Alydar. The name conjures up an era that came crashing down, the end of Calumet, and a link to what we had and where we are now. Oh mighty Alydar, in your devil red and blue silks, rest in peace and look favorably down on your great grandson, Grazen, the Turk's favorite to win the California Cup Classic Handicap. The picture was taken by the Turk's favorite horse shutterfly, the incredible Barbara Livingston.
Santa Anita Race 6, Post Time 5:30 PM ET; The California Cup Classic Handicap 200K; 1 1/8 miles on fake dirt for CA Bred or CA Sired 3 YO and Up.
Not my featured race of the day but it is in keeping with my practice of handicapping as many races as humanly possible at Santa Anita as we lead up to the Breeders' Cup. While my Daily Race Form Simulcast Daily subscription provides the race charts and track bias information to me over the course of the meet, I find it much more useful to "invade" certain tracks at certain times of the year and play it early and often. I like Santa Anita an awful lot, fake dirt and all, and I like the workout information I see from there and can corroborate with other sources. Sure wish I could say that about other tracks.
The field is currently six and right now there are no changes.
Grazen, coming off an early September win at 1 Mile at Del Mar where he edged out Chocolate Candy, is my chalk. He sports the races best BSF on fake dirt at 103 and the best BSF at today's distance, a 98. He has trained sharply and the 3 YO is 5 for 5 in the money in 2009. Jock/Trainer clip away at 41% win rate over 80 races the past year. Trainer Mitchell wins 23% of the fake stuff races, and with Gomez up, a pretty tough combo.
Lethal Heat, the lone filly, will be right on Grazen's heels. Much to like and a few things not too. Last three efforts saw the filly strike the front only to fade at the final call. 6 of 7 in the money on fake stuff and 12 of 14 lifetime, too good to not hit the ticket.
Flip a coin on Star Nicholas and Bold Chieftain. I like Bold Chieftain and the distance, but the two Baze's up should be there on the ticket.
Blackbriar is interesting and at the right odds a Show bet not out of the question. One Chin Again is a hard knockin' 4 YO gelding that isn't of the quality of the others.
Have Fun. The Turk has at least 3 more handicapped for today. Turk Out for Now.