The Breeders’ Cup Turf Tipsheet

November 1st, 2023

A fine cast of 13 led by some superb international performers will travel 1 1/2 miles on the Santa Anita lawn in Saturday’s $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).   

Breeders’ Cup Turf Picks

  • #9 Mostahdaf
  • #5 Auguste Rodin
  • #13 War Like Goddess
  • #1 Shahryar

Breeders’ Cup Turf Wagers

  • $25 win and place: #9 Mostahdaf
  • $8 trifecta: key 9 with 1,5,13
  • $.50-cent superfecta: 9 with 1,5,13 with 1,2,4,5,8,11,13 with 1,2,4,5,8,11,13 

Breeders’ Cup Turf Contenders

#1 SHAHRYAR (15-1): 2022 Sheema Classic (G1) winner has run just twice this campaign and could be rounding up to a peak effort third time off the shelf. Five-year-old son of the legendary Deep Impact is perfectly drawn on the rail and possesses fine value with Cristian Demuro in the silks.

#2 ONESTO (8-1): Four-year-old son of Frankel surprised with his third-place showing in the Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Longchamp most recently and will be a major presence with any improvement off of that outing. The Fabrice Chappet pupil is not overly consistent, but the colt has registered some major results in the past and can’t be ignored with Maxime Guyon riding.

#3 GOLD PHOENIX (30-1): Multiple Grade 2 victor was a non-factor in the tilt in 2022 and looks overmatched to an extent for Phil D’Amato. The Belardo gelding will be doing his best work from off the pace under the guidance of Juan Hernandez. 

#4 BOLSHOI BALLET (15-1): Aidan O’Brien trainee romped over yielding going in the Sword Dancer (G1) at Saratoga in August but faces a much more difficult assignment on this day. The five-year-old was sixth in the race in 2021, and he will need his best to improve a lot off of that result with John Velazquez retaining the ride.

#5 AUGUSTE RODIN (3-1): Sensational son of Deep Impact owns four Group 1 tallies from nine lifetime efforts, with a fine tally in the Irish Champion S. (G1) at Leopardstown most recently. The Aidan O’Brien charge also bagged a pair of classics this season and is an obvious must-use with go-to pilot Ryan Moore in the stirrups.

#6 GET SMOKIN (30-1): The Get Stormy gelding led throughout in the Turf Cup (G2) at Kentucky Downs most recently and will aim to take the field as far as he can on Saturday. The speedy six-year-old has shown nice improvement since stretching out in distance two back and could hang for a minor award if they let him waltz on the lead early with Fernando de la Cruz up. 

#7 BROOME (30-1): Seven-year-old son of Australia has been more of a marathon horse this season and will get back to 12 furlongs while also having blinkers added. The classy Irish-bred was a fine runner-up in the race in 2021 in California, so he has an outside chance for top connections at a huge number.

#8 UP TO THE MARK (5-1)The Not This Time colt has been upended just once on the lawn and has proven his class from one mile to 10 furlongs to this stage of his development. The four-year-old faces a major task going 1 1/2 miles for the initial time against a cast of this quality, but the bay has to be given a chance with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons. 

#9 MOSTAHDAF (5-2): Top selection from the Gosden shedrow is 3-for-4 in 2023 with a pair of superb wins in succession leading up to Saturday. The five-year-old proved that his Prince of Wales S. (G1) romp two back was no fluke when defeating a top cast in the Juddmonte International (G1) most recently, and the dark bay seems poised to continue his streak against this field. Jim Crowley has the assignment.

#10 ADHAMO (30-1): Chad Brown trainee shows just a single win from eight tries since arriving in the U.S. but could be an exotics contender while making his third run of 2023. The Intello chestnut will appreciate the firm turf and also benefits from having Flavien Prat in the controls.

#11 KING OF STEEL (4-1)High-quality sophomore from the always dangerous Roger Varian shedrow comes off of his best victory to date when taking the Champion S. (G1) at Ascot last time out. The gray son of Wootton Bassett has put in a handful of very good performances from as many starts in 2023, and he gives the impression of a colt who will be on many tickets. Frankie Dettori retains the mount.

#12 BALLADEER (30-1): The George Papaprodromou pupil led at every call in the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) over the surface at 10 panels last time out but would be a major surprise in this endeavor. The son of Distorted Humor has improved since adding blinkers three back, but he would be a shocker, nonetheless.

#13 WAR LIKE GODDESS (12-1): The English Channel mare was a very good third in the race at Keeneland last campaign, and I expect her to run a similar type of race on Saturday. The classy six-year-old dons a wicked 9-7-1-1 mark at the distance and comes in off of a very good score in the Empire State last time, too. Junior Alvarado quill guide the late-running contender.