Photo Credit: Steve Heuertz
Anthony Fontaine has spent the last few weeks on Equibase, scouring replays and all the information he could find to handicap all the Breeders’ Cup races. Good luck on Breeders’ Cup weekend and enjoy the best that horse racing has to offer.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE TURF SPRINT Race Five: Selections 6-11-7-9
#6 Alligator Alley had a tough trip last out with an awkward start, gets blinkers and Lasix for this event. This one has lots of racing experience and connections are top notch. Surprise package in the making.
#11 King Neptune looks like a horse that will benefit from racing experience and the addition of Lasix in this spot. Has been holding well with the best juveniles in Europe and should find this spot palatable and provide a solid effort. #7 Kimari flew last time like she was shot out of a cannon and rumbled down the Keeneland turf course to win well within herself. Should get an optimal set up once again and will be the one they have to hold off to find the winners circle.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE TURF Race six: Selections 1-2-12-7
#1 Our Country will get an opportunity to save ground drawing inside under the capable hands of HOF JR Velazquez. Look for this one to settle and allow the pace to develop, and pounce turning for home all the way into the winners circle.
#2 Structor has not done anything wrong in his two races and will look to build off those performances today. Rider is one of the best in the world right now and with a good trip this one will be formidable in the lane. #12 Arizona comes across the pond with a lofty reputation and comes off a solid second in a highly rated race. The post draw did this one no favors as I forecast a wide trip and although no one will doubt the prowess of Moore as a rider, I think this one will give a good account of himself but may have some challenges with the trip.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES Race Seven: Selections 7-6-1-4
#7 Wicked Whisper was masterfully ridden last out at Belmont as Rosario put his horse on the lead through controlled yet swift fractions and was able to turn everyone back. The waters are deeper today however I think the talent of this filly has not yet been on full display.
#6 Bast was game in victory last out over this surface and has continued to train well for today’s assignment. Baffert lured HOF Velazquez and he returns for the money run. Beat this one to cash today. #1 Donna Veloce while talented has a tall order in this race to overcome the rail draw and going two turns for the first time against this field. Might be talented enough to do so but the question marks make this one difficult to support on the win end.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES TURF Race Eight: Selections 7-9-4-14
#7 Crystalle figures to get a better trip today as Rosario made a living providing superb rides at Santa Anita for years. Horse has never ran a bad race and although at a glance her figures may appear to be light this one is a runner and will give a good account of herself and will be overlooked at the window due to low profile connections.
#9 Albigna will be favored no matter what the morning line may say. This one is a SERIOUS contender and has ran some superb races for top notch connections in France. Do not ignore this one in any slot. #4 Abscond ran into sprinting monster Kimari in her second start and was not disgraced with the runner up effort. Has the tactical speed to workout a good trip and Ortiz has shown to be very adroit at placing his mounts in an optimal position to deliver good performances. A must use in the exotics.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE Race Nine: Selections 6-1-7-5
NOTE: Maxfield was my selection for this race however was scratched as I wrote this .
#6 Eight Rings has been superb in his races and only off the board finish lost the rider. Velazquez got a test run last out and will place this one in a forward position today. Runner appears to be the type that can stalk and not be headstrong and ready to give his best when turning for home. Look out.
#7 Anneau d’Or is a well bred son of the great Medaglia d’Oro trying the dirt for the first time. This is not the deepest Juvenile field once one gets past the two likely favorites and runner can be any kind. Willing to take a shot in the exotics at a nice price. #1 Dennis’ Moment has a similar profile to Eight Rings as only nonperformance was losing the rider. Has put up two other very impressive races; however The rail is troubling in this spot as runner will be forced to establish himself early and run every step of the way to avoid traffic while other main contenders will have an option to stalk and pounce. Will be a short price off previous figures however I will take a stand against in the win column.
BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY AND MARE SPRINT Race Four: Selections 9-1-6-4
#9 Spiced Perfection is a hard trying sort that always delivers an optimal performance. Runner somehow won last out at Keeneland after a horrific start and has trained forwardly since. Miller teams with HOF Velazquez for this assignment and look for rider to stalk the speed and strike late.
#1 Covfefe has produced some nice races and demolished the competition in the last two races. Will be heavily favored in this spot however will have serious pace heat from the bell and will be forced by virtue of the rail draw to fire out from the bell. Last two races were restricted to 3 yr old fillies so the waters get deeper today. #6 Bellafina returns to home base and looks to reestablish some of her once lofty reputation against a field she should be able to be competitive against. Has disappointed in last three races however talent is there and can rebound at a nice price today for a share.
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT Race Five: Selections 11-7-6-4
#11 Om has found a home sprinting on turf and will look to pull an upset in this spot. With so much speed signed on I envision Franco tucking in and making one run to sweep past the field late. Do not ignore as Miller has won this race producing big payouts in the past and this runner deserves inclusion in all slots.
#7 Leinster gets to run his preferred distance today after falling a bit short the last two races. Connections normally do not travel unless they have the goods and runner looks poised to make noise in the lane. #6 Stormy Liberal would appear to have lost a step or to as most recent performances are not close to the ones that saw him win this event in the past. Miller will have this one cranked and must be respected once again today.
BIG ASS FANS BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE Race Six: Selections 1-5-7-4
#1 Giant Expectations signaled he is at peak performance with a huge effort last out at Delmar. Has had plenty of time to recover and is training well for this assignment. This field he faces today appears much easier than last year’s edition save Omaha Beach and this runner appears poised to give them all they can handle in this spot.
