Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - Juvenile Fillies
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Juvenile Fillies

Distance: 1 1/16 miles
Purse: $2,000,000
Age: 2YO fillies
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 3:05 p.m. EDT

The History

Open Mind, Go For Wand, Meadow Star and Silverbulletday are some of the fantastic young ladies to have captured this event. My Flag splashed home in the mud to win in 1995 before her daughter Storm Flag Flying took the 2002 renewal at Arlington Park. With favorites winning at a 60% clip, it is by far the chalkiest Breeders’ Cup event.

Favorites: 17 for 29 (60%)
Shortest: $2.40 (Meadow Star, 1990) *Shortest price in history of the Breeders’ Cup*
Highest: $96 (Caressing, 2000)

The Scenario

Front Runners: Artemis Agrotera, Scandalous Act, She’s a Tiger
Mid-pack: Ria Antonia, Secret Compass, Untapable
Closers: Concave, Designer Legs, Rosalind, Sweet Reason

The Best

The two major preps that figure to have the biggest impact on this race are the Frizette at Belmont and the Chandelier at Santa Anita. Luckily, we have the one two finishers from both races to duke it out in here.

The complexion of the Frizette changed just after the start when SWEET REASON swerved in towards the break in the rail of the mile chute at Belmont and was left even further behind than she normally is. Amazingly she managed to gather herself and come running through the stretch to finish second for trainer Leah Gyarmati.
   
Before the Frizette debacle, her first on a dry track, Sweet Reason broke her maiden from far back, and then won the Spinaway by daylight. Both races were run at Saratoga over a sloppy track.

While Sweet Reason was overcoming a ton of adversity, including an inside speed biased course, ARTEMIS AGROTERA took serious advantage of it all.

Making her first start since galloping in her debut by almost a dozen lengths against New York breds at Saratoga for trainer Mike Hushion, Artemis Agrotera sat just off the early pace in the Frizette, made the lead approaching the far turn, then dug in gamely when Sweet Reason came calling to win by a 1 ¼ lengths.

Now, both fillies will need to go past a mile and handle two turns for the first time, a pair of issues neither SECRET COMPASS nor SHE’S A TIGER have to worry about, as they both contested the 1 1/16 miles Chandelier last out.

She’s a Tiger entered the Chandelier off a gutsy score in the Del Mar Debutante and had won three of four starts overall while Secret Compass, fourth in the Del Mar Debutante, owned just a maiden win from three starts

The two sat just off the early pace and raced in tandem most of the way until Jeff Bonde trained She’s a Tiger grabbed a narrow lead turning for home. But Bob Baffert’s Secret Compass kept on coming and eventually wore She’s a Tiger down to win by a head.

The Rest

CONCAVE will be making her two turn and dirt debut coming off a third place finish in the Del Mar Debutante run over a synthetic course. Concave won on turf at first asking at Hollywood Park before coming from just off the pace to win the Sorrento, also at Del Mar.

DESIGNER LEGS started her career with three straight victories, including one via DQ in the Adirondack at Saratoga but hasn’t come close in her last two in the Spinaway and Alcibiades run over a sloppy track and synthetic surface, respectively. She’s perfect in two starts on dry dirt, though those races were at Canterbury Park and Prairie Meadows.

RIA ANTONIA broke her maiden in the second start of her career against the boys while sprinting over the Woodbine Polytrack but hasn’t come close against the gals in her other three starts, all stakes, including the Frizette last out where she finished fifth.

ROSALIND has hit the board in all three starts, all run over different surfaces. She broke her maiden in her debut on the grass at Ellis Park, closed well to finish third in the Pocahontas then finished a fast closing second in the Alcibiades when adding Lasix. It’s worth noting her success without Lasix since it is not allowed in any of the four Juvenile races.

SCANDALOUS ACT has taken the Awesome Feather route, the one by way of the Florida Stallion Series, to the race this season. Scandalous Act split the first two decisions of her career before adding blinkers to win those three restricted stakes of Florida breds by a combined 22 lengths, including the two turn My Dear Girl by 5 ¾ lengths last out.

UNTAPABLE will be making her first start in 54 days in the Juvenile Fillies and has only worked a handful of times since her last race, an off the pace score in the Pocahontas. Prior to that start, Untapable broke her maiden in her debut sprinting on the lead in late June while racing on the lead.

The Strategy

I’m very curious to see how the wagering plays out in here. It’s tough for me to separate the top four and I think it’ll be tough for the public to as well. I think it’s going to come down to a good old East Coast/West Coast decision because using all four is foolish for your bankroll.

The Bomb


Scandalous Act has already won four times and around two turns impressively. She should be on or near the lead over a course that historically plays kindly to speed. Take a flyer at 12-1 or higher.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - Filly & Mare Turf
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Filly & Mare Turf

Distance: 1¼ miles on turf
Purse: $2,000,000
Age: Fillies and Mares, 3-Year-Olds and up
Date: Saturday, Nov 2
Time: 3:43 p.m. EDT

The History

Ouija Board won it in 2004 and 2006 and was stopped by Intercontinental in 2005 when she was second. Her trainer Ed Dunlop and the late Bobby Frankel each won two runnings while Kieran Fallon and Jerry Bailey have each ridden a pair of winners.

Favorites: 4 for 14 (31%)
Shortest: $3.80 (Ouija Board, 2004)
Highest: $94.00 (Shared Account, 2010)
U.S based: 9/Foreign based: 5
The champ is here? No

The Scenario

Front Runners: Laughing,
Mid-pack: Alterite, Dank, Emollient, Marketing Mix, Romantica, Tiz Flirtatious
Closers: Kitten’s Dumplings, Lady of Shamrock, Qushchi

The Best

Should she be able to overcome the fact that her connections admitted that she is a notoriously bad shipper, LAUGHING appears to hold a tactical edge over this field as she appears to be loose on the lead when you study the PPs.

An underachiever coming into this season as she was nothing more than a G3 stakes winner, Laughing has really turned it around, winning all four of her starts in 2013. She sat just off the pace to win the Eatontown at Monmouth to start the season before going gate-to-wire in her next three starts, the Diana and Ballston Spa at Saratoga, and the Flower Bowl going this trip, last out.

Perhaps more importantly, she won those three starts while setting fast, moderate and dawdling fractions, which shows her versatility on the front end for trainer Alan Goldberg.
   
Last years’ F&M Turf runner-up MARKETING MIX seems to have lost a step, in this her five-year-old season, but is still a dangerous foe on her best day. She started the season with a pair of victories in the Gamely and the Sunset going 1½ miles against the boys.

But in her two starts since she hasn’t looked like herself. She sat a perfect trip as the even money favorite in the Beverly D. at Arlington but failed to fire when trudging home fourth then couldn’t parlay another great trip in the Rodeo Drive into a victory last out when TIZ FLIRTATIOUS ran by her in the final yards Trainer Tom Proctor has to be hoping her affinity for the distance and course will help her find that extra punch she’ll need to win this.

Speaking of Tiz Flirtatious, her trainer Martin Jones has to be tickled to death with the season his filly is having and how she’s coming into this. Four for five overall this season, her lone blemish is a head defeat in the Gamely to Marketing Mix, a loss she avenged last out with her Rodeo Drive score.

Earlier this year, Tiz Flirtatious won both the Santa Ana and Mabee and overall has won four of five starts and finished second in here career over this course. In twelve career starts, she has never missed the board and has won or placed in all eight turf tries.

