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06 November 2010

Breeders' Cup Roundup, Saturday edition

Six races in the books and eight more to go, if yesterday’s results taught us anything it is that shopping for prices during the Breeders’ Cup is still the way to go. Not a single pari-mutuel favorite won throughout the Breeders’ Cup portion of the Churchill card. The heavy chalk did manage to hit the board in the Distaff, Juvenile Fillies Turf, and the Fillies and Mares turf. Playing the heavy favorites underneath may be the way to go for the remaining Breeders’ Cup races.

Juvenile Turf

From the looks of it there should not be a horse going off less than 4/1 in this race, this is a very wide-open field. As I said yesterday about the Juvenile Fillies, someone has to win this. If you have a dartboard lying around it may be your best handicapping tool in this race.


Warrior’s Reward is in this race and not the Dirt Mile, his form has been darkened up a bit with his last three starts. The Met Mile he was on the pace, he doesn’t like Saratoga all that much and he showed it in the Forego, and he is zero for two on synthetics. It may be worthwhile to use Warrior’s Reward in the exotics based on the value and the murky form.

Turf Sprint

If you found a dartboard and used it for the Juvenile Turf, keeping that out for this race highly advised.


Looking at the pedigrees of this field, it seems like less than half of them can go any further than 1 1/8 miles. JP’s Gusto has had a very nice season out in southern California, yet there are two knocks on him coming into this race. The first being he has a great sprinters’ pedigree and the other is he did not stay the distance of 1 1/16 miles despite a perfect trip. Boys At Tosconova has been training like clockwork and has some stamina influence on the mare’s side of the pedigree with Coronado’s Quest. Unclue Mo will probably be an underlay in this race, his connections are always bet, the big speed figures are always bet, and he was less than even money in his first two starts.


Goldikova is the first one trying to get the hat trick with consecutive Breeders’ Cup wins today. To appreciate the difficulty of this task you have to go back to 1994 when Lure was attempting the same feat in this race. As usual the Mile has some stiff competition lined up, Gio Ponti is three out of four at the distance, Court Vision has turned in his best races at this distance as well, Paco Boy has been chasing Goldikova since June, Sidney’s Candy had a monster race last time out, and Proviso has a great closing kick going a mile.

Dirt Mile

There were two prep races that were set up for this spot, the Kelso Handicap and the Presque Isle Downs Mile. Tizway and Cool Coal Man are the only ones that used the race Kelso and Gayego is coming from the Presque Isle Downs Mile. The rest of the field is coming from an assortment of races that are being used as preps for the Classic or Sprint. The Forego, Woodward, Pennsylvania Derby, Goodwood, and Indiana Derby were the races to be exact.


Winchester is the America’s best chance at winning this race, the Turf Classic was run over a yielding course at 1 ½ miles, that was a tougher race than the Beyer figures are giving credit for. Debussy has already shipped from England once to win a big race in the U.S., what is stopping him from repeating that effort? His last race was against Vision d’Etat and Twice Over, two top notch runners, and he is in peak form for this effort. Behkabad had a rough trip in the Arc de Triomphe where he was boxed in for most of the race and has run some solid races this year, he could be worth a look at a price.


Pace makes the race and there is an abundance of it in this race. Quality Road has the rail and very few options, Haynesfield’s best races are on or close to the lead, First Dude is usually up on the pace, and Etched has shown nothing but speed throughout his career. Having just three out of four of the projected speeds up there still would set up for a fast early pace and a sweet trip for the closers like Zenyatta, Blame, and Lookin at Lucky. There isn’t much to say about Zenyatta that any other person has said about her, she is an undefeated freak of nature, but taking short odds on what could be her last race of her career is something that is hard to do in a race loaded with talent. Anyone expecting even money or higher on her in this spot will be sorely mistaken, she has received a bulk of the media attention in the last few weeks and has a very loyal fan base so 2/5 odds is more likely than not.

Home field advantage could be the deciding factor here as it was in the Filly & Mare Sprint a day earlier. Blame is three for four at Churchill and his late kick should be well suited for this race. Fly Down is a horse worth a flyer at long odds, he ran a big race in the Travers and is facing older competition for the second time. Flower Alley comes to mind with this type of angle, he did not run to his ability first time against his elders in the 2005 Jockey Club Gold Cup and came back with a second place finish in the classic that year.

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