Photo by Steve Heuertz
If you read Geo Sette’s breakdown of last year’s Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs then you know he literally crushed the cup from start to finish. Will he do it again? We’ll find out soon enough but the “smart money” is on him.
This amazing two-day Breeders’ Cup event has reached it’s 36th chapter.
Inaugurated back in 1984, it keeps getting better. The collective fields packed with size and talent.
Thoroughbred racing at its very best.
Of course this year’s installment of the Breeders’ Cup goes back to Santa Anita in California. We can expect ideal weather conditions, so as I provide my analysis I am doing so banking on a fast track and a firm turf course. Of course, if need be, I will share a thought where needed for a particular horse that may have an affinity towards the off going on the soil or on the weeds.
I could write an entire column and then some covering the extensive history of the Breeders’ Cup. It is always fascinating and beyond intriguing. Most seasoned fans and handicappers understand precisely from where I am coming. There’s one thing for certain, many of these horses will have post time odds they have never seen before, the size of each field assures that.
Quality horses at a price, awesomeness! There no other multi-race event that can provide such a significance of the “Overlays” and “Underlays” we hope to uncover.
That’s the beauty of handicapping past performances, diving deep into pedigree and realizing a horse’s behavior and willingness to give it all he has. The odds we know will be determined by the action at the windows, a beautiful thing. We are all facing one another and hopefully I can help you along the way.
As a guide, especially for the Breeders’ Cup, always keep in mind the significance of the European and Foreign-based runners. Throughout the storied 35-year history, they have had tremendous success.
It is imperative that you consider their abilities and the significance of their bloodlines, they are fabulous contenders and worthy of their presence on the track.
Ok, are you ready? 5 Breeders’ Cup Championship Races on Friday for all the Juveniles and 9 tremendously competitive Breeders’ Cup Championship races on Saturday.
As I typically do, I have dedicated countless hours to pedigree acknowledgements, film study and covering every aspect towards past performance handicapping. For all 14 Championship races, I have provided my top 4 contenders in a precise order of finish, and with some additional bullet points for perhaps one or two more horses. I’m hoping you can use my thoughts as a guide to make an informed window decision for yourself.
Ok, Let’s do this. Good luck to all! Let’s make this Breeders Cup one to remember always.
Friday, November 1st, 2019
Race # 5 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Purse $1,000.000.00 5 & 1/2 Furlongs 4:12 PM ET.
#10 A’Ali A classy looking overseas colt making his U.S. debut has shown great promise on the lawn and at the distance, hitting the exacta all 4 times, winning 3 at today’s distance. He’s got the ability to be tactical to stay close to the pace and then fire a powerful closing punch as they charge down the lane. Yeah, he needs a rapid pace, but I feel he’ll get it. This guy has proven to be game in the trenches and gets Lasix for the first time. Consistent and reliable Frankie Dettori in the saddle adds to his appeal.
#9 Four Wheel Drive This guy is one of 3 horses saddled by Wesley Ward in this race. He’s lightly raced with only two starts but both were simply fabulous, winning both. His sire, American Pharaoh, won the Triple Crown so he was purchased for an inflated $525,000.00. He too can stalk the pace with a clever ride and be a major contender as they turn for home. In many ways he’s the horse to beat. The great Irad Ortiz should add confidence to your betting tickets.
# 7 Kimari I was so impressed with this colt’s willingness and versatility. He loves the weeds and has shown the ability to be up with the pace. In his last at Keenland, after some big backing at the windows, he was bumped during his trip, was dead last and then proceeded to circle the field with a monster close. He’s got the bloodlines to be a real winner so he should not be ignored. Johnny Velazquez up adds to his appeal. He certainly adds to Trainer Ward’s opportunity to win this race. Obvious contender here.
