With just about 24 hours until pre-entries are announced, I thought this would be a good time to go over the one horse in each BC Saturday race that my good friend Steve Decaspers might call “interesting”. An interesting horse is not necessarily one that you’ll bet on to win. It’s not even one that you will definitely use on your tickets at all. It’s merely a horse that you find interesting. Intriguing. Maybe you keep coming back to that horse over and over before dismissing it. Or maybe that horse is a single. Who knows? Let’s discuss.
Turf Sprint- Will Call
As of this writing, I am not even sure Will Call is going to make it into the field. It seems like we are expecting a number of runners to be turned away. So for the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume Will Call will be in. So watch out. He’s 2 for 2 sprinting over the Churchill grass. He has an impressive late kick. And he’s be totally overlooked in the wagering thanks to the presence of so many more familiar names. Go watch the replay of the Woodford at Keeneland. You’ll notice that Will Call broke really well, settled towards the rear of the field, was slow to make a move but somehow advanced turning for home, and then took off just a little too late to catch Bucchero. He’s live if he makes the field. And he’s extremely interesting.
Filly and Mare Sprint- Let It Ride Mom
This is another one that may not even get in, which might mean my first two Most Interesting Horses in the Race don’t even run in the Breeders’ Cup. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing? But anyway, if she gets in, you know she’ll be 50-1. And understandably so. But note that her prep for this was a 2nd place effort in the Presque Isle Masters. And guess who ran 2nd in that same race last year. Yep, BC F&M Sprint winner Bar of Gold. So we’ll call that a sneaky, tiny check mark in her column. What’s interesting to me about Let It Ride Mom is that she has very limited dirt form. Just two starts, and only one on a fast track, which was a 2nd at Churchill Downs. But since turning 4-years-old, her Beyer Speed Figures have taken a big move upward. So she’s seemingly a better, faster horse this year. And if that’s the case, maybe trying something relatively new, like dirt, will move her up even more. Give her a look. She’s very, very interesting.
Dirt MiIe- Patternrecognition
There is a very real chance that Patternrecognition will find himself on the lead in the Dirt Mile. I am not saying it’s a strong chance. But it’s a real chance. Very, very real. And if that happens, thanks to the rules of horse racing, any horse that wins will have to either A) be named Patternrecognition, or B) will have to PASS Patternrecognition. That’s the way this game works. If you have the lead, the only way you lose is if someone passes you or if you are DQ’d. And Patternrecognition has won two consecutive races against decent competition by taking the lead early and not giving it up. Has he faced the likes of Catalina Cruiser or City of Light? No. No he hasn’t. But he’s on the improve and may be on the lead. That makes him exceptionally interesting.
Filly and Mare Turf- None
I don’t find any of these fillies or mares all that interesting. Sorry.
Sprint- X Y Jet
All the talk seems to be about Imperial Hint and Rockingham Ranch’s Roy H. But Rockingham Ranch has another speedball in here by the name of X Y Jet, whose only loss since missing just about all of his 5yo season was in Dubai to the brilliant Mind Your Biscuits. So he’s fast and classy. Can he lead them into the turn at Churchill? Eh, maybe. Maybe not. Let’s see what the workout reports say about X Y Jet. Because you know he won’t be favored. He might not even be among the top five in the wagering. And that could be a mistake. This one is interesting.
You have to be cautious with any California turf runner coming east, especially when hooking softer ground than they usually see out west. And we will likely see some give in the Churchill turf course on BC weekend. And we know John Sadler struggles away from home. But all that said, Catapult has really found himself since moving away from Chad Brown and the east coast turf scene, and who knows? He’s run OK over softer turf before. And his closing kick is serious. I find Catapult to be most interesting. Interesting indeed.
There are two girls in the prospective Distaff field that have finished no worse than 2nd in three consecutive Grade 1s. Monomoy Girl is one. La Force is the other. I won’t argue with anyone who says this division isn’t all that tough on the west coast. But a Grade 1 is a Grade 1, and La Force has the look of a filly that is ready to run that big race. And she’ll need to given the bunch she’ll face here. But, if you are worried that Abel Tasman isn’t 100%, maybe you are also looking for an alternative to Monomoy Girl or simply just an exotics play. I am interested in La Force. That makes her interesting…to me.
Enable. So interesting right now. Enable. (That’s all I got.)
If you like McKinzie, you have to at least give Axelrod another look. He’s been on a steady path of improvement all year. He has new owners. He appears versatile enough to work out whatever trip his rider deems necessary. And he’ll be a big price. I can think of far worse choices to complete the trifecta. I am interested in reading more about Axelrod. And I shall read with interest. Because he is interesting.