With The Fugue opting to take on the boys and the 1½ miles of the Turf, Beverly D winner DANK has to be viewed as Europe’s best hope to win this event for the sixth time. Racing on Lasix for the first time in the Beverly D, Dank raced in midpack most of the way, went wide on the final turn, then powered by the field like they were standing still to win by a going away 4¼ lengths.

This will be Dank’s first start since the Beverly D, run 10 weeks ago, but I doubt that’s a concern for her trainer Sir Michael Stoute, one of the best on the planet, especially when you consider Dank has already won off of a pair of seven month layoffs and a similar nine week layoff in her career.
 
The Rest

ALTERITE made her U.S. debut a winning one two starts back in the Garden City with an impressive final quarter mile to win by 1½ lengths before missing by just a neck in the QEII Cup at Keeneland last out. Earlier this year, Alterite faced Europe’s top sophomore fillies in such races as the French 1000 Guineas and French Oaks. This will be her third start in just seven weeks and her first against older horses.

EMOLLIENT came flying home through the stretch to take the Spinster over the Polytrack at Keeneland last out in her first start against her elders. It was her second G1 score at Keeneland this season having won the Ashland this past spring in gate-to-wire fashion. In her two turf starts, she won the American Oaks at this distance at Hollywood in July before finishing off the board when bottled up inside for most of the trip in the Garden City.

Another three-year-old trying older for the first time is KITTEN’S DUMPLINGS. She’s won four of her eight starts this season, including victories in the Edgewood and Regret at Churchill, the Lake George at Saratoga and in the QEII Cup last out. All of her wins have come by way of her patented, last-to-first sweep to the lead in the final stages, so she should appreciated the added distance in here as she’s never raced past 1 1/8 miles.

LADY OF SHAMROCK was beaten just 2½ lengths in this even last year when she scored in multiple graded stakes but is just one for six this season with her lone victory coming via DQ in the Santa Barbara this past winter. She’s finished behind Marketing Mix and Tiz Flirtatious numerous times this season but just can’t seem to make up the handful of lengths she needs to in order to beat the top tier.

QUSHCHI is just one for six since making her stateside debut earlier this year, and is just 4 for 27 overall. Save her maiden tally at seven furlongs, all of her other victories have come going 1½ miles and she failed to do any real damage when fourth in the Flower Bowl last out, her first start against G1 foes.

ROMANTICA ships in from Europe for the powerful Fabre stable sporting three wins and a second place finish from four starts at the distance. She’s already handled firm ground in Europe and tallied the first G1 of her career two starts back when making her first start off of a near three month layoff.  Her dam, Banks Hill, won the 2001 running of this then finished second in the race in 2002.

The Strategy

Laughing is loose on the lead. There is no denying that. The question is can she finish the job against the best field she’ll face all year? If you think she can, then she is your key horse. If you don’t, then you have to decide if you’re taking the Euros, the older Americans, or one of the young ladies representing the states.

The Bomb

Emollient figures to get lost in the wagering shuffle. I love the fact that she won her lone turf start in SoCal and think you’ll get 12-1 or more on her.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - Filly & Mare Sprint
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Filly & Mare Sprint

Distance: 7 furlongs
Purse: $1,000,000
Age: Fillies and Mares, 3-Year-Olds and Up
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 4:21 p.m. EDT

The History

Run at six furlongs in 2007 because Monmouth Park isn’t configured for the intended distance.

Favorites: 1 for 6 (17%)
Shortest: $3.40 (Groupie Doll, 2012)
Highest: $42.40 (Musical Romance, 2011)
The champ is here? Yes, Groupie Doll is back to defend her crown.

The Scenario

Front Runners: Ismene, Sweet Lulu, Teddy’s Promise
Mid-pack: Dance to Bristol, Great Hot, Judy the Beauty, Starship Truffles, Summer Applause
Closers: Book Review, Dance Card, Groupie Doll, Renee’s Titan

The Best

Though she has one just once in three starts this year, the defending champ GROUPIE DOLL is back to try and become the first two time winner of this event. Groupie Doll flew home through the stretch to win this by 4½ lengths last year, one of only a handful of horses to make up any serious ground over the course of the championship weekend over a course that was very kind to speed and front running types. It was her fifth win from eight tries to that point.

She finished the year with a gallant, tough beat second behind Stay Thirsty in the Cigar Mile against the boys before being put away for the year. A few infirmaries kept her out of the entry box until August, when she finished third going a two turn mile at Ellis Park in the Gardenia.

Groupie Doll returned to the winners’ circle in the Presque Isle Masters, a race she won last year before finishing third in the TCA last out, another event she won handily in 2012. In this years’ running, Groupie Doll was forced to chase the pace early and never kicked in the latter stages for trainer Buff Bradley.
   
While it appears Groupie Doll has regressed a bit this past year, DANCE TO BRISTOL has certainly come into her own. She finished second in the first start of the year and last out, when she was on the worst part of the race track on the outside as the speedy, undefeated Cluster of Stars gunned from a golden rail to comfortably win the Gallant Bloom.

Sandwiched in between those two loses, however, are seven consecutive win streak that has seen her win at five different tracks going three different distances for trainer Ollie Figgins. She won races like the Bed of Roses, Honorable Miss and the Ballerina, her first G1 score, going this distance, by a head over BOOK REVIEW.

Speaking of Book Review, she’s won or placed in all five starts since being transferred to trainer Bob Baffert’s stable late last season. She made her SoCal debut a winning one over this course going this distance in the La Brea, her first G1 tally, by a neck over a talented field that included multiple stakes winners Reneesgotzip and 2011 two-year-old filly champ My Miss Aurelia.

After finishing second in a pair of stakes going two turns, Book Review won the A Gleam over the Hollywood Cushion track before that narrow defeat in the Ballerina in her most recent start some ten weeks ago.

SWEET LULU is a perfect three for three in sprints and suffered the first loss of her career when finishing second to Distaff contender Close Hatches in the Cotillion going 1 1/16 miles at Parx most recently. Two starts back, Sweet Lulu won her only other start on dirt, the Test, at Saratoga going this trip by a head after alternating on the lead through wicked early fractions for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

After winning the first two starts of her career sprinting, Sweet Lulu won a second level allowance contest going a two turn mile before the Test, so she’s already proven that she can successfully handle a cut back in distance.

The Rest

DANCE CARD had a tremendous three-year-old season last year, winning four in a row including the Gazelle at Aqueduct on Thanksgiving weekend, before being laid up until last September when she finished third in the Gallant Bloom after brushing the gate at the break and racing wide on the aforementioned inside biased speed track.

GREAT HOT comes into this off of four straight losses, including her last two in sprints. Her lone win in six starts this year came when she stole away to an easy lead against Book Review in the Santa Maria. While second to Teddy’s Promise last out, she’s just one for five at this distance and appears to prefer routes to sprints.

ISMENE won the first three starts of her career, including two over this course and one at the distance, back in 2011 but is winless in her six starts this year after missing all of 2012. She shed blinkers in late April and while she has finished second in three of her last four without them she continues to get run down in the latter stages of her races.

JUDY THE BEAUTY upset Groupie Doll in the TCA last out over the synthetic course at Keeneland, a surface she is perfect in three starts over. In fact Judy the Beauty’s five career wins have come over synthetics and on the turf as she is winless in five starts on dirt, having finished second in each of those starts. Earlier this year she was the runner-up in the Princess Rooney at Calder, arguably her best conventional dirt effort.

