Breeders Cup Saturday is every turfite’s favourite race day. The races are competitive; the winning odds always good. Winners are hard to spot. As usual, times quoted are local (Jamaica) times. The turf track is expected to be firm; the dirt track fast.

THE JUVENILE FILLIES (Grade 1; 8.5f; dirt; 2yof; 2.05 p.m.)

Trainer Todd Fletcher seems to have a stranglehold on this year’s event with his duo #2 Angela Renee and #1 FEATHERED best drawn with big danger #12 By The Moon, whose best effort was on a sloppy track in the Frizette, drawn in the car park. Angela Renee has the better form of the Fletcher duo and is the ride of John Velasquez but, despite her 8.5f win on last (held on) her dam was a sprinter and she doesn’t seem to have the scope of her stable companion (a late foal whose progress was only halted by sloppy underfoot conditions last time out in the Frizette). She’s confidently expected to turn the tables on By The Moon and is at a stage of much more rapid improvement than her stablemate.



THE FILLY AND MARE TURF (Grade 1; 1Of; turf; 3yo f&m; 2.43 p.m.)

Last year’s winner #3 Dank (another winning selection for your favourite Tout in 2013) returns to defend her crown after only two disappointing runs this year. Don’t pay any attention to this. Those runs were against colts and she’s back against her own sex now working with her usual flair at home. She’s coming to run; top-rated in the race; and whoever beats her, wins

Yet, she is eminently opposable at likely prices as is likely second favourite #10 Stephanie’s Kitten a difficult ride even for accomplished John Velasquez who must also overcome a very poor draw. The interesting two are a pair of 4yo fillies namely #2 JUST THE JUDGE (not clearest of runs inside the final furlong when a neck behind Stephanie’s Kitten in the Arlington Million (both 3/4l behind winner Euro Charline) and #7 Emollient (dictated a steady early gallop last year when 1 length 4th to Dank) who showed significant improvement fitted with first time blinkers on last winning the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes over course and distance with re-opposers #9 Parranda, #8 Irish Mission and #11 Rusty Slipper all well held behind. If the headgear works again, she’ll run a cracker.

However, JUST THE JUDGE is more unexposed at the trip winning the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine last time out on only her third try and she’s just the sort of fit, fresh filly to turn the defending champion over




THE FILLY AND MARE SPRINT (Grade 1; 3yo+f&m; 7f; dirt; 3.21 p.m.)

#7 Judy The Beauty was an excellent staying on 2nd to Groupie Doll last year but 6 of her 8 wins have come on synthetics (she had Groupie Doll behind when winning a Grade 2 on Keeneland’s polytrack surface just before the 2013 filly and mare sprint) and she has recorded only one win from 8 starts on dirt. #6 Leigh Court is progressing all the time and will likely improve again but this is her stiffest test to date and she won’t have things her own way up front where she loves to run.

The two to concentrate on are #1 Sweet Reason whose win in the Test Stakes is quality form and #5 ARTEMIS AGROTERA a high class East Coast shipper who might have found the 8.5f trip too long when visiting last year for the Juvenile Fillies. She’s a perfect 3 for 3 at this trip.



THE TURF SPRINT (Grade 1; 3yo+; 6.5f; turf; 4.05pm)

Lots of hold up types in this event which could present #6 BOBBY’S KITTEN with a glorious opportunity, finally dropped in trip, to make all. #14 No Say Never is another who won’t be far off the early gallop and his form on two continents is very impressive indeed. He’s a huge danger to all and sundry. #10 Home Run Kitten produced a terrific turn of foot to win over course and distance on last and is an unexposed sort but, like #11 Undrafted who’ll love the trip and who may well have needed his last run, both would prefer to have a speed duel up front producing a fast early gallop to run at late.



BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE (Grade 1; 2yoc&g; 8.5f; dirt; 4.43 pm)

A wide open race: #8 Souper Collosal (brilliant bullet work of 57.2 at Santa Anita October 27) and #4 The Great War are intriguing entries but the former, a most progressive sort, still has something to find up from non-graded stakes company (is capable of doing just that) while the latter’s stamina might be stretched although his breeding suggests he can improve for this his first run on dirt. Both are outsiders to note.

Stamina queries also surround highly fancied #12 Daredevil, unbeaten in two starts (both on a sloppy Belmont track) and whose dam, Chasethewildwind (by Forty Niner), was a sprinter from a family of sprinters. This year’s Front Runner Stakes, usually a good pointer, must be ignored as #1 Calculator, still a maiden after 4 tries, was second in that race.

