There are nine Breeders' Cup races that will be contested at The Great Race Place, Santa Anita, on Saturday afternoon. The Championship races will start with the $2,000,000 Juvenile Fillies and the day will culminate in with the $5,000,000 Classic. In some of these races, I prefer one horse and in some of the others, I will examine two horses. The following is my analysis of those nine races:
Juvenile Fillies- I am going to go with #2-Angela Renee. Todd Pletcher is the trainer and John Velazquez has the riding assignment. Her Sire is 2006 Preakness winner, Bernardini, and she posted a field-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure in her last race, the Grade 1 Chandelier, on September 27. Angela Renee is 3-1 on the morning line.
Filly & Mare Turf- There is a distinct possibility of a repeat in here with #3-Dank. She was the winner in 2013 as the betting favorite. The major difference between last year and this year is that in 2013, she had previously come over from Europe and scored a Grade 1 win in the Beverly D at Arlington Park. Dank is 5-2 on the morning line.
Filly & Mare Sprint- Irad Ortiz Jr. has had an exceptional 2014 season, winning 20% of his more than 1,200 races. Why can't he carry that success over to the big stage here with #1-Sweet Reason? She won the Grade 1 Test at this extended seven furlong distance back in early August. This will be her 2nd start since the most recent layoff. Her Sire is 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, Street Sense. Sweet Reason is 9-2 on the morning line.
Turf Sprint- The accepted thought process when it comes to these races down the hill at Santa Anita is that the horse destined to win is a horse that has had past success at the distance on the track. I will favor #5-Ambitious Brew, who has won 3 of 4 lifetime at 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass at Santa Anita. Mike Smith will ride here. This is his second race off the layoff. In the prior effort, he was nailed on the wire in the Grade 3 Eddie D by Home Run Kitten, who is also in this race. I expect him to turn the tables here. Ambitious Brew is 12-1 on the morning line.
Juvenile- Bob Baffert was supposed to have the hot favorite in here with American Pharoah. Unfortunately, he was scratched earlier this week and will not race. However, this does not deter me from thinking that Baffert still has the winner in here with #11-One Lucky Dane. He won his maiden-breaking race over the Santa Anita track on October 4 going one mile by a widening margin of 9 1/2 lengths. A repeat of that effort could give Baffert another score in this race. One Lucky Dane is 10-1 on the morning line.
Turf- This is where the fun starts for everyone interested in trying to score on the 50-cent Pick Four with the $3,000,000 pool. #7-Flintshire will be the selection in here off the 2nd place finish in the Group 1 Arc de Triomphe behind two-time winner, Treve. While Flintshire has not won in 2013, he has been on the cusp of victory on numerous occasions. I am also a bit fond of #11-Chicquita. Normally, I don't love fillies facing the males, but this one could be a winner here with the ever-popular connections of trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Frankie Dettori, both of whom have had plenty of success in this race in the past. Flintshire is 7-2 on the morning line and Chicquita is 8-1 on the morning line.
Sprint- #8 Palace is my Best Bet of the entire Breeders' Cup program. He really didn't have the best time of it in the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont, finishing 3rd after a weaving trip. His previous two efforts at Saratoga were far more confidence-inducing. He ran away from the field in the seven-furlong Forego and he posted a 107 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Grade 1 Vanderbilt. He has never missed the money in 12 starts at this distance and he posted a fine workout over the track on October 27. Palace is 6-1 on the morning line.
Mile- This is the one Breeders' Cup race on Saturday where I really think you can take a legitimate shot at a longshot. Toronado is going to be a big favorite, but I remember being at a Breeders' Cup where Rock Of Gibraltar was a big favorite and he went down to defeat to Domedriver. So, I am going to swing for the fences with #11-Sayaad. Julien Leparoux will ride. This horse finished a close 3rd behind Wise Dan in the G1 Shadwell at Keeneland. He also tossed a bullet workout on the board on October 25 at Belmont, covering a half-mile in 48 seconds flat. This is the 2nd Street Sense offspring I am selecting today. Sayaad is 30-1 on the morning line.
Classic- There is speed in this race to spare with Moreno and Bayern both present. It is also entirely possible that Shared Belief and Cigar Street will be close to what promises to be a fast pace. So, I am going to look at another longshot in here to come rolling late, a la Drosselmeyer a few years ago. #5 V.E. Day is coming into this race under the radar, much like he did in he Grade 1 Travers he won this summer at Saratoga. His follow-up effort in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup was a toss after he was interfered with. I also think #2-Cigar Street could remain a factor after sitting near the pace. By the way, yes, he is another Street Sense offspring. V.E. Day is 20-1 on the morning line and Cigar Street is 12-1 on the morning line.
I am going to provide a suggested 50-cent Pick Four play for those last four races as part of this post as well.
50-CENT PICK FOUR PLAY (Races 9-12): 1-7-11-12 with 4-8 with 5-6-11 with 2-5-6-7-11
TOTAL BET- $60
Good luck to everyone on both days of the 2014 Breeders' Cup. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @taoMC16 for regular selections for racing at Turf Paradise and other random thoughts on things both racing and non-racing related. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!