Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Wizard

Race 3 - SENTIENT FLIGHT GROUP BREEDERS' CUP FILLY AND MARE SPRINT

Race Synopsis
Indyanne, Dream Rush, and Dearest Trickski are all expected to vie for the lead, insuring a very fast pace, which will set it up for horses coming from off the pace. Indian Blessing and Zaftig should get first run on the pacesetters, with Indian Blessing likely to be the one the deep closers will have to run down late. Ventura, Intangaroo, and Miraculous Miss will be finishing strongest.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 MAGNIFICIENCE 20/1
2 INDYANNE 12/1
3 INTANGAROO 9/2
4 LADY SPRINTER 15/1
5 INDIAN BLESSING 2/1
6 ZAFTIG 8/1
7 DREAM RUSH 20/1
8 TIZ ELEMENTAL 20/1
9 DEAREST TRICKSKI 15/1
10 MIRACULOUS MISS 20/1
11 JAZZY 20/1
12 VENTURA 5/1
13 TIZZY'S TUNE 30/1
14 LA TEE 30/1

First Selection: (5) INDIAN BLESSING (Baffert Bob/Velazquez J R)

Went undefeated and untested in three starts at age 2, capping off her championship campaign with a dominant win in the slop of the BC Juvenile Fillies. Much was then expected of her at age 3, and for the most part, she’s delivered. Bob Baffert had hoped to be able to run her at the highest level in route races, but was wise enough to re-route her campaign to sprinting after she proved to be vulnerable beyond 7F when finishing second in the G2 Fairgrounds Oaks and in the G1 Acorn. Up until those losses, she was a one-dimensional front-runner. However, Baffert committed to re-teaching her how to race, and as a result she now is an effective stalker, which seems to be the right style for this race where the pace projects to be fast and furious.
Cutting back to 6F in the G1 Prioress on July 5, Indian Blessing showed off her newly-taught patience by stalking from the outside, advanced while wide on the turn, then methodically took control of the race and drew off to a dominant win in outstanding time. She then came back in the G1 Test on August 2 at today’s 7F distance. Once again rating a bit while patient and relaxed, Indian Blessing motored away from her field in as impressive a performance as she’s had to date, winning her fourth G1 race. She also went to 2 for 2 lifetime at 7F with that victory.

With this race in mind, Bob Baffert got a perfect ‘prep’ in to Indian Blessing in the G3 Gallant Bloom on Sept 20. She pressed the pace in that small field, then ran away from them in the stretch while not asked for anything near her best, leaving plenty in the tank for the BC Filly and Mare sprint, Baffert’s obvious goal for this highly-talented and versatile filly. As mentioned earlier, her ability to stalk helps her chances a lot in this race where the pace is expected to be very fast. She won a G2 race in her only prior start over this track, which also came at 7F, and if she holds her current form, as expected, then she should be tough to beat.

Second Selection: (12) VENTURA (Frankel Robert J/Gomez G K)

This 4yo Bobby Frankel trainee reminds me a lot of another filly he trained, Honest Lady, who finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint against males. Honest Lady was a powerful closer who was at her best from 7F to a mile, and Ventura has been similar to her in many ways thus far. Although primarily a turf horse to this point in time, Ventura did race once on a synthetic track in this country, and that win was a visually impressive victory in a G2 race at 7F back on April 9. Still back in 10th position after a half-mile of that race, she unleashed a monstrous stretch kick to pass 9 horses and win clear in very fast time. She’s raced on turf in four starts since then, and although she’s only won 1 of those 4 races, she’s run well every time. She overcame traffic trouble down the backstretch to win the G1 Just A Game at a mile on turf at Belmont on June 7, roaring thru a final quarter mile in :22-3/5, then used a similar powerful stretch kick to miss by just a nose in the G2 Cash Call Mile, a race where she was compromised by the slow half-mile pace. Most recently she took on males in the G1 Woodbine Mile on Sept 7. Racing over ‘yielding’ turf, which probably isn’t her preferred kind of footing, she took her usual position near the back of the field, then finished fastest of all to get up for second.
There’s no question that Ventura is fit and ready for this race while cutting back to 7F. With plenty of pace ensured in this race, her powerful stretch kick and her affinity for this 7F distance make Ventura a major player, and the most likely potential upsetter if probable heavy favorite Indian Blessing doesn't run her race.

Third Selection: (3) INTANGAROO (Sherlock Gary/Quinonez Alonso)

Although still largely unknown nationally, this filly is the only 3-time Grade 1 sprint winner in this country this year. She’s won three G1 races at three different tracks, including one here at Santa Anita, and most importantly, all three have come at this tough 7F distance. When she rallied to win the G1 Santa Monica at Santa Anita on Feb 2 at 26-1 it was a major shocker, but she more than validated that victory when she shipped all the way to Kentucky and pulled off another big upset in the prestigious G1 Humana Distaff. She beat a very strong field that day at 14-1 that included, among others, top-class filly Hystericalady.
Her fourth place finish in the A Gleam Hcp on June 28 wasn’t bad, considering that the half-mile split was slow and the track was favorable to speed, which helped front-running winner Dearest Trickski to post a fast final fraction that was too quick to rally into. Freshened again after that solid effort, Intangaroo shipped across the country once again, this time to Saratoga for the G1 Ballerina. Rating off a blazing half-mile pace, she circled her field in the stretch, led just past the 1/16 pole, and won going away. She finally got some respect at the windows that day, going off at 5-1, and she also got the kind of fast pace that she needs to make her strong late kick effective.

This race sets up similar to the Ballerina, with a hot pace almost assured. Racing over a track she likes, at a tough distance over which she excels, Intangaroo is a major player in this race, and once again, she should offer attractive odds.

Fourth Selection: (10) MIRACULOUS MISS (Klesaris Steve/Dominguez Ramon)

With the expectations of a fast and contested pace, this hard-knocking mare could rally for a share at attractive odds. She rallied from dead last in last year’s BC Filly and Mare Sprint to finish 2nd, beaten by just a half-length at 43-1. Since then she’s raced in four sprints, all G1, and three of them have been big efforts. She finished third against males in the G1 DeFrancis on Nov 24, then went on vacation until May of this year. She ran respectably in the G1 Humana to finish 4th off that layoff, then came back with 2nd place finishes in back-to-back G1 races, one of them at this 7F distance. Although she hasn’t won a race in two years, she’s hit the board more often than not against G1 sprinters, and with the right pace set up here she could do so again.

Fifth Selection: (6) ZAFTIG (Jerkens James A/Bejarano R)

Zaftig is a lightly raced 3 year old that ships west for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. He is the son of Hall Of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, who is known as the “giant killer”. This nickname was given to him because of all the upsets he pulled off against many great horses. His biggest one was with Onion, who defeated Secretariat at Saratoga. Allen Jerkens rarely ships out of town for a stakes race. He would rather stay at home at his base at Belmont Park and wait for the right spot there. His son Jimmy is a little different. If he feels he has a good chance to win a stake, he will ship. He must feel he has a legitimate chance if he is sending Zaftig to Santa Anita for the BC Filly and Mare Sprint.Zaftig returns off a 4-1/2 month layoff as a result of an injury she suffered, after easily defeating Indian Blessing in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont Park. When the two met, Indian Blessing was coming off a 3 month layoff. She has clearly gotten better with each subsequent start. That should take nothing away from Zaftig, who had only raced 4 times going into the Acorn, whereas last year’s 2 year old Juvenile Filly champion was a multiple graded stakes winner with much more experience. Zaftig’s win in the Acorn was even better than it looks, because she stumbled leaving the gate. When she hooked Indian Blessing in mid-stretch, her rider lost the whip. She was still able to steadily draw off in the last furlong on her way to a clear victory. It’s very difficult for any horse to ship across country and defeat a top-class field like she will face Friday. Also, as a 3 year old, she will be facing several hard knocking older fillies with much more experience, and she is coming off the layoff. Zoftig has never raced over a synthetic surface, which is another obstacle she must overcome. Nevertheless, I respect her trainer immensely. She broke her maiden impressively off a 4-month layoff and is 2 for 2 at the 7 furlong distance. The pace projects to be contested and the fractions very fast. Zoftig has excellent tactical speed to sit the right kind of trip. Since her last start, she shows a series of very good works, the last two coming at 6 furlongs.

