BC Classic – A Race for the Ages

BC Classic – Grade I
DMR   Race #17   1 1/4m   Dirt   Graded Stake
Purse $6,000.000  For Three Year Olds And Upward.

The 15th running of this great race pulls together one of the most intriguing races for years with the cream of the three year old crop taking on the few older champions that have survived the three year old domination of recent years. Of the 14 runnings so far 8 have been won by three year olds but more significantly the last four have been won by the younger generation, significant in the fact that slow development was scrapped at about the same time. So we immediately have a trend that points towards the three year olds but what about those three year olds, what can we see that may help us draw yet more conclusions about the possible outcome of this race. Of the three year old winners of this race so far only two have won a TC race in the same season, Commanding and Dark Crown and you have to go all the way back to 2006 to find a winner drawn outside the nine stall. Again looking at current trends the outside stalls have experienced more and more of the rush or pull style of racing with the AI seeming to give just two alternatives to those wide horses, in fact the last three winners have come from boxes 4,2 and 5. So before we even look at the runners we can deduce that a three year old drawn inside stall 8 would seem to have an advantage.
As for the track, well this is the first time we have seen the BC series at DMR, california. When Del Mar opened in 1937, Bing Crosby was at the gate to personally greet the fans. On August 12, 1938, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosted a $25,000 winner-take-all match race between Charles S. Howard’s Seabiscuit and the Binglin Stable’s colt, Ligaroti. In an era when horse racing ranked second in popularity with Americans to Major League Baseball, the match race was much written and talked about and was the first nationwide broadcast of a Thoroughbred race by NBC radio.[3] In the race, Seabiscuit was ridden by jockey George Woolf and Ligaroti by Noel Richardson. In front of a record crowd that helped make the fledgling Del Mar race track a success, Seabiscuit won an exciting battle by a nose. The track has a one-mile oval with chutes for 7/8 and 1 1/4 mile races and a seven-eighths mile oval with a diagonal straightaway chute for 1 1/16 and 1 1/8 mile races on the turf course. The turf is a mixture of Common Bermuda and Hybrid Bermuda (GN-1).
So as we settle back for what looks like a great race lets have a look at the lucky owners and horses who will try and take out HRP’s biggest prize.

Lets start with a look at the owners who have a runner in this years event:

Mb Stables
Starting modestly in 2009 things didnt really take off until 2012 when the stable improved their yearly income by $12,000.000. The rest they say is history and the stable now stands at the top of the HRP tree with well over a quarter million dollars in earnings. With nearly 450 graded stakes wins you would expect a slightly better record in the BC series but they have only managed the 6 wins over the years. The stables Classic success came with Commanding back in 2013 and a glance at the stats page for this stable makes you realise just how far ahead they are of any other stable in the game.

The Sidley Stud
A relative newcomer they started back in 2011 with a modest two wins from 35 starts but quickly got to grips with the game notching up good winners from a small stable. Success really came with the successful match up with their own stallion Zyzoxolus and broodmare Ginger Time. The product was Ginger Haggis who along with another home bred in Techfluence account for nearly half the stables accumulated career earnings. With only 2000 career starts you could call this trainer inexperienced but their handling of Ginger Haggis has been perfect and i dont think that will be an influence on todays outcome. Their one BC win came from Ginger Haggis.

Nakamura Stables
Around since 2006 like most they started modestly with 16 wins in their first season but after another season of learning things began to pick up and they have been a regular in the top races since. With over 4000 winners and 100 graded stakes wins their BC record is just OK with just the one win but they look to improve that record here with their homebred Shootfromthehip who became the stables first and only KYD winner this season. The stables years of experience will certainly help in this race as will their personal relationship with the stable favourite and i know many hours have been spent honing the son of Knowledge Geek to be sharp and ready for his date with destiny.

Blushing meadows
Starting in 2007 this stable started slowly with just two wins in their first season but that all changed in 2008 as some big spending led to much success. That success continued in 2010 but took a nose dive in 2011 before a resurgence in 2012 which has continued up until today. With 2000 winners they have a good BC record of 4 wins from 130 graded stakes wins but a lot of their recent success has come through the stable star Atomic Twister who is the flagship of the yard at present. Like many of the top runners this stable bred this great horse themselves which is a great accomplishment and will look to do today what only the great Whats Up could do and thats record a second Classic win.

