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Breeders’ Cup 2013 – Saturday analysis, plays

Race 4 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) – 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)

This race really has us confused. Could a longshot swipe the prize?

#2 ROSALIND is due for a big improvement in trip. She covered all the extra ground in her last race, and was respectable in her lone dirt start two back. What is notable is the lack of Lasix used in her first two starts, and she will go back to medication free, as all entrants do. This is a big longshot we think has a chance to be in the mix.

#3 DESIGNER LEGS has been wide throughout her career bar her last race. Could it be excused that it was an even effort after a fast early pace on a surface significantly different than what she faced today? Her two lifetime, genuine wins came off wide trips over fast dirt tracks at out-of-the-way locales, but she was the promoted to the victory in the Adirondack at Saratoga with another wide trip. Draw a line through the sloppy bog at Saratoga…see what we are getting at? It’s not impossible.

There are so many horses on course in the morning that it is near impossible to single-out one that caught your eye. As crazy as it sounds, #5 RIA ANTONIA was the most eye-catching runner we’ve seen…yes, and she’s 30-1 on the morning line. She’ll get blinkers and even though only fifth in the Frizette, she made a big improvement with her new conditioner. Her works have been stellar and she gets blinkers, a move that is hugely positive when made by her trainer. #6 CONCAVE seems far from crazy either, off a 15-1 morning line.

There will be plenty of pace to run at with the presence of #1 ARTEMIS AGROTERA, #8 SCANDALOUS ACT, and #10 SHE’S A TIGER. If speed is holding well at Santa Anita, we prefer She’s A Tiger of this trio, who did everything but win the last bob on the wire.

#9 SWEET REASON almost caught Artemis Agrotera last time, and covered slightly extra ground in the effort. She had two wins that were on sloppy tracks, which probably yields some cause for concern, as her only fast track effort was a loss.

Lacking a clear direction, one must seek the value.

1st – #5 RIA ANTONIA, 2nd – #10 SHE’S A TIGER, 3rd – #2 ROSALIND

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Race 5 – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) – 1 ¼ Miles (Turf)

Was #1 DANK that impressive at Arlington? Yes. Did she run away from a group that was inferior to this one? Yes. Should we cede this race to her without qualification? No.

The pace is coming from #7 LAUGHING, we know that. Game as they come, she has stolen front-end wins in big races on three occasions this year, and there is no other way to go for the daughter of Dansili. They have to catch her, which might be tougher that it would seem.

#2 ROMANTICA has, in our opinion, the best form line in the race – winning the Prix Jean Romanet against Dalkala when herded off the far turn to a ridiculous degree. She can race close or mid-pack, which won’t hurt, especially given the draw. Lightly raced, we do wonder if the intent is to stay in the US or go to the breeding shed off of this race. Her mother won this race some years back, and frankly, runs a pattern that is encouraging. Her firm going success is also in her camp. This is the winner, in our opinion.

Locally, we like #3 TIZ FLIRTATIOUS most of all, but think she might just be a cut below.

1st – #2 ROMANTICA, 2nd – #7 LAUGHING, 3rd – #1 DANK

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Race 6 – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) – 7 Furlongs (Dirt)

Five from nine at Santa Anita, #5 TEDDY’S PROMISE seems a different mare coming into this year’s race. Here late 2012 campaign up into now has seen seven starts, with four wins, two seconds, and a third, including an easy tally last time in the L.A. Woman. What we like most, however, is her ability to sit what is likely the garden trip behind likely pace presence #6 ISMENE.

If #11 GROUPIE DOLL is to repeat, it will have to be from a trip even wider than she traveled last year. Trainer Buff Bradley told us this week she is better than ever, and that Keeneland’s TCA Stakes, where she was third last out, is not her surface and the six-furlong trip isn’t her preferred distance. Still, we just haven’t seen her at the same level she was coming into last year’s race, and that has to be a concern.

This is essentially the eleventh consecutive start of the year for #8 DANCE TO BRISTOL, and while she dances often, her last was completely against her given the profile of the track. As game as she is, it might just be one too many. Could #12 SWEET LULU bounce back off her first career defeat, cut back, and win? We think it’s possible, but again, a wide trip is likely.

1st – #5 TEDDY’S PROMISE, 2nd – #11 GROUPIE DOLL, 3rd – #12 SWEET LULU

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Race 7 – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) – About 6 ½ Furlongs (Turf)

How many horses can win this race? Too many, even after a long, long study of the form.

