A fantastic rendition of the Distaff highlights Friday’s 4-race Breeders’ Cup line-up, with the mighty Songbird taking on elders for the first time in her unbeaten career. The 1 1/8-mile race serves as the anchor for a Pick 4 along with the Juvenile Turf, Dirt Mile and Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Here are my thoughts on the sequence:
Race 6 (Juvenile Turf): Good luck if you landed on a single in this contentious one-mile affair. The post draw wasn’t favorable for several contenders, with Good Samaritan, Oscar Performance and Ticonderoga being forced to overcome a short run to the first turn, and I’ll give a slight edge to Big Score following a romping score in the Zuma Beach over the course. I’ll spread with Favorable Outcome, Intelligence Cross, Bowies Hero, Good Samaritan and Oscar Performance.
Race 7 (Dirt Mile): Listed as the 6-5 favorite, Dortmund will be a popular single on many tickets but I’m concerned he was no factor in the final furlongs of his last two outings, the Pacific Classic (G1) and Awesome Again (G1). Gun Runner has never run a bad race on a fast track and appears to be entering the Breeders’ Cup in peak form; he’s my top selection. I’ll save on the back-up ticket with Vyjack, Runhappy and Tamarkuz.
Race 8 (Juvenile Fillies Turf): A 10-time Breeders’ Cup race winner, Aidan O’Brien appears to hold a strong hand with Hydrangea and Roly Poly. And I won’t let Lull beat me; the filly is well-drawn in post 2 for a possible theft job at long odds. Spain Burg and La Coronel will be added to the saver.
Race 9 (Distaff): Beholder has run her best races when able to stalk the action from the outside, with the 2013 Distaff and 2015 Pacific Classic as prime examples, and she hasn’t run a bad race this year, including the Pacific Classic where she easily bested Dortmund while finishing a clear second behind California Chrome from post 7. I expect to see her best from post 8 on Saturday. Songbird is also a must-use on both tickets and Stellar Wind can’t be dismissed from consideration.
Here are the 50-cent Pick 4 tickets I will be playing:
4,6,8,10,11,13 with 3,9 with 1,2,4,13,14 with 1,5,8 ($90)
4,6,8,10,11,13 with 1,7,8 with 1,2,13 with 1,8 ($54)