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.
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.