The Remainder of the Field (In order of preference)
(9) DEAREST TRICKSKI (Sadler John W/Smith M E)

Speedy filly shipped to California in August of 2007, ran in a $32,000 claiming race, and lost. Claimed that day by John Sadler, she’s since won 7 of 8 starts while steadily rising in class, with her lone defeat coming off a layoff of nearly 4 months when she did not break alertly and therefore couldn’t use her outstanding early speed.
After winning her first three starts for Sadler, Dearest Trickski finally grabbed attention when she won the G1 La Brea last December at Santa Anita over the same 7F distance as this race. She set a blazing pace that day and kept rolling in a very impressive win. Showing that her first stakes victory was not a fluke, she returned to romp in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint, also over the synthetic track at Santa Anita. On a track that produced some of the fastest times I’ve ever seen, she set surreal fractions of :20-2/5, :43-1/5, :54-1/5, then gasped home through a final furlong in :13-2/5, but by then had left her field reeling in her wake.

She was wisely given some time off after that, and in my opinion, her May 17 race off the layoff was a toss-out. She soon returned to her best form, winning the 7F G2 A Gleam on June 28, and most recently added the G3 Rancho Bernardo to her list of impressive front-running wins.

Unlike most front runners, Trickski is very tough because she doesn’t really slow down until mid-stretch, by which time she’s already run most of her competition into defeat. Her fractional times for her fifth furlong are consistently fast, and that’s when most stalkers and closers are making their move. If she can somehow avoid a duel in this race and get the lead, then she could prove to be very tough over a track where she’s 2 for 2, although both wins were prior to the conversion to the Pro-Ride surface. It’s to her advantage that she’s drawn outside of her two main speed rivals, Dream Rush and Indyanne, as she can apply the pressure rather than being inside receiving pressure.

Wagering Strategy
We'll start a Pick 3 wager in this race and also play some exactas and a small trifecta wager, passing on a win bet, as our top selection, Indian Blessing, will offer no value in that pool.
* Exacta box 3-5-12
* Press with exactas 5-3 and 5-12, reversing each for a small amount
* Trifecta key 5 over 3-6-9-10-12 = $20 for a $1 wager
* Trifecta 3-12 over 5 over 3-6-9-10-12 = $8 for a $1 wager
* Begin a Pick 3 on this race with two tickets (we are keying LARAGH in the second leg of this Pick 3):
TICKET 1: 3-5-6-9-10-12 / 2 / 4-8-10-11 = $24 for a $1 wager
TICKET 2: 5 / 2 / ALL = $13 for a $1 wager
TOTAL Pick 3 wager = $37

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

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Race 4 - GREY GOOSE BREEDERS' CUP JUVENILE FILLIES TURF


Race Synopsis
Laragh is the controlling speed from post 2. With a short run into the first turn, she should be able to slow down the fractions, which would compromise the chances of horses trying to close from off the pace. Horses who expect to run well must avoid a wide trip and traffic problems. Riders must make a perfectly timed move when going after the lone front runner, otherwise Laragh will be long gone.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 APRIL PRIDE 12/1
2 LARAGH 7/2
3 MARAM 10/1
4 C KARMA 8/1
5 EMMY DARLING 8/1
6 FREEDOM RINGS 8/1
7 CONSEQUENCE 8/1
8 SUGAR MOM 10/1
9 RENDA 10/1
10 BEYOND OUR REACH 15/1
11 SAUCEY EVENING 9/2
12 HEART SHAPED 15/1
13 INTERNALLYFLAWLESS 8/1
14 ATKA 30/1

First Selection: (2) LARAGH (Terranova John P Ii/Prado E S)

It was obvious from the day Laragh set her foot on the racetrack for her debut back in July that it was just a matter of time before her connections switched her to grass over a distance of ground. First year sire Tapit has produced several top-class two years, both on grass and on dirt, especially as these juveniles stretch out in distance. Laragh illustrates this fact. She began her career at Woodbine in Canada under the care of top Canadian conditioner Mark Casse. Sent off at 14-1 in a field of seven, Laragh chased a quick pace and steadily dropped back midway on the turn. An excuse could be made that she broke slowly, then had to be rushed up from her outside post going 5 furlongs. This was the kind of “sneaky” good effort that could set her up nicely for her next start, when she stretched out to 7 furlongs.Right from the start of that race Laragh shot out to the lead, and jockey Patrick Husbands had to take a good hold of her, as she wanted to go even faster than Husbands wanted her to go. The plan was to get her to relax and then finish up strongly. Once Laragh turned for home, Husbands shook the reigns, and Laragh took off with consummate ease, switching her leads on queue. Despite winning by 1-3/4 lengths, the margin of victory could have been more if not for Husbands gearing her down in the late stages. Five races later on the card was a $150,000 stakes race for three year old fillies, which featured several quality runners. Laragh’s pace was one full second quicker for both her first and second quarters of the race. Her 6-furlong and final time for the 7-furlong distance was only 2/5 of a second slower. What was so remarkable was that Laragh was really never asked to extend herself the last furlong, in contrast to the top four finishers of the stakes race, who were all in a dog fight from the top of the stretch to the wire, with their riders asking their mounts for all they had. There was only 1-1/4 length that separated the top four at the finish of that stakes event.

The connections of Laragh knew after the race that this two-year-old filly could be something special. They only had to wait 36 days to prove it, when she was entered in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes. This would be Laragh’s first grass start as well as stretching out to a mile. It is difficult to wire the field at this distance because of the long run on the backstretch and an even more demanding run through the long and very spacious stretch at Woodbine. As a result of heavy downpours the day before and throughout the day of the Natalma, the turf course was listed as “soft”. Laragh jumped right out to the lead but was hounded every step of the way until she began to tire inside the 1/8 pole. Despite setting a blistering pace over a “bog”, she never stopped fighting to the wire. The eventual winner, C Karma, who is also entered in the Juvenile Filly Turf, got up to win by a neck, in a very gutsy performance. Following the Natalma, Laragh was shipped across the border to Belmont Park, where she would take up residence in the barn of John Terranova off a trainer change from Mark Casse. It was now time to test Laragh against fillies who were hoping to run well enough to land a spot in the Breeders Cup. She was shipped to Keeneland for their prestigious fall meeting. The stake she would run in was the $150,000 Jessamine, a “win and you’re in” race. Horseplayers underestimated her Canadian form, sending Laragh off at huge odds of 11-1. She was bumped at the start, but quickly moved up to assume a 2-length lead with ease. Her margin steadily lengthened as she approached the stretch, going on to a comfortable 4-3/4 length victory over a course that plays more favorably to runners closing from off the pace. Laragh was being ridden for the first time by Hall Of Fame rider Edgar Prado, who is one of the best at getting a horse with good early speed to relax.

Off her very impressive stakes win, excellent speed, and steadily improving form, Laragh will attempt to wire the field in the BC Juvenile Turf over a grass course that has been kind to early speed during the current meet. The very firm nature of the course and tight turns going a mile plays into the hands of this very talented 2-year-old filly. It will not be an easy task, as Laragh will be coming into this race off only 15 days rest. That’s an obstacle she must overcome, but I feel she is good enough to run another big one on Friday, and she's got a great inside post to facilitate grabbing the lead right from the start.

