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Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes

Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes

BC - Facts and Figures
By Anthony Stabile

Favorites are 79 for 237 (33%) in the 28 year history of the event, while those that were odds on favorites (under even money) are 20 for 46 (43%). The 1990 Juvenile Fillies at Belmont produced the shortest price in Breeders' Cup history when Meadow Star returned $2.40.

Only one of the 36 horses that have gone off at 100-1 or higher have won when Arcangues came from the other side of the pond to win the 1993 Classic as the biggest longshot in Breeders' Cup history, returning $269.20.

Inside Information posted the largest margin of victory in Breeders' Cup history when she walloped her competition by 13 ½ lengths in the 1995 Distaff at Belmont. Fifteen horses have won by the shortest margin of victory, a nose, including Court Vision in the 2011 Mile.

Foreign based runners have had tremendous success in Breeders' Cup events. They've won 46 races overall, including a remarkable 37 of the 82 (45%) run on the grass. They've won five dirt and four synthetic track races.

Only 10 of the 76 attempts at winning Breeders' Cup races in consecutive years have been successful, with Goldikova accomplishing the feat twice.

Six winners have come back two years later, with Da Hoss being the lone winner.

Zenyatta is the only horse to ever win two different events.

Goldikova is the only horse to ever win three Breeders' Cup races.

Horses that have won multiple Breeders' Cup races

Bayakoa - Distaff - 1989, 1990
Conduit - Turf - 2008, 2009
Da Hoss - Mile - 1996, 1998
Goldikova - Mile - 2008, 2009, 2010
High Chapparal - Turf - 2002, 2003 (dead heat w/Johar)
Lure - Mile - 1992, 1993
Midnight Lute - Sprint - 2007, 2008
Miesque - Mile - 1987, 1988
Ouija Board - F&M Turf - 2004, 2006
Tiznow - Classic - 2000, 2001
Zenyatta - Ladies' Classic, 2008/Classic, 2009

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes

BC Classic Preview
By Mike Dempsey

Horse racing goes prime time on Saturday night, with the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) televised live on NBC during a one hour telecast that starts at 8:00 ET.

Post time for the race that likely will decide Horse of the Year honors is set for 8:35 ET, with the Bob Baffert trainee Game On Dude the 9-5 morning line favorite.

The gelding is looking to bounce back after heading for home with the lead in the Classic last year only to get run down by longshot Drosselmeyer for trainer Bill Mott.

If Game On Dude is going to get to the winner's circle this year, he is going to have to beat three Mott runners: Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Flat Out, Stephen Foster (G1) winner Ron the Greek, and Woodward (G1) victor To Honor and Serve, no easy task.

Here is a quick look at the dozen heading to the starting gate in this year's Classic:

Pool Play (30-1): Trainer Mark Casse sends out several live runners during this Breeders' Cup, but this may not be one of them, a 30-1 longshot. The seven-year-old is coming into the race off a near career top effort winning the Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (G2) at 1¼ miles, but no winner in the history of the race has won beyond the age of five-years-old.

Flat Out (5-1): This guy was my top pick last year off a good looking win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). He let us down, checking in fifth. He is back this year also winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup as his final prep, and now he has hall of fame trainer Bill Mott calling the shots, which improves his chances this year. He may have even a better shot if he does not have me weighing him down this year.

Alpha (20-1): The three-year-old was a game winner of the Travers (G1) in a deadheat with Golden Ticket, and then did not fire his best last out in a sixth place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) at Parx. The barn won this race with Invasor in 2006, but this guy does not seem as talented.

Fort Larned (5-1): He was third last out in the Jockey Club Gold Cup as the betting favorite, finishing 5 ½ lengths back of Flat Out. Can he turn the tables? He won the Whitney Handicap (G1) two back and has triple digit Beyers in five of his last six starts. He may end up getting overlooked in the betting here and is capable with his best.

Game On Dude (9-5): It is hard to get past his perfect 5 for 5 record over the main track at Santa Anita and I like the jockey switch to Rafael Bejarano, who rode him to victory in the Awesome Again (G1) in his final prep. The main knock is going to be the short price, which is going to be around 8-5 or 9-5.

Brilliant Speed (20-1): The four-year-old colt only has three wins in his career, two on turf and one on a synthetic surface. His win on the fake stuff was the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland last spring. He has lost eight races in a row and may have been better off going in the Dirt Mile.