Let’s get the win candidates named, at least: #2 ROCK ME BABY, #3 CHIPS ALL IN, #4 RENEESGOTZIP, #5 CARACORTADO, #6 BOAT TRIP, #12 MIZDIRECTION, #14 UNBRIDLED’S NOTE. Could others win, yes, but not with our support.

Rock Me Baby had a brutal trip last time and was given no room to lengthen in the lane. He’s a wildly live long shot in the race. Will Chips All In repeat his Eddie D Stakes win where he had a very solid trip. Can Reneesgotzip make all the running this year after an even, and solid, third last year? Will Caracortado improve off a narrow defeat in a slightly troubled-trip in the Eddie D? Does Boat Trip get another clean run from off the pace? Can Mizdirection win again? Is Unbridled’s Note fit for another try off a second a year back?

Which question holds the winning answer?

We’re siding with #14 UNBRIDLED’S NOTE. This is a plum draw for this race, will allow Corey Nakatani to pick his spot after the first, right-handed turn, and seems to have been pointed to this spot a long way out. He turns the tables in a wide-open race.

1st – #14 UNBRIDLED’S NOTE, 2nd – #12 MIZDIRECTION, 3rd – #2 ROCK ME BABY

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Race 8 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) – 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)

This race is a head-scratcher, with a ton of options. Everyone in here has been medicated with Lasix in every lifetime start – so take those angles out of the equation.

While we could see something crazy happening, we side with #2 DANCE WITH FATE. The colt by Godolphin Mile winner Two Step Salsa covered 43 feet more than Bond Holder in the FrontRunner Stakes and was hanging in gamely after all that. It was his first start on dirt, and the performance caught our eye.

Is #13 HAVANA good enough to overcome the wide draw, in his first start over two turns? A massive question. To his outside is #14 STRONG MANDATE, who seemingly was wrestled back off the lead in the Champaign last time when Havana was allowed to roam free. Both horses in their draws lead us to severly question their chances. #11 MEDAL COUNT was explosive in his first start and gets back on dirt for Dale Romans after a curious effort in the Bourbon.

Many ways to go here.

1st – #2 DANCE WITH FATE, 2nd – #11 MEDAL COUNT, 3rd – #13 HAVANA

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Race 9 – Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) – 1 ½ Miles (Turf)

Let’s get this out of the way. #7 THE FUGUE had an absolutely perfect trip in her last two wins. Perfection. She had a brutal trip here last year, and we think William Buick will be interested in keeping her out of trouble for as long as possible. Does that mean she covers extra ground – probably. Is it a big problem? We don’t think so. But still, will everything go right for The Fugue this year? You have to look elsewhere for value.

#12 REAL SOLUTION covered as much extra ground as #4 LITTLE MIKE did in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, and really seems like a 12-furlong horse to us. He is a notoriously good worker in the mornings, but the glowing reports from his last work in New York have us inclined to use him. The pace could come from #2 TEAKS NORTH with the aforementioned defending champion, Little Mike, in close attendance.

What do you do with #11 MAGICIAN, who seems given an impossible task here, even though his win in the Dee Stakes was over the longest trip of his career thus far. As much as one can try and get creative and see a way in which he wins, he’ll surprise us, and beat us, if he does.

#8 POINT OF ENTRY was second in this race a year ago, but has an equally impossible task of coming back from a condylar fracture with no prep race. As game as he’s been in his career, this would be an overwhelming result if he wins.

1st – #12 REAL SOLUTION, 2nd – #7 THE FUGUE, 3rd – #4 LITTLE MIKE

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Race 10 – Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) – 6 Furlongs (Dirt)

We’ve been fans of #7 PRIVATE ZONE since before he showed in Dubai. This horse has heart and grit like we haven’t seen, and his performance in the Vosburgh was no different. He gets passed, fights back, and manages to pull it out. Will he be on the lead throughout or sit with the other speed and push on from there? It’s tough to say, in our opinion, but one cannot abandon him now, especially with the heart he has shown in his last two wins.

#2 THE LUMBER GUY was second in this race a year ago and hasn’t been the same since. Here’s the thing – he had a monumentally fast workout just before the Vosburgh, and it may have overcooked him. The very fact he is back again gives us the thought something slight went amiss and they are giving it another go. We can’t ignore him.

