Breeders' Cup Turf 2019: Projected field and odds

October 18, 2019 10:24am
Unlike in years past, the biggest story of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf could be which horses don't run in the 12-furlong turf race Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.

 and Waldgeist, the winners of Europe's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe over the last three years, will not be heading stateside. Leading Horse of the Year contender Bricks and Mortar may end up in the Mile instead of the Turf. And Japan, a top 3-year-old for trainer Aidan O'Brien, may also miss the Turf.

Magical and Deirdre are slated to race on Saturday at Ascot in the Champion Stakes (G1). For them, a decision needs to be made after they come out of that race.

The following are the probable contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Turf and their projected morning line odds assuming that only these horses are entered.

Super Screener insight: only twice in the last six runnings of the Turf has a North American horse won this race, with both of them exiting the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) at Belmont Park. Click here for more secrets to winning on the Breeders’ Cup.

Acclimate 20-1 [Acclamation -- Phil d’Amato -- 17:6-2-2 -- $365,873]: He's never run at exactly 12 furlongs, but he won two back in the 1 3/8-mile Del Mar Handicap (G2). While not as accomplished as others in the projected field, the California-bred will be a factor in the early pace, as he's won long in wire-to-wire fashion.

Trainer Phil d'Amato has one Breeders' Cup win to his credit, when Obviously won the Turf Sprint in 2016.

Anthony Van Dyck
 10-1 [Galileo -- Aiden O’Brien -- 12:5-2-2 -- $1,947,282]: With victories at every group level in Europe, the Epsom Derby (G1) winner Anthony Van Dyck heads to the Breeders' Cup for the second time in his career. At age 2, he finished ninth in the Juvenile Turf.

He's also proven to be somewhat versatile style-wise as he can press the pace just as easily as sit back further off the pacesetters. The 3-year old Galileo colt has won and placed once in three tries at 12 furlongs.

 8-1  [Arch -- Brad Cox -- 23:6-6-2 -- $1,776,382]: Presumably North America's best chance to win the Turf should Bricks and Mortar indeed opt for the Mile, Arklow has hit the board in five consecutive graded stakes races.

He owns two wins and has placed twice in six career starts at a mile and a half. Last time, he won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, mentioned above as a key race for the Turf.

Arklow employs a style that puts him initially in the middle of the pack, so don't look for him to be near the lead early.

Bricks and Mortar
 2-1   [Giant’s Causeway -- Chad Brown -- 12:10-0-2 -- $4,885,650]: He's 5-for-5 this year, is entering the Breeders' Cup on a six-race win streak and has never missed the board in 12 career races.

Bricks and Mortar won the Arlington Million (G1) as well as the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). Which race he will ultimately find himself in is one of the biggest storylines heading into the 2019 Breeders' Cup.

As with Arklow, he is not usually seen near the front of the pack, but rather saves his energy for late in the races with an explosive late burst. Bricks and Mortar has never tried 12 furlongs and has never lost at a mile. That may be the deciding factor on where he lands.

Channel Cat
  15-1 [English Channel -- Todd Pletcher -- 18:5-2-4 -- $854,792]: Channel Cat became a graded stakes winner when stealing the Bowling Green (G2) at Saratoga on the front end.

This is known to press the early pace and may enjoy a softer turf, so keep that in mind if there's some late October rain at Santa Anita.

He's tried 1 1/2 miles three times previously with one win, one third-place finish, and he most recently finished fourth in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. 

Channel Maker
 12-1  [English Channel -- Bill Mott -- 28:5-5-3 -- $2,152,108]: His second-place finish in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic was his best result since winning the Man o' War (G1) at Belmont earlier this year.

He's been beaten by many of the contenders of this race but he always seems to compete. 

This gelding does his best work when going to the early lead and has won twice in seven tries at the distance, so he is definitely to be seen as a contender to hit the board in the Turf.

Cleopatra’s Strike
 25-1 [Smart Strike -- Phi d’Amato -- 25:4-9-2 -- $376,844]: This 6-year old Smart Strike gelding is putting in the best performances of his career of late and became a graded stakes winner last out, capturing the John Henry Turf Championship Stakes (G2) at santa Anita.

He has a win and a place on the Arcadia turf course but has never run at exactly 12 furlongs. 

While less accomplished than some of his potential foes, he should employ an early midpack style like some of the other major players here, so look for him to be in the mix. Whether he can finish with the classier rivals remains to be seen.

 6-1 [Galileo -- Aiden O’Brien -- 20:8-6-0 -- $3,322,299]: As stated above, Magical is set to race at Ascot on Saturday, so her availability for the Breeders' Cup won't be known until after she comes out of her race.

If she does in fact run in the Turf, look for her to be forwardly placed. She has been recently beaten by the likes of Waldgeist, Enable and Crystal Ocean -- foes she wouldn't have to face again in the Turf.

Magical has won four times and finished second three times in eight races this year.

Trainer Aiden O'brien has won this race six times previously: High Chaparral (2002, 2003 dead heat), St Nicholas Abbey (2011), Magician (2013), Found (2015), Highland Reel (2016).

Old Persian 20-1  
[Dubawi -- Charlie Appleby -- 16:9-1-2 -- $4,349,758]: Old Persian won his North American debut in September when he bested all rivals in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (G1) at Woodbine.

Trainer Charlie Applbey has three Breeders' Cup wins, most recently in the Juvenile Turf with Line of Duty last year. He has yet to win the Turf.

The 4-year old by Dubawi is not a pacesetter and more often than not is found tracking the early leaders. He has more than $4 million in earnings and has won multiple Group 1 races. He should be seen as a strong contender among the European invaders.


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