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BREEDERS' CUP 2011: Final Prep Races Completed

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With the conclusion of Woodbine's Sunday card, all of this year's Breeders' Cup Challenge races are, for the most part, complete. We could see some juveniles take a quick two weekend turnaround, but the contenders for the other races will most likely not race again until Nov. 4th and 5th.

Below are links to the results from the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, along with a larger list of graded stakes races leading up to the Breeders' Cup. I'll be updating the Breeders' Cup Contenders files over the next day in an attempt to reflect the status of "who's coming, and who's going".

2011 Breeders' Cup Challenge

2011 Breeders' Cup Prep Races

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll start to take a race-by-race look at the Breeders' Cup and the potential contenders in each division.  Before we get to that, let's take a quick review of the final weekend of Breeders' Cup prep races.

-How tough of a filly is Together (IRE)? She's run four times since September 3rd and wins a Grade 1 race off of a seven-day rest.  Maybe, just maybe, horses can hold up to a lot of races over a year (if you aren't afraid that they might lose one here and there).

Winter Memories didn't really have any excuses (unless you one of the people that believe Dominguez is holding her back from her best efforts).  She comes from well off the pace in race after race and, unfortunately, that lends itself to having to go wide coming off the turn, or finding traffic on the inside.  To say that Winter Memories never challenged for the win in the QEII Cup is an understatement; once the field hit the top of the lane I didn't think for one second that she had a chance to win.  I didn't expect that at all; I expected her to put in her usual late charge, but it just didn't happen.

Overall, the filly turf runners are tremendously inspiring this year, outside of Stacelita (FR)

-Miss Keller (IRE) was able to strike a blow for North American turf horses with a nice win in the EP Taylor over I'm A Dreamer (IRE).  Of the 11 fillies and mares to break from the gate in the E.P., only three ran their last race in North America - Miss Keller, Dyna Waltz (GB), and Mekong Melody (IRE).  But despite being severely outnumbered, Miss Keller was able grab a win for the local crowd.

-The North American contingent wasn't as fortunate in the Pattison Canadian International, where foreign based runners finished 1-2-3-4-5, led by filly Sarah Lynx (IRE)

Sarah Lynx made her winning move with around a quarter of a mile to go and easily went by her rivals on the way to a four length victory at the wire. Her connections have yet to decide if the filly will go to the Breeders' Cup.

-I never considered Prayer for Relief to be a serious contender for the Classic, even after his front-running, lone speed win in the Super Derby.  His 3rd place finish as the even money favorite in the Oklahoma Derby on Sunday confirmed that thought for me.

-If you are looking for pre-Breeders' Cup past performances, check out Brisnet.

That's pretty much it for this morning.  We'll start digging into the Breeders' Cup in more depth beginning in the next couple of days.