Sunday, August 30, 2009

Minnesota Festival of Champions - The Classics

As the dawn of Championship Sunday here in the upper Midwest breaks crisp and clear, this final preview looks to the two Classics: Distaff and Open. Both will be competitive and feature newcomers as well as horses looking to defend their titles. Post time for the first race is at 1:30. I hope to see you out there.

Distance: 1 mile and one sixteenth
Surface: Dirt
Purse: $50,000

Pretty as a Smile (Goodwin) - Defending champion has not won in 2009 yet, but has taken on a challenging campaign as well. Runner up to one of the favorites earlier this season in an Optional Claiming race.

Minnesota Mafia (Rivera) - Lightly campaigned this season, she's notched two wins in three starts, including the Princess Elaine. Both wins were on the turf and her only dirt start was a disappointing debut.

Nirvani (Pizarro) - Clearly does not even belong in this field. Has finished dead last in all but one race this season (that was a second to last effort) in rock bottom claimers.

Cousin Sue (Von Rosen) - Beaten by 38 in this race last year, she's prepping at even lower levels this year than she was then.

Hills of Ireland (Ferrer) - She has some back class and a nice 3rd in the Lady Slipper earlier this year. however she also has a habit of not winning as she's 0-13 over the last two seasons including three recent attempts at the lowest levels on the grounds.

Sweet Ole Somerset (Morales) - She has notched her two wins this season against state-breds but has faltered in her others. She may just be a cut below the top in here.

Chick Fight (Butler) - Three year old is five of eight lifetime including three stakes wins - two this meet (Francis Genter and the MN Oaks). The one to catch.


1. Chick Fight
2. Minnesota Mafia
3. Pretty as a Smile

Distance: 1 mile and one sixteenth
Surface: Dirt
Purse: $50,000

The Real Story (Nolan) - An interesting horse whose Beyers say 'yes' but class levels say 'no'.

Tez Azadi (Eikleberry) - Only has managed a couple of seconds at low levels this meet.

Jr Hills (Bello) - Another Vargas trainee (see Nirvani in the Distaff) that clearly does not belong. Still a maiden after 16 tries with the latest effort being a 16 length loss in a state bred $25,000 Maiden Claiming race.

Suddenly Silver (Bell) - The defending champ was a weakening 3rd in the Schoepf and trounced by Perfect Bull earlier in the meet. Should be in the mix, but will be tough to pick on top.

Silver Wilbur (Stevens) - Coming in off a win in a state bred $7500 claiming race, may be over-matched by the best of these.

Perfect Bull (Butler) - Minn Derby winner will be the rightly favorite, though is not without fault. However if my horse crush fires, he wins.


1. Perfect Bull
2. The Real Story
3. Suddenly Silver

1 comment:

Lloyd Dalmacio said...

Hate odds on favs, but gotta go with Chick Fight in the 4th. Let's see what happens. Go Chick!