11/03/2010 8:18PM

Key international Breeders' Cup preps with charts, video, and analysis



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Alan Shuback's Friday BC analysis | Saturday BC analysis

Queen Anne Stakes
June 15, 2010 - Royal Ascot

Alan Shuback's postrace analysis [reprinted from DRF's Simulcast Weekly]: Goldikova keeps going from strength to strength. Perfectly placed in fourth, she pounced at the quarter-pole and went quickly clear, then had more than enough left in the tank to withstand the late rush of Paco Boy in a well-timed ride. Last time she had won similarly going 1 1/8m, 55 yards in the Prix d’Ispahan-G1 from Byword (see Prince of Wales’s Stakes) and must be regarded as the best miler and the best distaffer in the world. Next up is the Prix Jacques Le Marois on Aug. 15, but a third BC Mile is her ultimate goal. Paco Boy was a bit unlucky. A three-time G1 winner, he will be hard to beat in the Sussex Stakes.

Prix Jacques le Marois
Deauville - Aug. 15, 2010

Analysis: Soft ground played a key role here as Goldikova failed to show her usual sparkle. She led briefly 1 1/2f out but could not hold off Makfi, the 2000 Guineas winner who had twice won on very soft in the past. Just 7th in the Canford Cliffs’ St James’s Palace Stakes-G1 on good to firm, the winner could use either the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp or the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, for which Goldikova remains the favorite. She will hope for good ground - which she must have - in the 7f Prix de la Foret-G1 on Oct 3. Paco Boy needs fast ground as well. He was nipped by a resurgent Goldikova for 2nd.

Prix Vermeille
Longchamp - Sept. 20, 2010

Analysis: Midday will head straight to Churchill Downs for a defense of her BC Filly & Mare Turf crown after this third straight G1 score. She will be a prohibitive favorite at CD on the day, as there is no distaffer in America who is within lengths of her. In Plumania she beat the winner of the 1 1/2m Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud-G1 against males. Sarafina, who was closing best of all, lost her undefeated record in just her fourth career start after wins in the 1 1/4m Prix Saint-Alary-G1 and the French Oaks. She will improve for this and be a threat in the Arc. Sariska refused for a second time and was immediately retired.

Nassau Stakes
Goodwood - July 31, 2010

Video: Watch on Youtube

Analysis: Midday was clearly the best horse in the race but she made trouble for herself after having gone nearly 3 lengths clear in the stretch. Stacelita ran her down and put her nose in front when Midday drifed left in reasserting herself. The interference was minimal and didn’t necessitate a change in the order, although Stacelita was forced to check. They could meet again in the BC Filly & Mare Turf, but first Midday heads to the 1 1/2m Yorkshire Oaks-G1 and Stacelita to the 1 1/4m Prix de l’Opera-G1 where she will meet French Oaks runner-up Rosanara, an inconsistent filly who showed nothing this day.

Yorkshire Oaks
York - Aug. 15, 2010

Video: Watch on Youtube

Analysis: High drama at the start as Sariska refused to race, leaving it to Midday to beat her for the first time in four tries. She led going easily 2 1/2f out and had little trouble holding off English and Irish Oaks winner Snow Fairy. The game winner of the 1 1/4m Nassau Stakes-G1 last time over Stacelita (see Prix Jean Romanet), Midday is a serious threat to defend her BC Filly & Mare Turf title. She is an admirable filly but the feeling is that Sariska who beat her in the two Oaks last year, is still her better. Sariska remains on course for the Prix Vermeille, while Midday will use the Prix de l’Opera as her Breeders’ Cup prep.

Prix Niel
Longchamp - Sept. 12, 2010

Analysis: Behkabad came with a late run to nail Planteur, who had been three-quarters of a length 2nd to the winner last time on July 14 in the 1 1/2m Grand Prix de Paris-G1. It would not be surprising if these two fought it out again in the Arc, for which they will both be fitter. Behkabad especially looks like improving and is Ladbrokes 3-1 Arc favorite. Kidnapping improved somewhat after two listed scores, but 1 1/4m Japanese 2000 Guineas winner Victoire Pisa was exposed.