Second Selection: (7) CONSEQUENCE (Mcgaughey Claude Iii/Velazquez J R)

Trainer Shug McGaughey has had success in past Breeders Cup races. None more so than with the great filly Personal Ensign, who won the 1988 BC Distaff in dramatic fashion from off the pace over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs to end her career undefeated. McGaughey knows what it takes to win a BC race, shipping out of town from his stable at Belmont Park. He appears to have a major contender with Consequence in the Juvenile Filly Turf. McGaughey trains for the powerful Phipps stable, whose breeding operation is the one best ever. He stands several mares whose offspring have royal blood from the day they are conceived. Like any breeding outfit that races their stock and does not sell them, there are good ones and there are horses that do not amount to much. But there are many times that McGaughey and the Phipps will breed their dams to the very best sires, and the results are runners who develop into top class performers. Two-year-old Consequence could be one of those. McGaughey rarely wins with first time starters. He has the luxury of taking his time developing them. When a Phipps homebred scores right out of the box, especially at the short 5.5 furlong distance, you know it must be a good one. His specialty is developing horses to improve the longer they go. At this point in Consequence’s young career, dirt racing was not in the cards. The following are my trip notes for her debut: “Racing without Lasix, Consequence was bumped at the start, quickly advanced along the inside entering the turn, steadied approaching the stretch, angled outside at the top of the lane, then blew by the leaders inside the 1/8 pole as tons the best”. It takes a good 2 year old to overcome the trip she had in her first career start. McGaughey, aware of this, entered Consequence in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo, stretching her out to 1-1/16 miles. Adding Lasix and running over a very soft turf course, she finished fourth, beaten a half length. On closer inspection, Consequence may have been best. Breaking from post 1, which is tough to overcome at Belmont Park at that distance, she steadied early on the backstretch to rate, and then steadied again looking for room at the top of the stretch. Consequence never had a clear path racing behind horses until angling out widest in deep stretch. Once she had a clear path, she was getting to the leaders with every stride. Consequence pulled up strongly past the wire, suggesting to me that she had plenty left in the tank.
There is no doubt that Consequence has a tremendous amount of ability. The question now is whether can make another move forward over a new surface and for the first time over a firm grass course. In her debut, the course was listed as “good”, and in her second start it was “soft”. Personally, I feel she will improve over the firm Santa Anita turf course. If Laragh gets an easy early lead, and can slow down the pace, Consequence and the other closers will be at a tactical disadvantage. However, Consequence will probably be one of the fillies sitting closest to the pace, and thus would get first run if Laragh can't last on the lead.

Third Selection: (8) SUGAR MOM (Catalano Wayne M/Coa E M)

This daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, out of a dam who was a multiple stakes winner on turf, looked ordinary at best in her first three career starts on dirt. However, things turned around quickly after she got a trainer change to Wayne Catalano, and especially after she stretched out to routes and moved to synthetic tracks. In her first start for Catalano, on July 23, she rallied from far back to easily handle maiden claimers over the synthetic track at Arlington Park. Catalano then stretched her out to a route on Sept 5 in a race written for the turf, but it had to be moved to the main track. Sugar Mom improved a ton when stretching out in that event and romped by 12 lengths after stalking the pace for about half of the race. Further showing her affinity for route racing, she stepped up in class and won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies race on Sept 27, again on a synthetic track.
Currently 3 for 3 for Catalano, and 2 for 2 in routes, Sugar Mom has excellent breeding to make this surface switch to turf. As mentioned earlier, her dam excelled over grass, and 4 of the dam’s 6 foals to race on turf won. Catalano has won with nearly 25% of his first time turf runners in 2007-08 and made sure that Sugar Mom liked the grass when he worked her over it on Sept 22. She’s effective stalking or rallying from off the pace.

Fourth Selection: (4) C KARMA (De Gannes Gregory/Velasquez Cornelio)

If you like the chances of Laragh, then you must also consider C Karma to be a major contender. She ran very well in her first two starts against quality juveniles despite having tough trips both times in quickly run races. In her third start, trainer Greg De Gannes added Lasix for the first time, and the result was a impressive win in very fast time. Off that maiden score, C Karma stepped up in class into a $150,000 stakes race that was restricted to horses bred in Canada. Breaking from the tough rail post and stretching out to 6 furlongs, C Karma got squeezed back leaving the gate, rushed up to chase the leaders, and then steadied back to last in a field of 8. In the final furlong she finished very strongly to get third, missing by a 1-1/2 lengths. With a better trip, she would no doubt have won. C Karma galloped out very strongly past the wire, suggesting to me that she should be able perform well at longer distances.One month later, C Karma got her chance in the Grade 3 Natalma, run over a soft turf course at a mile. After rating only 2 lengths off the blazing pace set by Laragh, C Karma moved to challenge her at the top of the stretch. She fought her off, and then faced another stiff challenge in deep stretch. At the wire, C Karma gutted it out for the victory. What I liked about her win is that she proved she has plenty of heart and the will to win. Those qualities are what separate the top class runners from the rest. C Karma has excellent tactical speed, which will serve her well on Friday. The real question that will have to be answered is whether she can run as well on firm turf as she did over the soft going. In many instances, grass horses prefer one surface over the other. One advantage C Karma might have over Laragh is that she enters the BC Juvenile Filly Turf off a 40-day freshening, which should have given her enough time to recuperate from that hard-fought effort. On the other hand, Laragh has the advantage of proving she can run just as effectively, and maybe more so, over firm going. De Gannes has done an excellent job developing C Karma, but he has not shown he can ship to the U.S. and win, especially in a major stakes race. That is not the case with Laragh’s trainer John Terranova, who has proven himself to be very dangerous shipping out of New York, especially with horses that are coming off a win.

Fifth Selection: (3) MARAM (Brown Chad C/Lezcano Jose)

When a horse begins her 2 year old career in a maiden claimer two months ago, you would never think it was possible to see that horse in the starting gate for a Breeders Cup race, let alone having an outside chance of upsetting the field. This is the case with Maram, a Cinderella story, who won her debut in a maiden $75,000 claimer at Saratoga. Even with her very good grass pedigree, the connections of Maram figured no one would claim her for that amount of money. I am not even sure they knew how good she was. Sent off at 7-1, Maram rallied from off the pace while racing wide throughout and won by 1-1/2 lengths. Her connections felt that she deserved a shot to step up into a stakes race 37 days later, a Grade 3 event named The Miss Grillo at Belmont Park. Maram rallied from off the pace to earn a hard fought neck victory.
Obviously, Maram would have to improve off her stakes win to be a danger in the Juvenile Filly Turf, but there are reasons to think she could at a huge price. Maram has already proven that she can run well on firm turf with her debut win. Her trainer, Chad Brown, has had an outstanding year with limited stock. He has an uncanny knack for having horses dead fit to fire their best shot on “go day”. Expect Maram to enter the track Friday as good as hands can make her.

The Remainder of the Field (In order of preference)
(12) HEART SHAPED (O'brien Aidan P/Murtagh John P)

Heart Shaped ships in from Ireland for one of the world’s best trainers Aiden O’Brien. Even though he usually wins more stakes races in Europe than anyone else, he has not had nearly the same success winning Grade 1 races in the U.S. Nevertheless, he is able to strike at any time. Heart Shaped, a talented 2 year old filly by top sire Storm Cat, out of the dam Twenty Eight Carat, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 juvenile winner A P Valentine, who excelled going 7 furlongs to a mile and an eighth. Heart Shaped should improve noticeably stretching out to a mile. She has never raced beyond 6 furlongs, with only 1 win to her credit. That victory was a neck decision in a Listed Stakes race against males back in May. Since then, Heart Shaped has raced 3 more times, running off the board in Group 1 and Group 2 stakes. In all 3 of those races, she has been hurt by troubled starts. Even though her bad habits leaving the gate have cost her closer finishes, Heart Shaped has run better in her last 2 outings. The European horses, at all stakes levels, have proven to be better than their American counterparts on grass. There is no reason to believe that in the 2 year old division, horses like Heart Shaped cannot jump up and be very competitive. She has toted between 124 and 126 lbs in each of her starts, so 122 lbs will pose no problems. It is likely that she will be adding Lasix Friday, which could also improve her chances quite a bit. However, she drew the outermost post in this full field, a definite disadvantage, and as such I've downgraded her to sixth selection, after previously liking her more.

