Peter Fornatale's Breeders' Cup Diary

In his update from Thursday, Peter has news on the European challenge, including a brief chat with Frankie Dettori.

  • Thursday 05 November
  • Blog
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Unlike yesterday, today I answered the bell.

Naomi Tukker and I headed out to the track around 6:45 with the goal of getting a bite to eat on the frontside before heading back to see as many of the European contenders in the flesh as possible. Naomi, who hosts the Talk Racing To Me podcast, will be covering the Europeans this year on the world feed.

On the frontside, I chatted with Harlan Malter briefly, owner of Momos who runs in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. He seemed confident of his chances, and I will admit that he has the pace figures to be an interesting longshot, though I worry about his being able to withstand the early pace of Golden Pal and then hold off the late runners. We talked Royal Ascot for a minute, where Harlan ran his charge Bucchero a few years back, absolutely falling in love with the place in the process. Bucchero is now standing at stud in Florida.

Watch the 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November.

After that talk – and a delicious country ham biscuit where the ham tasted like prosciutto – Naomi and I headed back to the Rice Road entrance of Keeneland.

I got a good look at Tarnawa today on the way to the track and it made me want to advise going ahead and taking the 7/2 now. Those with tote access might be able to get better on the day but she looked really good to me. Plenty of strength behind the saddle and overall a powerful, race-fit look. I think she’ll be suited to the task on Saturday and while I still see the Turf as a three-way battle between her, Mogul and Magical, she is the one I like best and seeing her in the flesh only confirmed that opinion.

Speaking of Mogul and Magical, we saw them and the rest of the O’Brien team as they made their way for a hack around the dirt track. It was a magnificent site, all that incredible horseflesh. Magical made a great impression. Mogul didn’t look as great to me in my quick look but it’s really tough to say. There were a whole bunch of horses and they all came by so fast.

Two stray observations. Kameko is gorgeous, but to me he really does have more of a galloping look and I’m not convinced that a tight, two-turn track will suit him. He may be classy and athletic enough to handle it but at the current prices I am not going to be backing him.

Alda, Graham Motion’s two-year-old filly, walked by me as we were waiting for the O’Brien team. I thought she looked fantastic – plenty of size and muscle. I’d have guessed she was a three-year-old colt. The Juvenile Fillies Turf is a tough race and I do like both Aunt Pearl and Campanelle, but if you’re looking for a bigger price to possibly play each way, Alda is a good way to go. She fits on form and figures as well and she’s in great hands.

Frankie Dettori at the Breeders' Cup
If Frankie has a good Breeders' Cup, then I'll have a good Breeders' Cup!

Speaking of Campanelle,  I also had a chance to chat with Frankie Dettori this morning. He was pleased when I ran down the list of his horses I was betting (Campanelle, New Mandate, Terebellum, Lope Y Fernandez). “If you have a big weekend, I have a big weekend,” I told him.

I had to ask about about Campanelle in particular  which he pronounces Camp-a-Nell, not Camp-a-Nell-ay like I’ve been saying.) “Will she see out the trip?” I enquired.

“In France she went six uphill in deep ground so that was really more like seven,” he said. “I think she will stay but I suppose it depends on how much petrol I can save. We’ll find out tomorrow.”

Indeed we will.

I’ll be back tomorrow and Saturday with some final thoughts and selections.

Watch the 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November.

Peter Fornatale's Breeders' Cup Diary
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