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Each week leading up to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, our picks for all 14 races will be posted. Let’s take a look at our third set of predictions for the Breeders’ Cup, which will be held November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park:
Pick: Code of Honor
There is still a lot to sort out in this division. Last year, McKinzie was our pick in all eight weeks of our predictions, and we all know how that turned out. For now, we’ll go with Code of Honor, who looked especially strong at the 1 1/4-mile distance in the Travers Stakes (G1).
If she comes back to the Breeders’ Cup this year, then there is no question that she is the easy pick to win. She has been an absolute beast once again this season, proving that she is the best horse in the world. Let’s all hope her connections decide to make the trip over to defend her title.
Pick: Midnight Bisou
It’s going to be hard to play against this filly who has become a monster at age 4. Her perfect 2019 record speaks for itself; she has defeated the top horses in her division several times. A win here would cap off a season for the ages.
Pick: Valid Point
This could be the most wide-open division of the Breeders’ Cup at this point. The Woodbine Mile (G1) didn’t give us much help; the horses in this division seem to be trading wins. For now, I’ll put the Chad Brown-trained Valid Point on top after an impressive win in the Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park. He could be improving at the right time if they decide to point him towards this race.
The beast returned to form in a major way to dominate the Forego Stakes (G1) last time out at Saratoga. When he’s at his best, he cannot be defeated, but this is a very deep division. He’ll need to show up with a huge effort to get the job done, but a victory here could make him the Horse of the Year.
The defending champ will look to make it two in a row. This year, she seems to be running better than ever, simply dominating her competition in her first two starts of the year. Look for her to get one more prep race before shipping out west for the big one.
Pick: Giant Expectations
At this point, it is hard to pick a horse for this race. Improbable can’t get out of his own way, and Catalina Cruiser is hard to trust after last year’s Breeders’ Cup performance. For now, we’ll go with Giant Expectations with the hope of picking a price. We’ll keep a close eye on the next two weeks, when hopefully a new contender will emerge.
Pick: Eddie Haskell
For now, this is the pick because several of the top contenders have major question marks. Two-time defending champion Stormy Liberal hasn’t looked great this year, and injury troubles have put World of Trouble in jeopardy of missing the rest of the season. That leaves us with Eddie Haskell, a consistent sprinter on the west coast all season long.
Even though our previous pick for this race (Come Dancing) won last weekend at Belmont Park, we are still changing it this week. Covfefe was magnificent in her final prep for the Breeders’ Cup, dominating the Dogwood Stakes) at Churchill Downs by 8 lengths. This filly has developed very nicely over the course of her 3-year-old season and could be set up for the best performance of her career in the biggest spot.
Pick: Dennis’ Moment
All of horse racing is buzzing about his performance in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. The flashy colt backed up his blowout maiden victory with another easy win in that race. However, it will still be interesting to see what unfolds in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, where Eight Rings is scheduled to run. The Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) winner Green Light Go‘s next start is also going to be one to watch. Those are the only challengers to Dennis’ Moment right now.
Pick: Decorated Invader
An impressive win in the Summer Stakes (G1) at Woodbine lands this horse as our choice. Even though he broke poorly, he was able to rally for an easy win, showing a solid turn of foot. European shippers always have a say in this race, and we won’t know who is shipping in until a bit closer to the event, but for now, this is the pick.
The Del Mar Debutante (G1) was her coming-out party. After losing on debut, she came back to break her maiden against stakes company with an impressive performance. Going around two turns will be her next test, but her breeding suggests that she will have success going longer.
A big win in the P. G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga earned this filly a spot as our pick for now. The European shippers will have their say in things, though, and there are still many question marks around this division on this side of the pond. Last Sunday’s Natalma Stakes (G1) at Woodbine didn’t help.
Pick: Old Chestnut
His victory in the Ontario Racing Stakes makes him the early favorite for this event. We still don’t have a clear picture of who will race in this spot, but it will become clearer in the weeks ahead. For now, Old Chestnut is the clear standout.
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