Analysis: 5 horses I'm betting in the 2019 Breeders' Cup

October 08, 2019 03:20pm
With the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita soon to arrive and the major preps done, it's time to shift focus to handicapping these important and, quite possibly lucrative, races. 

While most bettors will search out recent winners, horses who lost their last race are capable of turning the tables in the championships. For one, those last races were just preps for a bigger spot in some cases.

So here are a few recent losers I'll be betting back Nov. 1-2 and why to consider them.

Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint

If Guarana starts in the Filly & Mare Sprint, there are some factors working in her favor from a value standpoint. For one, she lost her last start in the Cotillion Stakes (G1) while running a solid race considering the setup.

Guarana chased in fourth and moved around the far turn, briefly hitting the lead. But Street Band rallied from the back and swallowed the field.

With Jaywalk, Serengeti Empress and Bellafina also present, the pace collapsed.  Guarana didn't lose anything in defeat, however, because she ran hard from start to finish while the three fillies in front of her all faded.

With that said, Guarana fits better in the Filly & Mare Sprint rather than the Distaff. In one-turn races, she gives the impression of a special filly.

Covfefe and Come Dancing will eat up most bettors' money in this Breeders' Cup division. Yet on paper, there is no strong evidence that Guarana is a notch below them in talent.

As the third choice for the first time in her career, Guarana would offer great value.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile

With the presence of a talented Eight Rings, who's a proven winner at Santa anita, Scabbard is not necessarily a firm win selection in the Juvenile. But his last start does make him worth including on tickets.

Scabbard endured a difficult trip in Churchill Downs' Iroquois Stakes (G3).

On the backside, watch the point when Scabbard attempts to move inside. He steadies and loses a few lengths, as well as momentum.

But in the stretch run, Scabbard displayed renewed determination and closed the gap on Dennis' Moment, only losing by 1 ¾ lengths.

With his mid-pack style, Scabbard will not lose range of the leaders but also avoid a speed duel. He can pick off enough horses to finish second or third. With the luck of a perfect trip, I think he could upset this field, too.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies

Comical could turn into an “underneath” selection by Breeders' Cup week. But either way, this is an interesting filly because of her losing streak.

In the Del Mar Debutante (G1), she finished third and a head in front of Lazy Daisy. A few weeks later, Lazy Daisy shipped and won Churchill Downs' Pocahontas Stakes (G3).

Granted, Comical also finished 9 ¼ lengths behind the winner Bast in the Debutante. But in the Chandelier Stakes (G1) a month later, she closed the gap when Bast only defeated her by a neck in a two-turn event.

Comical also accomplished more pace work than Bast.

Despite the fact Comical ran about as well as Bast, Bast will eat more money in the Juvenile Fillies. The connections of Bob Baffert and John Velazquez, in addition to Bast's record, guarantee that. Therefore, Comical looks like the value play.

Breeders' Cup Distaff

Even though Ollie's Candy broke adequately in the Zenyatta Stakes (G2), jockey Kent Desormeaux chose not to retain an upfront position.

Instead, Ollie's Candy dropped back to last, even behind the known closer La Force.

Despite starting from a difficult spot on a speed-favoring track, Ollie's Candy moved up along the inside into third, right behind Secret Spice and Paradise Woods. Then she tipped out for a final run and understandably hung late.

Ollie's Candy wasted most of her energy on the backside after working to secure the front-running position that Desormeaux gave up.

With a better trip, Ollie's Candy can win the Distaff, and going back two starts, she's a winner of Del Mar's Clement L. Hirsch (G1) over some of those same Zenyatta rivals.

Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

After safety reforms at Santa Anita, the Turf Sprint will run at five furlongs on the main turf track rather than on the downhill course.

For Eddie Haskell, this is great news, as he prefers the five-furlong turf sprint
with three wins and two seconds in five attempts in 2019. His two losses also came more recently, which will help the overall value.
The old saying goes: "Bettors only remember the last thing they saw."

But forgive the loss in the Eddie D Stakes (G2), as he tipped out late. Notice the wall of horses in front of Eddie Haskell in the stretch run. 

The Turf Sprint will feature a large field as well. But Eddie Haskell will also offer higher odds in the Breeders' Cup because of his recent losses. In a large field, there is also a greater possibility of a faster pace to set him up.

Eddie Haskell will prove a great value selection.


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Meet Reinier Macatangay

My first time at the racetrack came as a 5-year-old kid at Santa Anita Park. For most of my younger life, that was the only track I attended other the occasional visit to Hollywood Park. 

Years later, after graduating California State University, Stanislaus with an English MA, I began writing for Lady and the Track. From late 2014-2016, my articles were seen on a weekly basis and covered handicapping, interviews with well-known racing personalities, fashion and more. 

The handicapping style I use concentrates on pace analysis. Some horses are compromised by the pace. Others are helped. Handicappers just starting out cannot easily see how pace affects the finish, so with this blog, I hope to help those unsure of how to apply pace into their handicapping and post-race analysis. 

On an unrelated note, I enjoy video games and attending anime or comic-book conventions. I am currently based in Kentucky, but spend a lot of time traveling between there and California.

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