#12 Cambria This guy has some nice pedigree. His dad, Speightstown, was fabulous on both turf and dirt and has produced many successful runners. He’s also 3 for 3, albeit vs cheaper and with two of his wins over a synthetic surface. He did turf well even though he was steadied in his trip, but still managed to get up at the wire. Tyler Gaffalione up for Wesley War. His post isn’t the best, so he will have to overcome it, but with a good trip and a rapid pace, he may be good enough to hit the board for you.
Potential Longshot: #8 Dr Simpson, he’s an overseas shipper with solid experience and has quality early speed. If he’s not challenged, he could surprise.
Race # 6 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Purse: $1,000.000.00 One Mile 4:52 EST
#2 Structor Talk about the promise for the future, this son of Palace Malice was purchased for a robust $850,000.00. He has not disappointed, winning both career starts, his debut at Saratoga and then again with a smashing, and rather game victory in the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont. He’s been working around the dogs and appears fit and ready. Jose Ortiz up for Chad Brown makes this colt a value play. There’s lots of talent in this competitive field, but he’s my top choice.
#14 Hit The Road This guy is a well-bred, rather powerfully imposing colt who has improved greatly with each start. He’s 2 for 2 at the distance and now switched to Flavian Prat in the saddle, he also has a win over this Santa Anita lawn. He’ll need some pace in front of him, but with a good trip he’s capable of a powerful close. A contender for the top spot too. Watch the board, there’s value with this colt. It will be interesting to see his backing at the window.
#12 Arizona European invader makes his U.S. debut for the trusted connections of Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore. He’s got tactical speed and trying two turns for the first time, I feel he’ll take to the added distance. He’s 5 for 6 lifetime in the money on the lawn. The pace is everything and with a smart ride, he can definitely become a menace to others as they turn for home and run down the lane. Must be respected.
# 4 Decorated Invader Nice pedigree and overall bloodlines for this colt. Purchased for $200,000, he was expected to be a runner and he hasn’t disappointed. In his last over a yielding course, he managed, though being bumped, and they took over rather convincingly in the Grade 1 Summer Stakes. Irad Ortiz up again for Chris Clement. Steady AM drills around the dogs indicate that he comes into this race fresh and fit. Dangerous with his best, capable of taking it all.
Potential Longshot: #1 Our Country Johnny V up for George Weaver, he’s had trouble in prior races, and showed some nice ability when 3rd to my top choice in the Grade 3 Pilgrim
Race # 7 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Purse: $2,000.000.00 One Mile & 1/16th. 5:32 PM ET
# 1 Donna Veloce This daughter of Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) came with a big purchase ticket for $800,000.00 and wow did this filly begin her career in dramatic fashion. Pressed early in her debut over this same Santa Anita Oval, she then blitzed the field to an easy romp of just under 10 lengths while running an incredible 91 Beyer. Yes, she stretches out going 2 turns now, but is working bullets and is hard to go against starting her for a top barn (Simon Callaghan) with the very dependable Flavian Prat up in the saddle. She has the look of a special filly even after just one race.
#6 Bast Another expensive filly like my top choice sired by Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) who comes into this race with an impressive resume winning back to back Grade 1 filly events. Hall of Fame connections of Bob Baffert and Johnny Velazquez make this horse the one to beat, especially since she was game doing this same distance last time out. She could fill what has the look of an ice cold exacta box.
#7 Wicked Whisper Make no mistakes this gal is razor sharp as she comes into this race 2 for 2. Winning her debut with absolute ease by open lengths and then a huge follow stretching out in the Grade 1 Frizette, winning going away with a very impressive speed rating. Joel Rosario rides for Steve Asmussen and she could very well sit a perfect trip. If she fires her best shot, she’s capable of taking this race to the wire. Do not ignore.
# 4 British Idiom This gal is also 2 for 2. After a conservative race time in her debut ( a 70 Beyer) she improved dramatically at Keeneland in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes, trouncing the field by 6 plus lengths. On film, this filly looks absolutely beautiful in appearance and trainer Brad Cox is confident about her. Javier Castellano up for the 3rd time adds to her appeal. She could better my rating, but in this field, she’s my 4th choice.
