbury Park’s Analyst.

The Breeders’ Cup Aftermath

breederscup_186657445_620x350There are plenty of opinions on the running of each Breeder’s Cup race this year, but however you fared this year at Santa Anita the question remains – where will they go from here and will 2014 be as fruitful for the victors as this year?

The Marathon – London Bridge – This son of Arch was the only three-year old in this year’s marathon, and proved his endurance and quality on another surface in his first race in America. He won in nearly identical (though not quite as impressive) fashion as Caliedoscopio, at about half the price. Not only will he leave this continent again, he’ll head to Australia to resume his career. While we simulcast plenty of Australian racing, seeing him again in this country may be a long shot.

The Juvenile Turf – Outstrip – As with most of the turf races this year, the Europeans proved their dominance by filling a short-priced exacta in the Juvenile turf. One has think that the Lasix issue helps the foreign animals that don’t use it regularly, besides the fact that their turf racing is simply a cut above most of our races in America. Outstrip wasn’t favored but took a fifth victory in this race in its seven runnings back across the Atlantic. While he seems well-adjusted to racing here, there is simply more for him in the three-year old ranks overseas on turf and if we see him at all next year it won’t be for a long time.

The Dirt Mile – Goldencents – He’s sort of had the look of a speedy miler his entire career, and after playing bridesmaid following his failed Triple Crown campaign all of the pieces came tomorrow. Things played pretty perfectly into his hands, from the tracking outside post position to the front-end favoring dirt. That’s not to take anything away from the grueling race he turned in, as he earned this victory from start to finish. However, he’s one that really thrives in his back yard and may be overbet should he ship East again. He seems to have found his niche and he will win races, but don’t accept too low of a number when he’s not in California. The connections intend to race their colt as a four-year old the Strub Series certainly looks like a good fit.

The Juvenile Fillies Turf – Surprisingly, a European winner scored again at a decent price. Yes, she was an upset in the group 1 she won overseas but she validated that in a big way on Friday. However, like the above colt and many other Euros we’ve seen score on Breeders’ Cup day there’s no certainty that we’ll ever see her again. Testa Rossi, one of four Chad Brown entrants, ran a bold second but she was nothing special in Europe. The only real conclusion to be drawn from this bunch is if that runner returns better as a three-year old she will be doubly tough.

The Distaff – Beholder – Wow. I have never been accused of being a Beholder believer despite liking her in her BC race last year, but she silenced me big time after Friday. Yes, she was holding home court advantage but all entrants proved they can bring their best on the road and she wiped the floor with them. Gary Stevens fits her like a glove, and right now both of them are in a zone. Royal Delta was a no-show, and the rest simply don’t have the race in them to beat Beholder when she’s on. Boy, was SHE ON. If she decides to carry forward in 2014, she will win races at short prices but she will be a blast to watch. In fact, her crop is one of the stronger generations of females we’ve seen in a while and they will win all over the place.

Saturday

The Juvenile Fillies – Ria Antonia – The heartbreaker that cost many a gambler the early pick five on Saturday is a puzzling preposition. She came in with a few accolades and really didn’t leave with many more, as her win via DQ was only the second of her career. She’s a Tiger ran the more demanding race of the two and will certainly be the more heavily touted filly going forward, but neither of the exacta pair really make you think “Oaks Winner” in the replay. She’s a Tiger’s brother too, has to make one think that distance may not be in her future. Talent at this point in her career may have carried her this far rather than actual desire to route. This appears to be a group with a lot of growing up to do, and no standout leader at this point. No one can say that either ran poorly or didn’t deserve the win, but it just wasn’t a race that caught the eye visually or final time-wise. Rosalind, the show filly, was picking up checks in similar fashion all year and wasn’t threatening those two. I’ll be searching for an Oaks filly elsewhere most likely.

The Filly & Mare Turf – Dank – What else can you say? This race went exactly according to plan & the odds board. They finished in a clump but the best mare won and the second best mare ran second. Neither one really has reason to stay here or return for a while, and even if they do the value will not be there. Hats off to a couple of fantastic fillies but they shouldn’t be padding wallets in the US anytime soon.

The Filly & Mare Sprint – Groupie Doll – With only one faint possibility at seeing the champ again (Cigar Mile), discussion of next year is off the table. She was just bought for $3.1 million and we’ll likely discover Atlantis before seeing her race again.

