The Europe Classic
Restrictions: 3 Year Olds and Older
Distance: 12 Furlongs
Post Time: Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 3:00pm
Today I have headed over to Germany to check out the G1, The Europe Classic. There is a nice field of eleven horses that will be traveling 12 furlongs across what is listed to be Firm Turf come post time. They put their reputations on the line and will be running for a purse of $750,000 and look to collect a trip to the winners circle to pick up their check, a beautiful trophy and a nice Graded win to their résumé. I have taken a look at the track here in Germany and it looks well maintained and ready for this big race on Saturday. The owners over at the barns are making last minute preparations and giving their jockeys last their final instructions. The horses do look ready and have taken their final works on the track. Let’s take a look at this nice field of horses and preview the entries. The morning line odds have been posted and the post positions have been drawn.
Horse/Odds Owner Jockey
1. Ehecatl Arch 96/1 candiracks0 Q Piekarski
This 6 year old Bay horse is sired by Arch and has been racing mainly on the dirt in much longer races. His speed ratings bring concern due to inconsistency and he has not hit triple digits since back in November of 2018. His last start on the turf came back in August of 2018 in an Allowance race. The odds makers share in concern if this horse is ready for this trip to the track and make him the longest choice in the field at 96/1. He will have rookie jockey, Q Piekarski from Arizona up top to take the ride. The jockey has had a good rookie season thus far and he will have his hands full in getting this horse into contention as they head to the post to represent the Empire State Racing residency.
2. Gone For The Stars 9/2 badger F Duffy
This 4 year old Bay gelding sired by Galileo is coming off two Listed Stakes wins in his last two outings. In his last race in Kentucky he went 12 furlongs on the turf stalking the leaders and closed up shop after the third call to get to the wire first for a 2 ½ length win and had a 113 speed rating in that race. The owner places a call to New Mexico to get jockey, F Duffy to take the mount for the ride with his gelding. This horse has shown he likes to win, but stepping up in Class to the Graded level races has thus far not been kind to him. He is looking good for this race as he again tries to step up in class and does deserve a look when you head to the betting windows. They will head to the gate Saturday to represent the Empire State Racing residency.
3. Of Sikaiana 3/1 hitops W McClendon
This G3 winning 7 year old Bay horse is a scratch bred, (ORFEVRE (JPN) x RAINBOW QUEST x MONTJEU). He lacks in experience in going 12 furlongs but has run well as of late at 10 and 11 furlongs. His last two outings were here in Germany, thus he is familiar with this track. He ran in the G2, The Bayside Triumph on 07/21/2019. He was closing but just missed hitting the boards. He showed up 4th in that race and was 2 ½ lengths back at the wire and ran a 113 speed rating. Even at 7 years old he is still showing up with some nice triple digit speed ratings and will have jockey, W McClendon from Vermont coming in to take the ride. They will be heading out in the post parade representing the All-Stars Racing residency.
4. Ear Pickering LVII 19/1 simhorse22 N Labreche
The owner of this 4 year old Bay colt brings in his scratch bred (AUSTRALIA x FOOTSTEPSINTHESAND x MASTERCRAFTSMAN (IRE)). This colt will be making a big jump in Class in this race of which the odds makers have taken note. He has not been able to consistently hit those triple digit speed ratings as he showed when he ran here his last time out in Germany on 08/10/2019 in a $48,700 NW3L Allowance race where he showed up in 2nd and with 2 ½ lengths back at the wire with a 97 speed rating. The owner does contract with a familiar jockey, bringing in N Labreche from Italy. As he takes this big jump in Class his jockey may need to bring his bag of tricks to get his horse in contention in this field to hit the boards. They will be heading to the gate at post time representing the Racing HQ residency.
5. Les Bleu 20/1 robd15 J Jubel
This 5 year old Roan gelding is a scratch bred (DALAKHANI x TANINO GIMLET x MONSUN) who in his most recent trips to the track has been running at longer distances. He looks like he can step back down to 12 furlongs with comfort, but the odds makers are not so sure of this horse’s résumé. He is taking a big jump in Class in this race and comes into this race as a non-stakes winner. He will have jockey, J Jubel from Italy coming in to take to the irons for this race. This horse has much to prove here on Saturday and hopefully this jockey will have a stiff whip to try to get this horse into contention. They will be heading to the gates representing the Universal Racing Club.
6. Another Big Hit 12/1 mtk76 M Kelly
This 4 year old Bay colt has had some nice Allowance races recently. This son of Deep Impact is a prior GP badge earner, but that came back in April of 2018. A Graded win has eluded him thus far, but I feel this horse deserves a look on Saturday as he again steps back up in Class. He has a familiar jockey, M Kelly from Delaware to take the ride with him again as they come in from a long residency of running in Ontario. That travel here to Germany does bring a minor concern. In his last race on 08/14/2019 he went 11 furlongs in a $29,200 NW4L Allowance. He crossed the wire first in that race with a 106 speed rating. A move back to the Graded level will hopefully spark this horse’s interest when he heads to the gate on Saturday representing the Blazing Saddles residency.
