Vinery Stud legend More Than Ready (USA) can confirm his ranking the greatest sire in Breeders’ Cup history at the 2021 Championships on Friday and Saturday.
More Than Ready has sired the winners of seven Breeders’ Cup races and currently holds a one-win lead over late greats Sadler’s Wells (USA) and Unbridled’s Song (USA). He has five runners engaged at Del Mar this weekend which is only bettered by Godolphin sire Dubawi (Ire) who has a half-dozen entrants.
His contenders on Day 1 are Koala Princess, Bubble Rock and Consumer Spending in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (Gr.1, 1609m) and Slipstream in the Juvenile Turf (Gr.1, 1609m). On Day 2, Hit the Road faces the toughest test of his career in the Mile (Gr.1, 1609m).
BC JUVENILE FILLIES TURF (SATURDAY 10.10AM AEDT)
Wide-open renewal with Fastnet Rock filly Pizza Bianca the opening $6.50 favourite. More Than Ready has won the Juvenile Fillies Turf with More Than Real (2010) and Rushing Fall (2017) and this year’s trio are all in single figures with Ladbrokes.
Koala Princess ($7.50)
Koala Princess closed from eighth of 11 to win the Ainsworth Stakes (LR, 1300m) at Kentucky Downs in September and didn’t contest the early October preps for trainer Arnaud Delacour. Her dam Koala Queen is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Lonhro.
“She showed a great turn of foot in the Ainsworth and a mile on firm turf will be good for her,” Delacour told Daily Racing Form. “Any longer would have been a question mark. I hope she can break and put herself in a good spot and relax and settle and be part of it at the end.”
Bubble Rock ($8)
Trainer Brad Cox won the 2020 Juvenile Fillies Turf with Aunt Pearl (Lope De Vega) and he is represented by Bubble Rock and Turnerloose (Nyquist) this year.
Bubble Rock won the Matron Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) at Belmont Park on October 9 when ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr and will face a distance test at Del Mar. “Irad made the comment from the beginning that she will stretch out,” Cox said. “She’s good-sized and will be alright.”
Consumer Spending ($8.50)
Trainer Chad Brown has won a record five Juvenile Fillies Turf and he has booked top California jockey Flavien Prat for Consumer Spending who was a comfortable winner of the Selima Stakes (LR, 1700m) at Laurel Park on October 2. “She will have to step up but is an improving horse and will like firm ground,” Brown said. “She’s very talented and can be in the mix with a good trip.”
BC JUVENILE TURF (SATURDAY 11.30AM AEDT)
More Than Ready colt Pluck astounded a packed Churchill Downs crowd when he hurdled a fallen runner and then exploded with a last-to-first finish to win the 2010 Juvenile Turf. He was trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher who also conditioned More Than Ready.
Based in New York with trainer Christophe Clement, Slipstream claimed two grass races in a row by open lengths and tries two turns for the first time on the west coast. He spaced a nursery in September and stole the show last time out in the Belmont Futurity (Gr.3, 1200m). “He will be suited in the Juvenile Turf,” Clement said. “I always like when you go to California and push that sprinter speed out to a mile.”
BC MILE (SUNDAY 9.20AM AEDT)
Hit The Road ($26)
Locally-based Hit the Road is better than a $26 chance to join More Than Ready mare Uni (2019) on the BC Mile honour-roll. He won the Frank Kilroe Mile (Gr.1) at Santa Anita earlier this year and has since been beaten no more than a length in the Del Mar Mile (Gr.2) and City of Hope Mile (Gr.2)
Purchased by Australian agent Craig Rounsefell for $160,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, he has earned $563,751 for trainer Dan Blacker and a syndicate managed by DK Racing. “Hit the Road is a champion in my eyes,” Blacker declared. “I’m so thankful to the owners to have him in my barn.”
More Than Ready has two Vinery-conceived mares nominated for black-type races this Saturday – Vernazza (Te Rapa Legacy Sprint LR, 1200m) and Starelle (VRC Matriarch Stakes Gr.2, 2000m).