Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Preview
Thursday, October 17, 2013 23:00:00
The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile is tentatively scheduled to take place on the first day of the two-day event, Friday, November 1st and this one will no doubt be extremely competitive. The story may very well be how a pair of three-year-old stars can hold up against their more experienced rivals.
Those two three-year-olds that promise to command a serious amount of attention and wagering support are Verrazano and Goldencents. Both of these young guns entered the Kentucky Derby with high aspirations, but now that the smoke has cleared, they seem to have found their home at a shorter distance. Since the triple crown trail ended, Verrazano buried a field of three-year-olds in the 9-furlong Haskell Invitational and Goldencents has been fighting tooth and nail with some of the best sprinters on the west coast. They’ll meet in the middle in their first showdown since the Derby and they should both be very well respected against the older competition.
Power Broker is another three-year-old, although of less renown, that should be strapping them up for this one. He’s won three of his last four for Baffert, but that one loss was served chilly by Verrazano in the Haskell and is still fresh in the mind.
Fed Biz is one of the older horses that handed Goldencents a recent and hard fought defeat at 7-furlongs. Fed Biz boasts three victories at this distance though and two of them came locally. He also has a local win at a mile and one-sixteenth, so stamina won’t be an issue. Then again, his versatility gives Bob Baffert legitimate options including the Turf Sprint.
Pants On Fire comes in off of back-to-back graded wins and is probably in career form. I’m a little skeptical that previous competition has prepared him for a spot of this magnitude and this will be his first cross country trip. Similarly, Golden Ticket has shown some real flashes of talent, but this water could be a bit too deep. To his credit is a local prep in the Grade 1 Awesome Again.
Central Intelligence, Hymn Book, and Last Gunfighter are all talented graded stakes winners that probably have a punchers chance, but it will be tough to support them for the top spot. The good news is that if you do, you’ll get the value you deserve.
Brujo De Olleros is a consistent performer, never finishing worse than fourth in his ten-race career. He ran a good one finishing second to Graydar in the G2 Kelso at Belmont last month, but this will be a whole new world. And while Graydar is still listed as possible, Pletcher seems to have his heart set on sending him to the classic.
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