Race 1: Allowance
Top 3 Selections: #11 Quail Hill, #10 Dreamcatcher, #9 Swift Eagle
Analysis: I won’t run down the full field for the non-breeders cup races, but I will provide my thoughts on my top three in the race. QUAIL HILL has two solid second place efforts against similar company, and looks like the controlling speed in the race. DREAMCATCHER has done his best running lately, and has the help of solid jockey Joel Rosario. SWIFT EAGLE comes into this one as the hot horse, winning his last two races.
Race 2: Allowance
Top 3 Selections:#7 Big Tiz, #3 River Kiss, #9 Magical Band
Analysis: BIG TIZ is always right in the mix, and has the talent to get the win today. RIVER KISS has run against stakes company the last two times out, so this class drop should suit her well. MAGICAL BAND is a lightly raced filly coming off a short layoff, and has won over this surface.
Race 3: Allowance
Top 3 Selections:#5 Basmati, #8 Sir Allison, #7 Macho Dorado
Analysis: BASMATI enters this one off a ten month layoff, but was a solid horse before the injury. His works have been great leading up to this. SIR ALLISON won his last race, but will be moving up in class now. MACHO DORADO has a lot of back class, but has not found his best stride lately. He has run well at Santa Anita in the past though.
Race 4: Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint
Top 3 Selections:#5 Super Ninety Nine, #7 Sweet Shirley Mae, #1 Hightail
#1 Hightail (KY) – Even though he’s still a maiden, don’t let that fool you, he’s faced some strong company. He was second by a nose to Central Banker earlier in the summer, and that horse came back to win an Allowance at Churchill Downs last Sunday by five lengths.
#2 Ceiling Kitty (GB) – Kind of an odd spot for this one to show up. Not likely her chances.
#3 Merit Man (FL) – Capable horse, but I think he’s a beatable favorite. Two for two lifetime, but think others are better.
#4 South Floyd (KY) – He lost to Merit Man last time out, so I’ll pass on him.
#5 Super Ninety Nine (KY) – Let the Baffert show begin! This is the horse to beat in the race, as he’s coming off an extremely fast maiden victory. I don’t think he’s as talented as last years winners, Secret Circle, but I think he’ll be good enough.
#6 Hazardous (CA) – Has ran solid in the claiming ranks to far, but takes a big leap up in class here. Not likely.
#7 Sweet Shirley Mae (KY) – Was impressive in her maiden victory beating a solid colt in Bern Identity. Also rebounded from her only poor effort by finishing a solid second in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga. Her running style and post position might fair well for her, as there is a lot of speed in the race, and she could get a nice stalking trip.
Race 5: Breeders Cup Marathon (Grade 2)
Top 3 Selections:#11 Commander, #10 Eldaafer, #1 Atigun
#1 Atigun (KY) – He’s been a really tough horse to figure out all year. One thing we do know, the closest he’s come to winning a Stakes was in the Belmont which suggest he might like the distance of this one. Don’t like the fact he’s facing older horses, but do like the fact that Mike Smith is riding. Tough call…
#2 Fame And Glory (GB) – BY FAR the classiest horse in the field, as he’s accumulated almost $3.5 million dollars in his lifetime. This will be his first start on dirt though, so it’s a total question mark.
#3 Balladry (KY) – Over matched.
#4 Grassy (KY) – Another horse that will be trying dirt for the first time. This one is not as classy as Fame and Glory though.
#5 Jaycito (KY) – Was surprised to see him in this spot. This is the only Baffert horse in this year’s Breeders Cup that I don’t like all that well. Horse has never lived up to the hype.
#6 Calidoscopio (ARG) – Total question mark mainly because we have no idea how his form in Argentina will carry over to the United States.
#7 Not Abroad (MD) – Certainly has a decent running style for going this far, but I think others are just as good at a better price.
#8 Romp (ARG) – If he stays 30-1 he’s worth a look just because he’s ran at this distance. He hasn’t had much success at it though.
#9 Almudena (PER) – Would be a total shocker.
#10 Eldaafer (KY) – He’s won this race before, and is one of the few that has experience and success at this distance. His recent form has also been pretty decent compared to this time last year. Has a big time shot, and probably should have been the morning line favorite.
#11 Commander (KY) – Comes in with a six race win streak, and you have to like the fact that he might be able to make an easy lead. If he can get the distance, he’s good enough to win at a great price.
#12 Worth Repeating (KY) – Horse with a big time shot! He’s won a Stakes at Santa Anita going a mile and one half, and also won his last race impressively.
#13 Sense of Purpose (IRE) – Yet another trying dirt for the first time, but looks over matched in this one.
