2013 Breeders Cup Juvenile – 1 1/16 Miles Dirt (Race 8, Post Time: 2:43 Pacific Time)
1. Smarty’s Echo (20-1) – The son of Smarty Jones has yet to run on dirt, but that should not be an issue. He ran a good 2nd last out in the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland. He managed to get the lead in the stretch before finishing 2 3/4 lengths behind We Miss Artie who is also in this race. He did start from post 11 in that race and now moves to the fence. I don’t fancy his chances to win, but with E.T. Baird in the reins, I think he has a good shot at adding great value to the underneath spots.
2. Dance With Fate (8-1) – Here is a guy who is getting a lot of attention in this race. He was 2nd last out in the Grade 1 Front Runner here at Santa Anita. That was his first start around 2 turns and there is reason to believe he will improve. He should get a good trip behind the front runners and his workouts have been very good leading up to this. He is a must use on top.
3. Mexikoma (12-1) – Here is a perplexing horse. He debut was on turf at Saratoga where he was 7th of 9 horses. Then he goes to Delaware and simply crushes a Maiden Special Weight field by 14 3/4 lengths. What we don’t know is how classy this guy is. The only reason why I am using this guy on top is because of his sire Birdstone.
4. New Year’s Day (8-1) – He has not been seen since August 31 when he won a MSW at Del Mar by 1 3/4 lengths. We don’t know how good he is, but he has been working very well here at Santa Anita. I’m not about to let a Bob Baffert trained horse beat me here, especially at good odds.
5. Bond Holder (8-1) – He won the aforementioned Grade 1 Front Runner here at Santa Anita. In fact, the broke his maiden in that race. He will be coming off the pace yet again and should have enough speed in front of him. All that said, I don’t think he is as good as others in here, but he must be used underneath.
6. Tap It Rich (6-1) – He has run one race and he won that race in an emphatic fashion. He spotted the field 10 lengths at the start before a strong late kick saw him win by 4 1/4 lengths. That race was at a mile and he is working very well since then. Do not sell his chances short.
7. Cleburne (12-1) – He broke the maiden in his first career start going a mile on Turf at Ellis Park. He followed that up by winning the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs on dirt. He will be coming from off the pace today and should get a nice pace ahead of him. Note he does have 2 workouts here at Santa Anita in preparation for this event. I do not like his chances in this race to win.
8. Conquest Titan (30-1) – His lone start on dirt was his debut where he finished a well beaten 4th. He broke his maiden in an overnight stake at Woodbine going 7 Furlongs on Polytrack. His latest was a 5th place finish in the Breeders Futurity at Keeneland. I cannot endorse him here, but I will put money on him only because of his sire, Birdstone.
9. Rum Point (30-1) – He broke his maiden 2nd time out at Del Mar going 5.5 furlongs. In 2 follow up races against Grade 1 competition he did not make an impact finishing 9th of 11 in the Del Mar Futurity and 4th of 12 in the Breeders Futurity. He will need to improve big time to make an impact here. Pass.
10. We Miss Artie (8-1) – He broke his maiden over turf and then last out he won the Breeders Futurity by 2 3/4 lengths. His figures are not as good as others in this race, but his last 2 works over this track have been sensational. Yet another horse that could win this race.
11. Medal Count (20-1) – He broke his maiden in his first start going a mile then finished 5th beaten 2 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Bourbon. He does not appear as good as some in here and I will side against his chances here.
12. Diamond Bachelor (12-1) – He has started 3 times in his career and all 3 races have been on turf. He won the first 2 races before finishing 2nd last out in the Zuma Beach Stakes here at Santa Anita. It is interesting that he will make his first dirt start in this spot, but his pedigree says he will not mind it. I don’t like the outside draw but I will use him underneath hoping he takes to the surface and adds value to the exotics.
13. Havana (5-2) – In 2 starts this guy has been very, very impressive. He broke his maiden first out while earning a Beyer number of 102. He followed that up with a gate-to-wire win in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont earning a 93 Beyer. The outside post does him no favors and he will have to be tactical from here. A bigger concern for me is the last race where he nearly lost a 4 1/2 length lead in the stretch. He can certainly win, but I will play others with more value.
14. Strong Mandate (6-1) – He broke his maiden 2nd time out at Saratoga winning by 4 1/2 lengths. He followed that up with a smashing performance in the Grade 1 Hopeful winning by 9 3/4 lengths in the slop. His last race was very poor. He was wide, but ended up finishing 7th of 9 beaten 10 1/4 lengths in the Grade 1 Champagne. Given the fact he has another wide draw and his 6-1 morning line, I will play against him.
This is a very deep race and I see at least 5 horses who can win. In multi-race exotics I will use 2-3-4-6-10 and try to beat #13 Havana. The horses I will use underneath are the 1-5-12. I will put Win-Place-Show money on both #3 Mexikoma and #8 Conquest Titan.