A Breeders’ Cup pick 4 attack by Geo Sette ending with the Classic

November 5, 2020

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If you know Geo then you knew he would follow his Friday Breeders’ Cup work with an encore on the Saturday card. Geo dissects the late Pick 4 and provides his analysis on the last 4 races. He has crushed the Breeders’ Cup before for Past the Wire and our readers. Two years ago at Churchill Downs he was on fire! Let’s see what he can do this year! It certainly looks like he has his GAME FACE on!

Geo Sette game face!

Keeneland Race # 9 Breeders’ Cup Mile (Fan Duel) Grade 1 Purse $2,000,000

This race is always a mega challenge to handicap due to the large field of 14, and the great talent of so many horses who typically come flying late in their attempt to nail the front runners. In addition, there’s much to consider with the European invaders making their U.S. Debut. So to get you going with this very special late Pick 4, I will provide my top 5 contenders in precise order of win consideration.

# 5 Digital Age  

This most recent Grade 1 winner of the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs will be my top selection. This beautiful colt closed like a train to earn his best figure yet, and now two months later, I feel he’ll improve even to a greater extent.    Chad Brown saddles Javier Castellano who was up for that victory and comes in with a series of conditioning works at Belmont Park, all steady and around the dogs.  There will be a good amount of speed up early so I’m expecting a rather swift pace. It will be especially important for Castellano to gather fine positioning and a free lane to mount what could be a thunderous close.  Of course, there’s always a chance for traffic issues, so that’s the gamble here, but I know this colt will be full of run. As a confidence builder, he’s 2 for 2 at today’s distance and has won 5 of his 11 starts on the lawn.  I’m expecting to get at least 5-1 with this guy. Watch the board

#10  Halladay 

I have always loved this grey colt. He possesses high speed and although there’s speed to his inside and outside, I feel he’ll make the lead and be the front runner through the first half mile, perhaps even longer, which is the spot Jockey Luis Saez simply relishes in. There’s no doubt the pace will make this race. This guy has won 3 of his 5 starts this year and is 10 for 12 lifetime in the money on the lawn, winning 6 times, and he’s never been off the board going this distance.  Todd Pletcher has won 11 Breeders’ Cup races during his fabulous career as a conditioner so expect this colt to come with his best. He’s my 2nd choice but also a threat to take it all. Must be used in many betting gimmicks

# 12 Uni   

This is one tough mare, and she almost always runs her race. She’s last year’s winner at Santa Anita,  winning the race in confident fashion going 5-wide in 1:32:45.  Joel Rosario knows her well and you can trust that he’ll be looking for room to come flying in deep stretch. With being in the #12 hole, you can expect an outside lane, something you have seen so often with Chad Brown horses on the weeds. A classy veteran who has beaten the boys before so it could possibly happen again if she gets the perfect trip.

# 4 Sisken 

This European invader has no doubt been ambitiously entered in this race for the 2 Million Dollar purse. This colt is a three-year-old facing many seasoned older horses but you must be impressed with his window support overseas. He has also won 5 of his 7 turf races and is proven at this distance.  Colin Keane is a very capable jockey and is this colt’s regular rider.  You can expect to get a nice price as he may fall under the radar at the windows.  Don’t ignore and use generously in your betting exotics.

# 13 Factor This  

This guy has been too good to leave out of consideration. He draws the # 13 hole, which creates an issue of decision making for his jockey, Florent Geroux. Do they use his exceptional gate speed to go for the lead? Or do they allow him to settle behind my 2nd choice Halladay?  I’m guessing they will settle behind and be tactical, which of course isn’t a bad thing; however, he is much more comfortable with being the front runner.  He’s hit the board in 16 of 24 lifetime turf races, but has never won at this distance,  which is why he’s my 5th choice.  Due to his speed and overall success, he needs to be covered on some of your tickets.

Keenland Race # 10 Breeders’ Cup Distaff One Mile and 1/8th Grade 1 Purse $2,000,000

# 9 Ollie’s Candy  

This is one hard-hitting mare who’s been knocking on the door and I’m feeling that perhaps today it’s time for her to fire her very best.  This gal has been consistent and reliable on just about any surface. She has hit the board in 8 of her 9 lifetime races on a dry fast track, winning just 2, but just missing several other times. In her last, the Grade 1 Spinster over this same Keeneland soil, she was well backed at the windows, raced well, but was a bit wide and she just didn’t fire her very best. This is one classy lady as she has been entered in 6 straight Grade 1 races, hitting the board in her last 5.  Joel Rosario is back up for John Sadler. I’m expecting this gal to show her typical tactical speed, keeping close to the pace, and then at the perfect time seizing the lead and digging down deep in finding her way to the wire to score what would be a major upset of my 2nd and 3rd choices.  Lastly, I love her two works for this race over the Keeneland strip, a bullet breeze in :59 flat and a solid 6 panel breeze in 1:11 flat, a strong indication she’s ready for a top effort

