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The Breeders' Cup Pre-entries

Pre-entries for all of the 2009 Breeders' Cup races were released this afternoon. I've got a lot more in-depth thoughts to post later but one thing that struck me as I glanced through the list: the Turf is about as weak of a race as we've seen at the Breeders' Cup in some time.

Some other quick thoughts:

1) Zenyatta going for the Classic leaves the Distaff as a borderline Grade II event.

2) The Juvenile Turf races have, once again, drawn very deep and diverse fields.

3) The Turf Sprint is another of the new races that appears to be thriving, primarily due to the fact that it's a race that filled an empty niche.

4) A lot of people blasted the Breeders' Cup for creating the Marathon race, suggesting that the race would be a glorified Grade III event. And while the list of American horses entered is nothing outstanding, there are a couple of Euros entered that are quite distinguished: Group 1 winner Mastery (GB) and Group 2 winner Father Time (GB). Defending champ Muhannak (IRE) is back for another go, as well.

5) While I personally have no problem with racing over synthetic surfaces, I will admit that I am looking forward to next year's Breeders' Cup when we will see a more deliberate split between turf and dirt horses and events.