#5 Omaha Beach ran a gut wrenching sprint race off a long layoff and returns quickly. Has worked splendidly since the sprint however that race had to take a lot out of him and although his future appears to be bright he may be vulnerable late as he has face pressure from start to finish. #7 Coal Front appears to be best of rest. Will need an effort like he gave in Dubai to best this group however has shown he has that type of ability and Castellano will have him well positioned.
BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY AND MARE TURF Race Seven: Selections 3-2-9-12
#3 Fleeting ventures back over the pond and will hope to have better racing luck than last time at Arlington where she was forced to take up and lost all chance. Runner has had her fair share of hard luck and if Moore can work out a good trip and she has an opportunity to show her best it may be enough.
#2 Sistercharlie has been the epitome of class. Currently on a six race win streak all Grade 1 she is fast becoming a legend. Comparisons to other greats in recent history have been whispered; suffice to say she is extraordinary. Will have to navigate a new course however this one appears unfazed by different surfaces. Will probably be the shortest price horse the entire Breeders Cup and rightfully so. #9 Villa Marina comes into this event off a sharp score at Longchamp and appears to be an improving young filly. PESLIER IS NOT IN CALIFORNIA AS A TOURIST AND THIS IS HIS ONLY BREEDERS CUP MOUNT. BEWARE.
BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT Race Eight: Selections 1-7-2-4
#1 Catalina Cruiser will need to break alertly unlike at last year’s event where this one lost all chance at the start. This is a serious proven runner that loves the surface and distance. For a once beaten horse this one may be overlooked at the window as well with the presence of Mitole in the field. I rate this one highly in this spot.
#7 Whitmore is such an admirable hard trying horse. Has had a wonderful career and gets a good rider for today’s assignment. With the plethora of speed signed on, this one figures to get the type of trip necessary to swoop past everyone in the lane. Has trained forwardly since last race and will make noise in the stretch. #2 Hog Creek Hustle figures to be flying past tied horses late and no doubt the all-time winning rider at the Breeders Cup will give this one every opportunity to light up the tote board.
BREEDERS’ CUP MILE (TURF) Race Nine: Selections 9-1-13-11
#9 Circus Maximus rates highly in this spot as this horse won nicely a few weeks ago at Longchamp against a good field of runners. Runner adds blinkers and Lasix for today’s assignment and the high power connections will be a short price to score today.
#1 Suedois gets a positive rider change to Castellano who will have this runner poised to strike after saving ground. Horse closed nicely at Keeneland and should be ready to give a top performance today at a nice number. #13 Hey Gaman appears to give his best performances over a firm turf and will get that in abundance on this course. Not to mention that Dettori takes the mount so it is without question this runner should get a good trip even with the wide post. Runner is better than last race and should be given serious consideration in all slots.
BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF Race Ten: Selections 3-4-11-1
#3 Street Band figures to get the perfect trip in this spot. This runner comes off a nice win at Parx and has worked well since for a very good trainer. Will be overlooked at the window as some of the other runners are much more accomplished but this horse is to be taken seriously in this spot.
#4 Midnight Bisou has been a model of consistency and excellence in a flawless campaign this year. She did not run as fast as she normally does last out but may have been feeling the effects of a gut wrenching race against Elate the race prior. Has had plenty of time to recover and will be fully prepared for her final race before being offered for sale. #11 Blue Prize is a blue collar type mare that lays it down each and every time. Bravo will need to workout a trip for her but this runner is sharp right now and should be considered a threat for all slots.
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF Race Eleven: Selections 4-9-10-11
#4 Mount Everest is a lightly raced homebred for the Niarchos family that has never won a graded stake and is thrown into the deep end of the pool in this spot. Trainer has his more highly touted horse next to this runner however I feel a case can be made for this horse. Although trainer intent is difficult at times to ascertain this horse looks like insurance against Anthony Van Dyck delivering another sup-bar performance. Mount Everest in bred in the purple by the world renowned sire of stayers Galileo out of the superstar mare Six Perfections. We have not seen this runners best race and at a nice number I am willing to take a shot.
#9 Bricks and Mortar has won six straight over a variety of surfaces at different distances and figures to be a very short price. Runner has never gone 12 furlongs however pedigree suggests that should be well within his scope. More concerning than the distance has been the competition this one has beaten with disdain. Faces some formidable runners today and will need his best performance to prevail. Must include in multi race exotics however will include a few other contenders for insurance. # 10 Old Persian comes off a nice score up north and will look to build off that victory today. Runner may like a bit more give in the ground than he will have today however should still be given serious consideration for a major slice.
BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC Race Twelve: Selections 7-11-6-5
#7 Higher Power lost all chance with a horrible start in the Awesome Again. Has seemingly recovered and is working lights out for top trainer that won this race last year. With an alert beginning Prat will guide this runner to the front and without the presence of any other real speed this runner should waltz right into the winners circle at a double digit price.
#11 Code of Honor is the leading three year old in the country and always brings his A game to each event. Connections do not travel for the weather or sightseeing they are here to win and this horse means business in the lane. The lack of pace is a bit concerning however Velazquez knows him well and will have him properly placed and poised for a major strike. #6 elate is undefeated at this distance and will be running late. Would have felt better backing this runner if more speed were signed on however this figures her swan song so would not sell too short today. #5 Yoshida always closes ground and passes runners in the lane. Do not see enough speed to back in the top slot with confidence however will be improving his position as they approach the wire.