The Turf Sprint – Mizdirection – See Groupie Doll.

The Juvenile – New Year’s Day – The little boys finished up even slower than the girls, but the winner seems to have a little more promise/upside than his counterpart. This was only his third start, and each one seems to be a bigger step forward than even Bob Baffert expects. The difference between the two juvenile races seems to be that many more of the males showed up, whereas some of the fillies turned in complete duds. Havana ran a brave, wide race but was just out of horse when the challenge came on the inside. Tap it Rich just didn’t pick it up but is another with upside considering his inexperience. That one will probably need some time to fill out his big frame too, but will most likely not provide value considering his conditioner. It was sort of a stagger-fest down the stretch but I’ll be watching a few of these down the road, including the winner.

The Turf – Magician – It’s a pattern in this year’s cup, but the best two took the money across the ocean again. The Fugue ran a huge race but the winner got the smarter trip after the early fractions, and finished better than yours truly could imagine after that kind of layoff. Hindsight is 20/20 though, and won’t change the result. Oodles of credit go to all runners in a pretty cleanly run race, but as usual the local troops were overmatched.

The Sprint – Secret Circle – He’s a unique sort like Beholder, and joins a select list of winners of two different Breeders’ Cup events. The problem is his obvious delicacy, but the speed & natural ability are glaring. As with New Year’s Day though, the problem with this colt going forward is the sure lack of value. There are enough sprint stakes in California to keep him home all of 2014 and enough on the East Coast to prevent another challenge like the one put forth on Saturday. The good thing about the Sprint is that the most common distance in America produces the biggest pool of contenders at the beginning of each year and usually keeps things interesting right up to the wire in November. Trinniburg is a perfect example of how hard it is to stay competitive in these ranks and why this race only has one repeat winner.

The Mile – Wise Dan – What a guy. For as tough as he is to beat, beating him twice in a row is damn near impossible. He’s another… what do you say? Different jock? No problem. Different trip? No problem. Different course? You see where I’m going… His connections take the best of care with him and he takes care of himself. No price will ever be found until he loses twice in a row, but he’s not the sort of horse that you go to the track to get rich with. He’s the reason you pay admission. There’s no telling how long he can stay this good, but until he proves otherwise just keep enjoying the show.

The Classic – Mucho Macho Man (pictured above right) – Holy Gary Stevens. He had so much good karma in tow with those 126 pounds, how can you not feel good about his win? I know personally my tickets didn’t care for the result, but in retrospect leaving him out of anything was a mistake after his win in the Awesome Again. He doesn’t always get the job done (ahem, 2012) but his campaign led up to this spot perfectly and the ride he received could not be matched by anyone else’s in the field. Many will claim that Will Take Charge should have won, but that’s the difference the hot-riding Stevens made. He’s somehow conned MMM into a win streak, but the possibility of it continuing is iffy. His stud value will probably never exceed the present, and with the breeding industry being as lucrative as it is he may join a couple of others in this year’s classic in the breeding shed in 2014. Both he and the distaff winner shut me up, and kudos to the connections of both. It is not an easy thing to do.

In all, I will not be playing as many winners from this year’s cup as last year’s. I must give credit to the connections of many of the 2012 champions though, as this year saw a brave return by more of them than I ever expected. Hopefully many of you cashed in the cup and best of luck in the remaining weeks of 2013!

This blog was written by Canterbury Paddock Analyst Angela Hermann. Angela just completed her third year as Canterbury Park’s Analyst.

Road to Kentucky Continues

R2KThis is likely the last Kentucky Derby prep race for those entered in Saturday’s Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby. As the saying goes, its time to fish, cut bait, or go ashore. For many this means win or forget about the first Saturday in May.

The featured track for this week’s Road to Kentucky contest is Aqueduct plus the Santa Anita Derby is an added bonus race. Post time is 11:30.

In The Wood at The Big A we have a showdown between two undefeateds in Verrazano and Vyjack, both who have 50 Derby qualifying points and have secured a spot in the field. In other words, they do not need to win. Verrazano has been impressive in all three wins and has back to back triple-digit Beyer figures. None of the others here have approached a 100 fig, hence Verranzo is 4/5 on the morning line. He has pushed around mediocre competition and finally faces a legitimate threat in Vyjack.

