Breeders' Cup 2011 Entries: So You Think (NZ)

Horse: So You Think (NZ)

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Morning Line Odds: 5/1

Career Record (Str-1st-2nd-3rd): 19-12-4-1

Career Earnings: $7,587,459

Pedigree: Sired by High Chaparral (IRE) out of a Tights mare (Triassic (NZ))

High Chaparral (IRE) won the 2002 Epsom (English) Derby and Irish Derby, was a back-to-back winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf (2002 and 2003), and was named Champion Male Turf Horse in America in 2002 and 2003, and Co-Champion Three-Year-Old of Europe in 2002.

Key Stakes Wins: Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes (Leopardstown, Ireland), Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Sandown Park, England), Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup (Curragh, Ireland), Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes (Curragh, Ireland), Group 1 W S Cox Plate (Moonee Valley, Australia)

Overview: No horse in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Classic has won more money than the New Zealand-bred, Irish-trained So You Think. A winner of eight Group 1 races in Australia and Europe, So You Think has banked over $7.5 million dollars in his career, including $2.1 million in 2011.

The Breeders' Cup Classic will be So You Think's first race over a dirt surface after 19 races on grass.  We've seen European grass horses come over and run well on dirt in previous years (Sakhee in 2001, Giant's Causeway in 2000), but we've never seen a horse make that transition and win the Classic.  European Raven's Pass won the 2008 Classic, but that race was at Santa Anita over a synthetic main track, not a conventional dirt surface.

Despite the new racing surface, there are a lot of reasons to like So You Think in this year's Classic.  First, he loves to run the Classic distance of a mile and a quarter.  He's won seven of nine career starts at ten furlongs, with two second place finishes.  And while all nine of those races came on grass, there should be no reservations about his stamina given the testing nature of European courses. Second, So You Think has run well over harder and firmer courses. While that doesn't ensure that So You Think will love running on dirt, it suggests that, at a minimum, he's not going to hate it.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien will run So You Think in blinkers for the Breeders' Cup Classic, suggesting that the trainer is seeking more early speed from this colt and/or better concentration in the stretch.  In Europe, So You Think preferred to run just off the early leaders in a prime stalking position, a running style that will likely require more pace when racing on dirt in the U.S. 

2011 Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes


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