Handsome Mike (30-1): The Doug O'Neill trainee pulled off the upset in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) at 19-1, earning a career top Beyer Speed Figure in the outing of 93. That is not even close to being good enough to pick up a check here.

Nonios (20-1): The three-year-old colt was a decent second behind Game On Dude in the Awesome Again, beaten 3¼ lengths but ahead of the multiple Grade 1 winner Richard's Kid. The colt has earned trip digit Beyer sin three of his last four starts and looks as if he has some upside potential. He is causing a bit of a buzz with his works and he is in good hands with Jerry Hollendorfer. The colt may be one to toss in the exotics at a decent price.

Richard's Kid (12-1): This guy has earned over $2 million in his career, but he has not won on conventional dirt since 2009. The seven-year-old did run well behind Game On Dude in a runner up finish on the fake stuff in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) back in July, but was 7¾ lengths back last out in the Awesome Again.

Ron the Greek (6-1): The Bill Mott trainee has a pair of Grade 1 wins this year including the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) back in March. His rather dull showing in the Jockey Club Gold Cup where he was sixth and beaten nearly a dozen lengths is a bit of a mystery. He just did not look cranked up and looks as if Mott wanted to make sure there was something left in the tank for the Classic.

Mucho Macho Man (8-1): The colt is having a solid 2012, winning four of six starts and missing by just a neck last out in a tough beat to To Honor and Serve in the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga. He will be ridden again by hall of fame jockey Mike Smith who rode the runner up in all three Triple Crown races this year. That would be tough if that happens here, wouldn't it?

To Honor and Serve (8-1): This is the third Mott runner and I thought he had a shot in last year's Classic, but he weakened in the stretch and checked in seventh, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. Like his stablemate Ron the Greek, he failed to fire last out, checking in a disappointing fourth as the chalk in the Kelso (G2). He has been working smartly since and is another candidate to bounce back with a better effort and may end up a decent price.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes

Breeders Cup Classic Preview

For horsemen, this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic is an opportunity to win a share in North America’s largest purse ($5-million) as well as other prizes such as Eclipse Award championships and Horse of the Year.

But for horse players, the Breeders’ Cup Classic presents a tremendous betting challenge that rewards the savvy with payouts that dwarf what most can make wagering on sports at dime, $.50, and $1 intervals.

Last year’s Classic, for instance, returned $2,381 for a dime by selecting top four finishers in order. For the super adventurous, a $1 wager on the top five (aka The Super High Five) returned $156,424. In 1999, the $1 superfecta returned $692,907.

Here is a horse-by-horse look at the Breeders Cup Classic:


#1 Pool Play 6-1:
Has raced on dirt just twice in his life and won both the Stephen Foster and Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicaps. Still, he does appear to be one of the slower horses in the race and is among the less likely of winners.

#2 Flat Out 6-1: He has won The Jockey Club Gold Cup in consecutive years and was unquestionably the “wise guy” horse for last year’s Classic as the 18-to-5 favorite, but he failed to fire that day, and indeed seems to do his best running in New York. He wouldn’t be a surprise, but 6-to-1 is a short price to take.

#3 Alpha 25-1: Even at his 20-to-1 morning line, this is a tough horse to like. He just doesn’t win outside New York or against better competition. Would be a surprise.

#4 Fort Larned 8-1: Has proven to be among the faster horses this year, but the 1 ¼-mile distance of the Classic is a legitimate concern. If he can control the race instead of Game On Dude then he’s a legitimate threat.

#5 Game On Dude 7-4: A worthy favorite, but questions remain about his ability to run his best at 1 ¼ miles although he has won twice at that distance. Having the best one of the best trainers (Bob Baffert) and jockeys (Rafael Bejarano) helps his chances but also suppresses his odds.

#6 Brilliant Speed 25-1: This is my long shot play in the race. I’d be thrilled if he won but happy enough if he’s able to finish in the top three. Brilliant Speed finished a good seventh in the Kentucky Derby and a better third in the Belmont Stakes before flopping in the Jim Dandy and returning to dirt. This isn’t a good enough field for me to dismiss a horse’s chances who can clearly run 1¼ miles and has run fast enough to be a contender against these.

#7 Handsome Mike 20-1: Adds to the field and that’s about it. Probably the least likely winner in the whole group

#8 Nonios 25-1: Like Brilliant Speed, he was 20-to-1 on the morning line, and although I don’t like him as much as Brilliant Speed, I do like Nonios enough not to put him in the Alpha or Handsome Mike category. His sire (dad), Pleasantly Perfect, won this race at this track in 2003.

