Lexington, Kentucky- The Breeders Cup returns to Kentucky for the 9th time, but this year the Cup won’t be in Louisville, they decided to have it to where most horses are bred and sold every year, that is Lexington, KY more specifically Keeneland Racecourse. This year marks the 32nd running of the Breeders Cup, but they haven’t run it at a smaller venue since 2007 when they raced at Monmouth Park.
Personally, I prefer California as the weather is gorgeous this time of year, plenty to do in LA, and the facility handles the crowd so easily. In fact, I love everything about California, but three things…..the Three Stooges, umm sorry I meant the Three Stewards.
Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, & Tom Ward….If these names don’t ring a bell, these are the three Stewards employed by California and work at Santa Anita Park. These are also the three individuals who ignored Bayern’s blatant foul in last year’s BC Classic. In all fairness, one of the above listed individuals is actually Moe as the vote was 2 to 1 in favor of no DQ of Bayern, so whoever you are that wasn’t wearing 3D glasses, apologies. To the other 2 idiots, resign.
As a disclaimer, I had no economic benefit if Bayern was kept up or taken down, but many others did. If you had Bayern consider cancelling your life insurance policy, partying every night, and quit your job because you are one of the luckiest bastards alive. Should similar events occur this year, I am quite certain the Bluegrass stewards won’t be so kind to you. If you are one of the unlucky ones that needed Bayern disqualified then I only hope you are now able to sit down, as that pounding you took from behind was brutal.
As a horse owner, handicapper, but mainly a fan I spread the word of racing from both my personal life to my professional life so I happen to know people from all walks of the world and what a horrific display occurred for racing when the masses tuned in to see our “Super Bowl”, the worst part is I spent the next 2-3 weeks talking to hundreds of people about the debacle. I will admit both folks in the industry and casual observers said, “it’s racing” or “he didn’t knock him down” so keeping score I would say 10% of the people saw no infraction much like the Three Blind Mice decided, but the other 90% saw it the same way I did.
Interesting enough, last year the NFL referees made some horrible calls, but the next day admitted their error. In 2010, Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game and umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly called a runner safe destroying his perfect game, he later tearful apologized.
So what did the Santa Anita Stewards do days after the event? Stuck by their bad call!!! Pathetic….Pathetic.
Ok, so it won’t be 80 and sunny with any humidity, but we are in the Bluegrass state with brain cells in the judges’ stand. If your listening Breeders Cup powers that be, strongly consider moving the event around, I’ll buy a jacket and gloves to stay warm, I just don’t want to own stock in Vaseline.
No Changes were made to menu as we remain at 13 Cup races total. My favorite race that was eliminated after the 2013 running (Marathon) will still be contested as a graded stake on The Friday undercard with a hometown entrant of mine going to the gate, I have added that race to menu and goes after the Distaff.
I must admit, California was an easy place to bet as the speed bias was prevalent while East Coast shippers, specifically NYer’s had minimal success, that playing field has been completely leveled at Keeneland. Additionally, the rain that Lexington has got all week as well as the cool weather will play right into the Europeans hand as both soft footing and cooler temperatures are preferred for their equines.
Both Friday’s & Saturday’s undercard races are scintillating. If you are a horse player, be prepared to be in heaven for 2 days, my gang will be.
From wagering option menu we will still have .10 cent Superfecta’s available on all races as well as .50 cent Pick 3’s, (2) .50 Pick 4’s, and Trifecta’s available, as well as a .50 Pick 5 for both days.
The weather leading up the event has been seasonal temps with steady precipitation; the forecast for both Friday and Saturday call for mild temps and sunny with little to no chance of precipitation, good weather which should allow for a fair playing racing strip. The slightly cooler temps along with the give to the ground should also be a big plus for the European runners.
Enough chatting, let’s look a little deeper into the races:
Race 6 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
What a perfect way to kick off Cup weekend in a deep and evenly matched race. The Euro’s three race winning streak was snapped but they do bring back a strong hand this year, but NA is well represented too. In the 8 running’s, the shortest priced winner has been 2.50 to 1 and the longest priced horse was 12.50 to 1, so despite the bulky field, the race has run pretty formful.