Potential Longshot: If the race falls apart (although not likely) # 9 Comical has been racing well on the West Coast and seems to be one tough filly as I viewed her during my film study.
Race # 8 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Purse: $1,000,000.00 One Mile 6:12 PM ET
# 11 Sharing Those that are close to me know that I found this filly intriguing at first asking when she ran her debut in a turf sprint at Saratoga. She has absolute wonderful pedigree, sired by Speightstown with a dam of Shared Account. Anyway, in her debut at 10-1, she should have won the race but was buried behind horses and was forced to alter her strides. Since then she has run two impressive races and is working well coming into this BC Race. I simply see a fabulous talent in her and feel she’s capable of bossing this very competitive field at a very generous price. Manny Franco back up for Graham Motion. Look for her to break alertly, be tactical and show her best turn of foot as they come down the lane.
#9 Albigna A powerfully imposing filly makes her U.S. debut and she’s 3 for 4 on the weeds. There’s no doubt she’ll need an honest pace, but she’s a game racehorse who can mount a menacing late close vs this field. Keep in mind that overseas she faced some classy fillies, and has the ability to be a major contender here if she takes to the Santa Anita Lawn.
# 4 Abscond A Nice filly by Blame(Arch) coming from a consistent Eddie Kenneally barn. The very confident and consistent Irad Ortiz is up again after winning the Grade 1 Natalma on a yielding course. I like her workout pattern over at Keeneland and there’s no doubt she’ll have some fight early with what could be a moderate to fast pace. There’s a chance she’ll be ignored some at the windows, so watch the board. She’s a contender in this very evenly matched field of Juvenile Fillies.
#14 Etoile European invader from top barn comes in with solid pedigree and in the skillful hands of Frankie Dettori. She gets Lasix and can overcome this post with a good trip and a generous pace. Worth a steady look in the paddock and post parade.
Potential Longshot: # 5 Daahyeh Well maybe not a long price because she’s been very consistent and reliable overseas ( 5 for 5 in the money on the lawn). She fits with this field which could be the most competitive of the day. Cannot ignore completely, to be used on your multi race wage tickets and Triple/Superfecta boxes.
Race # 9 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Purse: $2,000.000.00 One Mile & 1/16th 7:03 PM ET
# 1 Dennis’ Moment This is one tough colt. After losing his rider in his debut at Churchill Downs, he won by the length of the stretch going 7 panels posting a huge Beyer #. Raced back at Churchill in the Grade 3 Iroquois, was significantly supported at the window and cruised to victory. This son of Tiznow is bred to run long and was ambitiously purchased for $400,000.00. His morning drills both at Churchill and on Santa Anita soil have been absolutely fabulous. This is a race that typically brings a Kentucky Derby candidate to the carpet, and I feel this guy has what it takes. It’s a nice field, but he will be tough to beat. Irad Ortiz up for Dale Romans provide solid connections.
# 6 Eight Rings He’s an impressive colt for sure coming out of the Bob Baffert barn with Johnny Velazquez up for the 2nd time. He’s got raw speed and is proven at the distance. Like my top choice, he was purchased at a big number( $520,000). This son of Empire Maker has already run big over this track and should prove to be a major threat as they run down the lane past the 1/8 pole.Must be used in most exotic wages.
# 5 Scabbard A solid colt for sure and I noticed an imposing way about him during my film study. The connections are solid, Eddie Kenneally switches pilots to Hall of Famer Mike Smith. He’s 3 for 3 in the money and steadied some when 2nd to my top choice. This guy can definitely improve off his last and should be considered a contender with this group of promising 2 year old colts.
