Havre de Grace and Blind Luck have met six times in the last 15 months and have generally finished noses or necks apart. Although these top two mares are both preparing for the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs in November, they are aiming toward different races.
Blind Luck, runner-up in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic, is looking for another shot at a victory in the Ladies Classic.
“In my opinion, we’re not considering the Classic,” said trainer and part owner, Jerry Hollendorfer, on a national Breeders’ Cup conference call earlier this week.
“Maybe that could come up later and I will certainly discuss that with my partners, as a matter of respect, if they wanted to do that, but we’re shooting for the Ladies Classic and that’s the race that we’ve been pointed for the last two years. We came up a little short last year, but we’re looking to try to win that race this year,” Hollendorfer said.
Blind Luck will run in the $250,000 Grade 1 Lady’s Secret at Santa Anita Park in California on Saturday where she will face a field of seven, including Ask the Moon who has two Grade 1 wins this year—the Ruffian Invitational and the Personal Ensign Invitational. Blind Luck worked a quick four furlongs in :47.60 on Tuesday, so it would appear she is ready for Lady’s Secret.
After beating the boys by 1 ¼ lengths in the Woodward, Havre de Grace is pointed toward the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Havre de Grace finished third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic, a length behind Blind Luck.
“We knew somewhere throughout the year that if she was as good as we felt like she was, she was going to need to run against the boys at least once. But it wasn’t the Breeders’ Cup Classic so much that we were looking at. We kind of penciled in the Woodward,” said Larry Jones, trainer of Havre de Grace.
“Basically, after the Woodward is when it really started pointing like the Breeders’ Cup Classic was a real possibility and it definitely is a very real possibility that works for me,” Jones continued.
Havre de Grace will star in Saturday’s $350,000 Grade 1 Beldame Invitational at Belmont Park in New York. According to Jones, Havre de Grace is “dead-fit” and training well. She will face a field of five, including last year’s Beldame winner, Lift At Ten and Alabama Stakes winner, Royal Delta.
Havre de Grace will run in the Beldame at 5:06 p.m EDT and Blind Luck will go to the post at 6:36 p.m. EDT for the Lady’s Secret. Both races can be seen on ESPN Classic.
The thrilling rivalry between Blind Luck and Havre de Grace may be over for the year, but both have plans to continue racing next year.
Photo: Courtesy Breeders’ Cup