#8 Airforce – Hard to argue with anyone backing undefeated colt who has done nothing wrong in his two tilts winning by daylight in both not needing to leave Kentucky to do so. A local spin gives him a big leg up as we know he can handle the course which is a question most other runners need to answer, the downfall is I have had zero personal luck betting trainer Casse and have always felt he fails on the big days more than any other trainer in the game, can he buck the trend?
#14 Hit It A Bomb – Sentimental pick if you’re a baseball fan following the World Series, but despite sentiments this guy is a very capable runner. His two spins in Ireland were fantastic, especially like how the wagering public has backed him. Gets to shed wait for this run, back across the pond they are betting him like he is the next coming, the blood is there if ships well and if moves forward, they are running for 2nd money.
#13 Cymric – Gosden runner is the lesser known entrant for stable on Cup weekend, but he brings a nice resume having run 2nd as the favorite on the Arc undercard with a 112 figure. To me he looks like a classic horse to play against, but on his best run he would be a major player.
A great race to kick-off the weekend, despite the deep full field, I see the winner coming from one of my numbers or maybe a 4th or 5th choice, just don’t see the infield tote board lights getting tested here, but the top two Euro aces drew the two outside posts so one never knows.
Race 7 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
Betting favorite (Goldencents) scored for the 1st time last year in the 8 running’s, hard not to see the trend continuing.
#3 Liam’s Map– He was on his hands and knees in the Whitney when money Mike was riding him like he was in the Sprint clicking off some very fast fractions only to be picked up late by the very talented Honor Code in the last jump at the wire. That effort convinced me he could fit in the Classic, but I knew his momma and she did her best work going 6F so maybe there is distance limitations. Pletcher craftily cuts him back to a mile, which is a perfect recipe for BC trophy, 7 for 7 1st or 2nd in his career. Simply outclasses these and will run them off their feet similar to what happened last year, worthy of the short price.
#8 Wicked Strong– Look up and down the page of the company he’s been keeping, this actually would be considered a class drop. He certainly gave some early indications he would be a great one, but despite the nearly 2 million on is card, I would say he has been a disappointment, maybe a better statement would be he just hasn’t kicked down the door to be one of the greats. Not sure the cutback is really what he wants although he did break his maiden at this distance. The 2nd most talented horse in the race, will be on the scene late.
#5 Lea– Dubai has a reputation for taking the starch out of a horse, he did run a super game 3rd over there but since returning has only managed slices while burning money. Maybe he’s starting to just get long in the tooth or maybe he just needed to get his feet back under him. Mott has gotten them back ready in the past after being across the pond (Royal Delta), have mixed feelings but on his best day he could give Liam a run to the wire.
Hard to bet against the chalk, with other speed signed on he could end up even money which would be a very square price, just feel he simply is a notch above this group in career form. Short priced popular winner.
Race 8 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf
Full field and tons of value, history has shown this to be a perplexing race. In the 8 running’s, a favorite never won until last year when Lady Eli stormed by everyone. She was a special filly, but looked very special coming into the race; I don’t see that same look of anyone in the renewal. The Europeans have won this race 2 times boding well for NA contingent.
#12 Gliding By– Needed to draw in off the AE list as all she has on her resume is a maiden breaker, before discounting that it was a 12 horse field and she passed the other 11 fairly easily. Just the fact that homebred connections sent her south of the border tells me there is more in the tank, what better stage to have the unveiling. Should be a healthy price and a good risk vs reward proposition, adds Lasix, longshot special.
#10 Illuminate- The Europeans never send their 1st stringers here which is one of the most amazing part of Cup weekend especially since they have so much success, this lass has the look of a serious runner as she has terrorized England including a score at Royal Ascot against 18 foes. Before you get too excited, she hasn’t been this distance yet and is light in pedigree out of an unraced dam that has had many foals flop, the Euro’s best chance to get a third trophy in this event, can’t get better connections with Hannon training and Dettori riding.
