Keeneland preview: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (20.10)
David Metcalf | October 30, 2015
Liam’s Map looks a cut-above his rivals and a worthy red-hot favourite to land the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland (20.10).
The Todd Pletcher trained colt has won five of his six starts, with the only defeat coming on his penultimate outing in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga.
Liam’s Map looked all over the winner when kicking three lengths clear two from home, but was run down late by Met Handicap winner Honor Code and beaten a 1/4 of a length.
It was case of the four-year-old doing too much too soon, and Liam’s Map duly got back on the winning trail at the same venue when impressively landing the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes last month.
The son of Unbridled’s Song made all and travelled strongly before cruising clear in the straight to win very easily by 4 1/2 lengths.
Liam’s Map posted an excellent speed figure in the process, and it was a performance which oozed class.
A repeat of that effort should be more than good enough for Liam’s Map to win this with a bit to spare, and he hails from one of the strongest stables in the country and looks one of the bankers of the meeting.
Lea best of the rest if Liam’s Map fails
Lea finished 11 lengths behind Liam’s Map when sixth in the Whitney, but still looks the one most likely to capitalise if the favourite fails to live up to expectations.
The Bill Mott trained five year-old has previously run well to finish was third in the Dubai World Cup, and also posted a solid effort last time out when a 1/2 length runner-up to Mondialiste in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.
War Envoy is the sole European challenger, but the Aidan O’Brien trained three-year-old will need to raise his game to another level to get involved and will do well to make the frame.
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