Breeders' Cup Marathon
Thursday, October 24, 2013 22:00:00
Breeders’ Cup weekend will kick off with the somewhat stodgy Marathon on Friday, November 1st. While we might not be sitting on pins and needles for this particular race, the World Championships will officially be under way. Run at a mile and three-quarters - a whopping 14-furlongs - this will be the only purse that doesn’t crack seven figures. The pre-entries are as follows:
Blueskiesnrainbows: This G2 winner is no stranger to the Santa Anita main track with 2 wins in 7 tries. He’s never tackled this type of distance, but then again, neither have the majority of his rivals. He does his best running when he’s forwardly placed, but none of the guys are going to be able to get away with using too much energy in the early stages.
Cease: This seems like a bit of an unorthodox move for this gelding recently claimed by David Jacobson, but that stable doesn’t necessarily play by any set of rules. He does have a 12-furlong try under his belt, but that came over turf and wasn’t particularly effective. Other than the attention commanded by the connections, it’s tough to support this guy two much as he stretches out to double the distance of his last try – which was a winning one.
Commander: One of the three that have ever gone this far, this guy was beaten over 40-lengths in last year’s edition of this race. He did score in a G3 last time out though at a mile and three-eighths, but like others, he likes do control things on the front end and any kind of struggle for that could mean trouble.
Ever Rider: This one has been working well at Santa Anita for almost two months. His last race, which came in June in Argentina, was a Group 2 score in his first try against that kind of company. Another one that does his best when he doesn’t have to pass horses, he might be in a bit over his head and he will likely be begging for the finish line to show up sooner than it actually will.
Indian Jones: I could see an interest being taken in this gelding as two back he finished second, a nose behind Eldaafer and comfortably clear of Pool Play, in a 12-furlong G3 at Parx. That did come over a wet track, which he tends to enjoy, but will not find in sunny SoCal. As is the case with most, distance should take its toll.
London Bridge: He’s never run at this exact distance, but he has gone farther. This will be his first North American starts, and Euros tend to draw a crowd at the Breeders’ Cup, especially in the longer races. A lot will be asked of this colt though, as he is still only a 3-year-old and in his only two dirt starts of his career, he was beaten by a combined 25+ lengths.
Old Time Hockey: He’s a G2 winner in southern California, but that came on turf, and his dirt form also leaves much to be desired. He did outrun his odds last time out in the G2 John Henry Turf Classic, but again, there isn’t anything to suggest he’ll take to the surface on the main track.
Pool Play: For some, this guy will bring some name recognition to a race that desperately needs it. He has been running against some strong competition, but it’s not like he has been winning. His last trip to the winner’s circle came in October of 2012, a month before being a non factor in last year’s Classic. He has some back form that could make him competitive, but he hardly seems likely.
Suns Out Guns Out: This guy fits a lot better in races that are worth much less money. To his credit, there is some consistency to his form, but he will have to answer a serious distance question.
Worldly: Like the rest of them, this guy has plenty of questions to answer, particularly the distance. However, it is very easy to like the progression of speed figures since the trainer change. He’s found himself in some seriously tough spots since making that move, but did nothing to embarrass him. I will keep an eye on this one, but will be hard pressed to take anything in this race that doesn’t offer value.