Enlightened Derby/Oaks Trail update: Churchill Downs

Today, Churchill Downs hosts my Enlightened Trails…where, 5 months from now, we’ll crown storied champion horses and connections.  The story has its importance under the TwinSpires today with the runnings of the Golden Rod Stakes for fillies, and the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes for colts/geldings. Both races are of the Graded category and offer points to the top 4,, 250-100-50-25 the breakdown.
These races are the 2nd in my Heartland division. 4 horses from each Trail are projected by me to start the hallowed Derby and Oaks races.  Recount, the top ranked horse among the colts in the Heartland, is reportedly taking off the rest of 2014 and will begin again at 3 around the Illinois area.
Here’s how the Golden Rod looks to me…
This race is at the Grade 2 level, 8.5 furlongs, 200k at stake for these fillies. My top 3:
4 SIMPLY CONFECTION has 2 ROI angles in play: Jockey Jon Court has worked with trainer William Fires 18 times in the last 60 days, with 4 wins, 5 placings in all, for a 5.30 ROI.  Fires himself has 2 wins and 4 placings in Graded Stakes this year, for a 7.27 return. Strong pace progress in play. Set lifetime best marks in last 2 races, with scores of 82 and 88. Both of his lifetime wins have come from an inside post. Morning line are 6-1; I think she should take more $ and be the favorite.
2  NO FAULT BUT MINE  won her maiden debut with a wide but strong closing trip in the stretch at Arlington Park in September. That, of course was on the poly and it was at 7 furlongs.  Based on that one race, she may prove to be the fastest filly here.  Best work tab too; 5 such works, 3 at CD, most very fast, 1 a bullet. With the layoff and workout regiment, she’s one to include. ML odds are 9/2 which seem legit.
5 CRISTINA’S JOURNEY won the Grade 2 Pocahontas on this track in September. After going 2-for-2, she was 11th of 12 in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies. She returns here with track bias in favor: Sprinters going 8.5 furlongs on the dirt have won 16 races during the meet, 33%. Plus, posts 4-7 are winning 15%. 3-1 ML odds. I’m not sure she’s that good but one to leave in.
My top 3 cover what may be 3 of the top 4 in wagering later, so I’m not sure this is a wagerable race.
In terms of EOT points: Heart’s Song comes in with 50 points. She was 2nd in the Mountaineer Juvenile.  All others are new to the Heartland division and the Trail.

Now for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, 11 colts going 8.5 furlongs on the dirt. This Grade 2 race is also worth $200k.

1 SKY HERO broke maiden in 2nd try, then won a 75k optional claimer last time here 3 weeks ago. Only horse in the field coming out of a convincing trouble-free trip. Top AWD numbers from pedigree (Sky Mesa/Vision of Beauty, by Danzig). Having the track win, plus a 92 Brisnet to go along with it makes him the real target. Big move up in class here obviously, but has a nice work since that race. Morning line says 6-1. Would be nice if he retains some value at post time. He just might be an overlay.
5 EL KABEIR, Florida-bred horse ships from the NY tracks, winning maiden race 2nd time out, was 4th in the Champagne, 2nd in the Nashua. I rate this stalking horse fastest of the field. Already proven to win stretching out, adding .5 furlong today, plus one good work since the Nashua. Also removes blinkers. ML odds are 7/2 which are about right.
9 LORD NELSON won his maiden debut, was 4th in the Front Runner at Santa Anita, then won the ungraded Speakeasy later during the SA meet. This is the pace progress horse, extending Brisnet rank in his last 2 (82, to 91, to 95 last out). Last race was October 13,and stretches by 3.5 furlongs. I have to believe he’s ready. ML odds are 5/2. I think he’ll be around that number.
Sky Hero may prove to be the one overlay of the field.
For your Enlightened Derby Trail concern, here’s who have points going in:
El Kabeir 25
Lucky Player 50
A number of horses active in the Derby Future Wager are also live in this race too. If you read my prior post, I’m very keen to see how Lucky Player and Imperia fare. Naturally my $2 win bets for the future wager will be placed after this race.  Also, if you read the post prior to that one, I do not rank anyone of this field in my first projected field for the Derby.

Turning briefly to my favorite first-crop sire Tale Of Ekati: He has 3 progeny in action today, 2 of whom race at Churchill. Ekati’s Phaeton is the ML favorite and the rail post in the House Party Stakes at Gulfstream Park West. This is the latest opportunity for TOE have a stakes winner.

