The Classic (originally posted 10/23/2007)

Due to the sheer volume of over-handicapping that occurs this week of the Breeders’ Cup I will spare you long drawn out analysis and keep it short. Everyone has an opinion and few of those opinions will be correct on a day like the Breeders’ Cup. Here’s my best effort.
Classic:
ANY GIVEN SATURDAY is my pick in a highly contentious and uniquely interesting race. Four legitimate three year olds have a chance (Any Given Saturday, Street Sense, Hard Spun, and Curlin) and a fifth is the current wiseguy longshot (Tiago). I like the win over the surface for Any Given Saturday (beating Curlin and Hard Spun easily). His Brooklyn prep is unfairly being criticized as weak–it was a PREP (and he won by 2 comfortable lengths)!! He’s bred for the slop should the track come up gooey and his tactical speed will be advantageous. STREET SENSE is a brilliant champion; he’s been discussed previously on this forum. What more can you say? CURLIN put forth a great effort to defeat Lawyer Ron in his prep. Was it too much? I can’t see another peak effort off that race coupled with low odds. Can’t fault those backing him, but I prefer others. LAWYER RON is the undisputed leader of the Handicap Division but gives the powerful three olds 5 pounds. Ordinarily I discount weight, but in this case, with so many evenly matched horses, it’s a lot to ask him to overcome. His two races at the Spa were amazing and he proved in the Brooklyn that at longer distances, he is more than a horse for the course. Again, can’t fault those backing him, but I’ll pass on the top spot. TIAGO has been the wiseguy horse before (see Stakes, Belmont). He is a clear notch below the others, but could hit the board with a prefect setup. HARD SPUN would win the BC Dirt Mile (and 70 Yards) by 3-5 lengths. I can’t fault his connections for giving it a whirl, but he has yet to prove he can beat this group at 1 ¼. Better suited for 7F-9F and the likely pacesetter.
Any Given Saturday-Street Sense-Curlin
Turf and Distaff tomorrow…….

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