2013 Breeders Cup Distaff

2013 Breeders Cup Distaff – 1 1/8 Miles Dirt (Race 10, Post Time: 4:35 Pacific Time)

1. Street Girl (30-1) – She is far and away the longest shot in this field of six and there are a few reasons for that. She has been competitive in her last 3 races (2 Grade 1’s and a Grade 3), but she has not won and she is not on the same level as these horses. Her only chance is to make one run and hope the other 5 horses falter. The longest of longshots in this race.

2. Authenticity (8-1) – She has really turned into a good mare this year; She has 8 starts, 3 wins, 4 seconds, and a third. She ran her best career race last out here at Santa Anita in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes behind Beholder. I don’t think she will win this, but she does offer the best value of the race from a win wager standpoint.

3. Close Hatches (6-1) – She is a 3 year old filly taking on elders for the first time and what a time to do so against Royal Delta and Authenticity. Her only bad race was in the 2013 Kentucky Oaks when she was wide and then had nothing in the stretch. She is working brilliantly for this race, but I do not like her chances against Royal Delta and Princess of Sylmar.

4. Royal Delta (8-5) – She is the 2-time defending champion of this race and her career has been spectacular. She should be right on the lead or at least pressing it which would give her first run on the leader(s). She did finish 2nd to Princess of Sylmar last out when she failed to outkick her. She deserves to vie for favoritism and is a must use on top.

5. Beholder (5-2) – She went gate-to-wire last out in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes here at Santa Anita. That was also her first race against older horses. She will be on the lead again, but she will have pace pressure at the very least. She sure does love Santa Anita as she has 5 Wins and a second from 6 starts. I respect her chances, but I think she settles for minor awards.

6. Princess of Sylmar (9-5) – Since her 4th place finish in her debut in October 2012, she has done nothing wrong. She is 8 for 9 since that defeat and her only other race was a 2nd place finish. Last time out, she sat off the pace and let Royal Delta challenge the leader before she swooped by and won by 2 lengths. I think the same thing happens today as she is my top pick.

Bets

I will not be making any bets for this race. This is one of those races you just sit back and watch a great field duke it out. In multi-race wagers I will use the 2-4-6.

2013 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

2013 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf – 1 Mile Turf (Race 9, Post Time: 3:50 Pacific Time)

1. Nesso (20-1) – She has 3 career starts and has improved drastically every time. Her last 2 starts on turf have been solid and she should be in the perfect spot throughout this race. I don’t like her chances to win, but I think she could add value to the exotics.

2. Al Thakhira (GB) (6-1) – She has ran twice over in Europe and has ran 2 really good races. The last race in the Group 2 at Newmarket was smashing over a good-to-soft ground and a 3 1/2 length win. She is a top contender in this race.

3. Colonel Joan (20-1) – She is still winless in her career, but she has run well in defeat including a 3rd place effort in the Surfer Girl Stakes here at Santa Anita. Given the depth of this field, I think she has an outside chance of even getting a slice of the purse money.

4. Kitten Kaboodle (12-1) – She won her first race last time out, in the Grade 3 Jessamine at Keeneland. I think she is a bit light on speed figures from a win standpoint, but if she can work out a good trip, she has a chance in the trifecta and superfecta spot.

5. Granny Mc’s Kitten (20-1) – She broke her maiden the P.G. Johnson stakes at Saratoga in her 2nd career start, but followed up with a ho-hum effort last out in the Grade 3 Ms. Grillo. She did run wide that day, but I think she is a cut below most of these. Pass on her chances from the top 2 or 3 spots.

6. Vorda (FR) (4-1) – She has ran 5 career races and won 4 of those, with the other race being a 2nd place finish. She has already won a Group 1 and a Group 2 race and finished 2nd in another Group 1. She has not raced past 6 furlongs, but if she handles the stretch out, they could all be running for 2nd place.

7. Street Sailing (15-1) – Her last race was a winning effort when she was going 2 turns and stepping onto the grass for the first, but that was in a Non-Winners of 2 Lifetime event. The waters get a lot deeper here, but if she can get an easy lead and set soft fractions, she might be able to hold for a piece.

8. Chriselliam (IRE) (6-1) – She won the Group 1 Shadwell Fillies Mile in her last race at Newmarket and did so at 28-1 odds. The ground was good-to-firm which should suit her on Friday. She certainly loves the mile distance as she has a win and a second place finish. Expect her to make a late rally and hope to run by them all in the stretch. I like her chances if she gets clear sailing.

