14 Breeders' Cup insights from the early past performances

October 13, 2019 12:55pm
The post position draws for 14 Breeders’ Cup races are still just more than two weeks away, but that doesn’t mean astute handicappers have to wait until Monday of race week to begin perusing the past performances.
There are already a few interesting tidbits to glean from PPs already via our friends at Brisnet, with the following examples just one observation from each race, beginning with events on “Future Stars Friday” and leading up to the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park. RELATED: Get Brisnet's full Breeders' Cup past performances
Juvenile Turf Sprint

Trainer Peter Miller strikes at 25% with horses going second time on the turf. Bulletproof One, a filly, finished second to stablemate El Tigre Terrible is the Oct. 6 Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita. It marked Bulletproof One’s grass debut, and the Juvenile Turf Sprint runs over the same course and distance. A move forward would put her very much in contention with the Juvenile Turf Sprint over the same course and distance. Juvenile Fillies Turf

Jezebel’s Kitten has turned out to be quite a purchase. She fetched $40,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling sale last year and has so far earned $328,300 for Ilium Stables as she looks to earn a gate into the Juvenile Fillies Turf. A win on the first Friday of November would put her just shy of a million dollars in earnings two months before she turns 3. Is there a class concern? Juvenile Fillies

Donna Veloce won in impressive fashion on debut at Santa Anita on Sept. 28 and is being considered for the Juvenile Fillies next. Having won the 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight sprint by 9 ¼ lengths, she faces the prospect of a route for the first time. But her breeding may help her get that distance, as her dam sire’s average winning distance is 11 furlongs. Of the probables for this race, potential favorite Bast has the second longest dam sire AWD at 7.9 furlongs. Juvenile Turf

Peace Achieved has won three races in a row. And by looking at the past performances, it is apparent that the change in race tactics has been the deciding factor. Although he has won by a diminishing margin in each successive race (going against higher-class competition will do that), he has vastly improved since his first two races when far back at the first call. Juvenile

Trainer George Papaprodromou offers an interesting angle for horses facing a route for the second time. He is 4-for-19 (21%) winning with second time routers and hits the board 59% (10-for-19) of the time under the same condition. Bettors would enjoy a $3.76 return on investment betting this angle. That’s good news for American Theorem, who was a runner-up most recently in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1). Filly & Mare Sprint

Come Dancing has been the odds-on favorite in her last four races, two Grade 1s and two Grade 2s. She went on to win three of four of those races, with her only defeat going a longer distance against Midnight Bisou. But it would most likely take the defection of Covfefe from this race to keep the streak of odds-on favoritism alive, a perk for her backers in the Breeders’ Cup. The 3-year-old Covfefe could very well be the morning line favorite. Turf Sprint

Understanding how well sprinters perform at specific distances is a basic handicapping angle. In the Turf Sprint, make a note that trainer Mark Glatt’s 6-year old Square Eddie gelding, Eddie Haskell, has hit the board in all 14 of his starts between 5 and 5 1/2 furlongs. He’s won nine races, finished second three times and finished third twice.  Dirt Mile

Omaha Beach was off for 175 days between his win in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and his victory on Oct. 5 in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1). But he posted a career-high Brisnet Speed Rating of 106 when defeating favored Shancelot. It appears as though Omaha Beach, despite the layoff, could be in better shape than most in this scenario and ready to go longer than six furlongs as he did off the shelf. Filly & Mare Turf

Having home field advantage is important in nearly every sport, and horse racing is no exception. Some horses perform better at certain tracks than they do at others. Vasilika has raced at Santa Anita 12 times in her career and won 11 of those races. She finished second in the only race she lost there. The only other contender listed for this race who has raced at Santa Anita is Mirth, who has two wins and placed twice in seven starts. Of course, it’s one thing to tangle with local foes and another to go up against reigning champion Sistercharlie. Sprint

Trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. has won an amazing 58% of his lifetime graded stakes races, striking seven of the 12 times he’s entered a horse in such company. However, don’t buy into the stat too much given that Imperial Hint represents all 12 of those starts, winning seven of them. Mile

Got Stormy is a true miler with $857,958 of her $910,578 in career earnings in races at the eight-furlong distance she’ll go in the Breeders’ Cup. That number comes from 12 of her 16 career starts. She has faced and beaten the boys before, but to take on Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar is a different sort of challenge. At least we know she likes the distance, whereas he’ll be shortening up. Distaff

Trainer Richard Baltas has won 30% of races when he sent a horse out after it was a beaten favorite. That means in 128 such situations, he saddled a winner 38 times. His horses have also hit the board 76 times (59%) during that span. Secret Spice was beaten last time out as the post time favorite in Santa Anita’s Zenyatta Stakes (G1) won by Paradise Woods. Turf

Sadler’s Joy may be a threat to hit the board, but he could be past due his days of winning at this level. He hasn’t won this season, won once last year and has now gone 10 starts without a victory. Even in a down year for the turf division, there are better American threats to be found -- or perhaps the Euros will dominate this race. Classic

Many have clamored for Elate to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. She is 3-for-3 lifetime in races at 10 furlongs, and roughly half of her career earnings have come in the three races at a mile and a quarter. The only other horse in the projected Classic field with multiple wins at 10 furlongs is Code of Honor, who shows two victories and a placing in the Kentucky Derby. For Elate, the questions appear to be more her ability against males and current form which saw her defeated in Keeneland’s Spinster (G1) last time.


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