#14 Juniper Pass (KY) – Was defeated soundly be Worth Repeating last time out, but has won at this distance before. Possibly one to take a look at if you are looking for a major longshot.
Race 6: Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade 1)
Top 3 Selections:#6 Watsdachances, #3 Sky Lantern, #1 Kitten’s Point
#1 Kitten’s Point (PA) – This horse has done nothing wrong in two starts, and probably would be undefeated if not for a wide trip last time out in a Grade 3 stakes. Has a shot, and will be priced right.
#2 Summer of Fun (KY) – Great price at 30-1 on the morning line. She’s not all that far behind the rest of these, and with a little improvement could be right in the mix.
#3 Sky Lantern (IRE) – Logical favorite; European runner is already a Group 1 winner as he easily won the Moyglare Stud last time out. How she takes to the American style of racing is the only question mark.
#4 Flotilla (FR) – European shipper has been in some tough spots, so you’d have to consider this a class relief. Another that has a big shot to win this one.
#5 Spring Venture (KY) – Comes into this one three for three, and really hasn’t had a challenge. This, however, will be his toughest challenge yet. Like most everyone in this race, she’s got a shot to win it.
#6 Watsdachances (IRE) – A great turf trainer, and wins over soft, yielding, and firm turf make this one my top choice. Her last race was super, and she seems to be getting better each time out. Certainly a tough task, but she’s up for it.
#7 Oscar Party (KY) – Hard to throw her out as well. Much like Summer Fun she hasn’t been too far behind the top bunch in this one.
#8 Tara From the Cape (KY) – Yet another horse that has done some solid running, but has just been beaten by a length or so by the top horses in this race. Winning might be out of the question, but she could hit the board with some luck.
#9 Nancy O (IRE) – Finally a horse I’m not that high on. Hard to imagine a maiden beating this extremely solid field.
#10 Waterway Run (PA) – Another Euro that’s running well, but she hasn’t run against top flight competition yet. In with a shot, but prefer others a bit more.
#11 Moonwalk (KY) – Has a nice price at 20-1, but will the outside post hurt her chances? Could be caught wide on the first turn which hurts in an evenly matched race.
#12 The Gold Cheongsam (IRE) – Solid Euro runner, but has failed against the better company overseas. Maybe not classy enough to win this one.
#13 Flashy Ways (KY) – Is two for two but takes a tremendous class jump in this one. Don’t think she’ll handle it well.
#14 Sustained (KY) – Really tough post, and probably not as good as these anyway.
AE: #15 Infanta Branca (KY) – Looks to be one of the few that are out-classed in here.
AE #16 Moulin de Mougin (KY) – Another that doesn’t measure up.
Race 7: Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade 1)
Top 3 Selections:#2 Executiveprivilege, #5 Dreaming of Julia, #7 Broken Spell
#1 Beholder (KY) – She was going to be my pick to win the Juvenile Sprint, but her connections chose this race instead. Selfishly I’m glad she did, as it makes this race really intriguing now. If she can carry her speed around two turns, is there anyone that can beat her? She’s draws the one hole so the strategy will be simply: Go to the front and see how far she’ll go! I can’t wait to see if she can do it!
#2 Executiveprivilege (KY) – I’ve said from day one that she’s a super star, and I’m not backing down now. Home track advantage, class, and consistency make her my choice in this extremely intriguing race.
#3 Spring in the Air (ON) – Not sure if she can hang with the monsters in this race, especially since this is her first dirt start.
#4 Renee’s Queen (KY) – Just looks to be over matched on paper.
#5 Dreaming of Julia (KY) – She’s been a monster in all three starts, and last time out she showed that she has heart. Super talented filly, but just couldn’t pick her to beat Executiveprivilege.
#6 Almost an Angel (KY) – When the top three or four are so good, others just looked to be over matched. Almost an Angel is one of those that are over matched.
#7 Broken Spell (KY) – This filly has run some solid races, and has been beaten by some very good horses. Not a win candidate, but I’d use her underneath for sure.
#8 Kauai Katie (KY) – The east coast version of Beholder! Kauai Katie has been a FREAK going one turn, now she’ll try to go two turns. Beholder and Kauai Katie may become each others worst enemy in this one, as both will want the lead. The Sprint would have been more logical, but I’m glad they chose this spot. Makes it a ton of fun!
Race 8: Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf (Grade 1)
Top 3 Selections:#2 Zagora, #8 Nahrain, #7 Up
#1 Star Billing (KY) – Looks to be over matched in this one.