#5 Ruby Notion- Likely pace setter (although blinks off signal Ward wants her to rate) was able to get clear from 26 rivals at Ascot so assuming the stretch-out will allow her to be loose on the lead, sure there is some other speed signed on in here, but most everyone else wants to stalk & pop. Ward knows his way around a 2 year old, you will know her early, but the real question is will you know her late. Any speed bias that develops would mover her way up.
I am playing against the public choice Harmonize as this race has the look of an ALL button for multi leg wagers with the potential of a price scoring. I know Harmonize has trained lights out and her past performances can’t really can’t find a hole in, call it a hunch but I think just about anyone could win this, do not be afraid to have an imagination, I sure do.
Race 9 Breeders’ Cup Distaff
Despite the headliner Beholder opting for the Classic, we have a very solid full field of distaffers looking to take a shot a division supremacy. The bulky well rounded field should allow for a great betting race especially with the likely favorite getting the 14 hole.
#12 Got Lucky– Really liked her last where she stalked and popped late to run her career best Fig locally, since her return from Florida earlier this year she hasn’t run a bad one including a solid runner-up try in the Personal Ensign, has an experience edge against a bunch of these well-meant 3 year olds. Will need some pace to run at, but with a full field signed on I think she is sitting right in the cat bird seat to have a big chance at what should be very fair odds.
#14 Sheer Drama– Enters this as the deserving favorite as homebred hasn’t been worse than 2nd in over 2 years on the main track, working well in Florida, no reason to think she’s not ready to run another big one. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I just get the feeling that since there are so many good ones here she might win a battle or two in this race but lose the war, hence I likely will be betting against her.
#1 I’m a Chatterbox– A bunch of 3 year olds in here that likely will make noise going forward, but I like this one the best mainly as she is very versatile and can run from on or off the pace. AM locals works show she is geared up to run another big one, hasn’t missed the board this season that is saying a lot considering the company she has kept, not thrilled with the fence but she did win from there at the Fairgrounds earlier this year.
14 of the 31 editions have been won by the betting favorite so traditionally this has been one to watch but not really make any cash, not the case their year at all as the favorite will be a lukewarm 3 or 4 to 1. I been handicapping races a long time, this group is as evenly matched as I have ever saw, and I don’t even see a true pitch in the race. Must bet race.
Race 10 Marathon
This was my favorite BC race, a shame they cancelled it, hopefully one day it will be back on the menu. In the 6 BC running’s, the shortest price winner was 6 to 1 (was a 10 horse field) so tossing the favorite is usually a great idea. This running seems like another classic setup as the favorite Neck n Neck has 1 win in the last two seasons, the fact remains none of runners have experience at 14 furlongs on the main track, intriguing.
#5 Chairman Garey– Do you believe in Santa Claus? I do. At first glance this 30 to 1 shot could be easily dismissed but let’s dig deeper into it, the biggest question in a race like this is who can go the distance. Only 3 starters signed on have been this far, this guy is one of them. In fact, he just went 2 ¼ miles in last so this is a cut back. Stable gets Borel to sign on and this is his only mount on the day. Trainer hitting at a 25% clip, horse has shown versatility to run from on or off the pace, 11 of 13 on the board this season, primed to run the race of his life.
#14 Zambian Dream– Lightly raced Chile invader looks like he has taken to US racing fairly well, guess it’s hard not to when you have Pletcher at the controls. I didn’t know the breeding so I looked it up, he has a dosage index of 1.93 with a CD of .50 that translates to being able to run all day. The hood comes off (Pletcher hitting 25% with that move) so it appears they are going to try to make a bold sustained late run, Javier has been aboard for 2 of his spins, that can only help, another 20 to 1 ML who will outrun his odds despite the far outside draw.
#10 Fast Away– Like my top pick, he will be tested for class as traditional Thistledown shippers don’t make it to Cup weekend. Not like my top pick however, he has never been this far so the distance is still a question but since he is a 3 year old he gets a weight break and his blood shows a dosage index of 2.33 with a CD of .80 which should translate to the stretch out not being a problem.
