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Three Millions Little Reasons - BC Turf

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 10/18/2010 4:41:11 PM

Okay, a mile and a half on grass is not the easiest trip in the world, but those that are shooting for the money this year in the BC Turf have $3 million little reasons to run their collective eyeballs out.

The main contenders this year could very well be the major players coming out of the Prix del l’Arc de Triomphe, the Arlington Million top finishers and the exacta finishers in the Turf Classic.

First, let’s review how the races were won the other years that Churchill has hosted the Cup just to get a point of reference.

Ronald Reagan was dubbed the Great Communicator but the horse by that name won the BC Turf at Churchill in 1988 going flag fall to that’s all to win going away at a fat 12-1. The second choice tracked him all the way to complete the exacta while the beaten favorite Indian Skimmer came from 7th to run third.

Three years later the filly Miss Alleged came from the middle of the pack as the second longest shot on the tote to blow up the board at 41-1. Again, the speeds did fairly well with the first, 2nd and third early leaders finishing 4th, 3rd and 2nd repeatedly.

In 1994 Tikkanen came from the clouds and dead last to score at 16-1 with the early leaders faltering badly. Second choice Buck’s Boy won 4 years later again wire to wire but by just over a diminishing length.

Kalanise overcame a troubled trip when coming from 10th in the next Churchill Turf as the leader that day faded to 9th but the 2nd and 3rd early runners finished 4th and 2nd.

Those that tried to turn red into green got paid in 2006 as Red Rocks came from third to last to win at 10-1 and the early first three leaders finished last, 4th and 5th.

Beware of players that try hard and Workforce is one of them. All Workforce does is put on his hard hat, punch the clock and put in a good days work every single time. Fresh from an ultra game win the Arc, he is 3 for 5 career and may not have liked the going in Ascot in July.

Traditionally, Europeans do better in the East when the Cup is held there because it is a little better conducive to their change in season.

When they must race on the West Coast, the heat can do them some damage.

One of the better things that Workforce has going for him is his trainer, the world-class Sir Michael Stoute.

He knows how to get a runner ready for this race winning this very event 4 times including the last pair with Conduit. The trainer also saddled Islington for her Filly and Mare Turf score in 2003.

Behkabad did not get the greatest of journeys in the Arc but he has won 6 of 9 career and is the real deal.

Aidan O’Brien’s student Fame and Glory was hampered when 3-1 in the Arc but he may not have enjoyed the soft going. Four for 6 this year, Fame could be the sleeper in this fray as O’Brien is seeking his third BC Turf score after watching his High Chaparral winning back to back.

Debussy will be out to prove his 11-1 Arlington Million win was no fluke. He overcame a roadblock that day to post the winning 101 Beyer and he’s in the right hands of John Gosden.

Years ago Gosden raced a successful stable in California and he will be looking for his fifth win in the Cup after cashing originally in 1984 with the super mare Royal Heroine, twice in 2008 with Donativum and Raven’s Pass and just last year with Pounced.

The American hopes will be heavily pinned on Winchester and Paddy O’Prado. The top gun Winchester has won 2 Grade 1s this year, missed by a neck in the Grade 2 Bowling Green and is fresh from a 100 Beyer in the Turf Classic.

His main U.S. based foe is Paddy, who is if nothing else consistent. His last 4 Beyers have either been 98 or 99 and he may have been moved too soon in the Classic.

Longshot players could do much worse that taking a glance at Group 1 Irish Saint Leger winner Sans Frontieres, who appears to be peaking at the right time. Conditioned by Jeremy Nosada, who saddled Wilko to win the 2004 Juvenile, this son of Galileo can’t be dismissed.

The lean here generally is to try to isolate the top Euro, and then take a swing with some longshot in the bottom half of the gimmicks.

More to come in the important final days leading to the Cup.

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