Rick Pitino's Goldencents Prepares For Breeders Cup

Andy Lyons

Written by Card Chronicle Thoroughbred Racing Correspondent, Carly Kaiser

Does Goldencents still exist? Yes, he does, and since his Derby days he has made a pretty decent career out in California sprints.

I say decent, because he has three straight seconds in the elite sprint races out there-the Bing Crosby, Pat O'Brien and the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes. In the Bing, he got a terrible ride by Kevin Krigger but only finished second by a head. With new jockey Pat Valenzuela aboard, he had a similar closing run but came up just short to a different horse Fed Biz. In the Sprint Championship Stakes, with yet another new jockey Rafael Bejarano he had a much better ride but still came up short. It is worth noting that Goldencents has not won in five tries since the Santa Anita Derby in April.

After coming up short in the closing yards of the last three races all run at six furlongs (3/4 of a mile), Goldencents is entered against very elite company in the $1,000,000 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile with Bejarano back on. He is going up a champion Uruguayan miler in Brujo de Olleros, 2010 Belmont Stakes winner in Pants on Fire, a horse who is undefeated at this distance who was the Derby favorite in Verrazano, two horses who dead-heated last year in the Travers which is often considered the "Summertime Derby" in Alpha and Golden Ticket, a previously mentioned horse Fed Biz, a horse on a three-race win streak in Broadway Empire, and an inconsistent but sometimes very good Hymn Book. Other horses with slightly less impressive resumes also in the race are TaptowneHoly LuteCentralinteligence and maybe Easter Gift. Never count out the longshots.

In the racing world, the Kentucky Derby is the ultimate goal, but the Breeders' Cup is the end of the year championship that oftentimes decides who the best horse of the year is in their respective divisions. Sprinters, milers, marathoners, two year olds, steeplechasers, turf, male, female, all divisions are represented at the Breeders' Cup. This is the 30thrunning down at Santa Anita in LA, California and total prize money given out on November 1st and 2nd will be up around $25million.

The Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile will be run around 3:05 Pacific, will be the eighth race of the day. Goldencents will be number 12 out of 12, and is the second choice at 4/1 with Verrazano as the favorite.

On Friday, the marquee race of the day is the Distaff. The favorite is two-time defending champion Royal Delta at 8/5.

On Saturday, the biggest race of the weekend is the Classic which is a $5,000,000 race going off around 5:30. The favorite right now is the California golden boy Game On Dude also at 8/5.

After throwing in a couple clunkers in a row, this year's Derby winner Orb will not be running at all.

Everything will be televised on NBC Sports from 4-8:00 Eastern on Friday, and 3:30-8:00 on Saturday, but the Classic will be on regular NBC Saturday between 8-9:00.

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