HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, June 27 — It might not have been an El Grande Event Day but there were some great performances from around the country Saturday to consider. Instead, I’ll cut to the chase.
Everybody loves to talk about super trainers but I want to talk about super owners, super owners like owner-breeder Godolphin LLC, or whatever the applicable trademark.
It’s great for Godolphin that on one day they can win a signature spring race at Churchill Downs not named Derby or Oaks. And it’s not every day you win the Irish Derby and Stephen Foster on two continents at once.
And all that while, the 2021 powerhouse awaits Belmont Park’s Suburban Handicap on July 4th weekend with America’s #1 ranked older horse, Mystic Guide.
Let’s see, I know I’m forgetting… no, wait, that three year old colt, Essential Quality, yeah, that’s the one.
So there it is, The stage has been set for a three-horse Breeders’ Cup Classic, Mystic Guide vs Maxfield vs Essential Quality.
Of course, this is hyperbole. However, let me ask: If you had a top class Grade 1 male, or female, would you run against that triumvirate?
I hope not to read or hear apologies about all this good fortune was due them because of all the money they put into the game, and how they give their horses all the time they need.
Both rationales have the benefit of being true. Then what would you all do with your petro dollars?
The only reason any of this came up was the devastating turn of foot displayed by Maxfield on the far turn at Churchill Downs, a race contested at the American classic distance of a mile and an eighth.
I know; the accepted classic distance in America is a mile and a quarter but as often as that distance is contested in this country, equine competition boils down to a handful of races each year.
After the Foster, and after Brendan Walsh said he’d like to find a race between now and Breeders’ Cup, before adding maybe a race in five or six-weeks time, that would put the Whitney in Maxfield’s crosshairs.
Then I started thinking about whether these two horses would meet each other before the Breeders’ Cup–that would be a no, But if so, would Michael Stidham really want to turn Mystic Guide back from 10 furlongs for the Whitney with or without Maxfield in the lineup? That’s highly unlikely, too.
It’s been widely believed that Mystic Guide would be a certain Suburban starter, then I saw it listed somewhere online that the Dubai World Cup winner was a “possible” starter, as opposed to Happy Saver, listed as “probable.”
It’s good to have options.
Unless, of course, you’re a Thoroughbred racing fan who can no longer get excited by a sport that gets more business-ier, and less sporty, by the day.
this is a live column; it will be updated periodically