# 7 Anneau d Or This guy began his career in dramatic fashion, going four wide to trounce his maiden rivals at Golden Gate. He’s obviously stepping into richer company, but he’s got the bloodlines to be special and he also was purchased at a pretty penny. Watch the board for support on this guy and also measure up his behavior in the paddock and post parade. Make no mistakes, he’s talented.
Potential Long-shot: # 2 Wrecking Crew This has been a consistent colt who is stretching out after sprinting at Delmar. Paco Lopez gets the mount for Peter Miller and I feel he’s capable of a strong close where he could hit the board in your deeper gimmicks.
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
Race # 4 The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Purse: $1,000,000.00 7 Furlongs 2:55pm EST
#4 Come Dancing Speedy mare by Malibu Moon has had a fabulous 2019 campaign filling the exacta all five starts, while winning four of them, and three of them rather convincingly at a very short price. She’s a hard-hitting gamer with some significant Beyer figures, she comes into the race with a set of quality breezes. Keep in mind her only loss was to the superb Midnight Bisou and in that race she stumbled to boot. This is one tough filly and hard to go against even in this race with some real seasoned sprinters. Look for Castellano to measure them up and get into a forward gear in the final eighth. The only question with her is whether she’ll like the Santa Anita soil as she’s done all of her racing on the East Coast.
# 9 Spiced Perfection Steady performer who is consistent and reliable from a top Peter Miller barn. Now the switch to Johnny V after showing some heart winning a Grade 2 event at Keeneland where she stumbled and had a challenging trip. A horse for the course at Santa Anita, placing in the money all 5 times she’s raced on this oval, winning two of them. 15 for 18 lifetime in the money proves her consistency. I originally had her as my 3rd choice, but moved her to 2nd based on this filly’s propensity to hitting the board.
# 1 Covfefe Let’s just say this filly is rather dynamic. She’s a Grade 1 winner and clearly has a nose for the wire, winning 5 of her 7 lifetime starts. Joel Rosario up for Brad Cox, a combination of consistency. In addition, she’s been working well at Churchill Downs, including her must recent bullet breeze in .59.4. So, there’s so much to like about her, but you won’t get much value at the windows. Still, as a handicapper, you need to be decisive. I originally had her listed as my 2nd choice and only bump her to 3rd for reasons I described above. I’m confident she will show speed and make her presence felt, just feeling she may fall just a little short today.
# 7 Selcourt This mare owns a sensational win at this distance over this Santa Anita soil going back to the Spring of 2018 in the Grade 2 Santa Monica. Since then, although she’s raced well to compete, clearly, she hasn’t been the same. John Sadler now saddled Luis Saez and there’s optimism that she’ll regain that form, she is 9/10 in the money at Santa Anita. With that said as my 4th choice I believe she should be considered especially in your deeper gimmicks and perhaps she will better my rating. Lastly, she comes into this race with a bullet 5 panel drill handily over this same strip.
Potential Longshot: Only to mention # 3 Heavenhasmynikki because she’s never been better winning her last 3 , but she’ll need a career best to beat my choice above.
Race # 5 The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, Purse: $1,000,000.00 5- and 1/2-Furlongs 3:33 PM EST
#10 Eddie Haskell Wow, did I spend a crazy amount of time on this race, there’s just so much to consider and many of these colts and geldings simply love the lawn and have a great nose for the finish line. Even still, after a pretty arduous task, my choice here is this gelding from the productive Mark Glatt barn with Joel Rosario back up for this BC event. He’s all in 14 for 14 in the money at the distance on the lawn and a fabulous 18/21 lifetime on the weeds. I like the way he’s working and his 2019 campaign has been top notch consistent. Yeah, until proven otherwise he’s got the look of a grade 3 horse, but this gelding just may be in the right spot to be tactical behind what could be a rapid pace and have enough late for a final surge to victory.
