by Tim Quek
The Breeders’ Cup will commence this Friday Nov. 4th from beautiful Santa Anita Park and extend through Saturday Nov. 5th. Four races will whet the appetites of horse players and fans around the globe on Friday, as the World Championships get underway. Friday’s program will be highlighted by the Breeders’ Cup Distaff with three female Champions going head-to-head-to-head.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (5:35pm EST)
1 Mile — 2 Year Old Colts — $1,000,000
The Breeders’ Cup weekend kicks off with what many owners and trainers hope will be a glimpse into the future of the turf competition. This race has largely favored the morning line leaders, with the last three winners opening as a first or second choice by oddsmakers.
Six of the runner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf enter off a win, including the odds-on favorite. Oscar Nominated leads the fray at 4/1, but is trailed closely by Good Samaritan, who won the Summer Stakes and holds 9/2 odds as the second choice.
Lancaster Bomber is the third option at the window with 6/1 odds currently, but running from the inside post presents some obvious problems. He finished 2nd last out at the Dewhurst Stakes.
Perhaps the best overall bet at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is Made You Look at 12/1, who will run from the 5th post following a win in his stakes debut in the With Anticipation Stakes.
|1||Lancaster Bomber (KY)||Seamus Heffernan||Aidan P. O’Brien||6/1|
|2||Keep Quiet (FR)||Florent Geroux||Mark E. Casse||12/1|
|3||Channel Maker (ON)||John R. Velazquez||Daniel J. Vella||30/1|
|4||Favorable Outcome (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Chad C. Brown||15/1|
|5||Made You Look (KY)||Javier Castellano||Todd A. Pletcher||12/1|
|6||Big Score (KY)||Flavien Prat||Tim Yakteen||8/1|
|7||J. S. Choice (KY)||Kent J. Desormeaux||Todd A. Pletcher||20/1|
|8||Intelligence Cross (KY)||Ryan L. Moore||Aidan P. O’Brien||6/1|
|9||Wellabled (KY)||E. T. Baird||Larry Rivelli||15/1|
|10||Bowies Hero (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||Philip D’Amato||15/1|
|11||Good Samaritan (KY)||Joel Rosario||William I. Mott||9/2|
|12||Rodaini (KY)||Lanfranco Dettori||Simon Crisford||15/1|
|13||Oscar Performance (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||Brian A. Lynch||4/1|
|14||Ticonderoga (KY)||Rafael Bejarano||Chad C. Brown||15/1|
|15||Kitten’s Cat (KY)||Luis Saez||Joe Sharp||20/1|
|16||Harbour Master (GB)||Mike E. Smith||James M. Cassidy||20/1|
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (6:05pm EST)
1 Mile — 3+ Year Old — $1,000,000
The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile has suddenly become a race of massive intrigue. This was always the destination for the sensational Runhappy, who has been battling back from injury and was last out finishing 4th at the Ack Ack Handicap. Only his second defeat during an incredible career where he has established himself as one of the best sprinters in the business. The problem? Runhappy’s two losses have both come at a mile or greater.
Making matters more difficult for handicappers is the insertion of Dortmund into the field. This Bob Baffert trainee has been going up against California Chrome all year, much in the same way he routinely battled American Pharoah. This season he has finished 2nd twice to the Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite, while also finishing 3rd behind Beholder at the Pacific Classic. There are few in the Dirt Mile field who can hold a candle to what Dortmund is capable of.
Gun Runner will be the next best bet in the Dirt Mile, having finished as runner-up in the Penn Derby last time out of the gates. He has gone 3-1-2 in 7 starts this season and earned over $1.5 million. There are many who remain familiar with his record thanks to finishing first on the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race circuit this year, amassing the most points out of any three-year old.
Dortmund’s sheer size and power make him an exceptional choice in this race, while the sentimental favorite will be Runhappy. A battle between these two was unforeseen, but horse fans are fortunate to see these two go head-to-head in what could amount to an instant classic between two of the top four-year-olds.
|1||Vyjack (KY)||Flavien Prat||Philip D’Amato||10/1|
|2||Tom’s Ready (PA)||Joel Rosario||Dallas Stewart||12/1|
|3||Dortmund (KY)||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||6/5|
|4||Point Piper (KY)||Mario Gutierrez||Jerry Hollendorfer||20/1|
|5||Accelerate (KY)||Tyler Baze||John W. Sadler||20/1|
|6||Texas Chrome (TX)||C.J. McMahon||J. R. Caldwell||20/1|
|7||Runhappy (KY)||Gary L. Stevens||Laura Wohlers||3/1|
|8||Tamarkuz (KY)||Mike E. Smith||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||8/1|
|9||Gun Runner (KY)||Florent Geroux||Steven M. Asmussen||9/2|
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (6:50pm EST)
1 Mile — 2 Year Old Fillies — $1,000,000
A sweeping field of 16 fillies has entered in this year’s renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. This is a prestigious race which has produced champions such as Stephanie’s Kitten, Lady Eli and Catch a Glimpse.
