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chance to fire the clubs faltering

  • 17 May
    导出博客文章The Breeders Cup always has been intended to take the breath away.In the
    beginning, it was the money, more purse money than American racing ever had seen
    before. As it evolved, it was the competition, international in scope, dizzy
    with intensity. At one point, it became the action and how astounding it was to
    see just how much people wanted to bet, upward of $150 million over a two-day
    show.Now, in a social environment so completely attuned to the cult of
    personality, the Breeders Cup is all about the stars. Its not enough just to
    brag about going to the Breeders Cup. There have been 32 of them. The novelty
    has worn off. Now, the question is, Who did you see? And if the answer is, I saw
    Zenyatta, or Wise Dan, or Goldikova, or American Pharoah, then youve got their
    attention.This year, the main attraction is California Chrome, a horse of such
    universal appeal that even the opposition saves room to root.You cant help it,
    said trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who will try to beat California Chrome with the
    longshots Effinex and Shaman Ghost in the $6 million Breeders Cup Classic. Hes
    just such a neat horse, and a great story.No question, when California Chrome
    shows up, he tends to suck all the air out of the room. The 1-1/4 miles on dirt
    is right up his alley, and his six races this year -- from the winter in Dubai
    to his final rehearsal at Santa Anita -- have unfolded as if hewing to a script
    already chiseled in stone.However, by the time California Chrome takes the track
    late Saturday afternoon against Travers winner Arrogate, Met Mile winner
    Frosted, Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Hoppertunity, and Santa Anita Handicap
    winner Melatonin, the story of the 2016 Breeders Cup already may have been
    written by the half-dozen world-class fillies and mares who have made this party
    something to remember.Never before has the Santa Anita Park backstretch been
    home to such depth of female talent. A stroll through the stables is like
    walking a wing of the Louvre, with masterpiece after masterpiece staring down
    from the walls.Fridays $2 million Distaff has been predicted to be the best race
    ever run in the U.S. on a weekday that wasnt a holiday. No one really did the
    research, but it sounds about right for an event that attracted champions
    Songbird, Beholder, and Stellar Wind as well as the multiple Grade 1 winners
    Curalina, Im a Chatterbox, and Forever Unbridled.Songbird and Beholder each have
    one foot in the Hall of Fame, while Stellar Wind spent the last three months
    defying the conventional thinking that there could be yet another filly of
    similar caliber on the West Coast. Yes, the Distaff should be run on a Saturday
    on network TV alongside the Classic -- especially this Distaff -- but thats an
    argument well save for another day. Anyway, Zenyatta won the same event on a
    Friday, so at least this years winner will be in good company.If the true test
    of a great filly or mare is her ability to defeat males at the highest levels,
    then the three on the marquee for Saturday have passed with flying colors.Found
    is the durable daughter of Galileo who runs for Coolmore and trainer Aidan
    OBrien. She upset Golden Horn in the Breeders Cup Turf at Keeneland last year,
    the same Golden Horn who was acclaimed European Horse of the Year, and she is
    back to defend her title on Saturday, with a purse of $4 million on the
    line.Found is also making her 10th start of the season and her third in the last
    five weeks, after winning the Arc de Triomphe on the first Sunday in October and
    finishing second to likely European Horse of the Year Almanzor in the Champion
    Stakes on Oct. 15. By finishing first, second, or third in the Turf, Found will
    pass Zenyattas $7.3 million as the all-time leading earner among females with at
    least one start in North America. It is assumed, however, that they didnt send
    her to California to finish second or third.If Found gets points for her
    international adventurism, save some credit for Miss Temple City and the Graham
    Motion crew. They have on their hands a long, full-figured filly who has stood
    the gaff of trips abroad in each of the last two years for dates at Royal
    Ascot.She was a competitive fourth in both tries -- no shame in that -- while
    back home in the States, Miss Temple City manhandled males in both the Makers 46
    Mile and the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. Among her victims in the Shadwell
    were Ironicus, Tourist, What a View, and stablemate Ring Weekend, all of them
    trying her again on Saturday in the $2 million Breeders Cup Mile.Fillies and
    mares do not win the Mile all the time, it just seems like it. Royal Heroine was
    first out of the box in 1984, followed by Miesque (1987-88), Ridgewood Pearl
    (1995), Six Perfections (2003), and the era of Goldikova (2008-10).Then came
    Tepin, whose performance in the 2015 Mile at Keeneland capped a championship
    season that began in relative obscurity, with an allowance-race win at
    Gulfstream Park coming after a seven-month layoff.That was then. Now Tepin
    reigns as a bona fide American hero, the winner of the Queen Anne Stakes at
    Royal Ascot last June and the Woodbine Mile in her return to competition in
    September. Earlier this week, trainer Mark Casse stood admiring the mare in the
    corner stall of her temporary Santa Anita barn as she dropped in her straw,
    scratched an itch, and then jumped up to playfully charge her webbing.Guess she
    shipped okay, he deadpanned. This was Tepin. All she ever does is ship okay.You
    know, this is really a deep Breeders Cup across the board, but especially with
    the mares, Casse said. And a lot of that is because people have kept these good
    ones in training. Beholder is 6, Tepin is 5. They could have been bred by
    now.Casse broke his personal Breeders Cup drought by winning two of the 13 races
    last year with Tepin and Catch a Glimpse, who runs on Saturday in the Filly and
    Mare Turf.Weve got seven running in Breeders Cup races, and I think four of them
    have a legitimate shot, Casse said. Someone asked me if Id be happy if I could
    only win one. It didnt take me long to answer. Of course, I would. Who wouldnt?
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    Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive.
    Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick admits the clubs next match could be his
    last chance to fire the clubs faltering A-League campaign.The Nix are yet to
    register a point in four games and were downright embarrassing in patches during
    Monday nights 6-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory.Merricks side were competitive,
    even at 2-0 and a man down, and did find a first goal of the season from the
    penalty spot after five-and-a-half-hours of searching.But from 2-1, the New
    Zealanders gave out and let in four goals in 20 minutes, limping to one of the
    biggest routs in their history.In isolation, the result can be washed away as
    one bad night.In the context of a tricky opening month, the signs arent great
    for the Kiwis.Merrick has bemoaned the impact of international fixtures and
    senior players heading off for All Whites duties.And his big problem is upcoming
    World Cup qualifiers against New Caledonia this month will again rock their
    campaign.According to Merrick, the Nix will be without six players for their
    round six away trip to Central Coast and will have to rush them back into the
    siide on a short break and international travel to play Victory in round
    seven.dddddddddddd.It makes this Saturdays home date with Newcastle Jets one
    hell of a fixture.Youve got to win games and weve really got to win games next
    week. Weve got to start next week, Merrick said.In November weve been told six
    players will be out of the squad for the qualifiers.I came into the job knowing
    that could be the case (but) I didnt think Id lose so many first-team
    players.Merrick said he couldnt take anything out of the Etihad Stadium match
    but did defend his team for attempting to play to their gameplan even as Victory
    dominated the contest.We should have been playing better. We should have kicked
    on from where we left off against Sydney, he said.I think we started off very
    nervously and it took a while really before we played any fluent possession play
    at all.We were a little bit intimidated ... I didnt think we started to play
    until we conceded two penalties. ' ' '