# 1 Totally Boss This gelding comes off his career best race, an impressive 4 wide move into the clear to win the grade 3 Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs, which added to his 2019 brilliance. Racing well with each step up in class, winning 4 of his 5 starts. So now George Arnold gets the skills of Jose Ortiz and the rail where he’ll need an exceptional ride to find a lane ( which I’m thinking may not be too difficult with a nice break out of the gate). Just hoping he likes the lawn at Santa Anita.
# 2 Pure Sensation Another gelding who’s a real steady performer and comes off 3 straight triple Beyer races. This guy obviously has an affinity to the weeds, winning 13 of his 26 lifetime starts on the grass, 11 of which are at today’s distance. Paco Lopez gets the mount for a smart barn who believes in his chances. There’s no doubt you’ll hear from this guy early. hHe’s got high speed and may very well look to steal this on his own. He’s my 3rd choice because I’m feeling he’ll be pressed hard and eventually get passed by my top two selections.
# 11 OM This guy is another reliable turfer who has raced in many classy fields facing many established Grade 1 and Grade 2 caliber horses, so he does have a class advantage over many in this field. He’s 17 for 26 lifetime in the money on the lawn and he’ll be ridden this time by Manny Franco which I believe is a positive change. He should be looking for a nice lane to fire his best as they turn for home and he just may have the kind of pace he needs to close as powerful as he has done before. Lastly, he comes into this race with two bullet works, one of them in superb fashion from the gate.
Potential Longshot: # 3 Imprimis Rider switch to Frankie Detorri and he’s 7 for 10 lifetime at the distance, interesting for sure.
Race # 6 The Breeders’ Cup Big Ass Fan’s Dirt Mile Purse: $1,000,000.00 One Mile Est PT 4:10 PM EST
# 5 Omaha Beach You just gotta love this three-year old’s heart. Last year it took a while for this colt to get going, but after trouncing a MSW field for his maiden win in the slop, he’s been absolutely sensational. I’m sure everyone has it stored in their mind that he was to be the Kentucky Derby favorite after following with victories in the Grade 2 Rebel and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, but illness set him back. He returned and performed brilliantly going six panels over this same SA oval. There’s nothing I love to see more over the track than true grit and guts and this colt is as game as you will find. To me they have him to beat.
# 3 Spun to Run I was certainly very impressed by watching his last and dynamic 110 Beyer Blowout at Parx. He’s a nice-looking horse who keeps improving and I’m not sure he’s done yet. He now picks up the steady hands of Irad Ortiz and he’s in a position to become a stalking presence and once again proving that a mile (and he’s 2 for 2) is his very best distance.
# 2 Improbable Many folks forget that this guy was the post time favorite in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes this past Spring. Make no mistake, he’s a very talented colt who has been working bullets and is 2 for 2 at the distance and he also won his racing debut over this same surface. He’s had various issues around the gate so he needs to be more professional, and if he does show more calmness, he’s good enough to beat this field or better my rating. There’s no doubt he has under-achieved this year so watch the board. As always, Bob Baffert deserves your respect.
# 1 Great Expectations This horse hasn’t won since 2017, but he’s been a hard luck loser losing close photos in his last two. He picks up Jose Ortiz as a rider switch racing for a solid Peter Eurton stable. Looking for him to mount a powerful close as the come down the lane. He’s a nice older horse and should be respected off of his last two efforts.
Potential Longshot: # 7 Coal Front This guy by Stay Thirsty has high speed and he may try to steal it on the front end and last for a share, watch the board.
Race # 7 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Maker’s Mark) Purse $2,000.000.00 One Mile & ¼ 4:54 PM EST
# 2 Sistercharlie What can I say that hasn’t been said before about this mare? Even still, worked the race as I always do with a very stringent process looking for a way to logically say she will get beat and I just couldn’t come up with one. She’s now won 6 straight Grade 1’s. Total class act, and with the powerful connections of Chad Brown and Johnny V all they need is some pace and a nice lane. She’s been working smartly too, nice breezes around the dogs which insure fitness. So it’s down the lane to the wire at even money.