I’ll update the EDT/EOT and Future Wager matters after all is said and done.  Keep watch on @idealisticstats for all breaking updates.

2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 picks

Can I really do it? Can I make $ on this future wager thing every year? For 4 years straight I have done just that.  I am confident that this trend will continue.
Firstly, here the horses who are part of the wager who were not part of my list of 23 from the previous post:
Blofeld
Classy Class
Dortmund
Eagle
El Kabeir
Frosted
Imperia
Lord Nelson
Lucky Player
Ostrolenka
Punctuate
The Great War
Unblunted
Of these, 3 horses had any of my Enlightened Derby Trail points, El Kabeir and The Great War with 25, and Lucky Player with 50.
So that means just 10 of my 23 made the official list.  Should I be surprised? Not at all, for my system is definitely one that wants to include more minor tracks and more ungraded stakes races, and level the playing field geographically.  I have a better system than the established; hopefully it will produce a winner.

Here, tho, I am assessing this field for next year’s run for all those roses.Here are the variables that I am working with:
Dosage (chef-de-race numbers)
Class
Churchill Downs experience
Best combined average winning distance from pedigree

best current pace based on run style
best pace score based on pace progression of those with races since Labor Day
Longest distance win
As with last year’s Pool 1, the top 7 in each category are ranked. Those with the most ranks in each category get considered. I rank my overall my top 5 from there.
Before introducing the top 5, something worth noting here: Every horse except one has raced in Cali or NY. There’s just one horse who raced in the South who got in. 3 horses have run in 3 geographic divisions (Carpe Diem, Lucky Player, Mr. Z) 18 are bred in Kentucky.  2 horses have only raced near where they were bred: Eagle, in the bluegrass section, and Ostrolenka in NY.  I was intrigued by the appearance of The Great War, invading from the UK and made his American debut in the Breeders Cup series.

Now for the top 5, Letterman style:
#5: OCHO OCHO OCHO: winner of the Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes at Santa Anita (ironically, taken off the turf), and last week’s Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot at 8.5 furlongs. One of the better combined AWD numbers of 16.7. Pedigree: 2007 KY Derby winner Street Sense, Winner, by Horse Chestnut, winner of the 1999 South African Triple Crown.  I’ve ranked him as fastest of the 23 horses here, with a stalking style. His 2nd call numbers in his last 2 races are 104 and 108. 3-for-3 lifetime.

#4: LUCKY PLAYER won the Grade 3 Iroquois and also his maiden debut at Churchill.  2nd in the Prairie Meadows Juvenile Million. One of the better dosage profiles of the group. Lookin At Lucky won the Preakness, and maternal grandsire is the world-class Storm Cat. Having a 90 Brisnet win over Churchill, best of this field at the track gives him an advantage, along with the win at 8.5 furlongs. Rather slow pace compared to others, despite positive pace progress. Considering his wins at Churchill and the minor track appearance, I’d love to see him win it all next year.
#3 IMPERIA won the Grade 3 Pilgrim at Belmont. Good dosage profile and AWD numbers. Sire Medaglia d’Oro was a multiple stakes winner, 2nd in the  Belmont. Dam Cocoa Beach was a stakes winner in 3 continents. Her sire, Doneraile Court was on the Derby Trail but never placed in the Triple Crown races. Ranked well in terms of pace progress, with a 77 in his maiden debut, then peaked to a 95 in the Pilgrim. Only caveat is that he’s only raced on turf, so I can’t factor him for distance (my variable only takes into account dirt races).
#2 MR. Z has a leading dosage profile: Malibu Moon is a perennial top sire, and we all know about his maternal grandsire Storm Cat.  Won maiden debut at Churchill with an 81 Brisnet. Consistently fast with his stalking style. Another example of good pace progression. His best race before Labor Day was a 94 in the Saratoga Special. He improved last time out with a 100 in the Delta Downs Jackpot.  The lone win in 7 starts at the maiden level is the one big concern but otherwise looks like he’ll blossom nicely at 3.
#1 TEXAS RED is my top pick of the 23. Winner of the Breeders Cup Juvenile at 8.5 furlongs, scoring a 101 Brisnet.  Sire is Afleet Alex, 3rd in the KY Derby.  Grandsire is Jeune Homme, who won stakes races in the US and France. This closer has one of the faster paces of the group. Improved in pace in each of his lifetime efforts following his maiden debut, ranging from 76 to 101. Is he just winding up for a monster 2015?
Next post will come overnight on Saturday as I preview the next Enlightened Derby and Oaks Trail races, both taking place under those famous twin spires.

