MORE Than Ready colt Verrazano shapes as the horse to beat in the upcoming $1m Breeders’ Cup Mile after nominations were released for the equine extravaganza this week.
Close to 200 horses are among the entries for this year’s series across 14 events offering $27 million in prizemoney.
The 2013 Breeders’ Cup – billed as the Olympic Games for horses – will be hosted by the Santa Anita Racing Club in California on Friday November 1 and Saturday November 2 which will coincide with Australia’s own Super Saturday, VRC Derby day at Flemington.
‘The Mile’ is always one of the premier events on the two-day card as it brings together the best horses at or around the distance and boasts an honour roll that includes the likes of Last Tycoon, Royal Academy, War Chant, Lure as well as uber-mares Goldikova and Miesque since the inaugural Breeders’ Cup in 1984.
Todd Pletcher’s Verrazano is heavily fancied in pre-post markets given his superlative form boasting 6 wins from his 8 starts including the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes and Haskell Invitational Stakes this year.
Verrazano has won his races by a cumulative margin of nearly 50-lengths.
Another of More Than Ready’s leading BC contenders is Ready To Act who will line-up in the Juvenile Fillies Juvenile on the turf.
The Chad Brown trained filly has raced twice kicking off with a portentous win at Saratoga in July.
More Than Ready has a fabulous record across numerous Breeders’ Cup events highlighted by the dual victories of Pluck and More Than Regal in the 2010 Juvenile features.
Indeed, Pluck’s stunning win in the Colts division still ranks as one of the most spectacular and dramatic in the entire history of any Breeders’ Cup race given the impossible obstacles he overcame to score.
The colt drew wide and stepped slowly before seemingly losing all chance when badly hampered by a fallen runner going into the first bend.
Pluck was still last and had it all to do as the field entered the final stretch but unleashed a powerful burst of acceleration to win leading to caller Trevor Denman’s exclamation that Pluck had won “like he’d just joined in at the quarter pole!”