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2013 Breeders' Cup Winning Ways Part Two

Wise Dan 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
The Breeders' Cup contests bring together the finest horses in the United States and their top European counterparts. These races can be very lucrative for handicappers. Since 2000, more than 65% of the winners have paid double digits. Multi-race wagers and exotics offer a shot at very serious money.

Since 2000, the Breeders’ Cup has been held at Santa Anita four times, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012. The 2003 and 2013 editions were contested over dirt while the 2009 and 2010 versions were held over synthetic surfaces.

Tuesday we reviewed various components of Breeders' Cup day one. Today, let's take a closer look at Breeders' Cup day two.

Prep Race: In the last ten years, the Chandelier Stakes (formerly known as the Oak Leaf) and Frizette Stakes have produced the most Juvenile Fillies winners. The Matron Stakes gave us two Breeders' Cup winners, while the Summer Stakes and My Dear Girl each produced one winner. Last year, Beholder was second in the Del Mar Debutante, but won an allowance prep at Santa Anita. Only one filly in the last ten years didn't win her Breeders' Cup prep. In 2009, She Be Wild was second in the Alcibiades before winning over the Santa Anita Polytrack. The average number of starts was between three and four. One filly had two starts, one had five and one raced six times before the Breeders' Cup.

Running Style:  Four fillies were close to or pressed the pace, before making their winning moves. Three fillies went wire to wire while one, Stardom Bound, made her run from the back of the pack. In 2003 and 2004, Halfbridled and Sweet Catomine sitting mid-pack before making their moves in the stretch.

Favorites: Favorites rule in the Juvenile Fillies. In the last decade, eight favorites got the job done while the two who didn't still finished second and third. Win payouts ranged from $5.20 to a hefty $16.80. This is a decent race for playing exotics. The exactas usually pay in the $50 range.

Europeans: Five Europeans have raced in the Juvenile Fillies in the last six years. None have hit the board.

2013 Plays: So, we're looking for a filly that's made between three and four starts and who won her last race, preferably the Chandelier or Frizette. Artemis Agrotera won the Frizette in only her second start, benefiting from Sweet Reason's botched break. The latter has raced thee times and missed the Frizette victory by only a stride. Secret Compass enters the Juvenile Fillies with four starts under her girth and a narrow head win in the Chandelier. She's a Tiger has raced five times and had a tough defeat in the Chandelier.

Prep Races: The Filly and Mare Turf has been contested 14 times. Only one mare, world traveler Ouija Board won the race twice and placed once. In three of four times the race was held at Santa Anita, European Fillies prevailed. Additionally, at Santa Anita in 2003, three of the four Europeans finished in the money. The Flower Bowl Invitational was used as a prep by three mares. One won that prep one was second, while the third finished off of the board. Four of the last six won/placed in their preps.

Running Style: One mare in 13 editions of the Filly and Mare Turf has wired the field. Long-shot Intercontinental denied the overwhelming favorite Ouija Board a second consecutive victory in the Breeders' Cup. Ouija Board would come back the following year and triumph. In the last seven years, the winners sat either mid-pack or pressed the pace.

Favorites: Like other Breeders' Cup turf contests, the Filly and Mare Turf has been an attractive betting race for handicappers. No favorite has won in seven years. One was second while three others finished third. Six of seven payoffs lit the tote at $20.40 – $94.00 for the victory while those holding an exacta ticket celebrated with mostly triple digit earnings ($26.80 - $324.00).

Europeans: Similar to the results of the other Breeders' Cup turf races, foreign horses have fared well, especially at Santa Anita.

2013 Plays: Laughing appears to be the strongest of the Americans, having won her last four races, including the Flower Bowl. Tiz Flirtatious is the horse for course. She's won four of five starts at Santa Anita. Flotilla was last year's Juvenile Filly Turf darling and is showing the same form leading up to this year's contest, although she could face a tough Wise Dan in the Mile.

Prep Races: The Filly & Mare Sprint has been contested since 2007. The Thoroughbred Club of America (G-2) figured prominently as a prep race, as the last four TCA Filly & Mare Sprint heroines won or placed in the race. One filly placed in the TCA before winning the Filly & Mare Sprint. One mare was victorious in the Ballerina and one placed in the Woodbine Mile before victories in the Breeders' Cup. The mares averaged between 6- 8 yearly starts before their victories, except for the hard-knocking Musical Romance who raced 13 times before her 1 ¼ length victory in 2011. Four of the six winners were four year olds, one was five and the inaugural winner, Maryfield was six.

