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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Across the Board with Mike B

Breeders’ Cup Saturday Edition: This Is What It’s All About

Mucho Macho Man wins 2013 Awesome Again Stakes.
Photo: Benoit Photo

This, my friends, is what it’s all about. It is days like this that make us love this game so much. There will be will be rivalries renewed, championships decided, and stars born. It doesn’t get much better than this for a true horseplayer, folks. Breeders’ Cup Saturday should be awesome and I personally cannot wait. Without further ado, let’s see who are contenders, pretenders, and live long shots on what should be a glorious afternoon of high class racing.


BC Juvenile Fillies: We have a very interesting race here with numerous ways to go I believe. My top contenders for this affair are Artemis Agrotera and Untapable. I give a slight edge to Untapable because she has already won going two turns. Artemis Agrotera is no slouch though. She won breaking from the rail at first asking and came back off a layoff to take the Frizette at Belmont. They both have a huge shot. A couple of price horses I may include in multi-race wagers are two game fillies in She’s a Tiger and Scandalous Act. She’s a Tiger is a gutty filly who hasn’t missed the exacta in five starts. As for Scandalous Act, she is dangerous in my eyes. She has won four of five starts and seems to possess that will to win that we all admire. One that I am torn on is Sweet Reason. She would have been one of my top picks but I keep hearing reports she is not working well in the morning out west. I may use her, or I may not, I want to get a look at her on track before I make that decision. Underneath in the Trifecta and Superfecta, I am going to toss in Secret Compass, and two huge prices in Designer Legs and Ria Antonia. I believe those three, while a step below in my eyes, may run very well for minor awards.


BC Filly and Mare Turf: I am going to take a shot in here, I love Laughing. I believe she has turned a corner this year and is a very serious mare. She is as game as can be and I will be rooting for her to go get to wire. Other top contenders in my eyes include Dank, Romantica, and Tiz Flirtatious. All could win and that makes this race so very tough. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if Marketing Mix won but I feel she may have lost her edge lately. I am against the three year olds Alterite, Emollient, and Kitten’s Dumpling, on the win end but I do believe they could hit the board. I am also tossing Qushschi and Lady of Shamrock for top honors but I do think they could round out the Tri and Super. In multi-race wagers I am either singling Laughing, or using Laughing and Dank to get through a very tough leg of the sequence.


BC Filly and Mare Sprint: I found this race to be so tough. My gut is telling me this thing is ripe for an upset. I believe I am going to go pretty deep in here for multi-race purposes. My top picks for this event are Book Review, Dance Card, Teddy’s Promise, Ismene, and Summer Applause. Book Review loves seven furlongs and is a legit contender. Dance Card lost all chance at the start in her last race. She ended up running a decent race that day to finish third and I believe she will show an even better account of her talent today. Teddy’s Promise should find herself sitting a nice pressing trip and has the goods to get it done. Ismene is my bomber in here. I think she has a legit chance to steal this thing. She is the fastest mare in the race and she may be able to secure a lone lead. She hasn’t raced on dry dirt in nearly two years and this may be the wake up she needs. She could very well blow up the tote at a monster price. The big name fillies and mares that I will be against are Judy the Beauty, Dance to Bristol, Sweet Lulu, and (gulp) Groupie Doll. Judy the Beauty, is a money burner in my opinion and would much rather prefer this race run on synthetics. Dance to Bristol, she just hasn’t been visually impressive to me so I am going to toss. The same goes for Sweet Lulu, she just hasn’t wowed me visually. And as for the big mare, Groupie Doll, I just don’t think she is the same mare as last year. It pains me to say that, as I really do love this gal, but I can’t let my heart get involved in this.  She will have to beat me today.


