Zipse: 5 live Breeders' Cup longshots for your tickets

October 14, 2019 10:15am

Besides the obvious allure of all the top-notch horses it brings together each year, the Breeders’ Cup also provides unparalleled opportunity for bettors to discover that longshot which could lead to a huge betting score. Whether it be for the win or to spice up the exotics, year in and year out, Breeders' Cup bombs make their way into the payoffs. Last year longshots Shamrock Rose, Sadler's Joy, Arklow, Gunnevera, and Thunder Snow made the 2018 edition of the World Championships a profitable one for yours truly. Looking for a similar windfall this year, let’s examine some of the horses I’ll be using as key price plays. Elate (Breeders' Cup Classic) The majority of noise I've heard immediately after the classy 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro crossed the finish line second in Keeneland's Spinster (G1) has focused on how she has lost a step and should not even be considered for the Classic. That's good. That's what makes a longshot. Let's not forget that the multiple Grade 1 winner was not only coming directly out of a knock-down, drag-out war with Midnight Bisou the race before, but also had to work a little harder than needed into the first turn. She put away the 3-year-old Dunbar Road before succumbing late to a perfect trip mare, Blue Prize, who loves Keeneland. As a prep for the Breeders' Cup, I like it. It's a race from which she should move forward. Considering the loss, Elate's odds should soar much higher than expected before the Spinster. But we know the Classic's males are far from world beaters, and that Elate offers tactical speed and the ability to excel at 10 furlongs. When last seen at the Classic distance, she left Blue Prize in her wake with ridiculous ease. Elate has a real shot to run big at double-digit odds. Dunbar Road (Breeders' Cup Distaff) Speaking of that Spinster, I believe it was a race set up for Dunbar Road to lose. Facing older horses for the first time, she was coming in off a powerful rally to win the 10-furlong Alabama (G1) at Saratoga. This time at Keeneland, she was asked to stay close down on the rail in a nine-furlong race devoid of much speed. Not surprisingly, she came up a little short against quality and far more experienced older mares. Having that experience in her immediate background should do her a world of good. Still lightly raced, the talented and always highly though of filly is likely to bounce back strongly off the loss, while also getting a more favorable pace to rally if entered in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Midnight Bisou is a deserving heavy favorite, but Dunbar Road is the filly offering better value and a chance to make some serious noise. Mr. Money (Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile) The trend of looking for nice odds at the Breeders' Cup in horses coming off a loss continues with this one. I thought Mr. Money was coming into the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) better than ever. He was on an impressive winning streak and looking the part of a Grade 1 winner in the mornings at Churchill Downs. Unfortunately, things did not work out at Parx. He was only beaten a neck in the final few strides, but still it was not the Mr. Money I had grown to love. Stuck on the lead, while being restrained for much of the race, was no way for the son of Goldencents to run his best. Despite just missing, I'm going to draw a line through his Pennsylvania Derby. In the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, he will get a distance in which he excelled at the Kentucky Derby undercard, and a pace where he can stalk and pounce. We are not quite sure what the Dirt Mile will be with Catalina Cruiser, Mitole, and Omaha Beach all possible, but no matter who shows up, I believe Mr. Money will factor at some attractive odds. Arklow (Breeders' Cup Turf) Yes, I'm on him again. Coming off a win in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1), he will not be the 53-1 that he was last year when he rallied into the bottom of the superfecta. But once again, I expect him to go largely ignored in the Breeders' Cup Turf. That's because we are expecting a number of decorated Europeans to come over, and with Bricks and Mortar still a possibility to end up in this one, the 5-year-old warrior should be well into the double digits. While his record this year is not pretty (6: 1-3-1), the truth is he has run well each time after losing his rider in his season debut. With a little racing luck, Arklow well could have a few more wins to his credit. He also has a versatile running style that generally puts him in good position early in the race no matter the pace scenario. Also, key to his chances in the Breeders' Cup Turf, Arklow loves 12 furlongs and never quits trying. When others will have thrown in the towel, he will keep grinding all the way to the wire. In other words, he is the perfect horse to hit the board at odds once again in 2019. Belvoir Bay (Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint) Perhaps the biggest bomb of all on this list is the 6-year-old mare facing the boys in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. It will be a wide-open affair with numerous potential winners. It's also a race which has welcomed both longshots and females to the winner's circle before. Trained by Peter Miller, a man who clearly knows how to win this race, Belvoir Bay has excelled at Santa Anita during her career. She's 6-of-9 lifetime at the oval and also scored an impressive victory at this five furlong trip earlier this year. Despite the strong record, though, she is coming in off three straight defeats and has not raced for several months. Because of this, and the number of bet-able horses in the race, I look for her to be in the neighborhood of 30-1. After an excellent performance to finish second in Dubai, she was not at her very best when second in a race taken off the turf, and fourth to the retired World of Trouble in the Jaipur (G1). Freshened since, look for her to be on razor's edge for her return. With all her back class, and on a track and surface she loves, Belvoir Bay should outrun her odds.

 

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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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