# 12 Fanny Logan This is a beautiful looking filly shipping in from overseas making her U.S. debut coming in with great connections. She’s 5 for 5 at this very challenging distance which has been true to her awesome bloodlines. This outfit trains horses seriously and she gets Lasix to boot. Perhaps a gift for your exacta players at a price.
# 9 Villa Marina Another European invader who simply adores the lawn and loves the distance. This jockey Peslier is not a familiar name here in the states, but he can flat out ride. This filly faced some classy horses overseas and should be respected greatly in this field. If there’s a hot pace, keep an eye on her, she may be flying at the end.
# 7 Vasilika She’s my 4th choice out of respect for her fabulous history over the turf course, winning 11 of her 12 races and running 2nd in the other over this Santa Anita turf course, think about that, are you kidding me? This is a very very good mare who can easily better my rating, but considering the talent I have listed above I must list her as my 4th choice.
Potential Longshot: # 4 Billesdon Brook This filly is making her US Debut and she’s won 5 of her 17 races on Turf, and hitting the board in 6 others.
Race # 8 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Purse: $2,000.000.00 going 6 Furlongs Est PT: 5:36 PM ET
# 6 Shancelot A dynamic three-year old with the highest speed in a race packed with speed. Handicapping this race was a serious head scratcher based on the multiple levels of brilliance in this field. I’m selecting this colt because he should get the lead and even though others breathing down his neck the rider switch to Jose Ortiz may prove to be the difference. His works for this race are simply insane. This horse wants to run and he runs VERY fast. Keep in mind the super human effort from Omaha Beach who defeated him in his last, his only loss at 6 panels.
# 4 Mitole How can anyone not love and appreciate this horse? He’s had an outstanding 2019 campaign and could arguably be considered for Horse of the Year if he wins this race. Never off the board in 13 career starts, winning 9, a four-time Grade 1 winner, he’s as game as you will find in the Sport of Kings. Santana up as always for Asmussen, this should be one fun stretch run as they pass the eighth pole.
# 1 Catalina Cruiser . A true fabulous sprinter who’s run only one poor race in his career, he’s perfect at the distance and over this Santa Anita oval. Rosario up for Sadler is also very appealing, there’s lots to like about this horse but I have to side with the Tigers I have listed above. Can he win this race on his best day? Absolutely, but you just can’t kiss all the girls, or in this case, all the boys….
# 7 Whitmore Classy gelding veteran who may come flying down the lane facing an electric pace. 16 for 17 lifetime in the money folks, this is one serious dude. He’s won at this distance 10 times and now switches to the ever-capable hands of Flavian Prat. He’s been beaten by many in this field, but is deserving of consideration because of his relentless ability to close into a fast pace going 6 panels.
Potential Longshot: Along with Whitmore who I mentioned as my 4th choice, # 3 Firenze Fire may very well be overlooked with Irad Ortiz riding for the very successful Jason Servis
Race # 9 The TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile Purse $2,000,000.00 One Mile on the Turf 6:20 PM EST
# 11 Uni A beautiful mare, complete and professional multiple grade 1 winner who loves the weeds and the distance (winning 6 of 7 starts lifetime and never once out of the money). Trained of course by Chad Brown who once again saddles Joel Rosario. The only question I asked myself is whether she will adapt to the Santa Anita turf. I like the way she’s been working for this race and in my opinion she’s the one to beat. Look for her to be flying as they turn for home with a wonderful turn of foot.
# 3 Space Traveler This colt showed strong promise in group 2 company overseas, and feel he’s been shipped for his U.S. debut for a reason. Let’s call it “ambitiously” entered into this big Breeders Cup field feeling his connections are confident he’ll make some noise, I feel there will be enough pace for him to mount a powerful close as long as he gets a good trip.
