09/29/2010 3:56PM

Europeans expected to continue dominance in Turf

Email

Nine of the last 11 runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Turf have been won by European-trained horses (including High Chaparral’s dead-heat victory with the U.S. horse Johar in 2003), a record that speaks volumes about the American breeding industry’s regard for stamina. This year’s running should once again fall to Europe, even though this has not been a sterling year for 12-furlong types there.

With Harbinger retired, Fame and Glory has been left in the lead in Turf considerations. He is the probable second choice for Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, in which Aidan O’Brien will also send Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes winner Cape Blanco, who has yet to be mentioned as a Turf candidate. Should one of those two win the Arc, the chances are good that the other one will turn up at Churchill Downs bearing the favorite’s mantle.

If Debussy, a Group 2 type in Europe, can win the Arlington Million from a Gio Ponti, whose best distance is 1 1/4 miles, the home team is in hot water. Paddy O’Prado, the Secretariat winner who will go in the Turf Classic, should prove to be the best American hope. By El Prado out of a Prized mare, Paddy O’Prado should stay 12 furlongs, but is probably not on a par with Europe’s best, at least not yet.

Redwood had to work hard to win the Northern Dancer. Now back at Newmarket with Barry Hills, he is under consideration for the Canadian International and/or the BC Turf.

Arctic Cosmos will try to pull off the same St. Leger/BC Turf double landed by Conduit two years ago but it is tough asking a horse to cut back from 1 3/4 miles, 132 yards to 1 1/2 miles. Chinchon looked super winning the United Nations at Monmouth in July, but only ordinary when last of six in the Group 2 Prix Foy at Longchamp two weeks ago.

Unraced since completing a graded race triple in the San Juan Capistrano on April 18, Bourbon Bay is nominated to the Turf Classic and while he certainly stays 1 1/2 miles, his class is questionable at the international Group1/Grade 1 level.