In our On Tap feature for the weekend, we focused on the Breeders’ Cup. Here’s how things turned out:
- It was a mixed-bag for Midlantic-breds (here). Of the seven bred in the region, none won. But two — Virginia-bred Blueskiesnrainbows and West Virginia-bred (and Ireland-based) Giovanni Boldini — ran solid seconds, in the Marathon and Juvenile Turf, respectively. Outside of that pair, the best result was a fourth for Virginia-bred Bond Holder in the Juvenile.
- Two horses bred elsewhere — but with local connections — also present something of a mixed bag. Wise Dan — by Pennsylvania-based sire Wiseman’s Ferry (here) — won his second-straight Breeders’ Cup Mile and put himself in position to repeat as Horse of the Year after other main contenders flopped. Bowie-based Dance to Bristol (here), on the other hand, made a mild move entering the stretch in the Filly and Mare Sprint but could make no further progress, finishing sixth.
- For Maryland native Annie Finney (here), an exercise rider for trainer Todd Pletcher, the weekend didn’t turn out quite as planned. She came to California to ride two horses. One of them, Princess of Sylmar, ran a disappointing sixth (and last) in the Distaff, despite being sent off as the second choice, a result that removed her from the Horse of the Year conversation and may have cost her three year-old filly honors, as another of her generation, Beholder, won the Distaff impressively. And the other, Palace Malice, had a less than optimal trip en route to a sixth place finish in the Classic.
- For Gabby Gaudet (here), her Pick 4 went up in smoke in the first leg — but if you’d stuck with her and played the last three legs as a Pick 3, you’d have cashed a $310 bet! And in our “Grade 1 Racing Biz Invitational, Degenerates Only” tourney (here), Frank Vespe had Magician in the Turf, which was all he needed to get the win. Derby Bill Watson was once again second.
(Featured image, of Eighttofasttocatch winning the Maryland Million Classic, by Laurie Asseo.)