9. Dancing House (20-1) – She started her career with 2 good dirt races and then moved over to the turf course last race. She finished a decent 3rd in the Grade 3 Ms. Grillo, but I think she is overmatched in here. Pass on her chances.

10. Clenor (IRE) (8-1) – Since arriving in the U.S. this filly has done nothing wrong. She is 3 for 3 in the U.S. and has improved in every start. The latest workouts show she is ready for another big effort. Will that effort be enough to top the Euros? Maybe, but I will use her underneath in the exotics.

11. Ready To Act (8-1) – She is truly the question mark of this field. In her last race, she appeared as if she was going to win when about a furlong out she dumped her rider. We don’t know how good she is and this is a tough field to answer that question. I also think she will have some company on the lead from Street Sailing. I will pass on her win chances here, but I will use her underneath.

12. Testa Rossi (FR) (8-1) – She is 4 for 6 in her career and her last race was mighty impressive in the Ms. Grillo at Belmont. She sat at the rear of the field into the stretch where she blew past the field and then held on to beat Sky Painter by a nose. Another horse that I believe is a must use on the win end.

13. Sky Painter (15-1) – As mentioned in the write up above, she just missed last out by a nose. That was an impressive effort as she was making her first start going a route of ground. She should be mid-pack and could definitely grab a piece late.

14. My Conquestadory (9-2) – One of the favorites when the pre-entries were taken, she has been done in by the widest draw. She beat males in her debut in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes at Woodbine, then won the Grade 1 Alcibiades in her next start. She is a very tactical horse which is why I will not discount her, even from the wide post.

Bets

This is a very deep field and there are many ways to go. In multi-race wagers I will use 2-6-8-10-12-13-14 and keying in on the 6-8-12 combinations. I will use the 6-8-12 on top in exactas and trifectas as well.

2013 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile

2013 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile – 1 Mile Dirt (Race 8, Post Time: 3:05 Pacific Time)

1. Taptowne (15-1) – He has run very well this year, but those races were against weaker. He will be forwardly placed throughout and that might hurt his chances from a pace scenario. I give him a shot at finishing 3rd or 4th.

2. Golden Ticket (12-1) – His last race was tough one up against the likes of Mucho Macho Man and Paynter where he finished 4th. Both of those horses will run in the Breeders Cup Classic. He does get Joel Rosario aboard who has a win and a second while riding him, but I feel he is best suited to longer races. He can hit the ticket for 3rd or 4th as well.

3. Hymn Book (15-1) – I think he is an interesting long shot possibility. In his last race he finished 3rd in the Grade 2 Kelso while wearing blinkers for the first time. If you watch the replay, he made a nice move and was finishing at the end. I like his chances, especially if the track is playing fair.

4. Brujo de Olleros (BRZ) (8-1) – He too raced in the Grade 2 Kelso, where he finished 2nd, a neck ahead of Hymn Book. Jockey Alan Garcia has clearly gotten him figured out and just like the horse to his inside, if the track is playing fair, watch out. Must use on top.

5. Fed Biz (6-1) – He was 8th of 9 in this race last as a 3 Year old and he comes into this race off a good win in the 7 Furlong, Grade 2 Pat O’Brien at Del Mar. He likes Santa Anita (3 wins from 6 starts) and likes this distance (3 wins from 5 starts). My gut feeling is he will be flying late, but if the track isn’t playing to his style, he might be spinning his wheels. I will use him underneath.

6. Broadway Empire (12-1) – This guy is 3 for 3 since taking the blinkers off and those 3 wins have been impressive. His latest was in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park when he won by 4 lengths. He is working well, but I think the step up in competition will be too much for him.

7. Alpha (8-1) – He raced over the Santa Anita track last when he was last of 12 in the Breeders Cup Classic. Other than the Grade 1 Woodward, he has not shown much this year. I think he was aided by the slop in that win (which he won’t get on Friday) and I don’t think 8-1 is enough for me to place a bet on him.

8. Holy Lute (20-1) – Lightly raced 3 year old has only 4 starts. He has 2 wins and 2 thirds to his credit and his workouts have been good in the mornings. He gets Mike Smith aboard and I like his chances to add value to the Trifecta and Superfecta here.

