10/28/2004 12:00AM

BC Turf Analysis


POWERSCOURT won the Arlington Million but was disqualified, then subsequently validated his form with a good third in a strong Group 1 in Ireland. Repeatedly proven against world-class company, Powerscourt is the established class of the field. However, upstart 3-year-old KITTEN'S JOY blasted older in a Grade 1 at Belmont, and might be this good. The only potential flaw is the horse he beat (Magistretti) was taken out of his game plan by racing in the clear instead of being covered up. That horse's subpar effort may have flattered Kitten's Joy. Front-runner STAR OVER THE BAY will lead as far as he can; Magistretti is the aforementioned horse taken out of his game. But is he tailing off, or was his excuse valid?


KITTEN'S JOY has a 6-1-0 record from 7 starts this year, and is in prime form following decisive victories in the Secretariat and the Turf Classic. He'll be hard to deny at short odds. If Kitten's Joy regresses, MAGISTRETTI will be a serious threat. He finished 2 1/2 lengths behind the top selection last time, and might be more effective with a return to closing tactics. POWERSCOURT was disqualified from first to fourth in the Arlington Million. He figures to be right there in the battle for second if he runs his race, but shipping to Ireland and then back to the U.S. makes this a tougher task for him. If speed is sticking on this course, Star Over the Bay will be a factor while loose on the lead.


KITTEN'S JOY is a freak who has never taken a backward step on the Beyer scale, winning under all manner of conditions at six different venues; passed first test vs. older with flying colors, leaving MAGISTRETTI for dead in final furlong of Turf Classic. POWERSCOURT ran a couple ticks slower winning the Million than did Kitten's Joy in the Secretariat, but his was the stronger final fraction; may have been too close to the pace chasing from second in the Irish Champion under 130 pounds. Magistretti was boxed in at the quarter pole and then unleashed an awesome turn of foot to win the Man o' War, raising possibility he may have been taken out of his best game stalking in Turf Classic; that was his fourth defeat without a win at this distance.


KITTEN'S JOY promises to be the shortest priced favorite on the Breeders' Cup card, and the most likely winner. He was absolutely sensational winning the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic llast time out. That was no surprise. When he won the Secretariat two starts back, he ran a faster time than the Arlington Million went in two races earlier. MAGISTRETTI was an impressive winner of the Man o' War two starts back, but was no match for Kitten's Joy in the Joe Hirsch. Maybe Magistretti was closer to the early pace in the Joe Hirsch than he prefers to be. POWERCOURT beat Magistretti when he finished first in the Arlington Million. But Magistretti has improved since then, and the book on Powerscourt is he's more effective at distances shorter than this.