Friday, November 06, 2009

Saturday Breeders' Cup Selections From Michael

We will be following the same format as Friday with the Saturday selections. Martha Claussen's picks immediately follow mine in the next post. We each finished with two on top, although I don't get credit for my second picks winning which also happened twice, creating a lucrative day. I will again provide two horses for each race, could be two favorites, a favorite and a longshot, or two longshots. Here are the selections for Saturday:

The Grade 2 $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
The buzzword in this race could be Buzzword, who has yet to go farther than seven furlongs, but his only non-top three came last time out in the Group 1 Dewhurst at Newmarket. I expect a rebound from this Godolphin runner. How about a BIG longshot with 30-1 shot, Gallant Gent? He will be trying turf for the first time here, but has never missed the money in five starts and ran 3rd behind Juvenile favorite, Lookin At Lucky, last time out.

The $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint
Noble Court might be an attractive price pick at 8-1 on the morning-line. He won his only time over the Santa Anita turf at this sprint distance in the restricted Joe Hernandez, but he certainly has the speed for this spot, considering he has been running against Sprint favorite, Zensational, lately. I don't normally pick mares against the boys, but I Gotta Have Her. She is 8 of 9 over this turf sprint course and won five of those. That includes last time out on October 17 in the Grade 3 Maddy Handicap.

The Grade 1 $2,000,000 Breeders' Cup Sprint
I will go with Gayego in here. He fits the profile of another Sprint winner from a few years ago, Artax. Gayego was considered in the Kentucky Derby (much like Artax), he did not do well in the Derby (much like Artax), and he has come back to be a useful sprinter (much like Artax). Gayego won the Grade 1 Ancient Title over this same track very impressively on October 11. I picked Cost Of Freedom to win this race last year before he scratched. Since I am getting a second chance with him (at 20-1), I am not going to pass him up here.

The Grade 1 $2,000,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile
This is where I am hoping the bells will really be ringing for a longshot with my two selections. First, I have Vale Of York, a Godolphin runner that has contended with some strong stuff in Europe, running 2nd in the Group 1 Gran Criterium in Italy last time out. My other horse in here is Radiohead, who posted a searing Racing Post Rating of 117 in running second behind Awzaan in a Group 1 at Newmarket on October 2. His Sire is 2001 Juvenile winner, Johannesburg.

The Grade 1 $2,000,000 Breeders' Cup Mile
Goldikova will be almost impossible to beat in this spot again this year. She won this race in 2008 with an overpowering stretch move and posted a 107 Beyer in doing it. She has won three of five starts at this distance so far this year in Europe. The other one I like in here is Ferneley. He finished 2nd behind Ventura in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile last out and while she lost on Friday, she was still the heaviest favorite on the card. This horse has just jumped out at me all week and it wouldn't surprise me if he came through.

The Grade 1 $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile
This is the race I thought Regal Ransom should have gone in. I think he would have been unbeatable in this spot. As it is, I will take another strong horse with Mastercraftsman. He won a Group 3 at 1 1/4 miles at Dundalk over Polytrack last time out on October 2 with a 121 Racing Post Rating. His last three losses have all been behind Sea The Stars, who is not a bad one to keep running behind. The longshot in here is Neko Bay, who is beautifully-bred and all four of his wins have come over the track at Santa Anita, although three of those came before the switch to Pro-ride.

The Grade 1 $3,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf
Spanish Moon won his last two in France at this distance and will be getting Lasix for the first time today. He also just missed winning the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic back in March, losing by just a nose. He is lightly raced this year with only three starts, but they have all been stellar ones. I could conceive of Presious Passion going all the way in front and stealing this thing, as is his custom. He won the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch over this track, but that was against a very weak bunch and was a quarter-mile shorter in distance.

The Grade 1 $5,000,000 Breeders' Cup Classic
I have been saying for some time now that Zenyatta will get beat today in this spot. She might certainly acquit herself very well, but I just can't see her beating the boys with her come-from-behind style that many of her foes today also possess. The horse I do like in the Classic is a Southern California veteran, Einstein. He won his only start over this surface in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap back in March. His only win since came in the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, but he did run well in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Also, did you ever think you would see the day you get 12-1 on him? You also get 12-1 on Quality Road. I think his last two losses to Summer Bird were substantial, but they also came in the slop and Quality Road certainly dug down deep to challenge Summer Bird in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. The price is right on both of these runners Saturday.

Once again, I remind you that They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in on Monday for a recap of the Breeders' Cup weekend. I would like to thank SureBet Racing News's Martha Claussen for her contributions this weekend. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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