On Track Insights – Naomi Tukker

November 3rd, 2020

Breeders’ Cup Mile – Safe Voyage

Chatting with father and son John and Sean Quinn is a real pleasure, as their respect and love for this 7YO shines through. Trainer John emphasizes how Safe Voyage is a hardy and tough runner, but he does need every inch of the mile. The wire seemed to come up a little too soon when Safe Voyage ran a close third in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs at Longchamp in early October. A seasoned veteran, the gelding has been campaigned all over Europe, with Sean highlighting how he seems to thrive when traveling. The Quinn trainee can certainly be stamped as a left-handed European specialist, having stacked up multiple wins on tracks going around left turns, such as York, Haydock and Leopardstown. Quite possibly, this can be attributed to him being prepared on a six furlong all weather gallop at the Quinn’s Northern England based yard, which goes slightly up a hill as well as having a left handed bend at the end.

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf – Audarya

The above Quinn family is taking their first chance at Breeders’ Cup glory, and so is the seasoned Newmarket-based trainer James Fanshawe with Audarya. According to Fanshawe, she traveled to the States beautifully, drinking and eating well, with the flight going as smooth as can be. Ever since her arrival at Keeneland, she has taken everything in her stride, as expected. Albeit her exercise rider did quip in saying he had his worries about her training at Keeneland, with her having duly proved him wrong. Audarya was one of half a dozen runners who tested the drying out Keeneland Turf this morning, and she skipped over it nicely.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf – Miss Amulet

One of my fancies in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf is Miss Amulet, set to be partnered by Julien Leparoux from gate 2. She has rapidly risen through the ranks and has shown tremendous gate speed as well as the ability to rebreak and accelerate late when running 2nd in the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes behind Alcohol Free. This grey daughter of Sir Prancealot is on the up, and seeing her move comfortably on the turf this morning only strengthens my opinion. At 12-1 she’s worthy of some action.

Breeders’ Cup Classic

Tiz the Law was strong as always this morning during his workout. He gets keen and sometimes goes faster than trainer Barclay or exercise rider Heather would like. I don’t consider it too much of a worry, Heather knows him extremely well and tends to do a strong job keeping a lid on him. He does tend to canter around faster than the majority of other gallopers, which allows him to settle and not get too upset or hurt himself. He simply loves his morning work. In addition, it seems like he is enjoying the Keeneland surface. After pulling up sore in KY after his Derby 2nd, this is a breath of fresh air. The only negative I could currently hint at is that he does hit the ground a tad hard for my liking, a common trait of dirt horses. 

Tacitus was out on track for Hall of Famer Bill Mott this morning as well. Admirable placing of his charge in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, by a trainer who has won the race twice already, but this horse does not have the slightest chance at a win in this race. A placing even seems far fetched in my books, but by all means let’s see if I will be proven wrong.

My fancy is Tom’s d’Etat who will be arriving from Churchill Downs after working on Monday, as the horses have to be on the grounds 72hrs prior to post. I feel like he can get a nice tow into the race with Tiz the Law being on his inside. He stumbled badly in the Whitney, eliminating any chance, and still ran 3rd beaten by 2.5 lengths. If he gets out and runs to his true ability, he can put this field to bed.

The West Coast invaders Improbable, Authentic and Maximum Security arrived at Keeneland this afternoon, and truly pose a threat. I very much fancy the first two (sorry Max). Although the outside draw once again means Authentic has to cross over for the lead, this time with Maximum Security pressuring him from the get go. Improbable is a highly versatile horse who has shown he can be tactically placed, depending on the way the race develops. My gut feeling is that Improbable will be the strongest of the trio, although I heard whispers of Bob Baffert mentioning Authentic more frequently than ‘baby Justify’ Improbable.

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