Breeders' Cup roundup: Sept. 27, 2021

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September 27th, 2021

Action is heating up on the road to the Breeders’ Cup.

We’ve reached the final rounds of prep races for the Nov. 5-6 event at Del Mar, which means the next couple  weeks will be dizzying, as dozens of talented horses wrap up their racing preparations.

Let’s catch up on last week’s results, then look ahead to next week’s action-packed slate.

Hot Rod Charlie, Jackie’s Warrior impressive performers at Parx

It was a big afternoon Saturday at Parx, where eight stakes worth a combined $3.4 million took place. Although none offered “Win and You’re In” berths to the Breeders’ Cup, several could have a significant impact on the event.

Here’s how the most noteworthy action unfolded:

  • In the Pennsylvania Derby (G1), last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up, Hot Rod Charlie, finally secured his first Grade 1 win, when he turned back a bid from Midnight Bourbon to win by 2 1/4 lengths. The son of Oxbow stopped the clock for 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.63, which cemented his status as a key contender for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
  • In the Cotillion S. (G1), the multiple Grade 1-placed Clairiere reversed a lengthy losing streak to rally and win by 2 1/2 lengths, in the process earning her first top-level success. The bay filly completed the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:44.31 to stake her claim as a Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) candidate.
  • In the Gallant Bob S. (G2), three-time Grade 1 winner Jackie’s Warrior was tons the best, as he pulled away under no urging to defeat a quartet of rivals by 6 3/4 lengths. The speedy Steve Asmussen trainee blazed to the finish line in 1:08.64 for six furlongs, which reiterated his credentials as the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
  • In the Turf Monster S. (G3), 108-1 longshot Hollywood Talent sprung a staggering upset, when he rallied boldly over a good course to win the five-furlong turf dash by 1 1/4 lengths. The 10-year-old gelding has been on-and-off competitive in graded stakes since 2013 and appears to be developing into a Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) candidate.
  • In the Parx Dirt Mile S., multiple Grade 1 winner Mind Control brought his "A" game to fight off a challenge from heavy favorite Silver State and prevail by a head. The Todd Pletcher trainee stopped the clock in 1:36.59 to emerge as a Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) contender.

Life Is Good, Bella Sofia post blowout Belmont wins

Parx wasn’t the only track in on the graded stakes action last week. A pair of Grade 2 dirt prizes at Belmont Park could also have serious Breeders’ Cup implications:

  • In Saturday’s Kelso H. (G2), overwhelming favorite Life Is Good led from the start to beat a small field of older rivals by 5 1/2 lengths. He completed the one-mile journey in 1:34.37. The son of Into Mischief finished fast down the lane to reiterate his standing as a Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile threat.
  • In Sunday’s Gallant Bloom H. (G2), the talented three-year-old filly Bella Sofia copied Life Is Good’s playback and led all the way to beat three older rivals by 3 1/2 lengths. Previously victorious in the Test S. (G1) at Saratoga, Bella Sofia cruised down the homestretch to stop the clock for 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.69, a perfect prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

Hello You, Royal Patronage qualify at Newmarket

Last week was quiet for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. Only two Win and You’re In qualifiers were contested, and both took place across the pond, at Newmarket Racecourse in England:

  • On Friday, Hello You proved best in the seven-furlong Rockfel S. (G2) for two-year-old fillies, when she tracked the pace and took command to win by 1 1/2 lengths in her sixth start. The daughter of Invincible Spirit now owns a berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
  • The following afternoon, Royal Patronage earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) with a victory in the one-mile Royal Lodge S. (G2) at Newmarket. Previously victorious in the Acomb S. (G3), Royal Patronage carved out the early pace in the Royal Lodge but was headed past the halfway point. He appeared destined for a runner-up effort, but battled back to win by a neck.

Upcoming "Win and You’re In" qualifiers

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series will reach its pinnacle in the coming days, with 14 "Win and You’re In" qualifiers around the globe between Friday and Sunday.

The dates, race names, and qualifying divisions are as follows:

  • Oct. 1: American Pharoah S. (G1) at Santa Anita — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
  • Oct. 1: Chandelier S. (G2) at Santa Anita — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
  • Oct. 1: Speakeasy S. at Santa Anita — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
  • Oct. 2: Champagne S. (G1) at Belmont Park — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
  • Oct. 2: Rodeo Drive S. (G1) at Santa Anita — Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf
  • Oct. 2: Awesome Again S. (G1) at Santa Anita — Breeders’ Cup Classic
  • Oct. 2: Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) at Santa Anita — Breeders’ Cup Sprint
  • Oct. 3: Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Longchamp — Breeders’ Cup Turf
  • Oct. 3: Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (G1) at Longchamp — Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint
  • Oct. 3: Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) at Longchanmp — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
  • Oct. 3: Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) at Longchamp — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
  • Oct. 3: Prix de l’Opera (G1) at Longchamp — Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf
  • Oct. 3: Frizette S. (G1) at Belmont Park — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
  • Oct. 3: Zenyatta S. (G2) at Santa Anita — Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Stay tuned to TwinSpires Edge for more coverage and analysis as the road to the Breeders’ Cup continues!