Zipse: 5 bold Breeders’ Cup 2019 predictions

October 31, 2019 11:05am

This weekend's Breeders’ Cup is the culmination of a tumultuous year in thoroughbred racing. The host track, Santa Anita Park, has been under fire after a rash of equine fatalities cast a negative light on the sport in mainstream media.

Because of this, what happens on Friday and Saturday at the championships is more important than ever to the future of sport. The world will be watching. With this in mind I would like to offer five bold predictions for this year's Breeders' Cup.

 
The Females will shine at Santa Anita

On the 14-race Breeders' Cup menu, there are five events restricted to the females and nine for open company, mostly males. Generally speaking, the males have the advantage in the overall race count, but there have been numerous female horses to beat the boys over the years in the Breeders' Cup.

Only once, though, did they actually win more races at a Breeders' Cup than their male counterparts. That happened in 2015 at Keeneland when Tepin (Mile) and Found (Turf) led the way for the girls in winning seven of the 13 championship races contested that year.

Look for the females to make another strong showing this year. Led by Kimari in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, the fairer sex has a big shot to win the first race on Friday, and with top mares like
Got Stormy and Uni in the Breeders' Cup Mile, they should do well on Saturday, as well.

The final decision on just how big the 2019 Breeders' Cup is for the females will come down to the Classic and the broad shoulders of Elate as she tries to join Zenyatta as the only female to win the big one.

Multiple second-gen Breeders' Cup winners

A few Breeders' Cup winners are turning out to be top sires, too? This year, perhaps more than any year in the past, I like offspring of former Breeders' Cup winners.

If Kimari doesn't do it for the girls, Four Wheel Drive is the one for me to beat in the Juvenile Turf Sprint. He is one of several runners representing the 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic champ, American Pharoah, on Friday, and if neither of them win, sons of Artie Schiller and English Channel are also in with a shot.

The Juvenile Fillies also looks like a hotbed for second generation winners, with three of the four favorites (Wicked Whisper, Bast and Donna Veloce) being sired by either Liam's Map or Uncle Mo. And don't forget about
Sharing, my top longshot in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Her dam, Shared Account, won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf back in 2010.

The hits should keep on coming on Saturday for second generation Breeders' Cup runners. Among them, I believe any hiccup by Omaha Beach will allow Mr. Money, by Goldencents, to follow in his sire's footsteps in the Dirt Mile.

Then in the Breeders' Cup Classic look for sons of old rivals, and each Breeders' Cup winners, Curlin and Street Sense, to have a big say in the finale. Their sons, 
Vino Rosso and McKinzie, respectively, stand to add to the rivalry with big performances on Saturday evening.

Dennis' Moment becomes big Derby favorite

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile often produces a winter book favorite for the following year's Kentucky Derby, and I believe that will be the case this time, too.

Bred to run all day, tactical speed to control any race, and right at home at Churchill Downs, Dennis' Moment would seem to have it all as an early pick for the first Saturday in May. He also looks like an exceptional juvenile, and I am looking for big performance on Friday.

Him winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile is not a bold prediction, though, as he will be one of the two clear favorites.

My bold prediction is that the son of Tiznow -- yes another second generation Breeders' Cup winner that I was holding onto -- wins the Juvenile in such a way that there can be little doubt as to who next year's Derby favorite will be. It's Dennis' Moment in a romp.

Maximum Security loses Eclipse Award chance

Notably absent from this year's Breeders' Cup is
Maximum Security. A lightning rod for headlines after being disqualified from winning the Kentucky Derby, there can be little doubt that the speedy son of New Year's Day is one of America's top 3-year-olds.

The Breeders' Cup is where championships are won, though, and for Maximum Security, I believe his absence will ultimately lead to his defeat in the race for 3-year-old Male Champion.

Code of Honor has a big shot in the Classic, and a win there would make him the champion, in my opinion. If he is defeated by my top pick, Vino Rosso, or another, look for Omaha Beach to move to the head of the class with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

Either way, I predict Maximum Security's Eclipse Award chance falls by the wayside on Saturday.

All horses and jockeys come back safe

My final prediction is the most important one of all.

With these top-class, fit and sound horses, and Santa Anita doing all it can to maintain a safe surface, all the competitors and their riders will come back from the races safe and sound. Hopefully, no injuries at this year's Breeders' Cup will shift the story back to where it should be -- the racing.

On Friday and Saturday, under sunny skies at Santa Anita, champions will be crowned, and new stars will emerge. Godspeed to them all.

 

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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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