It's the first weekend of October already which means it's time for Keeneland's fall meet and the biggest race in Europe, the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris.
Keeneland kicks off opening day with the G3-Phoenix and the G1-Alcibiades as the feature races on their 10-race card. The Alcibiades drew a fantastically full field that includes My Conquestadory, a Woodbine-raced filly that thrashed the colts in the Summer Stakes last month. She's making her synthetic debut today at Keeneland but is well-suited to transition to the plastic in fine fashion.
I really like the looks of the Arlington-Washington Lassie winner, She's Offlee Good. This is a tough race and a tough field but this is a big field of juveniles, most going two turns for the first time (and many trying synthetic for the first time, so I'd like to find a bit more value than the chalk.
Turning to the Arc...well, that race really snuck up on me this year. I was coming home from work last night thinking to myself, "hmm, shouldn't this be Arc weekend?" I guess that's a sign of keeping a bit busy (or too busy, in reality). Anyway, Orfevre (JPN) is back to try and lead Japan to their coveted Arc victory. You got to hand it to Japanese racing - they take shots at the big prizes when they get the chance. The trip from Japan to France is no joke and there is plenty of money to be won in their homeland given the big purses and the very restricted running conditions, but every year a top Japanese contender makes his way to France to challenge for Europe's biggest prize.
As you might recall, Orfevre looked like a certain winner in last year's Arc before he tired and was caught at the wire by Solemia.
Below are the entries and approximate odds for the 2013 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe:
|1||Very Nice Name||P. Convertino||A De Mieulle||66/1|
|2||Novellist||J. Murtagh||A Wohler||4/1|
|3||Al Kazeem||J. Doyle||Roger Charlton||16/1|
|4||Joshua Tree||R. Hughes||Ed Dunlop||66/1|
|5||Meandre||U. Rispoli||A Savujev||50/1|
|6||Orfevre||C. Soumillon||Yasutoshi Ikee||2/1|
|7||Going Somewhere||G. Benoist||D Smaga||100/1|
|8||Haya Landa||F. Blondel||Mme L Audon||100/1|
|9||Pirika||P. Boudot||A Fabre||100/1|
|10||Flintshire||M. Guyon||A Fabre||14/1|
|11||Leading Light||G. Mosse||A P O´Brien||12/1|
|12||Ocovango||S. Pasquier||A Fabre||33/1|
|13||Penglai Pavilion||M. Barzalona||A Fabre||50/1|
|14||Kizuna||Y. Take||Shozo Sasaki||7/1|
|15||Ruler Of The World||R. Moore||A P O´Brien||12/1|
|16||Sahawar||T. Thulliez||C Ferland||100/1|
|17||Intello||O. Peslier||A Fabre||12/1|
|18||Treve||T. Jarnet||Mme C Head-Maarek||5/1|
Not to be outdone by the goings on in Europe, this Saturday and Sunday features another jam-packed weekend of great stakes action from coast-to-coast. Wise Dan is back at Keeneland where he at least drew some challengers this time, as opposed to his paid workout at Woodbine last month. Plus the Chmpagne and Frizette at Belmont, the Indiana Derby, Santa Anita Sprint Championship, Hawthorne Derby, and on and on.
|4-Oct-13||KEE||G1-Alcibiades||8.5||Poly||2yo, f||7-My Conquestadory||$4.40|
|4-Oct-13||KEE||G3-Phoenix||6||Poly||3up||11-Sum of the Parts||$27.20|
|5-Oct-13||KEE||G1-First Lady||8||Poly||3up, fm|
|5-Oct-13||SA||G1-Santa Anita Sprint||6||Dirt||3up|
|5-Oct-13||KEE||G1-Shadwell Turf Mile||8||Turf||3up|
|5-Oct-13||SA||G2-City of Hope Mile||8||Turf||3up|
|6-Oct-13||BEL||G3-Miss Grillo||8.5||Turf||2yo, f|