Running Style: No mare has won the race from wire-to-wire. Two pressed the pace, three sat in third or farther back, and one made her run from the back of the field. All won by at least 1 ¼ lengths or more.

Favorites: Last year was the first time that a favorite won the Filly & Mare Sprint. Two finished second while the rest were off the board. Excluding last year's chalk-fest of a $3.40 win/$6.00 exacta, most of the editions have paid between $6.40 - $42.00. Exactas were split, with three paltry payouts and three that were between $177 - $374.

Europeans: Only two fillies shipped in to take on the North American female sprinters. Both were off of the board.

2013 Plays: All of the winners of the Filly sprint won or placed in all of their races leading up to the big event. Groupie Doll will strive to become the first back-to-back winner of the trophy. Three other fillies have tried to pull off the double and failed. The best result was by Ventura, winner in 2008. Groupie Doll won the TCA Stakes last year on her way to a 4 ½ length victory in the Filly & Mare Sprint. This year, she was third in the TCA. Judy The Beauty upset Groupie Doll in the TCA. She's won/placed in all except one race in her career. Dance to Bristol and Book Review duked it out in the Ballerina with the former prevailing by a bare head.

Prep Race: The Turf Sprint has been contested five times. The three times the race has been held over the downhill turf course at Santa Anita, not surprisingly, course specialists were victorious. Two of the Turf Sprint heroes raced in the Morvich before claiming the trophy at Santa Anita. One was a winner while the other finished off of the board. Last year, Mizdirection prepped in the Great Lady M stakes at Hollywood.

Running Style: Focusing only on the Turf Sprints that have been contested at Santa Anita, two winners stormed from the back of the pack, while one did his best work on the lead.

Favorites: Two favorites, California Flag and Regally Ready won, while one favorite placed second and two were off the board. This is a good race to recoup your losses or add to your bankroll. Despite two favorites winning, the payouts have been generous, between $6.60 - $75 for the win. Exactas ranged between $38.60 to $393.00.

Europeans: Five Europeans have contested the Turf Sprint. One finished second while the rest were off of the board.

2013 Plays: Horses with previous positive experience over the downhill turf course should be strongly considered. Mizdirection is the first mare to win the Turf Sprint. She's a downhill course expert and is 6-6 over the course. She was taken out of her game in her last start after shipping to Belmont for the Just A Game Stakes. Despite most of the contenders running in two or more editions of the Turf Sprint, none have pulled off a double. Boat Trip is a nose shy of being undefeated in two starts down the hill. Chips All In got the better trip in the Eddie D. over Boat Trip and has won four of five starts at Santa Anita. Unbridled's Note was ½ length back in third in the Eddie D. and was barely ½ length short of Mizdirection in last year's Turf Sprint. Like the pretty gray mare, he's a course expert and has finished in the money in all starts over the Santa Anita strip. Great Mills was fourth in last year's edition of the Turf Sprint. He's only laid two eggs in his career. Why should we consider him? He's by this year's hot sire War Front.

Prep Race: Eight of the last twelve years the winners/runners-up in the Champagne have won/placed in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. In the last twelve years, the winners and runners-up in three major races, the Champagne, Dixiana Breeders' Futurity and Frontrunner Stakes performed the best in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Running Style: Since 2003, the majority of the winners won either on the lead or pressing the pace. Three stalkers won while two sat mid-pack before unleashing their moves.

Favorites: Favorites have won or finished in the money in all but two Juveniles since 2003. Despite this, it's still a decent betting race. Payouts for the victory ranged between a chalky $4.60 - $63.20. Exactas are worth the time to bet. They're worth $17.80 - $254.00.

Europeans: In the history of the Breeders' Cup, four Europeans, Arazi, Johannesburg, Wilko and Vale of York have won the Juvenile. Since 2006, nine Europeans and one Argentinian have contested the Juvenile and only one, Vale of York was successful. Note that his Juvenile was over the Santa Anita synthetic course in 2009.

