Peter Fornatale at Santa Anita

In Wednesday’s update from The Great Race Place, Peter reveals which raider he’ll be backing in the Mile, puts the two main protagonists in the FM Sprint in the spotlight and pinpoints the key formline in the Classic.

  • Wednesday 30 October
  • Blog
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LORD GLITTERS TO SHINE IN SANTA ANITA

Wednesday morning was a busy one for me, writing, filming, and generally running around. The energy and excitement level in the mornings have really picked up by this point in the week, with connections from around the world congregating in the Breakfast Marquee and the adjacent Clocker’s Corner.

I did get a chance to see several more Breeders’ Cup horses out on the track from the porch at the breakfast marquee. Before the sun was even up, LORD GLITTERS made an appearance, his grey-white coat shining through the dim, emerging light. He looked to be enjoying himself out there.

I am going to back him in the Mile, and have no concerns about the post or the ground for him. I think he’ll be dropped out to make one run under hold-up specialist Jamie Spencer, and that should make the post irrelevant. As for the ground, I still believe he ran really well in Canada last year in the Woodbine Mile, the effort masked by the fact that Oscar Performance was able to dictate terms up front through slow fractions. He handled the firm turf just fine.

Watch the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November.

COME DANCING OUT TO STEAL SHOW IN FILLY AND MARE SPRINT

The first person I spoke with today was Carlos Martin, trainer of COME DANCING, one of the two clear market leaders in the FM Sprint. I first met him many years ago in The Parting Glass at Saratoga and have known him for years to say hello at the world-famous paddock bar. The grandson of a Hall of Fame trainer who is known for putting his horses first, Martin is an easy guy to root for. He reported that the ship went very well and confirmed my impression that she was looking well in the mornings. He was confident about her running her race, using the classic trainer line: “I wish the race were today.”

She’s won four times in five starts this year, and even the loss recommends her in that she was going farther than ideal against Midnight Bisou, and still was second in that spot. The wins have all been facile, with the last two coming in the Gallant Bloom at Belmont and the Ballerina at Saratoga.

She looks great in this spot but may have her hands full with Covfefe. I started thinking about her for this race when she won the Grade 3 Miss Preakness back in May with in great time. Her race last time was excellent as well, and she comes to this in great form. If there’s a worry for Covfefe, it’s the draw. The inside has not been where you wanted to be at this meet. She may be fast enough to break well enough from there to get off the inside, and that may be her best chance. But it’s also possible that the extra effort that will take may leave her vulnerable late to Come Dancing’s late run. At the moment I’m struggling to separate these two and may just end up playing them in a small forecast for my action in that race.

JOCKEY CLUB GOLD CUP FORM TO THE FORE IN CLASSIC

The more I look at the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the more I’m liking CODE OF HONOR and VINO ROSSO to possibly reprise their one-two finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Vino Rosso looked excellent again this morning – I didn’t see Code today – but I think the fact that these two runners really want to run the 10 furlongs could prove to be critical. Elate is another who will be ideally suited by the distance and looks great – on form though I have to put her behind those other two.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a final report from Santa Anita, along with my best bets for the two days and links to various podcasts with more information about this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

Peter Fornatale at Santa Anita
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