BC Turf Sprint: I am going to give it to you guys straight. I am not comfortable handicapping this race. I play mostly east coast tracks and we do not have to deal with a European style downhill turf course. I do not know all of the nuances of playing a trip such as this. I plan on going way deep in here. I will say that my top pick is Boat Trip. I do really like him, but I just don’t trust myself to tell you to throw the mortgage on him as I only play Santa Anita about 2-3 times a year. So, what I am going to do this race is tell you who I was visually impressed with while watching replays. So here it goes, I hope I can sure up some of your selections. I do trust what I see visually and have confidence in that aspect of my handicapping. In my humble opinion, all of these horses were pleasing to the eye in their latest outings. Chips All In, Caracortado, Boat Trip, Havelock, Spring to the Sky, Mizdirection, Dimension, and Unbridleds’ Note.


BC Juvenile: This race I found to be very intriguing. We have a lot of interesting price options here and that is the way I will be leaning. The three I will be using are Mexikoma, Tap it Rich, and Diamond Bachelor. I picked Diamond Bachelor on top. I know he has never tried dirt but he just looks like a physical specimen to me. Tap it Rich was my top pick until I saw him work. He just didn’t look that comfortable in the morning. Mexikoma, I threw him in the mix because he looked visually awesome while crushing maidens in his dirt debut at Delaware. I am taking a stand against Havana and Strong Mandate. I will say this though, if we are dealing with a speed bias Havana will definitely be on my tickets. I respect him, I just think there are some nice price alternatives with a lot of upside in here. Strong Mandate, I don’t like his post and I hated his last race. I believe he is a pretender in here. Dance With Fate and Bondholder are just a cut below right now but I will use them underneath. Some bombs I will use to round out my Tris and Supers will be Smarty’s Echo, Rum Point, We Miss Artie, and Medal Count.


BC Turf: I have no super solid opinion on who will win this race, but I do have a solid opinion on who I don’t think will win this race. I am against Point of Entry and Indy Point. Point of Entry is being asked an awful lot to come back off a long lay off in this spot. I have a lot of respect for him, but I will let him beat me today. As for Indy Point, I don’t get all the fuss with this one. Yea, I guess he’s pretty good, but 9-2 on the morning line. I’ way against, he has yet to prove he is of this caliber. The ones I will be keying in on our Little Mike, The Fugue, Big Blue Kitten, and Twilight Eclipse. Little Mike, the trickiest horse to handicap in the world, I am using him defensively. He knocked me out of the Pick 4 last year, it won’t happen again this year. I do think last time was the time to have him though. The Fugue, she is just awesome. She would have crushed that field last year if she didn’t get herself caught in that jam. She was full of run. Big Blue Kitten, he has really grown on me and I believe he has a legitimate shot in here. As for Twilight Eclipse, this one has burned so much of my money it isn’t even funny. Why, you ask do I include him today. I think he may relish the footing. All of his best races are on fast turf courses. I’m hoping he pays me back a little today. Two that I was kind of on the fence on were Magician and Real Solution. After watching the replays though, I wasn’t that impressed with Magician and I thought Real Solution hung really bad in his last.


BC Sprint: We have a lot of options in here, folks. My top pick is Gentlemen’s Bet. I really think he has a huge shot to take the dough. You can toss his last race that was on synthetics and he broke poorly. I love the fact Castellano jumps aboard and I think he is going to run a corker. Others I will use are Private Zone, Bahamian Squall, Secret Circle, and Laugh Track. Private Zone, he is just about as game as a racehorse can be and super fast. Those are good qualities to have in a sprint race. Bahamian Squall, I am giving him another chance. His race two back at Saratoga was nice. He got in a little trouble and ran very well I thought. Secret Circle, I am using him defensively, I can see him winning but I’m just not really sold on him. And lastly I will be using a huge price in Laugh Track. I will give him one more shot on the dirt. He may be better suited for underneath use but I think I am going to throw him in my multi-race wagers just in case. I am against Justin Phillip only because of his post. He definitely can hit the board though. The other ones that I am against include The Lumber Guy, Sum of the Parts, Fast Bullet, and Trinniberg. The Lumber Guy and Trinniberg I feel have lost their edge that they had last year. Sum of the Parts needs a lonely lead I believe. That’s not happening today. And as for Fast Bullet, he is a wildcard to me. He may have just hated the slop last out, who knows, Rosario does jump back aboard which makes him interesting. Very tricky call with him I believe.