# 9 Circus Maximus European Invader who gets blinkers and Lasix for the smart connections of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. This guy simply loves the distance and deserves great consideration for all your tickets and gimmicks. On his best day considering the company he’s faced pretty often overseas, he’s capable of taking this whole race. I’m just not convinced he’s good enough to beat my top choice, the gal who’s always on a mission.
# 6 Got Stormy Four-year old filly is a consistent performer and most recently has run her very best races. I love her bloodlines and her stat lines winning 7 times at the distance and she’s also working very well for this race. The Mark Casse barn is often successful in spots like this, so watch the board and the pace. I’m expecting her to be close to the pace, perhaps sitting 3 or 4 back showing a stalking and rather menacing presence as they come down the lane. She’s a legitimate contender in this race for sure.
Potential Longshot: # 8 El Tormenta This gelding’s last was his best, and he’s also 3 for 3 in the money at this distance.
Race # 10 The Longines Breeders Cup Distaff One Mile & 1/8th Purse: $2,000,000.00 7:00PM EST
# 4 Midnight Bisou It’s almost criminal to disrespect a filly like this and not have her as your top choice. Trust me, I tried my very best to find a logical recipe to be confident about beating this great filly in this field, but I simply failed. She’s 7 for 7 in 2019 winning multiple Grade 1’s. In her last she wasn’t dynamically impressive but she didn’t have a good trip and I feel that perhaps she was still feeling the effects of her previous battle with Elate. It was simply an amazing race she won by her nose. This filly is obviously one of the best in training, she’s never been off the board in 18 career starts and she’s won 3 of 4 over this soil. It’s a short price, but vs this bunch, sometimes you just have to take it and spin for a greater exacta or trifecta wager…. I’m going to watch and appreciate her greatness and will provide some useful contenders to fill your gimmicks for a nice profit.
# 5 Dunbar Road Three-Year Old filly who recently faced older horses in her last, the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland and did not fire her best shot, but I’ve been very impressed with her ability while watching her in my film study. She really is a physical beauty who is rather aggressive with some great kick to her step. She’s been lightly raced with only 6 lifetime starts, but always seems to get significant backing at the windows and she’s shown versatility in winning over a sloppy track (There was a pool of water at Saratoga for her grade 1 Alabama win). I do not think she’s ready to beat my top choice, but she may be ready to run her very best race and grab 2nd money. Expect solid support at the windows once again because you are dealing with the connections of Jose Ortiz and Chad Brown, so this may end up being a classic $8.00 to $10 exacta, hey what’s wrong with getting 4x your money in return?
# 11 Blue Prize This mare is a hard-hitting performer who has raced well numerous times in some very big races. She’s 20 for 22 lifetime in the money, winning 9 times. She also loves the distance and is coming off back to back victories. Her running style suggests that she will be a big threat to hit the board once again and perhaps make this a Triple everyone can share a piece of.
# 1 Paradise Woods This daughter of Union Rags loves this Santa Anita Strip and should show nice tactical speed which may very well position her for a piece of the purse. She shouldn’t be ignored when your making your plays with your deeper gimmicks
Potential Longshot # 3 Street Band She’s got a great work for the race (59.4 Breezing at CD) and she’ll likely get a confident ride from Sophie Doyle.
Race # 11 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf 12 Furlongs One Mile & 1/2 Purse: $4,000.000.00 7:40PM EST
# 11 Arklow As you know, 12 furlong races are serious business and this is one serious field. It’s so serious that I decided to make a serious selection and am calling for an upset. This guy not only has the proven ability to make the distance, but he is one that is always coming at you. I have great respect for the Brad Cox barn and I love the switch to Javier Castellano. His recent works have been sharp and he has the look of a horse that could be sitting on a big race. This son of Arch can really ramble when he’s full of run. I watched his last race several times, he was dead game and I felt he still had more left in the tank. I’m hoping he gets a perfect trip and beats the Champion to the wire.