9. Centralinteligence (15-1) – He is making his 2nd start off a 4 month layoff after using the Santa Anita Sprint Championship as a prep race for this. He is a Grade 1 winner, but he appears to be more of a sprinter than a miler. I think he is up against it in this field.

10. Verrazano (3-1) – One of the top 3 Year olds opts for this race instead of the Classic. His only 2 poor efforts were going 10 Furlongs and they were against top competition. Was it the distance or the competition? There is no doubt he can win this race, but I am going to bet that he won’t.

11. Pants On Fire (6-1) – His last race in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap was impressive. He beat the rail horse Taptowne by 2 3/4 lengths and beat Hymn Book two races back by 1 3/4 lengths. If he does not get suckered into a battle for the lead, he will have a big say in this race.

12. Goldencents (4-1) – His last 3 races have all been very good at the sprint distances and now he stretches out for this effort. Unfortunately for him, he is in the outside post which will require him to use extra effort to get a spot in this race. He has been working lights out for this, but I will use him in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions on the tickets.

Also Eligible:

13. Easter Gift (15-1) – He will need a fellow competitor to be scratched from this race to make it into the race. Even if that happens, he will be the outermost horse in the field. His last few races have been very good with figures in the mid 90’s and higher. I think he will find this field too much for him if he draws into the race.

Bets

I will do some Win-Place-Show on the #3 Hymn Book and use the 3-4-11 on top in exactas over 3-4-5-8-11-12.

2013 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf

2013 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf – 1 Mile Turf (Race 7, Post Time: 2:25 Pacific Time)

1. All Cash (30-1) – He comes into this race winless in 4 starts. He did run a decent 4th place effort last out in the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland, a race that was moved to the Polytrack. Despite the strong Turf pedigree, it is tough to endorse him in this spot.

2. Giovanni Boldini (7-2) – He sports a strong Turf pedigree, has run in Ireland, and is from the barn of Aidan O’Brien. Surprisingly, he has only run on turf once in his 3 career starts, a Group 1 race in which he finished 3rd. He also attracts the services of Ryan Moore, who was riding Wilshire Boulevard prior to this race. Lots to like here.

3. Got Shades (30-1) – He ran 3rd here at Santa Anita on October 6 in the Zuma Beach Stakes. He failed to finish better despite having a good pace ahead of him. He does get Gary Stevens aboard. If you are looking for good value in the 3rd and 4th spots of your exotics, this is a good horse to consider.

4. Outstrip (GB) (4-1) – Another European invader, this one from Great Britain. He has run very well in all 4 of his career starts, never finishing worse than 3rd. Also note the Group 1 and two Group 2 races he has ran in the past 3 races. I really like his chances in this race.

5. Bobby’s Kitten (5-2) – The top American horse in this event, he ran a huge race last out in the Grade 3 Pilgrim at Belmont. It also doesn’t hurt that he is out of the World’s hottest turf sire, Kitten’s Joy. I respect his chances a lot, but the short price of 5/2 isn’t going to help get any value in single race wagers. He is a must use on top in multi-race wagers.

6. Home School (IRE) (30-1) – He has run 2 OK races in his first two starts in North America, but he will need to show a lot more to get a piece of this race. He did have a sharp workout on 10/25 over the Santa Anita turf course.

7. Aotearoa (12-1) – He won the Zuma Beach Stakes last time out here at Santa Anita. That was his first start on turf and first start going two turns. He has worked decently since that race, but he will need to continue to improve to have a chance. I will play him in the 3rd and 4th slots.

8. Bon Accord (20-1) – Last time out he finished 3rd in the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland, a race that was his first going two turns. He ran nicely that day, but he will need to show more improvement if he wants a slice of the purse.

9. Wilshire Boulevard (IRE) (8-1) – His 7 career starts are tied for most in the field with Home School and this horse has improved every start. His last race at Longchamp in France was a Group 1 and he finished 4th beaten only 2 1/2 lengths. He is trained by Aidan O’Brien and he looks to offer the best value of the European horses.

10. Ontology (30-1) –  Another horse who comes in here winless in his career. In five starts, he has finished 2nd three times, including in the Oak Tree Juvenile Stakes at Del Mar on turf. Still, his speed figures are low and he will have to make a substantial improvement. Pass on his chances.

