The 2021 Breeders’ Cup organizers are doing their darn greatest, within the type of the stellar weekend’s $31 million in purses, to carry each this collection and the game at giant again to the fore, regardless of the rough-and-tumble of the second 12 months of the pandemic. The Basic brings us fairly the intense nosegay of favorites in Medina Spirit, whose hardy Derby win and subsequent drug tribulations actually rocked the game again on its heels this summer season, and his rival Important High quality. Important High quality’s heavy favourite standing within the Class of 2021 was usurped by none apart from Medina Spirit within the Derby earlier than Important High quality regained his footing to take the Belmont.
These two favorites have some Triple Crown priors, is the purpose, and meaning all of racing is hoping to see these priors labored out this afternoon at Del Mar. That, along with the $6 million purse for the Basic, is what’s at stake for the highest two favorites. All Breeders’ Cup Classics are by definition huge. This one is big-big.
Maybe it’s the scale of the purses mixed with that further vitality that the trade, the breeders themselves, carry to the day, however any Breeders’ Cup race day has a well-known manner of creating all of the sharp questions on each athlete in each race even sharper. However earlier than we name in our resident Kentucky horseman, the Bluegrass Smart Man ™, who’s trackside at Del Mar this 12 months, to delve into the filigree of simply how Sizzling Rod Charlie may wreck Medina Spirit’s plans for Important High quality — or EQ’s plans for Medina Spirit — right here for reference are the submit positions and the morning line, which we’ll replace on this area with stay odds because the Del Mar opens and the cash begins to speak.
Nota bene: Submit time at Del Mar is at 8:40 p.m. EDT and will probably be carried on NBC.
(Submit Place, Horse, Coach, Jockey, Morning Line)
1. Tripoli, John Sadler, Irad Ortiz Jr., 15-1
2. Specific Prepare, John Shirreffs, Victor Espinoza, 20-1
3. Sizzling Rod Charlie, Doug O’Neill, Flavien Prat, 4-1
4. Important High quality, Brad Cox, Luis Saez, 3-1
5. Knicks Go, Brad Cox, Joel Rosario, 5-2
6. Artwork Collector, Invoice Mott, Mike Smith, 8-1
7. Stilleto Boy, Ed Moger Jr., Kent Desormeaux, 30-1
8. Medina Spirit, Bob Baffert, John Velazquez, 4-1
9. Max Participant, Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana Jr., 8-1
(Supply: Del Mar, 11/6/2021)
The Bluegrass Smart Man ™ is a trusted Kentucky horseman and proprietor who has been deeply beneficiant to us along with his horse sense and his lengthy expertise in handicapping Triple Crown seasons previous. Although an proprietor, he has no horses working on this 12 months’s Basic, however he will certainly be betting the race.
So, the match-race-within-the-race. Assuming it occurs, inform us what you see at stake for Medina Spirit.
Bluegrass Smart Man ™: So much. In a number of methods. First, let’s keep in mind that this enormous cloud of suspicion that hangs over Bob (Baffert) is just not Medina Spirit’s fault. Medina Spirit is the athlete, proper? He’s simply in his stall consuming out of his bucket and out on the monitor breezing. And he ran a surprisingly good Derby, muscling on out previous Important High quality, who for a number of good causes didn’t get an excellent journey. So, regardless of that, and regardless of his subsequent wins, Medina Spirit nonetheless has to indicate us that he can rise up and out and previous Important High quality, mainly. Medina Spirit has obtained to reply the query in regards to the Derby, by no means thoughts that it’s technically not a win for him any longer. Medina Spirit’s obtained to say to us that his Derby run wasn’t a fluke. I imply, he went off at 12-1 within the Derby and took it. It’s time for him to indicate us that type of grit once more, please.
And, for Important High quality?
Bluegrass Smart Man ™: Possibly much more. They’re not re-running the Derby at present, however what occurred within the Derby issues. Important High quality didn’t have his thoughts proper in that race, and as Brad (Cox, EQ’s coach) has stated, he didn’t like breaking from manner outdoors within the 14 gap. Important High quality has a extra classically groomed pedigree than Medina Spirit ever thought of, that’s well-known. So, he’s been working nicely, and profitable, and naturally he confirmed us loads within the Belmont. At this time’s the time for him to stay as much as all of that and take it with some energy. What his connections are on the lookout for is a race to seal the deal, or at the least to enhance it. And allow us to not overlook the Breeders’ as a type of fork within the highway in racing careers. A win can put the choice of heading on out into the stud barn proper to the fore. So, for its half, Godolphin has rather a lot using together with Louis Saez within the irons on Important High quality this afternoon.
We love wrecking potential in each race, so inform us who’s absolutely the nightmare for the highest two favorites right here. Sizzling Rod Charlie, or Knicks Go?
Bluegrass Smart Man ™: Each horses, however in very other ways, and that’s gonna be the enjoyable at present. What I imply is, as nightmares go for favorites, having Sizzling Rod Charlie and Knicks Go in there type of brackets the favorites and improves the race by a great distance. As a result of: Knicks Go should, completely should, be up entrance. I don’t occur to love that type of working, however he positive as hell does. So, he’s on the market in entrance of ‘em all. Okay, Sizzling Rod Charlie is a little bit of a stalker. He can lay again and convey it. How a lot he can carry to, say, Important High quality in a stretch duel, is his query. He seemed fairly helpful within the the Derby stretch, edging out Important High quality and what not, however he must step it up at present if he needs to take it on the wire. Knicks Go’s query is, laborious as it could be to imagine, proper there in black and white. He’s by no means run a mile-and-a-quarter. Interval.
Give us a little bit of an image of the way you see that enjoying out.
Bluegrass Smart Man ™: I may see Knicks Go burning up all of the fuel within the tank by the highest of the stretch. However earlier than that, within the first flip and up the backstretch, he may lead them a chase, which means, be the pace. Simply undecided he has the sense, or will be held again, from doing that in what’s going to be for him a really, very lengthy mile-and-a-quarter. Sizzling Rod Charlie I may see in there duking it out with the massive boys.
Of the 2 prime favorites, whom do you prefer? Or, do you prefer both in any respect?
Bluegrass Smart Man ™: Whew, they’re shut. I don’t know the way, precisely, he transmits this, however Important High quality feels a little bit steadier, possibly a bit extra strong, than Medina Spirit proper now. Medina Spirit is a scrapper, he’s a fighter and I like that loads. However I feel for the presence of thoughts — for that capacity to evaluate a scenario, keep cool, and to have the ability to assemble a fantastic run in the midst of a race — for that I’m going to go along with Important High quality. It may, additionally, not work for him at present, and given his disappointing Derby, that’s the truth is considered one of his questions. Can he carry that once more. However by way of what you search for in a Thoroughbred race horse, Important High quality has it.