After the five race appetizer on Friday, there are nine Breeders Cup races on Saturday with a lot on the line and some great fields to dig into, and prices to take swings with. Let’s look at the fields.
Breeders Cup Saturday
Filly & Mare Sprint
There are a few things that stand out about this race. The first is that there should be a lot of speed and the second is that if #13 Marley’s Freedom (8-5) runs back to her recent form she is going to win. Plus, since she can sit a few off the pace and is drawn well outside, she should benefit from the fast pace. This makes here a very likely winner for trainer Bob Baffert. Simply, her Ballerina was a dominant effort and maybe the best race run this year by anyone in this field.
There are a few others that are usable somewhere. For us, one is #12 Anonymity (15-1). She’ll be part of the pace but is at least drawn well outside. She fires every time for trainer Richard Mandella and last time was part of a very fast pace in the LA Woman at Santa Anita, holding well as that race fell into the lap of #7 Skye Diamonds (10-1). She has won at seven furlongs and will stalk outside here today. She’s a big-priced alternative to the big favorite.
#5 Golden Mischief (10-1) ran a solid race last time in the TCA at Keeneland and was jostled and shuffled a bit between horses on the turn in there. The distance is a question but she’ll definitely benefit from the pace.
#1 Selcourt (4-1) has been out since March and drew the inside for this elongated sprint that will put a lot of pace pressure on her. Plus, her big win in the Santa Monica was aided by a very slow pace that she won’t get in this spot. She is one to oppose.
Vertical Strategy – We’ll mostly lean on Marley’s Freedom on top and try to get Anonymity and Golden Mischief in there with her.
A – 13
B – 5
C – 12
This race is always chaotic and that is especially true this year with the expected turf condition. The likely favorite is #5 Disco Partner (7-2) who, on a firm course in New York, would be a horse you can lean on. However, away from New York and on a yielding course, he becomes one to oppose at a short price. He gets a break this year in that the race is back at 5 ½ furlongs (it was five last year at Del Mar) but he just doesn’t handle the softer going that he is going to get here.
#9 Stormy Liberal (4-1) won this race last year but he too has to answer the question about the yielding going and this race is very wide open to take a short price. To be fair, he’s 3-3 in his last three races with wins by a nose, nose, and head. He will be tough to beat if he handles the course.
#11 World of Trouble (6-1) might well take more money than that price and he’ll have to deal with a lot of other speed. That said, he has legitimate turf sprint speed and he’s handled off going in both of his turf starts. He’s very live and we’re using. #12 Richard’s Boy (12-1) was second in here last year but his last race, an 89 Beyer where he blew a lead against Cal-breds at 1-5 is a bit discouraging (though that was off a two month layoff and just two weeks ago so it’s possible he wasn’t fully cranked). #14 Conquest Tsunami (6-1) drew way outside but he’s fast and should get a good stalking trip. The distance might be a touch short for him, however.
I struggled with the Parx Dash horses. Pure Sensation, who wasn’t doing well enough to enter here, wired the field setting a moderate pace on the inside. #4 Vision Perfect (15-1) pressed 3-wide and held on well to be beaten just a neck. #6 Rainbow Heir (12-1) was running for the first time since January (he was covering mares in Florida) and had a good trip but was hurt by the pace. We’ve always liked this Jersey-bred and he’ll be better this time. He does have to handle the yielding going, however. Finally, #2 Bucchero (10-1) had the worst of it. He had to steady while wide on the bend, lost position, then came on again. Based off that race, he is the one you’d want. But then, while he won the Woodford last time and improved his figure five points, I’m not sure that he ran much better than he did at Parx considering his trouble. Further, he had a perfect trip in there and is going to have to run much better to win here. That does give me some pause with these horses, but I wouldn’t want to see Rainbow Heir win and have nothing. As confusing as this entire race is, we were led to…
This horse might be our craziest pick of the weekend. We’re going to try #8 Chanteline (15-1), who will likely be bigger than her morning line price. Granted, she’s been facing fillies so this is a step up in class. But we liked her race three back when she pressed a wicked pace in the soft turf Caress at Saratoga, a race that fell apart late. Two-back, she got a great trip but ran a 104 Beyer that will put her in the mix. Finally last time, she ran very well in the Franklin County, getting shuffled back around the turn and when she got clear, she flew home. She’s in great form and will be a huge price in an open race. She’ll need to get a good trip but if she does, her best race gives her a legitimate shot.
Vertical Strategy – We’ll tread lightly here because there are so many possibilities but we do want to play a few tickets with Chateline in the number. We’ll use with World of Trouble, Stormy Liberal, and Rainbow Heir, primarily, but many in the third slot.
A – 6, 8, 9, 11
B – 12, 14
C – 2, 4