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2013 Breeders' Cup: Possible Friday Long Shots

The Breeders’ Cup is notorious for producing numerous upset winners. Each year, racing fans and handicaps must “expect the unexpected.” From the 53-1 Lashkari in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Turf to the 17-1 upsets by Calidoscopio and Little Mike at last year’s Breeders’ Cup, long shot winners are all but guaranteed at the two-day championships.

Are you searching for some possible long shot plays for today’s Breeders’ Cup Friday races? I chose at least one horse from each race worth a look that was given morning line odds of at least 8-1, giving you plenty of options to choose from.


Authenticity: Authenticity has been notably consistent this year, never finishing worse than third in eight starts. Winner of the La Troienne Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs in May and the Shuvee Handicap (gr. III) at Saratoga, Authenticity’s past two starts resulted in runner-up efforts in grade ones on both coasts. The first of these came behind Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, which preceded a respectable finish behind Beholder in the Zenyatta.


London Bridge: Making the trip from England, London Bridge has won three of his seven starts this year. Among these victories was an easy triumph going a mile and one-half in a handicap at Ripon. That win came in June and though he has failed to win his two subsequent starts, he has run rather well in both of those outings, finishing third and fourth – respectively. However, his fourth-place finish came in a mile and seven-furlong race, which is one furlong longer than the Marathon. In this start, London Bridge displayed fatigue in the late stages, fading to be defeated by nearly five lengths. Like the other Europeans aligned for the Breeders’ Cup, the extent of London Bridge’s quality and ability is unknown, but he does appear to have a fairly good chance in this spot.

Suns Out Guns Out: Another son of Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, Suns Out Guns Out only has three wins to boast from twenty-two starts. One of those victories came in his most recent start, a 4 ¾-length win in a mile allowance optional claiming at Parx. Prior to this, he was fourth in the Greenwood Cup Stakes (gr. III).

Old Time Hockey
: Although he has never won on dirt, Old Time Hockey has perhaps the most back class of any horse in the Marathon. His best finish on dirt was a runner-up finish behind eventual grade one winner Golden Ticket at Gulfstream Park in the third start of his career and since then, he has raced solely on turf. His past two starts have resulted in solid fourth-place efforts in grade twos on Southern California grass and though he has not found the winner’s circle since capturing the La Jolla Handicap (gr. II) last August, he has run moderately well against graded stakes company. A mile and three-eighths is the longest distance he has competed at, but he has shown the desire to go longer.

Juvenile Turf

Aotearoa: An easy winner over the synthetic in a state-bred maiden at Del Mar, Aotearoa expended his energy in the starting gate prior to his next start, the I’m Smokin Stakes at Del Mar – in which he finished an uninspiring fourth. But he rebounded next out when he upgraded to open company in the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita, closing to prevail by ¾ of a length.

Got Shades
: Third in his debut at Lone Star, Got Shades won a pair of stakes at Louisiana Downs prior to shipping west for the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita. In this race, he appeared full of run at the top of the stretch, but lost his momentum and failed to advance, finishing third. Perhaps his biggest advantage is his rider: Gary Stevens.

Poker Player
: A two-time winner from three outings, Poker Player broke his maiden at Kentucky Downs before capturing the Bourbon Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland, a race originally scheduled for the turf that was moved to the synthetic track. The validity of his win in this race is a mystery, but he is a talented colt with a chance who could offer a savvy price play.

Wilshire Boulevard: This Aidan O’Brien trainee broke his maiden at third asking prior to finishing a distant tenth in a listed stakes at Royal Ascot. But he rebounded next out, taking a group three at The Curragh. After finishing a narrowly beaten second in a group two at York, he was a good fourth in a group one at Longchamp. His consistency and quality is questionable, but he just may spring an upset.

Dirt Mile

Broadway Empire: Riding a three-race winning streak, Broadway Empire upset Departing last out in the Oklahoma Derby (gr. III), winning that contest by 4 lengths. Prior to that, he captured a pair of stakes at Northlands Park by a combined 10 ¼ lengths, including the Canadian Derby (gr. III).

Brujo de Olleros: Originally from Brazil, Brujo de Olleros has only raced three times this year, holding two seconds and a win. After being narrowly defeated in a handicap at Parx in June, Brujo de Olleros was a dominant winner of a stakes race at Delaware Park. In his most recent start, Brujo de Olleros proved a difficult foe for Graydar. However, he has become a “wise guy” horse and may be bet down to lower odds.

