2008 Breeders' Cup thread

The 2008 Breeders’ Cup will be run this coming Friday, 10/24 and Saturday, 10/25 at Santa Anita Park in California - it’s the 25th BC and the first ever to be run on a synthetic surface (Pro-Ride brand, recently installed).

Does anyone want to discuss it? Can Curlin handle synthetics? A bunch of new races have been added - good idea? All the filly and mare races will be held on Friday - smart or dumb?

Let’s discuss these or any other issues…

Numerically there’s a strong challenge from Europe this year with over 30 entries for the two day extravaganza. I’m not sure about the quality, though. There are the usual caveats about the synthetic surface, and the lack of form lines connecting horses from the two continents, but here goes with a couple of horses that have a live chance.

Goldikova, trained by Freddy Head in France, has won three times over the distance since failing twice behind star filly Zarkava (not entered) early in the season. She is best priced 2-1 with British bookmakers, but has been supported from 5-1 so the value may have gone. If Goldikova is available at 3-1 for the Mile, either on the book or parimutuel, I’d rate her as a fair bet.

Soldier Of Fortune, from the Aiden O’Brien stable in Ireland, contests the Turf. Currently available at 9-2 over here, I’d give the horse an excellent each way chance following a good third to Zarkava in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Grade 1, 12 furlongs) a couple of weeks ago.

This post will come back to haunt me in a week’s time.

I read an analysis of her that claims she doesn’t have a very strong finish, but tends to stalk the pace and hold off the closers. This analyst thinks that she’s screwed because if she tries to stalk the faster pace of an American turf mile, she won’t be able to finish strongly enough to hold off the closers. I don’t know if this is true, as I’ve never seen her run. I think she will be favored, right around 5-2 or 3-1.

Do you have any opinion on the Euro two year olds this year? Square Eddie sure made them look like they might be better than the Americans.

The analyst may well be correct about Goldikova but the fact is the filly has improved all season and I believe she has more to give, notwithstanding her style of racing, and she should be there or thereabouts.

I have no recommendations for the juvenile events. This is because (a) there is no really outstanding contender for any of them in my opinion (b) the European challenge since 1984 has yielded a mere two victories in 48 races and © I’m not digging any more holes for myself by tipping one. Maybe some other student of European TYO form will come along with some advice.

Incidentally, it interests me that there is a Breeder’s Cup Marathon over 12 furlongs. In England, a marathon describes any race (on the flat) from 18 to 22 furlongs.

I’ll bump this discussion. Another question: Curlin’s speed figures are clearly down from last year - his last 3 Beyer speed figures on dirt are 111, 112 and 110. He won the 2007 BC Classic with a 119 speed figure. I have had a lot of success in the Breeders’ Cup picking against former BC winners who have lost a step - these types are invariably overbet, and only 1 of about 20 has won (Tiznow in 2001). If he doesn’t fire, who beats him?

And of course, there’s this controversial story: