Our Breeders Cup Saturday previews continue with the Turf Sprint, led by globe-trotting Lady Aurelia.
Previously – Juvenile Fillies
Audio – We previewed the Saturday races with Steve Falk.
Breeders Cup Turf Sprint
Globe-trotting sensation Lady Aurelia, a two-time Group 1 winner overseas, makes her Breeders Cup debut in a typically contentious version of the Turf Sprint.
As usual, the race should feature a breakneck pace and Lady Auerlia drew inside of that speed in post three. Stormy Liberal, Richard’s Boy, Pure Sensation, and Bucchero will all be gunning from outer draws and that could make things difficult for the favorite. Pure Sensation is probably the most talented of the speeds outside of Lady Aurelia.
There are, however, two strong closers who will be breaking inside (not especially ideal but since they’ll be dropping back, it probably won’t be too much of a problem), and those are Disco Partner and Holding Gold. Disco Partner will be a much shorter price, having won four of his five starts this year, with hose only loss in a yielding-turf Grade 1 Fourstardave going one mile. He also probably has a little more tactical speed than Holding Gold. That one was sixth in the Turf Monster at Parx last time but had a very tough trip in there, being unable to get clear in the stretch and Julien Leparoux basically had to ride with the emergency brake on. It was a much better showing than it looks on paper.
Both horses have to answer the question of whether they can get up to win this at five furlongs, and that is a legitimate question, especially on a track that does not have an especially long stretch. However, both beat Green Mask, an excellent turf sprinter who is unfortunately injured, going 5 ½ furlongs. Disco Partner did so in the Troy at Saratoga last year, while Holding Gold did so in the Shakertown in April this spring at Keeneland.
Marsha beat Lady Auerlia at York in August, but that one cut out some strong fractions that day and Marsha hasn’t run a turn since 2015. Cotai Glory’s overseas form is just a cut below Lady Auerlia and Marsha though he’ll appreciate getting back to five furlongs and a firm turf course.
It’s a fun race, as usual, and no doubt we have some concern about Disco Partner and Holding Gold getting up at five furlongs, but we trust their quality and they are our top two. We’ll go with Holding Gold on top because he’ll be a better price and is coming off of a troubled trip, but certainly using both equally strong on top.
#2 Holding Gold (15/1)
#1 Disco Partner (9/2)
#3 Lady Auerilia (5/2)
#12 Pure Sensation (10/1)