Breeders’ Cup Saturday Exotics Plays
A total of nine Breeders’ Cup contests will take place at Santa Anita on Saturday. I’ve tabbed a pair of races where I feel that the favorites could be vulnerable and some exotics wagers could be of excellent value to me.
Race 5 – Filly and Mare Sprint (G1)
Champion #1 Goodnight Olive (6-5) towers over this field in hopes of repeating in the dash. But her draw on the rail is a bit of a concern, and it’s worth trying to upset the classy Chad Brown trainee in her local debut. And I’m also against second choice #7 Society (5-2), so this is a good spot for me to venture into vertical exotics.
Japanese import #6 Meikei Yell (15-1) has never run on the dirt, but the five-year-old has a lot of quality and could be any kind in the affair. The bay lands in a reasonable spot to make her presence felt with Kenichi Ikezoe in the stirrups.
John Sadler’s #5 Kirstenbosch (10-1) has put in a pair of very good efforts since adding blinkers, including a sharp Grade 3 tally on the oval in her latest appearance. The Midnight Lute filly has found her niche at one turn and will be moving best of all in the latter stages of the heat.
And while #4 Matareya (6-1) is not in great current form, the Brad Cox pupil has plenty of back class being a dual Grade 1 vixen and can’t be dismissed. The Godolphin homebred is 3-for-6 at the distance and has been training forwardly in advance of Saturday, as well. Flavien Prat has the assignment.
- $1 trifecta: 4,5,6 with 1,4,5,6 with all ($63)
Race 7 – Distaff (G1)
I can’t envision the affair not having a wicked and contested pace, so the door will be open for the late runners to take the field down inside the final furlong. And with each of my preferred closing types offering value, I will simply box them all in my exotics wagers.
I’m not completely in "love" with #2 A Mo Reay (20-1), but I do consider her to be a live contender at a huge price. The Brad Cox trainee is a Grade 1 winner on the oval, and she also had a nice prep when second to a clear leader in the Beldame S. (G2) at Aqueduct last time out. She will be a small win play for me, as well, with Christophe Lemaire taking the reins.
Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) star #7 Wet Paint (10-1) has a consistent late burst and will benefit from swift early splits for Cox. The Blame three-year-old will need to run the race of her life to win this, but I think that she just might do so on Saturday with Prat in the irons.
Three-time Grade 1 heroine #3 Pretty Mischievous (8-1) might be a bit underrated for trainer Brendan Walsh. The standout sophomore dons a 10-7-2-1 lifetime line, and the daughter of Into Mischief will receive a good trip after saving some ground in the early going.
Steve Asmussen’s #9 Clairiere (4-1) was third by a head in a deeper rendition of the event in 2022, and she took the same path to the race this year following a fifth-place showing in the Personal Ensign S. (G1) in August. The fantastic mare was especially game in both of her Grade 1 wins this campaign and will be fresh under Joel Rosario.
- $4 exacta box: 2,3,7,9 ($48)
- $.50-cent trifecta box: 2,3,7,9 ($12)