BetPTC Weekend Preview for Breeders’ Cup XXX Weekend

By Jason Beem

Horse racing’s biggest two days of the season are here and BetPTC.com will have all of the action.  The Breeders’ Cup always features great betting opportunities, huge pools and chances for life changing scores and this year will be no different.  With five Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and nine of them on Saturday, the action will be amazing.  The $5,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic is the headlining event and once again, Game on Dude will be the favorite.  He was heavily bet last year and broke slow and just never got on track as he watched Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man, both who are back this year, run away and win.  Game on Dude has had a monster year and will be tough as Santa Anita is his favorite spot.  But he’ll have to again deal with other speedsters, like Fort Larned and Moreno.  Fort Larned loved Santa Anita last year, but he’s had an up and down year and likely won’t get as friendly a trip up front as last year.  Moreno has proven to be a solid front-running three year old, but he’s been vulnerable late and he’ll be facing better pace rivals than he’s ever seen.  The off the pace runners that should be rolling late include Ron The Greek and Mucho Macho Man.  Both have faired well at Santa Anita before and both come in off huge Grade 1 wins that saw them come from off the pace.  Will Take Charge has come alive late in the season, but he’ll be making his first start out West and his first try against older rivals.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Classic

  1. Game on Dude
  2. Mucho Macho Man
  3. Flat Out

Longshot: Last Gunfighter

Wise Dan will look to defend his title in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and he will be a strong favorite to do so.  Players might get a little more of a price on him than they thought after his second place finish to Silver Max in the muddy polytrack at Keeneland.  But back on dry turf, Dan should be formidable. Obviously figures to be the main pace and he loves that firm Southern California grass.  Silentio has to improve quite a bit in the speed figure category, but he loves Santa Anita and could certainly close in late to get a minor award.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Mile

  1. Wise Dan
  2. No Jet Lag
  3. Obviously

Longshot: Silentio

The $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint is always one of the more wide open races and this year is no exception.  Private Zone has been made the favorite coming off his huge win in the Grade 1 Vosburgh.  He’s extremely fast and quite game when he gets the lead, however there is of course quite a lot of other speed in this race, and most of it drawn right around him with horses like Fast Bullet, Sum of the Parts and others.  Justin Phillip drew the rail and with his stalking style, that draw could work to his advantage if he can work out a trip, but it could be devastating as there are a number of fast horses who will be in front of him and cutting over.  He’s also 0 for 3 at Santa Anita with just a third place finish to his credit.  Secret Circle was off over a year before his comeback start just two and a half weeks ago, but he crushed a decent field and got a good speed figure, so he will certainly get some attention.  Bahamian Squall might be the wiseguy horse in this race, as he won the Grade 2 Smile over the deep Calder course and then followed that up with a decent second behind Justin Phillip at Saratoga.  His dull fifth place finish might be enough to get a lot of players out of his corner.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint

  1. Bahamian Squall
  2. Fast Bullet
  3. Justin Phillip

Longshot: Laugh Track

The Breeders’ Cup Turf always features a number of European shippers as well as the top American runners and that is once again the case this year.  The Fugue is entered in here after a brutal trip in last year’s Filly and Mare Turf.  She’s won a pair of Group 1’s in her last two starts and as the 3/1 morning line favorite she’ll be tough.  Big Blue Kitten comes into this race with maybe the best hope for the Stateside runners, as he’s won two Grade 1’s this summer and just missed by a nose behind Little Mike last time out in the Turf Classic.  Little Mike seems to always pop up and surprise racing fans, which he did last year when he won the Breeders’ Cup Turf at 17/1.  He could very well jump up and surprise again this year, but he’ll do it (again) without a ton of support at the windows, as he’ll probably overlay from his 6/1 morning line.  Point of Entry is the big question mark, as his resume and ability make him a logical top selection, but he’s coming in off an injury and layoff.  If he’s at his best he’s a big contender.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Turf

