Friday, October 9, 2009

Dixiana Breeders' Futurity Racing Roundup

Thousands of horseracing fans throughout the region will make the fall pilgrimage this weekend to Keeneland racetrack in Lexington. Located in the heart of Kentucky Bluegrass country, Keeneland is a beautiful racetrack and the fall meet is always a festive affair. Racing fans, especially the ladies, like to dressup for the occasion.

Track officials have done a good job in filling Saturday’s 10-race card with full fields but the highlight for me will be the $500,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for 2-year-old thoroughbreds. The 1 1/16-mile Dixiana is a Breeder’s Cup automatic qualifier for the Juvenile Division and for many of the horses entered in the race this will be their first attempt at a route race and the all-weather racing surface.

The Tom Amoss-trained Backtalk, winner of the Bashford Manor (G3) and Sanford Stakes (G2), is the 4-1 morning favorite and heads a full field of 14 horses. In his last outing, the previously undefeted Backtalk finished fourth to D. Wayne Lukas’ Dublin in the 7-furlong Hopeful Stakes (G1). Backtalk starts from post two but in the Hopeful, he broke from post 12 and was further back in the earlier going than he had been in previous races.

Wayne Catalano’s Dixie Band ships in from Arlington Park and has been made the 5-1 second-choice co-favorite with Todd Pletcher’s Aikenite. Undefeated in three starts, Dixie Band comes into the Hopeful with a win in the Spectacular Bid Stakes and the Arlington-Washington Furturity (G3). After getting off to a slow start in his last outing, Aikenite finished a respectable third in the Hopeful beaten 3 ½ lengths by Dublin.

In his last outing, The Gregory Sacco-trained Piscitelli (15-1) finished third to Dixie Band in the Arlington-Washington Futurity.

Alexis Barba ships in from Del Mar Make Music For Me (6-1) who twice finished second to Lookin At Lucky in the Best Pal (G2) and Del Mar Futurity Stakes (G2).

Two horses who have already raced 1 1/16 miles is the Michael Maker-trained Stately Victor (8-1) and Roman Invasion (12-1) who is trained by Kelly Breen. Stately Victor has been working exceptionally well and he comes into the race with an easy 4 ½-length maiden win on the turf last out. Roman Invasion comes into the race with a 10 ¾-length maiden win last out on a wet-fast track Delaware. However, his time was a slow 1:46.44.

My picks:

Stately Victor
Dixie Band
Make Music For Me


  1. Hi Calvin, my pick is Dixie Band. The colt looks the type that will move forward with each start. Thus far WINS!

    I rate in the top 5 Breeders Cup two year old.

    In reading the below article (link), D'Funnybone bypasses the final prep for Breeders Cup. Interesting move. Your thoughts?

  2. Barry,

    I like Dixie Band too and would not be surprised to see him win it. His sire, Dixie Union, is the hot sire these days and his damsire, Forty Niner, won the 1987 Breeders' Futurity.

    A long shot I forgot to mention in the blog is improving Noble's Promise - trained by Kenny McPeak. He has some good speed and if he can transfer that to a route he may be in the mix. His pedigree says he should be able to go the distance but I would not expect him to go much farther.

    This should be an exciting race. Good luck!

    When I saw the entries for the Champagne, I figured that Dutrow was going to train D' Funnybone up to the Juvenile so that was not a surprise.

  3. Hi Calvin, what a terrible ride Dixie Band received. The jockey ran the colt right up the rear of the pace which was failing and lost all chance heading into the turn. RACE OVER!

    I had to review all Noble Promise races. The colt is legit. To race on turf, sprinting, and now distance of ground, says he is for real.

    The colt is not a quieter, but under pressure, and additional distance may become a problem.

    Nevertheless, the colt changes his lead foot very well.