RENEE’S TITAN is the only filly to have beaten Distaff contender Beholder this year in what was her only win and board placing this season. Since that upset of the Santa Ynez at 20-1 to begin the year, Renee’s Titan has finished off the board in four straight, beaten a combined 63 lengths in the process on all three surfaces.

Princess Rooney winner STARSHIP TRUFFLES ships in from Calder off of a pair of sub-par efforts in the Ballerina and last out in a minor stakes at Gulfstream. A winner of 14 starts from 26 outings, Starship Truffles was claimed for $6,250 last July and has earned close to $400K since.

SUMMER APPLAUSE will sprint for the first time in nearly two years having raced exclusively around two turns for the past 23 months. She’s kept good company, having run against the likes of F&M Turf runner Emollient, Distaff favorite Royal Delta and G1 winner Tiz Miz Sue but has done her best against the lower tiers of her division. Perhaps the cut back in distance will help.

TEDDY’S PROMISE has won four times since finishing a well beaten eighth in last years’ renewal of this, including wins in the Santa Monica earlier this year and the L.A. Woman last out from just off the pace. Overall, she’s won five of her nine tries over this course and three of eight at the distance. Two starts back she finished second to Book Review in the A Gleam.

The Strategy

If Groupie Doll was the same horse she was last year coming into this, it would be a forgone conclusion but I doubt that’s the case here. Of course, she can win the race but I have to think she’s vulnerable. You have a couple of salty fillies new to the scene this year and it should make for an exciting running of this event. I’d use the champ but think you MUST protect yourself with a few others, especially in the multi-race wagers.

The Bomb

Dance Card had the look of a fine filly in the making last year and could still fulfill that promise, especially if she shows up here. 10-1 or better is a great price on a filly that may very well be the most talented of this bunch.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - Turf Sprint
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Turf Sprint

Distance: 6 ½ furlongs on turf
Purse: $1,000,000
Age: 3-Year-Olds and Up
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 5:05 p.m. EDT

The History

Run down the hill going 6½ furlongs in its first two runnings before going to its intended distance in 2010. Back down the hill last year when Mizdirection became the first female to win the event.

Favorites: 2 for 5 (40%)
Shortest: $6.60 (Regally Ready, 2011)
Highest: $75.00 (Desert Code, 2008)
U.S based: 5
Foreign based: 0
The champ is here? Yes, Mizdirection is looking to become the first two-time winner of the event.

The Scenario

Front Runners: Reneesgotzip, Spring to the Sky, Tightend Touchdown
Mid-pack: Chips All In, Dimension, Handsome Mike, Mizdirection, Rock Me Baby, Unbridled’s Note
Closers: Boat Trip, Capo Bastone, Caracortado, Havelock, Jeranimo

The Best

Defending champion MIZDIRECTION enters this event in pretty much the same fashion she did last season – off of a sub-par effort five months ago. Last season, just like this year, Mizdirection won her first three starts then was defeated. Last year her defeat came at Hollywood. This year it came at Belmont when she tried a mile in the Just a Game stakes that was run over a yielding course, the first time Mizdirection encountered a wet turf.

She’s back to doing what she does best now. She’s a perfect six for six over the course, with five of those wins coming down the quirky hill at this trip. She’s trained forwardly, save for a five week gap in her works back in August and September, for her return.
   
Another lady taking on the boys in here is RENEESGOTZIP, the third place finisher in this event last year when she was beaten less than two lengths. Oddly enough, Reneesgotzip hadn’t raced on the turf before this race last year and hasn’t since.

Reneesgotzip has raced just four times since last years’ Breeders’ Cup. She won a minor stakes over the Hollywood Cushion track before missing by a neck in the G1 La Brea to F&M Sprint contender Book Review. She didn’t make her 2013 debut until Del Mar, where she promptly won a pair of starts. This will be her first start in over ten weeks.

Like Mizdirection, CHIPS ALL IN has an affinity for the both this turf course and the distance down the hill. Overall, he’s won twice and placed in his other start going down the hill and owns a pair of wins going a mile here.

A pair of losses at Del Mar earlier this summer were sandwiched between a pair of G3 scores here in the San Simeon back in April and the Eddie D, which he won from just off the pace by a nose, last out.

Two time G1 stakes winner JERANIMO has won three of his nine starts at Santa Anita against better going longer but has never raced at this distance. In his last turf start, Jeranimo won the Eddie Read at Del Mar before trying the Pacific Classic on synthetic and Awesome Again on dirt to no avail.

The Rest

BOAT TRIP broke his maiden in March 2012 down the hill and didn’t return to this surface until the Eddie D last out when he came flying to finish second by a nose. He’s won half of his eight turf starts overall.

Another giant closer, CAPO BASTONE, scored the biggest win of his career last out in the King’s Bishop on dirt at the Spa last out, his first G1 tally. Third in the Juvenile last year behind Shanghai Bobby, this will be Capo Bastone’s first start on turf.

CARACORTADO rallied from last in a field of four two starts back in the Daytona over this course…….back in January of 2012. 20 months later, Caracortado finished just ¾ of a length back in fourth in the Eddie D, a remarkable run considering that layoff.

DIMENSION ships in from Woodbine having chased reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in a course record renewal of the Woodbine Mile last out. Dimension went gate-to-wire in his lone turf sprint in North America, the Play King going seven panels two starts back

Way back in October 2011, HANDSOME MIKE broke his maiden over this course, at the distance in what would be his last start against anything but graded stakes company. He’s made 18 consecutive starts in those races and has run against some of the nation’s best runners on all types of surfaces at all different distances.

HAVELOCK took advantage of a fast early pace in the Woodford at Keeneland last out to win going away by 2 lengths. One of the more seasoned turf sprinters in here, Havelock took on Europe’s best to no avail this summer but has never raced over the course, a negative, or at this distance which he should appreciate.

ROCK ME BABY encountered some traffic in the very late stages of the Eddie D where he was beaten just 2½ lengths but has done the bulk of his best running against Cal-breds and lesser company.

SPRING TO THE SKY has had an eventful year, one that’s included a win at Saratoga following a race in which he was pulled up and vanned off, a place finish to the stalwart Ben’s Cat and a third place finish in the Woodford last out after he mixed it up on the lead early from his far outside post.

Another East Coast runner with a ton of early gas is TIGHTEND TOUCHDOWN. Claimed in January for $35K, he’s earned well over $250K since being taken and has been a part of the exacta in all seven starts for his new barn. He too was second to Ben’s Cat this season and also won a minor stakes at Penn National.

2012 Eddie D winner UNBRIDLED’S NOTE was second in this event last season, beaten just ½ a length by Mizdirection but has won just one time in his last six starts, a minor stakes going this trip back in February. Overall, he’s won two of four over this course at the distance and was most recently third in this years’ Eddie D.

The Strategy

Mizdirection won this last year off of a similar layoff, so why can’t she do the exact same thing this year? I don’t know that she can’t but I do feel that being a year older obviously doesn’t help and I do believe this field is a bit deeper than the one she faced last season. I’m going to save with her but also will use a few prices and hope I can beat her with one of them.