First 2015 Kentucky Derby/Kentucky Oaks mythical fields

I love this time of year. Not just the way the weather is, not just the holiday, but the ramping up of the horse racing season in preparation for next year’s major races. It began for me really in July with the Enlightened Derby and Oaks Trails. Now the public at large gets involved, for the 2nd year running in November, in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The wager itself has been around nearly 20 years, but this autumn wager is still a new wrinkle, as horseplayers evaluate 2YOs who might make it to the gate on the first Saturday in May.
Last year, if you played Pool 1, you were playing a true sucker’s bet if you wanted the exacta. The mutuel field was 4/5 and of course you lost $ unless you bet enough to cover California Chrome’s win payout.  One horse, Ride On Curlin, made it from pool 1 to the starting gate, offering 57-1, and was 15-1 at morning line the week of the race, finalizing at 17-1.  He finished 7th.
I will do what I did last year and place 5 $2 win bets, one each on my top 5 contenders.  I changed up my standards from last year just a bit to accommodate some new variables I’ve recently picked up.   You’ll see who I picked in the next post.

Before I give you contenders I want to outline my first list of 24 horses that I would put in the Derby along with 4 also-eligibles, plus 14 in the Kentucky Oaks and 2 extras. In building this list I broke ties between top horses by these rankings:
First, most points.
Second, points in routes.

Third, Graded or top ungraded stakes value.
I further followed my original plan of taking the top four in each geographic division
The list is fully based on the linked spreadsheet, updated through the 11/22/14 races
2014-enlightened-derby-and-oaks-trails
Here’s the list of who is in beyond ties, in no particular order:
Blue Dancer
Conquest Typhoon
Daredevil
Competitive Edge
American Pharaoh
Texas Red
Calculate
Carpe Diem
Recount
Private Prospect
One Go All Go
Bourbon Cowboy
Ocho Ocho Ocho
Mr. Z
Far Right
Saratoga Heater
That’s 16 horses out of 24.  Here are those I had to separate from ties:
Within the minor track category, 4  up for grabs within, we can add 4 who have 100 points:
*Private Prospect
Souper Colossal
My Point Exactly
Prime Engine
Capitalism
Of these 5, we already qualified Private Prospect. Of the remaining 4 that won on routes, we give the edge to horses in the highest value races.  Souper Colossal won the 100k Sapling at Monmouth.
My Point Exactly won the Sunday Silence at Louisiana Downs, 75k.
Prime Engine won the Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs, 65k.
Capatalism won the Canadian Juvenile at Northlands, 50k.
I’d eliminate Capatalism from the immediate list.  We now have 19 in.
From the East Coast category, 3 are in, with 1 spot remaining. 3 have 100 points:
Upstart was 2nd in the Champagne at Belmont, Grade 1, 500k.
Samuel Deschamplain was 2nd in the Summer Stakes at Woodbine, Grade 2, 200k
I Spent It was 2nd in the Hopeful at Saratoga, Grade 1, 350k
So that’s 23 horses in all.
I’d keep Upstart of these.
Now we have our 20. The ones that lost the tiebreakers (Capitalism, Samuel Deschamplain and I Spent It) would be 3 of the 4 also-eligible.
That leaves one spot as a true wild-card. I have to split it between 3 horses with 100 who scored in a 100k race: Hashtag Bourbon, Waha Wild, and Less Than Perfect.
For the Oaks Trail, here’s who would make the top 14:
Out of the minor tracks there are 9 with 100 but just 2 with wins at a route: Naval Command, and Ambleside Park.
In Cali:
Sunset Glow, Take Charge Brandi are in along with Her Emmynency. With Brandi qualifying in 2 divisions, I’ll take the next best filly in points in either division. That would be Top Decile here.
East Coast:
By The Moon, Condo Commando, Conquest Harlanate
Heartland:
Quality Rocks, Sarah Sis, Happy To Go
South: Take Charge Brandi, Skipalute, Majestic Presence.
Again here’s my full list of Derby hopefuls:
Blue Dancer
Conquest Typhoon
Daredevil
Competitive Edge
American Pharaoh
Texas Red
Calculate
Carpe Diem
Recount
Private Prospect
One Go All Go
Bourbon Cowboy
Ocho Ocho Ocho
Mr. Z
Far Right
Saratoga Heater
Private Prospect
Souper Colossal
My Point Exactly
Prime Engine
Also-eligible:
Samuel Deschamplain
I Spent It
Capitalism
And here’s my Oaks hopefuls:
Naval Command
Ambleside Park
Sunset Glow
Take Charge Brandi
Her Emmynency
Top Decile
By The Moon
Condo Commando
Conquest Harlanate
Quality Rocks
Sarah Sis
Happy To Go
Skipalute
Majestic Presence
This list will get updated in separate posts after each Enlightened Trail race.  This means you can look forward to another update following the appropo races at Churchill Downs on 11/29, the Golden Rod, and the Kentucky Jockey Club.

