The Turk needed a 600 mile ride and a full day and a half to reflect on the events I witnessed at the Breeders' Cup. I offer my unvarnished opinion on Life at Ten and Workforce after I work through my post race analysis of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile which I handicapped for the Thorofan Handicapper's Corner. For those who pay attention to that stuff, my superfecta bet would have netted $535.20 and grossed $857.20 if bet exactly the way I laid out on my Thursday posting. As my regular readers know, I don't advocate ever betting anyone blind; Handicapping is the fun, don't deny yourself that opportunity.
Anyway, it was an impressive showing for Uncle Mo. I had Uncle Mo and Boys of Tosconova rated even going into the race but it was pretty clear at this point in their careers Uncle Mo is superior. With power and professional fractions, Uncle Mo struck the lead and gave the most empathic statement of the weekend.
The most disappointing run of the race for me was Jaycito, who I thought was the best of the synthetic runners transitioning to dirt. I also had J.P's Gusto and J.B.'s Thunder reversed in terms of who would do better on the dirt. What I did well was identify that the chalk was the real deal and I didn't oversell Biondetti, Rouge Romance or Jaycito, which seemed to be fashionable contrarian views. Take the time to watch Jaycito: Clearly not liking dirt in his face, Mike Smith took him way wide and at the top of the stretch brought him back to the rail and he was stretching out nice at the end. He's got a lot to prove on dirt but watch him when he returns to the fake stuff.
Handicapping for exotics is all about "slotting" where the horses will end up within the field. In this race it was identifying that there was a talent gap between 1/2 and the rest of the field and that talent gap was on display. You can still make money betting chalk, as my handicap and bet results prove, but it's a dangerous game friends and you really should walk before you run.
Did you watch how powerful Uncle Mo looked as he pulled away in the final 1/16 of a mile. Power. Speed. I wish we'd get a good ol' fashioned 3 YO campaign where he'd race in January, February, March, the Wood Memorial/Arkansas Derby/Santa Anita Derby (suddenly relevant to dirt again) and then the Kentucky Derby. The idea he will only race twice before the Derby is maddening to me but I'm not a "super trainer".
Speaking of the "Super Trainer", I think its a horrible offense played on the bettors to put Life at Ten in the gate only to watch her cantor about with no real attempt to engage the field. I give credit to Workforce's connection's, especially Michael Stoute, for making what was surely the poor financial but right horse advocate position, to not race in the Breeders'Cup Turf. He protected his horse and he protected the $2 punter and for this he was attacked by the establishment as not being "sporting".
I was also happy that Mine That Bird was retired. I might be 110% wrong but I think Trainer Lukas did a horrible job with this horse and the established voices in horse racing are loathe to criticize him.
My Rodney Dangerfield Eclipse award goes to Fly Down: he hangs around and makes you respect him to hit the ticket. Could be a fun four year old. I'm quite frankly tired of this year's 3 YO's. Looking at Lucky may be the best of the bunch but he's flawed too and may be good but doesn't appear to be great. What was Paddy o' Prado doing in the Classic?
Getting back to the Super Trainer, Quality Road had no business in the Classic. Are you telling me he isn't better than Big Drama who won the $2.0 MM Sprint? Anyone remember the Amsterdam? How about the sporting thing to do and take on Goldikova like Gio Ponti did? I love Quality Road and he's been mismanaged for two years in my moronic and humble opinion. The horse won because he was talented and won in spite of his connections. I love Freddie Head and his lifes arc that lead him to this moment with Goldikova. She is so powerful.
The Turk loves Dakota Phone. I saw him for the first time in a sizzling Place to Rail Trip in the Santana Mile on Santa Anita Derby Day 2009. He makes you forget and then, bam! Same goes for Shared Account, who the Little Turk loves and was rewarded for at 46-1. Here Comes Ben disappointed in front of the home crowd. Did you see the betting action on Sidney's Candy? The bettors third choice, a head scratcher to me, again good, not great. Blame was professional and workmanlike. No reason to say goodbye, I wish he ran next year. I was more impressed by Zenyatta's final 1/2 mile than anything else I saw all weekend. She was wonderful and she has my vote for Horse of the Year although no one cares what I vote.
And in the "this never gets old" category, I bring to you Adolph's reaction following Zenyatta's defeat.