SATURDAY’S BREEDERS’ CUP RACES
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE TURF (G2) – 1 MILE
I think John Gosden will be thrilled to get firm turf under #6 UTLEY. A race that lacks ANY standout deserves attention to Gosden bringing a youngster to this event. The breeding is impeccable and it seems #5 MASTER OF HOUNDS is likely to be overplayed. #7 WILLCOX INN intrigues as he has plenty of turf breeding and advanced well against a speed favoring track last time out.
THE PICK: #6 UTLEY
SENTIENT JET BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT (G1) – 6 FURLONGS
There is an abundance of early speed in this event and I can’t help but think we will see the best from #12 WARRIOR’S REWARD. Third off a 90-day layoff, this Ian Wilkes-trainee has had success at Churchill before and sits with the most capable hands of Julien Leparoux. #2 GIROLAMO shares some similar qualities to the closer, but I just failed to think his win over #10 RILEY TUCKER was that impressive at Belmont. If anyone from California makes an impression, it could be #5 SMILING TIGER who has shown resilience on the front end. A win from this one would be no surprise.
THE PICK: #12 WARRIOR’S REWARD
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT (G2) – 5 FURLONGS TURF
#1 CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE will have a ton of pace to run at and if he can clear running room to the outside, his preferred path, Jamie Theriot will have this turf sprint specialist gunning from the rear. A hoof abscess earlier in the week was no bother in gallops later on for this wily veteran. He normally likes to run on from the outside and is stuck down on the inside, which could cause a small concern in a quick race, I just think too much might need to go his way. #5 SILVER TIMBER has a win over the course and distance and is likely to be in a better position to pounce on the speed that starts to fade in the final strides.
THE PICK: #5 SILVER TIMBER
GREY GOOSE BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE (G1) – 1 1/16 MILES
#1 BIONDETTI has an overwhelming pedigree and I was impressed with the way in which he won at San Siro. This race is ridiculously heavy with early speed and I can’t get away from the fact that Biondetti will likely come from well back to launch a run and give Godolphin back-to-back winners in the Juvenile. The American youngsters, #2 BOYS AT TOSCONOVA and #7 UNCLE MO have been impressive by the way in which they have won but still don’t give me that feeling of invincibility here. Value strikes again for the boys in blue and Ahmed Ajtebi.
THE PICK: #1 BIONDETTI
TVG BREEDERS’ CUP MILE (G1) – 1 MILE TURF
#10 GOLDIKOVA will get all the attention and deservedly so. Playing heavy favorites against a few other superstars is just trouble in my opinion and am siding with #3 GIO PONTI. His performance in the Shadwell Turf Mile was brilliant and gives you a reason to think #2 SOCIETY’S CHAIRMAN could run a big race as well. Goldikova was all out last year to beat some average horses in Courageous Cat and Justenuffhumor. Gio Ponti, to me, is a beast and while the decision to go here over the Classic was oft-debated, they KNOW they have a great turfer.
THE PICK: #3 GIO PONTI
BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE (G1) – 1 MILE
#2 TIZWAY has been great since returning from the Japan Cup Dirt last year. His one-turn mile in the Kelso last time out stands as the single best one-turn mile performance of anyone in the race, and he wasn’t asked to extend himself that much. #5 HERE COMES BEN exploded on the scene at Saratoga, winning the Forego and is in a barn that couldn’t be hotter right now. It’s a tough call in a good race.
THE PICK: #5 HERE COMES BEN
EMIRATES AIRLINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF (G1) – 1 ½ MILES TURF
The best of the Americans, by far, is #5 AL KHALI. He has endured some troubled trips, but we saw what is close to his top performance in the Bowling Green Handicap and even then, he still had plenty in the tank. A clean trip in a smaller field could give him a home team win. #8 DANGEROUS MIDGE has been quiet in Europe, staying away from the main races, and while that is of some concern, the presence of Arc runners #6 WORKFORCE and #7 BEHKABAD do nothing to discourage me as I think both have knocks against them here. Brian Meehan won this race with a less-regarded Euro in Red Rocks and I think he has a stellar chance to do it again. We saw a push-button acceleration in that last event at Newbury and the mount of Frankie Dettori possesses some much needed early hoof in this event.
THE PICK: #8 DANGEROUS MIDGE
BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
#5 BLAME wears down rivals with an unwavering style. He did it last year winning the Stephen Foster (G1) in June over this same track, then at Saratoga against #1 QUALITY ROAD. His loss in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) was clearly a prep and he endured some travel issues getting to Belmont the day before the race. He is thriving at Churchill and it is all systems go to serve up a defeat to #8 ZENYATTA. #6 FLY DOWN is due to get up in time one of these days and a cleaner trip under a much more polished rider is to his benefit. #10 ETCHED serves as a longshot chance to grab a piece, if not the whole thing with some luck.
THE PICK: #5 BLAME