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Breeders’ Cup Classic: Will Take Charge punches ticket; big weekend of preps ahead
By Jay Privman
Will Take Charge continued his late-season resurgence Saturday with his victory in the Pennsylvania Derby, his second straight graded stakes win, his third straight sharp performance since a forgettable Triple Crown series, and his final prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
The Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby afforded its 3-year-olds an opportunity to have a final Breeders’ Cup against members of their own age group. The stakes, and intrigue, will be raised exponentially this Saturday, when the likes of Orb, the Kentucky Derby winner, and Palace Malice, the Belmont Stakes winner, show where the 3-year-olds match up against their elders, in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. Flat Out – a two-time winner of the Gold Cup – Cross Traffic and Alpha are the leading older horses scheduled to run in the Gold Cup.
Also on Saturday, but at Santa Anita, the Awesome Again – formerly the Goodwood – will serve as a Classic tune-up for horses like Mucho Macho Man and Paynter, while at Churchill Downs that night, defending BC Classic winner Fort Larned is set to go in the inaugural Homecoming Classic.
The ante-post favorite for the Classic, Game On Dude, is bypassing the Awesome Again, as trainer Bob Baffert believes he does best at this point in his career with time between races, exemplified by his most-recent victory, a runaway in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
One older horse now out of the picture for the Classic, perhaps even done for the year, is Successful Dan, whose two races at Saratoga this summer “took a lot out of him,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said Monday morning from Kentucky. Successful Dan was second in the Whitney on Aug. 3, then third in the Woodward on Aug. 31.
“I was kind of looking at a race at Keeneland,” LoPresti said, referring to the Fayette on Oct. 26, “but I may just go and give him the rest of the winter off. I’m not real happy with how he’s doing. He’s just a little tired, and I’ve lost some time with him. I’m certainly not going to California with him. You’ve got to be 100 percent, in tip-top shape, for that, and he’s not, not like Wise Dan.”
Palace Malice is the real deal and come Sat he'll prove that, disregard his Travers, he lost all chance at the start. $$$$$$
Flat Out in a romp
I have to look again at Cross traffic can;t wait for the form to come out. Game on Dude and Take Charge look the best this time of year. When was the last time a Triple Crown winner won the breeder's cup IN THE SAME YEAR? Did Curlin win the breeder's cup in his 3 year old campaign?
The only problem with MMM is the trainer.Give him even a second rate trainer and he moves way up.
Looking forward to the races this weekend. I think that the JCGC is setting up on paper perfect for Palace Malice. I'm going to say he takes it, with Cross Traffic 2nd and Orb 3rd. Alpha was a fluke last out. Flat Out can't really win a 3rd JCGC can he? Awesome Again will be won by MMM (assuming no rain). I'd like Paynter to win, but I am not sure he's 100% And depending on if A-game Royal Delta shows up or not...it's either her race or PoS. I'll throw the Zenyatta to Joyful Victory or Beholder.
Hope MMM and Painter do well this weekend.
Jockey Club Gold Cup looking like a great race. PM all day.
Time to retire Successful Dan.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 2.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
- 3.Posted 12/08/2013 06:24PM
- 4.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
- 5.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM