Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Wizard

Race 1 - BREEDERS' CUP MARATHON 1 1/2m Non-graded 3yo and up, Purse: $500,000. Post Time: 1:10 ET

Race Synopsis
Zappa can lead or sit 2nd, as the only horse who can put some pressure on him is Booyah, who could get the early lead if hard sent by Talamo. The pace is expected to be very slow, which helps the pacesetter and could hinder those horses who are expected to rally from off the pace. In the event both Zappa and Booyah want to go to the front and slow down the pace together, this scenario would probably do both of them in, as the pace would quicken noticeably around the final turn.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 CHURCH SERVICE 10/1
2 ADD HEAT 20/1
3 DELIGHTFUL KISS 8/1
4 SIXTIES ICON 2/1
5 MUHANNAK 20/1
6 ZAPPA 5/2
7 BIG BOOSTER 9/2
8 CEDAR MOUNTAIN 6/1
9 BOOYAH 30/1

First Selection: (4) SIXTIES ICON (Noseda Jeremy/Dettori Lanfranco)

When I handicapped the BC Marathon, it was apparent that many of these horses are very vulnerable at the 1-1/2 mile distance. Only Delightful Kiss, Muhannak, Sixties Icon and Zappa have won at this distance on any surface.Unlike many in this field, Sixties Icon has won Group 1 and Group 2 stakes. Most of the horses in this field are, at best, Grade 3 horses, and only a handful have been competitive in Grade 2 stakes. Sixties Icons comes into the Marathon in the best form of his sixteen-race career. Last year at age four, he won only 1 race in 3 starts. This year he has scored 4 times from 6 starts, with one loss in a very tough Group 1 stake and the other a strong second-place finish in a Group 2 event when he was returning from a 10-month layoff. Sixties Icon has reeled off 3 straight victories, all in Group 3 stakes in England, facing horses that would be very competitive against this group of horses. He is a proven marathon runner who relishes a heated battle. As a matter of fact, Sixties Icon is only warming up after 1-1/4 miles, before he starts to launch his closing rally. Of all the horses entered, he is clearly the most proven at the distance.

Frankie Dettori, the best rider in Europe, will be aboard Sixties Icon again. He has ridden him in half of his 16 starts, winning 4 races and placing once. There is no better judge of pace than Dettori, who excels at making a perfectly timed move from off the pace. There are two obstacles which Sixties Icon must overcome in the Marathon. One is that on several occasions he has been a slow starter, which could compromise his chances when having to run down a horse on the lead setting a slow pace, which is expected to be Zappa. He must also transfer his grass form to Pro-Ride, but that does not concern me as much as having bad gate habits. But one thing you know is that when the field turns for home, Sixties Icon will be closing strongest. If he is within breathing distance of the leader at the eighth pole, the race will be for second money.

Second Selection: (6) ZAPPA (Sadler John W/Gomez G K)

With the defection of Fairbanks, who has opted for the BC Classic instead of the Marathon, there is a complete lack of early speed in this 1-1/2 mile Marathon race. This plays into the hands of Zappa, who should be able to control the pace from the start and slow down the fractions to a possible crawl. This scenario is the same one he faced 3 starts back in the $150,000 Cougar Stakes at Del Mar. Garrett Gomez, who was aboard that day and is back on today, shot him out to a long lead, setting pedestrian fractions. No one in the field could even come close to running him down in the stretch. This was a case of that old saying, “pace makes the race”. You may not have the most quality in the field, but under the right pace set up, upsets happen. Zappa faces the same situation in the Marathon, which is not a Grade 1 field, with the exception of Sixties Icon, who is making his first start on Pro-Ride after racing on grass throughout his career.Zappa comes into the Marathon following a seventh-place finish in the G1 Goodwood over this course and the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. He works well over the Pro-Ride, so this gives him a home court advantage as well. Zappa has hit the board in 21 of his 35 career starts, winning 12 times, with several wins in claiming events. He found his best form last winter, but since then has been very inconsistent. Nevertheless, he is a danger to wire the field in the Marathon.

Third Selection: (8) CEDAR MOUNTAIN (Drysdale Neil/Castellano J J)

This 5yo son of stamina sire Galileo (same sire as Sixties Icon) is a proven ‘stayer’, which is rare in this country. Then again, he did run half of his 10 career starts in England under the guidance of top conditioner John Gosden, so it’s no wonder that he was taught how to rate and run very long early in his career.
This year at age five he’s been steadily improving for trainer Neil Drysdale, who won the BC Turf at this same 12-furlong distance back in 1989 with Prized. Cedar Mountain won his stakes debut going 1-3/4 miles on June 14, then stepped up in class and finished a fast-closing 2nd in the G2 Sunset at 1-1/2 miles, victimized by a slow pace. Although he hasn’t raced in 3-1/2 months since then, Cedar Mountain is proven to run well when fresh. He’s also shown that he can win over a synthetic track, winning his second career start by 7 lengths over 12 rivals on Polytrack in England.

Fourth Selection: (3) DELIGHTFUL KISS (Anderson Pete D/Borel C H)

Delightful Kiss enters the Marathon off 2 straight wins in Grade 3 Stakes at Turfway Park and Golden Gate Fields. On first glance, he appears to be a horse who does not class up to several in the race. It is a mistake to make this assumption. As I have mentioned several times when writing about the Marathon, the field is made up mostly of horses that are pretty much at the same level. All have question marks at the distance and racing over the Pro-Ride surface for the first time. A lack of pace also enters into the equation. Delightful Kiss has several factors in his favor to consider him a “live” longshot. Trainer Pete Anderson has only had 11 starts in 2008, 6 of which have been with Delightful Kiss. Obviously, a horse like this can greatly enhance his career.Anderson has done a great job preparing him to be at his best for the Marathon. Even though he has never run over Pro-Ride, Delightful Kiss raced over a synthetic surface twice, and each time he was victorious. Both wins were with Calvin Borel in the saddle. His style of running is to sit back well off the pace and make one run. He showed he could overcome a very slow pace when he won a G3 Stake two starts back despite making a premature middle-move. The second place finisher came back to score. Delightful Kiss returned in the G3 All American at Golden Gate to defeat Awesome Gem, who ran third in last year’s BC Classic. Since that race he worked a bullet 4F at Golden Gate, the best of 51 horses at the distance. You might wonder why Anderson worked him so fast before a 1-1/2 mile race. This was by design. He used the same training method just before his victory September 27 at the Marathon distance. 4 days earlier, Delightful Kiss had drilled 3F in a very fast: 34-4/5 second. Delightful Kiss will no doubt be one of the outsiders in the race. One thing you know is that he will be at peak form for a trainer who undoubtedly spends countless hours with him. It’s hard not to root for an underdog like Pete Anderson to pull off the upset.

Wagering Strategy

* A win bet on (#4)SIXTIES ICON
* Begin a Pick 3 with two tickets:
TICKET 1: 4 / 2-3-8-13 / 1-2-7-8 = $16 for a $1 wager
TICKET 2: 4 / ALL / 1-8 = $28 for a $1 wager

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

BREEDERS' CUP TURF SPRINT About 6 1/2f (Turf) Non-graded 3yo and up, Purse: $1,000,000. Post Time: 1:50 ET

Race Synopsis
Like all Sprint races in the BC, whether on dirt or turf, the pace is always expected to be fast and contested. This Turf Sprint is no different. With speedballs California Flag and Mr. Nightlinger in the race, they 2 are expected to be hell bent for the early lead. Such a duel should set it up for a stalker or closer to rush on by in mid-stretch.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 HEROS REWARD 8/1
2 FLEETING SPIRIT 5/1
3 TRUE TO TRADITION 15/1
4 ONLY ANSWER 20/1
5 SALUTE THE COUNT 12/1
6 STORM TREASURE 12/1
7 ROUSE THE CAT 20/1
8 DIABOLICAL 6/1
9 DESERT CODE 30/1
10 CALIFORNIA FLAG 15/1
11 IDIOT PROOF 8/1
12 ONE UNION 15/1
13 GET FUNKY 9/2
14 MR. NIGHTLINGER 6/1

First Selection: (13) GET FUNKY (Sadler John W/Valdivia J Jr)

The layout for this ‘downhill’ turf sprint is unique, and many horses don’t effectively navigate it first time out. There’s a right turn, then a left turn, then a patch where the horses much cross over the main track, then a long stretch. Get Funky has excelled at this trip, and thus has an important ‘home field’ advantage over most of this field. He’s won 2 of 3 starts over the layout, including a G3 stakes score last year, and in his lone defeat this Sept 24 he finished 2nd to a winner who ‘freaked’ on the lead and set a course record in the race over a course that was rock-hard. Get Funky has always been a very class turf horse, whether in sprints or route races. He won the G2 Del Mar Derby going 9 furlongs at age 3, then at age 4 finished a game and close 2nd in the G1 Shoemaker Mile, beaten only by multiple G1 winner The Tin Man. However, it’s in turf sprints where Get Funky has really excelled. He won the first five turf sprints in which he participated, three of them stakes, and his only loss was the aforementioned 2nd in the course record race Sept 24. Top California trainer John Sadler has been pointing Get Funky to this race for most of the year, and thus kept him sprinting all summer. He won fast races at Hollywood and Del Mar over the summer, then was wisely not abused late in the G3 Morvich last time out when it was obvious that he could not catch the winner, California Flag. That race should serve as a perfect ‘prep’, and with that rival and Mr. Nightlinger both entered and expected to gun for the lead, the pace in this race projects to be blazing and hotly contested. That should set the race up nicely for a stalker like Get Funky. He drew post 13, and that’s a good one, as the outermost posts tend to hold a small advantage over this layout, with the first turn being a right-handed one.

Second Selection: (2) FLEETING SPIRIT (Noseda Jeremy/Murtagh John P)

3yo filly takes on males, but she’s used to that by now, having done so in 5 of 8 career starts. She’s also never run a bad race, and after developing into a top-class filly last year at age 2, she’s shown more brilliance in just three starts at age 3, and could be sitting on her best race yet. She won her first two career starts, including a Group 3 race over 15 rivals, mostly males, then finished 3rd (moved up to 2nd), in a G2 race in the summer of her 2yo campaign. Continuing to improve into the fall of 2007, she won a G2 race on Sept 14, again beating males, then capped off her juvenile campaign with a loss by just a neck in the prestigious Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes when facing 13 rivals.After getting 6+ months off to grow and mature further, Fleeting Spirit returned to the races on May 24 of this year and romped in the G2 Temple Stakes, earning her highest Time Form rating ever, and one that is rarely seen for a 3yo filly. She overcame a bad start in that race but flew home in a tremendous effort. Perhaps ‘bouncing’ a bit off that huge performance following the layoff, she did regress a bit in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes on June 17, although her 3/4 length margin of defeat was hardly a cause for concern by her connections.

Given more time to mature while being pointed to a fall campaign, Fleeting Spirit returned from a 3-1/2 month layoff on Oct 5 and was immediately thrust into the premier sprint race in Europe, the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp on the Arc undercard. Facing 19 rivals off the layoff, she had some traffic woes, as can be expected, but finished very strongly to miss by 3 lengths behind Europe’s best sprinter. That race should set her up perfectly for a forward move today, and given her running style and typical strong finishes, I believe she’ll love this stretch out in distance. Note also that she will shed a significant 13 lbs. off her last impost, when she was forced to carry 133 lbs. Her best races have been over firmer ground, not too much different from what she’ll get in this race, and she is one of the few horses in this field that can be considered a ‘true’ G1 runner. She drew an inside post, which isn’t the best over this layout, but she figures to drop back toward the rear of the field anyway, so it shouldn’t be much of a hindrance.

Third Selection: (3) TRUE TO TRADITION (Lake Scott A/Carmouche K)

Trainer Scott Lake has made a name for himself over the years as one of the most astute claiming trainers in the game. He plies his trade in the northeast part of the country. His specialty is to ship to various racetracks in the region, taking down plenty of purse money. Lake is always near the top nationally in starters and the number of races he wins. True To Tradition is a classic example of a claim that Lake has developed into one of the top turf sprinters in the land. He purchased him for $35,000 in August of 2007 at Saratoga. Since then, True To Tradition has raced 13 times for Lake, winning 6 races and running second 5 times. He had excuses in his other 2 races. True To Tradition ran fifth, beaten just 3 lengths off a 4-month layoff. In June, he raced on a very soft turf course at Belmont, beaten less than a length, after chasing a torrid pace. It’s very rare to see a horse who always runs his heart out be as a consistent a runner against quality opposition like this 6 year old gelding.True To Tradition enters the BC Turf Sprint in the best form of his career. Lake felt that he had a tendency to wait on horses late in the race, which cost him some victories. On July 8, blinkers were added, and all of a sudden he became more focused late in the race, which resulted in 3 wins in 4 starts with the hood. Two starts back, True To Tradition blew away the field in the Turf Monster Stakes at Philadelphia Park, which featured the hard-knocking Hero’s Reward and Rouse The Count. Both will be in the starting gate for this Turf Sprint. 33 days later, True To Tradition shipped to Woodbine and refused to be passed in deep stretch, earning a hard fought nose decision over Rouse The Cat, after forcing a very quick pace from start to finish. He projects for a good stalking trip behind the speed in this spot and is a main contender in this race.

Fourth Selection: (8) DIABOLICAL (Suroor Saeed Bin/Dettori Lanfranco)

Formerly a multiple graded stakes winning dirt sprinter in the U.S., this 5yo horse was purchased privately last year by world renowned owner Godolphin, taken overseas, and transformed into a turf sprinter. He had run on grass in the past, but wasn’t as effective as he was on dirt. Although winless in five starts since moving to grass, 2 of his 4 most recent efforts would make him a threat in the BC Turf Sprint. Both his July 11 and Sept 28 performances over ‘good’ turf make him a good fit in this race. ‘Good’ turf in England is not much different from ‘firm’ turf here, and in his two races in between (Aug 10 and Sept 13), he caught ‘soft’ turf, which he has never liked. On July 11 he was a 33-1 longshot in England’s premier summer sprint race, the G1 July Cup, and he lost by just 1-1/2 lengths despite traffic trouble with about a furlong to go. The horse that won that race is the top sprinter in Europe. After the two tries on soft turf, Diabolical rebounded in the G2 Diadem Stakes on Sept 28. Racing on just 12 days rest, he rated in the middle of the 15-horse field, lacked racing room when trying to begin his rally a quarter mile out, then just missed by a neck with a strong finish. His stalking style fits this course and race shape well, he is expected to benefit from the firm turf, and I would also expect to see him go back on Lasix, which is not permitted in Europe or Dubai.

Fifth Selection: (5) SALUTE THE COUNT (Dutrow Richard E/Coa E M)

Salute The Count has been freshened up by trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. following a game off the pace victory in an overnight stake at Saratoga. Salute The Count was the beneficiary of a blazing pace, just getting up by a nose in a 4-horse blanket finish. Despite getting the right set up, he had to overcome a troubled start while later knifing his way through traffic in deep stretch. Salute The Count has shown throughout his 44-race career that he can adapt to any pace situation. He is versatile enough to overcome trouble early, which is a great asset to have in a large field. If he does break cleanly, he can be placed wherever his rider likes, which is usually stalking the pace or sitting in mid-pack. With an expected blazing pace, Salute The Count will be one of the horses making his move ahead of the late runners. He has been first or second in 50 % of his starts. Even though he has never raced at 6-1/2 furlongs, he has shown in the past good form going a mile. It may be a bit of a stretch to see him victorious in the Turf Sprint, but with trainer Dutrow in his corner, his will to win and his tactical speed, he must be considered a contender at a price.

Wagering Strategy

* A win and place bet on (#13)GET FUNKY
* Begin a Pick 4 play, 'keying' (#4)GOLDIKOVA in the third leg:
TICKET 1: 2-3-8-13 / 1-8 / 4 / 1-3-4-7-8-11-12 = $56 for a $1 wager

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Race 3 - TVG BREEDERS' CUP DIRT MILE 1m Non-graded 3yo and up, Purse: $1,000,000. Post Time: 2:30 ET

Race Synopsis
Surf Cat, Mast Track, Two Step Salsa, and My Pal Charley all have early speed. It is difficult to predict who will take back or who will be intent on the lead. In either scenario, the pace figures to be no worse than honest, and possibly a brisk one because of the short run into the first turn. Riders need to make quick decisions in order to avoid getting eliminated early by getting caught in traffic, or being fanned out wide.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 LEWIS MICHAEL 5/1
2 SURF CAT 6/1
3 SLEW'S TIZZY 20/1
4 MAST TRACK 6/1
5 TWO STEP SALSA 15/1
6 PYRO 20/1
7 ALBERTUS MAXIMUS 4/1
8 WELL ARMED 3/1
9 SLEW'S TIZNOW 15/1
10 REBELLION 15/1
11 MY PAL CHARLIE 20/1
12 LORD ADMIRAL 20/1

First Selection: (1) LEWIS MICHAEL (Catalano Wayne M/Coa E M)

Trainer Wayne Catalano and owner Frank Calabrese have dominated racing at Arlington Park and Hawthorne Park for many years and have also done great on other circuits. Catalano runs many horses, and in 2008 alone, he is winning at a mind boggling 38% rate. These two men are primarily in the claiming business. The exceptions are the horses that are bred by Calabrese. The classy Lewis Michael is a perfect example. Dreaming Of Anna is another homebred trained by Catalano, who wired the field to win the 2006 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies with jockey Rene Douglas aboard. Douglas with be on Lewis Michael in the Dirt Mile.Lewis Michael has been a gem of consistency throughout his 22-race career. He has won 7 times and run second 6 times. He can sprint, run long, is solid on grass, and can also handle a synthetic surface. The BC Sprint at 6F is probably shorter than he really wants. The mile distance around two turns at Santa Anita, with its short run into the first turn, is a far better alternative. He has had his share of physical problems throughout his career, which can be noted by several gaps in his record. Trainer Catalano has shown that when gets him right, and spots him properly, Lewis Michael is a top-class performer.He has only raced twice this year, which makes him a fresh horse coming into the BC Dirt Mile. He returned July 26 at Arlington off an 8-month layoff, finishing a good fourth. Lewis Michael then shipped out west for the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien on August 24 at Del Mar. He was sent off at 8-1 against the heavy favorite, 2007 Sprint champion Midnight Lute, and easily defeated him and the rest of the field by nearly 3 lengths despite breaking a bit awkwardly from the gate. It appears that he is at his best going the mile distance, even though several of his wins at that distance came around one turn at Arlington Park. He may have run his best career race at two turns in a Grade 2 stake at Arlington.In Lewis Michael’s lone start at Santa Anita last September in the Grade 1 Goodwood at 1-1/8 miles, he ran fourth, beaten a length as the 2-1 favorite. The race was run over a synthetic surface, which he loves. Many of the horses running in BC dirt races this year will be running over the new Pro-Ride surface for the first time. Who can handle it and who cannot will determine the outcome. I feel that Lewis Michael has many factors in his favor, including excellent tactical speed, which will make him a major contender to win the BC Dirt Mile. I also found it interesting that in an interview with Catalano on Wednesday, he said that he felt Lewis Michael was clearly a better horse around two turns than around one turn, and that he was doing even better now than he was before his win last time out. If so, then he's the most likely winner of this race.

Second Selection: (8) WELL ARMED (Harty Eoin/Gryder A T)

Eoin Harty, a former assistant to Bob Baffert, has become a top trainer in his own right, and has some real contenders in this year’s Breeders’ Cup races. This gelding seems to have the best chance of winning among the Harty trainees, and has never been better than he is now. Well Armed is a late-developing son of 2-time BC Classic winner Tiznow. He really didn’t do much of anything on track at ages 2, 3, or 4, but this year has been a completely different horse. He came off a 1-1/2 year layoff last October while making his first start in this country and first start for Harty and clearly needed the race. He returned 5 weeks later to romp in an allowance race, and has been ultra-tough ever since.Well Armed won his first graded stakes race gate-to-wire in the G2 San Antonio Hcp over this track on Feb 9, out-gaming subsequent G1 winner Heatseeker by a head. Off that career-best performance he shipped out to Dubai for the world’s richest race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup. Seemingly overmatched while dismissed at 35-1, Well Armed set the pace and finished a very respectable third to heavy favorite Curlin. It was another impressive performance for the Harty trainee, and would lead to more success upon his return to the U.S.Many horses take a long time to recover from their journey to Dubai, and some never do regain their best form. However, Well Armed, with seemingly an iron constitution, returned to the races less than 3 months later and promptly won the G2 San Diego Hcp at Del Mar. He returned later in that meet to try the G1 Pacific Classic, a 1-1/4 mile G1 race at a distance that was, according to Harty, longer than his best. Nonetheless, Well Armed showed a new dimension to rate a bit off the pace that day, and nearly won it at odds of 8-1 in an ultra-game performance. He never gave an inch thru the stretch that day and succumbed by just a neck to Go Between, who held an advantage at the distance.With the Breeders’ Cup now as a goal, Harty gave Well Armed a perfect ‘prep’ race in the G1 Goodwood here on Sept 27. Once again stalking the pace, he made a wide move on the far turn, bid between three rivals mid-stretch, and outgamed them all to the wire. In fact, he won the race going away, finding another gear in deep stretch to put the race away just when it looked as if late-runner Tiago might have a chance to catch him.With his versatility and current level of fitness, as well as his proven fondness for this track, Well Armed is going to be tough to beat in this race. On Monday morning he signaled his readiness for the BC Dirt Mile with a fantastic 4F blowout over the track in :46.91 seconds, done with regular rider Aaron Gryder aboard. Gryder really never asked Well Armed for any run as he cruised over the Pro-Ride surface in little more than a gallop, then continued on well past the finish line. This 5yo gelding enters this race on career-best form, clearly loves the track, and will be very tough to pass in the stretch as he cuts back to a mile.

Third Selection: (7) ALBERTUS MAXIMUS (Cerin Vladimir/Gomez G K)

4-year-old colt showed plenty of potential last year at age 3 when he hit the board in back-to-back graded stakes over the summer, but he tailed off from there. Given a freshening for his 4yo campaign, he won just 1 of his first 4 starts in 2008 while generally lacking the same kind of grit he showed at age 3. That prompted a trainer change to Vladimir Cerin, who freshened up Albertus Maximus, then brought him back in a stakes race at Del Mar. He ran the best race of his career that day to win in fast time, patiently stalking the pace before driving clear in the final furlong. Stepping way up in class to try G1 company in the Goodwood over this track on Sept 27, he ran another top race to rally for 3rd behind Well Armed, beaten by just 1-3/4 lengths. A similar effort certainly puts him in the hunt for at least a minor award, and any improvement, which is possible, would give him a shot at the win. He’s shown that he likes this Pro-Ride track and he’s continued to train extremely well over it.

Fourth Selection: (2) SURF CAT (Headley Bruce/Flores D R)

Although his best days may be behind him, this multiple G2 winner of more than $1 million is hardly ‘washed up’. He’s only won 2 of 11 starts in 2007 and 2008 after returning from a layoff of almost 14 months, but he’s hit the board in 8 of those 11 races, all against G1 or G2 company, and he’s in line for another placing today. Most recently he finished behind Well Armed and Albertus Maximus in the G1 Goodwood, but he made a threatening move in upper stretch of that race before flattening out late. This cutback to a mile could be just what he needs, and he’s always been at his best at Santa Anita, winning 5 of 10 starts over this track as it’s changed from dirt to two different synthetic surfaces. He continues to train well here and should sit his usual stalking trip while probably saving ground after breaking from post 2.

Wagering Strategy

* A win and place bet on (#1)LEWIS MICHAEL
* Main Exacta box 1-8
* Smaller Exacta part-wheel 1-8 over 2-4-7-10

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Race 4 - BREEDERS' CUP MILE 1m (Turf) Grade I 3yo and up, Purse: $2,000,000. Post Time: 3:15 ET

Race Synopsis
There is plenty of speed in here to insure a quick pace. Daytona and Thorn Song are need the lead types with Kip Deville, Precious Kitten, and Goldikova expected to sit in a stalking position. On the far turn, those 3 will attack, and thatʼs when the pace will heat up even more. Horses who like to lay back and make one run will get the set up they need.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 SHAKIS 10/1
2 KIP DEVILLE 5/1
3 PRECIOUS KITTEN 8/1
4 GOLDIKOVA 3/1
5 DAYTONA 6/1
6 AWESOME GEM 20/1
7 U S RANGER 15/1
8 BOLD CHIEFTAIN 15/1
9 WAR MONGER 12/1
10 THORN SONG 12/1
11 WHATSTHESCRIPT 4/1

First Selection: (4) GOLDIKOVA (Head Freddie/Peslier O)

Goldikova has earned the distinction of being the horse to beat in the BC Turf Mile. In 8 career starts she has 5 wins, 2 seconds, and a third. She has raced against the finest milers in the world, and one of the greatest fillies of all time, the undefeated 3 year old Zarkava, winner of this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. Goldikova was beaten 2 lengths when second in her first meeting with Zarakava in a Group 1 stake, despite stumbling leaving the gate. When they met again, Goldikova, finished third in the group 1 French Oaks at a distance that was too far for her in her only career race beyond a mile.Since that race she has reeled off 3 straight wins. Her last 2 victories have come in Group 1 events. In the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp she defeated the top class Darjina, and multiple G1 winner Henrythenavigator was left in her wake, checking in fifth. He came back to run a close second to Ravens’s Pass September 27 at Ascot, in the prestigious G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Both are entered in the BC Classic, and both are threats to Curlin.Goldikova enters the Mile off 48 days of rest, which should have her razor sharp. Goldikova is at her best when she can stalk the pace or rate in mid-pack, then make her move approaching the stretch. When she hits the stretch, Goldikova has a huge stride and a powerful burst of acceleration. Like any European, she must overcome the tight turns at the mile distance and a firm grass course. It’s interesting to note that her trainer Freddie Head won the BC Mile 3 times as a jockey, twice aboard the legendary Miesque, This year’s BC Mile in not a stellar field, especially with Raven’s Pass and Henrythenavigator electing to go in the Classic. As a result, the U.S. milers are vulnerable to a top class European. That invader is Goldikova. With a clean trip, she will be very tough to defeat.

Second Selection: (11) WHATSTHESCRIPT (Sadler John W/Gomez G K)

If not for the presence of the top-class filly Goldikova, then I would love the chances of this sharp and improving colt, even from his outside post. He’s 4 for 5 lifetime at a mile on turf and 2 for 3 lifetime over this turf course, and his only loss in both of those instances was last Dec 26, when he was injured during the race and was essentially eased.Whatsthescript got a trainer change from Doug O’Neill to John Sadler while away for 6 months after that injury, and when he returned on June 28 in the G2 American Handicap he was all but ignored at 29-1. Rating back in sixth position until the far turn, he then unleashed a visually stunning rally thru traffic and won clear on the wire.Whatsthescript had apparently grown and matured between his 3yo and 4yo seasons, which is normal for most horses, and he showed that his June 28 victory was not a fluke when he returned July 20 in the G1 Eddie Read at Del Mar. Stalking a slow early pace, he made a strong move into the lane and led in the final furlong, only to be caught in the final yards by late-closing Monzante. Whatsthescript could have won that race had he changed leads in the final furlong, but he didn’t, and that led to a rider change for his next start.The switch to Garrett Gomez for the G2 Del Mar Mile on Aug 24 was a positive one, and Whatsthescript responded with the best race of his career. Rating back in 7th off a fast pace, Gomez swung him wide into the stretch, let him loose, and he swallowed up the six rivals in front of him to win more comfortably than the margin might suggest while missing the course record by just 1/5 of a second.Since that impressive win John Sadler has elected to freshen up his star miler for this race. Whatsthescript has a history of running well off similar short breaks, and his steady works have been very good. There should be plenty of pace in here to set up his strong finish, and I’m not overly concerned with the wide post, as I expect the patient Gomez to drop him in and save ground near the back of the field.

Third Selection: (2) KIP DEVILLE (Dutrow Richard E/Velasquez Cornelio)

Last year’s champion Miler will attempt to win his second straight BC Turf Mile. Like last year, when he came into the Mile off a defeat in the Woodbine Mile, he comes into this race off a disappointing fifth place finish as the odds on favorite in that event. I expect Kip Deville to rebound in this year’s Mile. At Woodbine, he was hard used forcing a lively pace over a very soft turf course. When he hit the long stretch, he fought hard to take over the lead, but was unable to hold off the closers and tired. There was clearly a bias over the turf course. There were Grade 1 and Grade 2 stakes races run earlier on the card, and both resulted in horses coming from far off the pace to win and fill out the place and show positions. Quality speed horses in both backed up badly in the stretch.Prior to his off the board finish, Kip Deville raced twice this year, winning both times. He returned from a deserved layoff with a game victory in the Grade 1 Makers Mark at Keeneland over the classy Einstein, who was in peak form at the time. Three months later Kip Deville was an easy winner of the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont in blazing time, a race that was used a tightener for the Woodbine Mile.Kip Deville has been plagued with foot problems for a good part of his career. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr has done an outstanding job keeping his feet together, having him in top form for stakes races he is pointing toward. His sparkling record speaks for itself. In 24 starts, he has 11 wins, 6 of them in graded stakes. Kip Deville has raced twice over the Santa Anita grass course, with victories in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile and a Grade 3 stake. Both races were at a Mile. He is the prototype great miler, evidenced by his 9 for 13 lifetime record at the distance on turf. Kip Deville has superb tactical speed and relishes tight turns and firm turf. He has worked brilliantly for the BC Mile, and Dutrow was so confident that he would win last year’s BC that he stated that fact publicly just days before the race. He feels the same way this year, which is good enough for me to consider Kip Deville a major threat to win his second straight BC Mile.

Fourth Selection: (1) SHAKIS (Mclaughlin Kiaran P/Garcia A)

Shakis comes into the Turf Mile in excellent form. He is a one-run closer who will benefit by a likely quick pace with speedsters Thorn Song, Daytona, and Precious Kitten in the field. He has proven to be at his best going a bit longer, but he showed in the G1 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland on Oct 4 that if he gets the right set up, he can be very dangerous. The firmer the grass course, the better he runs, and he will get his preferred footing in the Mile.Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has had an outstanding year and Shakis is reunited with Alan Garcia, who rode him to his last victory in the G2 Bernard Baruch on Aug 23 at Saratoga. Garcia has stamped himself as one of the best up-and-coming riders in the country, especially with horses closing from off the pace. Shakis must avoid traffic and a wide trip, but drawing post one is a huge plus. Garcia will take him well back off the front runners, but as he does this, Shakis should be able to hold his ground on the rail. At the top of the stretch, Garcia will make his move. He needs racing luck through the stretch drive, and if he gets it, Shakis will be gobbling up ground to the wire.

Wagering Strategy

* A win bet on (#4)GOLDIKOVA
* Main Exacta part-wheel 4 over 1-2-11, reverse for half as much
* Smaller Exacta part-wheel 4 over 3-8-9-10, reverse for a small amount

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Race 5 - BESSEMER TRUST BREEDERS' CUP JUVENILE 1 1/16m Grade I 2yo, Purse: $2,000,000. Post Time: 3:55 ET

Race Synopsis
Munnings will have no option but to go to the front from his inside post and try to wire the field. Itʼs difficult to determine how fast the early fractions will be, because it all depends on who else is intent on the lead. Square Eddie figures to stalk in perfect striking position and attack on the far turn, where the pace is expected to quicken, giving horses the opportunity to rally from off the pace to go after the leaders in the final 1/8 of a mile.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 MUNNINGS 7/2
2 GALLANT SON 15/1
3 TERRAIN 20/1
4 SQUARE EDDIE 9/2
5 AZUL LEON 20/1
6 SILENT VALOR 15/1
7 ELUSIVE BLUFF 15/1
8 STREET HERO 6/1
9 MINE THAT BIRD 30/1
10 PIONEEROF THE NILE 15/1
11 MIDSHIPMAN 5/1
12 BUSHRANGER 6/1
13 WEST SIDE BERNIE 20/1

First Selection: (4) SQUARE EDDIE (O'neill Doug/Bejarano R)

In my opinion, the most impressive race run by a 2 year old this year, visually and in terms of pace and final time, was the victory of Square Eddie in the G1 Breedersʼ' Futurity, when he was making his U.S. debut and adding Lasix for the first time. The only question I have is whether he can repeat that effort in his second U.S. start while racing over a new synthetic surface with second time Lasix. European horses react to that medication differently. In Square Eddieʼ's case, he exploded adding it in his first start around 2 turns. Many European horses regress in their second start in the US with the diuretic. Eddie showed quality in 4 starts in England. Two starts back he was a solid second in his lone start over Polytrack, following 3 grass outings. In every one of his races, Square Eddie has shown excellent tactical speed and a strong finish. When he kicked away from his competition in the Futurity, it was with long fluid strides, while changing leads on cue. You could not have looked anymore professional as a 2 year old. Having a win at today’s distance around 2 turns is clearly a big plus. Square Eddie also has excellent tactical speed, which will allow his rider, Rafael Bejarano, to place him anywhere he pleases. Post 4 is the perfect spot for him to break from. If Square Eddie can replicate his Futurity win over the Pro-Ride surface, he will be very tough to defeat.

Second Selection: (7) ELUSIVE BLUFF (Guillot Eric/Baze M C)

In a Juvenile field that is truly wide-open, I give this colt a real chance at expected huge odds. He may be the best closer in the field, and there should be a quick enough pace to set up his rally. Furthermore, he has tactical speed to go along with that strong closing kick, making him all the more dangerous. I find it very interesting that although both of his starts and wins have been on turf, his connections elected to run him on the main track. That suggests to me that they feel that they have a legitimate chance to win the bigger purse, and I can’t say that I disagree. If this colt takes to the Pro-Ride surface, then he could run them down late at big odds.The reason that I like his chances so much is that his victory in the G3 Pilgrim last time out was sensational. He rated off a crawling pace over yielding turf and was still back in 5th with a furlong to go, 4 lengths behind a leader who wasn’t really slowing down. Despite being seemingly defeated, Elusive Bluff let loose with a spectacular late turn of foot, rallying thru traffic to run down the leader in the final yards. He’s now 2 for 2 lifetime, with both wins coming in route races, and I’m hoping that we can see the same late kick today that we saw in the Pilgrim. His morning line odds are 15-1, but I think they’ll be higher at post time.

Third Selection: (11) MIDSHIPMAN (Baffert Bob/Gomez G K)

Son of champion juvenile Unbridled’s Song surprisingly got away at 11-1 in his debut win Aug 17 at Del Mar, a rarity for a Bob Baffert trainee, as his ‘live’ first time starters are usually well bet. He broke from the outermost post, stalked the pace, then edged away late to win in fast time after racing wide. Stepping right into G1 company in his next start, a sign of confidence by Baffert, Midshipman showed tremendous heart to rally and win by a nose while stretching out to 7 furlongs.Following three works over this Pro-Ride surface, Midshipman stretched out to today’s distance in the G1 Norfolk and again ran very well, but his rally fell short of catching Street Hero, who was adding blinkers. The difference may have been a wide trip by Midshipman, as he lost more ground than his short margin of defeat. The outside post today does him no favors, but I like the switch to jockey Garrett Gomez, who is adept at rating horses and then timing their rally just right. Midshipman will try to drop in and save some ground while rating around mid-pack, and he’s already proven that he likes both the distance and this new synthetic track. His bullet 6F work here Oct 13 was outstanding.

Fourth Selection: (3) TERRAIN (Stall Albert M Jr/Theriot H J Ii)

Just as I liked Square Eddie’s victory in the G1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland, I also thought that Terrain ran better than it looks on paper. Terrain was beaten 4-3/4 lengths, but with a cleaner trip, he would have been closer. It was not unexpected that he could run well in the Futurity. Terrain won his first 2 starts, which included a maiden score in his debut in a in a $50,000 claimer at Churchill Downs. He then shipped to Mountaineer, taking down top prize in an $85,000 stake. In both races, Terrain showed good tactical speed. His running style completely changed in his last two outings.Terrain was shipped to Arlington Sept 13 for the G3 Arlington Washington Futurity. This would be the first time he would race over a synthetic surface. Terrain was placed first on a double disqualification, when the first 2 finishers slammed him hard from both sides in deep stretch as he was bulling his way between horses with a winning move. For the first time, rider Jamie Theriot was given instructions to take Terrain far off the pace and make one run, stretching out to a mile. His connections now knew that they had a possible BC Juvenile starter in their barn.Terrain would be tested for class in the Futurity in his first start around 2 turns. Once again he was taken far off the pace, and then rallied through traffic to be a clear second, galloping out strongly past the wire, suggesting that going a distance of ground was just want he wanted. Terrain will benefit by breaking from post 3 in the Juvenile, after having to break from post 9 in his last 2 starts. This will allow his rider to avoid being hung out very wide, which is a big plus for 2 year olds going 2 turns. The fact that he has raced well over 4 different surfaces, and 2 types of synthetic surfaces, makes me believe he will adapt well to Pro-Ride. At 20-1 morning line odds, I feel he is a must use in your wagers.

Fifth Selection: (1) MUNNINGS (Pletcher Todd A/Velazquez J R)

Speed is always dangerous and Munnings is the one who will flaunt it in the Juvenile. In his debut at Saratoga Munnings won easily, setting a pressured pace and then drawing clear despite hitting the gate at the start. Trainer Pletcher boosted him in class right into the G1 Hopeful. Once again, Munnings stumbled at the start and was forced to rally from off the pace while racing wide throughout. He was no match for Vineyard Haven, who would have been the favorite in this race if his connections had opted to go. In the G1 Champagne, Munnings once again had to settle for second behind Vineyard Haven. He posed no threat for the win at any point in the race. In the Juvenile, Munnings is expected to go to the lead from his advantageous inside post. This $1.7 million dollar 2 year old purchase obviously has talent, but I am concerned he might have some distance limitations, given that his sire was a sprint champion. If left alone too long on the lead while allowed to slow the pace down, Munnings could wire them. He is the 7-2 morning line favorite, which is lower than what I thought he would be. Trainer Todd Pletcher has underachieved this year based on all the quality stock he gets. One factor working against Munnings is that Pletcher has done poorly in past BC races. Even though he is a threat to win, he will be overbet in his first start over a synthetic surface.

Wagering Strategy

* A win and place bet on (#4)SQUARE EDDIE
* A smaller win and place bet on (#7)ELUSIVE BLUFF

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Race 6 - GREY GOOSE BREEDERS' CUP JUVENILE TURF 1m (Turf) Non-graded 2yo, Purse: $1,000,000.Post Time: 4:35 ET

Race Synopsis
Ninth Client, Vaquero, and Coronet Of A Baron all figure to contest the early pace. The fractions are expected to be quick, which will set up the closers well. The horses who make the last move, and a well timed one, will prove the strongest in deep stretch.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 NINTH CLIENT 15/1
2 CITY STYLE 20/1
3 WESTPHALIA 5/1
4 DONATIVUM 6/1
5 RELATIVELY READY 12/1
6 VAQUERO 20/1
7 CORONET OF A BARON 9/2
8 PADDY THE PRO 15/1
9 ORTHODOX 20/1
10 SKIPADATE 6/1
11 BITTEL ROAD 7/2
12 GRAND ADVENTURE 5/1
13 MARK S THE COOLER 20/1

First Selection: (3) WESTPHALIA (O'brien Aidan P/Murtagh John P)

All signs point to a big performance by Westphalia in the BC Juvenile Turf. Westphalia ships in from Ireland for one of the world’s very best trainers, Aidan O’Brien. He has raced 6 times, winning 3 races and running second twice. His lone poor effort was a seventh place finish in August in a G2 stake run over a “bog” at the Curragh in Ireland. Westphalia likes to lay back and make one run. With an expected quick pace to close into, it’s hard to imagine that he will not be flying late under regular rider Johnny Murtagh.Westphalia has never raced beyond 7 furlongs, but he is bred to relish a distance of ground. Almost every grass race run in Europe is over course which have some “give to it”. With rain in abundance in Ireland, it is very rare to see horses race over firm going, but that is exactly the type of footing Westphalia got when he made his debut last May. He will get a chance to race over firm turf again on Saturday. What is also quite remarkable about this 2 year old is that he has toted no less than 124 lbs and as much as 129 lbs twice. Being asked to carry 122 lbs in the Juvenile Turf will seem like a feather to him. Westphalia draws a great post (3), which will help Murtagh save some ground before making his late rally. If he is in close proximity to the leaders in deep stretch, it’s unlikely they will be able to hold him off at the wire.

Second Selection: (4) DONATIVUM (Gosden John H M/Dettori Lanfranco)

This half-brother to 3-time graded turf stakes winner Worldly has improved considerably since returning from a 2-month break during the summer. He won his return race August 24 under a hand ride while leaving his field strung out behind, a sign of a quality victory. He then was asked to make an enormous leap in class to take on 23 rivals in a $1,775,000 race at Newmarket on October 4. Sent off at 33-1, he rated around the middle of the field, then put in a powerful rally to get up late while toting 129 lbs. That victory was certainly on par with anything that any of the American 2yo turf horses have done thus far, and it makes him a major contender in this race.Although he’s yet to race beyond 7F, Donativum did show a strong finish at that distance last time out, and he’s bred to handle this 1-mile trip without a problem. The switch to jockey Frankie Dettori is a positive one, and he’s drawn a great post to save some ground while rating until the turn for home.

Third Selection: (11) BITTEL ROAD (Pletcher Todd A/Velazquez J R)

Bittel Road is undefeated in 3 starts, twice in stakes races, which accounts for the fact that he is the 7-2 favorite on the morning line. He has shown the ability to go to the front, stalk, or close from well off the pace. Bittel Roadʼ's versatility is an asset he needs to have any chance at winning this race from a very tough outside post going a mile.In his debut, Bittel Road wired the field sprinting at Belmont, running his last 1/8 of a mile in a fast: 11 3/5. In his next start he stretched out in distance to 2 turns in a stake at Saratoga. After being bumped at the start, he quickly moved up into good striking position. In deep stretch he showed plenty of grit to earn a hard fought head decision over Skipadate, who came back to run a strong second in his next start in the G3 Summer Stakes at Woodbine. Bittel Road would next get his sternest test in his young career when facing 11 rivals in the G3 Bourbon at Keeneland. Breaking from post 1, he found himself farther off the pace than ever before. Racing eleventh down the backstretch, Bittel Road sustained a strong closing rally to once again get up at the wire. There is no disputing his determination. Bittel Road has had the advantage of breaking from posts 1 and 2 in his last 2 starts stretching out to 1-1/16 miles. In the Juvenile Turf, he wonʼ't be as lucky. He must cut back in distance to a mile, and overcome a potential wide trip over sharp turns and a full field. Trainer Todd Pletcher has had a good year, but I feel with the stock he gets, he has underachieved. Pletcherʼ's record in winning BC races is poor. When you combine all these factors, as well as probably being overbet, he is vulnerable. Even so, his form is too good to ignore, and as a result he must be considered in your exotic wagers.

Fourth Selection: (10) SKIPADATE (Casse Mark/Bridgmohan S X)

If you're using Bittel Road in your plays, then Skipadate must also be considered. The two met in the With Anticipation stakes at Saratoga on August 29, with Bittel Road defeating Skipadate by a head. These 2 colts went their separate ways for their final prep for the BC, with Bittel Road heading to Keeneland and Skjipadate to Woodbine for the G3 Summer Stakes. Skipadate ran a solid second, beaten just a head. He would have won if Patrick Husbands did not make a premature move to the lead approaching the stretch. Husbands is off for the BC and Shaun Bridgemohan is back aboard. Like Bittel Road, Skipadate, who breaks just inside that rival, must overcome a tough outside post and a possible wide trip. With Coronet of a Baron and Ninth Client expected to go out to the lead and set at least an honest pace or faster, horses like Skipadate can get the right pace scenario to help their closing rally.

Wagering Strategy

* A win and place bet on (#3)WESTPHALIA
* Main Exacta box 3-4
* Smaller Exacta part-wheel 3-4 over 7-10-11, reversing for a small amount

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Race 7 - SENTIENT FLIGHT GROUP BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT 6f Grade I 3yo and up, Purse: $2,000,000. Post Time: 5:15 ET

Race Synopsis
The Sprint is always stacked with speed and a blistering pace can be expected. Black Seventeen, Cost Of Freedom, and Fabulous Strike are the quickest, which should insure a fast pace. Horses sitting in stalking position will have the opportunity to attack and take over if any of the speed backs up. Horses, who like to lay back and make one run, such as Midnight Lute and Street Boss, will have every opportunity to run by if they can avoid traffic problems.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 COST OF FREEDOM 4/1
2 STREET BOSS 3/1
3 FABULOUS STRIKE 4/1
4 MIDNIGHT LUTE 7/2
5 FIRST DEFENCE 12/1
6 BLACK SEVENTEEN 15/1
7 IN SUMMATION 10/1
8 SING BABY SING 30/1
9 FATAL BULLET 6/1

First Selection: (4) MIDNIGHT LUTE (Baffert Bob/Gomez G K)

From Day 1, this son of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner (and Bob Baffert trainee) Real Quiet showed a world of ability and potential. He won 3 of his first 4 starts, including a dominant victory in the G3 Perryville at Keeneland, with the lone defeat being a close 2nd place finish off a year layoff. However, in his next four starts Midnight Lute failed to win. The pattern was similar, in that he would rate off the pace, made a strong move into contention, then flatten out. Baffled, trainer Bob Baffert tried many different things, but finally determined that it was a breathing problem that was preventing Midnight Lute from becoming the star that he believed he could be. When Lute would make his strong move in a race, his airway would basically shut off, and thus he would lose his head of steam.To correct this, Midnight Lute had relatively simple surgery performed that would prevent any further entrapment of the epiglottis, which was the cause of the breathing difficulties. This was done after his disappointing fourth place finish as the favorite in last year’s G2 Commonwealth. Baffert then started from scratch with Lute’s training, and 4-1/2 months later entered him in the G1 Forego at Saratoga. Baffert was very confident going into that race, feeling that the surgery would make a big difference, as Lute was training like a monster for the race. Little did Baffert know just how profound an impact it would make for Lute. Showing more tactical speed than usual, Lute sat close to the pace, then when let loose by his rider, he exploded through the stretch to win in dominant fashion while leaving his field very strung out behind. Second place finisher Benny The Bull, a subsequent multiple G1 winner, could not get near Lute that day, and if you believe in speed figures, Lute’s performance in the Forego earned the highest figure of any race anywhere in this country in 2007.With that amazing performance to build on, Midnight Lute was made the favorite for the BC Sprint at Monmouth Park. The track was very sloppy that day, and having never raced on a wet track, there was some question as to whether or not Lute could handle it. Falling far back early, he inhaled the field in the stretch and earned himself champion sprinter honors in the process. He subsequently finished 2nd in the G1 Cigar Mile, but returning just four weeks after two such powerful performances, it was understandable that he was a little flat for that race.There was much anticipation for Midnight Lute’s return from an extended 9-month layoff in the August 24 Pat O’Brien Handicap at Del Mar. However, it was a disaster from start to finish, and a race that we can safely toss out. Lute was fractious in the gate and had to be backed out. When the gates opened, he then severely ‘grabbed a quarter’, meaning that he stepped on his front foot with his rear hoof, the same injury that forced the retirement of Big Brown. Racing with that injured hoof, Lute was in severe traffic all the way, never having a chance to make a move, and at the top of the stretch he was wisely eased up by jockey Garrett Gomez, who sensed that something was very wrong.Baffert has had his work cut out for him since then, but has found success while keeping the injured hoof covered with a protective plate. The plate will come off for this race, but is in place most of the time to prevent any possibility of derailing the healing process. In the meantime, Lute has once again been training like a monster, just as he did prior to last year’s Forego and BC Sprint. His four most recent works have been over this track, and the last three have been spectacular bullet drills that leave little doubt that Lute will enter this race as fit and ready as he can be. But what about his antics in the gate prior to the Pat O’Brien, and the subsequent disastrous start? “I finally have him where I had him last year,” Baffert said recently. “I took the blinkers off of him. He stood perfect in the gate and he broke like a shot.”This year’s sprint division is not particularly strong, especially with the retirement of leader Benny The Bull. Midnight Lute is one of the few top-class sprinters in this year’s BC Sprint field, and all indications are that he is back to the level of his championship season of 2007. He’s coming off a 2-month break, but he won the Forego off a layoff twice as long, and Baffert won the 1992 BC Sprint with Thirty Slews off very similar 2-month layoff. There’s enough speed in this field to set up Lute’s powerful stretch run, and I believe we’ll see it in this race. He drew post 4, which is just fine, but his chances will really seem to hinge on whether or not he breaks cleanly and alertly.

Second Selection: (2) STREET BOSS (Headley Bruce/Flores D R)

A model of consistency throughout the year while rising to the top of the ladder in the California sprint division, this Bruce Headley trainee has won 6 of 8 starts in 2008, with the two losses being by less than one length combined. You don’t get any more reliable than that, and he’s done it over four different surfaces and at four different distances. That being said, I don’t believe that the California sprint division is particularly strong this year, which tempers my enthusiasm for this colt a little bit.After winning his third allowance race of the year on April 14 Street Boss took on stakes company for the fist time in the G3 Los Angeles Hcp on May 10. Taking advantage of the hot pace, he rallied from dead last to win in swift time, although the field that he beat was barely of G3 quality. Stepping up in class off a freshening on July 5, he stretched out to 7F and once again rallied from last to win the G1 Triple Bend. The 2nd place finisher is a nice horse, but not a G1 horse, and the rest of the field was also far from stellar, yet Street Boss did what he needed to do to take home top prize.Seeking to confirm his status as the best sprinter in California, Headley next entered Street Boss in the G1 Bing Crosby on July 27 at Del Mar. In that race he was dead last for a half mile, then unleashed a powerful stretch run to circle his field and be clear on the wire. However, that victory was aided by a clear outside/closer’s bias, as well as a hot pace set by the leaders, and once again, in my opinion, it was not a true Grade 1 field. Nonetheless, Street Boss was clearly the ‘best of the west’ in the sprint division, and he earned a freshening before his next start.Coming off a 2-month break for his final ‘prep’ for the BC Sprint, Street Boss was made a heavy odds-on favorite in the G1 Ancient Title over this track and distance on Sept 27. He got an excellent prep that day, but his rally fell short of catching upstart winner Cost Of Freedom, and Street Boss had no excuse other than that he ran out of ground. He would have won at 6.5 furlongs, but that wasn’t the distance of the race, nor is it the distance of the BC Sprint. However, it should be noted that he did have to break from post 1 that day, and post 1 in 6F sprints at the current meet has been a ‘kiss of death’, so his 2nd place finish does come with somewhat of an alibi.He may very well go favored in the BC Sprint, and he deserves much respect as the best sprinter throughout the year in California, but I believe that a fresher horse of proven Grade 1 ability can beat Street Boss today. It won’t be easy, as he figures to fire his ‘A’ race once again, but he’s drawn another inside slot, and the 2-hole hasn’t been all that much better than the rail post this meet.

Third Selection: (9) FATAL BULLET (Baker Reade/Da Silva Eurico)

Fatal Bullet, a Canadian Based 3 year old, would be no surprise if he were to upset this field at a price. He has raced 10 times, winning 7 races and placing once. His only 2 off the board finishes were on the grass as a 2 year old, and in the G2 Woody Stevens in June, going 7F, which is too far for him. He’s a monster at 6F, and that is the distance he will be traveling in the BC Sprint. Fatal Bullet is 5 for 5 for at this distance, all over synthetic surfaces. He has superb tactical speed, and whenever he’s had the lead turning for home, Fatal Bullet has never lost. His quality cannot be disputed. What Fatal Bullet must prove is whether he can step up to the next level and handle the major contenders based in southern California, who have proven themselves over the Pro-Ride track. I am more concerned about that than the fact that he is a 3 year old. Fatal Bullet has had one workout over the Pro-Ride and it was ok, not great. He will have to get by Fabulous Strike to get first run ahead of Midnight Lute and Street Boss. In my opinion, it’s those 2 closers that he will have to hold off to earn the top prize.

Fourth Selection: (3) FABULOUS STRIKE (Beattie Todd M/Dominguez R A)

Fabulous Strike ships in from his home base at Presque Isle Downs in Eire, Pennsylvania. Top Mid-Atlantic trainer Todd Beattie uses this synthetic racing surface to prepare his runners for future races out of town. This 5 year old gelding has had his share of physical problems which have sidelined him several times in his career. After Fabulous Strike annihilated the field in last year’s Grade 1 Vosburgh, there was no doubt he was going to be a force to reckon with in the BC Sprint at Monmouth Park. Unfortunately, he injured himself once again training for the race, and had to be sidelined for 9 months. He resurfaced at Delaware Park in June in a small stake against just 2 other opponents. It was essentially a paid public workout as the 1-9 favorite. Off just that race, Beattie shipped him to Belmont for another crack at the Vosburgh. Despite just one easy race under his belt this year, and another break after it, Fabulous Strike proved he was back, putting in a very gritty performance to lose by just a head. He did this despite racing on a sloppy track and battling throughout along a bad rail. He also had to have his shoe replaced by the blacksmith in the paddock before the race. It was not as strong a renewal of that race as last year’s, but the main objective was to get him fit enough for a well-deserved appearance in the BC Sprint.Fabulous Strike came out of that race in fine order, and is now ready to take on some hard-knocking west coast sprinters, several of whom are proven over the Santa Anita Pro Ride surface. It’s a tall task for this 5 year old gelding. What you must admire about Fabulous Strike is that in his 16-race career, he has won at 6 different race tracks. Unlike past BC Sprints, there is not an abundance of early speed lined up for this race. Fabulous Strike has shown that he is not the type of horse who spurts away from the field early on. He wants to duel and look a horse right in the eye. I refer to these horses as the gladiators of the sport.Not many people know trainer Todd Beattie, but there is no one better at developing speed horses and getting them to peak at the right time. I feel Fabulous Strike will be breathing fire as he enters the starting gate. Like many horses shipping in to Santa Anita, he has no experience over the Pro-Ride surface, but the fact that he trains over a synthetic surface is a plus. Ramon Dominguez, who is one of the top riders in the north east, has ridden Fabulous Strike 4 times, winning 3 races and running second once.

Wagering Strategy

* A win bet on (#4)MIDNIGHT LUTE
* Exacta box 2-4-9
* Press with exactas 4-2, 4-9, reversing each for half as much
* Smaller exacta 4-3, no reverse
* Trifecta box 2-3-4-9 = $24 for a $1 wager
* Begin a Pick 3 with three tickets:
TICKET 1: 2-3-4-9 / 3-4-9-10-11 / 4-9 = $40 for a $1 wager
TICKET 2: 4 / 3-4-9-10-11 / 1-2-3-4-9-11 = $30 for a $1 wager
TICKET 3: 2-4 / 3-4 / 4-9 = $16 for a $2 wager

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Race 8 - EMIRATES AIRLINES BREEDERS' CUP TURF 1 1/2m (Turf) Grade I 3yo and up, Purse: $3,000,000. Post Time: 6:00 ET

Race Synopsis
The maiden Red Rock Canyon ships in for Aiden OʼBrien, solely to be a rabbit, to help set up stable mate Soldier Of Fortune, who likes to close from off the pace. These same tactics were used to great success in helping Duke Of Marmalade to several of his victories. The pace will be honest because of the rabbit, which will set the race up well for horses sitting in mid-pack and further off the pace. A perfectly timed move is absolutely necessary in this type of pace scenario.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 BETTER TALK NOW 10/1
2 RED ROCKS 5/1
3 GRAND COUTURIER 6/1
4 SOLDIER OF FORTUNE 7/2
5 WINCHESTER 15/1
6 DANCING FOREVER 10/1
7 RED ROCK CANYON 30/1
8 SPRING HOUSE 10/1
9 CONDUIT 6/1
10 OUT OF CONTROL 10/1
11 EAGLE MOUNTAIN 6/1
RONNE'S DREAM

First Selection: (3) GRAND COUTURIER (Ribaudo Robert J/Garcia A)

If there is a sharper horse than Grand Couturier running in the BC this year, please let me know. This 5 year old enters the Turf in the best form of his career. With explosive “eye catching” victories in both the G1 Sword Dancer and the G1 Turf Classic, there is reason to think that he poses a major threat to take down the top prize in this race despite expected square odds.A G1 winner at this 1-1/2 mile distance in 2007, Grand Couturier was a fast closing third in a minor stakes race June 19 at Belmont off an 8-month layoff. In the G1 Man O’War, he was a troubled sixth after hitting the rail and then becoming very rank early in the race. Considering his trip, he was only beaten 3-1/2 lengths by the top class Red Rocks, who is a major contender in the Turf. 35 days later in the G1 Sword Dancer, Grand Couturier won easily despite stumbling in mid-stretch when forced to steady hard, losing all momentum. He was really tons the best in that race.His Turf Classic win was monstrous. He was bumped on the backstretch, squeezed back while in tight near the quarter pole, then had to angle out into the lane for racing room. Near the furlong pole Grand Couturier flew by the leaders as if they were tied to post. Through the stretch, jockey Alan Garcia did nothing more than hand-ride him to a 10 length victory. Both the Sword Dancer and Turf Classic were run on good and soft grass courses. On Saturday he will be racing on a turf course which is quite hard. However, that should pose little problem for him. Grand Couturier won last year’s G1 Sword Dancer easily over last year’s champion turf horse, English Channel, over firm ground. He did benefit by a blistering pace, but on the far turn he was only 2-1/2 lengths behind the leaders after making a premature middle move into the fastest part of the pace. There is not much early speed in the Turf, which could result in a slow pace. Grand Couturier and the other closers could be at a disadvantage. However, the way he is running right now, and the fact that he has a strong burst of acceleration to put him into striking position approaching the stretch, makes him capable of overcoming a pace scenario that might not be ideal.

Second Selection: (4) SOLDIER OF FORTUNE (O'brien Aidan P/Murtagh John P)

4-year-old son of top European stamina sire Galileo comes into this race off a strong 3rd place finish in the Arc, a race he may have needed off a 3+ month layoff. With that return race under his girth, he should be able to produce his best effort today, and if he does, then he has a big chance of winning this race.Soldier of Fortune showed steady progress last year at age 3, and among his 4 wins from 6 starts during 2007 was a 9-length romp in the Irish Derby over a field that included Eagle Mountain. He followed that 1-1/2 mile victory with another one at the same distance in the G2 Prix Niel, then ended his campaign with a 5th place finish in the 2007, where he was beaten by just over 2 lengths. Having established himself as a top-class horse at 1-1/2 miles during his 3yo season, Soldier of Fortune has raced exclusively at that distance in three starts this year. He won the prestigious G1 Coronation Cup to begin his year, beating a very strong ‘key’ race field, then could not quite get to the winner when finishing a close 2nd in the G1 Grand Prix de Saint’Cloud on June 29.After getting 3 months off and returning with a strong third place finish in the Arc behind Europe’s Horse of the Year, Zarkava, Soldier of Fortune should be sitting on a top effort for Aidan O’Brien, who’s been written about many times already in this sheet. Although he usually comes from off the pace, Soldier also can stalk if necessary, which may be the case in this field that has little proven early speed outside of his stablemate Red Rock Canyon, who will serve as a ‘rabbit’ in this race to try to ensure an honest pace. He also gets a rider switch back to Johnny Murtagh, who’s won 3 of the 4 times he’s been aboard, all in G1 or G2 races.

Third Selection: (10) OUT OF CONTROL (Frankel Robert J/Gomez G K)

This Brazilian bred 5yo horse has run remarkably well in turf races this year and is just 1-1/4 length shy of having won three G1 races. The last three times that he’s raced on turf he’s lost by a nose, a head, and 1 length, and all three races have been G1 contests. That’s either the sign of a ‘hanger’ or a rather unlucky horse, and I don’t consider this Bobby Frankel trainee to be a ‘hanger’. He led in the final yards of the G1 Manhattan on June 7, only to be nipped right on the wire by a fast-closing Dancing Forever. Coming off a short layoff Aug 30, Out Of Control was asked to race on dirt for the first time in 17 months and just spun his wheels in a ‘toss out’ race. Returning to turf Sept 27 in the G1 Clement L Hirsch over this turf course, he ran the race of his career to miss by just a head to Red Giant. The two of them laid it down in the stretch that day over a hard course similar to what is expected today, and just a head separated them on the wire. They were both far clear of the rest of the field, and the final clocking of that race in 1:57 flat for 1-1/4 miles set a new world record.Could Out of Control ‘bounce’ off such a big performance? He sure could, but he could also repeat it, having proven himself over the kind of footing he’ll get today, and if he does, then he can win this. He projects to sit relatively close to the pace, but the real concern is that he’s never raced beyond 1-1/4 miles, and this is perhaps not the ideal time to be testing him out at a new distance.

Fourth Selection: (11) EAGLE MOUNTAIN (De Kock Michael F/Shea Kevin B)

Eagle Mountain makes his second start off a one-year layoff for trainer Michael de Kock. He was transferred to de Kock after having raced for Aidan Oʼ'Brien as a 2 and 3 year old. The trainer change is a lateral move, as de Kock is the king of South African racing and can be considered as potent as Oʼ'Brien, especially with new acquisitions.In 14 starts, Eagle Mountain has raced in Group stakes 12 times, 6 of them in Group 1 events. As a 3 year old he proved his class with a strong second in the prestigious Group 1 Epsom Derby. He was beaten a nose as a 3 year old against older in the Group 1 Champion Stakes while 3 lengths clear of the classy Doctor Dino. In his return Oct 3 at Newmarket in a Group 3, he won a 4-horse blanket finish. de Kock might be rushing him back too soon off that hard fought win, but I am not going to second guess what may be up his sleeve. Eagle Mountain has shown he handles the 1-1/2 mile distance. Keven Shea, who was aboard in his last start, rides him back in the Turf.

Wagering Strategy

* A win and place bet on (#3)GRAND COUTURIER
* Main Exacta box 3-4
* Smaller exacta part-wheel 3-4 over 9-10-11

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Race 9 - BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC 1 1/4m Grade I 3yo and up, Purse: $5,000,000. Post Time: 6:45 ET

Race Synopsis
There is not much early speed lined up for the Classic, which is the reason the connections of Fairbanks opted for this much tougher spot than the Marathon, a race in which he would have been favored. He is expected to take the lead and try to slow down the pace. Even if Fairbanks is successful in doing this, it is highly unlikely he will be able to hold off several of the more classy contenders in here who will be attacking him on the far turn. Both stalkers and closers will have ample opportunity to win the Classic, but must run the race of their life to defeat champion Curlin.

The Field from the rail out
# Name ML
1 GO BETWEEN 8/1
2 CASINO DRIVE 10/1
3 TIAGO 15/1
4 DUKE OF MARMALADE 10/1
5 HENRYTHENAVIGATOR 10/1
6 SMOOTH AIR 50/1
7 STUDENT COUNCIL 20/1
8 RAVEN'S PASS 6/1
9 CURLIN 7/5
10 FAIRBANKS 10/1
11 COLONEL JOHN 20/1
12 CHAMPS ELYSEES 15/1

First Selection: (4) DUKE OF MARMALADE (O'brien Aidan P/Murtagh John P)

Curlin is expected to be the overwhelming favorite to win this yearʼs BC Classic, and deservingly so. The great equalizer this year is the Pro-Ride surface. No matter what your past accomplishments have been over conventional dirt surfaces, you still must prove that you can duplicate that form over this surface. Even Curlin may be vulnerable. There are a few "wild cards", who could pull off the upset. Obviously Casino Drive is one of those, but the most interesting dark horse could be the European shipper Duke Of Marmalade. Trained by the great Aidan OʼBrien, Duke makes his U.S. debut with a lofty reputation and at the top of his game. He has won 5 of his 6 starts this year, all in Group 1 races. His lone defeat this year was a seventh place finish in the Prix deʼl Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp just 20 days ago, beaten less than 4 lengths by the super filly Zarakava. It appears that the Arc was used as a "sharpener" for t he Classic. What is most interesting is that if Duke Of Marmalade was entered in the BC Turf, he would be the favorite. His connections obviously feel that he can handle the Pro-Ride surface, and if they are correct, we could see an upset of the leading money earner of all time.In all five Grade 1 victories, Duke was defeating top class competition. In each race, he relaxed beautifully in mid-pack, then began his run at the top of the stretch. With the exception of a 4-length win in the Prince Of Wales Stakes, each of his other 4 victories were close, hard-fought wins. This is a quality I love to see in a racehorse. It takes heart, determination, and a rider who knows his horse like the back of his hand. Regular jockey John Murtagh rides the Duke to perfection. Whenever he is facing a stiff challenge in deep stretch, Murtagh knows he has something left in the tank, refusing to let another horse to go by him. This bodes well in the Classic if he hooks up with a horse like Curlin, who also has the same tenacity.In the Classic, the Duke will carry equal weight, 126 lbs, with the exception of the 3 year olds, who will tote 5 lbs less. In 2 of 5 wins this year, he raced with 126 lbs. In the other 3, he carried 133 lbs, 131 lbs, and 128 lbs going similar distances to what he will be running in the Classic. The fact that he can carry this kind of weight is only a plus at 1-1/4 miles. Trainer Aidan OʼBrien is ranked among the greatest horseman of all time. He has not had the same kind of success in the U.S. as he has had in Europe, but with the right horse, on the right day, he can win anywhere, especially when he points a horse for a specific race like the Classic. Curlin has clearly stamped himself as one of the great horses of our era. Based on what he has accomplished this year, and how he has trained over Pro Ride, it will take a very special horses to defeat Curlin. I feel I have the right one to do it in longshot Duke Of Marmalade, who is 10-1 on the morning line.

Second Selection: (9) CURLIN (Asmussen Steven M/Albarado R J)

An awful lot was riding on Curlin’s back as he strode down the Santa Anita stretch in a public workout between races on October 13. It was his second and final official work over the track, after which trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Jess Jackson would decide if their star would participate in the BC Classic for a second straight year. Breeders’ Cup racing officials, Oak Tree racing officials, and the racing world as a whole held their breath during the work and then overnight as Curlin’s connections discussed and determined their course of action.Tuesday morning came, and the new was all good; Curlin had come out of his almost effortless work in perfect shape, and would defend his title in the BC Classic. With the recent retirements of superstar Big Brown and European superstar Zarkava, this year’s Breeders’ Cup greatly needed it’s lone remaining marquee name to participate, and as he’s done all along, owner Jess Jackson has made the “sporting” decision with his Horse Of The Year.It’s really remarkable to think that Curlin has gone from an unraced maiden to the all-time North American leading money earner among thoroughbreds in well under two years. He’s won two of the world’s premier races during that time, the BC Classic and the Dubai World Cup, he’s won a Triple Crown race, he’s won the prestigious Jockey Club Gold Cup twice, and he’s done it all while staying in training almost the entire time. His only real break between races was the four months from last year’s BC Classic to his Dubai ‘prep’ on Feb 28.
In just his third career start last year, Curlin roared to a spectacular 10-length victory in the G2 Arkansas Derby, a race that made him one of the top choices in the Kentucky Derby. Going up against history, which said that Curlin was too lightly-raced to win the Kentucky Derby, he still put in a stellar performance, overcoming some adversity to finish third of twenty horses behind juvenile champion Street Sense and the more experienced Hard Spun.The experience that Curlin gained in the Derby showed its value when he returned two weeks later for Preakness. In that race he overcame another less than stellar trip to turn the tables on champion Street Sense, out-gaming that rival through a stirring stretch duel. In doing so, he established himself among the elite of his generation, but it was really just the beginning of an amazing streak that has brought him to this year’s Classic.In the G1 Belmont Stakes, the rigors of the Triple Crown began to show on Curlin, yet he still put in another memorable performance, this time hooking up in the stretch with champion filly Rags To Riches. She just got the better of him by a head after that historic stretch battle, but Curlin continued to show the heart of a champion while making his third grueling start in five weeks.Curlin’s only ‘disappointing’ race followed two months later when he was heavily favored in the G1 Haskell, but checked in a disappointing third, still not quite himself after competing so gallantly in all three Triple Crown races. Realizing that he may have asked his rising star to do too much too soon, Steve Asmussen gave Curlin nearly two more months before his next race, and when he returned Sept 30 to face older horses for the first time in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, he was better than ever. He got the better of favored older horse Lawyer Ron after yet another memorable stretch duel, with both of them well clear of the rest of the field.That victory set Curlin up for the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race that, unfortunately, was to be run over a very sloppy track at Monmouth, the site of his disappointing performance just three months earlier. Curlin had never raced over a wet track before, but that didn’t seem to matter as he proved to be much the best, this time avoiding any kind of stretch duel while leaving a stellar field in his wake.After earning more than $5 million in 2007, Curlin was given a few months off while being pointed to the world’s richest race, the G1 Dubai World Cup. That would be his chance to show on a worldwide stage just how good he was, and after an effortless prep race over the Nad Al Sheba track on Feb 28, it was all systems go for the World Cup. In what was probably his career-best performance, Curlin humbled the best dirt horses that the rest of the world could offer in an performance nothing short of breathtaking.Horses that go to Dubai for the World Cup and the other rich international races on that card often take a long time to recover upon returning to the U.S., and a great many never regain their top form. Curlin, however, bounced back from the long journey and his two races over there quite quickly, and just 2-1/2 months later was continuing his march toward history with a resounding win in the G1 Stephen Foster, never asked for nearly his best to win that prestigious race at Churchill Downs. Having conquered the racing world on dirt, Curlin’s connections gave serious consideration to running him in Europe’s premier turf race, the Arc d’Triomphe. First, though, they needed to test Curlin on turf in this country, so they chose the G1 Man O’War on July 12. It’s a good thing that they did ‘test’ him that day, because although he put in a stellar effort, he also showed that he isn’t nearly the same on grass as he is on dirt. His steady rally could net him no better than second place, but he was hardly embarrassed, as the only horse to beat him was former BC Turf winner Red Rocks.With their experiment behind them, Asmussen and Jackson redirected Curlin back to the main track, where he won the G1 Woodward at Saratoga on Aug 30. That race was a little alarming, in that Curlin actually had to work a little to get the job done over some rivals who were really not Grade 1 caliber. Yet he did get the job done after racing wide all the way, and those who thought that he was perhaps ‘over the top’ were relieved when he returned Sept 27 to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup for a second time. In that race Curlin had to rally against a strong speed bias, but he did so while not asked for his best, an excellent final ‘prep’ for a return engagement in the BC Classic.The main concern with running Curlin in this year’s Classic was the fact that he has never competed on a synthetic surface. Now that he’s shown a fondness for it, he’ll once again be the one that all of the other entrants are gunning for. 6 for 7 lifetime at this distance, with the only loss being in the Kentucky Derby, Curlin will seek to become just the second 2-time winner of the Classic, joining another Horse Of The Year, Tiznow, in the record books. It’s another tough task for a horse who has already been asked so many other times, but he’s come through like a true champion nearly every time out, and it would be no surprise to see him do so again here.

Third Selection: (11) COLONEL JOHN (Harty Eoin/Prado E S)

Colonel John showed right from the start as a two year old, that he could develop into a top class 3 year old. He broke his maiden second time out, stalking the pace and then drawing clear in the stretch with complete authority. In his final 2 starts as a 2 year old Colonel John was taken off the pace, winning the Real Quiet Stakes by 3 lengths in his first start around 2 turns and then returning with a strong second in the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity. He was then given 2-1/2 months off to begin his quest for the Kentucky Derby.
In his first two starts as a 3 year old, Colonel John won the Grade 3 Sham and then scored a hard-fought victory in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. With 4 wins in 6 starts and 2 second place finishes, he would enter the gate at Churchill Downs as a major contender to win the Kentucky Derby. The key question Colonel John would have to answer was whether or not he could transfer is excellent California form over synthetic surfaces to conventional dirt. Like all the other 3 year olds in the starting gate, 1-1/4 mile trip was uncharted territory. Colonel John now had two obstacles to overcome. As soon as the gates opened, he was forced to steady, and he soon found himself in sixteenth place. With a sudden burst of acceleration, Colonel John went from 12 lengths back to 2 lengths behind the leader midway on the far turn. He was unable to sustain any rally afterwards, dropping back to sixth, beaten 14 lengths at the wire. On closer inspection, Colonel John had run a much better race than it looked on paper.He was given 2-1/2 months to recover from the rigors of the Derby trail. Now back on a synthetic surface at Hollywood Park, he ran a good third in the G2 Swaps, forcing the pace from the start in a 4 horse field. Colonial John was shipped across country to try his hand in the G1 Travers at Saratoga, a race known as the Midsummer Derby. Despite breaking in the air in a 12 horse field, he was able to quickly recover to chase the pace. He battled for the lead at the top of the stretch. As soon as he was able to surge to the lead, he was quickly joined by the sharp and improving Mambo In Seattle, who was bearing down hard on the far outside. In the closest finish I have ever seen short of a dead heat, Colonel John got the victory. Not only did he show his heart and determination, he did it over a dirt track at Saratoga, which is very difficult for a horse to win on, especially against horses that had a race over the track, or had worked over the surface.Since that race back in late August, trainer Eoin Harty did the wise thing to give him another break after such a hard effort. Colonel John has been working brilliantly over the Pro-Ride track here ever since. Even though he has never raced over it, he is 3 for 3 at Santa Anita. Colonel John has proven to be a top class 3 year old who still has plenty of upside. Garrett Gomez rides him to perfection. He can be placed anywhere in the race. Colonel John may not have the same credentials as others in the race, but one thing you know is that he will show up with his “A” race. That may be good enough to land a piece of the pie at a big price.

Fourth Selection: (2) CASINO DRIVE (Fujisawa K/Espinoza V)

There is a possibility that the biggest challenge to Curlin in his quest for a second BC Classic victory will come from this lightly-raced, American bred, Japanese based colt who has a mere three races on his resume. It’s almost unthinkable that a 3-year-old colt with just three lifetime races might win the richest race in the United States, but Casino Drive has done everything like a top-class racehorse should, and he is in the hands of a trainer who has been called the “Charlie Wittingham” of Japan for his vast accomplishments and knowledge of racing.Casino Drive was no secret in his debut in Japan on Feb 23, winning by 11-1/2 lengths at minuscule odds of 1-5. He ran away from 12 rivals going 1-1/8 miles on a wet dirt track, stamping himself as a potential star from the very start.With just that one race behind him, Casino Drive was shipped to this country to prepare for an assault on the G1 Belmont Stakes. That race was chosen because he is a half-brother to the colt who won the 2006 Belmont, Jazil, as well as the filly who beat Curlin in the 2007 Belmont, Rags To Riches. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite despite his lack of racing experience, Casino Drive stalked the pace like an old pro and then drew off to a dominant win in outstanding time, never asked to fully extend himself. The belief is that Casino Drive probably would have won the Belmont, given Big Brown’s inexplicably terrible performance that day, but we’ll never know. In the days leading up to the Belmont he developed a bruised foot, and was forced to miss the race. He did not resume serious training until August, giving his connections little time to prepare him for a chance in the Classic. Still not fully prepared, he nonetheless was entered in a ‘prep’ race over this track on October 12. He did everything perfectly that day, racing 3-wide all the way while sitting patiently just off the pace under Victor Espinoza. When asked for a little run, Casino Drive took control of the race and won by a measured margin, barely breaking a sweat in little more than a paid workout. But, it was an extremely valuable workout, as it showed that he had no ill effects from his foot injury, and it also showed that he’s just as classy on this Pro-Ride surface as he is on a dirt track. But is he prepared enough to take on champion Curlin and several other very classy rivals, most of whom are older and vastly more experienced? Well, the possibility exists that this horse is at least as classy as any of his rivals, because we’ve never really seen just what he can do when asked for his best, and he’s still won all three of his races very easily. I think that he will improve significantly today off his Oct 12 prep, and that would make him a serious contender. It would be wonderful if he were forced to look Curlin in the eye in the stretch and show us just what he’s really made of. If so, Curlin just might be in for the fight of his life.

Fifth Selection: (1) GO BETWEEN (Mott William I/Gomez G K)

With a stellar record both on synthetic tracks and at the 1-1/4 mile distance of the Classic, this Bill Mott trainee must be considered a top contender. He’s earned more than $2.7 million on the strength of victories in such rich races as the Sunshine Millions Classic and the G1 Pacific Classic, as well as strong second place finishes in the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup and the G1 Santa Anita Handicap, both at today’s 1-1/4 mile distance. A versatile son of champion Point Given, Go Between can stalk or rally from off the pace with equal effectiveness. He’s been at his best on synthetic tracks, with his Pacific Classic, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Santa Anita Handicap efforts coming over three different synthetic surfaces. Given that he handled all three of them so well, one must imagine that he’ll also like this new Pro-Ride surface. Although he’s coming off a 2-month layoff, he’s shown in the past that he can be very effective when fresh, and Mott is one of the best in the business at having a horse ready off a layoff, particularly when being pointed to a top race. Let’s not forget that it was Mott who directed the great Cigar through his championship campaigns and his victory in the BC Classic.

The Remainder of the Field (In order of preference)
(3) TIAGO (Shirreffs John/Smith M E)

Once known as the ‘little brother’ of Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, Tiago has earned a name for himself over the last two years by winning two Grade 1 and two Grade 2 races, as well as placing in numerous others. After winning the G2 Oaklawn Hcp on April 5 Tiago put in two very disappointing performances in May and June, leading to trainer John Shirreffs giving him the summer off. Many tests were run, and it was determined that there was nothing wrong with Tiago, so Shirreffs went back to the drawing board to try to map out a plan to get Tiago to the Breeders’ Cup in his backyard.Coming off a 3-month break on Sept 27 in his ‘prep’ in the G1 Goodwood, Tiago looked like he would retain his dull form, lagging dead last until the eighth pole. However, at that point he really exploded, passing 8 of the 9 horses in front of him to get up for 2nd while flying thru his final furlong in about :11-2/5. Better late than never, I guess. The late interest that he showed that day, as well as the powerful late kick, bodes well for the additional furlong that he’ll get to work with today. He’s a late threat for at least a minor award, and his odds should be attractive.

Wagering Strategy

* A win and place bet on (#4)DUKE OF MARMALADE
* Exacta box 4-9
* Trifecta part-wheel 4-9 over 1-2-3-4-9-11 over 1-2-3-4-7-8-9-11-12 = $70 for a $1

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Judge McCoy

October 25th Breeders' Cup day

They're running the Breeders' Cup on the polytrack and that's about like playing the Masters on astro-turf. But, we've got to play the hand we're dealt if we're going to play at all.

I'm going to make three plays tomorrow, but to be honest with you I'm going to be more interested in the Kentucky - Florida football game, and hope like hell that my Cats don't get whooped too bad.

In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile they are going to ignore WEST SIDE BERNIE (#13). He aint coming from across the Atlantic or from Saratoga, and he drew a bad post, but this local Turfway winner is the real deal and will be a price. Look for him to bust things up and make some noise at long odds.

In the Sprint, another Turfway horse is going to cause more than a few tickets to be wadded up. FATAL BULLET (#9) doesn't have the fanciest resume on the card but he don't know it. He is setting track records and can run as fast as anybody in the race. I look for him to drift up to double-digit odds by post time and he is a solid play in a tough race.

In the Classic, you can set back and watch Curlin win and enjoy the race. Or, you can try to beat him. I'm in the mood to beat him and will do it with FAIRBANKS (#10). He's going to need to like the polytrack, and I think he is also going to need the lead. There is not a lot of speed in this race and I think he can make a fairly easy lead if he wants it. If he takes to the surface they might not catch him. His best Beyer number (115) is better than any horse in the race, including Curlin. He'll be overlooked, looks to be sitting on a big one, and might just be the turd in the punch bowl when its all over.

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

The Scout

Horse Racing Picks for October 25th Breeders' Cup Saturday

1st Race Breeders' Cup Marathon
SIXTIES ICON (#4) smart work at Lingfield recently which is as close to this surface as you can get in Europe, Dettori in the irons makes this chalk the obvious play.

4th Race Breeders' Cup Mile
GOLDIKOVA (#4) She has beaten the boys and has the best mile form in Europe. Hit the board 7 times in 7 tries at this distance and is clearly the choice here. Use her with SHAKIS (#1) and KIP DEVILLE (#2) in your exactas and trifectas.

5th Race Breeders' Cup Juvenile
MIDSHIPMAN (#11), SREET HERO (#8), SQUARE EDDIE (#4) look to the best of the bunch in here with Midshipman getting the nod for the win. Box them in exactas and trifectas.

7th Race Breeders' Cup Sprint
Street Boss (#2) is the champ in our eyes and one of our strongest plays of the day. He was beaten by COST OF FREEDOM last time out but he was under "tender handling" with this race being the obvious focus for the connections. Look for him to turn the tables today.

8th Race Breeders' Cup Turf
EAGLE MOUNTAIN (#11) is a real 1 1/4 mile horse in Europe and that is what you need to be to win this 1 1/2 mile race in America. Might sound odd, but the tactical speed of a European 1 1/4 mile horse is the key to success here. The likely favourite, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, is too much of a galloper and will not be in position to win when the running starts. Use WINCHESTER (#5) and GRAND COUTURIER (#3) to fill out your trifecta.

9th Race Breeders' Cup Classic
CURLIN is the champ and will be tough to beat, but we'll give it a go with DUKE OF MARMALADE (#4) who is one tough customer and a real street-fighter. When it becomes time to run, CURLIN may not want to look this one in the eye. This has the makings of a classic stretch duel reminiscent of Giants Causeway and Tiznow.

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Kelso Sturgeon

Race 1...5-4-3-6
Race 2...14-3-2-5
Race 3...8-10-4
Race 4...11-4-10-2
Race 5...12-4-11-13
Race 6...4-7-6-12
Race 7...3-2-9
Race 8...4-11-2-3
Race 9...1-9-11-4

Betting
Race 1 #5 BB Longshot W/P, 4 Horse Box For Ex And Tri
Race 2 4 Horse Ex Box, BB 4 Horse Tri Box
Race 3 #8 BB Win, BB 4 Horse Ex Box, 4 Horse Tri Box
Race 4 #11 BB Win, 4 Horse Ex And Tri Box
Race 5 #12 W/P, 4 Horse Ex And Tri Box
Race 6 #4 Win, 4 Horse Ex And Tri Box
Race 7 #3 Win, BB Ex Box, Tri Box
Race 8 #4 Win, 4 Horse Ex Box, BB Tri Box
Race 9 #1 BB Longshot W/P, 4 Horse Ex And Tri Box

BB= Best Bet
W/P= Bet Win And Place

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Looking for Donn Wagner (hit 2 out of 3 yesterday with a 12-1 WINNER).

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Vegas Runner

BONUS BREEDERS BETS : (4 Units Wagered in All)

RACE 3 (DIRT MILE) 1* :

1.) #3 SLEW'S TIZZY (1/4* WIN & 1/4* PLACE)

2.) MY PAL CHARLIE (1/4* WIN & 1/4* PLACE)


RACE 5 (JUVENILE) 2* BEST BET :

1.) #1 MUNNINGS (1* WIN & 1* PLACE)


RACE 9 (CLASSIC) 1* :

1.) #4 DUKE OF MARMALADE (1/4* WIN & 1/4* PLACE)

2.) #2 CASINO DRIVE (1/4* WIN & 1/4* PLACE)

TRI-BOX OPINION for CLASSIC = 4, 2, 12, 9

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

WUNDERDOG

SANTA ANITA Race #3 (THE BREEDER'S CUP DIRT MILE) at 2:30 PM Eastern

Top pick: #1 (LEWIS MICHAEL) - Highly thought of by his connections, the high octane duo of owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano. He's had in effect two careers, one before his polytrack days and the one since. He was a solid runner earlier in his career, but has really blossomed with the shift to artificial surfaces. Won a 7-furlong race at Del Mar in his 2nd start in a year and they've been pointing him for this since. Working sharply and draws the rail. The choice at a square price in a great betting race.

2nd pick: #7 (Albertus Maximus) - Solid runner is coming off his two best ever and they came off a two month break in his training. Under-rated barn (Vlad Cerin) knows how to win big races and this colt will be making his third start off the freshening (often a horse's best). Working "lights out" in the past 3 weeks and he has already run a very good race on this surface. Dangerous foe.

3rd pick: #8 (Well Armed) - World traveler has raced in England, the mid-East, and now the West Coast. Tracked a fast pace in the "Goodwood" and proved best with a game score. That win makes him one of only two entered with a win on this relatively new surface. Tractable style and has proven that he loves "synthetics" (8-5-2-0). Very dangerous.

4th pick: #4 (Mast Track) - Tired in the "Goodwood" on this surface after contesting a very fast pace from a poor post (10). In the capable barn of Bob Frankel, he'll be going third off a layoff and is a strong front-end threat.

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Anthony Stabile's Pick Pack
Breeders Cup Picks Package


Race 1: 1-4-5-8   
Race 2: 2-11-13-14
Race 3: 10-8-7-1   
Race 4: 4-2-9-11            
Race 5: 1-10-4-3
Race 6: 12-11-10-5   
Race 7: 1-2-5-7   
Race 8: 6-5-2-8   
Race 9: 9-1-10-3
Race 10 2-4-6-12
Race 11: 10-11-6-13

BREEDERS’ CUP PLAYS


Race 1: Marathon
$20 to win 1=$20
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 1,4 with 1,4,5,8 with All=$42
Total Wagers for Race 1: $62

Race 2: Turf Sprint
$1 Pick Four part-wheel 2,11 with 8,10 with 2,4 with 1,3,4,8,10,11,13=$56
Total Wagers for Race 2: $56

Race 3: Dirt Mile
$20 to win 10=$20
$10 Exacta box 8-10=$20
$1 Pick Three part-wheel 10 with 2,4,9,11 with 1,3,4,8,10,11,13=$28
Total Wagers for Race 3: $68

Race 4: Mile
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 2,4 with 2,4,9,11 with All=$54
Total Wagers for Race 4: $54

Race 5: Juvenile
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 1,10 with 1,3,4,10,13 with 1,3,4,8,10,11,13=$40
Total Wagers for Race 5: $40

Race 6: Juvenile Turf
$20 to win 12=$20
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 11,12 with 11,12 with All=$20
$1 Pick Four part-wheel 4,5,10,11,12 with 1,2,5 with 2,5,6,8 with 9=$60
$1 Pick Four part-wheel 11,12 with 1,2,5 with 2,5,6,8 with 1,9=$48
$1 Pick Four part-wheel 11,12 with 1,2,5 with 2,5,6,8 with 9=$24
$1 Pick Four part-wheel 4,5,10,11,12 with 1 with 2,5,6,8 with 9=$20
$1 Pick Four part-wheel 11,12 with 1 with 2,5,6,8 with 1,9=$16
Total Wagers for Race 6: $208

Race 7: Sprint
$15 Exacta part-wheel 1 with 2,5=$30
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 1,2,5 with 1,2,5 with All=$42
Total Wagers for Race 7: $72

Race 8: Turf
$20 to win 6=$20
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 2,5,6,8 with 2,5,6,8 with All=$108
Total Wagers for Race 8: $128

Race 9: Classic
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 1,9 with 1,9,10 with All=$40
$1 Trifecta part-wheel 1,9 with 1,2,3,9,10,11 with 1,2,3,9,10,11=$40
$1 Trifecta key 9 over 1,2,3,10,11=$20
$1 Superfecta part-wheel 9 with 1,10 with 1,2,3,10,11 with All=$72
$1 Superfecta part-wheel 1 with 9 with 2,3,10,11 with All=$36
Total Wagers for Race 9: $208

enjoy!

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

BLAZER SPORTS

Race #2  Horse #6 Storm Treasure 1* W/P/S

Race #5   Horse #12 Bush Ranger 1* W/P/S

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Donn Wagner

R3- #4 - $30 WPS
R4- #2 - $30 WPS and # 4 $20 WPS and $1 ex 2,4/all
R5- #8 - $15 WPS and #11 $15 WPS and $1 ex 8,11 /all
R6- #8 - $5 WPS
R7- #1 and #2 - 10-win,15-place,20-show and $2 EXB 1,2,9
R8- #8 - $20 WPS and $5EXB 4,8
R9- #3 - $50 WPS (BEST BET) and #2 $20 WPS
R9- $2 EXB 2,3,9,11 and $1 Tri 2,3,8,9,11

R10- #3 - $20 WPS

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

Blade wrote:


Donn Wagner

R3- #4 - $30 WPS
R4- #2 - $30 WPS and # 4 $20 WPS and $1 ex 2,4/all
R5- #8 - $15 WPS and #11 $15 WPS and $1 ex 8,11 /all
R6- #8 - $5 WPS
R7- #1 and #2 - 10-win,15-place,20-show and $2 EXB 1,2,9
R8- #8 - $20 WPS and $5EXB 4,8
R9- #3 - $50 WPS (BEST BET) and #2 $20 WPS
R9- $2 EXB 2,3,9,11 and $1 Tri 2,3,8,9,11

R10- #3 - $20 WPS

Blade...YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Breeders Cup Service Plays - Saturday

wire2wire

RACE 1 #3 346...
RACE 2 #5 2 5 13...
RACE 3 #12 7 8 12...
RACE 4 #1 1 4 11...
RACE 5 #6 146...
RACE 6 #4 4 7 11...
RACE 7 #4 124...
RACE 8 #7 247...
RACE 9 #4 489...

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