• The best in action

    POSTED Jul 31, 2012
    Race fans received a treat this weekend as the best horses in training in three different divisions strutted their stuff: female turfer Winter Memories in the Diana, male sprinter Amazombie in the Bing Crosby, and three-year-old male Paynter in the Haskell.

    It was a rare weekend in that it delivered on the promise of a promotional video America's Best Racing released touting the excitement that awaits race fans between the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup World Championships.

    The TCI boys agreed, gushing praise on both Amazombie and Paynter.


    They didn't touch on Winter Memories, but I'll do that here since I have a long history of commentating on the brilliant filly.

    I loved Winter Memories' Diana, calling it the best performance in a career that had already included six graded stakes wins. The way she kept in touch with Tapitsfly and so effortlessly took command turning for home to me was a big improvement over previous runs (even in victory) when she had more of a slingshot style. This maturity has led to better performance, as she earned a 104 BRIS Speed Rating in the romp.


    As impressive as she was, I still have a difficult time slotting her among my most likely Breeders' Cup winners because A) the Euros are so much of a question mark, and B) Saratoga does seem to be her preferred surface. Still, repeats of the Diana going forward would make her very tough to beat.

    Most likely 2012 Breeders' Cup winners
    1.Redeened; 2. Groupie Doll; 3. St. Nicholas Abbey; 4. Amazombie; 5. Royal Delta

    The top two remain the same from my initial ranking, but I've boosted St. Nicholas Abbey of his third behind Danedream and Nathanial in less than optimum conditions and added Amazombie, who definitely seems the best of the Breeders' Cup Sprint types in a year when the top speedballs look more suited to middle-distance races (e.g. Shackleford). I moved Royal Delta into the fifth spot because I think her Delaware Handicap was enough to show she'd be up against it in the Classic, but I do see her as much the best against her own sex.
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