Saturday November 2, 2013

Please double check all program numbers prior to wagering

 Santa Anita  Race 5 

Breeders’ Cup F&M Turf

1 1/4 Miles Grade One   (3:43 ET)

Best Value Play: #9 Qushchi (20/1)

Most Likely Winner: #1 Dank (5/2)

Other Contenders: #2 Romantica (6/1), #3 Tiz Flirtatious (7/2), #7 Laughing (8/1)

 #1 Dank is considered to be the second best lady from Europe and that says a lot since the winner of the Arc de Triomphe is the one ranked better. She taught the girls a lesson in Chicago with a very impressive win in the Beverly D. on Million Day. Trained and ridden by very good professionals.

#2 Romantica is bred as beautifully as one can be and has demonstrated her ability at the highest levels. Strangely, her two worst races came at Longchamp, which may be throw outs since she probably doesn’t like it there. And, it looks like she may like ground a little firmer than what she has had in her last few outings.

#3 Tiz Flirtatious will carry the colors for California. She looks to be a contender with her fondness for the host track. Her last effort was shockingly fast, she has worked well since and Leparoux knows here very well.

#7 Laughing is indeed the speed of the field. What may make her tough is the configuration of the course. For this distance the field starts on the lower part of the hill on the turf and quickly makes a left hand turn across a portion of the dirt track. If Laughing breaks sharply and gets the rail quickly she could instantly find herself up by a half dozen lengths. From there it will be catch me if you can.  

#9 Qushchi is the best bred for distance and her trainer has been full of surprises in the past, like the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Her figure at a minor stakes at Saratoga is the highest turf speed figure in the field. And, she was only a couple of lengths from Laughing in the Flower Bowl. Timing can be everything on this day and you can’t help but wonderful if today is the day. Stranger things have happened the first weekend of November.         

 Santa Anita  Race 10 

Breeders’ Cup Sprint

6 Furlongs Grade One   (7:01 ET)

Best Value Play: #6 Bahamian Squall (10/1)

Most Likely Winner: #1 Justin Phillip (4/1)

Other Contenders: #3 Gentlemen’s Bet (8/1), #7 Private Zone (3/1), #9 Secret Circle (4/1)

 #1 Justin Phillip will be compromised by the draw at the rail, but he is the most experienced and proven performer in America in graded stakes this year. And he rarely runs a bad race. He doesn’t need the lead so he can probably wait once he gets position and the one thing that will happen in front of him is sizzling speed.  

#3 Gentlemen’s Bet may not have tremendous credentials but he always runs well. He can stay close and will have a chance to get first run if Castellano can keep him from an engagement with the early speed. 

#6 Bahamian Squall is another that can benefit from a fast pace up front. He has defeated last year’s winner and has come close to Justin and Private Zone. Second race off a layoff with good works says he has a shot.

#7 Private Zone is probably the most likely early speedball to stay around. His race in New York cracked all the stop watches and was an effort that would take your breath away. He is still an improving horse and that makes him doubly dangerous.    

#9 Secret Circle has been revved up by Baffert with a swift optional race last time and recent works that leave smoke rising from the track. His draw could be a big help if Garcia gets him to relax and watch the speed instead of trying to challenge it early. The only question is the long layoff of 18 months before coming back.

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