So, the three to consider are:

#11 One Lucky Dane only just released the maiden certificate on his 3rd start but the first 2 were on synthetics and he couldn’t have been more impressive switched to dirt over a mile at Santa Anita pulling away to beat Prospect Park by 9 ½l. He’s sure to improve but will likely be forcing the pace from a wide draw and this could prove his undoing. He can’t be lightly dismissed;

#13 Upstart lost his unbeaten tag in sloppy conditions on last when keeping on 2 ½l 2nd of 6 to Daredevil in the Grade 1 Champagne. Back on a fast track and with a hot early pace to run at, he’s confidently expected to turn the tables. Unfortunately, he has the worst draw and this will affect his chances but he’ll be finishing best of all late and can fill a lucrative exacta spot;

#9 CARPE DIEM by Giant’s Causeway out of the Unbridled Song mare, Rebridled, this half brother to Grade 1 winner JB’s Thunder (by Thunder Gulch) has the perfect pedigree and profile to win this race. He’s unbeaten in two starts (both on dirt) winning the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders Futurity at Keeneland over 8.5f by 6 ¼l from Mr Z (re-opposes), leading 2 furlongs out and forging clear in the style of a very exciting prospect with more to come. He’s certain to improve again.



BREEDERS CUP TURF (Grade 1; 12f; turf; 3yo+; 5.22 pm)

The Europeans have dominated this event and in #1 Telescope and #7 FLINTSHIRE they are again well represented. These are clearly the two best horses in the race and should fight out the finish.

Telescope, an unexposed, lightly raced 4 year old, is yet to win at the highest level but has only been beaten at 12 furlongs by high class filly Taghrooda and remains on the improve at this trip. FLINTSHIRE won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris (the “real” French Derby these days) as a 3yo and produced a career best in the Prix Del Arc de Triomphe last time out to finish 2l 2nd of 12 to super filly Treve with Taghrooda 1 ¼l further back in 3rd.

All his career, FLINTSHIRE has threatened to prove top class on firm going and gets it here for the very first time. On the other hand, Telescope looks just a fraction below top class and has produced his best right handed. On a line through Taghrooda, this one should go to FLINTSHIRE.



BREEDERS CUP SPRINT (Grade 1; 6f; dirt; 3yo+; 6.01 pm)

Lots of speed to contend with as usual but the three most likely contenders are last year’s winner #4 Secret Circle (lightly raced again this year but fit and sound); #8 Palace (East Coast shipper making his Santa Anita debut but with high class form in New York) and Hong Kong based #6 RICH TAPESTRY (6th of 14 in Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin on final 2013).   RICH TAPESTRY has improved again this year winning Group 3 Mahab al Shamal at Meydan over 6f before prepping for this by winning the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship by a nose from Golden Cents clocking an amazing 1:07.2 for 6f and having Secret Circle 2l back in 3rd.



BREEDERS CUP MILE (Grade 1; 8f; turf; 3yo+; 6.40 pm)

No Wise Dan this year so the way is clear for #5 TORONADO (BANKER BET) who’ll come here fresh after only 3 starts in 2014 winning the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on reappearance by ¾l from Verrazano before only a length 2nd of 4 to Kingman in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood ( a most unsatisfactory race run at a dawdling pace) then splitting Charm Spirit and Night of Thunder (gave each 5lbs; head and neck separated first 3) in the Group 1 Prix Du Moulin at Longchamp. He should brush these aside with the great Richard Hughes aboard..



BREEDERS CUP CLASSIC (Grade 1; 10f; dirt; 3yo+; 7.35 pm)

The long awaited clash between unbeaten #6 Shared Belief and Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner #13 CALIFORNIA CHROME. In CALIFORNIA CHROME’s absence after suffering an over-reach in the Belmont, Shared Belief has padded his resume with two Grade 1 wins while, on his return, CALIFORNIA CHROME ran below form in the Grade 2 Pennslyvania Derby won by Bayern (re-opposes).

But, readers can rest assured that there’s no real comparison between the two except as chalk to cheese. Five of Shared Belief’s seven wins have come on synthetic tracks and his two dirt wins, including in the Grade 1 Awesome Again at Santa Anita (9f) where he held off Fed Biz by a neck have been well below the level of his synthetic wins. That race produced a Beyer figure for him of only 101 while his Grade 1 Pacific Classic win on Del Mar’s synthetic track was good enough to earn a 115 Beyer.

While CALIFORNIA CHROME was looking all over a triple crown winner in the spring, Shared Belief was beating up on horses like Candy Boy (re-opposes here) by 4 to 5 lengths in races like the Grade 2 Los Alamos Derby. CALIFORNIA CHROME beat Candy Boy by 9l in the Santa Anita Derby and 12l in the Kentucky Derby after which Candy Boy retired from the Triple Crown. CALIFORNIA CHROME obviously needed his return from injury and is working like the old CALIFORNIA CHROME now. He will prove very, very hard to beat. I doubt that Shared Belief will be in the frame as a much more reliable exacta flutter could be on Belmont and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner #11 Tonalist


Saturday’s TOP 3 BETS:

#9 CARPE DIEM (Juvenile)

Good Luck!




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