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Beholder out of the Classic- Racing-conducive weather on Friday and Saturday - By Tom Krish

Posted on - 30 Oct 2015

Beholder out of the Classic - Racing-conducive weather on Friday and Saturday
By Tom Krish
 
Beholder is out of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. The Henny Hughes mare was seeking an unprecedented third win in the Breeders’ Cup.
 
Beholder went through her paces Thursday morning. Let me reproduce what trainer Richard Mandella had to say. “After she galloped this morning, Beholder was scoped and we found her to have bled. This was obviously due to the fever she had on arrival in Lexington. Knowing this, we feel it is too great a risk to start her on Saturday. There’s obviously some irritated lung tissue and if I put her under the pressure of a race situation, it could cause some real damage.”
 
As my wife and I checked in at the hotel and went to the media center to pick up our credentials, press notes about  Beholder’s withdrawal were being circulated. The American Pharoah-Beholder clash was the most anticipated racing event in the Breeders’ Cup menu. At the moment, American Pharoah is 10/11 in the English betting market.
 
We left our house in suburban Chicago at 3 15 AM on Thursday. I took frequent sips of coffee and took small bites of Swiss cheese to keep myself awake. With a 45-minute break for a nap, we did 400 miles in nine hours. There was Jodha Akbar music playing and an occasional Abba hit. Wednesday had been a damp and cold day. As we drove into Lexington, the skies were clear and the sun was out. It was a gorgeous autumn day.
 
In other Thursday happenings, Gleneagles, a runner in the Classic, worked on the dirt. Joseph O’Brien, trainer Aidan O’Brien’s son, was aboard the English and Irish 2000 Guineas hero. Gleneagles is a longshot in the Classic.
 
Joseph O’Brien, who may soon move into the training department, commented. “It is not possible to say how he will handle the dirt but what I would say is that when he stretched his legs, he was moving well.
 
He’s in good form. It is a shot in the dark (going over dirt for the first time) but he has a lot of pace and can quicken when asked.”
 
Esoterique, one of France’s top distaffers, and Make Believe, winner of the French 2000 Guineas and the Prix La Foret on Arc day, did a lap on the polytrack before doing another circuit at a hack canter. They are going in Turf Mile. Pierre Charles Boudot rides Esoterique. Olivier Peslierwill ride Make Believe.
 
Illuminate, from Richard Hannon’s yard andwho is yet to win a Breeders’ Cup, walked a circuit of the training track. She is fit for the fray.
 
Alice Springs, to be ridden by Ryan Moore, went out and jogged a lap on the dirt track before doing another circuit at a hack canter.
 
Illuminate and Alice Springs are leading fancies in the Juvenile Turf (1600 metres) on Friday.
 
In Canada, (ice) hockey fans say that they eat. drink and sleep hockey. Lexington is ‘horse country.’ Lexington residents are eating, drinking and sleeping the Breeders’ Cup. There are signs everywhere. Lexington is the breeding capital of the United States. Newmarket, I have joked, has more horses than human beings. All the major major farms are in Lexington. Kentucky is the State where Lexington is located. Kentucky  is known for bourbon whisky.Keeneland is hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the first time. Louisville, where Churchill Downs is situated,  is 70 miles from Lexington.
 
There was a party Thursday evening that I did not attend. I had to write the RWITC story and had to do my Friday-Saturday racing columns for the Chicago Sun-Times.
 
The Breeders’ Cup idea came from Mr John Gaines. It is homecoming for the Breeders Cup because it was conceived in Lexington. Mr Gaines headed the Gainesway Farm.
 
A word or two about the weather. The weatherman has promised a rain-free Friday. The sun will be shining on and off. The high will be about 60F.
 
On Saturday, the high will again be 60 and it will be overcast. There is a ‘rain possibility’ and the forecast calls for the rain after the BC races have been run.
 
Silvestre De Sousa rode two longshots on Wednesday at Belmont Park. He was fourth with one and finished down the field with the other.
 
I have been to several Breeders’ Cup venues. Lexington, in my opinion, stands on its own. The town is consumed by the Breeders’ Cup. There are concerts. There are exhibitions. There are whisky-tasting events. Fans can go to Keeneland to see the morning workouts.
 
Attendance in the neighborhood of 40,000 is expected on Saturday. From all accounts, Keeneland is ready. It will be the focus of the racing world’s attention.
 
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the author's personal views.)  

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