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With the news of John Henry’s passing at age 32 earlier this week, I tried to recall how many times I had seen him run in person. My memory is not good enough to come up with the exact number but it was more than a handful. I started in the newspaper business in the fall of 1985—after John had retired—but I was able to see him run numerous times as a fan. What I recall most was his tremendous desire to win, often re-rallying near the wire after being passed in the stretch. Going through his lifetime past performances the other day, I was surprised to see that he had won the last four starts of his career (three Grade I’s) on his way to a Horse of the Year title at age nine. Thirty nine wins from 83 starts, running from early in his 2-year-old year until late in his 9-year-old season. Different jockeys, different trainers, different surfaces, different distances and different running styles. What a horse.

Last weekend at Santa Anita we saw the final round of Breeders’ Cup prep races. You had to be impressed with TIZ’S TOUGH SIS’s game win over HYSTERICALADY in the Lady’s Secret. And IDIOT PROOF got back on the winning track when defeating an unlucky GREG’S GOLD in the Ancient Title. All four are headed back to Monmouth for their respective races on Oct. 27. I’m sure I think this every year, but this seems like one of the most wide-open Breeders’ Cups in history. FABULOUS STRIKE, the one horse that I felt was the biggest lock of the day, is out of the BC Sprint because of a lung infection. Ouch.

NOTES: Many fans emailed with their displeasure over the late odds drop on MOJITOVILLE, who was a wire-to-wire winner on Thursday. Entering the gate at 32-1, MOJITOVILLE dropped to 22-1 in the final click after the gates opened (exactly 14 seconds later). This is the standard delay as out-of-state money filters in. However, those watching at home on TVG, due to the 45-second television delay, did not see the drop until after the horse had crossed the wire. The perception is bad but nothing untoward happened here…Paula Capestro-trained RIVER’S PRAYER injured a sesamoid and has been retired. Too bad because she had a huge shot in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint after going five-for-five this year…trainer Patrick Biancone appealed his one-year suspension and received a stay, which means he will be the trainer of record for his numerous BC runners. However, he lost one starter with the retirement of ASI SIEMPRE…THE GREEN MONKEY bombed again today at Belmont (at even-money). This $16 million yearling has been a disaster from the get-go.

To View Free Samples of Premium Plays from last week, click on the links below: Premium Plays for Oct. 3Â Â Â Â Oct. 4Â Â Â Â Â Oct. 5Â Â Â Â Oct. 6Â Â Â Â Â Oct. 7Â Â Â Â Â Oct. 8

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