Race 4 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – 1 Mile – Turf
This race is ALL about the Euro shippers. We’ve settled on #5 FANTASTIC MOON for discerning trainer Jeremy Noseda. His win two back was nothing short of explosive, and had a brutal trip in the Royal Lodge Stakes last time. While beaten five lengths in that race, he galloped out with the leaders, and slightly past them, enough to make us think his finish was better than the margin suggested. This guy is good, and Noseda doesn’t ship unless he really likes his chances.
My goal in this race is to get Fantastic Moon in the trifecta with one other European shipper. #2 ARTIGIANO, #3 GEORGE VANCOUVER, #6 DUNDONNELL, and #14 LINES OF BATTLE all interest me, obviously, with Lines of Battle potentially the most intriguing. Dundonell gets plenty of discussion after his maiden win, and while some think the world of Toronado’s potential, I was relatively unmoved by the Champagne Stakes, and this Roger Charlton trainee is a possible underlay.
Either way, I’ve laid out my wagering strategy for the race and think the EU holds the key.
1st – #5 FANTASTIC MOON, 2nd – #2 ARTIGIANO, 3rd – #14 LINES OF BATTLE
Race 5 – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint – 7 Furlongs – Dirt
#9 GROUPIE DOLL is expected to be the shortest price of the meeting, and deservedly so. You can try to get fancy, but it just seems futile. We’ll try and connect her again with #4 STRIKE THE MOON, who ran behind her last out at Keeneland but caught a very wide trip.
1st – #9 GROUPIE DOLL, 2nd – #4 STRIKE THE MOON, 3rd – #5 TURBULENT DESCENT
Race 6 – Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile – 1 Mile – Dirt
Believe it or not, this is the first time this race is actually run on dirt, at a mile. Humorous. We’ll be completely honest in suggesting our opinions on this race are far from strong. #4 JOHN SCOTT is set for a better trip than last time in much lesser company. According to Trakus, he covered 40 feet more than winner Lucky Primo, but was beaten only 1 ¼ lengths, definitely enough ground to account for the margin of defeat. With the glut of speed in this race, there is every reason to believe this gelding has as good a chance as the more accomplished runners on paper. #6 SHACKLEFORD gives you everything, and was second in this race a year ago. We think he lands there again.
1st – #4 JOHN SCOTT, 2nd – #6 SHACKLEFORD, 3rd – #1 RAIL TRIP
Race 7 – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint – About 6.5 Furlongs – Turf
Another race without a monumentally strong opinion, other than the fact that the speed seems to be plentiful. #13 UNBRIDLED’S NOTE ran huge here last time and gives us no reason to believe he’ll regress. Longshot board-hitting chances sit with #4 TALE OF A CHAMPION and #11 MIZDIRECTION.
1st – #13 UNBRIDLED’S NOTE, 2nd – #4 TALE OF A CHAMPION, 3rd – #11 MIZDIRECTION
Race 8 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – 1 1/16 Miles – Dirt
#9 POWER BROKER is a potential single in the lucrative pick six. Of the two turn dirt races run at Santa Anita this meet (there were more than 30), Power Broker is the only horse to have run the widest trip and win (on a track statistically proven to favor ground-saving in these types of races). Not only did he win, he won by more than six lengths, and if you account for the extra ground he covered compared to his defeated rivals, it equated to a ten length score.
If someone does step up, we like it to be #6 DYNAMIC SKY, who will need to save more ground and has to do it with normal rider Luis Contreras, who has shown no interest in doing that in the past. They’ve switched the bit on the son of Sky Mesa, who covered a slew of extra ground in the Breeders’ Futurity and just missed. #1 TITLE CONTENDER rode the grain of the track (inside, speed) over the mile trip last time and soared away, but it could play well to him again.
1st – #9 POWER BROKER, 2nd – #6 DYNAMIC SKY, 3rd – #1 TITLE CONTENDER
Race 9 – Breeders’ Cup Turf – 1 ½ Miles – Turf
#3 ST NICHOLAS ABBEY is going to get a brilliant setup here in his title defending BC Turf try. While we ignore the Arc due to the conditions, and recognize the length of his campaign, the presence of #7 LITTLE MIKE, #2 TURBO COMPRESSOR, and #11 SLIM SHADEY suggest that the pace will be a frenetic one, setting the stage for a closer. When races have been run true, St. Nicholas Abbey performs best, and that will happen here for certain. #5 SHARETA likes to be close as well, but will find herself outpaced from the Americans, and so does the Japanese import #12 TRAILBLAZER, but think he can settle more after a nice local leg-stretcher last time.
What about America’s top turfer #2 POINT OF ENTRY? No thanks. The competition he has faced all year is far inferior to the top foreign shippers here.
1st – #3 ST NICHOLAS ABBEY, 2nd – #12 TRAILBLAZER, 3rd – #5 SHARETA
Race 10 – Breeders’ Cup Sprint – 6 Furlongs – Dirt
Toss the last race from #3 GANTRY. He was never going to be primed for that effort after earning an expenses-paid berth in this race at Calder in July. Many horses in this race want to be close to the lead, but just off it (likely to be promulgated by #1 SUM OF THE PARTS and #9 TRINNIBERG), but Gantry is probably the one who actually gets that garden stalking spot. Pointed here and prepared for it a long way out, that faux last race only thickens the price. #10 SMILING TIGER has run his best races off the shelf, and you can disregard that return in May when he had a troubled trip. Maybe a bombers chance underneath
1st – #3 GANTRY, 2nd – #9 TRINNIBERG, 3rd – #10 SMILING TIGER
Race 11 – Breeders’ Cup Mile – 1 Mile – Turf
When #3 OBVIOUSLY was drawn inside, the race shape really cleared. Every contender in this race has some knock, of some degree, to go against them. #2 WISE DAN gets his biggest class test. #6 EXCELEBRATION is amazing, especially when Frankel isn’t running, but had an arguably very trying race last time. Factor in the ship and it’s a question. #9 MOONLIGHT CLOUD has an alarming pattern of wins and then losses, has found trouble in the past, and hasn’t beaten Excelebration despite a troubled trip. She almost beat Black Caviar, but everyone seems to forget that factoid. She has a legitimate shout. #1 MR COMMONS always falters, but yet always shows up at the races. Bottom line – they all have to catch the speedy Obviously. We are willing to take the chance that the fastest horse in the race doesn’t stop.
1st – #3 OBVIOUSLY, 2nd – #9 MOONLIGHT CLOUD, 3rd – #6 EXCELEBRATION
Race 12 – Breeders’ Cup Classic – 1 ¼ Miles – Dirt
Liking #5 GAME ON DUDE is obvious, for reasons that the form clearly expound. When he faces top company at 10 furlongs, he just hasn’t been near as convincing. There are chinks in this armor, and we will take a shot elsewhere, specifically with #4 FORT LARNED. The workout information we’ve received is absolutely tops, being told that the last work from this son of E Dubai was the best of his career. He grabbed a spot here in the Whitney and really didn’t need a massive effort last time over a quirky Belmont track which was drying-out after a big storm the previous day. He can sit just off the pace or go forward. We’ll give him the chance to get the job done in the big spot.
1st – #4 FORT LARNED, 2nd – #5 GAME ON DUDE, 3rd – #11 MUCHO MACHO MAN
Good luck and enjoy the Breeders’ Cup!