The Bomb

Handsome Mike is probably the most intriguing horse in all of the 14 races for me. He’s kept better company than anyone in the field but in every type of race EXCEPT turf sprints. His one trip down the hill led to his maiden victory in just the second start of his career. Maybe this is what he wants to do. I’m willing to find out at 25-1 or better.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - Juvenile
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Juvenile

Distance: 1 1/16 miles
Purse: $2,000,000
Age: 2-Year-Old colts and geldings
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 5:45 p.m. EDT

The History

Is It True upset the great Easy Goer in 1988. Unbridled’s Song out-dueled Hennessy to win the 1995 running in just his third start. Johannesburg shipped in from across the pond and halted Officer’s winning streak in 2001. Street Sense took the first step in breaking the Juvenile/Kentucky Derby jinx by winning it in 2006. Uncle Mo capped off a sensational three race run, from maiden to Juvenile champion, in 2010. And of course, Arazi put on his amazing display in the 1991 renewal at Churchill.

Favorites: 11 for 29 (37%)
Shortest: $3.40 (Chief’s Crown, 1984)
Highest: $63.20 (Vale of York, 2009)

The Scenario

Front Runners: Conquest Titan, Diamond Bachelor, Havana, Strong Mandate
Mid-pack: Dance With Fate, Medal Count, Mexikoma, New Year’s Day, Rum Point, Smarty’s Echo, We Miss Artie
Closers: Bond Holder, Cleburne, Tap It Rich

The Best

The speedy HAVANA will look to follow in the footsteps of a former Todd Pletcher trainee, Uncle Mo, with a Juvenile Score just year as their careers have been carbon copy’s up to this point. After a breathtaking, front running maiden win at Saratoga in August, Pletcher opted to wait for the Champagne and stretch Havana out.

Some six weeks later at Belmont, he did just that. Locked on some cheaper early speed in the early stages, Havana was dueling for the lead less than halfway to the wire and opened up turning for home, taking a four length lead into deep stretch. Then, amazingly, the highly regarded Honor Code came with a furious eight wide rally to just miss a bit of a leg weary Havana by a neck in a stirring stretch drive.

There is little doubt that Havana aided by a rail bias and was getting tired at the end of the mile but he was stretching out from 5 ½ furlongs, and set pretty fast fractions, with company, most of the way. There seems to be some other speed in here for him to deal with early on and he’ll have to negotiate an extra sixteenth of a mile and two turns for the first time.
   
One who disappointed in the Champagne was the Wayne Lukas trained STRONG MANDATE. Strong Mandate broke his maiden in the second start of his career in gate-to-wire fashion when adding blinkers then parlayed a perfect, just off the pace trip into a daylight score in the Hopeful on closing weekend at the Spa.

In the Champagne, it wasn’t lost on Lukas that the front end and the rail was the place to be and he instructed Jose Ortiz to have Strong Mandate forwardly placed like he usually is. Inexplicably, Strong Mandate was taken off the pace, kept on the worst part of the track and beat just two horses. A livid Lukas fired Ortiz immediately and will replace him with Joel Rosario for this.

I don’t care how often it happens, and with juveniles it happens enough, but I’m always impressed when a horse breaks their maiden against winners and that’s exactly what BOND HOLDER did last out, in a grade 1 stakes no less, for trainer Doug O’Neill.

Bond Holder made his first four starts on synthetic surfaces and while he hit the board in three of those starts he didn’t give the impression that he’d improve that much on dirt when you consider his off-the-pace running style is what you want on the synthetics. But he did, rallying from well off the pace to draw away to a 2 ¼ length win in the Front Runner over this course.

Speaking of impressive Santa Anita maiden scores, they don’t get better than TAP IT RICH. I get goose-bumps every time I watch the replay. Trained by Bob Baffert, Tap It Rich broke slow and hopped at the start before dropping over briefly to the inside. Going into the first turn he was immediately taken four wide and kept clear of any further trouble.

He made forward progress every step of the way down the backside before really starting to roll approaching the far turn. He made the lead, in the four path or so, on the turn and opened up under a hand ride through the stretch. Though the race was less than a month ago and this is obviously a HUGE step up in class, I wouldn’t be surprised if this colt pulled it off.

The Rest

CLEBURNE broke his maiden on the turf first out from far back at Ellis Park before making a similar run in the Iroquois last out when he got up by a neck at 34-1. He should be plenty fit with a pair of two turn races, as well as a stakes win at this distance, already under his belt.

CONQUEST TITAN broke his maiden in a minor stakes at Woodbine two starts back off of a two month layoff before an off the board finish in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last out, both run on synthetics.

DANCE WITH FATE comes into the Juvenile off a pair of runner-up finishes in G1 races, the Del Mar Futurity and Front Runner, a race in which he actually had the lead in turning for home.

DIAMOND BACHELOR will try the dirt for the first time having gone two for three on the turf so far. He won the first two starts of his career before tiring after a re-rally in a minor stakes last out. He’s been training well on the dirt for this.

MEDAL COUNT overcame a troubled trip in his Ellis Park debut at a mile to win impressively in an off the turf race before racing in traffic in the off the turf Bourbon last out. Another already with two races around two turns and this guy is bred to run all day.

MEXIKOMA didn’t raise a leg in his debut going long on the turf at Saratoga but exploded to break his maiden by almost 15 lengths when adding blinkers, switching to dirt and shipping to Delaware Park last out, coming home his final quarter in a sharp :24 1/5, an especially impressive feat for a young horse going long.

NEW YEAR’S DAY has been tearing up the track at Santa Anita in the morning for what will be his dirt and stakes debut. New Year’s Day finished third in his debut sprinting before stretching out to a mile to win last out in a race where he squandered a much bigger lead in mid-stretch to win by 1¾ lengths.

RUM POINT is another who’s raced exclusively over synthetics in four starts at Hollywood, Del Mar and Keeneland, where he finished fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity in his latest when adding blinkers. 

SMARTY’S ECHO, second in the Breeder’s Futurity, encountered a bit of trouble early in the race and was six wide in the lane. He’ll be making his dirt debut in the Juvenile.

WE MISS ARTIE finished second in his debut on dirt then immediately broke his maiden when stretching out and switching to turf. We Miss Artie came from out of the clouds to take the Breeders’ Futurity last out after an off the board finish in the With Anticipation on turf.

The Strategy

When you consider that nine of the fourteen in here are eligible for an entry level allowance race and only half the field has won on dirt, you almost have to cover yourself in multi-race exotics with a spread unless you have a really strong opinion on something. I happen to think that while he’s certainly a contender to win, I think Havana, who’s your likely chalk, is vulnerable, so spreading out a bit, for me, is a no-brainer.

The Bomb

Mexikoma impressed me in his maiden score. I normally am not impressed with final times and fractions but that’s a really good race for that track. Take a flyer at 15-1.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - The Turf
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Turf

Distance: 1½ miles on turf
Purse: $3,000,000
Age: 3up
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 6:25 p.m. EDT

The History

Pebbles in 1985 and Miss Alleged in 1991 are the only two fillies to have beaten the boys in this. Theatrical finally got the job done in 1987 and more importantly helped forge the Bill Mott/Allen Paulson partnership that would rule the sport for a decade Kotashaan capped an amazing Horse of the Year season with a win in 1993. High Chaparral won it in 2002, then dead-heated with Johar in 2003, the only dead heat for win in Breeders’ Cup history. Better Talk Now won it in 2004 before failing to do so the next four years. Conduit won consecutive runnings in 2008 and 2009. In 2011, trainer Aidan O’Brien trained St. Nicholas Abbey to win with his son Joe in the saddle.

