With all the hoopla surrounding the top four choices in the Breeders’ Cup Classic — Lawyer Ron, Street Sense, Curlin, Any Given Saturday and Hard Spun, it seems Tiago is getting lost in the shuffle just a bit. I mean, we’re talking a very talented colt here who has won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby (pictured), the Grade II Swaps Stakes and the Grade I Goodwood. He’s one of the few 3-year-olds, along with Curlin, to have beaten older horses already this year.
Now, Tiago, trained by the more-than-capable John Shirreffs, won the Santa Anita Derby at 29-1 and you’re not going to get that type of price on Breeders’ Cup Day, but you might get a juicy 10- or 12-1 on a horse that is capable of running against these type of horses. Mike Smith knows the horse and says he just turned in the best workout of his life the other day. Also, don’t discount the Craig Dollase-trained Awesome Gem, who will also offer generous odds despite the fact he’s turned into an ultra-consistent gelding. He’s run first or second in five consecutive races, including the Goodwood — where he lost by only a nose to Tiago — and the Grade I Pacific Classic. However it comes out, this year’s $5 million Classic is shaping up as one of the best ever on paper.