#9 Richard’s Kid 16-1: Probably would have been a big favorite in the Marathon but targets this spot and the bigger purse instead. One of those I don’t necessarily like to win but makes a lot of sense as a horse who can run his race and be among the top four.

#10 Ron the Greek 7-1: Won the Santa Anita Handicap at this course and distance earlier in the year but has only won once since, and his last race was a dismal sixth-place finish in the Gold Cup won by Flat Out. At 7-to-1, the reward just isn’t there for the risk involved.

#11 Mucho Macho Man 7-1:
Mike Smith has won two of the past three Classics including the one here in 2009 aboard Zenyatta, so he’s an asset in this race especially with his patient style on a horse who could cost himself the race with a premature move.

#12 To Honor And Serve 12-1: This one got the best of Mucho Macho Man when they raced together earlier this year, but that was at 1 1/8 miles and this is 1 ¼ miles. He’s fast at his game, which is shorter races, so this really isn’t his game.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes

Breeders’ Cup picks for Saturday
By: Lou D'Amico

The 2012 Breeders’ Cup continues with eight races Saturday at Santa Anita Park in California.

Juvenile Turf: Joha has the turf breeding and the speed to go gate-to-wire at 6-1. The Doug O’Neill-trained Know More was a beaten favorite the last two races and is 8-1 in the morning-line odds for Saturday. Also look at Lines of Battle at 12-1 — Aidan O`Brien’s horses are always dangerous. Lots of value in this race.

Filly and Mare Sprint: Groupie Doll looks like the filly to beat at even money and has been training very well. Switch, at 12-1, is trained by John Sadler and will be running on late. Dust and Diamonds, at 9-2, will try and go gate-to-wire with her speed. Switch could be the upsetter and has won at Santa Anita before.

Dirt Mile: Emcee, at 5-2, has the speed to be a factor all the way. Ron Ellis-trained Rail Trip is 10-1 and likes this this track, boasting a 3-for-4 record at Santa Anita. Shackleford has the class and has been training very well at Santa Anita. I will take a shot with Rail Trip at 10-1 – the price is right.

Turf Sprint: California Flag, 6-1, has been training well and likes this course with six wins out of nine starts. Starspangledbanner, trained by O`Brien, can be a big threat at a nice price of 10-1. Corporate Jungle, at 6-1, may like it here and is saddled by a very good trainer in Chad Brown. Starspangledbanner is my pick in a good betting race.

Juvenile: Shanghai Bobby will be tough and probably the favorite, as he’s 2-1 in the morning. Power Broker, at 5-2 and trained by Bob Baffert , ran a big race last time out with a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. Capo Bastone bobbled at the start last race and will be coming late. Capo Bastone is my selection to pull off the upset at 15-1.

Turf: Shareta, at 7-2, ships from France, where she has run against some tough foes. St. Nicholas Abbey, also at 7-2, is very classy and always brings his A game. O’Brien trainee Treasure Beach, at 12-1, will be coming late. I like the price on Treasure Beach and will use him on top of the other two. Lots of value here.

Sprint: Amazombie( 4-1), Capital Account (8-1) and Coil (5-1) all figure to be there at the wire. Smiling Tiger, at 12-1, has been training very well and could be the sleeper with a good trainer in Jeff Bonde. Smiling Tiger is my pick over the others mentioned.

Mile: Excelebration looks very tough at 2-1. This colt has run second to Frankel four times and third once. Mr. Commons, at 12-1, will be flying late. Wise Dan (9-5) is always tough, posting six straight races with Beyers ratings of at least 100. But Excelebration looks like the winner.

Classic: Game On Dude, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, is trying to win Horse of The Year honors over a track he loves. Ron The Greek, 6-1, has won here before. But I`m taking a shot with Nonios at 20-1 to spoil the Dude party.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes

Breeders’ Cup Classic Race Analysis and Pick
By: Rich Rose

In many sports, home-field advantage often adds up to victory. At about 5:35 p.m. West Coast time on Saturday, we'll find out if that concept extends to the 29th running of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (8:00 pm. ET, NBC).

Game On Dude, second in this race a year ago, is a most-deserving 9-5 morning-line favorite, and the odds will probably be even lower come post time. The five-year-old gelding is a perfect 5-for-5 on the Santa Anita oval, including a hotly-contested triumph in last year's Santa Anita Handicap and a solid victory in the Awesome Again five weeks ago.

