Breeders’ Cup Friday Undercard Races
An emphasis on betting logical favorites in multi-race wagers
It can be tough betting favorites at the Breeders’ Cup, since the fierce competition makes it hard to rationalize accepting short prices in deep fields.
But undercard stakes races are a different ballgame. Five such events will take place on Friday at Keeneland, and the favorites look pretty solid across the board.
Let’s take a $150 budget and play all five of the undercard stakes, with an emphasis on betting logical favorites in multi-race wagers.
Race 1: Nyquist S. (11:30 a.m. ET)
#6 Quick Temper (5-2) owns the fastest Brisnet Speed rating in the field, putting up a 92 when wiring a 6-furlong allowance race at Parx Racing by 6 1/2 lengths. The son of Tapizar was tons the best and warrants respect even while facing tougher company at Keeneland.
If anyone can challenge the favorite, it’s #9 Saffa’s Day (7-2), who posted a 90 Brisnet Speed rating when leading all the way to break his maiden by 5 1/4 lengths at Keeneland. A son of two-time Keeneland Grade 1 winner Carpe Diem, Saffa’s Day figures to sit a perfect trip setting or stalking the pace from his outside draw.
We’ll use Quick Tempo and Saffa’s Day in equal strength to kick off double and Pick 5 wagers.
- $8 double: 6,9 with 9 ($16)
- $2 Pick 3: 6,9 with 9 with 2,6,7 ($12)
- $0.50 Pick 5: 6,9 with 9 with 2,6,7 with 1,2,4,8 with 8,13,14 ($36)
- Total: $64
Race 2: Songbird S. (12:05 p.m. ET)
There’s a ton of speed in this 6 1/2-furlong dash for 2-year-old fillies, which should play to the strengths of #9 The Grass Is Blue (4-1). The stretch-running youngster is unbeaten and unchallenged in two starts for four-time champion trainer Chad Brown, most recently crushing a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race at Keeneland by 3 1/2 lengths.
We’ll single The Grass Is Blue in all our multi-race wagers.
- $4 double: 9 with 2,6,7 ($12)
- $1 Pick 4: 9 with 2,6,7 with 1,2,4,8 with 8,13,14 ($36)
- Total: $48
Race 3: Bryan Station S. (12:40 p.m. ET)
#6 Fancy Liquor (4-1) hasn’t missed the trifecta in six starts and looms as a deserving favorite after rallying to victory in the American Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs. Conditioned by hot trainer Mike Maker, Fancy Liquor is versatile in terms of running style and proven over a wide variety of course conditions.
Belmont Derby (G1) runner-up #2 No Word (5-1) is another logical contender in this deep field, along with #7 Spanish Kingdom (15-1), a two-time winner over this 1 1/8-mile distance.
We’ll key Fancy Liquor in the exacta and use all three for multi-race wagers.
- $6 exacta: 6 with 2,7 ($12)
- $4 exacta: 2,7 with 6 ($8)
- Total: $20
Race 4: McConnell Springs S. (1:15 p.m. ET)
#1 Bye Bye J (7-2) is a slim favorite after rallying to finish third in a slow-paced renewal of the Skipat S. at Pimlico, but her edge against this field is slim. #2 Amy’s Challenge (4-1) has kept better company and boasts an abundance of tactical speed, and #8 Wildwood’s Beauty (9-2) was compromised by unfavorable pace scenarios when fourth in the Madison (G1) and fifth in the Derby City Distaff (G1).
Mixing and matching the favorites with recent Chillingsworth (G3) winner #4 Into Chocolate (12-1) should allow us to survive the Pick 4 and Pick 5.
Race 5: Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G2, 1:50 p.m. ET)
Formerly known as the Marathon, this 1 5/8-mile test contains a potential standout in #8 Ry’s the Guy (4-1). Although the son of Distorted Humor has campaigned primarily on turf, he’s also never missed the trifecta in six runs on dirt.
Ry’s the Guy fired off a big effort when switching surfaces for the 1 1/2-mile Champions Day Marathon S. at Churchill Downs, leading all the way to win by 4 3/4 lengths with a 101 Brisnet Speed rating. A repeat can land Ry’s the Guy in the winner’s circle on Friday, though Tokyo City Cup (G3) winner #13 Cupid’s Claws (5-1) and Miner’s Mark S. winner #14 Danny California (5-1) are also capable of winning on their best day.
We’ll box all three in the exacta and use them equally to conclude the Pick 4 and Pick 5.
- $3 exacta box: 8,13,14 ($18)