BREEDERS’ CUP PREVIEW (SATURDAY)

Regular readers already know from yesterday’s preview that the big names to keep onside are FLAVIEN PRAT – by far the track’s leading turf/dirt jockey (30% strike rate on turf; 26% on dirt) and trainers SIMON CALLAGHAN (massive 47% strike rate on turf); BOB BAFFERT (most winners on dirt; 24% strike rate) and WILLIAM E. MOREY (50% strike rate on dirt)

 

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade 1; 2yo Fillies; 8.5f; Dirt; 2.00pm Ja)

Three of these are firmly best on form.  #1 Heavenly Love improved out of sight stepped up to 8.5f on his third career start to win the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes by 5 ½ lengths from Princess Warrior. Won a 6f turf race at Kentucky Downs previously but this was a revelation. The field he beat was weak for a Grade 1 but he has scope for improvement and could be anything.

#13 Separation of Powers (2 for 3 lifetime for Chad Brown) has been campaigning in New York and improved to win the Grade 1 Frizette on last, stepped up to a mile, beating #12 Caledonia Road by 3 ½ lengths. Those looking for a longshot could do worse than trying Caledonia Road who chased relentlessly final furlong and will appreciate the additional real estate. Both New York shippers have drawn widest and will need everything to fall right.

Three out of the last four Juvenile fillies’ winners were long shots so it’s time for a winning favourite. #7 MOONSHINE MEMORIES (Flavien Prat rides for Simon Callaghan) who has done absolutely nothing wrong in her three starts and is a deserving favorite for many reasons, including her superior Beyer’s and tractable speed.

JUVENILE FILLIES SELECTION: #7 MOONSHINE MEMORIES

 

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1; 3yo+; 5f; 2.37pm Ja Time)

The most interesting factoid in this race is the odd way howling favourite #3 Lady Aurelia’s best runs have come over England’s straight uphill tracks. She did win at Keeneland but the form of that win is miles below what she has done at Ascot or even York. She is far from a racing certainty here and, at likely cramped odds, must be opposed. The problem is: with whom?

The most obvious alternative is #6 Marsha who nailed Lady Aurelia on the post in the Nunthorpe at York (a flat track) but she will be running around a turn for the first time and these are very tight turns.  #5 Washington DC is sure to be finishing fast and late but is 0 for 10 in Grade/Group 1 races.

With so little early pace in the race the one to be on could well be #12 PURE SENSATION who was a close 3rd in this last year at Santa Anita (6 1/2f) and has been on song this year winning a Grade 3 by 1/2l from #9 Mongolian Saturday . The lack of early speed could allow him to drop in 2nd/3rd from his wide draw and give the favourite a run for her money up the short straight.

TURF SPRINT SELECTION: #12 PURE SENSATION

 

Breeders’ Cup Filly&Mare Sprint (Gr 1; 3yo+f&m; 7f; 3.14pm Ja Time)

Pundits are expecting a freakish performance from howling favourite #11 Unique Bella winner of her last five races (from 6 career starts) producing some phenomenal Beyer Speed Figures. The thing is winning ain’t so easy as all her wins have come at Santa Anita; she’s yet to compete in Grade 1 company; and her last run (the Grade 3 L. A. Woman Stakes over 6.5f featured a weak field as she slammed #13 Princess Karen, who had won an optional claimer and a non-graded event previously, by 3l).

So, before we crown Unique Bella let it be clearly understood this is her stiffest task to date; this field is very deep and competitive; and she tries Del Mar’s deep surface for the first time. She should be the LAY OF THE DAY!

The two to concentrate on should include #2 Paulassilverlining who has won 9 of her 18 career starts including 3 of 4 this year (2 Grade 1s). She beat #8 Constellation by a neck in a Grade 1 at Keeneland; turned the tables on last year’s winner of this race by a neck in a Grade 1 at Churchill Downs; and beat #9 Finley’sluckycharm by a neck in a Grade 2 at Saratoga (synthetic) in July before flopping in a Grade 1 at Saratoga (dirt) in August. She has since regrouped with a long series of works for Chad Brown. Who beats her, wins!

Last year’s winner #4 FINEST CITY comes here freshest off a four month lay-off since his form declined showing young trainer Ian Kruljac that he needed a break. “She’d been running hard for three years now and just needed a little break,” said the trainer “We maybe could’ve run her in the meantime, but either the timing or the type of race wasn’t just right. I do like the way she’s come around the last few weeks.”

