Timeform's Kieran Packman has made it to Churchill Downs and gives us his observations, from the track and the taxi he took to get there...
Thursday Novermber 4
Burger Soup. I know, sounds lovely doesn't it. Advertised on local radio here with the oh so compelling strapline 'chunks of burger in a soup'.
Other observations from my opening twenty-four hours Stateside? Remembering to turn right into the right lane isn't as straightforward as you might think, the roadkill is buffalo-sized (in fact, thinking about it...) and Krispy Kreme donuts on the backstretch are well worth the hype many of my fellow British attendees have given them.
Far more importantly, I was lucky enough to clap eyes on a number of the major players for this weekend's big prizes. Zenyatta is indeed an imposing physical presence, probably 'big, good-topped' in the Timeform style book. She didn't quite prance like a ballet dancer as my enthusiastic cab driver had promised, but she is unquestionably a striking sight.
I have to be blunt and say I wasn't as taken with Goldikova in my brief glimpse of her, I've seen her a few times in the past and she didn't strike me as being right at the top of her game, as her coat, today at least, was not as glossy as some.
Sticking with the fillies, one who did catch my attention was the Brian Meehan-trained Theyskens' Theory, who takes her chance in the Juvenile Fillies on Friday for a trainer whose team has enjoyed a very consistent season. She looked very well and a persuasive case can be made for her on racecourse evidence, too.
Theyskens' Theory was an impressive winner of the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood before running to a similar level to be third in the Fillies' Mile. Most encouragingly, she's a half-sister to Stevie Wonderboy, amongst other US winners. My only slight concern is whether she really wants this extended mile, as it certainly wasn't a lack of toe that did for her at Ascot. She's one for the muiltiples though certainly.
Talk of amber lights is hardly 'come and have a go' stuff, but I suppose it's only reasonable to be as honest as possible about Workforce's chance of lining up and it seems to simply remain undecided as I write. I think the Turf is there for the taking, so I certainly hope he lines up. He at least isn't 'definitely out' which was the inside information from that pesky cab driver.
(read more at betting.betfair.com)