7. Project Space 7/2 muninn240 T Tees
This 5 year old Bay horse sired by Sea The Stars will come to this race as the second choice in this field as listed in the morning line. He was met with struggles in his last trip to the track on 08/10/2019 in New York in the G1, Sword Swallowers Stakes. He failed to fire as he has done in some of his past races. He showed up at the wire in 8th place and was 11 lengths back when struggled his way to the wire. He has shown he can run some good speed ratings at the Grade 1 level, but his jockey, T Tees from out of Berkshire will need to bring a stiff whip to make sure his horse fires. They have paired up successfully in the past and if this horse handles this long trip from New York and finds his legs in this race he could be a contender to watch out for in the rearview mirror coming for home. They will be headed to the turf on Saturday to represent the All-Star Racing residency.
8. I Am An Animal 7/1 bigal50 A Smith
This G1 winning Brown gelding sired by Animal Kingdom has been running a very tough schedule and that tough schedule has thus far denied him a Graded level win this season. He did hit the boards in the G1, Sand Castle Golden Turf Classic in Dubai back in March of this year when he came in 3rd but was way off the pace in that race and crossed the wire over 7 lengths back. He will have the same jockey, A Smith from Belgium that rode him in that race and hopefully that will help him to spark interest here in Germany as they attempt to improve on this horses record he has shown thus far this year. He tends to close from way back and if he finds some fire in his legs he could contend for the wire here as they head out to the gate for this race on Saturday.
9. Gutha Goolwa 5/1 kymar25 J Scott
This 4 year old colt sired by Medicean has sparked a little interest from the odds makers for this race making him their 5/1 choice in the field. He is a non-stakes winner, but has earned his SP badge racing a much lighter schedule than some of the other entries in this eleven horse field. He has proven he can handle the distance at the Allowance level and has picked up two wins this season going the 12 furlong distance. He gets a new jockey that is unfamiliar to him in J Scott of which I am sure has been receiving many good tips and instructions from the owner as to how to take the trip with this horse. This horse tends to like closing late from way back or from the middle of the pack and I will point out that in his last race on 08/10/2019 in Hong Kong at 10 furlongs he ran a nice 117 speed rating which was only good enough for 2nd in that race, but still a very nice showing. He will be stepping out to the turf on Saturday representing the Universal Racing Club.
10. Galileo’s Kid 14/1 dkstables27 Z Ayya
This G3 winner is a Bay colt sired by Galileo and is coming off a nice G3 win. He ran on 08/11/2019 in the G3, the Freer Stakes where he went gate to wire with a 109 speed to best the field by an impressive 4 lengths traveling a distance of 13 furlongs. In this horses best races he like to be at or near the front. We will have to see how he can handle coming out of the tenth hole that he drew for this race here in Germany. He will have jockey, Z Ayya who will be flying in from New York to take the ride up top with this 14/1 contender in this race of which I feel may be a little long for this horse based on what I see in his résumé. If his jockey can get this horse off to a good start and get him into the position he likes, this horse could be a pleasant surprise for his owner and those headed to the betting window with this horse on their tickets.
11. Diego Giacometti 13/1 blaznsadle R Zombie
This Bay gelding sired by Alberto was claimed back in June of this year. He has shown improvement under his new ownership, but does this non-stakes winner have the experience to contend in this field in uncharted waters? I fear it maybe a little soon for this horse to contend at the G1 level against this more experienced field and may need a little more time in building his résumé. He also likes to run at or near the front in his best races and he was unfortunate in drawing the outside post for this race. In his last race on 08/24/2019 he ran on the dirt in Norway going 12 furlongs and came in 2nd and was 2 ¾ lengths back at the wire with a 101 speed rating. I do feel this horse prefers the turf and jockey, R Zombie will have his hands full in trying to get his ride into contention. They will be going out representing the Minnesota Testbarn Residency.
Good luck to all horses and all owners of this race. Most importantly have fun!!!
Never mind my picks as it is all in fun and I rarely pick winners. Hope you do better than I do for this race.
Gone For The Stars: His last two outings at the Listed Stakes level have been nice for him. He will have to prove he can bring that forward as he steps back up in Class.
Project Space: This could be his time to shine if his jockey can get him to fire.
Gutha Goolwa: Can he handle the jump in Class after throwing down a nice 117 in his last Allowance Race? Guess we will see what happens.
Tarton’s Long Shot
Galileo’s Kid : I have a hope for this horse as he comes off a nice G3 win. He could surprise the odds makers who made him the 14/1 choice. I will have him on my exotic tickets at the betting window.