Race 6 – Breeders’ Cup Marathon (G2) – 1 ¾ Miles (Dirt)
Horses who want to be out in front are plentiful in this always quirky race, with #8 BLUESKIESNRAINBOWS, #3 COMMANDER, #4 EVER RIDER, and #7 LONDON BRIDGE all wanting to be a part of the speed. #2 CEASE, coming into this off a seven furlong race, could be prominent, along with #10 WORLDLY, and #5 SUNS OUT GUNS OUT won’t be far behind.
#6 INDIAN JONES seems like a wildly logical play to come pick up the pieces from a “frenetic” early gallop, along with #9 POOL PLAY. Both have to be considered to be in with chances.
1st – #6 INDIAN JONES, 2nd – #9 POOL PLAY, 3rd – #10 WORLDLY
Race 7 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) – 1 Mile (Turf)
#2 GIOVANNI BOLDINI has had our eye for more than a month. His prep for this was in the same race as last year’s UAE Derby winner Lines of Battle, who was drawn in the car park in this race a season back. Hardly asked to run in that race at Dundalk, Giovanni Boldini traveled with the greatest of ease and soared away from a field that was far from a pushover. He’s also succeeded without Lasix before, which can only help, and gets a seven pound break from his first three starts.
#5 BOBBY’S KITTEN was wildly impressive in his last two starts, winning with different styles in his maiden tally at Saratoga, and a stake at Belmont. He is the top of the American contingent, without a doubt, and could easily win. #8 BON ACCORD covered 54 feet more than winner #11 POKER PLAYER last time, and should get a better trip at a monster price. He’s a viable juicy longshot in a field with many viable shorter-priced horses.
1st – #2 GIOVANNI BOLDINI, 2nd – #5 BOBBY’S KITTEN, 3rd – #8 BON ACCORD
Race 8 – Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) – 1 Mile (Dirt)
Can you be concerned with the wide draw of some horses in short runs to the turn at Santa Anita and not others? We have to admit we really like #12 GOLDENCENTS in this one, and the draw is, in fact, a turn-off. Still, we are going to stick with him. He was possible for either the Breeders’ Cup Sprint or Dirt Mile, but the emergence of Private Zone kept him in this race for trainer Doug O’Neill. He was coming hard at Points Offthebench last time, a horse who would’ve been the favourite for the Sprint, but suffered a fatal injury last week.
Something strange seems possible in this race, with a plethora of horses seemingly running the same type of race more often than not. What’s wrong with aiming towards someone like #3 HYMN BOOK who will likely save ground and hope to run into a collapsing pace? Or #4 BRUJO DE OLLEROS, who while picking up 11 pounds over last year, is due to get a much better trip than he did in the Kelso? Honestly, we think anyone can win this race, so why drone on and on about all the possible scenarios?
1st – #12 GOLDENCENTS, 2nd – #4 BRUJO DE OLLEROS, 3rd – #4 HYMN BOOK
Race 9 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) – 1 Mile (Turf)
There are two horses based in the US that we actually like in this race: #11 READY TO ACT and #9 DANCING HOUSE. The former was en route to a cozy win at Woodbine before ducking into the rail in the straight at Woodbine and blowing the race. If she had managed the win there, she’d be amongst the favourites and offers great value as a result. Add into the equation there is little pace in this race, on paper, bar #1 NESSO, who will almost assuredly have to go from the inside. Ready to Act could stay on if clearing to the inside early. Meanwhile, Dancing House showed a turn of foot to close into the action at Belmont before flattening out. She’s never been treated with Lasix, which makes her at least worth considering.
Regardless, the action for us belongs with the foreigners. #2 AL THAKHIRA was overwhelmingly impressive winning the Rockfel Stakes last out, gets a jockey very familiar with this course, and is just going to need to get the splits. There should be no issue with the distance given how the Rockfel went. #6 VORDA only suffered defeat at the hands of the very impressive No Nay Never, and ran on well to capture the Cheveley Park Stakes last time. Never having run over more than six furlongs, there might be some concern if she sees out this trip, but will surely be prepared as her owner seeks a second consecutive win in this race.
Meanwhile, #8 CHRISELLIAM is likely to be forgotten yet again, even off the 28-1 score in the Fillies Mile last out, where she seemingly say behind a slow pace and kicked on well over the rare firm going this autumn in the UK. She’s been bet, and handled, as if she were slightly a cut below, and you almost have to treat her in that manner. Last time was a massive overlay, and now, you have to think she’ll be shorter.
Bottom line – we really like Al Thakhira
1st – #2 AL THAKHIRA, 2nd – #11 READY TO ACT, 3rd – #6 VORDA
Race 10 – Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) – 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt)
What a race.
#4 ROYAL DELTA has always bounced back, always. Knowing that this was the point all along, is there any reason to think that she doesn’t bounce back from her Beldame defeat to #6 PRINCESS OF SYLMAR, who was never really pointing for this race? Intent is a huge, and often unaccounted variable in race analysis, and we have to think that it matters here…at least a bit.
#5 BEHOLDER is speed and won the Juvenile Fillies here last year. She makes her all-important third run off the layoff, and could be rounding into the best form of her life. Still, she got away with murder last time with a slow pace, and it just feels like there will be too much breathing down her neck to get it done.
#2 AUTHENTICITY is at least going to sit off the pace and make one run. She was forced into a premature move last time out when second behind Beholder, and showed some grit we really liked to see. She is not an impossible longshot.
1st – #4 ROYAL DELTA, 2nd – #2 AUTHENTICITY, 3rd – #5 BEHOLDER
Exotic plays for Friday’s races:
Race 6 – $0.50 Pick 3: 6,9 with 2,5,8,9 with 2,3,4,12 = $16
R6 Indian Jones, Pool Play with
R7 Giovanni Boldini, Bobby’s Kitten, Bon Accord, Wilshire Boulevard with
R8 Golden Ticket, Hymn Book, Brujo de Olleros, Goldencents
Race 9 – $0.50 Trifecta: 2 with 6,8,9,11,12,13 with ALL = $36
Race 9 – $0.50 Trifecta: 2 with ALL with 6,8,9,11,12,13 = $36
Al Thakhira with
Vorda, Chriselliam, Dancing House, Ready to Act, Testa Rossi, Sky Painter with
ALL other horses, then reverse second and third position
Saturday’s analysis will be posted later on Thursday.