Favorites: 9 for 29 (31%)
Shortest: $3.80 (High Chaparral, 2002 and Conduit, 2009)
Highest: $108.80 (Lashkari, 1984)
U.S based: 12
Foreign based: 18
The champ is here? Yes, Little Mike will look to join the ranks of High Chaparral and Conduit as two-time Turf winners.

The Scenario

Front Runners: Little Mike, Skyring, Teaks North
Mid-pack: Indy Point, Magician, Tale of a Champion, The Fugue
Closers: Big Blue Kitten, Point of Entry, Real Solution, Twilight Eclipse, Vagabond Shoes

The Best

Last year, trainer John Gosden and the connections of THE FUGUE tinkered with the idea of trying then then three-year-old filly against the boys in this before erring on the side of caution and entering in the F&M Turf. Their decision was “rewarded” with one of the most brutal trips from the quarter pole home in B.C. history as she was completely stymied in traffic and eventually finished third, beaten a bit more than a length.

She’s raced just four times since, starting the year with a pair of sub-par efforts before roaring back to win a pair of G1s recently, the Yorkshire Oaks going this trip and the Irish Champion Stakes against the boys last out where she defeated Al Kazeem, her two time tormentor from earlier this season. William Buick will have his regular seat aboard The Fugue.

LITTLE MIKE, the 17- upset winner of this event last year, was having a terrible year until just about a month ago. Trainer Dale Romans began the year thinking Dubai World Cup but called an audible after Little Mike raced poorly over the synthetic course at Meydan in his prep for the worlds’ richest race. Instead, Little Mike raced in the Dubai Duty Free on the grass and never threatened after making an easy lead before fading to eleventh.
   
Little Mike regrouped and returned to the races at Monmouth in July but finished off the board in the United Nations then faded again after making an easy lead in the Arlington Million, a race he won handily last year. Romans forged ahead and ran Little Mike in the Joe Hirsch.

Ridden by Mike Smith for the first time, Smith emulated the ride Ramon Dominguez gave Little Mike in the Turf last year and sat several lengths off the early pace before making the lead on the far turn. It worked, as Little Mike did everything Smith asked of him and gamely held on to win by a nose, punching his return ticket to this years’ Turf.

Stablemates BIG BLUE KITTEN and REAL SOLUTION were the two main threats to Little Mike in the stretch of the Joe Hirsch and they figure to be running at him again in the latter stages of this event for trainer Chad Brown and owner Ken Ramsey.

A former claimer, Big Blue Kitten has hit the board in all but one of his 18 starts and that came in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot in England in June 2012. He’s really made progress this year, his first with a full slate of stakes competition. A second place finish in the Monmouth Handicap was followed by a pair of G1 scores in the United Nations and Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Last out he did encounter a bit of traffic trouble when just missing by that nose in the Hirsch under Joe Bravo.

Real Solution has yet to cross the wire first in his four starts since coming over from Europe this year but was awarded to victory in the Arlington Million two back after he was impeded several times by The Apache. He was third earlier this year in the Manhattan as well as last out in the Hirsch. He gets a big rider change to Javier Castellano.

Speaking of the Manhattan, POINT OF ENTRY, last seen winning that Belmont Stakes Day staple, makes a dramatic return for trainer Shug McGaughey after he was found to have a condylar fracture following his 1½ length score.

A troubled trip second in this last year, Point of Entry raced just once before the Manhattan, defeating 2011 Kentucky Derby winner and Dubai World Cup victor Animal Kingdom, in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap under regular rider John Velazquez.

The Rest

INDY POINT rebounded nicely from an inexplicable last place finish as the 5-2 favorite in the Arlington Million two races back to capture the John Henry Turf Classic going 1¼ miles over this course last out. Indy Point has won two of his three starts in the U.S. since arriving from South America and is seeking his first win at this trip.

MAGICIAN adds Lasix for his U.S. debut having raced exclusively against three-year-old in Europe this year. Earlier this year, Magician won going 1 5/16 miles and galloped home 3½ lengths ahead of the rest in the prestigious Irish 2000 Guineas. This will be his first start in over four months and it’s worth noting that he’s the only other hipping in from Europe besides The Fugue for this.

SKYRING upset the Dixie at Pimlico on Preakness day at 24-1, his lone victory from seven starts this season. Overall he’s won just 2 of his 11 turf starts and hasn’t been close in his last three efforts.

TALE OF A CHAMPION steps up in class after finishing off the board in the John Henry off of a near three month layoff last out. Earlier in the year, Tale of a Champion managed to win a minor stakes over this course and the Charlie Whittingham at Hollywood Park. This will be his first start past 1¼ miles.

Claimed for $100K two starts back, TEAKS NORTH will try to overcome a 0 for 3 record at the distance and take a big step up in class in here. A former G1 winner, Teaks North has obviously lost a step, as he owns just a Sunshine Millions score and money allowance tally from seven starts this year.

TWILIGHT ECLIPSE was originally being pointed for the Canadian International last weekend but was re-routed here when the weather in Canada called for rain and a likely wet turf, which he despises. He’ll certainly get a firm turf here and is a world record holder at the distance having won the Pan American earlier this season at Gulfstream.

VAGABOND SHOES has improved in his most recent efforts after a rough beginning this season, his first in the states. Since a May to July layoff, Vagabond Shoes finished second in the Eddie Read, won the Del Mar Handicap and was second most recently in the John Henry when he put in a solid late run to gain place.

The Strategy

Can The Fugue beat the boys? Will one of the Ramsey color-bearers keep his magical season going? Will Little Mike repeat? Can Point of Entry avenge his defeat last year coming off of an injury-related five month layoff? Those are an awful lot of questions that need to be answered by five horses that all figure to be under 8-1. This is a tough race to take a stand in, if you ask me. I’ll be spreading in multi-race exotics, thank you.

The Bomb

Twilight Eclipse is a world record holder at the distance and his connections talk about how badly he needs to run on firm ground. It doesn’t get any firmer than it gets in SoCal. 15-1 or higher would be a fair price to take a flyer.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - The Sprint
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Sprint

Distance: 6 furlongs
Purse: $1,500,000
Age: 3-Year-Olds and Up
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 7:05 p.m. EDT

The History

Dayjur was home free in 1990 before famously jumping a shadow at Belmont Park and allowing Safely Kept to become one of three fillies to win this. Thirty Slews won the 1992 running, introducing the world to a then unknown trainer by the name of Bob Baffert. Kona Gold ran in the Sprint five times, grabbing the brass ring just once in 2000. Midnight Lute won back to back races in 2007 and 2008, giving Baffert three wins to lead all trainers while Corey Nakatani has won it four times.

Favorites: 6 for 29 (20%)
Shortest: $4.60 (Ellio, 1984)
Highest: $54.60 (Sheikh Albadou, 1991)
The champ is here? Yes, Trinniberg is back and looking to join Midnight Lute as the only two-time Sprint winners.

The Scenario

Front Runners: Fast Bullet, Gentleman’s Bet, Majestic Stride, Private Zone, Sum of the Parts, Trinniberg
Mid-pack: Bahamian Squall, Justin Phillip, Secret Circle, The Lumber Guy, Wine Police
Closers: Laugh Track

The Best

PRIVATE ZONE comes into this Sprint off of what could quite possibly be the best race of his life, a gritty score in the Vosburgh at Belmont last out in a race where he lost the lead in deep stretch before battling back to reclaim the win despite some bumping in the stretch for trainer Doug O’Neill under Martin Pedroza.