Wagering Strategy
We have 'keyed' our top choice, LARAGH, in a Pick 3 wager starting in the prior race. We'll also play her to win and in some exactas.
* A win bet on (#2)LARAGH
* Exactas 2-7, 2-8, reverse each for half as much
* Smaller exacta part-wheel 2 over 3-4-5-11-12, reverse for a small amount

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

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Race 5 - BESSEMER TRUST BREEDERS' CUP JUVENILE FILLIES


Race Synopsis
Be Smart and Palacio De Amore are expected to vie for the early lead while setting quick fractions. C.S. Silk will be sitting in good stalking position and make the first run on the leaders. This should set it up nicely for Sky Diva to make her run on the far turn. Pursuit Of Glory will follow that one's move, with Stardom Bound launching her strong closing run from far back.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 EVITA ARGENTINA 15/1
2 PERSISTENTLY 15/1
3 BLACK MAGIC MAMA 15/1
4 SKY DIVA 7/2
5 BE SMART 15/1
6 VAN LEAR ROSE 30/1
7 DAVE'S REVENGE 30/1
8 C. S. SILK 15/1
9 PALACIO DE AMOR 12/1
10 STARDOM BOUND 2/1
11 PURSUIT OF GLORY 8/1
12 DREAM EMPRESS 6/1
13 DOREMIFASOLLATIDO 15/1

First Selection: (10) STARDOM BOUND (Paasch Christopher/Smith M E)

In recent years trainer Chris Paasch has focused his operation on juveniles, buying many at auction, primarily for this owner, Charles Cono. They have had a good amount of success doing this, including some graded stakes winners, but Paasch has said that Stardom Bound is the best horse he’s ever trained. Given her back-to-back Grade 1 wins after just 4 career starts, it’s easy to see why, and she still has room for improvement. It took her a couple of races to learn what this game is all about, each time rallying from dead last to finish 2nd in sprints that were too short for her. It’s harder to teach a horse with no early speed but a strong closing kick how to be an effective racehorse, because they must learn how to relax behind most or all of their field, advance when given the cues by their jockey, rally through or around horses, and continue their run all the way to the wire. After a couple of near misses in her first two starts, Stardom Bound put it all together to break her maiden in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Sept 1. Still far back in 11th position after a half-mile, she unleashed a monstrous rally to circle her field and run away from them late, winning by 4 widening lengths. She had learned when to take her cues from jockey Mike Smith, and they had also learned that she is most effective when she can rally around horses rather than through them. Using the same tactics in the G1 Oak Leaf here on Sept 27, Stardom Bound showed that she is anything but a late-running sprinter. Racing at the same distance as the BC Juvenile Fillies, she took her usual position at the back of the full field, waited until let loose nearing the stretch, then again inhaled her field to win going away under a hand ride. One could only imagine how much she might have won by if she was really set down in the final furlong. While the new Pro-Ride track here at Santa Anita has been relatively bias-free, it has been favorable to closers in route races. This, along with a probable strong pace, gives Stardom Bound a great chance at victory in the BC Juvenile Fillies. She has the big advantage of a winning race over the track and distance, and I believe that we’ve yet to see her best performance.

Second Selection: (4) SKY DIVA (Klesaris Steve/Dominguez Ramon)

Bet down to 3-5 for her Sept 9 debut against just 3 rivals, this daughter of G1 juvenile winner Sky Mesa essentially got a paid public workout, sitting close to the pace and then drawing off with little urging from the jockey to win by 10 lengths. However, the performance was hard to assess, since it came over a sloppy track and against just 3 other fillies who were clearly overmatched. If there was any doubt as to the validity of that debut win, it was laid to rest after she won the G1 Frizette at Belmont on October 4. Facing a very strong field while getting a dry track for the first time, Sky Diva rated off the quick early pace while saving ground, then advanced on the turn. She was swung out 3-wide in to the stretch, at which point jockey Ramon Dominguez pressed the button and got an immediate response. She went from third to first in a very short distance, then widened her margin to the wire to win by nearly 4 lengths. It was a fantastic performance for a filly who was making an enormous jump in class in just her second career start, and she certainly has a lot more upside potential. Breaking from a good post, her tactical speed will allow her to be placed in good position behind an expected fast pace in this race, and from there she’ll be able to make her move ahead of the closers.

Third Selection: (8) C. S. SILK (Romans Dale/Albarado R J)

Coming off a big maiden win at Churchill Downs going 6F in her second career start, this daughter of promising new sire Medaglia D'oro was given two months by trainer Dale Romans to prepare for a tough task in the G3 Arlington-Washington Lassie on Sept 6. It was her first try against winners, first try in a route race, and first try on a synthetic track. Despite the obstacles in her path, C.S. Silk put forth a dazzling display of both speed and stamina that thrust her to the forefront in the Juvenile Filly division.Previously a stalker, C.S. silk was gunned by jockey Robbie Albarado to duel through a torrid pace of :22-1/5 and :45-2/5 for the half. She put away her pace rival, and when it seemed as if she, too, should begin to tire from the demanding fractions, she instead found another gear and kicked away from the rest of her field.

The quality of the field that she beat remains to be seen, but there’s no debating how fast she ran early and how well she finished. She clearly loved the move to a synthetic track, and that bodes well for her chances on this Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita. With her versatility, she should be able to adapt to any pace scenario, and she returned with a tremendous work on October 3, the best of 36 going 5F, so the race seems not to have taken any kind of toll on her. It will be nearly two months between starts for her in the Juvenile Fillies, timing similar to the break she got before the Lassie, and if she comes back with a similar performance, then she should prove to be a major factor in this race, with an outside chance of winning.

Fourth Selection: (11) PURSUIT OF GLORY (Wachman D/Murtagh John P)

Regally-bred filly comes over from Europe with a realistic chance to win this race for some of the most prominent owners in the world. She showed an affinity for synthetic tracks when she won her second career start by 6 widening lengths over 13 rivals under a hand ride. She then affirmed her class when stepping way up into Group 1 company Oct 3. Trying turf for the first time that day, she continued her rapid improvement to finish a game and close third of 16 runners, beaten just over one length.Sired by a Kentucky Derby winner, Pursuit Of Glory is also from a stellar dam’s family. The dam herself was a Group 1 winner at a mile at age 3, and was precocious enough to hit the board in two Group 1 races at age 2. The dam’s dam is named Serena’s Song, who some may remember as a champion and multiple G1 dirt winner in this country. Although trainer David Wachman is unknown in these parts, he is, in fact, the son in law of part-owner Mrs. John Magnier. He’s done a tremendous job thus far with this filly, who is bred to be even better when stretching out to routes. She still has plenty of upside, and if she runs as well over this Pro-Ride track as she did on Polytrack in Ireland, then she could win this. However, her outside post is a tough one, as she could get caught wide much of the way.

Wagering Strategy
We'll pass on a win bet on our top choice, but instead focus on trifectas and some exactas, keying her on top but also backing up our wagers a bit. We'll also begin a Pick 3 wager with this race.
* Trifecta box 4-8-10-11 = $24 for a $1 wager
* Trifecta 10 over 4-8-11 over ALL = $33 for a $1 wager
* Exacta part-wheel 10 over 4-8-11, reverse for a small amount
* Four Pick 3 tickets, as follows:
TICKET 1: 4-8-10-11 / 3-5-7-8-9 / 1 = $20 for a $1 wager
TICKET 2: 4-10 / 3-5-8 / 1 = $12 for a $2 wager
TICKET 3: 4-10 / 3-5-8 / 3-4 = $12 for a $1 wager
TICKET 4: ALL / 8 / 1 = $13 for a $1 wager
TOTAL Pick 3 wager = $57

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Wizard

Race 6 - EMIRATES AIRLINES BREEDERS' CUP FILLY AND MARE TURF


Race Synopsis
Folk Opera will be urged to get the lead, but may have to work hard for it, especially if Dynaforce is asked early for speed, breaking inside of her. From there she may be able to slow things down. Halfway To Heaven and Wait A While will be stalking and ready to pounce on the far turn. Forever Together and Mauralakana will bide their time and make the last move approaching the stretch. The pace figures to be fair early on and then pick up on the far turn when the stalkers begin their attack on the front runner.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 SEALY HILL 15/1
2 VACARE 10/1
3 FOREVER TOGETHER 6/1
4 VISIT 15/1
5 WAIT A WHILE 3/1
6 DYNAFORCE 6/1
7 MAURALAKANA 5/1
8 HALFWAY TO HEAVEN 4/1
9 FOLK OPERA 10/1
10 PURE CLAN 15/1