#6 BAHAMAIAN SQUALL had a wider run in the Vosburgh, but bouncing back to his best grabs him a slice of the action.

1st – #7 PRIVATE ZONE, 2nd – #2 THE LUMBER GUY, 3rd – #6 BAHAMAIAN SQUALL

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Race 11 – Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) – 1 Mile (Turf)

#8 WISE DAN might lose ground, but the pace setup likely aides him again to take this race, in what is a wildly disappointing field from a quality sense. Longshots #2 SILENTIO, #7 HE BE FIRE N ICE, and #10 ZA APPROVAL are possible to take the under positions. As for #5 OLYMPIC GLORY, we just think he is here as an afterthought to his campaign, which was so brilliantly capped in the QE II Stakes last out.

1st – #8 WISE DAN, 2nd – #7 HE BE FIRE N ICE, 3rd – #2 SILENTIO

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Race 12 – Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) – 1 ¼ Miles (Dirt)

Let’s talk about the pace setup. #4 MORENO has to go to the front, and #7 FORT LARNED has almost no other choice to do the same. #6 MUCHO MACHO MAN and #9 GAME ON DUDE are likely to sit in the second flight, with #2 PAYNTER and #8 PALACE MALICE in that next flight with wider based #12 FLAT OUT nearby.

How fast will they go? Uncertain. But here’s what we know.

#6 MUCHO MACHO MAN had a phenomenal prep race, really demolishing the local competition in California. He clearly loves Santa Anita and should run another big one. #7 FORT LARNED has scared us with his preparation and on-off running style. He had the advantage in a different way last year after Game On Dude missed the break, and question if he gets anything close to that this season.

Can #8 PALACE MALICE run a big race in his tenth start of the season? He is the best of the 3-year-olds in our opinion, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup also-rans have been gold in this race, winning the last three Classics (Blame, Drosselmeyer, and Fort Larned). It’s been a long campaign, but he’s not without excuses last time. According to Trakus, Palace Malice covered 63 feet more than Ron the Greek, a distance that equates to longer than his margin of defeat.

We think #5 DECLARATION OF WAR has a chance. His all dirt pedigree, the chance he came to this race a year ago, was put off, and he came back – he gets Lasix, ends his career, and should get a mid-pack, ground-saving trip…gosh, we can’t pick him on top (just can’t), but see scenarios where he wins. Multi-race bettors should absolutely use him.

Game On Dude could win for fun. Even though the plan was to give him time coming into this race off a mammoth Pacific Classic win, he is going to have to settle off the speed or go bonkers with Moreno and Fort Larned, and that ruins the race for all of them.

1st – #8 PALACE MALICE, 2nd – #6 MUCHO MACHO MAN, 3rd – #5 DECLARATION OF WAR

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Exotics Plays for Breeders’ Cup Saturday

Race 4 – $0.50 Pick 4: 2,3,5,6,9,10 with 1,2 with 5,8,11,12 with 4,5,12,14 = $96
R4 – Rosalind, Designer Legs, Ria Antonia, Concave, Sweet Reason, She’s a Tiger
R5 – Dank, Romantica
R6 – Teddy’s Promise, Dance to Bristol, Groupie Doll, Sweet Lulu
R7 – Reneesgotzip, Caracortado, Mizdirection, Unbridled’s Note

Race 7 – $0.50 Trifecta: 4,5,12,14 with 4,5,12,14 with ALL = $72
Race 7 – $0.50 Trifecta: 4,5,12,14 with ALL with 4,5,12,14 = $72
Reneesgotzip, Caracortado, Mizdirection, Unbridled’s Note with
Same 4 horses with
ALL

Race 9 – $0.50 Pick 4: 4,7,9,12 with 2,6,7 with 8 with 5,6,7,8,9 = $30
R9 – Little Mike, The Fugue, Indy Point, Real Solution
R10 – The Lumber Guy, Bahamian Squall, Private Zone
R11 – Wise Dan
R12 – Declaration of War, Mucho Macho Man, Fort Larned, Palace Malice, Game On Dude

Race 12 – $0.50 Trifecta: 5,6,7,8,9 with 5,6,7,8,9 with ALL = $90
Declaration of War, Mucho Macho Man, Fort Larned, Palace Malice, Game On Dude with,
SAME 4 horses with
ALL

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