Horse Racing: Preview of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup; Early BC Notes

With the Breeders Cup now just three weeks away, the month of October in Horse Racing gets a raw deal as all the top horses are in their respective barns and  patiently awaiting the big day(s). That being said, this weekend we will be taking a look at the wide open 2012 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Stakes at Keeneland Racetrack in Kentucky, where Stephanie’s Kitten has been listed as the 5/2 morning line favorite.

You know, I was originally going to do the 2012 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine on Sunday (for a $1.5 million purse), but looking back over the few years I noticed that you can could one hand how many “views” I’ve received when doing that race. Evidently you folks are not into Canadian racing…..I don’t blame you….I don’t follow it all that closely myself and I’m the Horse Racing correspondent around here.

So, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll just make a quick mention of the race and move on. First off, at the time of this writing the entries haven’t been drawn yet but from what I did see, I like Wigmore Hill to win it and I expect good performances from American invaders Al Khali and Air Support.

 

Keeneland -October 13, 2012

Race9 – 5:21 PM   

Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (Grade I)

Purse $400,000.

For Fillies Three Years Old

One And One Eighth Miles. (Turf)

 

P#

PP

Horse

A/S

Med

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

M/L

1 1 Better Lucky 3/F L S Bridgmohan 121 T Albertrani

12/1

2 2 Tannery 3/F   E Trujillo 121 A E Goldberg

10/1

3 3 Treasured Up 3/F L B J Hernandez, Jr. 121 A M Stall, Jr.

20/1

4 4 Centre Court 3/F L J R Leparoux 121 G R Arnold, II

7/2

5 5 Stephanie’s Kitten 3/F L J R Velazquez 121 W M Catalano

5/2

6 6 Somali Lemonade 3/F L J Rocco, Jr. 121 M R Matz

6/1

7 7 Samitar 3/F L R A Dominguez 121 C C Brown

7/2

8 8 Dayatthespa 3/F L J Castellano 121 C C Brown

3/1

 

Analysis:

1) Stephanie’s Kitten- three year old filly by Kitten’s Joy won the 2011 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf last year with her patented late run.

She would be coming into this on a three race winning streak if not for a troubled fourth place finish two starts back (in the Grade: 2 Lake George at Saratoga). In that race, she lacked room at two key moments (at the eighth pole and again at the sixteenth pole down the stretch) but still finished very strong.

She avenged that loss (to the second choice, Centre Court) in her last (a half length win in the Lake Placid also at Saratoga).

Big money rider (Velazquez) takes the reins once again for this horse, who is four for six on the turf and shows eight of nine on the board finishes in her career. She rates a slight edge in wide open contest.

 

2) Centre Court- is another late runner who had a three race winning streak snapped in the aforementioned Lake Placid Stakes last time out.

No excuses in the Lake Placid for this filly as she  had a good trip and took the lead in the stretch only to be run down by the top choice.

Well bred horse (By Smart Strike out of an A.P Indy mare) has never been worse than second in now six lifetime starts on the turf and merits big time respect. If you’re an exotics player, this horse is a “must use”.

 

3) Dayatthespa- speedy yet versatile filly by City Zip comes into this race riding a four race winning streak. In fact, she is undefeated this year and is five for seven lifetime. It looks as though she will be the early leader and play “catch me if you can” on Saturday afternoon….and there’s a chance they won’t.

Honorable Mentions:

Tannery, who was last early in her US debut (she came over from Ireland), yet closed well to be third. If she improves off that race, she’ll be a threat in this race. But please note, in her last race (The Garden City Stakes) she was defeated by not one, but two different fillies…..both of whom show up in this race as well. Somali Lemonade was beaten less than two lengths by both the top pick and the second choice two and three races ago….could be right there again at the end of this one.

 

 

Little Bets N’ Pieces

**** Acclamation, the 2011 Eclipse Award winner as champion older male, is officially out of the 2012 Breeders Cup Turf at 1 1/2 miles next month due to a sprain in his front left leg.

“It flared up a little bit again,” trainer Don Warren said last Sunday morning

“It heated up on me, the sprain that he had a month ago. He worked good on the training track four or five days ago, but it heated up the next day, so we’re going to give up on the Breeders’ Cup.”

“Everything had to go perfect to make the race. We’re done for the rest of the year. We’ve got to get him fixed right. We’ve got to give him more time.”

 

2011 Champion Acclamation is done for 2012

**** It looks as though the Breeders’ Cup (Dirt) Sprint will be a rematch of last Saturdays Santa Anita Sprint Championship as the first four finishers (Coil, Capital Account, Jimmy Creed and Amazombie) are all pointed towards the race (which is the second race on day two).

Coil beat stablemate Capital Account (who are both trained by Bob Baffert) by a head last weekend with Capital Account three-quarters of a length in front of Jimmy Creed, who was a half-length in front of (defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner) Amazombie.

“Both ran gallant races,” Baffert said last Sunday morning of Coil and Capital Account, “They’ll both run back in the Sprint.”

Jockey Mike Smith said Amazombie should “improve off that race” and that he “wasn’t at all discouraged. I think he’ll move up off that race. I think he’ll run big (in the BC Sprint)”

“Jimmy Creed came out good,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “I think I would consider the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with him.”

 

Could Coil (pictured) be the 2012 Breeders Cup Sprint favorite?

**** 2011 champion and the still unbeaten My Miss Aurelia worked five furlongs on the Santa Anita main track in 1:03 1/5 as is being pointed towards the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.

 

The unbeaten My Miss Aurelia continues to amaze me

**** Lentenor, a 5-year-old full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby winner and ill fated Barbaro, has been retired from racing because of a tendon injury. Stallion plans are under way.

Lentenor (Dynaformer- La Ville Rouge) was retired with a record of 4-3-3 from 17 starts.

Letenor, a full brother to the ill fated Barbaro, is retired.

**** Claiborne Farm has announced their stud fees for 2013. War Front will stand for $80,000, and Pulpit commands $50,000. The other stallions are Arch ($40,000 fee), Blame ($30,000), Eddington ($5,000), First Samurai ($10,000), Flatter ($20,000), Horse Greeley ($2,500), Parading ($3,500), Stroll ($5,000) and Trappe Shot ($10,000).

“Claiborne is committed to setting realistic stud fees and to capping the number of mares bred,” Stallion Director Bernie Sams said.

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  1. [...] Horse Racing: Preview of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup; Early BC …isportsweb.comWith the Breeders Cup now just three weeks away, the month of October in Horse Racing gets a raw deal as all the top horses are in their respective barns and patiently awaiting the big day(s). That being said, this weekend we will be taking a look at …Vancouver gelding Commander speeds into Breeders' CupVancouver Sunall 2 news articles » [...]

  2. [...] Horse Racing: Preview of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup; Early BC …isportsweb.comWith the Breeders Cup now just three weeks away, the month of October in Horse Racing gets a raw deal as all the top horses are in their respective barns and patiently awaiting the big day(s). That being said, this weekend we will be taking a look at …Vancouver gelding Commander speeds into Breeders' CupVancouver Sunall 2 news articles » [...]

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