11. Poker Player (12-1) – He is 2 for 3 to start his career and has made a nice improvement each time. He won the aforementioned Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland, a race in which he beat Bashart, Bon Accord, and All Cash. I think he is a cut below the top horses, but a must use underneath.

12. Shamshon (IRE) (12-1) – The 4th and final European import, he appears to be the least likely of those four to win. He was 5th in a Group 2 at Newbury in Great Britain last out, a race that was run over a soft turf course. He is 2 for 2 on good-to-firm and a firm turf course. Offers good value, especially underneath.

13. Bashart (6-1) – He drew the dreaded outside post for this and I think that will ultimately hurt his chances of winning. His last 2 races in the Bourbon and With Anticipation were impressive and if he can get good position he has a chance. I respect his chances, but I am going to play against him from the Win angle.

Bets

My top pick is #4 Outstrip (GB) and I will do a Win-Place-Show bet on him. I will also play a 4-9 with 2-4-5-7-9-11-12-13 exacta, as well as the reverse of that bet.

2013 Breeders Cup Marathon

2013 Breeders Cup Marathon – 1 3/4 Miles Dirt (Race 6, Post Time: 1:45 Pacific Time)

1. Old Time Hockey (8-1) – This is an interesting spot for him. He has raced 17 times in his career and 14 of those races were on turf. However, this race is on dirt, a surface he is 0 for 3 in his career. He is bred to love dirt (by Smarty Jones and out of an A.P. Indy Mare) and he will have a good position just off the leaders. I see this fella getting 2nd or 3rd at best in this race.

2. Cease (8-1) – This guy is moving up in class from an Optional Claimer and is stretching out from 7 furlongs to 14. He ran in this race in 2011 at Churchill Downs where he finished 5th. He does have some back class (finished 3rd in the 2012 Grade 1 Woodward), but I think it is a lot to ask of this guy to double the distance, especially if he is anywhere near his morning line of 8-1.

3. Commander (6-1) – Expect this guy to be on the lead for the 14 Furlong journey. He has been racing in Canada, where he has been doing well in his last five races, winning four and finishing 2nd in the other race. He ran in the 2012 BC Marathon, where he finished 9th of 13. I do not feel good about his chances this year as he will have some company on the lead.

4. Ever Rider (ARG) (7-2) – Not much is known about this Argentinian import who has not yet raced in North America. There is little doubt that he can get the distance of 1 3/4 Miles, but he has not faced competition as stiff as this field is. Ever Rider has worked well at Santa Anita since the beginning of September. He also attracts the services of Gary Stevens.

5. Suns Out Guns Out (10-1) – Comes in off a good win at Parx, but that was at a mile and against much weaker company. He did run in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup Stakes at 1 1/2 Miles, but finished 4th that day. I am not sold on his chances as he goes back to a longer distance.

6. Indian Jones (5-1) – This guy also ran in the Greenwood Cup, a race he finished 2nd in by a nose. He will be coming from the back of the pack and should have no problems going this distance. Definitely a contender in here.

7. London Bridge (8-1) – He is the only 3 year old in this race and he is coming from Europe to compete in this event. He has not raced on dirt in his career, but he has more than enough stamina to last this distance of 14 furlongs. Expect him to be close to the pace, and if he is near 8-1 on the tote board, he will offer nice value.

8. Blueskiesnrainbows (6-1) –  It is hard to fault his form at Santa Anita; 7 starts, 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds. I am not sold on his ability to beat top competition as noted by his 12th place finish in the 2013 Grade 1 Pacific Classic. Also, he will have company near the lead, which hurt him in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar, earlier this year. I would need to see double digits to even consider betting him.

9. Pool Play (8-1) – He is the third horse that is coming out of the Greenwood Cup Stakes at Parx and he finished 3rd in that race. Distance is not a problem for this guy as he has a win at this distance. The main issue with him is his form. He has not been very good this year as he has 7 starts and only 1 second and 1 third place finish to his credit.

10. Worldly (6-1) – He is coming into this race off his best career performance which is good and bad. The good: it was a 3rd place finish to the reigning Breeders Cup Classic Winner Fort Larned. The bad: He is eligible for a bounce off that race. I’m not sold he has the staying power needed for the long race.

Bets

After consulting with my past results on the Breeders Cup Marathon, I will be sitting this race out. I do not have a good feeling about this race on paper and I am better served saving my money for a race in which I do have a stronger opinion. Good luck if you are betting this race, I hope you have better luck than I had in past years.