BC Mile: There are only three in here I think can win. I will be focused on Wise Dan, No Jet Lag, and Olympic Glory. Wise Dan is going to bounce back in a huge way I believe. One that has caught my eye though and has looked remarkable visually is No Jet Lag. His two wins since coming to the states were really visually impressive. He will be on my tickets. As for Olympic Glory, his last race was pretty awesome. I thought he looked real nice. With that said, I am hearing he hasn’t looked so great in the morning out in California. So now I am kind of confused about him. Some price horses that could round out Tris and Supers are Silentio, Silver Max, Obviously, He Be Fire N Ice, and Za Approval. I am against Cristoforo Colombo. I think he is a cut below.


BC Classic: Well, here we are folks, the main event, I do not think it will disappoint. This race is just awesome. I love seeing four of last years contenders come back for this year’s edition. Add in a couple of nice three year olds and a couple of Euros, and we have ourselves a heck of a race. Let me start by telling you who I am tossing. I am way against Game On Dude. The level of respect I have for this gelding is almost unparalleled, but I just feel he has beat nothing all year and always gets his own way up front. That will not happen today. Flat Out, if this was at Belmont I would be using him, but it is not so I will be limiting his use to underneath in Tris and Supers. Moreno and Last Gunfighter, I think these two are just out of their league in here. Plantuer and Declaration of War, I will be limiting their use to underneath as well. I just think it’s a different game over here and on the dirt the US horses have the edge. Now for my top picks in here. I will be using Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge. I love Mucho Macho Man and I think he will run a big race. The only issue with him is he has a tendency to settle for minor awards. Maybe he turned the corner this year, I hope he did, but I will have some backup in case he reverts back to his old ways. Will Take Charge, I think this is a very nice horse and a legit contender. He really blossomed since shedding the blinkers and getting off the Derby Trail. He has a huge shot in my humble opinion. There are two more I may use defensively in here. They are Palace Malice and Fort Larned. I just cannot get a good grasp on these two this year but I do respect their abilities. Both have been kind of inconsistent but have shown they can run their eyeballs out when they want to. One more I’d like to mention is Paynter. I think he has a legit shot to hit the board in this and could be a very nice price.


Well guys, that’s a wrap. I hope I gave you some food for thought or strengthened your opinions for either being for, or against, a horse. Remember to have confidence and lean on your strongest opinions. This is day where you can get paid generously. Best of luck to everyone. I wish all of you a profitable and awesome Breeders’ Cup. Stay positive and have a winning day. Good vibes to all of you.   


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i think if mike runs best stalking the pace and he just may do that again.

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 Meet Michael Barry   


 It all started 5 years ago for me after a spur of the moment trip to Saratoga Springs with my future wife.  I had always bet on the Triple Crown races, and made a few trips to Suffolk Downs annually, but not until that journey to The Spa did things get serious for me.  I fell in love with horse racing right then and there and I haven’t looked back since.  The following year I read every handicapping book I could get my hands on.  I became, and still am, a very passionate student of the game. 


Through this blog I hope to take you guys through my favorite aspect of the game, which is breaking down races and doping out winners.  I focus my attention between the NYRA circuit (mostly), Gulfstream Park, and Keeneland.  I also plan to provide very thorough coverage leading up to the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup.  I love analyzing the prep races leading up to both of those grand events. 


Wagering wise, I love playing pick 4’s and 5’s, and I have enjoyed some success in the past playing those types of exotics.  In any given race, I try to attack based on strength of opinion and value.  That may be in the form of an exacta, trifecta, superfecta, daily double, pick 3, or by laddering my choice across the board.  Every race is its own animal and must be played accordingly.


Personally, I am a graduate of Boston University and reside on the South Shore of Massachusetts with my beautiful wife Tara and wonderful son Finn.  I work as a technician for a communications company by day. 


I can be found on Twitter @mbarry24 and I’m always up to discuss anything horse racing related.

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