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Hey 19 - BC Preview piece plus hats off to Zenyatta

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 10/4/2010 1:30:00 PM

With the Breeders’ Cup previews in full force now, we’ll start today with magnificent milers the first two races that will go on Saturday, the Juvenile Turf and the Dirt Mile.

Before we get to the nuts and bolts, a shout out has to go to the great Zenyatta, who like Steely Dan, made the number 19 relevant with her consecutive score in the Lady’s Secret on October 2.

The song has lyrics like ‘sweet young things from Boston, so young and willing’, but nothing was as sweet as the way Zenyatta won her 19th in a row by a half length with a solid 100 Beyer.

To watch her roll out of the paddock and canter in the post parade reminds one of a heavyweight-boxing champ that enters the ring with complete confidence.

She’ll try to make it 20 straight in the BC Classic.

Back to reality. Juvenile races are tough going in but put babies on surfaces that they are either not used to or have very little experience on and basically anything can happen.

This is only the 4th running of the 8-furlong Juvenile Turf. Nownownow won the inaugural running at Monmouth Park as a true horse for the course.

Last year Pounced was coming off a second in France when he came from mid-pack to win going away with a 85 Beyer.

This year there are a number of highly-ranked prospects that could explode on Churchill on the big day.

The early lean is to look to the Europeans for the top talent since after all, grass is their game.

That theory brings us to Saamidd, who cashed on September 11 in a Group 2 in his racing debut and he did it easily. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, the colt is the first from a winning dam that banked almost $100,000 but more importantly is deeply related to BC Mile winner and over $1.1 million earner Barathea. He’ll be a handful.

Pathfork is fresh from a Group 1 win at the Curragh as he cashed for the third straight time. Trained by Jessica Harrington, the top prospect in Ireland has the pedigree to be any kind as his two-time winning dam is kin to BC Mile winner and over $1.7 million earner Spinning World. Options abound for this guy and don’t be shocked if he tries the Juvenile instead.

The American hopefuls are led by Grade 3 winner Soldat, Summer Stakes hero Pluck and Powhatan County, who just chased Soldat home.

As far as the Dirt Mile, it also has only been run 3 times so history is light but last year Furthest Land came off a game win in a Grade 2 at Turfway for Mike Maker to get an ideal 3-hole trip by posting a winning 105 Beyer.

This season it appears D. Wayne Lukas will shoot for the race with Mine That Bird, a quality horse that may have seen better days.

Here Comes Ben should be a player. Owned by the Dirt Mile connections of Albertus Maximus, who won this race two years ago, Ben made his Grade 1 stakes debut a success taking the 7-furlong Forego.

One of the best things Ben has in his favor is an affinity for Churchill. He broke his maiden there at a mile and then overcame a wide trip to win a stakes there this summer.

Gayego has always flashed ability and he is coming to the race right after a win at Presque Isle in September. Vineyeard Haven will be his tough self once again while a longshot look should go to Duke of Mischief, Dakota Phone and Crown of Thorns.

Trappe Shot is inexperienced but talented. He ran well to Lookin at Lucky in the Haskell and had a rough trip when out of the money in the Travers.

The beat goes on.

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