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Ascot - Sept. 25, 2010

Analysis: Poet’s Voice came from last-to-first, leading late and holding off the renewed challenge of Rip Van Winkle, whose chances may have been compromised by following too closely on the heels of his pacesetter Air Chief Marshal. The winner put in a career best after winning the 4-runner Celebration Mile-G2 by 4 1/2 lengths at Goodwood. Rip Van Winkle won this race last year before finishing 10th in the BC Classic. That race or the Mile will be next up for a horse O’Brien describes as “a miler who can stay 10 furlongs.” Goldikova’s Jacques Le Marois conqueror Makfi failed for the second time in two trips to Ascot.

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Longchamp - Oct. 3, 2010

Analysis: The 7-length winner of the Epsom Derby, Workforce had run only once since then when a dull 5th in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 24, so this ranks as a supreme training achievement by Michael Stoute. Workforce had to dig in to hold off the gallant Nakayama Festa, but Sarafina and Behkabad were both unlucky, having suffered horror trips. Fame and Glory disliked the ground, but the winner was fully deserving, trapped as he was on the rail entering the stretch. The Breeders’ Cup Turf could be next for both Workforce and Behkabad, and the two would be closer together should they meet again.

Gran Criterium
San Siro - Oct. 9, 2010

Analysis: Biondetti rallied to lead at the eighth-pole to win his third start without a loss. From the first crop of Preakness/Travers/Jockey Gold Cup winner Bernardini, he is a half brother to 1 1/8m Garden City-G1 winner Indy Five Hundred and to Delta Princess, a 2-time G3 winner at 1 1/8m at Churchill Downs, so a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile might be in the works. He broke his maiden going 7f at Newmarket and won a 7f allowance on the Kempton Polytrack, so he looks like a versatile sort. Singapore Lilly had beaten colts in a 1m Haydock listed race, so the form looks good for an Italian G1.

Fillies Mile
Ascot - Sept. 25, 2010

Analysis: White Moonstone remains undefeated in four starts after this last-to-first victory. She had previously won the 1m May Hill Stakes-G2 at Doncaster and looks like a leading candidate for the English Oaks after a winter in Dubai. The oft-raced Together, a half sister to last fall’s 1m Criterium International-G1 winner Jan Vermeer, won the 7f Silver Flash Stakes-G3 in July and was gaining late, while Theyskens’ Theory, a half sister to BC Juvenile winner Stevie Wonderboy, was coming off a win in the 7f Prestige Stakes-G3, so the form of this race looks good.

Prix de la Foret
Longchamp - Oct. 3, 2010

Analysis: Goldikova served warning that she will be in top form for an attempt at her third BC Mile as she won this race in which she had only finished 3rd last year. The reluctant leader from the rail, she took a breather 3f out, allowing Regal Parade to take the lead. Asked for her effort over 1f out, the response was immediate, and she held off Paco Boy with something in hand. Paco Boy has been beaten by Goldikova in all three of their meetings but will try her again in the Mile. Dick Turpin is a genuine G1 type, Regal Parade and Special Duty G1 winners, so this was a first-class renewal of the ideal BC Mile prep.

Champion Stakes
Newmarket - Oct. 16, 2010

Analysis: Twice Over successfully defended hist title as tracked Debussy’s slow pace, getting first run on Vision d’Etat in cruising to the lead 2f out. The winner of the 1 1/4m Eclipse Stakes-G1 in July, he had been 2nd in Rip Van Winkle’s Juddmonte International- G1 and a distant 3rd to Cpae Blanco in the Irish Champion-G1, so this marked a return to form. He will aim at the Dubai World Cup. Vision d’Etat was having just his second race since the World Cup in March and will go to Hong Kong to defend his title in the Cup. Arlington Million winner Debussy is still on course for the BC Turf, but is a question at 12f.