Day 1 of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup comes to Keeneland. Tim Holland provides his expert picks for this stacked day of racing.
#6 Fancy Liquor (4-1) showed different tactics when rallying from off the pace to win the American Turf (G2) over 1 1/16 miles in his latest at Churchill in early September. Son of Lookin at Lucky finished a close third after being forwardly placed from the start in the Transylvania (G3) in one previous start on this course and has been working well for trainer Maker, who wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Dark bay can be in good position throughout under Geroux, who has won with 13% of his rides for the barn in the past 60 days.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1)
A full field includes #9 Battleground (6-1), who bids to give trainer O’Brien a fifth winner in this event. Son of War Front is out of Found, who won the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) on this course and has won two of his three career starts, most recently when impressing in the Vintage (G2) at Goodwood in lat -July. Colt comes here fresh and should be fit despite the time off having been an intended starter in the Dewhurst (G1) last month, only to be scratched due to the heavy going. Bay should be in good early position from a good post under Moore, who rode an excellent race to win this event over the course and distance on Hit It a Bomb in 2015.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1)
Graham Motion sent out Sharing to win this event 12 months ago at good odds and saddles #3 Alda (12-1), who lost some chances when pushed wide on the turn before finishing well for second place in the Natalma (G1) in her latest at this distance at Woodbine in September. Daughter of Munnings is a half-sister to Alignement, who won the Prix Dollar (G2), and has won two of her four career starts for Motion, who wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Chestnut has a strong turn of foot and should provide value with Velazquez in the irons.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)
#9 Sittin On Go (12-1) has been freshened since rallying from off the pace to win the Iroquois (G3) over one mile at Churchill in early September. Sire Brody’s Cause produced his best performances on this oval, and colt has been working well for trainer Romans, who wins with 14% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Chestnut should find a solid pace to suit his closing run style with Lanerie retaining the mount.
Gulfstream Park West
#6 Rich’s Rags (5-1) likely needed his latest when weakening to finish sixth after vying for the early lead being his first outing in over 14 months. Son of Union Rags is a half-brother to three winners, and trainer De La Cerda wins with 16% of his runners in maiden claiming events. Gelding can be on or near the early lead with Burgos riding.
Trainer Vanden Berg has won with a high 36% of her runners since the beginning of this year and saddles #7 Opus Equus (6-1), who has not raced since finishing a distant third at Los Alamitos in December. Dark bay has been working well, and Vanden Berg won with two of her last nine runners that had not raced for 90+ days. Son of Take Charge Indy can be along from off the pace under Emigh, who has won with 43% of his rides for the barn in the past two months.