Smokey Stover
Around since 2009 Smokey was a fairly small operation until 2015 winning at a good rate but only averaging around 200 runners per season. In the last two years however his stable has grown and this year has seen over 50% of his career winnings in a season that has already topped the $10K. Due to the late start the stable only has 16 graded stakes wins and will be trying for a first BC success so in relative terms they are an inexperienced stable but with a career win percentage well over the 25% i think that statement is probably underselling their true ability. Their big hope Clash Study was bought last year for $190.000 a price that looked expensive at the time but has proved to be a shrewd investment since.

John Henry
Its hard to believe that John Henry has only been around since last year such is their impact on the game. In their first season they nearly broke the 10K in earnings with 134 wins and a $9.96 EPR and this season have comfortably topped that with 186 wins already and a healthy $10.76 EPR. Its true they have reached those heady heights by spending a lot of money to buy some of the best stock made available but they made the steep learning curve look pretty shallow and have already won nearly 40 graded stakes races. They will attempt a first BC win this weekend and with plenty of chances will be hoping for some success.

Aer Stables
Another that seems to have been around for longer than 2013 but thats when they began with a six win season. 2014 saw plenty of improvement and from 2015 onwards they have been a regular with runners in the top races. Comfortably over 300 career wins with a lifetime $12.55 EPR they have 40 graded stakes wins with a TC and a BC success on their record something few achieve in such a short period of time. Breeder of their big hope Bronx Bomber they have also built an effective breeding set up and will be hoping that the Bomber can bring it home for some big breeders bonus on top of the massive purse.

Night Rider Stables
I was surprised to see that Night Rider has been a regular since 2008, how time flies at HRP. In that first season they only managed seven wins but after 26 wins in 2009 it was obvious the bug was biting and they havent looked back since. With well over 3000 career wins and very nearly $100,000 in prize money they are now firmly established as a top stable and with 80 graded stakes wins and a BC success  they have proved they can mix it up with the best. Never lacking in confidence i know they are pretty happy with their entry Silver Dancer and who wouldnt be as they claimed this horse for just $32.000 in the summer last year. They will have to go some to beat their best season in 2015 but a success in this race would certainly help.


Serenity Stables
Another ‘old timer’ they begun way back in 2005 and have had a runner every year since but have never had the numbers that the new stables seem to have these days. At their height in 2006 they had over 100 winners for $12,000 in prize money but have been up and down in their participation since, never again reaching those heights. This year they have only had 50 entries for 8 winners but one of those will take its chance in this race and this stable has the sort fo record that proves they can step up to the mark. Over 60 graded stakes wins with 2 BC victories and 2 TC victories make them a leading trainer for this type of day.


Aml Racing
Joined back in 2006 the stable took a couple of seasons on the fringes before a big jump in interest in 2008 when they achieved 104 winners. Since then they have been a regular but thinned down the stable in 2013 and has seen a steady rise in their EPR since. With a total of 1173 winners off of 5601 starts they have achieved nearly $30,000 in prize money along with an impressive 21% win %. With 30 graded stakes wins they have yet to win a TC or a BC race so will be looking to break that duck in this race.

D J C Racing Stables
A player since 2012 they began like a pro with 141 winners in their first season. Since then they have amassed an impressive 1670 winners with nearly 90K in prize money. Never afraid to put their horses in the big races they have played the game at the very top and been rewarded with well over 100 graded stakes wins and 2 BC titles. Port On The Horizon in a stable stalwart amassing nearly $4,000.000 since being bred by DJC and really epitomizes the stable ethos.

Eastern Equine
One of the old school trainers they have been around since 2004. Starting with a season of 65 winners they quickly went to a career high 2007 season where they amassed $12K in earnings off of 157 winners. Since then there has been a steady decline in participation and this year has seen just 260 starts for 40 wins. With 1570 career wins and nearly 80K in prize money they have been a constant big hitter and with A One in this race to carry the flag could easily add to their single BC win. With well over 100 graded stakes wins and a TC title as well they may not play with the same amount of horses but their experience will be invaluable in this race where skillful interpretation is key.

OK, so thats the owners lets have a look at the runners:

1 Lord High Admiral, trained by John Henry
Bought for $200.000 pre race this son of Iron Throne took a while to break his maiden but when he did he did it by nine lengths and that started a run of form that ended in a superb second from a wide draw in the DED Jackpot. Bought by John Henry for $330.000 at the end of his two year old career his aim became apparent in his first race as a three year old as he ran second in the Lecomte and then a close fourth in the Rebel before booking his TC place with two great wins in the Rebel and the AR Derby. He got a horrible draw in the KYD being slammed out in gate 12 but ran a solid race keeping up with the early pace and eventually finishing sixth beaten just two lengths. Onto the Preakness he got a much better draw but was a shade disappointing to end up making ground into fifth and he was then given a little break to try and capture his best form. His summer campaign was looking very good finishing just a head behind Shootfromtheip and Ginger Haggis in the Haskell when third and then filling the same place in the Travers just a half length behind Bronx Bomber. He was looking like a real BC hope until his last start when he faded badly from the wide gate in the PA Derby ending up a distant tenth. I am willing to forgive that run as he had a wide gate and he has always runs better from an inside draw and with the ace draw today i can see him running a big race.
Last work: 1.37H for the dirt mile at SA.

2 Clash Study, trained by Smokey Stover
It seems funny saying a horse with seven wins from nine in a  season including four graded stakes wins is a dark horse but such is the strength of this field he certainly has the most to prove out of the top six chances.
A pretty ordinary two year old it really wasnt until May that he started to show his true ability and even then a win at ungraded level in a  sprint hardly shouted Classic winner. But as the season went on and he stretched out further and further he just kept winning and improving, He took the Stephens and then the Dwyer but made people sit up and look as he took the WV derby. straight into the deep end he took on Atomic Twister and A One in the Woodward next up and though beaten a length into third many noted his run got stopped at a couple of crucial moments and he lost nothing in that defeat. His prep race came in the PA Derby where he took on Shootfromthehip and this time there was no mistakes and he won by a half length with the three year old champion a length behind.
Once again it is hard to separate all the top chances but a line through Shootfromthehip into the Woodward suggests that A One and Atomic Twister have the edge on the three year olds. However this one is the improver and that is normally the best recommendation for a three year old coming into the Classic. A great draw will make him one of the favourites.
Last work: 58 seconds for the dirt 5 furlongs at SA

3 Shootfromthehip, trained by Nakamura Stables
Unlike his great rival Ginger Haggis he went pretty much under the radar as a two year old running well and showing ability but not shining in the way he was going to as a three year old. His great journey began in the Southwest where he scrambled home by a head giving him a chance of getting in the KYD. He needed more points though and he grabbed them with a great win in the FL Derby where he defeated They All Laughed by a neck. That set him up for the race of his life in the KYD. Drawn nicely the slushy ground was an unknown but he went through it like a champion to win by a half length setting up a great rivalry with Ginger Haggis and putting him at the top of the three year old tree. Then just like Ginger Haggis in the KYD it all went horribly wrong in the Preakness. Drawn 14 he was hauled to the back of the pack and could not perform the miracle running on at the end but only managing fifth. The last TC race, The Belmont, saw a good draw along with his great rival Ginger Haggis and whilst the two of them once again had a titanic battle they were both beaten by Positive Thinking. This is the big hole in the three year old form as Positive Thinking hasnt won since and in fact has been beaten 24 lengths in his four starts.
As the TC series drew to an end we saw one last race between the two great three year olds as they once again took on Positive Thinking and each other in a decider for the three year old crown in The Haskell. This time Positive Thinking had the wide draw so it was left to the two great horses to fight out the finish with Shootfromthehip just prevailing by a nose in a huge race. Like Ginger Haggis Shootfromthehip tasted defeat in his prep race for this only managing fourth in the PA Derby behind the three year old Clash Study but he was entitled to need that run after taking a break after the Haskell and may find improvement in this race.
So once again we must look at this great three year olds form critically and it is easy to find a few loopholes. Another that was badly effected by a wide draw in his defeats he gets the best of the draw today and is given the great chance to make it a famous KYD/BC double
Last work: 1:10 and 1 over six furlongs at SA

4 Heez On Fire, trained by Aml Stables
With no starts as a two year old and only seven starts at three this is the least experienced of the field but nonetheless he has the form to be a dark horse in a stellar field.
Bought from Australia Wide after a single maiden win he then ran in a couple of overnights being beaten in one and narrowly winning the other. Those races did not give us any real clue to what he was to achieve in his next three races but the class system is pretty upside down these days and both efforts had merit. His fifth career start came in the IND Derby where he got to within a half length of How To Laff finishing at least as strongly as that winner and more experienced horse. That run told us he had some class about him and although he only ran ninth in the Travers next out he was finishing strongly and got  to within two lengths of Bronx Bomber. So far he had shown promise but what happens when you throw a horse with just two cheap overnight wins into the grade one Awesome Again? Yes you guessed it he slices through the field to win by a half length and make the biggest race of the HRP calender. I am not too sure that was the best grade one field ever assembled but he was pretty impressive and will take his chance with the rest of them over a trip he has yet to try but looks like it will suit him down to the ground. A great draw will make him a lively outsider.
Last work: 1:11 and 2 breezing at DMR over six furlongs

5 Jake The Snake, trained by Mb Stables
Just when you think you have worked out the top five in the Classic along comes a horse from nowhere. This one didnt break his maiden until January this year but a gelding operation in July transformed him and he has been unbeaten since, those four wins culminating in a neck win over none other than Ginger Haggis in the JC Gold Cup. Whilst the lovely trip up the rails was obvious to all the fact is he won on his own merits and even without the perfect trip would’ve got very close. You cannot knock a horse with seven wins from ten races and two graded wins so it pays to take this horse very seriously indeed. If you look at his win in the OK Derby the winning time was very similar to the winning time in the Woodward won by Atomic Twister  and his win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup was in a similar time to the Pacific Classic that Ginger Haggis won so impressively. His works are in the right ball park so you cant fault him there and the more you look at his form the more he looks like just the sort of horse that could upset the big names here.
Last work: 58 and 4 breezing over five furlongs at DMR

6 Black Mojo, trained by Mb Stables
An automatic qualifier thanks to his Foster Handicap win he didnt beat too much that day and did it with a lenient handicap mark so it is pretty hard to see him beating the big 5 in this race. Well beaten in the CT Classic and the Pacific Classic there are only two efforts this year that give him some sort of chance and that was his excellent second in the Pegasus World Cup and that Foster Handicap win. It would be easy to write him off but he was only beaten three quarters of a length in this race last year ending up a battling third and is one of the few to work a sub 1.36. I do wonder whether this trip is beyond him but if he gets into a lead or stalk he may be in it for a long way.
Last work: 1:11 breezing over six furlongs at DMR

7 Bronx Bomber, trained by Aer Stables
After his strong win in the SUN Derby he took the TC route and went into the KYD a lively chance. The 18 gate that day put paid to his chances but he actually ran very well indeed to end up seventh after running right up the front for a long way. As luck would have it he once again suffered the wide gate curse in the Belmont and ran a very similar race being up on the pace and ending up seventh. I actually think given the horrible draws that both those runs were very good and it has been great to see the real Bronx Bomber in his last 3 starts when given a fair chance by the draw monster. He stalked the lead and won handily by three quarters of a length in The Dandy and then went on to his best run of the year in the Travers digging very deep to win by a nose. His prep race for this was in the PA Derby where he finished like a train to be fifth beaten just a length by Clash Study and much less by Shootfromthehip. Whether he suffered from a bad start or just didnt like the fast early pace that day he rarely comes from so far off the pace and did very well to get so close in the end proving that he is right on the heels of the best three year olds in the game. A fair draw today will see him at is best.
Last work: 1:11 and 2 breezing at SA over six furlongs

8 Positive Thinking, trained by Mb Stables
There arent many that break their maiden in a grade three TC qualifier but this one managed that in just his third career start after finishing a poor fourth in a maiden just a month before. Those two runs sort of sum this horse up as he has mixed brilliance with mediocrity ever since and really is a very hard horse to work out. Winning the SA Derby he was amongst the favourites for the KYD but got a horrible draw and ended up being beaten thirteen lengths in sixteenth place. That run can was to be explained in the Queens Plate later in the season when he ran another race on slushy ground and was beaten fourteen lengths. So first things first lets remove those two efforts on soft ground because it is very apparent he hates it with a capital H. We saw the best of him in the Belmont where he ran the race of his career to defeat both Shootfromthehip and Ginger Haggis by a length after showing a remarkable turn of foot and on that form he would be almost favourite for this race. Sadly for him though he either had soft ground or wide draws to contend with in his next three races and to be fair looked pretty average. So where can we put him in this race? It is clear he is very fragile and needs everything to go his way but if it does, like we saw in the BEL, he could beat any of these. The draw isnt too bad and if the rain stays away it will be very interesting to see how this one runs.
Last work: 1:11 and 1 breezing at DMR over six furlongs

9 Atomic Twister, trained by Blushing Meadows
The defending Classic Champion he is actually having a better season than he did last year which is a big statement for a horse that won nearly $5,000.000 as a three year old. With only two wins from nine starts inconsistency dogged his season as he went without a win between The Wood Memorial in April until the BC Classic in November. So for the purposes of his chances in this race i am going to skim over his great win last year and concentrate on his efforts this year.
The season began with a wide draw in The Pegasus World Cup but though he only finished tenth plenty noted his late progress to be beaten just three lengths at a time when the wide draw was pretty much deciding every horses fate. His next start was in the SA Handicap where he absolutely slaughtered his field winning by an easy two lengths and exploding back on the scene. Despite that huge victory he was beaten in his next two in the CT Classic by Edwin Drood and in The Gold Cup by A One. Now whilst the three year olds Ginger Haggis and Shootfromthehip were setting up one great rivalry A One and Atomic Twister were setting up another and that defeat meant the score sat at 1-1 between the two of them this season. One of his most significant wins came in The Whitney next up as he proved he could handle the mud in taking that race by a length something that in the unlikely event that the rains come to DMR will stand him in good stead. In his prep race for this we saw him win what is probably the best form race for this, The Woodward. In that race he faced his old rival A One and his CT Classic rival Edwin Drood but more importantly he faced the three year old Clash Study who on a line through Shootfromthehip maybe the best three year old in the field. Leading from the flag he showed all sorts of guts to hold A One in one of the great races of the season winning by a head and asserting himself in the head to head by 2 – 1.
The draw he gets today is just about OK and we know he has a ton of class and this great champion will be right in it at the end.
Last work: 59 breezing at DMR over five furlongs

10 Silver Dancer, trained by Night Rider Stables
It took him seven races to break his maiden so there wasnt too many signs of his ability as a two year old but he won four races as a three year old albeit all in overnights which showed that he was above average and improving. We only saw one win from him as a four year old and soon after he was claimed by Night Rider Stables for just thirty two dollars. His switch didnt get flicked until April of this year when suddenly out of nowhere he ran second in the Carter Handicap and then won the Westchester and the grade one metropolitan Handicap. Those wins were either remarkable improvement or proof once again that the class system is screwed at HRP but either way he has proved since then that he can mix it in this class. Wide draws in both the Pacific Classic and the JC Gold Cup did not stop him running great races to be third and fourth beaten just a length and though he faces a widish draw again today he almost looks better off with a wide draw if you look over his form.
He really only has to find a length to be right in at the finish and one thing is for sure he will be running on at the end. A strong pace may see him surprising one or two.
Last work: 1:10 and 2 ridden handily at BEL over six furlongs.

11 How To Laff, trained by Serenity Stables
Took the Gotham and was third in the Wood Memorial but didnt go to the KYD but instead went for the Preakness. Drawn well enough he was hugely disappointing in that race finishing well behind and then didnt do much better when tried again in the BEL. Things were looking pretty dire for the colt especially after he was sold by a disgruntled Kopites for $400.000 just prior to his BEL failure. His new owner turned him back out for the IND Derby 5 weeks after the BEL and he came back to the horse he was pre TC by getting up to win by a nose. Another miss in the O Brien over an inadequate seven furlongs set him up for his last start which was probably his seasons best when you consider how close he got to the winner. That race was the PA Derby and he led into the final furlong but just got out battled by Clash Study and went down by a half length. That run puts him right in this but i do worry about his ability to stay this trip in a true run race.
A poor draw might see him sacrificed as the race engines front runner.
Last work: 57 and 4 going five furlongs handily at SA

12 A One, trained by Eastern Equine
It is pretty unusual for a top three year old to still be at the top of his game as a five year old but this admirable gelding is very much at the top and has a big chance in this race for the ages. The winner of The Preakness and runner up in the Belmont he was then bought by his current trainer for a massive $1,400.000 a price which he has repaid with interest since. Third in this race as a three year old he went on to win the grade one CT Classic and The Woodward as a four year old but bypassed another attempt at the Classic for a run in the BC Dirt Mile. It was a bold decision which ultimately didnt pay off as he could only manage fifth and it did cause a few to question whether he was coming to the end of his tether as many do after a successful early career.
And so began 2017 and he started off with a promising third in the Poseidon closing nicely from a loose stalk. In his next start he was lumped with a  wide draw in The SA Handicap and though he made ground from the back he was sixth behind Atomic Twister beaten three lengths. Many many great horses have run that way this season from a wide draw so his defeat wasnt given too much weight and he was fancied to get back to form in The Gold Cup where he famously beat Atomic Twister thanks to a  better draw. After that he performed a minor miracle in carrying a big weight in The Suburban Handicap and still winning by a half length and then finally in his prep race for this he once again matched strides with Atomic Twister and this time went down by a head.
Its a shame that a horrible draw here makes it tough for him as he will likely be taken back to come with a late run but this is a great horse and even the draw finds it hard to beat a great horse.
Last work: 1:24 and 1 breezing seven furlongs at DMR

13 Ginger Haggis, trained by The Sidley Stud
This has been a special season as we have seen two three year olds emerge as great horses and amazing rivals and even after 11 months of tough racing we still dont know which order Shootfromthehip and Ginger Haggis will finish.
Last seasons BC Juvenile winner there were the usual warning signs way back in February that another champion two year old wasnt going to train on into a top three year old as he trailed in a well beaten sixth in the Davis Stakes on seasonal debut. His trainer must have left plenty to work on for that first run as he looked much fitter in his next start in the Gotham and gave us a glimpse of his two year old ability with a huge late run to be beaten less than a length in fourth. His place in the TC races was far from certain after those two efforts so his third start of the season had to be good and finally in the grade three Spiral we saw the real Ginger Haggis as he stormed home two lengths clear and an easy winner.
With the KYD looming he had hit his stride but just about everything went wrong on the day as a draw of 17 and a slushy track greeted him at CD and not surprisingly the impossible task proved to be impossible. Even though he was tenth the experts noted his late progress and two weeks later with a great draw and a fast track in The Preakness he looked to rekindle his reputation. Travelling much closer to the pace thanks to the two draw he absolutely killed his field winning by two lengths and still pulling Leparoux’s arms out. The final leg of the TC, The Belmont, saw another wide draw and as usual he was hauled to the rear and stormed through late this time dead heating second. He dead heated with Shootfromthehip in the BEL keeping the score between them as 1-1 but they met again in The Haskell where after a momentous battle the two of them passed the post locked in battle with Ginger Haggis being beaten a nose this time. So at 2-1 to Shootfromthehip the Haggis looks to tie up the rivalry today in what has been one of the best rivalries HRP has ever seen.
As the racing changed to weight for age races Ginger Haggis then went to The Pacific Classic where a nice draw saw him once again easily beat a good field recording a 103 speed figure. His prep race for today was the JC Gold Cup but once again he was dealt a wide draw and despite starting favourite he could not beat fellow three year old Jake The Snake who got the perfect rails run. The interesting thing about that last run was that he was set to run much closer to the pace from his wide gate and despite running wide for the entire race he still looked the winner with a half furlong to run. Defeat in the end was just a neck but many were impressed with his ability to change tactics from the wide gate and i dont think anyone felt that harmed his chances in this huge finale to an amazing season.
So looking at his defeats we see a trend of the wide draw being a major factor and sadly today he is faced once again by a horrible draw. I actually think he is better going back than forward but his trainer will have worked out all the scenario’s and i am sure he will be ready for the race of his life.
Last work 1:10 and 4 ridden handily over DMR’s six furlongs

14 Port On The Horizon, trained by D J C Racing Stables
Though he is only a five year old it seems like he has been around forever even though he has only 31 starts. Quickly showing his ability he won the grade two Remsen as a two year old and went on to be a top three year old with wins in the Wood Memorial, LA and PA Derby, a fifth in the KYD and a neck second in this race. On that sort of form he would be a very strong chance in this race but there has been some water under the bridge since then and he has only managed the one win since that hug effort in the BC Classic. This season he has once again been mixing it with the best and is a big day sort of horse running some good races but he has been clinging on to days gone by rather than improving and i wonder whether this may be his last big day. The draw is a real smack in the face for the old warrior and whilst i would love him to get in the first four i doubt his old legs will cope with this sublime field.
Last work: 1:11 ridden handily over the BEL six furlongs

Of the three Laffin Parrot may be the best after his huge win in the Queens Plate and good effort in the PA Derby. The other two are not in the reckoning.

Where on earth do you start. You can really make a case for any of the 14 so you have to be hard in putting a line through some of them. A One and Ginger Haggis have been dealt harsh blows by the draw and it will take a miracle for them to win, thats not to say they cant but as i say you have to be harsh if you are going to find a winner. Clash Study and Shootfromthehip look the best of the three’s going by the draw and Atomic Twister should be OK from the nine gate so they would be the obvious choices for top three. Outside them we have the relative unknowns of Heez On Fire, Jake The Snake and Positive Thinking who all have the ability to surprise and then we have Lord High Admiral and Bronx Bomber who may be the best bets to upset the big 5.

Good luck to all in one of the best BC Classics for years!!

Categories: BC 2017, Grade I, Races, STAKES ARTICLES, THE BREEDERS CUP

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