First Selection: (8) HALFWAY TO HEAVEN (O'brien Aidan P/Murtagh John P)

This 3-year-old filly appears to be top-class all the way, as do her connections, and I believe that she’s the one to beat in this race. She’s never finished worse than 3rd in 8 career starts, with the 5 most recent ones all coming against Group 1 company. She’s won 3 of those 5 Group 1 races, and finished 2nd by a neck and a head in two others. Halfway To Heaven began her 3yo campaign off a 5-month layoff on April 6 with a loss by just a head in a Group 3 race, then returned to face Group 1 company for the first time on May 11. The winner of that race, Zarkava, just retired undefeated after winning the Arc, and would have literally been 1-5 or 2-5 in this year’s BC Filly and Mare Turf if she ran. The 2nd place finisher that day, Goldikova, runs in the BC Mile today, and also probably would have been favored if she was in this race. In other words, Halfway To Heaven finished 3rd behind two monsters. Wheeling back just two weeks later in the G1 1000 Guineas, Halfway To Heaven took down her first stakes win in very game fashion, stalking the pace in third while out-gaming three rivals late. She next stretched out to 10 furlongs in the G1 Nassau while also taking on older rivals and scored again, this time over the classy Lush Lashes, who returned to beat Halfway To Heaven in their next meeting. In the Nassau victory she made multiple moves and also went to the lead early for the first time.Although losing by less than a length in the G1 Matron on Sept 7, it was another fine performance by Halfway To Heaven, and she bounced back nicely from it to win the G1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 4. Although she’s raced 6 times in the last 6 months, she’s either held her form or improved it incrementally with every race. She certainly doesn’t appear to be ‘over the top’ for the year, and she’s proven at this 10-furlong distance. She’s also one of the rare Europeans that you’ll see who may actually be better on the kind of firm ground that she’ll get in this race than she is over ground with some ‘give’ to it. Under the watchful eye of Aidan O’Brien, one of the best trainers in the world, Halfway To Heaven looks to be sitting on another big performance here, and her ability to stalk close to the pace is a plus in this race that could be run at a tepid pace.

Second Selection: (5) WAIT A WHILE (Pletcher Todd A/Velazquez J R)

It’s rare to see a filly who was a champion at age 3 still running at age 5, but this one is and she’s still going strong. She began her current campaign on July 26 in the G1 Diana, going off as the mild 3-1 favorite. However, the turf that day was ‘good’, with more give to it than she likes. She’s always had trouble with any kind of turf other than ‘firm’, and she ran accordingly in the Diana while never a factor.She returned four weeks later in the G2 Ballston Spa, and this time got firm ground. Displaying her usual tactical speed to sit just off the pace, she was let loose into the stretch and bounded home as much the best, missing the course record by just 4/5 of a second. She was now back in form, and trainer Todd Pletcher elected to try for a second win in the prestigious G1 Yellow Ribbon here at Santa Anita on Sept 27. She had won that race as part of her championship campaign at age 3, and had also won a G2 race in her only other start on Santa Anita turf. The course was very firm, almost hard, for the Yellow Ribbon, and was producing very fast times, just right for Wait A While. Despite breaking from the outermost post she was bet to favoritism at even money, and did not disappoint. Sitting close to the pace, she looked like a winner pretty much all the way, making the lead in upper stretch and holding safe over a late bid from Vacare to win this G1 event for the second time in 3 years.

Pletcher must be thrilled that this year’s Breeders’ Cup is at Santa Anita, where Wait A While has run two of her best career races, and where she’s assured of getting a firm course. Although she may be better at a shorter trip, I believe she’ll be okay at this one while in top form. Her stalking style allows her to adapt to any pace scenario, and her consistent closing kick will make it tough to catch her from behind unless the early pace is very fast.

Third Selection: (3) FOREVER TOGETHER (Sheppard Jonathan E/Leparoux Julien R)

Hall of Fame trainer Johathan Sheppard, long known for his work with steeplechase runners and long-distance turfers, has done a great job with this sharp and improving 4yo filly, who is a leading contender for championship honors in the filly and mare turf division. She started her career in impressive fashion by winning 3 in a row on dirt, then lost by just a neck the G2 Beaumont on Polytrack at Keeneland last year. However, after that she lost 4 straight races on dirt while never really close in any of them. That prompted a little time off, and a change of direction for her career.She came off a 3-month layoff May 17 to make her turf debut in a minor stakes race at Arlington Park and overcame a slow pace to rally for an 8-1 upset. Her high odds were kind of surprising given Sheppard’s history with turf runners. Seeing how much she liked the grass, Sheppard brought Forever Together next to Belmont Park for the G1 Just A Game at a mile on turf June 7. Ignored at 44-1 while stepping way up in class, she was dead last for a half mile, then had to steady in traffic when trying to commence her rally on the far turn. Once she found racing room in the lane she showed an explosive late turn of foot to rally for third, beaten just 1-1/2 lengths by two much more accomplished rivals. Her final quarter mile in :22-1/5 that day was about as fast as any horse can run in the stretch of a route race on turf.

Noting how fast she finished, Sheppard stretched her out another furlong in the prestigious G1 Diana at Saratoga on July 26, and she ran an almost identical race. Dead last to the far turn, she unleashed another powerful stretch rally to run down her rivals and win at 9-1. Although she didn’t handle the softer turf as well in the G2 Canadian at Woodbine on Sept 7, she returned with another top-class effort over her preferred firm ground at Keeneland on Oct 3. Showing a bit more tactical speed than usual in the G1 First Lady that day, she still had the same relentless stretch run and outfinished G1 winners Precious Kitten and Rutherienne to win going away. Now a G1 winner in 2 of her last 3 starts, Forever Together can claim year-end championship honors with a victory in this race. She’s never raced this far before, but given her powerful finishes, and given Sheppard’s history of instilling tons of stamina in his runners, I have little doubt that she’ll love the trip. She is also assured of getting the firmer ground that she loves, and she’s certainly one of America’s best hopes in this race. The only concern is that the pace of this race may be on the mild side, which could compromise her chances of effectively rallying from relatively far back.

Fourth Selection: (7) MAURALAKANA (Clement Christophe/Desormeaux K J)

Getting a trainer change to top turf conditioner Christophe Clement for her 5yo campaign, Mauralakana rose to the top of the filly and mare turf division by winning 5 of her first 6 starts in 2008, including two Grade 2 and one Grade 1 events. Her two G2 wins at Belmont in the spring were victories over solid fields at distances similar to that of the BC Filly and Mare Turf, and she followed them with a peak performance in the prestigious G1 Beverly D on August 9. In that race she was closer to the front of the field than usual, but she still put in her usual sustained late run to win in outstanding time for the distance.Clement gave Mauralakana a little freshening after her Beverly D victory and brought her back in the G1 Flower Bowl on Sept 27 over the Belmont turf course that she loves so much. However, a few things happened that day that led to her defeat at odds of 3-5. First, she caught yielding turf, which is clearly not her preferred footing. She’s better on firm ground, and should get those conditions for the BC Filly and Mare Turf. Beyond that, I feel that Kent Desormeaux moved too soon on her. Sensing the slow pace, he asked her to make her move sooner than she usually does. Instead of putting in her best quarter mile run from the quarter pole to the finish, she instead made it from the 3/8 pole to the 1/8 pole, then flattened out late. To her credit, she dug in gamely to hold second behind Dynaforce, a proven lover of softer turf.

I believe that Mauralaka will bounce back with one of her best efforts over a firm Santa Anita turf course that she should like. She excels at this distance and should get a more honest pace, which will allow her rider to be more patient this time out and save her late run for the final quarter mile.

