Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
*Disclaimer: Pay attention to the track. If it is a paved highway favoring speed like last year, disregard the following and look at the front runners.*
Finally, it is upon us…the weekend all of us horseplayers wait all year for, Breeders’ Cup weekend. This is high class, top shelf racing at its very finest. It is a time of year, that if you are right with a few of your opinions, you may be rewarded handsomely. I am going to go through Friday’s contests with you and suggest a few ideas and hopefully strengthen your own opinions. I am going to give you my contenders, pretenders, and live long shots to fill out those Trifectas’ and Superfectas’. I have watched hundreds of replays, played out pace scenarios in my head, and the homework is finally done. They say luck happens at the crossroads where opportunity and preparation meet. Well, we are prepared, the Breeders’ Cup is a wonderful opportunity, now let’s get lucky.
BC Marathon: I am not going to sit here and tell you guys I have a strong opinion this race. It would be a bold faced lie. The only reason I will be playing this race is for a little action. I will be keeping my eyes on the tote and I will be looking for a standout visually in the paddock and post parade. I will be playing a small Pick 3 starting this race and I will be going three deep unless someone is a huge overlay or stands out visually to me. I will be using Ever Rider, Suns Out Guns Out, and Worldly. I hope to just survive here.
BC Juvenile Turf: This race I found tricky at first until I watched the replays of the European contenders. None of them seem to be too scary. I was not impressed with Giovanni Boldini or Outstrip and will be taking a stand against them. Both have been facing small fields and neither impressed me a great deal visually. As for the other two Euros, Wilshire Boulevard and Shamson, I am going to use Wilshire Boulevard in multi-race exotics and I am tossing Shamson. My top pick in here though is Bobby’s Kitten. He is just super talented and looks like the real deal. I will be keying him in Trifectas’ as well. Other horses I will throw into the multi-race wagers will be Poker Player and Bashart. I will be using Poker Player defensively as I am unsure about him really. He seems like a real nice closer though, I just worry he may prefer more ground. Bashart on the other end seems very legit to me but he is marooned out in the 13-hole. It may not matter though since he has speed and may be able to work himself out a trip. As for filling out the Tri and Super, there are bombs aplenty that I believe could hit the board. The ones I will be using are, All Cash, Got Shades, Home School, Aotearoa, Bon Accord, and Ontology.
BC Dirt Mile: This is a race where I feel as though I have a strong opinion. I really like Brujo de Olleros. I backed him last out in the Kelso and he just couldn’t catch a loose on the lead Graydar. With that being said, he seems to be becoming everyone’s buzz horse which is scaring me a little. The other one I like in here is Pants On Fire. I would like him more if he was a little more consistent (he’s burned some dough of mine in the past) and had a better post, but I do believe he has a shot here. I am against Verrazano and Goldencents. Verrazano may run well but I will let him beat me if he’s good enough. I just feel though that in his wins he has got everything his own way. That will not happen today. As for Goldencents, he is breaking from the parking lot and that will do him no favors this afternoon. Horses I think have a shot to hit the board at nice prices are Taptowne, Golden Ticket, Hymn Brook, Broadway Empire, and Holy Lute.
BC Juvenile Fillies Turf: As opposed to the BC Juvenile Turf for colts and geldings, I think the Euros have a huge shot in here. Al Thakhira has a big chance to take the cash. I was visually impressed by her and she is my top pick. With that being said, I will be using a few other fillies I found very interesting along with her in multi-race wagers. Chriselliam I thought ran a very nice race last out when she caught firm footing and upset the Shadwell Fillies Mile at Newmarket. She should enjoy the same type of ground at Santa Anita, I do believe. I will also throw in Clenor, who has done nothing wrong since coming to the states while reeling off three wins in a row in fine fashion. She’s a long shot, but I was impressed by her visually. Ready to Act, I am going to toss her in the mix as well. I think she is going to be overlooked after chucking the rider in deep stretch up at Woodbine in the Natalma. She had that race won, and I’m betting with Joel Rosario up in the irons that the kinks have been worked out and they mean business in here. The last two I am using in the exotics will be out of the Miss Grillo at Belmont, Testa Rossi and Sky Painter. They both closed well and finished noses apart on the line. The ones I will be taking a stand against are Vorda and My Conquestadory. Vorda, I just wasn’t impressed with visually. I will be scared but I am taking a stand against her. And as for My Conquestadory, she just drew awful for this. She did overcome a ton of trouble in her last, but I just cannot see that happening today against this field. Both could win I suppose, but they will do it with out me. Fillies that I think could hit the board at gigantic odds are Nesso, Kitten Kaboodle, Granny Mc’s Kitten, Street Sailing, and Dancing House.
BC Distaff: WHAT A RACE!!!! I cannot wait till this thing goes off. In my opinion, which I don’t think is unique at all, is that this is a three horse affair. To me, this is between Beholder, Royal Delta, and Princess of Sylmar. With all due respect to Beholder though, I am leaving her off my tickets and using the other two. I just feel as though the only way she wins this is if the track is favoring speed. I don’t like her at the distance and cannot picture a scenario in which she wins. She has had some easy leads lately beating on tomato cans out west. Royal Delta will give her no free rides today. As for the Royal Delta and Princess of Sylmar, this is a coin flip situation to me. I cannot separate these two. The edge might be with Princess of Sylmar because she can sit back and see what those two do up front and position herself accordingly. On the other hand though, you cannot count out Royal Delta just yet. She may not have been primed for a top effort last out. She has been working like a monster for this and we should see her very best today. I’m using Princess of Sylmar and Royal Delta and calling it a day.
As always guys, I hope I helped you strengthen your opinions or turned you onto something you may not have thought of. Just like any other old race day, when you are planning your wagers, always focus on keying off of your strongest opinions. This couldn’t be any truer for the Breeders’ Cup. If you can get one of your strong opinions home and spread as much as you can in the other legs, you can score big. And that is what I will leave you with today. Have confidence and faith in the horses you really like, key off of them, and spread as much as you can in the legs you do not quite have a good grasp on. You just may be rewarded. Good luck and good vibes. Have a winning day folks.