Speed has been Private Zone’s game his entire career, one that’s seen him take on the best sprinters in California and around the world, including his failed run in Dubai this past spring. While three for eighth with three seconds at a third going this distance, he’s winless in three starts at Santa Anita, having finished second in each of those starts.

JUSTIN PHILLIP was the other participant in the Vosburgh stretch duel/shoving match and many felt, including this writer, that Justin Phillip should have been given the victory since he took the lead away from the winner, only to lose it when the bumping began.
   
Earlier this year, Justin Phillip finally won a G1 in the 29th start of his career that includes another pair of graded stakes scores from seven overall tallies. Trained by Steve Asmussen, this has easily been Justin Phillips most accomplished season, hitting the board in seven of eight starts including his last three under John Velazquez.

How great of a story would SECRET CIRCLE be if he can pull off a Sprint score in just his second start in over 18 months? Winner of the inaugural, now-defunct Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, Secret Circle was on the 2012 Triple Crown trail, winning both the Southwest and Rebel before finishing a well beaten second to his precocious stablemate Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby, all at Oaklawn.

That was the last we had seen of Secret Circle until just about three weeks ago when he sat just off the pace to win an allowance/optional claimer, stopping the clock in 1:07 4/5. Ridden by Martin Garcia, Secret Circle is a perfect three for three at the distance and is looking to give his trainer Bob Baffert his fourth Sprint tally.

Defending champ TRINNIBERG has had a rough go of things since upsetting last years’ Sprint at over 13-1 when capping off a solid three-year-old season.

In his four starts since, Trinniberg hasn’t come close in three of them, the Golden Shaeen in Dubai, the Churchill Downs on Derby Day and last out in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship over the course. Two starts back he did manage to finish second in the Smile, which is run at his him base of Calder. Rajiv Maragh rides for the first time for trainer Bisnath Parboo.

The Rest

BAHAMIAN SQUALL has won just one of his six starts this year, the Smile over Trinniberg where he came from mid-pack to score by 1¾ lengths. Two starts back, he was second in the Vanderbilt before racing on the worst part of the track in the Vosburgh when he was wide last out.

When he’s healthy and on the track, FAST BULLET is one of the fastest and most dangerous horses in the country. But through his five-year-old season, he’s run just six times, twice a year to be exact for the past three years, and will be making his first start off of a nine week layoff. He flashed his usual early speed last out when he finished next to last in the Forego over a sloppy track at Saratoga almost three months after taking the True North on Belmont Stakes Day on the lead in a sparkling 1:08 1/5.

GENTLEMAN’S BET returned from a 13 month layoff earlier this year and has put together quite a season, winning four of his seven starts. Third to Justin Phillip in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn, Gentleman’s Bet won a minor stakes at Prairie Meadows before finishing third in the Vanderbilt after getting cooked in a speed duel. Last out in the Phoenix, he was bumped at the start and didn’t handle the Polytrack, according to his rider, yet closed well to finish fourth, beaten less than two lengths.

LAUGH TRACK has won all four of his races on synthetics, with a failed run around two turns in the Alysheba at Churchill this past spring his love conventional dirt effort. Second in the Phoenix last out, Laugh Track is winless in his two starts at this distance.

MAJESTIC STRIDE is making his third start off of an 18 month layoff with a pair of wins already under his belt, including an allowance score at Santa Anita going this trip. In fact, Majestic Stride is perfect in three starts going six furlongs on conventional dirt in his career.

Phoenix winner SUM OF THE PARTS led every step of the way last out and actually finished fourth, beaten just three lengths after dueling for the lead, as a three-year-old in thisd event last year. His Phoenix victory last out is his lone win from four starts this year and he figures to be a big part of a crowded front end again this season.

Second in this last year as a sophomore, THE LUMBER GUY hasn’t come close to duplicating that effort in his four starts since. Poor efforts in the Malibu and San Carlos over this course this past winter made his connections ship him back to NY and The Lumber Guy mustered just a second place finish in a N.Y.-bred stakes in his first start back off of a February to August layoff. Last out, The Lumber Guy offered little in his attempt to defend his Vosburgh title, finishing last of seven.

WINE POLICE made his third start off of a 19 month layoff and return to conventional dirt a winning one at Remington last out off of a pair of synthetic tries at Del Mar. Overall, Wine Police has won three of his five starts at this distance.

The Strategy

There is a TON of speed in this heat and I can’t imagine one of them being able to go gate-to-wire, so I’m looking for someone who’s in the second bunch to pounce on the front runners. A multi-race exotic spread and in-race box is suggested.

The Bomb

Majestic Stride offers the most value of the speed and has done nothing wrong under these race circumstances. He should be 20-1 or so.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - The Mile
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Mile

Distance: 1 mile on turf;
Purse: $2,000,000
Age: 3-Year-Old and Up
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 7:42 p.m. EDT

The History

Where should I start?!?! Four horses have won multiple runnings, starting with Miesque beating the boys in 1987 and 1988. The speedy Lure won back to back runnings in 1992 and 1993 before failing to accomplish the three-peat in 1994. Da Hoss, amazingly, won it in 1996, ran once in between then re-rallied in the final strides to win it two years later in 1998. And, of course, Goldikova won three in a row from 2008 through 2010 before finishing third in 2011. And just last year, Wise Dan capped off his Horse of the Year campaign with a popular Mile score over 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. It’s worth noting that Goldikova’s trainer Freddie Head has won three and is a five-time Mile winner and the only person to win a Breeders’ Cup race as a trainer and a jockey, as he was the regular rider of Miesque.

Favorites: 10 for 29 (34%)
Shortest: $4.60 (Lure, 1993 and Goldikova, 2010)
Highest: $131.60 (Court Vision, 1986)
U.S based: 17
Foreign based: 12
The champ is here? Yes, Wise Dan will look to join such greats as Miesque, Da Hoss, Lure and Goldikova as multiple Mile winners.

The Scenario

Front Runners: Bright Thought, Obviously
Mid-pack: Silentio, Wise Dan, Za Approval
Closers: Cristoforo Colombo, He Be Fire N Ice, No Jet Lag, Olympic Glory, Silver Max

The Best

Multiple horses will be discussed in this section in every other Breeders’ Cup race, but when the defending champ, who also happens to be the reigning Horse of The Year, is running, it doesn’t get any better so this section is reserved for WISE DAN.

After a 2012 campaign that included planned runs on Polytrack and conventional dirt, trainer Charlie Lopresti decided on a “Turf Only” schedule this year, and Wise Dan didn’t let him down, winning the first five starts of the year in a pair of G2s and a trio of G1s, namely the Makers Mark, Turf Classic at Churchill and in the Woodbine Mile where he set the course record.
   
It literally took an act of God to derail Wise Dan this season, as torrential rains in the hours leading up to the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland forced management to switch the race to their Polytrack surface and elongate the race from its intended distance to 1 1/16 miles.

Under John Velazquez, Wise Dan broke well from his outside post and set up camp just off the early lead but couldn’t reel in the winner in the latter stages and had to settle for second, beaten 1¼ lengths. Though he’s won at distances beyond a mile and over that surface in the past, it’s hard for me to hold that race against him.

