This year’s Breeders Cup might turnout to be one of the best in recent memory. In most years, there will be one or two equine heroes that capture the imagination. This year could turn out be very special with as many as six legitimate equine superstars taking to the track in five different races. The question is, “Which Breeders Cup Star Will Shine the Brightest?” will it be one of the standouts or will it be one of the upset contenders?.
Songbird (BC Distaff) – When the 3-year old filly Songbird enters the starting gate on Friday, October 31, 2016, she will be attempting to do something she has never been asked to do before, run against and beat older mares. To this point in her undefeated career, Songbird has beaten every significant contender of her own generation. That’s an amazing 11 races in a row, including 7 Grade I events across 5 different racetracks. She will be asked to win her 12th in a row against two reigning champions, Beholder and Stellar Wind. It’s a lot to ask, but this amazing filly has a high cruising speed and quite frankly, has only been asked for her best once. At around horse racing betting odds of 5/2 at many an online sportsbook, she could simply steel the show.
Tepin (BC Turf Mile) – After winning this race last year to claim the championship as America’s “Best Turf mare,” Tepin has become a bit of a world traveller. During a remarkable season, she has won Grade I races in England (the prestigious Queen Anne at Ascot), Canada and the U.S. She has beaten the best milers in the world of both sexes. She has done it on the pace and from just off the pace. In her last race, she allowed Photo Call to build an insurmountable 10-length lead in the Grade I First Lady at Keeneland. It broke an 8-race winning streak, but did little to take the shine off of her star. If she can beat the world’s best milers for a second time, she would have to be considered one of the greatest lady turfers of all time.
Flintshire (BC Turf) – Since coming to America from Europe, Flintshire has been a dominant force among male turf distance horses. Of course, he crossed the ocean with a resume befitting a champion with Group 1 wins in Europe and Hong Kong, along with a terrific second-place finish in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe behind the European Champion Golden Horn. As a winner of nearly $9,000,000, he stands as a heavy favorite to win this race no matter which horses enter the starting gate. In his last race, he fell victim to soft turf conditions and pace to finish second in the Grade I Turf Classic Invitational, issues he’s not likely to encounter at Santa Anita. Look for his to use his brilliant turn of foot to put the exclamation mark on a great season.
Arrogate (BC Classic) – No horse in recent history ever made a first impression the way Arrogate did in this year’s Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga. This brilliant 3-year old was making only the sixth start of his career, a career that didn’t start until early in 2016. After breaking his maiden in June, he move through his allowance conditions with ease, setting him up perfectly for his stakes debut in the Travers. Against the very best 3-year olds in the nation, he ran away and hid with a 13-length victory and established a new Travers record with a time of 1:59.1 for the mile-and-a-quarter. He earned an astounding 122 Beyer, easily the second-best in the nation behind Frosted’s 123 in the Met Mile. There’s no telling where this horse’s ceiling is, but the Classic will certainly answer that question.
California Chrome (BC Classic) – California Chrome is currently the top rated thoroughbred in the world, and for all the right reasons. From the Group 1 Dubai World Cup to the Grade I Pacific Classic, Chrome has put on one spectacular effort after another on his way to 6 wins in 6 starts and over $7,000,000 in purses on the season. As a winner of over $13,000,000 in his career, he figures to be a short horse racing betting odds with many an online sportsbook against a strong field that includes the aforementioned Arrogate and Frosted. Even with a loss in this race, it’s hard to imagine any other horse being voted “Horse of the Year.”
That’s a strong list of six equine superstars whose stars are already lighting up the horseracing world. Even Lady Eli (Filly and Mare Turf) could make her mark. The question remains, “Which one is going to shine the brightest?”
Handicapper John Hawthorne is Happy to contribute his analysis of these Domestic horse races. Currently living overseas John likes to stay in touch and collaborate with websites like Racingdudes.com that have put the time in to develope professional wagering guides. His other work includes previewing U.K based horse racing events and provides free U.K horse racing betting tips to a number of online publications.