Normandy Invasion went favored in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds and never threatened. He has 4 points and must either win or run again before the Derby if the connections intend to party in Louisville.

I’ll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby last year and went on to win the Kentucky Derby. This year’s edition attracts an interesting group. Super Ninety Nine was the double-Beyer Figure advantage horse when he went postward at 6/5 in the Rebel at Oaklawn. He flashed and faded to fifth so keep that in mind before declaring Verrazano a slam dunk in New York. Super Ninety Nine has just 10 points. Bejarano abandons ship to ride Power Broker, a very live prospect who has been away since running fifth in the BC Juvenile at 5/2 odds. This colt has 10 points as well. If 50 is the assumed point level needed to make the cut then a top 2 finish is required. Baffert is asking a lot from Power Broker but at a fair price you might lean this way.

Goldencents has 29 points. A big finish Saturday would land jockey Kevin Krigger in the Derby for the first time. Hear the Ghost, a Hollendorfer trainee , has a passport to the Derby with his win in the San Felipe but Flashback, another Baffert runner, finished second in that race and needs more than the 30 points he has thus far acquired.

Must Pay in the Gulfstream Rainbow 6 on Friday

Assuming the Gulfstream Pick 6 does not get hit today by a single ticket, the carryover will be $2,000,000 and the pool is estimated by some optimists to reach as high as $8 million on Friday when it must be paid on the final day of the meeting. This diabolical bet normally works like this: 10 cent base wager but the only way to win the pot is to hold the lone winning 6 of 6 ticket. If there are multiple winners then they chop a percentage and the rest goes into the carryover. It works like that until the final day which is Friday. The bet is still a 10 cent per combo minimum but Friday all holding 6 of 6 tickets get a share. Pool your money with friends and swing big, and as always, bet it at Canterbury Park.

Keeneland Opens Friday

This is a sure sign of spring. First post is noon.

Road to Kentucky Heads to Tampa Bay

Tampa BayThe free-to-enter Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest heads into Tampa Bay Downs this Saturday for a traditionally tough 12-race card which includes the Tampa Bay Derby and the current buzz-horse Verazzano. The San Felipe on the other side of the country is also part of this week’s contest. There are weekly prizes offered to the top five players. Post time is 11:00am so set the alarm clock and step on it!

Here is a quick glance at the two double-point bonus races – the San Felipe and Tampa Bay Derby – provided by Angela Hermann.

San Felipe

A prince will be crowned in the 3-year- old ranks in the west, with two of its best-known trainers bringing contenders to the table. While it’s not a two horse race, all eyes will be squarely on Flashback and Goldencents in their first meeting in the San Felipe. Both have built their credentials in different ways, but with similar styles and equally impressive workouts they should be fairly even betting-wise. In general I side with the proven war-horse type, but Goldencents will provide zero value. In seeking a price it may be worth giving Omega Star another chance to stretch out, as he most likely won’t have to get the mud kicked in his face that he did in his first go around. He won his first CA race off the van and has the build and pedigree to relish some distance. Though he’s a Cal-bred there is talent there. Goldencents should be tough at this juncture.

Tampa Bay Derby

Another race in Florida, another Pletcher favorite. Verazzano brings his undefeated record and large winning margins into Tampa for his initial stakes try and first around two turns. He closed as the favored individual entity in the Kentucky Derby Future Pool 2, and should determine that 8-1 closing price a steal or a bust after Saturday. He is still only two for two, and while both were incredibly impressive they were right in his wheelhouse pedigree and location-wise. He may be an easy single in all plays, but Falling Sky must be considered with the way John Terranova is firing at Tampa and the affinity this horse has shown for the surface. He may be forced to stalk as he’s done before given his outside post, and could capitalize should the strong favorite falter.

Canterbury Racing Club

There is still time to join the 2013 Canterbury Racing Club. The club is designed to provide you with an educational experience and insight into race horse ownership. For all the details visit www.canterburyracingclub.com

Kentucky Derby and Live Racing Reserved Seating

Canterbury Clubhouse reserved seating for the May 4 Kentucky Derby will be on sale March 23. At 10am those wishing to redeem 900 MVP Rewards points can make reservations. Cash sales begin at noon.

Sunday, May 24 begins single day reserved sales for the upcoming live race meet.