The Parx prep for this (Greenwood Cup) has the top 4 finishers listed to go to the gate with the 1-2 finishers the likely two betting choices in here. While both of those two are headliners facing much better (sure they have a decided class edge), the playing field gets leveled when you ask Kershaw to pitch 10 innings or Peyton Manning to play at 39 after neck surgeries. Sure they are great, but even the best when put to the brink can fold. Do not let the tote board deter you.
Race 3 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly
Typically a chalkish type race (although the last 2 years bombed out), I expect the trend to reverse back to the logical players as we do have a classic East versus West showdown which includes Rachel Alexandra’s second foal (Rachel’s Valentina) and these two chased most away with only 10 going to the gate.
#10 Songbird– I heard about this filly before she even went to the gate as the word was she was very special. Rick Porter keeps most of his stock in the east so that fact she stayed put tells me what a great job Hollendorfer had been doing and how much he likes her. The barn buzz is she could beat the boys, with that said, she’s the best bet of the day since Rachel’s Valentina will take a lot of tote action creating a nice win mutuel on this filly.
#8 Dothraki Queen- Trainer McPeek is a Kentucky based boy, so it’s nice to see him have a very live local runner. Naysayers will note the Beyer Fig retracement, but the race was run pedestrian on an off track which gives her an excuse. She did run the rail in her last two so, but each effort she pulled Lanerie naturally into the race, I might be reaching a bit with her but her running style appears to have a shot at a slice.
#9 Rachel’s Valentina- I was a huge favorite of this gal’s momma (although she would have gotten smoked if she ever faced Zenyatta whom she ducked) and this filly has the look of a runner, working superbly, the all-star trainer connections only add to the appeal. Unlike her main opponent though, this is her first go round at two turns which is always a big step. Pletcher is a master at having babies come out firing, her best Fig doesn’t touch Songbird’s worst Fig….hmmm, needs to grow up fast to beat my top pick.
The word is out on Songbird, I got on the train as well. With technology providing replay access, tweets, etc… The smart money will show up on Songbird making her between even money to 8/5 and if some sentimental money comes in on TAP & Rachel Valentina fan base then that could creep higher. I think she has an 80% chance to win, so based on that 3/5 would be acceptable.
Race 4 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint
The past 4 years this race has been run at 6 ½ furlongs due to Santa Anita’s configuration, here they are going 5 ½ furlongs which is a distance that has never been contested in this series. Very solid group including the defending champ Bobby’s Kitten, but a group with more questions than answers.
#1 Pure Sensation– It took the connections 3 years to figure out this guy was suited for the infield going short, his last three tries on that surface/distance have produced wins. Only has been out twice this season, but the public backed him strongly both times, coincidentally, the best two Figs of his career. Hate the rail draw, but he overcame that in 14’ at the Spa going the same trip. Does get a class test as this will be his first Grade I, I get the feeling we haven’t seen his best yet.
#12 Ready For Rye – Never off the board in his 9 career tries so far and he’s another one that has found a home on sod being a perfect 2 for 2. Albertrani has had a tough year, but that can be fixed in a hurry if this guy gets unsaddled in the winner’s circle. Javier jumps to defending champ Bobby’s Kitten but that might be loyalty to the Ramsey’s, Victor a capable fill-in. Interchangeable with my top pick, major player.
#3 Undrafted– Always seems to be running on late for minor spoils, but that changed this year when he won at Royal Ascot beating 14 rivals. Only 2 wins in last 2 years says his ceiling might be another 3rd or 4th, but in race packed with some blazers, you never know when it can fall in the lap of a proven closer.
A race that could yield any type of result especially with all the speed signed on. I didn’t even mention the filly Lady Shipman that could go to the post as the favorite but she is tackling boys and graded company for the 1st time, so she’s got her work cut out. Numerous others in her also draw merit, but I really like my top two picks, they are ones to build around.
Race 5 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint
The favorite was won the last 3 renewals, typically a pretty predictable race but past fields have been small so the full field signed on adds to the intrigue.