Fifth Selection: (9) FOLK OPERA (Suroor Saeed Bin/Dettori Lanfranco)

There’s not much early speed in this field, which could allow this filly to steal away in a manner similar to her relatively easy win in the G1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine on Oct 4. In that race she went right to the front, just as she had done in the Group 2 Prix Jean Romant two starts earlier, and she never looked back. Although her win in the Taylor was termed ‘driving’, her rider said afterwards that he did not have to ask her for all she had, and she still maintained a safe margin all the way to the wire.This field is a lot tougher than that of the E.P. Taylor, but as mentioned, Folk Opera can also step it up a little more this time out. She’s got an unblemished record of 3 for 3 at this distance, and in the past she’s also won from a stalking position, just in case anyone in this field were to change tactics and gun for the lead. The only concern here is that she may be coming back a little too soon just 20 days after the Taylor, as more often than not, we’ve seen horses that exit that race put in relatively disappointing efforts in the BC Filly and Mare Turf.

Wagering Strategy
The European invader that I like should offer a square price, so we'll play her to win and place, then also play a simple exacta box and a couple of trifectas.
* A win and place bet on (8)HALFWAY TO HEAVEN
* Exacta box 3-5-8
* Trifecta box 3-5-7-8 = $24 for a $1 wager
* Trifecta 5-8 over 3-5-7-8 over 3-4-5-6-7-8-9 = $30 for a $1 wager

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Wizard

Race 7 - BREEDERS' CUP LADIES CLASSIC


Race Synopsis
Hystericalady will be sent right to the front from her inside post, with Bear Now not far behind. The pace should be honest. Several horses will stalk or sit in mid-pack, with Ginger Punch the most likely to make the first move to the leader. The pace will pick up around the far turn, when Zenyatta begins to unleash her powerful late rally.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 ZENYATTA 3/5
2 HYSTERICALADY 15/1
3 COCOA BEACH 8/1
4 MUSIC NOTE 6/1
5 CARRIAGE TRAIL 8/1
6 GINGER PUNCH 9/2
7 SANTA TERESITA 50/1
8 BEAR NOW 30/1
HIATUS

First Selection: (1) ZENYATTA (Shirreffs John/Smith M E)

Owned by Jerry Moss, the “M” in “A & M Records”, this filly is named after the Police album “Zenyatta Mondatta”, which has been translated as Sanskrit for ‘Top Of The World’. It would seem that Zenyatta is aptly named, as she is currently sitting atop the racing world, still undefeated after 8 career starts, including 3 Grade 1 and 3 Grade 2 events. If she can add the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Distaff to her list of accomplishments, then she will deserve recognition among the all-time great fillies.She was no ‘sure thing’ in her career debut 11 months ago, going off at 5-1 against a full field, but her visually stunning last-to-first win under a hand ride quickly put her on everyone’s ‘horses to watch’ list. She returned Dec 15 with a similar last-to-first win, again under a hand ride, prompting her usually conservative trainer, John Shirreffs, to run her back in the G2 El Encino less than 2 months after she began her racing career.

Although the field was much tougher in the El Encino, the results were the same. She was last early, circled the field in the stretch, and won going away while leaving G1 winners Tough Tiz’s Sis and Romance Is Diane reeling behind her.

After giving Zenyatta a freshening, Shirreffs shipped her out of California for the first and only time to take on 2007 champion female Ginger Punch in the G1 Apple Blossom. To this point Zenyatta had only raced on synthetic tracks, but she showed that a ‘real dirt’ surface was no obstacle when she blasted by Ginger Punch and the others to win in a romp. The margin was the biggest of her career and the final time of the race was spectacular.

Now a household name among anyone who follows racing, Zenyatta was sent back to California and continued her march toward a championship with three more G1 or G2 wins during the summer. The only time that anyone gave her any kind of a scare, and it was a mild one, was in the G1 Vanity on July 5. Tough Tiz’s Sis came to her in upper stretch, and Zenyatta had to work harder than she had at any other point, but she showed the heart of a champion and held that rival at bay.

With the Breeders’ Cup now in his sights, John Shirreffs freshened Zenyatta a bit and gave her a final ‘prep’ over this new Pro-Ride track on Sept 27. With a small field and a lone-speed, classy filly in Hystericalady to beat, it seemed as if Zenyatta was at a tactical disadvantage in this race. When Hystericalady got loose on the lead and was allowed to set a slow pace for the first half-mile, it looked like Zenyatta might finally taste defeat. However, that illusion was short-lived, as she turned in her best performance yet and rallied against the slow pace to win going away, merely toying with her rivals in the final furlong. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith said after the race that he didn’t have to ask her for anything near her best effort, saving plenty for this race, and her final 5/16 of a mile in :28-2/5 was so fast that it seems like it must have been timed incorrectly. But it wasn’t. If you project her race out another 1/16 of a mile, the distance of the G1 Goodwood for males on that same card, then Zenyatta would have won that race as well, probably by a couple of lengths.

I do believe that this may be the best female runner we’ll see for a long time, and it’s impossible not to expect her to win this race over a track that she’s already shown she loves. When you back a horse that comes from far back, there’s always the chance that she’ll be compromised by traffic trouble when trying to pass all or most of her field. While that’s possible, Zenyatta has been good enough to simply run around her fields, avoiding any potential trouble in her path. I’d expect a similar trip today, and another victory.

Second Selection: (3) COCOA BEACH (Suroor Saeed Bin/Dominguez Ramon)

Following her very game victory over last year’s Distaff champion Ginger Punch in the G1 Beldame at Belmont Sept 27, Godolphin stable representatives indicated that she would not run in this year’s Ladies Classic. The talented 3 year old filly Music Note would be entered instead. However, those plans have now changed. Cocoa Beach came out of the Beldame in perfect order and has trained brilliantly since, especially a tremendous recent workout over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita. Godolphin now has a dangerous one-two punch to attack the undefeated Zenyatta.Cocoa Beach won her first four starts as a three year in Chile, and then was privately purchased by Godolphin. She was shipped to Dubai and was given over to their stable trainer Saeed Bin Suroor. Cocoa Beach returned to the races Jan 17 at Nad Al Sheba off a 7-month layoff. Toting 132 lbs, she ran second in a 14-horse field. Blinkers were added for her next 2 starts, and the result was 2 decisive wins in Listed Stakes. For some reason, the hood was removed in the G2 UAE Derby when Cocoa Beach was a well beaten third. From all indications, it is likely thst she bled. 5 months later she resurfaced at Saratoga in a small stakes with Lasix added for the first time.

Even though Cocoa Beach did not face a very strong field, she won easily, showing several gears. I felt her race was “better than it looked”, despite a slow final time. Her connections must have felt the same way, because Cocoa Beach made her next start against the champion Ginger Punch in the Beldame. She was sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering. Ginger Punch cleared to the lead early and set a very comfortable pace while well off the deep rail. Cocoa Beach sat in fourth position until moving smoothly up the inside to go after the champion. Turning for home, she began cutting into Ginger Punch’s lead. In deep stretch the two fillies hooked up, with Cocoa Beach prevailing in very game fashion.

These two will meet once again the Ladies Classic. I feel Cocoa Beach has more upside than Ginger Punch, who may be “over the top”. Is she good enough to upset the great Zenyatta? I feel she might have the best chance to do it. Cocoa Beach is getting better with each start since Lasix was added. She has a tendency to break slowly from the gate, but quickly moves into striking position. When her rider calls on her to attack, she responds instantly, which she showed in both U.S. starts. Cocoa Beach has never been worse than third, winning 8 of 10 career starts. She is coming into the Ladies Classic a fresh horse, at a distance she loves, over a surface where she has trained brilliantly. She’s clearly on the improve and her connections spare no expense to provide their horses with the best of care. All these factors make her dangerous in this race.

