Several Breeders’ Cup races this weekend could conceivably be dominated by short-priced favorites. Others may have at most two or three legitimate win contenders. In other words, finding races where a longshot might win might be more difficult than usual.
However, just getting a longshot in the money can be as good as a win. Below are some of the longer-priced runners that looked intriguing as win propositions or vertical exotics boosters.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Longshot
#5 VITALOGY perhaps won’t be quite as high as his 10-1 morning line as he’s placed in both stateside appearances. The deep-closing type will need to work out a trip, though, but the talent seems there as he was gaining third to Decorated Invader in the Summer (G1) and just missed as a lukewarm favorite in the Bourbon (G3) to Peace Achieved. Might see a stronger pace on this firmer ground, too.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Longshot
#11 SHARING (12-1) is actually my top selection in the field. She enters off two relatively lower-key victories that were still accomplished rather stylishly, an off-the-turf maiden win at Saratoga and the $200,000 Selima at Laurel in her two-turn debut. There’s lots to like about her from a pedigree perspective as both her sire and dam won Breeders’ Cup races. Speightstown won the 2004 Sprint and, more importantly, Shared Account upset Midday in the 2010 Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs. Shared Account was also trained by Graham Motion.
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Longshot
Perhaps the most contentious race of the weekend, it could go any number of ways. Trainer Peter Miller has won the last two runnings with Stormy Liberal, who seeks a three-peat here but has been win-shy all season. Miller’s other duo of the mare #12 BELVOIR BAY (12-1) and #11 OM (15-1) are rather interesting despite the fact neither has raced since June. (Stormy Liberal won the 2017 Turf Sprint having not run since June).
BELVOIR BAY is a course-and-distance winner, which for much of this race’s history has been the key to success. Granted, that came against fillies and mares, but she’s also run some good ones against the boys. Second best to the world-class Blue Point in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) in Dubai this past March, she was later a solid fourth in the Jaipur (G1) won by World of Trouble, who probably would have been favored here if he had not been sidelined.
OM was second best in the Jaipur to World of Trouble, and followed up with a come-from-behind win over fellow Turf Sprint entry Totally Boss in a Churchill Downs allowance June 29. Suffering a brutally tough photo-finish loss in the 2016 Turf Sprint here when it was contested down the hill at about 6 1/2 furlongs, Om might find five panels just a touch too short against this size of a field, but he does seem to have more positional speed now than he did several seasons ago.
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Longshot
With the three-year-olds Omaha Beach, Improbable, and Mr. Money attracting most of the attention, #9 DIAMOND OOPS (15-1) could easily be overlooked. Patrick Biancone has had him in top form for months, though. Earning his first graded win in the Smile Sprint (G3) three back, he next split Imperial Hint and Mitole in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1). His two-turn debut, in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), was strong, too, as he dueled most of the way before yielding the advantage late against 13 rivals. Has been turning in some race-day fast works over the grass at Palm Meadows in advance of this and could be sitting on another big one.
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf Longshot
There’s no such thing as a cinch, but Sistercharlie will be a very strong favorite to defend her title here. One rival that could fill out an exacta or trifecta is the three-year-old #8 CASTLE LADY (15-1), who wheels back in three weeks after a decent second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland. Note that she was coming in off a layoff dating from June 21 and received no pace help from the winning Cambier Parc, who lulled that field to sleep.
From the family of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass, Castle Lady should be able to see out the extra furlong. She has a bit of class, too, having captured the French 1000 Guineas (G1) less than two months after commencing her career.