Enlightened Derby/Oaks trail update: Delta Downs

This weekend, Delta Downs in Vinton Lousiana is the site of the next races in my Enlightened Derby and Oaks Trails, a series that determines whom I believe should be the top representatives for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks next year.   Before launching to analysis for Saturday’s Delta Downs Jackpot and Delta Downs Princess Stakes, here are the top horses in the geographical divisions of the EDT and EOT based on points.
Derby Trail:
Minor tracks:
Blue Dancer 200
Less Than Perfect 125
Highway Boss, Hashtag Bourbon, Private Prospect, Waha Wild, Skim The Rail, Souper Colossal, My Point Exactly, Native American, Prime Engine, Pain and Misery, Capitalism, Gotta Get Paid, Stratagem, Grand Full Moon, 100
East Coast:
Conquest Typhoon, Daredevil, Competitive Edge  250
Samuel Deschameplain, I Spent It, Upstart, 100
Cali:
American Pharoah, Texas Red 250
Calculate, Carpe Diem 100
Heartland:
Recount: 250
Private Prospect 100
One Go All Go 50
Bourbon Cowboy 25
Southern division will actually begin with this weekend’s races at Delta Downs.
You’ll recall that I take the top 4 in each division, then 4 overall as wild-card entries as ‘also-eligible’.
Oaks Trail:
Minor:
Do The Danse, Strawberry Baby, APs Glory, Yelling Timber, Forest Lake, Concealedwithakiss, Naval Command, Ambleside Park, Lil Sugar Bear, 100
Cali:
Sunset Glow, Take Charge Brandi 250
Her Emmynency, Top Decile, 100
East Coast:
By The Moon 350
Condo Commando 275
Conquest Harlanate 250

Heartland:
Quality Rocks 250
Sarah Sis 100
Happy To Go 50

South begins with Delta Downs this weekend.
Top 3 of each division get in, plus 2 wild cards.

Now that you know who have scored where, you’ll want to file this away, as the Derby Future Wager is soon upon us. For 11/28-30, I will choose 5 horses, $2 win on each, to survive all the way to May and win the run for all those roses.   Yes, I’ll rank the contenders once those names are known, which I think will be on 11/25

On to Saturday’s races!

Delta Downs Jackpot is 8.5 furlongs for top 2YOs, $1 million.
Point allocation for the top 4 finishers in the EDT: 250-100-50-25. Prime Engine has 100 points coming in.
Top 3:
1 PRIME ENGINE ships from Emerald Downs. Winner of the Gottstein Futurity at the distance with an 80 Brisnet, as well as his maiden debut. First or 2nd at each point of call. Coming off layoff and a claim, you have to feel this horse is being thoroughly prepared to win. Indeed, he’s worked out well: 5 works at Santa Anita, 1 bullet work, 1 nearly so out of the gate.  As a sprinter succeeding in a route, there’s much reason to be hopeful he can handle this field. ML odds are 8/1. I say he’s 9/2 and something of an overlay.
4 CONQUEST TSUNAMI won the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill last month, and a pair of ungraded events at Woodbine earlier in 2014. 5 wins in 6 races, suffered trouble in the stretch of the Breeders Futurity at Keeneland last month, finishing 6th of 12.  I have him and Prime Engine very close together. What I like about #4 is that he is the only horse in the field to win upon being shipped (June 21, the Victoria, Woodbine). He’s won before from a rise in class and stretchout, and put  up 2 very fast works since the Street Sense. He’s the other horse to enter winning a route as a sprinter, an angle I do like.  3 of his 5 wins are from a middle post. The 4/1 ML odds are about right.
6 GOLDEN ACTOR is the local threat, with an 87 Brisnet winner on this track in the Jean Lafit on 10/25, and maiden win in his 2nd start. Top average-winning distance from pedigree (Curlin/Clever Actress, by Theatrical).  A few ROI angles present themselves too tho with a small sample of races. ML odds of 7/2 are also accurate.