With top Southern California rider Rafael Bejarano now in the irons, "The Dude" looks more formidable than ever. His Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert — who, for all his success has never won this race — feels his charge is in peak condition and primed for a huge effort.

Game On Dude looked like a winner in last year's Classic until Drosselmeyer caught him in the final strides, but Baffert doesn't expect that to happen this time around. He wants Bejarano to just let Game On Dude run his race — if that happens, the others could just be running for second place.

So if Game On Dude is that strong, is it his race to lose? Probably, but there are certainly horses in the field who can spring the upset.

Take Ron The Greek, a two-time Grade I winner in 2012, including the Santa Anita Handicap on this track and at the Classic's mile-and-a-quarter distance. Ron The Greek is trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott, who got Drosselmeyer to the winner's circle in last year's Classic. The horse had an uncharacteristically dull effort in his prep race, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but two bullet works since that race give the feeling that better things could be in store for the Classic. A closer, Ron The Greek could be there at the finish if Game On Dude gets pressed too hard on the front end.

Another horse that could factor in the outcome is Fort Larned. The four-year-old son of E Dubai has done his best running, including an August score in the Grade I Whitney Handicap where he bested two of Saturday’s rivals — Ron The Greek and Flat Out — near the front of the pack. The underrated Brian Hernandez, Jr. has the mount, and breaking from post position No. 4, just inside Game On Dude, Fort Larned will be able to keep the favorite squarely in his sights right from the start.

Flat Out, last year's Breeders’ Cup Classic post-time favorite, is co-second choice in the morning line with Fort Larned, both sporting odds of 5-1. Another from the Mott barn, Flat Out is coming off a strong win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the same result that earned him favorite honors a year ago. The knock on Flat Out is he appears to be a different horse away from the friendly confines of New York. In last year's Classic, he ran fifth, but never seriously threatened the leaders. Whether he can change that this year is a major question mark.

A pair of four-year-olds who have shown occasional flashes of brilliance are Mucho Macho Man and To Honor and Serve. Mucho Macho Man is a multiple Grade II winner who hasn't quite broken through at the elite level, and may just be a cut below some of the horses in this field. To Honor and Serve, the third member of the Mott contingent, has a pair of Grade I triumphs on his resume, but he may have distance limitations going a mile-and-a-quarter.

Nonios looks to be the best of the trio of three-year-olds, and the Jerry Hollendorfer runner may have a chance to finish in the money at 20-1 or better (Lou D'Amico's longshot selection). The Derby and Preakness-winning connections of owner Paul Reddam, trainer Doug O'Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez, will be represented by Handsome Mike, winner of the Grade II Pennsylvania Derby in his last start.

And what of the long shots? For those of you looking for value, consider Richard's Kid and Pool Play. Richard's Kid is a multiple Grade I winner, including two scores at this distance. Sold privately several months ago and now in the O'Neill barn, Richard's Kid is a closer who was at a significant disadvantage in the Awesome Again as he tried unsuccessfully to overcome the speed bias that day. But he is proven at the distance and figures to have plenty left in the stretch. If the track plays fair, his chances will improve.

Pool Play may be the mystery horse. Trained by Canadian legend Mark Casse, Pool Play has only two starts on dirt — both winning efforts where he closed from the back of the pack. If you're looking for a horse to juice up your superfecta tickets, Pool Play may be your best friend.

From our crystal ball, here's one scenario that might unfold on Saturday: When the horses break, look for Game On Dude, Alpha, Handsome Mike and Fort Larned to be forwardly placed. "The Dude" proved in the Awesome Again that he doesn't need the lead from the gun to have a shot to win, so Bejarano may exercise patience if he feels a speed duel brewing.

Given the strong group of closers, the last thing Bejarano wants is to be out of horse turning for home. Figure that Game On Dude can sit second or third behind a decent but moderate pace; if he can, then it's his race to lose.

But that may not happen. It’s difficult to envision any horse getting an easy lead, and one of the closers — if the track is playing fair — is the way to play the race.

On the far turn, look for Ron The Greek and Richard's Kid to start making noise. If Fort Larned was able to sit off the lead, he may have something left, and he'll need it to hold off the cavalry down the stretch.

Game On Dude will not go quietly, but I think either Ron The Greek or Richard's Kid will collar the favorite at the 16th pole and surge to victory. Game On Dude will once again come up short.

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