Breeders' Cup Mile Preview
Thursday, October 17, 2013 23:00:00
The Breeders’ Cup Mile is tentatively scheduled to be the penultimate race of the World Championship weekend at Santa Anita. And why not? The world wants to see the reigning Horse of the Year defend his crown as much as they want to see anything else.
That reigning HOY is Wise Dan and despite his recent loss in the Shadwell “Turf” Mile (which was taken off the turf and snapped his 11-race win streak in the most unfortunate way), he is tough to get past in this spot. The seven-year-old gelding hasn’t lost on the lawn in a shade over two-years and he did a lot this year that would suggest he hasn’t lost a step and he is every bit as good as he was last year. His win in the G1 Woodbine Mile in September was absolutely sensational. If there is a true “horse to beat” in any of the Breeders’ Cup races, it is strictly Wise Dan.
The picture gets a little muddied looking further. Maxios and Dawn Approach are a pair of nice Euros that are expected to square off in the QEII at Ascot on Saturday, which suggests they won’t likely make the trip for the quick turnaround. Toronado however, is skipping the QEII, so this seriously impressive winner of the G1 Sussex Stakes in July should be joining the party on this side of the pond. He could be an interesting option for those looking to take down the king. While only a three-year-old he spent the summer cutting his teeth against top flight competition.
A couple that are certain to show are Silver Max and Obviously who should be a bit more familiar. Silver Maxcomes in off a three race win streak including a win over Wise Dan in the aforementioned Shadwell “Turf”Mile and Obviously has won five graded stakes at a mile on the turf in SoCal, but only one of those came at Santa Anita. He did finish third behind Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom last year, so the talent is there. Both of these guys do their best running on the front end. That is of no real concern to our reigning HOY, but Toronado will be licking his lips if they start tearing through early fractions.
Other likely starters include No Jet Lag and He Be Fire N Nice, the respective 1-2 finishers in the G2 City of Hope Mile earlier this month. Once pre-entries are taken on Monday, some more names should be added to the list, but those brave foes will be walking into the lion’s den.
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