The latter is marginally preferred to #2 Paulassilverlining because he is likely to see out the trip on this deep surface just that little bit better.

FILLY&MARE SPRINT SELECTION #4 FINEST CITY

 

Breeders’ Cup Filly&Mare Turf (Grade 1; 3yo+ F&M; 1m1f; 4.00pm Ja)

Now the distance of this race is cut to 9f (was run at 10f last year due to the configuration of Santa Anita) which’ll be to defending Champion #10 Queen Trust’s detriment, it appears top trainer Chad Brown has this wrapped up as he saddles 3 namely hot favourite #9 Lady Eli and her two biggest dangers, Beverley D winner #7 Dacita and unlucky loser #8 GRAND JETE.

The latter, who has had two horrific trips his last two starts, surely is owed a little better luck here?

FILLY&MARE TURF SELECTION: #8 GRAND JETE

 

Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade 1; 3yo+; 6f; dirt; 4.37pm Ja)

Another short priced favourite in defending champion #2 Drefong who will be going hammer and tongs from the inside post and could find the deep surface not as welcoming as Santa Anita’s ultra fast track. It’s interesting to note his only “defeat” in his last seven runs happened on reappearance when he ducked left at the off and unseated his rider at Del Mar.

The three from which the one most likely to run the favourite down late should come are #10 Imperial Hint (has won his last 5, including 4 for 4 this year with 2 Grade 3s; treated with kid gloves by trainer Luis Carvajal Jnr to ensure he gets here fresh; BIG CHANCE); #7 Takaful (improving 3yo who won the Vosburgh last time out and will be poised to strike inside the final furlong) and #8 ROY H (who should get the perfect trip and who would have won a Grade 1 at Del Mar if not carried wide by a loose horse). The last named gets a narrow vote.

BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT SELECTION: #8 ROY H

Exotic BET OF THE DAY: 7/8/10 Exacta Box!

 

Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade 1; 3yo+; 1 mile; turf; 5.19 pm Ja)

A suicidal speed duel seems unavoidable in this race but the bad news is that it includes the three top contenders #5 World Approval; #10 Ribchester and #12 Roly Poly#2 Heart to Heart is also a hard trying front runner so this race should set up perfectly for #8 SUEDOIS (NAP) who has shown uncommon improvement at 6yo when recently stretched out to a mile.

Young jock Danny Tudhope is excited at the prospect of his 1st Breeders’ Cup winner “He likes being held up and passing horses,” he said “He’s a horse you can put anywhere in a race. He’s quick enough to get out in a nice position.”

BREEDERS’ CUP MILE SELECTION: #8 SUEDOIS (NAP)

 

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade 1; 2yo Colts/Geldings; 8.5f; dirt; 5.58pm Ja)

It’s very difficult to see beyond #11 BOLT D’ORO (BANKER BET) who ticks every box. Not only is he the fastest of his division but holds the home field advantage having won twice at Del Mar including a Grade 1. It doesn’t hurt that his biggest danger is European challenger #1 US Navy Flag who will have to acclimatize to this deep dirt surface.

BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE SELECTION: #11 BOLT D’ORO (BANKER)

 

 

 

Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1; 3y0+; 12f; 6.37 pm Ja)

It’s impossible to get away from #5 ULYSSES who has been laid out for this race all year. His stocks are on the upgrade whilst major rival #3 Highland Reel’s are very much on the decline.

BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SELECTION: #5 ULYSSES

 

Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1; 3yo+; 10f; dirt; 7.35 pm Ja)

The pinnacle of horse racing every year and this is no exception. A very exciting betting race ever since defending Champ #1 Arrogate has shown a dip in form at Del Mar.

This brings in the likes of #5 Gun Runner (2nd to Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup but his front running style might not be suited to the surface); Aidan O’Brien’s high class pair of #2 War DeCree (very much on the upgrade and goes well on polytrack) and #7 Churchill (top class 2,000 Guineas winner whose stamina might be stretched at 10f on this surface); and two more from Bob Baffert namely #11 Collected (beat Arrogate here in the Pacific Classic; 4 for 4 this year but another front runner); and #8 WEST COAST an unexposed, rapidly improving 3yo, unraced at 2, who has developed into a top class performer this year and is coming into this race cherry ripe.

BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC SELECTION: #8 WEST COAST

Good Luck!

THE TERRIBLE TOUT

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