The Rest

SILVER MAX was the one that shook loose on the lead in the Shadwell, his first synthetic start and arguably the best race of his career. As a sophomore last season, Silver Max won five stakes but went sour for just about a year. He returned to his winning ways, and apparently turned the corner, in June, winning a minor stakes in the slop at Churchill before winning his last three, including a pair of graded turf stakes.

BRIGHT THOUGHT started his career with just one win, a $25K maiden claimer at Laurel on dirt, before shipping to California and winning all three of his turf starts at distances ranging from  a mile to 1½ miles. This will be his first start in over seven months

CRISTOFORO COLOMBO sports Lasix for his U.S. debut from the powerful Aidan O’Brien stable. A winner of just two of his nine starts, this three-year-old arguably ran his best race on a synthetic track and is seemingly one of the weakest runner’s this barn has ever sent over the pond.

Fellow three-year-old Euro OLYMPIC GLORY is wheeling back in just two weeks for his trainer Richard Hannon having won the British Champions Mile at Royal Ascot last out, his first win from four tries at the distance.

HE BE FIRE N ICE closed well to finish second in the Del Mar Mile and City of Hope in his last two but has done the bulk of his best running against Cal-breds and allowance foes. He has been in the exacta in each of his four starts at this distance.

NO JET LAG is a perfect two for two in the U.S. with the addition of Lasix, with both victories coming at this distance. No Jet Lag closed from far back to win an allowance/optional claimer at Del Mar back in August before storming home to win the City of Hope here off an eight week layoff in his latest.

OBVIOUSLY burned a ton of money in the City of Hope as the 1-2 favorite when he was taken out of his game and rated as opposed to being turned loose on the front end. Before that tactical error when he wound up fourth, Obviously won three in a row, the American, Shoemaker and Del Mar Mile, and will likely be sent immediately to the lead in here.

SILENTIO is winless in four starts this year after closing out his sophomore campaign with a win here in the Sir Beaufort. He’ll be making his first start in ten weeks and just his second sine an April layoff.

ZA APPROVAL is making his third start off of a ten week layoff having won the Knickerbocker at Belmont just three weeks ago. He was second off the layoff two starts back in the Woodbine Mile behind Wise Dan and has won half of his 14 turf starts, including four at this distance.

The Strategy

I don’t see how they’re going to beat Wise Dan but admittedly am scratching my head as far as what’s going to happen behind him. He’s my single in multi-race exotics.

The Bomb


Though he’s coming back in just three weeks, Za Approval ran a credible second to Wise Dan at Woodbine and has done some of his best work with Rosario aboard. 15-1 is a square price.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

BC - The Clasic
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

The Classic

Distance: 1¼ miles
Purse: $5,000,000
Age: 3-Year-Olds and Up
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 8:35 p.m. EDT

The History

You knew this race was aptly named after the stretch run of the inaugural running when eventual winner Wild Again played bumper cars along with Slew o’ Gold and Gate Dancer. Ferdinand won the battle of the Kentucky Derby winners over Alysheba in 1987 before Alysheba claimed his own classic Victory the following year.

In the final chapter of their brief, yet intense rivalry, Sunday Silence held off the desperate surge of Easy Goer to win in 1989. Jerry Bailey won three in a row, starting in 1993 with Arcangues, the longest priced winner in Breeders’ Cup history and ending with the great Cigar in 1995 who capped a perfect 10 for 10 season with a fantastic score. Awesome Again split rivals in deep stretch to win a wild one in 1998 over Silver Charm and Swain.

Tiznow gutted out two of the greatest wins over a pair of tough Europeans in Giant’s Causeway and Sahkee in 2000 and 2001 respectively, making his trainer Jay Robbins and the great Charlie Whittingham the only two time winners of the race.

Volponi blew up the tote board, then the Pick 6 scandal, in 2002 with his win at 43-1. Ghostzapper set the stakes record with a gate-to-wire, tour de force victory in 2004. Curlin capped his Horse of the Year campaign in 2007 with a win before finishing fourth as the sports leading money winner in 2008.

The great Zenyatta kept the undefeated dream alive with a remarkable last-to-first run in 2009 before falling a head short of Blame in the 2010 renewal and finishing her career with 19 wins from 20 starts.

The Classic indeed!!!!

Favorites: 8 for 29 (28%)
Shortest: $3.40 (Cigar, 1995)
Highest: $269.20 (Arcangues, 1993) *Highest price in history of the Breeders’ Cup*
The champ is here? Yes, Fort Larned is looking to join Tiznow as the only other two time Classic winner.

The Scenario

Front Runners: Fort Larned, Game On Dude, Moreno
Mid-pack: Declaration of War, Flat Out, Last Gunfighter, Mucho Macho Man, Palace Malice, Paynter, Planteur
Closers: Will Take Charge

The Best

Bob Baffert has nearly every big race there is, most of them numerous times, but he has yet to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He’s hoping GAME ON DUDE will change that with a win on Saturday.

Funny thing is, I’m sure the same thing was going through Baffert’s silver-haired head last year right around this time but Game On Dude didn’t cooperate as the 6-5 favorite by breaking poorly and never seriously threatening.

One year later, Game On Dude is once again looming the big favorite and is perfect over this course in his seven other starts, save last years’ Classic debacle. A winner of all five starts this year, including both the San Antonio and Santa Anita Handicap over the course, Game On Dude hasn’t raced in nine weeks when he galloped home by daylight in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Mike Smith will ride.
   
It’s been an interesting 2013, to say the least, for last years’ Classic upsetter FORT LARNED and his trainer Ian Wilkes. His win here last year capped off a season that saw him win five of nine starts and over $3.5 million.

Things have been quite different this year. He dumped his rider Brian Hernandez, Jr. at the start of his seasonal bow in the Gulfstream Park Handicap then didn’t raise a hoof in the Oaklawn Park Handicap some five weeks later. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the old Fort Larned returned when he crushed the Stephen Foster at Churchill by over 6 lengths. Less than two months layoff, the rollercoaster dipped down again when he sat a perfect trip early on in the Whitney before fading inexplicably through the lane.

Taking a kid gloves approach, Wilkes ducked all the major competition in the final round of Breeders’ Cup preps, opting to run Fort Larned against five well overmatched rivals in the inaugural Homecoming Classic at Churchill which he won by a diminishing 1½ lengths in less than stellar fashion.

MUCHO MACHO MAN gave Fort Larned fits throughout the Classic last year, especially in that slugfest of a stretch drive and like his foe has had a crazy kind of season for trainer Kathy Ritvo.

Ritvo added blinkers for his seasonal debut in the Sunshine Millions, a race he was victorious in this year. But this year was a far different story. Over a sloppy track, Mucho Macho Man never seemed comfortable as the prohibitive 2-5 favorite and was eventually eased. When he resurfaced five months later at Belmont, he caught a different type of wet track but found the results to be the same as he tired to finish a bad third at 3-5.

Mucho Macho Man showed some signs he was coming around when he finished third in the Whitney in the first week of August before really stamping himself a Breeders’ Cup contender in the Awesome Again over this course last out when he was taken a bit further back than usual by his new rider Gary Stevens before unleashing a powerful stretch kick to win by a going away 4¼ lengths.

The Rest

Aidan O’Brien continues his pursuit of Americas’ richest race, sending DECLARATION OF WAR, with Aidan’s son Joe to ride, over from Europe for his conventional dirt debut, a surface he is more than adequately bred to handle.