# 10 Monomoy Girl   

Monomoy Girl schooling for the Distaff

What can be said that hasn’t been said before about this mare?  Her greatness is admired by many, and she’s arguably the best filly in training even at the age of 5. This beautiful mare actually added to her fabulous story by taking all of 2019 off, then coming back to win all 3 of her starts in 2020.  Lifetime she’s raced 14 times, winning 12, and running 2nd the other two races. Let me be clear here, she’s never once been out of her race exacta.  That is simply ridiculous!  So yeah I have her 2nd in this spot. Of course she has every opportunity to take this all, but considering the betting value she will lose ( she’s been 3:5 or less in 7 of her last 9 races)  and knowing that in two of her 3 wins this year, she simply outclassed her opponents and won but not in spectacular fashion,  today I’m keeping her in the exacta. Of course you need to use her in your deeper gimmicks and multi-race wagers,  but today, I’m really feeling that she may get beat and be 2nd best.  Florent Geroux her regular rider is back up for the Brad Cox Barn. She deserves all your respect and consideration for this race.

# 5   Swiss Skydiver  

This gal was ultra-sexy in beating the boys at the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. She had a perfect ride by Robby Albarado and she was absolutely resolute on the inside, a monster race. Now she comes back a month later to face the girls again. Does she deserve respect?  Absolutely! She has won 6 of her 11 lifetime starts, hitting the board in all but 1.  I trust Ken McPeek so I know she’ll be ready to run, but in this spot, I’m just siding with my top 2. I will use her on many of my tickets. Her last was so super, I’m thinking that perhaps she won’t have as much to give today.

# 4 Horologist 

   This daughter of Gemologist must always be considered one of the best New Jersey Bred horses you will find. You simply don’t find too many coming out of the farms of New Jersey that achieve her kind of success racing in open company.   I’m giving her a respectful mention here because I feel she’s a very capable filly and she’s proven at the distance. Above all, I have great admiration for Bill Mott her trainer, who’s one of the best in this business and has 10 Breeders’ Cup victories to his name. Use her in your deeper gimmicks for sure, she’ll be getting an honest price.

Keenland Race # 11 Breeders’ Cup Turf One Mile & ½ Grade 1 Purse $4,000,000 PT 4:33 ET

# 3 Tarnawa 

She’s one beautiful gal making her U.S. Debut after a pair of razor sharp races in France. This is a race packed with European invaders, and I see her as perhaps being the most prepared. If she takes the travel well, look out!  Christophe Soumillion  is a very capable rider and one of the taller jockeys you will see, and she’s saddled by the very well respected Dermot Weld barn.  Her bloodlines scream that this marathon 12-furlong distance would be to her liking. She has not disappointed, winning 3 of her 5 lifetime starts going this mile and a half distance. She has won all three of her starts in 2020 with the 2 most recent racing in France in Grade 1 company, and overall is 11 for 13 lifetime hitting the board.  I also feel that she’s pretty versatile and can approach the race in different capacities. Look for her to be calm and tactical for the first 6 panels,  then slowly put into position for a powerful stretch run to the wire.  I give her an edge in this field full of seasoned marathoners. And you’ll most likely get a nice price on her so there’s value here too.

# 7 United  

There’s lots to like and appreciate about this gelding, and he truly relishes the turf with exceptional bloodlines and proven past performances. Overall, he’s 11 for 14 on the weeds, winning 6 and making the exacta payout 10 times.  He was 2nd last year in this race just missing by a head to the great Bricks and Mortar. In his only other 12 furlong race, he just missed losing by a neck, so when you break it down, he’s run two fabulous races at this distance. It’s been a great 2020 for him. Flavien Prat, his regular rider is up again for the consistent Richard Mandella barn.  He possesses solid gate speed and is versatile enough to stay up front or sit back and be tactical like 4th or 5th and still fire powerfully when turning for home. He should be respected as a genuine win candidate but I have placed him in this 2nd spot.

# 2 Magical  

Yeah, she’s known throughout the racing circuit as one of the better mares in training, deservingly so. She’s won 12 of her 26 career starts, and placing for 2nd another 7 times.  A seasoned Grade 1 veteran, she has faced the best of company overseas and is more than capable in winning this race. But deep inside and as I viewed many of her races, she appears to be more suited for 10 furlongs rather than this 12 furlongs. She has run at this distance 5 times, winning only once. Fabulous pedigree and fabulous connections with Ryan Moore up for Aidan O’Brien easily puts her as a contender here. For today she’s my 3rd choice, but make sure you have her covered in your pick 4 and deeper exotics too.

