Thoughts on Friday's Breeders' Cup Pick 5 and an undercard Spot Play
There will be 50-cent minimum Late Pick 5s on Friday and Saturday encompassing the final five races of the Breeders' Cup each day and with a nifty 15 percent takeout. My ticket for Friday's all-juvenile sequence will closely follow my selections found in the TwinSpires' Breeders' Cup Betting Guide, though I'll be going deeper in some races and limiting my coverage in others.
Juvenile Turf Sprint (Race 5)
The relative merits of European invaders #2 SOLDIER'S CALL (9-2) and #8 SERGEI PROKOFIEV (6-1) are evident. #5 BULLETIN (10-1) showed excellent early foot winning on debut, though that could be hampered somewhat in the softer condition this time. As I noted in this space the other day, the filly #4 STILLWATER COVE (20-1) is an intriguing-looking longshot who failed to stay a mile in the Natalma (G1) but should benefit immensely cutting back to 5 1/2 furlongs. She figures to be a better price than her fellow Wesley Ward stablemates.
Juvenile Fillies Turf (Race 6)
Not quite enthralled with the European imports, so I'll be limiting my coverage early favorite #6 NEWSPAPEROFRECORD (2-1) and the unexposed #1 CONCRETE ROSE (6-1), impressive winner of the Jessamine (G2).
Juvenile Fillies (Race 7)
Again, two-deep here. The dominating Southern Californian #10 BELLAFINA (2-1) is no Songbird, but is not so easily dismissible. Horse-for-the-course #4 RESTLESS RIDER (9-2) is in great position to give trainer Kenny McPeek an overdue Breeders' Cup victory.
Juvenile Turf (Race 8)
#14 ANTHONY VAN DYCK (4-1) is the kind to perhaps try and toss given his wide draw, but it would be foolish to leave him off here as my second choice given his relative class. Will obviously include my top selection #5 LINE OF DUTY (10-1), who beat a future Group 1 winner over nine furlongs last time. The versatile #2 UNCLE BENNY (15-1) should appreciate the stretch-out to a mile and has a profitable trainer/jockey combo in his corner.
Juvenile (Race 9)
With the scratch of Code of Honor, who we would have used, we'll single #9 GAME WINNER (8-5), who could be something special for Bob Baffert if his California form is any indication.
Here's the ticket:
2,4,5,8 with 1,6 with 4,9 with 2,5,14 with 9 = $24
On the undercard in Race 2, #8 STRAIGHT SHOT (6-1) figures live for trainer Ian Wilkes and jockey Brian Hernandez. He got within three lengths of the winner in his Keeneland debut after drawing post 12. Likely better value than fellow second-time starters Chess Chief and Captain Von Trapp.