Breeders' Cup 2011 Horses: Rattlesnake Bridge Will Shine Thanks to Calvin Borel
With stamina a major concern for many top Breeder’s Cup Classic horses, a late charge has a chance to steal the show. 40-to-1 longshot Rattlesnake Bridge is the kind of horse who could make such a charge, and his trainers have given him the jockey to do it.
Calvin Borel, no stranger to serious upsets at Churchill Downs, will be aboard Rattlesnake Bridge for the biggest race of the colt’s career. The three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey was aboard Mine That Bird, a 50-to-1 shot, for one of the greatest upsets in Derby history.
The uninviting odds on Rattlesnake Bridge reflect a short racing career in which his back-stretch pushes have netted him just a single victory in the Long Branch in July. However, he’s shown good speed in some of his other efforts, including a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby where he was beaten out by two of his Breeders’ Cup opponents, To Honor and Serve and Ruler On Ice.
Rattlesnake Bridge has previously been ridden by John Velazquez, the comeback specialist who won this year’s Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom. With Velazquez not scheduled to ride in this year’s Classic, though, Borel is just as well suited to guiding a closer like Rattlesnake Bridge.
With a little luck, Rattlesnake Bridge will watch front-runners such as Game On Dude or co-favorite Uncle Mo (4-to-1) fade just enough to be caught at the wire. Borel is a safe bet to know just when to start his charge to get the most out of Rattlesnake Bridge’s finishing kick, so the major question is whether he’ll fall so far behind in the early running that he won’t be able to make up the difference.
Barring that, though, Rattlesnake Bridge and Borel could deliver another serious upset.
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