Breeders Cup Saturday features 9 races involving top thoroughbred competition, and also includes 2 major races on the Enlightened Derby and Oaks Trails. As with the Friday races, these selections are not my final ones until the day’s scratches and changes are released and proper update as noted.
First of these races does count toward the EOT. It is the BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE FILLIES, worth $2 million, at 8.5 furlongs.
5 CRISTINA’S JOURNEY wired the field in 2 lifetime starts, winning a 29k maiden race at ELP in July, then the Grade 2 Pocahontas at Churchill in September. Layoff since then since is no concern. Worked out considerably fast both at Churchill and Santa Anita since then include 1 bullet work. Sprinting 8.5 furlongs seemed easy in top company last out and I seek a repeat. ML odds are 6/1. I say she’s an overlay>
5 Cristina’s Journey
4 Conquest Eclipse
The assorted EOT points for the race are 250-100-50-25 for the top 4 finishers. Here are the point totals for the starters:
Angela Renee 50
Conquest Eclipse 50
Wonder Gal 100
By The Moon 350
BREEDERS CUP FILLY & MARE TURF is for horses 3YO+ going 10 furlongs, $2 million at stake.
4 DAYATTHESPA has 10 wins in 17 starts, including these at Grade 1 level: last 2 versions of the First Lady at Keeneland; two more wins in the Matriarch at Betfair Hollywood Park, and the Queen Elizabeth Cup at Keeneland in 2012. Might be coming into a new form cycle; she achieved a 103 Brisnet last time out, shy of her lifetime best 107 last year. She might also bounce from that effort. This stalking horse seems to be the speed of the field. He’s also won previously stretching out, and has a great work tab.
11 Rusty Slipper
2 Just The Judge
BREEDERS CUP FILLIES & MARES SPRINT is worth $1 million, 7 furlongs for 3YO+.
6 LEIGH COURT ships from Keeneland, has won 5 of his last 6, and is in fact 7 wins for 11 starts These include 3 wins at the Graded level. Won her last race with a small new top of 100 Brisnet, slightly better than her best race last year. I rate this stalking horse the speed of the field. She has previously excelled while stretching out, and has 2 very good works from Woodbine in prep. ML odds are 4/1. I think she’s slightly better than this as the favorite.
6 Leigh Court
1 Sweet Reason
7 Judy The Beauty
First race of the BC series that looks like mostly chalk.
BREEDERS CUP TURF SPRINT has 16, 14 plus 2 also-eligible. This race is 6.5 furlongs on the unique downhill turf course, for 3YO+. $1 million at stake
14 NO NAY NEVER has 4 wins and 1 2nd lifetime, with wins in 3 countries. including the Darley Prix Morny in France, the Norfolk Stakes in England, and the Woodford Stakes at Keeneland. Last time out in the Woodford he appeared to have his lifetime best race, a 96 Brisnet, first time on turf. Should respond positively to the gain to 124 pounds, along with the stretch to 6.5 furlongs. ML odds are 9/2. I think he’s somewhat better than this.
14 No Nay Never
10 Home Run Kitten
3 Sweet Swap
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE is the top race for 2YO colts and geldings, 8.5 furlongs, $2 million.
This is also the big race on the Enlightened Derby Trial for this year’s 2YO colt crop, maybe our best look at next year’s Derby hopefuls for now.
Points are allocated as 250-100-50-25 for the top 4. Here the starters with points coming in:
Private Prospect 200
Blue Dancer 200
Lucky Player 50
Souper Colossal 100
8 SOUPER COLOSSAL is undefeated in 3, all with Paco Lopez, all at Monmouth. Winner of the Tyro and Sapling Stakes. Won the Tyro straight off layoff. Paired up Brisnet scores of 84 and 89 in his last 2. 7 workouts since the Sapling, 4 of them very fast, 1 a bullet.Should handle the stretch from a mile and class move with no problem, especially considering that he’s 2 months fresh. ML odds are 12-1. I believe he’s an overlay.
8 Souper Colossal
9 Carpe Diem
11 One Lucky Dame
BREEDERS CUP TURF is a whole 12 furlongs for horses 3YO+, $3 million.
3 Imagining has consistently run in Graded company, with wins at the different NY tracks. 2 races removed from his lifetime best of 108 Brisnet, finishing 2nd in the Sword Dancer. He followed that impressive effort with another at Belmont on 9/27, nearly wiring the field over 12 furlongs before finishing 3rd. Hoping the 6YO can continue the trend here. ML odds are 12/1. I see him as the favorite.
5 Hangover Kid
BREEDERS CUP SPRINT will be 6 furlongs for 3YO+, 1.5 million.
10 BIG MACHER won the Bing Crosby at Del Mar and another Grade 2 event at Santa Anita in April. 5 wins, 2 2nds, 2 3rds in 12 lifetime, 1st or 2nd in 5 lifetime at SA. On 2 month layoff, tho won the Bing Crosby off layoff as well. Worked out extremely well at Santa Anita with with several bullet works in the process. Has previously won when switching from all-weather to dirt. ML odds: 12/1. Overlay.
10 Big Macher
15 Bahamian Squall (also-eligible)
9 Salutos Amigos
4 Secret Circle
BREEDERS CUP MILE pits the best at the distance, 3YO+, on the Santa Anita turf course, $2 million.
13 TOURIST was 2nd last out in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington on August 16. Had previously won directly off layoff. His sprinting trip was excellent over the 10 furlong race last out, which was preceded by a 3 race win streak. Those three races represented a plateau of Brisnet scores in the 90s. I have to believe he’ll bounce back in pace and remain consistent with his recent trips. ML odds are 13/1. Overlay.
8 Trade Storm
Finally, the major race of the weekend, the BREEDERS CUP CLASSIC is at the classic distance of 10 furlongs. $5 million up for grabs.
7 BAYERN won the Pennsylvania Derby with a great sprint over 9 furlongs last time out. He had also won the Haskell Invitational, the Woody Stephens and the Derby Trial. 9 starts, 5 wins, 1 2nd, 1 3rd, and is 2 for 2 at Santa Anita. Nice bounce back in pace after early summer layoff. The 109 score he achieved in the PA Derby represents a small new top. Great workout regimen: 4 works at SA, all 4 very fast, 1 a bullet. I’m certain he can handle the stretch back to 10 furlongs.
13 California Chrome
Again, watch for changes to this post as time for scratches/changes draw near.