Homeracing

Want Golden Horn in BC Turf? Hope it keeps raining in Europe

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

September 15th, 2015

This hardly qualifies as a news alert, but it's good to get an idea of where we stand regarding the possible participation of European star Golden Horn in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1).

Glimpsing trainer John Gosden at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, I made bold to ask him about the chances of the Derby (G1), Eclipse (G1), and Irish Champion (G1) winner venturing here in six weeks' time.

Gosden responded that if we keep seeing "soft, soft" in the ground descriptions in Europe, then there's a good chance that the Breeders' Cup would become a target.

It was very much an "if/then" proposition, with the clear implication being Breeders' Cup fans need to hope for rain at Longchamp for Golden Horn's ideal objective, the October 4 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) -- and again at Ascot in case he'd look to the October 17 Champion (G1).

So no surprise that we're back on weather watch. The Arc or Champion's loss would definitely be the Breeders' Cup's gain.

The answer was much more definitive when I asked Gosden if there were any two-year-olds he was interested in sending over. No -- but said in the kindest, most cheerful manner possible.

Now for my other Keeneland highlight of the day: discovering what I hope may be a bargain, a diamond in the rough.

Among the terrific yearlings I saw today -- and there were many -- I was head-over-heels for Hip No. 393. This gorgeous bay is a three-quarter brother to Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) heroine Unrivaled Belle. Both are by Unbridled's Song, and the yearling is the first registered foal out of Unrivaled Belle's half-sister, Lemon Belle, by Lemon Drop Kid. He smacked much more of Lemon Drop Kid.

Tall, lengthy, but at the same time strong and well balanced, the January 29 foal had a presence about him. I loved the way he carried himself, with a bearing of intelligence and maturity. He had an indefinable something. There was also something a little different about his stride, a possibly wider action by his forearms, but I don't know how to appraise that.

When he went into the sales ring, and brought a mere $170,000, I thought he might be an RNA. But he did in fact sell to Robert LaPenta's Whitehorse Stables. Perhaps he'll be a pinhook success at next year's two-year-olds in training sales, or perhaps LaPenta will end up keeping him.

Of course, aside from the fact that I'm untutored in reading conformation, and could have easily missed an issue that experts would have seen, there's also the matter of the vet reports. Maybe there was something that I couldn't possibly have picked up on just looking at him.

In any event, I'm going to keep an eye out for this son of Unbridled's Song and Lemon Belle.

(Photo courtesy of independent.co.uk)

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