When we last discussed West Coast here on LoneSpeed, I expressed my opinion that West Coast has a hard time gaining ground on and passing elite horses late in races. Yes, he has passed horses before and won. No doubt. But if you go back and look at his three starts prior to the Awesome Again, you see a possible trend. Possible. And I say possible because the horses he failed to catch aren’t exactly bums. But the trend I am referring to is that in each of those races (the 2017 BC Classic, the 2018 Pegasus, and the 2018 Dubai World Cup), West Coast lost ground or gained no ground in the stretch en route to a sound defeat.
Another concern I shared has been the list of names that have finished behind West Coast in his biggest wins, and in his defeats…
Where is the star? There isn’t one. West Coast has never beaten a horse that would be below 20-1 in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic. I mean MAYBE Forever Unbridled, who West Coast beat in Dubai, MIGHT be under 20-1 in here, but I doubt it. And I don’t count Arrogate on the list above because we know it wouldn’t be right.
I was talking to my friend and LoneSpeed contributor Steve Decaspers this week, and in discussing West Coast, I had a thought. What if they send him to the lead like they did in the Travers and like they SHOULD have done in the Dubai World Cup? In the Travers, no one could catch him. And in his next start, he was on the lead pretty quickly as well on his way to an open-lengths win. So maybe that’s the trip he needs. And then just yesterday, I saw that TimeForm projects West Coast to be on the lead in the Classic. And then it dawned on me. If he’s on the lead, he doesn’t need to pass horses. If they send West Coast to the lead, I think he is the most-likely winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Food for thought. Enjoy your day.