Three for three over synthetics, Declaration of War is accomplished at this trip as well, winning two of his three starts, one on turf, at this distance and finished second to Al Kazeem in his lone defeat. Declaration of War will be making his first start in nearly ten weeks and adds Lasix for his U.S. debut.

FLAT OUT finished third behind Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man last year in this and put together another solid campaign at the ripe old age of seven this year.

He won both the Westchester and Suburban at Belmont, just missed by a head in the Woodward at Saratoga over a sloppy track and was third in both the Met Mile when he almost fell down at the top of the stretch and last out when he stumbled at the break and raced wide in the Jockey Club Gold Cup for trainer Bill Mott. Joel Rosario rides.

LAST GUNFIGHTER stepped up to tackle the big boys in the Jockey Club Gold Cup last out but finished a well beaten fifth, his inly off the board performance in six starts this year.

In fact, save a second place finish behind Flat Out in the Suburban, Last Gunfighter was perfect going into his last race, with wins in the graded Excelsior, Iselin and Pimlico Special already on his resume for trainer Chad Brown. Javier Castellano has the call.

Before adding blinkers and making his presence felt in some of the more important, second half of the season three-year-old races, MORENO was winless in nine starts in SoCal, including an 0 for 5 record at Santa Anita.

But things changed when trainer Eric Guillot shipped him east and threw a pair of blinkers on Moreno. He broke his maiden, won the Dwyer and was third in the Jim Dandy before falling just a nose short in the Travers. Last out in the Pennsylvania Derby, Moreno set the pace before tiring to finish second. Joe Talamo rides for the first time.

Belmont Stakes winner PALACE MALICE comes into this race off of a second place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup when he raced on the outside part of a giant inside speed race track in his first start against older horses.

Palace Malice followed up his Belmont upset with a strong victory in the Jim Dandy, a race that put him right in the picture for the three-year-old Eclipse Award before being given a horrendous ride in the Travers when he broke poorly only to come flying through the lane to finish fourth. John Velazquez rides for the first time for his main man Todd Pletcher.

PAYNTER will look to cap off his Cinderella story, returning this year from near-death, to be a somewhat competitive force in the handicap division for older horses. All the credit in the world goes to his trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zayat Stables who afforded this colt every resource to pull through his fight.

On the track, Paynter dazzled in his first start in over 10 months, winning a money allowance contest at Hollywood going seven furlongs, by daylight. It’s turned out to be his lone win, with runner-up finishes in the San Diego and last out in the Awesome again along with a last place finish in the Woodward comprising the rest of his 2013 form. Martin Garcia rides.

PLANTEUR ships in from across the pond for trainer Marco Botti, hoping to follow in the likes of Arcangues and Ravens Pass as upset Classic winners from Europe.

The six-year-old will get Lasix for his conventional dirt debut, in this his 24th start having kept some of the best company in Europe throughout his career which dates back to August 2009. He’s hit the board in all three starts at this distance, all over synthetic surfaces, including a third place finish behind 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom earlier this year in the Dubai World Cup.

WILL TAKE CHARGE seeks the hat trick in the Classic for his trainer D Wayne Lukas having won both the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby in his last two starts.

This will be Will Take Charge’s 10th start of the year but first against older horses. He was off the board in all three Triple Crown events before Lukas removed the blinkers in his second place finish at 17-1 in the Jim Dandy where he lost by just a length.

RON THE GREEK will be scratched after a quarter crack was discovered on Thursday.

The Strategy

I really like Palace Malice, really don’t like Game On Dude, so I can afford to spread a bit and hope to hit a real coconut number. I suggest you do the same.

The Bomb


Flat Out figures to get lost in the shuffle from his outside post and should be a juicy 12-1. He always shows up and gets reunited with Rosario.

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Re: Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Saturday 11/2

Breeders Cup Odds and Picks – Handicapping the Classic and the rest of Saturday’s card
By: The Linemakers   
Sportingnews.com

Saturday brings us nine Breeders’ Cup races from Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., including the $5 million Classic. Fort Larned won last year’s edition of the Classic, also at Santa Anita, at odds of about 9-to-1, and will have to defeat many of the same challengers in order to become the second horse in history to win the race in back-to-back years (Tiznow won the event in 2000 and 2001).

Game on Dude was the beaten favorite last year, finishing a distant second, and again has the shortest odds in the morning line.

Mucho Macho Man is the 5-to-1 second choice.

Lou D’Amico, The Linemakers’ go-to guy for horse racing, offers his selections for all of Saturday’s card.

Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies

Lou’s selection: "My pick here is No. 4 Secret Compass at 6-to-1. This Bob Baffert-trained filly has a win over this track and distance, taking the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes on Sept. 28. I’ll use Nos. 6, 9 and 10 in some exactas, trifectas and superfectas."

Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf


Lou’s selection: "My pick is No. 6 Marketing Mix at 7-to-2. This five-year old mare has won nine times on the turf and has earned almost $2 million over her career. I’ll throw Nos. 3, 5 and 7 in some exotics."

Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

Lou’s selection: "Going with No. 9 Judy the Beauty at 6-1. This filly beat Groupie Doll, Saturday’s favorite, at Keeneland in her last start. Judy the Beauty is trained by Wesley Ward, who would not bring her to Santa Anita if he didn't think she had a big shot to win. Use Nos. 2, 5 and 11 in your exotic plays."

Geico Breeders Cup Turf Sprint

Lou’s selection: "No. 14 Unbridled's Note at 8-1. I'm not crazy about the outside post position, but he has a top jockey in Nakatani, who knows how to weave in and out of traffic and will have this horse flying at the end. I’m using Nos. 3, 4 and 12 as well."

Breeders Cup Juvenile

Lou’s selection: "The winner of this race will be the winter book favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby. I'm going with No. 14 Strong Mandate, at 6-1, trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Seems to be enough speed in the race to set up for a closer, and I like that Joel Rosario is aboard for the first time. Exotic wagers will include Nos. 4, 10 and 13."

Breeders' Cup Turf

Lou’s selection: "My pick here is No. 12 Real Solution at 8-1. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano, a potent combination. I like the way this horse has trained at Belmont, and Brown sends him west to compete. Throw Nos. 7, 8 and 10 in your exactas, triples and superfectas."

Breeders Cup Sprint

Lou’s selection:
"I’m putting No. 8 Fast Bullet on top at 6-1. The Lukas trainee was a disappointment in his last race at Saratoga this past August, but I believe he will rebound and run a big one here. He’s been working well enough at Churchill Downs for Lukas to send him west in what could be a big day for the Hall of Fame trainer. Use Nos. 2, 5 and 9 for exotic bets."

Breeders Cup Mile

Lou’s selection: "Let’s go with a long shot in this race, No. 10 Za Approval at 15-1. Of course, favorite Wise Dan will be tough, but Za Approval did run second to him in Canada two races back. Take a shot with a price, and back him up with Nos. 3, 4 and 8."

Breeders Cup Classic

Lou’s selection:
"The main event features favorite Game On Dude, who has won seven out of eight at Santa Anita and might be hard to contain here. But I'm looking for another price. My pick here is No. 5 Declaration of War at 10-1. This European invader has won seven times, all on turf and synthetic race tracks, but has not been on conventional dirt – this will be his first try. He is trained by Aidan O’Brien, who has not run this horse since August, but will surely have him ready for a top performance. Nos. 6, 7 and 9 will all be involved in my exotics."

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