Third Selection: (4) MUSIC NOTE (Suroor Saeed Bin/Castellano J J)

I believe that if Zenyatta does not run her race, then either of the Godolphin stablemates have a chance to upset her. Although she began her 3yo campaign on May 22 with just a maiden victory to her credit, she has now won 4 of 5 starts in 2008, all of them dominant victories, and three of them in Grade 1 company. Her only loss was by just a head in the G1 Alabama, a race in which she was somewhat compromised by the very slow pace. Winner Proud Spell was able to move first, then fend her off thru the final quarter in a memorable stretch duel.Bred top and bottom to run all day, Music Note also has good tactical speed, which allows her to adapt to any kind of pace scenario and still put forth a very strong kick through the final quarter mile. That tactical speed also means that she will probably hit the stretch in front of Zenyatta, forcing that main rival to catch her from behind, which would be difficult. She’s never raced on a synthetic track, but until proven otherwise, there’s no reason to think that she won’t handle it.

Fourth Selection: (6) GINGER PUNCH (Frankel Robert J/Bejarano R)

Last year’s BC Distaff victress and Champion older female has added three Grade 1 wins to her impressive record in 2008, but may be ‘over the top’ after two long and hard campaigns during which she danced many dances at the highest class level.She looked every bit the champion when she won the G2 Louisville Hcp at Churchill Downs on May 2, then returned to annihilate her field in the G1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont on June 14. She returned in the G1 Go For Wand at Saratoga on July 26, and despite finding herself boxed in with nowhere to go entering the stretch, she showed the heart of a champion to run down the leader when she finally found some racing room.

That race was not particularly fast, and although she did what she had to do in order to win, her aura of near-invincibility was dissipating. Although she returned to win the G1 Personal Ensign on August 22, she was life-and-death to do so. Only by sheer will and good fortune was she able to get her nose down on the wire and win the photo, because her body was actually a little bit behind that of the runner up.

Most recently Ginger Punch was defeated in the G1 Beldame, a race in which she had a perfect trip on the lead while setting a slow pace in a small field. She could not fend off upstart Cocoa Beach that day despite holding a pace and experience advantage, and she seemed to lack her usual competitive spirit when confronted by the winner mid-stretch. I think she may be a tired mare at this point, and one whose best performances have already been seen. While I would not discount her completely in this spot, I believe that a minor award is the best that her connections can hope for.

Wagering Strategy
We've keyed Zenyatta in most of the Pick 3 plays that began with the Juvenile Fillies race. We'll also focus some trifectas on her. We'll look for a little value by excluding the probable second choice, Ginger Punch, from the second spot.
* Trifecta 1 over 3-4 over ALL = $12 for a $1 wager
* Trifecta 1 over 3-4 over 2-3-4-5-6 = $24 for a $3 wager
* Trifecta 3-4 over 1 over 2-3-4-5-6 = $8 for a $1 wager
TOTAL Trifecta wager = $44

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Donn Wagner

Filly/Mare Sprint - $10 win, $10 place, $50 show - Tizzy's Tune

Juvenile Filly- $25 win, place, show - Maram

Lady's Classic - $10 Win, Place, Show - Cocoa Beach


Stevie Z

Lady's Classic - $100 Win - Zenyatta

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

On the Surface, the Breeders' Cup Offers the Potential for Surprises
By Andrew Beyer

Curlin ordinarily would be the cynosure of the Breeders' Cup. The defending U.S. horse of the year and the top money-winning thoroughbred of all time is favored to end his career with a victory in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

Yet the most intriguing and talked-about subject at Santa Anita is not Curlin or any other horse, but the surface that will be beneath their feet. For the first time, the Breeders' Cup is being contested over a synthetic track -- a substance known as Pro-Ride, consisting of sand, fiber and a polymer binding agent -- instead of dirt.

With the Breeders' Cup now expanded to 14 races over two days, eight of the events Friday and Saturday will be run on Pro-Ride, with the other six on grass. Each of the Pro-Ride races poses difficult questions for bettors. How do you evaluate a horse such as Curlin who has scored all of his victories on dirt? How do you judge a European grass runner racing on a synthetic surface for the first time? Should you bet an inferior animal with proven synthetic-track form against a superior rival with no such form?

In the three years since synthetic tracks appeared in the United States, there has been no consensus among horseplayers on these issues. The differences of opinion are sharp. Andy Serling, in-house racing analyst for the New York Racing Association, declares: "The synthetic tracks are more like synthetic turf courses than dirt courses. They should paint them all green." Bill Finley, author of "Betting Synthetic Surfaces," writes, "I cringe when I hear horseplayers insist dirt and synthetic tracks bear little resemblance to each other." Finley says the best horse usually wins on a synthetic surface.

The results at Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday should help crystallize public opinion on the subject. My own shaky opinion is that I won't take a short price on a dirt runner who is unproven on synthetic surfaces. Although I would like to see Curlin end his career covered with glory, I will bet against him Saturday.

The champion seems vulnerable for more than one reason. His recent wins on the dirt have not been impressive, by his standards. His speed figures have declined significantly since he won the Classic at Monmouth Park last year. Even without the unknown factor of Pro-Ride, Curlin would be beatable. The horses who have been running well on synthetic surfaces in California don't appear to be top-class animals (although I could make a case for one long shot, Student Council).

Besides Curlin, the most talented horses in the field are the three European invaders -- Duke of Marmalade, Henrythenavigator and Raven's Pass -- who have accounted for 10 Grade I wins against the best competition on the continent. Raven's Pass is the only one of the three who appears to be coming into the Classic in peak form, and I will gamble that he takes to the Pro-Ride and pulls an upset. While the Classic is a race filled with uncertainties because of the synthetic track, there are interesting opportunities in many of the other races.

Filly and Mare Sprint: This is the most promising of Friday's five stakes for fillies and mares. The brilliant speedster Indian Blessing is the most talented member of the field, but she is vulnerable. She won once on a synthetic track, but her best form is on dirt. Although she is not a one-dimensional front runner, early speed is her forte, and she is facing a bunch of blazingly fast front-runners. The filly who can take advantage of a destructive early pace is Ventura, who rallied from far behind to win over Keeneland's Polytrack in April. Since then she has been running well in high-class turf competition at a mile. She'll be flying at the finish of this seven-furlong race.

Saturday's best bets may arise in grass races that don't involve the uncertainties of Pro-Ride:

Turf: The European invader Soldier of Fortune appears to be the best horse in the field, but as a speed handicapper I am willing to take a shot against him. Two U.S. horses, Out of Control and Grand Couturier, earned Beyer Speed Figures of 112 in their last starts -- a figure good enough to win most prior runnings of the Turf. Grand Couturier ran at Belmont Park over very soft grass, which may have aided him, but Out of Control earned his big number over the same hard Santa Anita turf course where he'll be running tomorrow. He is 10 to 1 in the morning line, and he can pull an upset.

Turf Sprint: This is a European game. The U.S. horses who specialize in sprinting on the grass are not, for the most part, top-class animals; five of the horses in this field are ex-claimers. But there is no doubt about the superior class of Fleeting Spirit, who endured an array of misadventures in her last start in France and still managed to finish within three lengths behind Europe's champion sprinter.

Juvenile Turf: On paper, the top North American entrants look evenly matched. Bittel Road beat Skipadate in a photo finish at Saratoga, then came out of that race to win a Grade II stakes at Keeneland. Skipadate went to Woodbine and lost a photo finish in a stakes race to Grand Adventure. In that Woodbine race, however, Grand Adventure made a strong five-wide move to prevail, even though Skipadate had an easy ground-saving trip. He was clearly better than Skipadate, and is clearly better than most of his rivals Saturday, though it is uncertain how he compares with the stakes-winning Irish invader Westphalia. I'll bet Grand Adventure to win and box him in the exacta with Westphalia. I will also play this race to kick off a pick four that may end with Curlin's loss in the Classic.

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Wunderdog

SANTA ANITA Race #3 (FILLY AND MARE SPRINT) at 3:35 PM Eastern

Top pick: #5 (INDIAN BLESSING) - Champion two-year-old filly from '07 has developed into a nice runner at three-years-old, which is not always the case. She's become a much more manageable horse, as instead of being just a front-runner, filly has been able to conserve her energy in several of her starts before making her move. She is one-for-one on artificial surfaces and she's been training sharply on this surface for the past month. Her ability to stay close-up without the lead could prove decisive.