2013 Plays: History repeats in the Breeders' Cup and this is not a strong group of two year olds. Whomever wins the race will likely earn Championship honors. In the last three years, Todd Pletcher has added the Champagne/Juvenile trophies to his immense collection. He could do the same this year with Havana, who could be the second pretty gray to wire the Breeders' Cup field in two years. Who else is on the radar? Bond Holder won the Frontrunner (formerly the Norfolk). No last out maiden winner has ever won the Breeders' Cup you say? Wrong. Richard Mandella pulled off the feat with Action This Day back in 2003. Dance With Fate was a fast closing second in the Del Mar Futurity and Frontrunner. He can be placed anywhere in the race and still runs a good race.

Prep Races: This is where the Europeans excel. Forgive me for stating the obvious. They've won four of the last six editions of the Breeders' Cup Turf. Many of the entrants have been this route before, contesting the Turf on multiple occasions. Red Rocks and English Channel raced between three and four consecutive years, each winning only once. Conduit is the only horse to win the Breeders' Cup Turf in consecutive years (2008-2009). He won the St. Leger in 2008, and was fourth in the Arc de Triomphe the following year before his Breeders' Cup victories. In 2010 Dangerous Midge won the Arc trial before his shocking win in the Turf. In 2011 St Nicholas Abbey was fifth in the Arc before winning the Breeders' Cup turf, but couldn't repeat in 2012.

Running Style: No one-run closer has been able to get the job done in the last six years. The winners all raced mid-pack or pressed the lead.

Favorites: The Breeders' Cup Turf is an excellent betting race. Normally there is a full field with enticing long-shots. Only one favorite in six years, the repeating Conduit, has won. Don't automatically toss the favorite from your exotics. They've finished between second and fifth in the last six years. If you have the patience to really study this race and are accurate, you'll be well rewarded. Other than Conduit's chalky win payout of $3.80 in his second go-round and English Channel's $8.00 win, bettors have cashed win tickets between $13.60 to $36.60. Exactas are very lucrative. Tossing the $12.80 from Conduit's win, the payouts have ranged from $53.60 - $172.60.

Europeans: Bet the Europeans. Of the 23 European runners in the last six years, four have won and two completed exactas. In 2007 they finished second and third, in 2009-2010 first and third and last year one was up for third.

2013 Plays: Horses that have made between four to seven starts are most successful in the Breeders' Cup Turf. This year, Little Mike will attempt to add another Breeders' Cup Turf trophy to his collection. Odds are against it, but don't dismiss him entirely, as there's a good chance he'll finish in the money. Did I mention that we should bet the Europeans? The Fugue will take on the boys for a second time. If she wins, she'll be the first filly to wear the blanket of flowers since Miss Alleged in 1994. Since that time, two fillies have finished second and one third. The Fugue was third against her elders in last year's Filly and Mare Turf. Flintshire could be worth a second look. He's made six starts and was eighth in the Arc de Triomphe. He prefers good ground and will have it at Santa Anita.

Prep Race: Midnight Lute is the only two-time winner of the BC Sprint. The Ancient Title (excuse me, the poorly named Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes) and Forego Stakes have been instrumental over the years in producing Sprint winners. The California Cup Sprint and Pat O'Brian Stakes were also successfully used as a prep race.

Running Style: In the last six years, winners have gone wire-to-wire, pressed the pace or sat mid-pack. Only Midnight Lute sat at the back of the pack before unleashing his devastating turn of foot in the stretch.

Favorites: The Sprint is one of the toughest races to handicap. In the last seven years only Midnight Lute has won the race as the favorite. Two finished third, and the rest of the wagering favorites have finished out of the money. Other than Midnight Lute, every Breeder's Cup Sprint winner has paid double digits. Don't discount the California horses. Three of the last six Sprint heroes are California-breds. Half used a California Stakes race as a Breeders' Cup prep. Discounting the single digit payoffs by Midnight Lute, handicappers have cashed win bets from $12.40 to $52.60. In the last four years, the exacta has ranged from $101.70 to $254.80.

Europeans: Very few European runners had the temerity to take on the American horses at their specialty. The few who have ventured into the race have finished out of the money.

2013 Plays: Winners have made roughly four to eight starts before contesting the Breeders' Cup Sprint. They've won/placed in their last starts. Goldencents has a 4-2-1-0 record at Santa Anita and has made eight starts this year. He finished second in the (deep breath) Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes in his last start. The California-bred Points off the Benchhas won three of four starts at Santa Anita and has beaten Goldencents twice. Private Zone has finished out of the money only once his last nine starts. Reneesgotzip was third in last years Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. She has a 5-1-3-0 record over the Santa Anita dirt and will try to join three other fillies as winners of the dirt Sprint. The last filly to finish in the money in the Sprint was Xtra Heat (second) in 2001.