#14 Cavorting – Once they gave up on her being a router, everything came together very nicely including two graded stakes wins at Saratoga this summer. This race is no gimme by any means as she is facing older mares for the first time plus had a horrific draw, but having bet her in her last two I see no reason not to try her again, will be hard to deny late.
#6 Super Majesty– Like the versatility she has shown racing at 4 different tracks in all 4 of her career starts, certainly looks like a fighter with a big heart. Got to Keeneland in early October and has caught the eye of the AM clockers with a bullet in her last, Hollendorfer never rushes them along so she could be ready for a major unveiling. If she answers the class test, look out.
#5 Artemis Agrotera – Likely my most perplexing pick of the weekend as she will try to do the impossible which is win a BC race off a year layoff with no preps, that is right the last time she went to the gate in a race was last November in this exact same race. Before putting a line through her, she has been training very well in the AM. If your sentimental like I am and like a good story trainer Hushion has had a tough year battling Leukemia, sure hoping she runs a big one for Mike.
This race has never been won by a wire to wire winner that does not bode well for La Verdad & Stonetastic who will both be screaming from the bell for the lead. The extra panel the girl’s race from the boys actually plays to a presser or stalker which are the likely spot any of my picks will be in. I really think Cavorting will stamp herself after this race, but a favorite can’t win every race can they?
Race 6 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf
Surprisingly, Americans have fared very well as they have won 10 of the 16 editions including 4 in a row prior to Dank’s win in 13’, despite that tidbit, the local gals are mightily outclassed, expect a Euro winner.
#3 Legatissimo– Ryan Moore has some very live mounts this weekend; she could be the livest of all. Just love the way the public has backed her, if not for two nose defeats she would be on a 6 race winning streak, versatile as she has shown winning on soft or fast footing, simply outclasses these.
#9 Miss France– Ran a game 2nd to Impassable who is tackling the Mile against boys, she actually went off the favorite against her she that effort can be excused. Only shows one run going this far, that was a 5th place finish but only a few lengths off the winner with her staying on well that day. Fabre/Dettori, does it get any better that that?
#6 Queen’s Jewel– Trainer Head brought us Goldikova so must respect anything from his barn; filly has been obliterated at the windows in France going off the choice in all 5 career tries. Her last 2 were duds, but since Freddie adds Lasix for this run I think we are going to see a much better performance. Nice to see rider make the flight across the Atlantic too, many positives.
I am very tempted to just box the 5 Euro’s in the exacta & trifecta hoping one of the longer prices get on top. Dacita also ran a nice one in her 1st stateside try from Chile, Brown has good numbers of moving them forward. I am playing the trend buster, back a Euro.
Race 7 Breeders’ Cup Sprint
Always a great BC race, but not the star studded showdown lineup as maybe other years; still a solid group and one that has yielded big prices and also logical outcomes. I am tending to think this will run as scripted.
#5 Runhappy – Love the name as every trainer and owner can only hope his horse gets a chance to “run happy” when they go to the gate. Where did this guy come from? I was front and center when he ran them off their feet in what I felt was a deep King’s Bishop at the Spa, all he did is follow that up with the local tune-up Phoenix where he got a bad rail draw and still managed to get the job done. I get the feeling he is ready to take the torch of this division; will find out how good he is.
#13 Private Zone– He’s back for his third attempt, with this looking to be his biggest chance. If Wikipedia had a poster child for professional thoroughbred race horse, this guy could easily fit the bill as he’s all heart. He looked soundly beaten Derby day only to rally back for a convincing score. His last two NY sprints he demolished both fields, but a pundit could argue his reputation allowed for uncontested leads in both of those, don’t think that will happen here so he’ll need his A game, still the deserving public pick despite poor outside draw.
#8 Wild Dude– Larry Jones is my favorite trainer, but my 1A might be Jerry, I really like how quietly he goes about his business especially in California against all the horse brain power there. This horse is competing in his 12th straight graded event and he reminds me of Kona Gold who loves to do all his work late, not the fastest of this bunch but will capitalize on any pace meltdown.
