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Sunday, November 4, 2012

BC Saturday: Fortitude

Space Man meets Zenyatta
SOMEWHERE OVER THE MIDWEST - It was a whirlwind trip to beautiful Santa Anita Park and two days of championship racing with big wins by rising racing stars such as Groupie Doll, Shanghai Bobby and Wise Dan, not to mention the big Classic win by Fort Larned.

While the track was speed favoring all weekend (some pundits I was with were calling it a conveyor belt on Saturday evening), I’m in concurrence with PTP’s comments that you just have to adjust your handicapping to the bias of the day. Was it unfair for horses to make their Eclipse statements on such a speed favoring track? Great horses win races no matter the circumstances, trainers who win the big races know how to adjust running styles based on the current track or turf conditions.

One of the downsides of prime time television was the tight time frame between filing deadlines and the end of the race, which was sometime around 8:45 p.m. ET. It was a new experience putting something together in a short time frame. Here’s my post race/Breeders Cup recap for The Buffalo News.

I live blogged the day over at the Sports, Ink blog, which is always fun, and spent the day running back and forth to the paddock. I did get a chance to visit with a number of folks throughout the two days and met some folks who I only knew virtually in the twitterverse/blogosphere. It’s funny when you introduce yourself these days at the track by your twitter handle.

One interesting twist to the weekend, was one of my pals back home in Buffalo gave me $100 to bet over the weekend. The catch was it had to be $2 across the board on the 4 horse in all of the Breeders’ Cup races. The 4 horse had better luck on Friday where he won $69 on $36 worth of bets. Saturday only wins by Shanghai Bobby and Fort Larned returned $49 on $60 of bets. So he came out ahead by $18 on the weekend, not too shabby. Scientific handicapping at it’s best.

I struggled to put three races together in the multi-race wagering, but managed a few good win bets on George Vancouver and Tapizar and the Wise Dan/Animal Kingdom exacta which had a fair return.

My thoughts on the two days of racing…

Most impressive performance – Groupie Doll
Gutsiest performance – Shanghai Bobby
Worst performance – Game on Dude
Most impressive female – Royal Delta
Statement race – Wise Dan
Most famous winner – Jim Rome (Mizdirection)
Best ride – Christophe Lemaire on Flotilla
Best second place finishes – Animal Kingdom, Mucho Macho Man (tie)
Worst second place finishes – Merit Man, Executiveprivilege (tie)
Wildest victory celebration – The Argentineans (hands down) with Calidoscopio
Most surprising win – Hightail

Well, another Breeders’ Cup in the books, time to start looking forward to the Cigar Mile on Thanksgiving weekend. Here is BC Saturday in Pictures….hope you enjoy them.

Santa Anita decked out in purple and gold

Groupie Doll

Shackleford fractious in the paddock
before the Dirt Mile

Tapizar - BC Dirt Mile Champ

Christina Oliveras interviewing
Jim Rome in the paddock

Jungle Racing's Mizdirection - BC Turf Sprint Champ

Rosie Napravnik aboard Shanghai Bobby

Rough day for Bob Baffert

Shanghai Bobby heads to
the winners' circle

Little Mike takes the BC Turf
in a mild upset

Trinninberg - BC Sprint Champ

Trinniberg wins the BC Sprint

Wise Dan

Animal Kingdom

Wise Dan holds off late
charging Animal Kingdom

Wise Dan heads to the Winners' Circle

Tony Bennett

Jerry Bailey

Mark Casse

Fort Larned

Mucho Macho Man

Capacity Crowd at Santa Anita

Around clubhouse turn in the Classic

Stretch duel between Fort Larned and MMM

BC 12 Champ Fort Larned



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