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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby at The Downey Profile®

Dick's Picks: Shadwell Turf Mile--Looking for An Upset


By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile

Northern Dancer's influence on the Breeders' Cup Mile is significant, and six of the eight entries in the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile have Northern Dancer in their sire lines. Let's examine what influence they may have on Saturday.

During an amazing run from 1986 through 1994 (nine runnings), Northern Dancer sired the sire of the winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile eight times. Another such winner since then was War Chant (2000), sired by Danzig. And, the 2008, 2009 and 2010 winner, Goldikova, was sired by Anaaba, by Danzig, by Northern Dancer.

Dance and Dance (IRE) (post 3) has Northern Dancer four generations back on his sire line. This runner is by Royal Applause (GB), a multiple stakes winner at six and seven furlongs.

Dance and Dance (was second in the one-mile Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury in England on Aug. 11. Last time out, he checked in sixth in the Grade I Woodbine Mile--on a turf course that's usually hard at this time of year--but he broke in the air and was blocked during the race after being sent off at 8-1. After all that effort, he was beaten only 1 3/4 lengths. He's had
similar misfortunes in other races. The Racing Post said today that he's been dubbed "the unluckiest horse in training."

At an 8-1 morning line for the Shadwell Turf Mile, perhaps this Edward Vaughan trainee shouldn't be overlooked. A firm turf course shouldn't be a problem. If he can just avoid trouble. "He just seems to get into trouble in all of his races," Vaughan told Racing Post.

The grandsire of Zoffany's (IRE) (post 4) grandsire is Northern Dancer, and his sire lineage includes Dansili (GB), Danehill and Danzig.

With 11 lifetime starts, all in Europe, Zoffany has five wins and four other board hits. Winless in four starts this year, Zoffany's most recent effort was on Aug. 7, a twelfth-place finish in the Group 1 Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville. That race wasn't as bad as it sounds. Run at 6 1/2 furlongs on soft ground, Zoffany weakened the final furlong and was eased the final 100 yards.

Immediately prior to the Gheest, Zoffany was second in the one-mile, Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly, run on ground rated good, and the one-mile, Group 1 St. James Palace Stakes at Ascot, also on good ground.

As dry as it's been, will the ground at Keeneland be too firm or just about right for this Aiden O'Brien trainee? At 3-1 odds, it might be worth finding out.

The presumptive favorite, Gio Ponti (post 5), also has Northern Dancer four back on his sire line. Gio Ponti's exploits are well-known, and it's no secret he won this race last year. His 5-2 odds seem generous, but like Zoffany, Gio Ponti seeks his first win this year, and this is a good field of horses.

Society's Chairman (CAN) (post 6) has Northern Dancer three back on his sire line. This son of Not Impossible (IRE), himself a son of Sadler's Wells, is an 8-year-old warrior and was second in the Shadwell last year. He's also finished third in the Maker's Mark Mile its last two runnings. With $ 768,775 in earnings, a win in this $600,000 race makes him a millionaire.

You have to go back a little further--five generations--to find Northern Dancer in Wise Dan's (post 7) sire pedigree. By Wiseman's Ferry, Wise Dan won the Presque Isle Mile on the synthetic last time out, and he won the one-mile, Grade II Firecracker on the Churchill Downs turf course two back. His most recent workout was spectacular, and if it transfers to this race, well, he's 12-1 on the morning line. It's hard to evnvision him going off at that generous price.

Get Stormy (post 8), winner of the Maker's Mark Mile this Spring, is a son of Stormy Atlantic and another one in the Shadwell with Northern Dancer four back on his sire line.

He set the pace to win the 1 1/8-mile, Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby day. The two races he's run since then, in which he was second and third, were also at nine furlongs. Something's going to have to get past him as he shortens up on Saturday--but he might have some close company up front with Sidney's Candy and perhaps Wise Dan. He's a 5-1 morning line.

I'm going to try a price to win the Shadwell because I think Dance and Dance is due for a little racing luck.




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