  1. The Fugue
  2. Point of Entry
  3. Big Blue Kitten

Longshot: Vagabond Shoes

Havana drew a tough post out in the thirteen hole, but is still a 5/2 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  Havana is two for two and just barely held off a fast running Honor Code last time in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes.  Havana has been all speed so far, and there are plenty of other speedy sorts in this bunch to give him fits on the lead.  However Santa Anita is traditionally a track that’s quite friendly to horses on the lead.  Strong Mandate drew the 14 hole, outside of Havana, and it will be crucial for jockey Joel Rosario to work out a trip from there.  We All Miss Artie leads a number of horses coming out of the Breeders’ Futurity, but it didn’t come back with the best speed figure, plus it was over synthetic.  Tap it Rich was absolutely stunning in his debut, winning at a mile at Santa Anita just three weeks ago.  He came from ten lengths back early, but had a good pace to run into that day.  But his ability to close and the probably pace set up could be just what the doctor ordered.  Bond Holder bested Dance With Fate in the Grade 1 Frontrunner and both have proven they like the Santa Anita surface.

BetPTC.com Top Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

  1. Tap It Rich
  2. Dance With Fate
  3. Havana

Longshot: Cleburne

Mizdirection will look to defend her title in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and she’s a perfect 6 for 6 down the hill.  She’s 4/1 on the morning line and similar to last year will be coming off a layoff into the Breeders’ Cup.  Oddly enough there isn’t a ton of early speed in this race, so a horse like Reneesgotzip could be very tough if she isn’t pushed too quickly down the hill.  Tightend Touchdown could certainly be up front early on, but other than those two, there aren’t really any other need the lead types in the field.  Caracortado will get a lot of attention because of his love of Santa Anita and popularity in Southern California.  His recent 4th place finish in the Eddie D. might just set him up for a big run.  Unbridled’s Note has always run well down the hill and could be a horse who makes some noise late.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

  1. Reneesgotzip
  2. Caracortado
  3. Unbridled’s Note

Longshot: Tightend Touchdown

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Groupie Doll is back at Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, but she won’t be the odds on choice she was last year.  Groupie Doll has just one win since last year’s Breeders’ Cup win, and that was in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters.  With consistent runners like Judy the Beauty and Dance To Bristol just to her inside, Groupie Doll might have to make another wide move, something that’s hurt her in recent starts.  If there’s a home court advantage in this race it’s Teddy’s Promise, who is 5 of 9 at Santa Anita.  She was well beaten in this race last year but came into the race in not nearly the same form as she is this season.  Book Review should be tough as well for trainer Bob Baffert, as she’s blossomed since coming to the West Coast.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

  1. Teddy’s Promise
  2. Book Review
  3. Groupie Doll

Longshot: Dance Card

The Euros will get a lot of attention in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Saturday as Dank is the 5/2 morning line favorite and is coming off a smashing win in the Beverly D, a race she beat Marketing Mix soundly, who will be one of her main competitors.  Marketing Mix was just barely beat last out by Tiz Flirtatious who has become a simply monster turf runners.  She’s never been off the board in her career and is 11 of 12 in the exacta, with many of those graded stakes events.  Dank isn’t the only Euro runner who will get attention at the windows, as Romantica is coming off a race against Treve, who’s Arc performance was one of the best in the world this year.  Laughing is the top East Coast representative, coming off three straight Graded events, two of them Grade 1 and does it on the engine.  So if she gets left alone, watch out.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf

  1. Dank
  2. Laughing
  3. Tiz Flirtatious

Longshot: Alterite

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies features a bunch of young runners who already have posted impressive resumes.   Artemis Agrotera drew the inside and has put up two huge wins, including a Grade 1 score in the Frizette.  She beat Sweet Reason that day who was a huge favorite and broke quite poorly that day before finally recovering and getting on track.  Sweet Reason drew the 9 hole and will be just inside She’s a Tiger, who just lost the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes by a head after a hard fought stretch battle with Secret Compass.  Untapable ran her record to a perfect 2 for 2 after her score in the Iroquois for Steve Asmussen.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

  1. Untapable
  2. Sweet Reason
  3. Artemis Agrotera

Longshot: Concave

 Breeders’ Cup Distaff headlines

Friday’s Breeders ‘Cup action

 The Breeders’ Cup Distaff field is small, but it is very talent loaded and wide open.  Royal Delta was given the nod as the morning line favorite and rightly so as she’s won the race two years in a row.  However she’s coming into the race with a tiny chink in her armor, as she was bested last time out by Princess of Sylmar in the Beldame.  Princess of Sylmar has been absolutely brilliant since her Kentucky Oaks triumph, but she’ll be making her first start west of the eastern time zone in the Distaff and Santa Anita isn’t always the most kind to closers.  She’ll have to come catch Beholder who will likely go out to set the pace.  How much Royal Delta pushes her early could determine whether anyone can run her down late, because when she has a lead she doesn’t often like to give it up.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff

  1. Beholder
  2. Princess of Sylmar
  3. Royal Delta

Longshot: Close Hatches

The Juvenile Fillies Turf drew a field of fourteen and highly regarded My Conquestadory might have gotten the worst draw of those fourteen, as she’s planted way on the outside.  Her move in the Alcibiades was impressive and she’s shown the kind of turn of foot that should be needed in a turf race like this.  Al Thakhira and Vorda lead a talented group of European shippers in here.  Al Thakhira has two very dominant wins to start her career, both on the grass and both sprinting, so the distance is what she needs to prove she can handle.  Vorda has won four of five so far and only missed by a length in her other start, so she’s as seasoned as a two year old filly comes.  Chriselliam comes off a Group 1 win in New Market and should be another tough European customer in a race they could dominate.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

  1. Vorda
  2. Chriselliam
  3. Clenor

Longshot: Ready To Act

The Dirt Mile this year is a very intriguing race, especially after highly regarded Goldencents drew the far outside post.  He’s been favored and beaten in three straight sprints, so he’ll be stretching out a touch in here and going back to two turns.  He’ll have to face some tough company Verrazano, who when he’s on his game is as tough as they come.  Verrazano comes in off a layoff and it’s supposed to be his last start before stud, but if he’s on, he’s going to be tough.  Golden Ticket is 12/1 on the morning line but have to think he’ll go off at less than those odds.  He’s shortening up to a distance he’s 1 for 1 at and he’s getting some class relief believe it or not.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

  1. Golden Ticket
  2. Verrazano
  3. Goldencents

Longshot: Broadway Empire

Europeans also look tough in the Juvenile Turf, with several overseas challengers that look promising.  Giovanni Boldini has been great on the synthetic and his lone turf start, a Group 1 event, saw him finish third behind some tough rivals.  Outstrip already has a Group 2 win and was third in a Group 1 at Newmarket last time out and will be ridden by Mike Smith on Friday.  Bobby’s Kitten heads up the Stateside runners as he turned in a big win in the Grade 3 Pilgrim, a race that saw him draw off to win by six and a quarter lengths, not easily done in a turf route.  Wilshire Boulevard looks to be the most seasoned runner in the field, with seven starts already under his belt, with two of them being solid Group company performances.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

  1. Giovanni Boldini
  2. Outstrip
  3. Wilshire Boulevard

Longshot: Shamshon

The Marathon will be the first race of the weekend in terms of Breeders’ Cup action, and at a mile and three quarters, it’s always an unusual race to handicap.  The morning line odds are not very spread out and part of that is just cause most are so unproven at anything close to this trip.  Pool Play does have a win at the distance but he has been in pretty poor form this season.  Commander might be worth a look as he’s won at 11 furlongs a few times.  He flopped in this race last year but is in good form and could be around if he can be on or close to the lead.  Even Rider also appears to be able to handle a distance, whether or not he’ll handle the ship to the Northern Hemisphere is his question mark.  Certainly landed a good mount in Gary Stevens.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Marathon

  1. Indian Jones
  2. Even Rider
  3. Commander

Longshot: Pool Play

 Saturday Breeders’ Cup Schedule

Santa Anita

Race 4             Juvenile Fillies                                   3:05pm EST

Race 5             Filly and Mare Turf                           3:43pm EST

Race 6             Filly and Mare Sprint                       4:21pm EST

Race 7             Turf Sprint                                         5:05pm EST

Race 8             Juvenile                                              5:43pm EST

Race 9             Turf                                                    6:22pm EST

Race 10          Sprint                                                  7:01pm EST

Race 11          Mile                                                     7:40pm EST

Race 12          Classic                                                 8:35pm EST

 Friday Breeders’ Cup Schedule

            Race 6             Marathon                                           4:45pm EST

Race 7             Juvenile Turf                                      5:24pm EST

Race 8             Dirt Mile                                             6:05pm EST

Race 9             Juvenile Fillies Turf                           6:50pm EST

Race 10          Distaff                                                 7:35pm EST

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