Golden Ticket: Winner of last year’s Travers, Golden Ticket’s 2013 campaign has been his most consistent yet, as he has finished no worse than fourth in his seven starts this year. Last out, he was a respectable fourth behind Classic contender Mucho Macho Man in the Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Prior to that, he conquered his rivals in the ten-furlong Prairie Meadows Handicap by eight lengths – a start that succeeded his runner-up finish behind 2012 Classic winner Fort Larned. He has performed well in high-caliber races before and should not be ignored in this race.

Holy Lute: After beginning his racing career in July with a third-place effort at Hollywood Park, this James Cassidy trainee broke his maiden at Del Mar going six and one-half furlongs prior to gamely winning the El Cajon Stakes by a head. Third last out in the Indiana Derby (gr. II) behind Power Broker, Holy Lute has made quite the impression training for the Breeders’ Cup.

Hymn Book: Hymn Book boasts impressive back class, having won last year’s Donn Handicap (gr. I), and although he is winless in 2013, he has been very consistent. He played the role of runner-up in his first three starts this year, finishing behind the likes of grade one winners Take Charge Indy and Mucho Macho Man, as well as fellow Dirt Mile contender Pants on Fire. Last out, he was third behind Graydar and Brujo de Olleros in the Kelso Handicap (gr. II).


Juvenile Fillies Turf

Clenor: She began her career in Ireland, losing her first three starts, although her third start was a troubled but decent third in a group three at The Curragh. Clenor then made the move to Southern California and has been unbeatable since. Her first two starts in the United States came at Del Mar, where she won a maiden special weight and the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes by a combined 5 ¾ lengths. Her final start before the Breeders’ Cup was a game win in the Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita. Although she has the benefit of a win over the Santa Anita turf course, she has yet to be victorious in a graded stakes event and has competed against rather unaccomplished horses in her wins.

Colonel Joan
: Although still a maiden, Colonel Joan was an impressive second in the Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita last out behind Clenor and Nesso. Despite breaking slowly and going wide, Colonel Joan managed to finish only 1 ½ lengths behind the winner. This is clearly the toughest challenge of her life yet, but she deserves notice.

Kitten Kaboodle
: Second in a pair of turf maiden special weights at Saratoga, Kitten Kaboodle broke her maiden with style, capturing the Jessamine Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland by 4 ¾ lengths.

Sky Painter: After winning her debut at Saratoga, Sky Painter faced graded stakes company in the Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont, in which she closed strongly, only to come up a nose short. She has a remarkable turn of foot and could make an impression late.

Testa Rossi: Beginning her career in France, Testa Rossi lost her first two starts prior to winning three consecutive races. She then relocated to the United States, where she gamely captured the Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont. 


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Older Comments about 2013 Breeders' Cup: Possible Friday Long Shots...

Great article, Mary! I was in agreement on London Bridge until I heard Mike Smith talking about him not handling the dirt on HRTV this morning. Aotearoa is a horse everyone seems to have forgotten about despite what I thought was an impressive win last time. And I have thought Colonel Joan could be a bomber at a big price since the Surfer Girl - she was motoring at the end of that one.
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About Mary Cage


Mary with champion Classic Empire

Mary Cage, a 21-year-old avid fan of horse racing, has been around horses all her life, having owned, shown, and judged them for as long as she can remember. She began writing her own horse racing blog, Past the Grandstand, in August 2011 and has since been published in America's Horse, American Racehorse and the Appaloosa Journal, as well as with the websites of The Blood-Horse and The Equine Chronicle. She has also had photos published with Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Daily News. In addition, she works as one of the social media coordinators for the Texas Thoroughbred Association and has interned at WinStar Farm with a marketing focus - with projects involving photography, videography, giving tours, data entry, etc. 

In her personal horse experience, Mary has been around horses all her life and has won several Appaloosa National Champion and Reserve World Champion titles in the show ring. She has also worked as a hotwalker and groom.

Mary has always aspired to have a career with horses and since her love for horse racing began, she has dreamed of pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred racing industry, possibly as a writer/photographer and marketing/communications specialist. She is currently attending the University of North Texas, where she is a journalism major with a concentration in advertising and a minor in marketing. With this blog, she hopes to show readers horse racing through the eyes of a young fan and transport you to some of racing's biggest events through her photos and words.

University of Louisville College of Business Equine Program

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