The Delta Downs Princess are for top 2YO fillies going 1 mile. $400k at stake. Same point allocation as with the Jackpot.  Coming in, Lil Super Bear has 100 points, Take Charge Brandi 250.
Top 3:
6 The aforementioned TAKE CHARGE BRANDI exploded to a 101 Brisnet win in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies race, easily the best of her 6-race career. Top pedigree of the field (Giant’s Causeway/Charming, by Seeking The Gold). Has run 5 of those races in Graded company. The excellent trip last out for this sprinter makes her a prime candidate here.

7 VIVIAN DA BLING is the local product, winning a 100k ungraded race here last month, this after placing 4th in the Adirondack at Saratoga,  and 2 wire to wire wins to start her career. She’s the single horse to have successfully won after stretching out (in this case, 6.5 to 7 furlongs). 3 wins and a 4th lifetime, plus win over this track makes her a force to be reckoned with.
1 DANESSA DELUXE has 2 wins, 2 seconds, winning at the maiden level in her third try, and also a 75k optional claimer right after, all taking place in Florida.  Her 88 score last time at this distance is best of the field for one mile. Trainer Antonio Sano has 19% winners and 38% placings in Graded stakes events for a 5.24 ROI. Closers in mile races during the meet are winning 35% of the time, and 25% from the rail.
This post will be updated once tomorrow’s scratches and changes are released.

Catching up….

I’ve fallen off the wagon, of sorts in reporting matters outside of horse racing. But now that the Breeders Cup is past us, controversy and all, other sports can be at my forefront.  At least until the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager comes around, which will be 11/28-30, as just reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal. http://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/horses/2014/11/12/churchill-downs-announces-kentucky-derby-future-wager-dates/18928413/
I expect there to be a rather interesting selection process, as there few horses who repeated top 4 placings in my Enlightened Derby and Oaks Trails.  And here are those horses:
Filly Trail: By The Moon, Wonder Gal, Condo Commando, Feathered.
Derby Trail: Less Than Perfect, Blue Dancer, Recount, Gotta Get Paid, Stratagem, Private Prospect, Bourbon Cowboy, Tapitsphere,

Tale Of Ekati, ,one of my very favorite horses continues to show some progress amongst his progeny. In his first crop, 8 have won races, 3 with 2 wins. Top domestic win was on 10/12 by Morning Tale, 45k allowance race at Parx.  TOE has winners in Japan, Mexico and Canada along with the US. Still no stakes winners. Not yet, anyway! But Morning Tale is entered in the Smart Halo Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday.  4 others are entered in MSW races this weekend.  When the time comes I’ll get you any particular angles that seem to be in play.

As for the trainer I’m targeting for analysis, Kiaran McLaughin, I’ve had little time to research until now. The matter was twofold; to have a sense on what trainer angles in general are best to use, and to figure out which ones that he is using best.  This is a new learning experience for me. Using different trainer angles and getting a sense as to who is making more changes tells me which horse seems ready to win today.
Del Mar handicapping contest for the month began last week. It’s one contest race, wagering just win-place-show, with a $100 bankroll.  I’m overbetting favorites and underbetting longshots.    Through 4 days I’m mid-pack down $22.
In ThoroEnduro at Remington Park I’m well behind the others but have a lot of lives, 6 in all, to keep me afloat for the final 4 weeks. I’m sure I’ll survive but it doesn’t look like I’ll be in cash position like I was last year.
In other sports, whose events I will cover here:
Finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour championship are on 11/16
Wladimir Klitschko vs Kubrat Pulev 11/15
Manny Pacquiao vs Chris Algieri 11/22
NASCAR championship race, the Ford EcoBoost at Homestead-Miami Speedway, is on 11/16
In F1, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is on 11/23
And the next EDT/EOT races are on 11/22, the Delta Downs Jackpot and Delta Downs Princess.

Hopkins/Kovalev, Sturm/Stieglitz boxing stat analysis

Well it’s about time I post about sports other than horse racing, right? Generally the sports I like outside of the ponies that get blog interest are baseball, boxing, tennis, golf and auto racing.   Tonight, 2 big boxing matches to cover for you.Bernard Hopkins v Sergey Kovalev duel for the WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

Hopkins is 55-6-2 with 32 wins and 0 losses by KO.  Ranked as the top light heavyweight boxer by Boxrec, and #1 (tho not champion) by The Ring magazine. It will be his 5th fight in this arena, site of one of his losses (Chad Dawson, 2012).  Won his last 3 fights, each by decision, these ahead of a loss and a no-decision.  Last KO win was vs Oscar de la Hoya in 2004. This will be his 8th consecutive fight vs opponent with either 0 or 1 loss.   Of note, judge Clark Sammartino was also present for “The Alien” ’s win vs Antonio Tarver in 2006.

