Saturday’s running of the Man O’War at Belmont is the 35th anniversary of Secretariat’s victory in 1973, the Triple Crown winner’s turf debut. Secretariat defeated Tentam and Big Spruce by a devastating margin, and many horsemen said afterwards that Big Red was better on turf than dirt. This year, reigning Horse of the Year, CURLIN, will try his luck on the emerald track. If he succeeds, owner Jess Jackson will send the chestnut colt out of the country, to France for the Arc. Despite Curlin’s powerful victories on dirt, he’s no sure thing on the grass. His field this time around is not the easy pickings he faced in the STephen Foster — 2 previous Breeders’ Cup Turf winners are in to make Curlin sweat. Better Talk Now, winner in 2004, is the most experienced in the field and, at 9 years old, is looking to make history as the race’s oldest winner. Red Rocks won the BC Turf in 2006 (the year I attended & I saw this horse up close! woot! /fangirlfreakout) but is lightly raced and has not won since May, in an allowance in Europe. Also in are Mission Approved, the speed in the field; True Cause, a Godolphin hopeful; Sudan, Bobby Frankel’s trainee; and Grand Courtier, winner of last year’s Sword Dancer Stks under Calvin Borel.
Curlin is still the horse to beat – if anybody is gonna do it I think Sudan can (it’s the Frankel), with Grand COurtier coming on for 3rd. Better Talk Now & Red Rocks, while talented in previous years, have lost a few steps and it would be a surprise to me if either one ran away with the field. Still and all, a great race that I will actually get to watch LIVE! on TV.
POKER HANDICAP: KIP DEVILLE returns, but I like TAM LIN better. Sensational Humor to show.
PRINCESS ROONEY Gr1: 1)DREAM RUSH 2)LOOKY YONDER 3)MIRACULOUS MISS
CARRY BACK STakes Gr2: 1) SALUTE THE SARGE 2)GENTLEMAN JAMES 3)CARSON’S LEGACY
AZALEA Stakes Gr3: 1) DANCING ALLSTAR 2)GRAND OBSESSION 3)DITES MOI
SWAPS Gr2: 1)COL. JOHN 2)TWO STEP SALSA 3)NOWNOWNOW
AMERICAN DERBY Gr2: 1)BLUE EXIT 2)TIZDEJAVU 3)BOSS LAFITTE
ARLINGTON HNDCP Gr3: 1)COSMONAUT 2)STREAM CAT 3)DISTORTED REALITY
DELAWARE OAKS Gr2: 1)PROUD SPELL 2)SHE’S ALL ELTISH 3)MAREN’S MEADOW
DELAWARE HNDCP Gr2: 1)HYSTERICALADY 2)UNBRIDLED BELLE 3)BUY THE BARREL
And that’s it for me…it’s too late and I’m too tired to do all the stakes this weekend. WATCH CURLIN ON ESPNEWS SATURDAY!!!