Last year I pegged Work All Week as value over 12 to 1 and he scored at 19 to 1 which was a nice overlay. A good lesson to learn is not just take a public handicappers selections and play them, more look for a risk vs reward. Sticking with that theme, these are contenders I like with their value lines: Runhappy 4 to 1, Private Zone 3 to 1, Wild Dude 8 to 1, Masochistic 9 to 1 (note has went off the betting favorite in every start except the one he was “stiffed ” in), Kobe’s Back 12 to 1, & Limousine Liberal 15 to 1.
Race 8 Breeders’ Cup Mile
This race has the feel of a Ryder Cup in golf as we have 12 entrants split down the middle each with 6 representing each side of the pond. A lot of past history for this event as Wise Dan won this twice & Goldikova captured it three straight years, the renewal doesn’t sport the recognized names but it is a deep solid field.
#12 Time Test– In this BC series, the other horse who is less heralded ships across the Atlantic and steals the show at a big wagering reward. Case in point, last year’s champ (who is back to defend his title) Karakonite came into the race off an 8th & 11th place finish. He was dismissed at 30 to 1 and stormed home from the 14 post to win going away. This Juddmonte Farm homebred has the look of a good one with his only loss going long against the co-feature favorite Golden Horn, another live mount for Ryan Moore.
#9 Esoterique- Hard knocking mare comes into this off a two race winning streak, females have made a good account themselves in here. Her page shows some serious flesh that beat her, rider Pierre Boudot decides to come over which I always view as a big plus. Trainer Fabre has won 4 Cup races but never the mile, kind of like Babe Ruth going 0 for 10, he’s due.
#3 Make Believe– Fabre’s other charge has a very high speed turn of foot, that could come in very handy especially if Obviously does his thing zipping some fractions. I picked him in this spot but he is interchangeable with my top pick, ride Peslier has won this race 3 times.
I make no mention of the US team which isn’t completely fair, Tepin has been a different gal at age 4 with ascending Beyer’s, Tourist also appears heading in the right direction, also there’s Obviously who one of these days is going to run the perfect race and have enough to contend. Unfortunately, the European group is just that much better. They swept the board last year and expect 3 European numbers to be hung up again, box all 6, you can’t go wrong.
Race 9 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
A nice mix of freshmen runners which won’t necessarily produce a Derby runner, but will certainly begin the discussion; similar to the main track filly version, this race typically runs to form and favorites have fared very well. (11 of 31 winning favorites) Some nostalgia, American Pharoah scratched out of this race last year so you never know you might be watching a future star.
#3 Greenpointcrusader- This race looks more like an Allowance race then a graded stakes as I am not goo-goo gaga over anyone, Songbird or Rachel’s Valentina would be 4/5 in here. With that said, have to land somewhere. Looks like a pro already as his speed figures are rising, also warms my heart that neither Baffert nor Pletcher have an entrant, thank you racing Gods. This will be his first go around 2 turns, but the breeding suggests that bell will be answered, my choice.
#7 Brody’s Cause– I like Dale Romans a lot, he’s a class guy and proved after the breakup with the Ramsey’s he’s a helluva horse trainer. I also like the fact he got a couple good blows in on “Indian Charlie” Eddie Musselman in there backside brawl last year. A leaner meaner Romans brings two to this dance, I like this one the best as he has a local win with better speed figures. A big detraction for me is he has been 33 & 11 to 1 in his last 2 wins, now you get under 5 to 1 against the toughest task he’s ever faced, go lightly.
#1 Conquest Big E– Actually went off 2 to 1 in his racing bow against Brody’s Cause who was 33 to 1 that day, obviously he was 2nd best but now has 2 races under his belt for the rematch. Unlike the above pick, he won’t be short odds at all in here so now is the time to take a serious look. Not an ideal draw for a youngster, but he already has the fence draw experience so let’s leave the journey to Shaun to figure out. If he stays double digits, I will be backing.
The barn bettors will likely win this race so keep a very close eye on the tote board for unusual wagering activity. The past performances show a pretty level field, O’Neill’s two also look formidable, look for a track bias or wagering angle to follow.
