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For the last few weeks, we’ve given weekly updates on our top picks for each race heading into the 2018 Breeders’ Cup. Today, let’s focus on the longshots that could make this Breeders’ Cup very profitable. The key to the event each year is finding and cashing in on horses that blow up the tote board, or at least beat a heavy favorite. Here are five horses that could do just that:
As you have seen for the last seven weeks if you have read the Breeders’ Cup Predictions articles, McKinzie is our top pick to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, especially after his latest workout at Santa Anita, where he fired a bullet 1:12.00 for his 6-furlong work. McKinzie earned a 107 Beyer speed figure after winning the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, his first start after a six-month layoff. He has every right to improve off of that race, while the expected favorite Accelerate has a trainer (John Sadler) who has had trouble winning races outside of California. The Bob Baffert-trained West Coast is also a horse who should be watched closely and also has every right to improve off of his last effort.
The home track advantage will be in his favor no matter where they enter him. Limousine Liberal is six-for-eight when racing at Churchill Downs, with his last loss underneath the TwinSpires coming all the way back in June 0f 2016. He also likes a sloppy track, which unfortunately has been the case lately during a lot of big days at Churchill Downs. The only issue is the fact that both the Sprint and the Dirt Mile will be very tough races. However, he might be double-digit odds in either race. That number is way too high for a horse who is in great form and loves this track.
When analyzing this horse, it is important to go back and watch the replay of his second-place effort in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes. While the winner was very deserving that day, the trip for Code of Honor was not ideal. In his debut maiden win, he was on the lead, but after he stumbled out of the Champagne gate, he found himself several lengths behind in the rear of the field. He was still able to commence a solid rally to finish second, only beaten 3 lengths, and turning the tables could be possible with a cleaner break and trip.
Distance could be the key to his success in this wide-open spot. In his last two races, he had the lead in the stretch, only to be passed in the final stages while having to settle for second. Both of those races where run at 8 1/2 furlongs, though, which means this small cut back to 8 furlongs gives him a solid shot. We know that there will be several European shippers coming in, but before we know the official list, this horse has to be under consideration.
This is shaping up to be the most wide-open division of the the entire Breeders’ Cup. After Abel Tasman threw in a clunker in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes, the division got turned upside down. The 3-year-old division has been strong, with Monomoy Girl leading the charge, but the Chad Brown-trained Wow Cat is starting to round into some solid form. Last time out in the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes, she stalked the early pace before romping home to a 3 1/4-length win. There is no doubt that she is no match for a 100%-cranked Abel Tasman, though, so a bet on Wow Cat will come with the hope that Abel Tasman does not show up with her best race. If that is the case, then Wow Cat becomes very intriguing at big odds.
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