Under the Radar Breeders’ Cup contenders: Friday

October 31st, 2023

A handful of Breeders’ Cup events will take place on Friday at Santa Anita, with each of the tilts featuring two-year-old runners. Below are a few horses that might not be well fancied at post time, but will nonetheless present value in the deep fields.

Race 5 – Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1)

Jessica Harrington’s #5 Givemethebeatboys (15-1) has never been worse than fourth in his lifetime and exits a pair of Group 1 tries where the Irish-bred finished third and fourth. The ~$1.4 million purchase has flashed speed in the past and might appreciate the firm going of the Santa Anita lawn under jockey Shane Foley. 

Race 6 – Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1)

While Richard Mandella’s #7 Tamara (4-5) will be imposing with her best effort, I am quite fond of the improving #11 Life Talk (20-1), one of three in the affair for conditioner Todd Pletcher. The Gun Runner filly looked the part in a dominant maiden win at Saratoga two back, while her recent Frizette (G1) third over Aqueduct’s sloppy strip figures to serve as a fine prep race for this tilt. I think the $335,000 yearling purchase will thrive while traveling two turns for the initial time beneath Irad Ortiz Jr. 

Race 7 – Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1)

It will be especially difficult for Bill Mott’s #7 Gala Brand (12-1) to go last-to-first against a field of this quality and depth, but the bargain $30,000 purchase possesses a fine late kick and will be a prime exotics contender at a nice price. The Kentucky-bred chestnut, who defeated the boys in the With Anticipation (G3) at Saratoga two back, seems set for a big performance with Jose Ortiz retaining the ride.

Race 8 – Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1)

Bob Baffert’s #3 Wine Me Up (15-1) is Grade 1-placed on the oval following his second in the American Pharoah (G1) at 1 1/16 miles in his second career outing. The Vino Rosso colt is bred to run long and will likely improve in his second route endeavor. The Kentucky-bred will potentially be leading the field on the back side at a big price with Ramon Vazquez in the stirrups.

RELATED: The 2023 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Tipsheet

Race 9 – Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1)

I believe the European contingent will be difficult to overcome in the final stakes race of the afternoon, but I see #14 Carson’s Run (6-1) as the top domestic hope for conditioner Christophe Clement. The Cupid colt was visually impressive when dominating the Summer (G1) at Woodbine most recently, and he might get a bit overlooked in the race while being assigned the widest post of all in the cast. He will be doing his best work late with regular pilot Dylan Davis in the irons.