This race has been historically difficult to handicap, with the last three favorites giving way to some close underdogs. La Coronel stands out as the favorite with favorable 9/2 odds. She exploded on to the scene with a decisive win in the Jessamine Stakes. She is trailed closely by Roly Poly, the second choice at 4/1, who has gone 2-2-0 in her last 4 starts.
Both will be under fire from a dense field that includes Intricately, Spain Burg and Hydrangea as well. A race this short, with a field this large always offers the opportunity for an upset. The odds are stacked tightly at the top of the board for good reason.
|1||Hydrangea (IRE)||Seamus Heffernan||Aidan P. O’Brien||6/1|
|2||Lull (KY)||Joel Rosario||Christophe Clement||15/1|
|3||New Money Honey (KY)||Javier Castellano||Chad C. Brown||10/1|
|4||Spain Burg (FR)||Lanfranco Dettori||Katherine Ritvo||5/1|
|5||Victory to Victory (FL)||Julien R. Leparoux||Mark E. Casse||12/1|
|6||Coasted (KY)||Mike E. Smith||Leah Gyarmati||20/1|
|7||Intricately (IRE)||Donnacha O’Brien||Joseph O’Brien||6/1|
|8||Madam Dancealot (IRE)||John R. Velazquez||Richard Baltas||30/1|
|9||Cavale Doree (FR)||Flavien Prat||Christophe Ferland||15/1|
|10||Happy Mesa (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||H. Graham Motion||20/1|
|11||Rymska (FR)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Chad C. Brown||20/1|
|12||La Force (GER)||Rafael Bejarano||Patrick Gallagher||30/1|
|13||Roly Poly (KY)||Ryan L. Moore||Aidan P. O’Brien||4/1|
|14||La Coronel (KY)||Florent Geroux||Mark E. Casse||9/2|
|15||Con Te Partiro (KY)||John R. Velazquez||Wesley A. Ward||30/1|
|16||Sweeping Paddy (KY)||Robby Albarado||Dale L. Romans||30/1|
Breeders’ Cup Distaff (7:35pm EST)
1 1/8 Miles — 3+ Year Old Fillies and Mares — $2 Million
The main event of the Friday program at the Breeders’ Cup is undoubtedly the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Three champions will clash in an epic battle that has handicappers and horse fans ramped up with anticipation. Even the oddsmakers have been brazen enough to declare this a three-horse race.
Beholder and Stellar Wind are the co-favorites at 5/2 The Distaff will be their fourth encounter. Stellar Wind has tipped the scales of the female category in her direction with wins inthe Clement L. Hirsch and the Zenyatta, but Beholder earned a victory in their first meeting in the Vanity Handicap.
Crashing the Distaff party, however, is Songbird. Undefeated in 11 starts, Songbird has been dominating the three-year-old filly class and will go up against her biggest competition to date. At 6/5, she has the faith of the oddsmakers despite being unproven against older fillies and mares.
This race will be a passing of the torch moment, unless Beholder has intentions of reclaiming her spot as the best female dirt runner in the country.
|1||Songbird (KY)||Mike E. Smith||121||Jerry Hollendorfer||6/5|
|2||Land Over Sea (KY)||Mario Gutierrez||121||Doug F. O’Neill||30/1|
|3||Curalina (KY)||John R. Velazquez||124||Todd A. Pletcher||12/1|
|4||Corona Del Inca (ARG)||Pablo Gustavo Falero||124||Guillermo Frenkel-Santillan||30/1|
|5||Stellar Wind (VA)||Victor Espinoza||124||John W. Sadler||5/2|
|6||Forever Unbridled (KY)||Joel Rosario||124||Dallas Stewart||12/1|
|7||I’m a Chatterbox (KY)||Florent Geroux||124||J. Larry Jones||12/1|
|8||Beholder (KY)||Gary L. Stevens||124||Richard E. Mandella||5/2|