2nd pick: #9 (Dearest Trickski) - She's very fast and is a proven commodity on artificial surfaces (8-6-1-0). Though she has yet to run on this new "Pro-Ride" main track, she has trained superbly for this and she draws outside of the other speed runners, and that's always an advantage, especially at this seveb-furlong distance. Dangerous runner.

3rd pick: #3 (Intangaroo) - The field’s strongest finisher has proved equally adept on both poly surfaces and conventional dirt. Training in fast fashion for this attempt, she is a bit of a specialist at these difficult middle-distances (5-3-1-0). Pace could be fast/contested and a clear trip early could lead to a big finish late.

4th pick: #12 (Ventura) - Talented daughter of "Chester House" started her career in England and was repatriated earlier this year. In the barn of Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, filly is undefeated on "poly" (two-for-two), and in her latest on the Woodbine turf she finished an excellent second going a mile against colts. Training fast and she should receive a nice journey out in the center of the track. Good chance in a competitive race.

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Kelso Sturgeon

Race 3...5-12-9-3 - key The 5 1st/2nd With 3-12-9 in Ex And Tri
Race 4...7-10-4-9 - 7 W&P...4 Horse Ex And Tri Box
Race 5...4-10-13 - 3 Horse Ex And Tri Box
Race 6...8-9-3-5 - 8 To Win...4 Horse Ex And Tri Box
Race 7...3-6-1 - 3 To W/P...3 Horse Ex And Tri Box

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Mike Dempsey

SA Race 6 BC Filly & Mare Turf G1 (2:35 pt)
#5 Wait a While 3/1
#7 Mauralakana 5/1
#8 Halfway to Heaven 4/1
#10 Pure Clan 15/1

Analysis: #5 Wait a While is coming off a sharp win in the G1 Yellow Ribbon and has won 3 of her last 4 starts, the lone loss coming over "good" ground in the G1 Diana. She is perfect over the turf here at 3 for 3. The mare owns a solid pace profile throughout and should get a good tracking trip sitting just off the pace. She has landed in the exacta in 11 of 14 career starts and is 3 for 4 at the distance. Pletcher seems to have her right if she jumps back up to her figure she earned two back in the G2 Ballston Spa (runner up Carriage Trail won the G1 Spinster in her next start) she is going to be tough in this spot.

#7 Mauralakana has matured into one of the top female turfers as a five year old and has bankrolled a cool $1 million so far this year. She was the beaten chalk last out in the G1 Flower Bowl, finishing second to #6 Dynaforce, who seems to like the yielding turf more. She is proven at the distance but did not run well over the turf here last year in the G1 Yellow Ribbon. She did not have much of an excuse that day but she is a much better runner this year.

#8 Halfway to Heaven invades from the other side of the pond for Aidan O'Brien and she is coming off a Group 1 win at Newmarket. She is a three time Group 1 winner and was 3 1/2 lengths behind the monster Zarkava back in May. She seems to like firmer ground and has tactical speed. She is a tough read here and just not sure how she will handle the firm turf at Santa Anita. If her price drifts up she deserves a look but at less than the 4/1 ML she looks less attractive.

Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 5/2 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 5,7,8,10
TRI: 5,7 / 5,7,8,10 / 3,4,5,7,8,10

Live Longshots: These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.

Santa Anita
R1: #4 National Holiday 20/1
R3: #6 Zaftig 8/1
R4: #7 Consequence 8/1
R4: #12 Heart Shaped 15/1
R5: #1 Evita Argentina 15/1
R5: #6 Van Lear Rose 30/1
R5: #11 Pursuit of Glory 8/1
R6: #10 Pure Clan 15/1
R7: #5 Carriage Trail 8/1
R7: #2 Hystericalady 15/1
R8: #13 Gotta Have Her 15/1
R8: #8 Passified 8/1
R8: #7 Kris’ Sis 8/1
R9: #4 Hurry Up Austin 10/1
R9: #13 Siren Lure 8/1
R10: #6 Malibu Canyon 8/1
R10: #9 Cherokee Artist 10/1
R10: #7 Headache 10/1
R10 Parc des Princes 8/1

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Discreet Picks

Santa Anita - Race 3

#3 Intangaroo (9/2 ml)

Three-time Grade 1 winner at the distance gets a blistering early pace to run at here, and has proven herself capable of firing a big shot from off the pace vs. top company. Couldn't ask for a better set-up here, and should offer excellent value. I'd be remiss if i didn't also mention Tiz Elemental (20/1 ml), a very talented filly in her own right who figures to benefit from the pace set-up as well. Might key a big exacta or trifecta, for those of you playing exotics.

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

wire2wire

Santa Anita

Race 3 #5 3 5 12
Race 4 #1 1 2 11
Race 5 #4 4 10 12
Race 6 #8 5 7 8
Race 7 #3 1 3 6

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Anthony Stabile's Pick Pack
Breeders Cup Picks Package

BREEDERS’ CUP PLAYS


Race 3: Filly & Mare Sprint
$40 to win 12=$40
$1 Pick Three part-wheel 12 with 3,4,6,7,8,11 with 2,10,12=$18
$1 Pick Three part-wheel 12 with 7,11 with 1,2,4,7,8,10,11,12,13=$18
Total Wagers for Race 3: $76

Race 4: Juvenile Fillies Turf
$1 Pick Three part-wheel 7,11 with 2,10,12 with 5,6,10=$18
Total Wagers for Race 4: $18

Race 5: Juvenile Fillies
$1 Pick Four part-wheel 2,10,12 with 5,6,7,8,9,10 with 1 with 1,11=$36
$1 Pick Four part-wheel 1,2,4,7,8,10,11,12,13 with 5,6,10 with 1 with 1=$27
Total Wagers for Race 5: $63

Race 6: Filly & Mare Turf
$25 to win 10=$25
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 5,6,10 with 5,6,10 with All=$48
$20 Daily Double 10-1=$20
Total Wagers for Race 6: $93

Race 7: Ladies’ Classic
$40 Exacta 1-3=$40
$15 Exacta part-wheel 1 with 4,5=$30
$5 Trifecta key 1 over 3,4,5=$30
Total Wagers for Race 7: $100

enjoy!

dodo512
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Thanks dodo

You a horse bettor ?

Blade
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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

Hey Blade,
              Do you play the ponies?

glcsports
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glcsports wrote:


Hey Blade,
              Do you play the ponies?

I use to play the horses all the time but not much anymore but have been in the business for over 25 years in just about every facet on the betting side.

Blade
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Blade wrote:


glcsports wrote:


Hey Blade,
              Do you play the ponies?

I use to play the horses all the time but not much anymore but have been in the business for over 25 years in just about every facet on the betting side.

Do you have anything you like today?

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Blade wrote:


Thanks dodo

You a horse bettor ?

Not too big of a horse player.  I do like the big ones though.

I like to gamble and will wager on most events with a line.  smile

You have a great site.  I've been a lurker for a while now.  Just thought it was time to contribute.

Thanks!

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glcsports wrote:


Blade wrote:


[quote author=glcsports link=topic=58636.msg109189#msg109189 date=1224875430]
Hey Blade,
              Do you play the ponies?

I use to play the horses all the time but not much anymore but have been in the business for over 25 years in just about every facet on the betting side.

Do you have anything you like today?

Nothing today but looking over tomorrows races.

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Friday

dodo512 wrote:


Anthony Stabile's Pick Pack
Breeders Cup Picks Package

BREEDERS’ CUP PLAYS



Race 7: Ladies’ Classic
$40 Exacta 1-3=$40
$15 Exacta part-wheel 1 with 4,5=$30
$5 Trifecta key 1 over 3,4,5=$30
Total Wagers for Race 7: $100

enjoy!

1 Zenyatta Mike E. Smith 3.00 2.60 2.10
3 Cocoa Beach (CHI) Ramon A. Dominguez 4.60 3.80
4 Music Note Javier Castellano 3.80
Bet Type Runners Pay Out
Exacta 1/3 13.40
Trifecta 1/3/4 68.60

Those are some juicy payoffs for the stone cold chalk winning

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