In just over two weeks, we will be celebrating Breeders’ Cup 2016. As the excitement builds to a fever pitch, we must realize that it is never too early to become familiar with some of the horses that may be participating in this year’s championship events. Let’s take an early look at eight of the contenders in the Breeders’ Cup Mile:
Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile champion is back to defend her crown and she looks as tough as ever. There are many doubters after her loss to Photo Call in the Grade I First Lady at Keeneland. That race finished almost two seconds faster than the Shadwell Turf Mile held later that day, won by Miss Temple City. There is nothing wrong with her current form this season. Let’s not forget that she rattled off eight consecutive victories prior to that defeat, six of which came this season.
- Karakontie, Wise Dan, Court Vision, and Goldikova all lost a race before they won the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
- Wise Dan and Goldikova lost their prep race for Breeders’ Cup the year following their first victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (both won their prep race the year before).
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up last season returns for another shot at Breeders’ Cup glory. The Aidan O’Brien-trained three-year-old daughter of Galileo is in good form, as she has won three Group I races in her last four starts, all at the mile distance. She will be piloted by one of the world’s best jockeys, Ryan Moore.
His connections are leaning towards the Breeders’ Cup Mile over the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. The Sprint is an easier race than the Mile, but his trainer (Henry Candy) is concerned with the downhill turf course. If he were to run in the Mile, he will add a fascinating dynamic to this edition of the Mile. He may very well be the best turf sprinter in the world and if he can stay the mile distance of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, he will be very hard to beat. However, that is a big “if,” as he finished fourth in his only other attempt at the mile distance.
Was flying late to just miss against Miss Temple City in the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile in his final prep for this race. His previous races show he is in top form, as he could have defeated the probable Breeders’ Cup Turf favorite Flintshire, with a better trip in the Manhattan (GI). He will be storming home late as he possesses one of the best late kicks in the race.
Fresh off of his victory in the Group I Prix du Moulin de Longchamp over Spectre and Zelzal, Vadamos may cross the pond to compete in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Andre Fabre would not send him if he did not feel good about his chances in the race. The son of Monsun has shown an affinity for the mile distance and a good effort should be expected if he were to run. He may choose to run in the Group I Cox Plate instead of the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
What a View
Threw in a clunker in the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile in his first start since early spring. Fresh off of that effort and returning home to his favorite racetrack, he could pose a challenge if he is able to get out to an uncontested lead.
Miss Temple City
Winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile (GI) is in fine form entering Breeders’ Cup. If they elect to run her in the Mile, she will instantly become a win candidate. She is all class and has defeated the boys on two different occasions this season. At a generous price, she is surely worth a look if the favorite isn’t on her game.
We cannot leave the horse that defeated Tepin off our list of contenders for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile. There is no word yet if she is running in the race for sure, but the way she defeated Tepin was super impressive and, if she runs, she deserves respect. Her form prior to her upset victory of Tepin was suspect at best, but most of her races were at longer distances; maybe she prefers less ground.