Last year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships had its moments of high drama, including a rare dead heat, first in the Cup's history. But I got my money's worth watching the spectacular hissy fit of Six Perfections, a gorgeous French-bred filly who forced rider Jerry Bailey to bail out behind the starting gate. Oh, she reared, she shimmied, she flashed the whites of her eyes and worked herself into a literal froth; it took five burly handlers--some pushing, some pulling--to shove her shiny black rump into the gate, where Bailey climbed back on. Forget her, I thought. I've never seen a horse act up like that and win. So the bell rings, the gate pops open: Six Perfections leaps out and settles into the pack, where I figure she'll stay. In the stretch she makes her move--surging out from the middle, bulleting past the contenders--she's gone. She somehow catches the leaders by three-quarters of length at the wire, a dazzling finish. Not only had she taken the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Mile, but she did it against boys. She was the only female in the race. This year, Six Perfections and other American and international champions return to run in the Breeders' Cup, held for the first time at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. The Cup, the biggest event on the international racing calendar, with eight races and $14 million in purses, is shaping up as a brilliant day of racing, featuring all of America's top Thoroughbreds in peak form. For the $4 million Classic, there's Funny Cide, who has recaptured the form that won him last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness; Ghostzapper, who posted freakish speed figures in his last outing; the beloved mare Azeri and Pleasantly Perfect, who will defend his Classic title. But I'll be there to catch Six Perfections in the Mile, run on grass. She arrived Monday from France on a special charter to Love Field, along with 10 other top European horses. I was there in the evening with a handful of French journalists when she stepped off the van in front of Lone Star's quarantine barn. She showed just a flash of that famous 'tude: a couple tosses of the head, ears pricked high. She was composed but absolutely alert, unlike some of her jet-lagged van-mates. Look for her on Saturday to kick some serious (male) horse butt. The Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park is sold out, but television coverage begins Saturday at noon on NBC. --Julie Lyons
Bulls on Ice
Rarely can another sport top the excitement of ice hockey. It's fast, it's loud and players skate while swatting at a frozen piece of rubber with really long sticks. That's a simple way to describe a really technical, visually stunning sport. We are, however, only a "Great One" when it comes to knocking back the suds and observing the game, so we're especially excited that along with the Stars we have the Fort Worth Brahmas (in the Central Hockey League) to follow. And Brahmas tickets are only $12 to $27.50. The Brahmas play the home opener at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Call 817-336-4423.
If you happen upon the 40 Frame Game Halloween Doubles Tournament this weekend at AMF Showplace Lanes, 1950 Plaza Drive in Garland, it is advised that you not approach one of the active league bowlers and say, "Oh, that's cute! You're supposed to be a bowler! I get it!" Not only could they scoff at your civilian score/handicap, but chances are they own their own ball, which we bet is painful upon impact. Of course, these league bowlers have put in $30 per team entry and have an option to play for the "Big Whammy" pot, so they'll probably just opt to laugh off your tactlessness and beat down some pins instead. The tourney has various squad times Friday through Sunday, so call 972-613-8100. --Merritt MartinCompetitive Eating
Of course, the NFL Luncheon is a buffet. It has to be. Guys from the NFL come to talk about their lives, and you think you can serve them pâté? Wrong. These guys need a full spread with an opportunity for fourths. Which says nothing of the people listening to them. Swan Court, 2435 N. Central Expressway in Richardson, hosts this NFL gorgefest October 29 at 11:30 a.m. It'll cost $13 to hear the likes of Jerry Norton, Larry Cole and Gary Hammond speak (and watch them eat). Call 972-235-7923. --Paul Kix