Race 10 Breeders’ Cup Turf
It’s pretty unusual we get the Arc winner to come stateside, we get that exact treat this Halloween as the trick will be on the other 11 runners. His arrival caused Flintshire who was the leading contender to stay home plotting a new course of action, he would have been solid 2nd choice in the wagering and rightly so since he finished 2nd in the Arc to him.
#1 Golden Horn– As a sports fan, it’s always neat when you got to see the games greats come to town. Well my friends, if you are a true fan of horse racing, this certainly is a treat for North America. Rarely does an Arc winner even entertain coming over here, only 6 in the 32 editions of Breeders Cup have tried, none has ever won the Turf. It’s a small sample, but the Arc is a taxing race, it’s always a monstrous field with it being the premier race in Europe to win. In simple terms, it’s hard to ship across the world and win another big one 3-4 weeks later. However, this just isn’t any horse. This guy started his career 367 days ago and it ends here. During that span, he was only beaten once, I expect that stat to remain intact after this race. He even gets to shed a few pounds for this run. American Pharoah might be the headliner of the weekend, but this is best horse currently on the planet, get a good seat for this one, it’s not often you can witness greatness, very popular choice.
#9 Found– Ok everyone knows I’m a big fan of this game, but for those close to me they know I like to make a dollar or two as well. I’m not surprised when Golden Horn announced he was coming, the rest of the European routers decided to stay put, this is the only other runner that decided to give it a go. With that said, O’Brien has always been a take a shot kind of guy, there are numerous Cup races this year that have you scratching your head of why he even entered. This is not one of them, this is a very nice horse. If you look closely at the past performances you will see a runner-up finish to Golden Horn, she only got beat a length. If somehow Horn stubs his toe, this could be the benefactor, for conspiracy theorist players only.
#10 The Pizza Man– Carries the biggest contender status of the US based runners, he did win the Arlington Million in August. Very nicely progressed in his career, but he’s just in too tough against the European runners. I do feel he is the best of the rest so a slice is very realistic.
Sometimes races are better to watch then bet, this falls into that category. For multi-leg players, you have your single in here. Should you play saver tickets, can’t argue with you for playing Found. Your about to witness history, enjoy.
Race 11 Breeders’ Cup Classic
The feature includes the 1st Triple Crown winner since 1978, the best female router in training, and 5 other millionaires.
#9 Honor Code– Never got to show how good he was against his generation due to injury, he has made up for lost time having a solid 4 year old campaign against the sports best. His Met Mile was amazing, morning work tab shows he’s back on his toes being ready to go. The big knock on this guy is he’s an in and outer throwing a dud in here and there as evident by his last when he was 3/5 and burned money. He also will be compromised by the pace as he’ll fall back early and make a bold run late. The talent is there, if it all comes together you could see something special happen and he’ll be at minimum 5 to 1, time for one of the good guys Shug to win the big one.
#1 Tonalist– The scratch of Beholder allows me to add this guy in this spot, shows up every start but sometimes just doesn’t knock the door the down. My biggest fear for him is soft fractions up top won’t allow him to rally into it and Honor Code has already shown a better turn of foot. If the talent meets the road, look out.
#4 American Pharoah– The Triple Crown series is very taxing, his narrow loss in Saratoga Springs finally showed a chink in his armor. He didn’t get his way that day, the result was a defeat. He did get ample time to recover but now he is asked to face the top horses not only of his generation, but in the game, sounds like a recipe for disaster. The one big plus he does have is only 9 others are signed on with no other true speed so he could get his way. If that does happen, he could waltz. I see him getting just enough pressure to see the seasoned runners going by, classic short priced vulnerable favorite.
Very good especially if you don’t like the chalk, I also wouldn’t be afraid to bet Frosted, I think they could have a big chance as well. The other 5 I just don’t see.
Good Luck and enjoy the greatest two days of racing on the Earth. As my friend Bobby says, May the horse be with you.
-Professional handicapper at TheEquineinvestor.com