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For the final weeks leading up to the 2020 Breeders’ Cup, we’ll give our top picks for all 14 races. You can always follow along with the latest field updates in our 2020 Breeders’ Cup Contenders Tracker, too.
Here’s our second set of predictions for the year-end World Championships, which will be held November 6-7 at Keeneland:
Pick: Tiz the Law
It’s been a while since the Classic determined Horse of the Year, so that spices things up in what already seems like a completely wide-open affair. Tiz the Law is the pick for now. If he can get back to his Travers Stakes (G1) effort, then he is the best horse, and he’s gotten the time off between races that he’s used to excel in the past. His workouts look to be pretty sharp so far as he prepares for the race.
We’re in a “Wait and see” pattern until we find out who’s actually coming from overseas. The American turf division hasn’t been all that strong this season, which makes the shippers very important. As of now, we just don’t have a clear picture for any of the grass events.
Pick: Monomoy Girl
At one time, this race looked ultra-tough, but Monomoy Girl now looks like a clear standout. She will be the shortest-priced horse on the Saturday card, if not for the entire weekend.
Pick: Mo Forza
There’s still a lot to be determined with the field, but Mo Forza looked like an absolute monster last time out in his City of Hope Mile Stakes (G2) victory. If he can bring that type of effort to Keeneland, then he’ll be tough to handle, no matter who else shows up.
Vekoma’s long layoff is concerning enough to have me looking elsewhere this week. Steve Asmussen has Nashville and Yaupon both ready to roll, giving us some logical alternatives to the favorite. For my money, the lightly-raced Nashville looked incredibly good last time out, winning an allowance race over the Keeneland surface with ease. The class jump will be tough, but this year’s sprint is definitely winnable for an up-and-comer.
Pick: Rushing Fall
The final pick in this race will likely be determined by what European invaders show up. Rushing Fall is definitely the best turf filly in the United States, but she could be a little venerable at this distance, especially if she faces any international stars.
With several solid options available right now, we could change this one in the coming weeks, but he looks like a solid option for now. Trainer Chad Brown has him in top form, which he put on full display in the Kelso Handicap (G2) last time out.
This horse should be a perfect 2-for-2 this season if not for a questionable disqualification in the Troy Stakes (G3). He redeemed himself in his next start, winning the Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes (G3) at Kentucky Downs in impressive fashion. He’s won at Keeneland in the past as well.
Pick: Bell’s the One
This race drove us a little nuts when trying to analyze the potential pace setup. With Serengeti Empress and Gamine likely to enter, it seems like a total meltdown could happen, and if it does, Bell’s the One could mow them all down late.
Pick: Jackie’s Warrior
The standout of Friday’s Breeders’ Cup card, he’s dominated every start and was simply breathtaking in the Champagne Stakes (G1) last time out, earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. He could easily be Friday’s biggest single and be the way-too-early favorite for the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1).
This is another wide-open affair that heavily depends on what European invaders come over. For now, we’ll go with Mutasaabeq, who looked awesome in his turf debut last time out at Keeneland in the Bourbon Stakes (G3).
Pick: Simply Ravishing
Another pick that could change as we approach the big day, it initially looked like Princess Noor would be a standout in this field, but we now have many options. Simply Ravishing looked fantastic over this surface last time out in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1). She gets the nod for now.
Pick: Aunt Pearl
Trainer Brad Cox looks loaded for this Breeders’ Cup, and she leads his Friday charge. After breaking her maiden at Churchill Downs, she kept the ball rolling last time out, dominating her competition in the Jessamine Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
Pick: Golden Pal
This division looks tough on paper, which makes picking a winner difficult at this point. Golden Pal seems to have the most talent, though, which he put on full display in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga. It also sounds like this has been trainer Wesley Ward’s favorite 2-year-old, which is a major key.
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