# 9 Bricks and Mortar This is the Champ, unbeaten in 2019 and as awesome as you will find in training today. Irad Ortiz up again for Chad Brown, and there’s been some speculation of whether or not he’ll make the distance, I believe he will as his bloodlines solve for it, but even still his runs in the stretch all year have been textbook. I’m feeling that perhaps with the added distance this time he won’t be the first to the wire, but because of his Grade 1 class and amazing, somewhat ‘Push button” success, he must be considered on every one of your exotics tickets. He’s won 10 of his 12 starts on the lawn, finishing 3rd twice, so this time I’m feeling a 2nd place finish.
# 5 Anthony Van Dyck This is one serious European invader who’s bred to run forever and comes from a hugely successful barn. Ryan Moore in the saddle adds to his appeal. The distance is to his liking and he’s got the maturity of a much older horse. Expect this three-year old to be ready for a top effort. He should be moving in stride with my top two horses as they charge down the stretch in the final furlong.
# 12 Channel Maker Multiple Grade 1 winner who has shown great ability to take this distance was beaten by my top choice just 4 weeks ago in early October. He hasn’t had the best of campaigns in 2019 but he’s a threat on his best day. Bill Mott and Johnny V assure that there will be action at the windows. He’s my 4th choice based on his complete body of work. My greatest concern is that for some reason he’s 0 for 3 on this Santa Anita turf course.
Potential Longshot: # 4 Mount Everest Solid pedigree and this young guy makes his U.S. Debut for a top barn.
Race # 12 The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Purse $6,000,000 One Mile & 1/4 Est PT 8:44 PM EST
The Crown Jewel of the Breeders’ Cup Weekend can really be a Classic!
# 10 Vino Rosso There isn’t a horse in training who I have watched more race replay and film on. Too many racing fans have overlooked the 2019 year he has had, but they should never overlook his heart. This son of Curlin has run hot and cold at times, but he changed his ways entirely becoming a tactical threat and much more as a four-year-old. We all know what happened at the Jockey Club Gold Cup. It’s part of the game and he was just the unfortunate one. The most important factor here for me is that this gutty horse ran a fabulous race over this track in the Grade One Gold Cup at this same distance. I also love the way Irad Ortiz rode him in his last and I’m happy he’s back in the saddle. I’m convinced this guy hasn’t run his very best race, so perhaps now It’s his opportunity to do so.
# 6 Elate I believe in this gal, many handicappers have it programmed in their minds that they could never take a mare going against a pack of seasoned boys. This is one classy mare, a three time winner at the distance, 13 for 15 lifetime according to equibase on the board over a fast track filling the exacta 12 times. There’s no doubt she can be close early and perhaps even closer as the boys get near. I am feeling she’ll have the option to sit 3rd or 4th for the first 6/8ths or move up aggressively and have some of the boys chase her. I like her works for the race and I believe Jose Ortiz will give it all he has for Bill Mott. This multiple Grade One winning lady should prove her value with the boys and run an exciting race.
# 8 McKinzie Another dynamic multiple Grade One winner comes into the race fresh and fit. Overall he’s been a disappointment this year winning just 2 of his 6 starts while taking in truckloads of money at the windows. He may very well be the field’s most talented horse. His speed figures are fabulous and very consistent, there’s a major move with the rider change to Joel Rosario with Mike Smith riding Yoshida. Bob Baffert wants this and I will take for granted that this colt will fire one of his best efforts, I’m just not sure he wants this distance.
# 11 Code of Honor This guy has been on a great roll, and in many ways, he’s had a special 2019. There’s no doubt if he runs big here he’ll be considered as the top 3 year old, and perhaps Horse of the Year. Shug believes in this colt, as do many followers of the sport, so he’s deserving of any and all considerations. He’s proven to take the distance, but he has yet to run at Santa Anita which perhaps could be the difference in his finish.
Potential Longshot # 5 Yoshida If there’s a crazy pace and he gets a perfect trip, this guy can come thundering home. He can easily be the best pure closer in the race.