Generally he’s on the upswing, with sharp punching power and will make the right punches at the right time.  Only drawback might be his willing to continue a long fight as he usually does.
As for Krusher Kovalev, it’s just his 7th fight scheduled for 12. Lifetime he’s 25-0-1, with 23 wins by KO. Ranked #1 in Russia and #2 in the world by Boxrec for the division, and also #2 by The Ring.
3rd consecutive fight in NJ, 2nd time at Boardwalk Hall. None of his fights since 2010 have gone to the late stages. This will be his 4th WBO light heavyweight title defense.
His cycles are rather opposite to Hopkins , with just slight delivery in punching power, tho seems have to more passion in the ring than his opponent. I’m not sure it will translate to a win. I figure he’s as weak as possible physically.If you’ve been waiting for a KO from Hopkins, tonight may be your night.

Felix Sturm vs Robert Stieglitz is the other main event, 12 rounds in the middleweight category. Referee Juergen Langos was once a judge for a prior Sturm victory.Sturm is 39-4-2, 18 wins and 1 loss each from KO. The German native has fought almost exclusively at home for all but a handful of fights. Top middleweight in the country according to Boxrec, #6 worldwide.  Tonight is his 4th fight at the Porsche Arena; previously he scored 2 TKO wins and one decision win.  Last 7 fights have a checkered record: 2 losses, 1 no-decision, 1 draw, 2 wins.

Sturm was in a triple low the other day, now in better shape physically and improving. Also having some trouble his decision making and psyche, so expectations for a win should be kept in check.
Stieglitz is #3 in The Ring Magazine’s list of super middleweights, and is #2 in Boxrec’s list, and #5 in the world.  The Russian native has also fought in Germany the great majority of this career.  It’s his first time fighting at Porsche Arena in Stuttgart. Won 6 of his last 7, 5 by KO. Most of his KO wins come in the late rounds of 12 round fights, most of the others in the middle rounds.
Steiglitz’s cycles were great a few days ago, but today he’s experiencing a double critical day, tough one for decision making and for handling his emotions. His power may be optimal but will not be consistent at all. Likely he will be prone to fouls or points lost for behavior.   Decision making is not to be relied on today.
With both fighters having trouble connecting with punches, this could end up going to decision. I’m giving it to Sturm as he’s not at least having to face a double critical day.

Updated Breeders Cup Saturday 2014 selections

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.

2 ANGELA RENEE won the Chandler Stakes here at Santa Anita in September. 91 Brisnet score in that race is the best track speed of the field, as well as for the distance. It was also just past her maiden debut win of 90.

Top 3

2 Angela Renee
5 Cristina’s Journey
8 Puca
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:
Feathered 50
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.
Top 3:
4 Dayatthespa
11 Rusty Slipper
3 Dank
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.
Top 3
6 Leigh Court
10 Southern Honey
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
1 RENEESGOTZIP  won a restricted event last time out, along with a Grade 3 event, both at Del Mar. Sprinters are winning turf sprints at the rate of 38%. Rail post will be very helpful.
Top 3:
1 Reneesgotzip

15 Ageless
5 Ambitious Brew
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
Daredevil 250
Upstart 100
9 CARPE DIEM is 2 for 2 lifetime, winning the Breeders Futurity convincingly at Keeneland, sprinting a route and winning by 6.5 furlongs. Best Brisnet for distance in this field, with a 100 score. Middle post will help his cause here.
Top 3
9 Carpe Diem
8 Souper Colossal
6 Lucky Player
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.
Top 3:
3 Imagining
9  Hardest Core

13 Big John B
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.
Top 4:
10 Big Macher
7 Mico Margarita
13 Work All Week
BREEDERS CUP MILE pits the best at the distance, 3YO+, on the Santa Anita turf course, $2 million.
2 OBVIOUSLY has won multiple times at the Graded level, and has 11 wins from 21 starts, along with being 4 for 9 at SA.  Best Brisnet at the track was the 2012 version of this race with a 106 score. Trainer Phillip D’Amato has 45% wins and 73% placings in Graded stakes this year. He’s rated as the speed of the field, and has several bullet works in preparing for this event. Will do well with the inner post.
Top 3
2 Obviously
13 Tourist
11 Sayaad
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.
Top  3:
7 Bayern
14 Majestic Harbor
11 Tonalist