# 10 Mogal  

This colt is one tough and rather imposing three-year-old. He’s ambitiously entered here making his U.S. debut in this spot.  His last in France was simply awesome, it was the 2nd time he won at this distance. He’s another quality horse coming from the Aidan O’Brien barn. Watch the board as the window action may be very telling. He simply cannot be dismissed. If he travels well, he can better my rating, but in fact listing him 4th, I’m offering him much respect here.

# 9 Channel Maker  

This gelding has never been better winning his last two at this distance. He’s a 4-time winner going 12 panels. By default I must give him a chance to upset this field even though he twice failed big time in this race over recent years. I feel his only way in winning this weekend would be to go right to the lead and try to take it wire to wire.  Manny Franco is up again for Bill Mott. He should receive solid backing at the windows and I will use him in my deeper gimmicks and have him covered on some pick 4 tickets. It’s hard to throw him out completely knowing that he’s in such great current form, but the others I have listed above simply are more appealing.

Keenland Race # 12 Breeders’ Cup Classic One Mile & ¼ Grade 1 Purse $6,000,000

What a Classic field!  Most of these guys are well known. There are several storylines to deal with, which made me spend numerous hours working this one race, there was simply so much to cover. You can make a logical argument for many in this field, but you cannot kiss all the girls, or in this case, all the boys.  This is my precise order on the win end, my exacta, my triple and superfecta, but I would also use them in a box and on your pick 4 tickets.  Let’s take this!

# 2 Tiz the Law   

This son of Constitution has had a near perfect year. Please do not be misled in any capacity with his 2nd place finish in the September Kentucky Derby and his loss to Authentic. He ran his race and was game but he just didn’t have enough, and as we know, Authentic ran a big time race.  Prior to that Run for the Roses, Tiz was near perfect, winning 3 straight Grade 1 races in convincing “Push Button” style. I feel this layoff will work wonders for him.  Manny Franco, his regular rider is back up for Barclay Tagg and I’m expecting him to be as he always is, very tactical early for solid positioning and mounting that great push button close as they are turning for home. I’m feeling he is capable of running back to his Travers romp as long as he takes to this Keeneland soil. All indications are just fine, I love his two morning works of this strip, his last a solid :59.1 breezing. He’s my choice to grab this classic even though he’s a three-year-old facing some very tough and seasoned older horses.

# 4 Tom’s d’ Etat  

This guy is one hard-hitting classy veteran who again gets the strong-armed services of Joel Rosario for the Albert Stall barn.  He’s 11 for 12 hitting the board in his career over a dry surface, winning 8 times. Additionally, he’s won over this Keeneland strip albeit over a sloppy track, but as I mentioned he’s excellent on a dry fast track.  Most fans and fellow handicappers must dismiss his 3rd place finish in the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga.  He still ran very well, but he lost all chance of winning with his stumble at the start. Prior to that race, he won 4 straight and most in convincing fashion.  He now comes back for his first race since August 1st and I feel this layoff will do him good.  I’m expecting him to be rather tactical early on, perhaps sitting a good 4th or even 5th, then just as I shared about my top choice, he’ll turn on the gears as they are turning for home. He’s a big threat with his best race.

# 8 Improbable  

Improbable schooling for the Classic

I have always loved this colt, the son of City Zip and he comes into this race in absolute top form. In fact he may very well go off as the post time favorite, deservingly so.  The superb Irad Ortiz is up for Bob Baffert and he comes into the race with a bullet work. His last 3 races, all Grade 1 victories, have further defined him. He’s been a great four-year-old and if he brings his “A” game, he will be hard to beat.  I have him listed as my 3rd choice but I respect him as much as my top 2 and he should run the race very similarly, a stalking presence saving his very best for the stretch run. He’s a must for you in your boxes and for this very special pick 4.

# 1 Tacitus   

This guy did not have a great four-year-old campaign but he’s still very consistent and reliable in terms of hitting the board, something he’s done in 11 of his 14 career races.  What is scary about this colt is that he’s bred to run all day, so he will love the distance here and he’s 6 for 6 lifetime at this same 10 furlong distance.  Yes,  on the win end, he has burned lots of money. He’s been a strong favorite in several races and has failed to bring it home, but whenever you have Jose Ortiz up for Bill Mott, especially at an inflated price, you simply must consider them. You must also keep in mind that the owner Juddmonte Farms has earned close to 17 Million dollars in Breeders’ Cup races.  Watch the board and don’t be surprised if he runs a big race in this Classic.

Well there you have it, let’s make this special Breeders’ Cup Saturday one we will remember always.

Digital Age, Ollie’s Candy, Tarnawa, and Tiz the Law! An ice cold Geo Sette Breeders’ Cup late pick 4!

All my very best, Good Luck! Geo

Contributing Authors

Geo Sette

Geo serves multiple roles at Past the Wire. He is a columnist, handicapper, and analyst. Geo has been fascinated with the Sport of Kings since...

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