#2 Zagora (FR) – Many think she’s got some distance limitations, but I don’t believe that to be the case. She’s finished second at this distance twice, and both times they were narrow defeats. She’ll be a decent price in this one as well which adds to the positives.
#3 Stormy Lucy (KY) – Has had some success against weaker competition, but this looks to be too tough of a test for her.
#4 The Fugue (GB) – Group one winner from overseas, but at a lower price I don’t think she’s all that much better than some of the mid-range priced horses in this one. I will use in exotics, but I prefer others on top.
#5 Nereid (KY) – Hard knocking horse that always shows up, but can’t see her winning in this tough spot.
#6 Lady of Shamrock (KY) – Possible bomb here, but this is her first time against older horses. Love that she has her regular rider in Mike Smith, but don’t think she’s good enough to win the whole thing.
#7 Up (IRE) – Another possible bomb, but Up is a little more seasoned than Lady Shamrock. She’s been beating Group 2 and 3 horses overseas, and looks to be a big threat at a solid price.
#8 Nahrain (GB) – She’s my second place pick after winning the Flower Bowl over Zagora. You have to love the fact she’s ran great in two American starts, and she’s also classy enough to win a Group 1 overseas. Big chance in here…
#9 Marketing Mix (ON) – She won over this track last time out, and is two for two at the distance. That sounds like a winning combination to me! So why is she not in my top 3? I believe this is the toughest spot she’s been in by far. Using on the bottom of exotics, but not sure she can win.
#10 Ridasiyna (FR) – Another great horse that has a big chance, but I’m not sure she does her best running on the firm turf. That plus the wide position makes me think she might be on the outside looking it.
#11 I’m A Dreamer (IRE) – Very consistent runner, and another horse that I will use on the bottom of exotics. Doubtful that she’s good enough to win though.
#12 In Lingerie (KY) – This will be her first race on turf, but I could see her pulling an upset in this one. She’s 3 for 3 on synthetic surfaces, so that a great sign. The bad post position is a negative, but she’s worth looking at if the price is right.
Race 9: Breeders Cup Ladies Classic (Grade 1)
Top 3 Selections:#5 Awesome Feather, #6 Royal Delta, #4 Questing
#1 Grace Hall (KY) – I really like this horse, but she’s totally over matched in this spot.
#2 My Miss Aurelia (KY) – Talk about an amazing comeback. I never thought they’d have her ready for a race like this so soon, but all signs point to her being ready to run huge. I still question if she’s good enough to beat these. Her win over Questing is somewhat marred by the strange results the Parx track produced that day, and she also will be facing older horses for the first time. I expect her to run well, but dont’ think she’ll have enough to win it.
#3 Class Included (KY) – Not happening
#4 Questing (GB) – I’m drawing a line through her last race, and sticking with my original thinking that she’s the best three-year old filly in the country. I also LOVE her front running style, as it’s a prefect match for the Santa Anita track. Look for her to make the lead in this one, and I think she has a shot at stealing this one on the front end. There’s some speed here, but it’s mostly a stalking type speed, and not a “need the lead speed.” Dangerous horse here…
#5 Awesome Feather (FL) – I’ve flip-flopped on this race for two months, and now I’m picking Awesome Feather. I just can’t ignore the raw talent this horse has displayed, and her 10 for 10 record is also hard to ignore. I don’t like the fact she’s only had two races this year, but I’m putting faith in Chad Brown having her ready to run a big one.
#6 Royal Delta (KY) – Had a really hard time picking against her as she was simply amazing last year winning this race, and looks to be coming into this race in super form. Her slight inconsistency this year has me a little scared, which is why I picked her second. Make no mistake though, this is super horse and her winning would not surprise anyone. Deserving favorite without question.
#7 Include Me Out (KY) – She’s been the best older female in California this year, but I’m just not sure that she can hang with these. Her clear defeat to the hands of Love and Pride last time out was concerning.
#8 Love and Pride (KY) – Everyone is kind of forgetting about this one, and that is probably just find with Todd Pletcher and the connections. Love and Pride beat Royal Delta at Saratoga this summer, and like I mentioned also beat Include Me Out on her home track. She’s drawn very well here, and could get the perfect winning trip. Logical longshot for sure.
Race 10: Twilight Derby (Grade 2)
Top 3 Selections:#6 Old Time Hockey, #8 My Best Brother, #2 Speaking of Which
Analysis: OLD TIME HOCKEY was the winner of a Grade 2 two races back, and even though he finished fifth, he ran well in his last race which was also a Grade 2. MY BEST BROTHER won the Del Mar Derby over Old Time Hockey, but also was beaten by him in the LA Jolla. SPEAKING OF WHICH is a European shipper that has run consistent races overseas.