The Breeders Cup returns to Santa Anita for the first of its two consecutive runnings there and the hosts have discarded the cushion track experiment and returned to traditional dirt.  This is not good news for European raiders.

All times are local (Jamaica) times.  The turf track is expected to be firm; the dirt track fast.

THE MARATHON (Grade 2; 14f; dirt; 3yo+; US$500,000; 3.45 p.m.)

Top rated, Indiana Jones, rarely runs beyond 9f but produced a career best effort at 12f.  At likely double digit odds, there’s more value in taking WORLDLY’s stamina on spec.  His 3rd behind reigning Classic winner Fort Larned over 9f on last is good enough to beat these once he gets the trip.

MARATHON SELECTION:#10   WORLDLY (David Flores rides)


THE JUVENILE TURF (Grade 1; 8f; turf; 2yo c&g; US$1 million; 4.25 p.m.)

U.K trained runners have won all three of these races run at Santa Anita with Aidan O’Brien winning the last 2.  Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes winner Bobby’s Kitten is a smart prospect and the leading U.S. light but the U.K Challenge should again prove too strong with Godolphin’s Outstrip (disappointing in the Dewhurst on last) carrying the British Flag and Ballydoyle’s Wiltshire Boulevard (2nd in the Gimcrack) and GIOVANNI BOLDINI (nap) doing duties for Ireland.  The latter is an improver; steps up to the trip he appears to need; and has secured a plum Number 2 draw. 


THE DIRT MILE (Grade 1; 3yo+; 8f; dirt; U$$1 million; 5.05 p.m.)

East Coast star Verrazano, beaten only in the Kentucky Derby and Travers) should prove hard to beat but this is the West Coast and it’s likely there’s more to come from the unexposed (at a mile) GOLDEN CENTS. 

DIRT MILE SELECTION:  #12   GOLDEN CENTS (Rafael Bejarano rides)



JUVENILE FILLIES TURF (Grade 1; 8f; turf; 2yof; US$1,000,000; 5.50 pm)

Oddly, Europe has only won one of the four runnings of this race at Santa Anita (2009; Flotilla) and it looks like another home win as the brilliant MY CONQUESTADORE (BANKER) who made a winning debut in a Grade 2 turf race then, switched to polytrack (Keeneland) and stepped up to Grade 1, she overcame a troubled trip to score a comfortable win.  She should prove too good for French raider, Vorda, the best of the Europeans.  Outsiders to keep onside are Al Thakhira, unbeaten in 2 starts including the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes 3 weeks ago and who looks likely suited by a mile and the tight track; and Testa Rossi a French import trained by top conditioner Chad Brown who won a Grade 3 event at Belmont (Sky Painter nose second) in a time faster than the equivalent colts race run that day.  Watch out!



BREEDERS CUP DISTAFF (Grade 1; 9f; dirt; 3yo+ fillies & mares; 6.35 pm)

Royal Delta, winner of the last two renewals of this event and the best mare in America goes for the hat-trick here (only Goldikova has previously won 3 Breeders’ Cup races) but she looks a bit vulnerable this year (2l 2nd of 5 to subsequent Kentucky Oaks winner, Princess of Sylmar, in the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont) and could finally fall to the younger generation headed by the aforesaid Princess of Sylmar and narrow Oaks 2nd BEHOLDER who went clear in the straight at Churchill Downs but was worn down late by Princess of Sylmar.  Over this much sharper circuit, BEHOLDER is confidently expected to reverse Oaks form.


Good Luck!



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