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HRN Original Blog:
Head Heart & Hooves

Previewing the Breeders' Cup Race-By-Race

    My apologies for failing to provide analyses for the last two races yesterday.  I was experiencing some computer problems that have been tenuously resolved.  No matter, it's Breeders' Cup day!


BC Juvenile Turf

    I don’t have a strong opinion on this race, but based on the European exacta in the Juvenile Fillies Turf yesterday (France over Ireland), I am looking east once again.  It must be noted, however, that the three European horses I am about to discuss were all bred in Kentucky. 
The Original George Vancouver    Aiden O’Brien says his “Henry”, 3 GEORGE VANCOUVER (by Henrythenavigator) should like the firm going.  He has run second and third in two Group 1 races over his six-race career in Ireland, France, and Britain.  His two best efforts in Europe came over firm turf: his maiden win and close second in the Prix Morny.  That maiden win is the only victory of his career and he does add an extra furlong today, but George Vancover has a good shot at 8-1 coming up from the rear of the pack.
    2 ARTIGIANO has run four straight Group 2 races in Britain and looks like another dangerous horse.  He has also raced six times, caught a lot of good turf, and has only a maiden win to show for it.  The maiden win, however, was over good-to-firm turf - the quickest surface he has seen.  Artigiano has posted improving Timeform figures each race and could step forward yet again from off the pace.Dundonnell  8-1 once again.
    6 DUNDONNELL has been favored in his last three, stepping up from maiden to Group 2, and is half a length from three wins in a row.  This colt broke his maiden by a dominant 12 lengths and has been running on some firmer turf than the other two Euros.  In that maiden victory, he ran the odd distance of 7 3/4 furlongs at Lingfield.  Another who will sit off the pace, Dundonnell may have arguably better back form, but has less experience and a shorter price (4-1) than the two aforementioned entries.
    As for the domestic horses, I saw 7 BROWN ALMIGHTY break his maiden at first asking in a tough spot this summer.  He has a bad trip last time and has the right to run better here.  He should be prominent throughout and has shown some grit.  8 BALANCE THE BOOKS beat Brown Almighty last out.  This runner comes from the clouds and won his last two by a neck and a nose.  All of his career starts have been at 8.5f and one wonders if he will have enough distance here.  9 NOBLE TUNE may be the primary U.S. threat.  He has only run twice but very well, winning the G3 Pilgrim under a hand ride.  This horse could be very good.

    I will likely box the Euros in some way, odds-dependent, and use all three in muti-race wagers.

BC Filly & Mare Sprint

    9 GROUPIE DOLL needs no introduction.

Groupie Doll


    10 SWITCH is not a horse I like to bet, but she has been facing some tough company lately, including Ladies’ Classic third-place finisher Include Me Out.  I would not consider this mare a good win candidate, but she could function as a nice price in third, or even second. 
Musical Romance    Defending champion 8 MUSICAL ROMANCE is not a horse I usually bet, but she did beat the inimitable Groupie Doll this year in the Inside Information.  That was the Doll’s last loss.  It is so difficult to win these BC races back-to-back that I don’t see Musical Romance doing so, but she must be used if you bet intra-race exotics and could be considered for multi-race wagers with everybody using GD.
    1 TEDDY’S PROMISE is an interesting entry.  She has not run on dirt since doing so at the beginning of the year at Santa Anita.  Both of those races were G1’s and she beat Include Me Out in the La Brea.  It is odd that she enters this race off a fourth place start on the downhill turf, but she may just love being back and run a big one today over a course where she holds a G1 victory.

    Yeah, I’ll single the Doll in a cheap pick-4, but I’m going to back her up with Musical Romance and a little Teddy’s Promise.

 

Early Pick 4:

2, 3, 6 \ 9 \ 3, 6, 7 \ 1, 11, 12

 

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Two for two here ... nice work, Alex!
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Meet Alex Fawell 

Unlike many, I did not grow up with horseracing. My first time at the races was the 2008 Kentucky Derby. I bet on Colonel John. That fall, I had the good fortune to go to England, where I visited Ascot and Kempton. When I returned to the U.S., I was hooked. I started reading handicapping books, studying historic sire lines, watching races and going to Portland Meadows regularly. While the purses there were small, I was able to be close to the action and see firsthand the day-to-day operations of an average American racetrack.

 

Last year I moved home to Chicago. I went to Arlington for the first time this year. In the interim, I have devoted my time to understanding all aspects of horseracing  I hope to provide unique isights on handicapping perspectives and multifaceted analyses on the state of horseracing today. I will strive to write with an open mind and a willingness to learn through the writing process. I will not claim to be an expert, but I will read thoroughly, write carefully, and be honest.

 

To me, the all-time greats are Kelso, John Henry, Round Table and Yeats. Horses I like because they have won me money include Raven's Pass, Alternation, and I'll Have Another. The greatest horse I have even seen live is Zenyatta. I also enjoy the Bears, the Bulls, the White Sox, the Blackhawks, Mexican food, good Bourbon, and old-time music - specifically that played on the 5-string banjo. Thanks for reading!