Prep Race: The top miler in the wold, Goldikova ruled the Mile for an unprecedented three straight years, 2008 – 1010. The last three times that the Mile has been contested at Santa Anita, European mares have won, Goldikova twice and Six Perfections once. In the last seven years, only Goldikova and Wise Dan have their preps for the Mile.

Running Style: Pace pressers have ruled in the last six of seven Breeders' Cup Mile events.

Favorites: Before Goldikova and Wise Dan came along,the Breeders' Cup Mile was one of the best betting races on the card. In the last ten years, Singletary Goldikova and Wise Dan were the only favorites to win. Despite the recent chalky winners, those playing exactas have done ok. Payouts have ranged from $13.60 - $1,979.00.

Europeans: Shippers from across the pond fare well in the Breeders' Cup Mile. In the last ten years, European horses account for six of the wins.

2013 Plays: Wise Dan looks like a repeater in the Turf Mile. If that's the case, we'll wind up with another short payout. This looks like a tough field. Five of the six Europeans have won or placed in their last three starts. The U.S. based horses are no slouches either, and all but one has a habit of winning or placing. You're on your own in this one.

Prep Races: If they won or placed in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, bet them. All except two Classic winners since 2007 (Zenyatta and Raven's Pass ) prepped at Belmont. Winners made between four and eight previous starts. Two colts, Curlin and Raven Pass were three year olds. The last three winners were four year olds.

Running Style: Mid-pack runners and closers have won six of the last seven editions of the Classic.

Favorites: Being a favorite to win the Breeders' Cup Classic isn't a good thing. Only one favorite, Zenyatta, has won the Classic since 2007 and only one favorite has hit the board since then. This being the case, if you can figure out the winner, you'll have a nice reward to end the day. The winners light up the tote from $10.80 - $33.20. The exactas are an even better deal, paying between $33.20 - $444.80.

Europeans: Seven Europeans and one Japanese horse have raced in the last seven Classics. Two completed the exacta in 2008 over the Pro-Ride and one finished third the following year over the surface. The rest, including the Japanese runner, finished out of the money.

2013 Plays: Is this the year of Game On Dude? He was second in 2011, but disappointed last year. This year, we should pay serious attention to Ron the Greek, Palace Malice, and Flat Out, the top three finishers in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Bill Mott trains two of the three and has a chance to repeat history when he captured the Distaff and Classic in 2011.

The Breeders' Cup races offer a chance to reap huge rewards. Most of the betting favorites don't win, so spend time looking at mid to long priced horses. Don't be afraid to spread the cash around in exotic bets. Gather some friends (or trustworthy strangers) together and toss some money into a pool for the Pick 3's, or go large with the Pick 6. Most importantly, win or lose, enjoy watching the races and have fun!


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Older Comments about 2013 Breeders' Cup Winning Ways Part Two...

I don't know about you guys, but I feel like someones gonna take charge ;)
The Fugue owes me after an atrocious trip in 2012. She was loaded for bear and no where to go. I hope the bad trips that many BC horses experienced in 2012 due to turf traffic are not repeated at again SA.
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Meet Laurie Ross


I've been around horses for most of my life, working in racing stables as a hot walker and exercise rider in my teenage years, and later as a volunteer with rescued and retired racehorses. I became interested in pedigree when the sons and daughters of my favorite horses started their racing careers.   


For more than a decade, I've passionately studied pedigree, how it applies to handicapping and breeding theories. In 2010, I joined Horse Racing Nation as their Pedigree Analyst, focusing on juvenile stakes winners, Triple Crown contenders and first crop sires from a handicapping perspective.   


In 2011, I accepted the role of South Florida Coordinator and Advisory Board Member for the national non-profit Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association (ThoroFan). Working closely with Gulfstream Park management and other race fans, we created a ThoroFan Chapter at Gulfstream Race Track. Our main project is assisting Thoroughbred rescue and re-training groups.


I continue to maintain my website Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds and blog of the same name. As a pedigree consultant, I specialize in assisting small to mid-size breeding/training operations with broodmare breeding reports, sales catalog analysis and recommendations on claims and private sales. 10 - 20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue and retraining groups.
I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic please contact me at

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