Breeders' Cup 2016: Saturday Race Analysis and Live Chat

Breeders' Cup 2016: Saturday Race Analysis and Live Chat
Photo: Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire

Race 4-Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies        

By design, #9 Union Strike has trained up to the race following her win in the Del Mar Debutante (G-1). Though unproven at a route of ground, the daughter of Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags has rallied in both her efforts, hinting the added distance should be no concern. Undefeated in 2 starts, Frizette (G-1) winner #4 Yellow Agate will try to deliver the first Breeders' Cup victories for trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Manny Franco. Another who likes to rally late, she must overcome an East Coast bias, as local runners have dominated this event when held at Santa Anita. #3 Valadorna is another late runner with only a maiden victory to her credit. Last out, she rallied impressively into a slow pace at Keeneland after breaking slowly.

Selections 9-4-3                                                                       

Race 5-Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf

#3 Seventh Heaven beat Arc winner Found on the square in the Yorkshire Oaks (G-1) in August. Last out she encountered a slow pace and was a non-threatening 5th in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (G-1). Seventh Heaven’s rabbit, #12 Pretty Perfect, in addition to #2 Catch a Glimpse, #4 Avenge and #6 Zipessa should ensure a very fast pace for Seventh Heaven’s late kick. #5 Lady Eli’s return to racing at a high level after battling laminitis has been nothing short of a miracle. A deserving favorite, she will get to get first jump on the deep closers and try to hold them off late. #13 Nuovo Record’s record this year has been less than stellar, but a repeat of her runner-up finish to A Shin Hikari in last December’s Hong Kong Cup (G-1) makes her a threat at a big price.

Selections 3-5-13

Race 6-Breeders’ Cup Sprint

After the scratches of Joking and Lord Nelson earlier in the week, we are left with a compact field of 7.  #2 Drefong looks to be the controlling early speed in the race, while trying to give trainer Bob Baffert his record 5th win the Sprint. The 3-year-son of Gio Ponti has experience over the track, undefeated at the distance and has been training up a storm for this. #5 A.P. Indian is the best sprinter in the East as evidenced by his 4 consecutive graded stakes victories. He is the most versatile runner in the field and should work out a beautiful trip just off the front runners.  #8 Noholdingback Bear is getting good at the right time and will also sit a good trip with his outside draw. He’s the 2nd fastest horse early on and wasn’t able to press Drefong when the squared off in the King’s Bishop (G-1), so expect a similar trip as he received that day.

Selections 2-5-8

Race 7-Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

The Turf Sprint is normally a grab bag and this year is no different.  #14 Celestine will attempt to duplicate what Mizdirection did in this race and defeat boys going down the hill. From the powerful Bill Mott barn, Celestine doesn’t have course experience, but horses cutting back in distance usually excel. She is a very versatile one-mile specialist that owns some of the best late pace figures in the field. Look for her to race in the top half of the field early on and out finish the competition. #2 Obviously will set the pace early, but has a tendency to fold late going 8 furlongs. While he should enjoy the cutback in distance, a hot early pace will be his demise. #9 A Lot is another East Coast shipper cutting back in distance. Trainer Chad Brown won this race in 2014 with Bobby’s Kitten without prior course experience.

Selections 14-2-9

Be sure to join our live chat right here starting 25 minutes prior to the first Breeders' Cup race at 12:05 PST.

Race 8-Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

#1 Klimt rallied nicely into a moderate early pace when runner up to #7 Gormley last out in the Front Runner Stakes (G-1). Today’s pace will be quick with speed ball #2 Syndergaard, #6 Three Rules and #8 Star Empire also entered. Look for Klimt to improve off his first route, while getting a favorable pace scenario. The aforementioned Gormley is undefeated in 2 starts when being forwardly placed. Trainer John Sheriffs is not known for success with Juveniles, suggesting that Gormley could have unlimited potential. He must prove he has the ability to rate. #5 Classic Empire is coming off a daylight victory in the Breeders’ Futurity (G-1) at Keeneland. He versatility should suit him well here, as he should get first jump on the deep closers.

Selections 1-7-5

Race 9-Breeders’ Cup Turf

Found will attempt to pull off the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe/BC Turf double, but history is not on her side as she would be the first to accomplish the feat. I think history will continue to repeat itself and will look somewhere for my top pick. #12 Highland Reel is a group 1 winner on 3 continents and is the most versatile runner in the field. Look for him to lay close to the pace and play catch me if you can with the other top contenders. #4 Flintshire is the best of the Americans, but was beat on the square by the top pick in last December’s Hong Kong Vase (G-1). He’s a must use in anything you decide to play. #10 Found is last year’s champion, but likes a little more moisture in the ground than what she’s going to get today. She too must be considered in all exotic wagers.

Selections 12-4-10

Race 10-Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

#8 Carina Mia has been working lights out since getting to California and without much pace expected, she'll be forwardly place with a great outside draw. Her runner-up finish to Songbird to last out in the 1 1/16 Cotillion (G-1) will only make her more fit for this. #7 Gloryzapper looks to be the other early speed in the race. If the pace isn’t too quick early on, look for her to hang on for a piece at a big price. Should a speed dual develop #3 Tara’s Tango will pick up the pieces late best of all. She’s a multiple graded-stakes winner over the course, so she has a big home-court advantage.

Selections 8-7-3

Race 11-Breeders’ Cup Mile

While most believe this year’s edition of the mile can be narrowed down to a select few, it is as wide open as it is every year. #3 Spectre has been locking horns with the best fillies in France and coming up just short lately. The price on her is worth the shot considering the good post, first time lasix and wide openness of the race. #6 Ironicus closed furiously into a slow pace last out at Keeneland in the Maker's Mark 46 (G-1) when returning from a lengthy layoff. That appears to be a perfect prep and there will be much more pace today. #8 Tepin also had a nice prep when 2nd to #6 Photo Call last out in the First Lady (G-1) at Keeneland. That day Photo Call got an uncontested lead, while Tepin made up good ground late, she fell just short. She will be tighter for today’s effort and is an obvious win contender.

Selections 3-6-8

Race 12-Breeders’ Cup Classic

The showdown everyone has been waiting for, Arrogate the phenom against the beloved California Chrome. In what will undoubtedly be a “jockey’s race,” look for #10 Arrogate to go to the lead early on with #6 Melotonin, while #4 California Chrome laying just off the pace. Should Chrome let Arrogate get too far away, it will be very difficult for him to reel in the 3-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song, who ran the fastest Travers Stakes (G-1) in history. #2 Frosted is the only other in with a shot. Last out in the Woodward (G-1), Frosted broke a step slow, raced wide, was given a controversial ride and still fell just a neck short. Should the top 2 falter, Frosted can easily be the Breeders’ Cup Classic champion.

Selections 10-4-2  

Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, Nebraska. From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10. Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for playing the races has risen to a new level. Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find cap horses in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charms 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race Ive seen was Tiznows first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giants Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch. My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping Pick 4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do. I encourage others to post picks they like, too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions. That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal. Best of luck.

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