Breeders' Cup

Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Race Previews: Saturday September 17

TEPIN - The Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Gr II - 31st Running - 05-07-16 - R06 - CD - Coady Photography
Coady Photography

Woodbine Race #8: Canadian Stakes (3:30 PM CST)

Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf

Top Pick: #2 Dacita

Others to Use in Multi Race Wagers: #3 Steip Amach and #5 Rainha Da Bateria

Analysis: It’s always had to go against Chad Brown no matter what part of North America he happens to be running in so that is where this race starts for me.  Dacita has been great in her last two races this year which have both been graded stakes victory.  Last time out in the Grade 1 Diana she showed tremendous heart to just get her nose down at the wire.  She’ll give you a heart attack with her late (sometimes very late) closing move, but if she gets a little pace to run at here she might just out class this field.

Chad Brown’s “other” entry is Rainha Da Bateria who almost pulled a major upset in the before mentioned Diana Stakes.  She came within a neck of getting the job done at a square price of 28-1.  Her form obviously looks good heading into this one.  Steip Amach is an unknown from overseas who will be making her first start in the United States.  Even though she’s only won twice it doesn’t mean she hasn’t ran well lately as she’s faced some really nice horses across the pond.

Three locals that will look to beat the Chad Brown duo are Strut the Course, Midnight Miley, and Goodyearforroses.  All three will have to raise their games to a higher level to compete on Saturday, but it is an advantage at Woodbine to have a race over the track so an upset isn’t out of the question.  Finally, Faufiler comes in for trainer Graham Motion off of a fifth place effort in the Beverly D at Arlington Park last time out.  She will also have to show improvement in this spot to make an impact, but never doubt Motion on the turf.

Churchill Downs Race #8: Iroquois Stakes (4:59 PM CST)

Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Top Pick: #5 Blame Will

Others to Use in Multi Race Wagers: #8 Not This Time and #4 Thirstforlife

Analysis: The Saratoga meeting for D Wayne Lukas has not been kind in recent years, but this year the Hall of Fame trainer had a strong meet in large part to three two year olds breaking their maidens.  Blame Will, Royal Copy, and Unbridled Eagle were his three juvenile winners at Saratoga with Royal Copy just narrowly losing the Grade 1 Hopeful to end the meet.  However, Blame Will was his most impressive winner at the spa so it’s exciting to see him running in this spot.  His breeding suggests he’ll stretch out pretty well, and I like that Luis Saez is coming in to ride.

The main challenger in my estimation could be the regally bred (half to Liam’s Map) Not This Time who comes into this one off an impressive win at Ellis Park last time out.  He disappointed at Churchill Downs on debut, but had a legitimate excuse as he failed to break well and raced greenly in the stretch.  That problem was taken care of last time out as he crushed the competition in a maiden special weight at Ellis Park.  Thirstforlife will be another tough foe here as last time out he ran third in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes to Klimt, who came back to win the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity for trainer Bob Baffert.

Recruiting Ready will be a horse that could take a lot of money off two fast races, but I dislike how he’s been caught late in both of those efforts.  He’s a play against as far as on the win end of things in this spot, but maybe a horse to play underneath as he will factor into the race in some ways.  Lookin At Lee, Skinflint, and Just Move On are all coming into this one off victories, but all of them seem like they’ll need to improve today to compete for the top prize.  Honor Thy Father rounds out the field with Corey Lanerie aboard, but could be a bit over matched today.

Woodbine Race #12: Woodbine Mile (5:39 PM CST)

Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Mile

Top Pick: #8 Tepin

Others to Use in Multi Race Wagers: #2 Mutakayyef

Analysis: The return of the QUEEN!  Handicappers are not supposed to get attached to horses, but I really don’t care about that…Tepin is my girl it’s as simple as that!  Her race last time out at Royal Ascot was an emotional and unbelievable victory that made all United States racing fans proud.  She returns today after finally looking like herself in her last few workouts so hopefully she’s geared up and ready to roll as she points towards back to back Breeders’ Cup Mile victories.

With all that being said about Tepin I will admit that if you want to try to beat her this is the time to do it.  She ran her heart out at Royal Ascot, and many skeptics believe it may have taken a lot out of her.  The logical upsetter is Mutakayyef without question, and I believe he is one you have to use on your multi race tickets.  This horse will be making his first start in the United States which is an advantage for Tepin, but there is no doubt this guy is a world class horse.  Last time out he ran a very good third behind two great horses in Postponed and Highland Reel.  Tepin fans certinaly are fearful of him.

As for the rest of the field they’ll have to step up in a big win to win this race.  Tower of Texas, Glenville Gardens, Full Mast, and Passion for Action are all locals that will take a swing at pulling off an upset and all have had success over this track.  Arod and Mr. Owen  are coming in from overseas just like Mutakayyef, but their resume doesn’t quite match up with their European counterpart.  However, they could take to the American style of racing so in large part they will be an unknown.

Churchill Downs Race #10: Pocahontas Stakes (5:59 PM CST)

Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

Top Pick: #2 Dream Dancing

Others to Use in Multi Race Wagers: #1 Bling On the Music, #8 Ever So Clever, and #9 Daddys Lil Darling

Analysis: The Juvenile Fillies division is as wide open as you can get unlike last year when Songbird was overpowering her rivals by now.  This wide open field of ten wasn’t an easy puzzle to solve, but in the end I landed on the Mark Casse trained Dream Dancing.  She has really impressed me in both of her career starts, however the only question mark is the fact that both of those starts have come over the turf at Saratoga.  Her breeding suggests she should be ok on the dirt, but I guess we’ll not know until she tries it on Saturday.  I am putting my faith in Mark Casse that he knows what he’s doing with this move, and it also helps that Geroux  will be riding.

The ultimate wild card in the race is Bling On the Music who has been extremely impressive, but this is going to be a massive class jump today.  However, her numbers are very comparable so I think you have to use her in this spot.  Ever So Clever was a big time maiden winner at Churchill Downs but failed to run well in a stakes effort at Saratoga over the summer.  It’s hard for me to give up on her though considering her great race over this track.  Rounding out my horses to use in multi race wagers is Daddys Lil Darling who woke up in a big way last time out at Ellis Park to win by eight lengths.  Love her breeding and also love Lanerie signing on to ride.

Four horses that I haven’t mentioned yet that are coming into this race off wins are I’mluckysgirl, Jet Away Sue, One Thirty One, and Sully’s Dream.  Out of those four I prefer Sully’s Dream the most as she’s ran only once and won by 12 lengths.  This shows she could be any kind, and might be ready for a race like what she will face on Saturday. The maiden Jordan’s Henry and the out classed Someday Soon round out the field.

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