Breeders Cup 2017 is upon us, with 4 big races, and 8
on Saturday. As usual, it’s a great handicapping
puzzle, with multiple distances, surfaces, and
international horses with vague pace/form info to rely
Here’s how I see Friday’s races:
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE FILLIES TURF, 1 mile on the Del
Mar turf track, for 2YO fillies, 1 million at stake.
Top 3 are Capla Temptress, Happily and Madeline.
Overlay possibilities are Capla Temptress, Ultima D and
Capla Temptress is co-third choice per ML odds, winner
of the Grade 1 Natalma last time out, along with a
Grade 3 race at Newmarket prior to this. Winner first
off layoff, she had won her debut race at Chelsford
City on 6/21. 3 wins and 1 3rd lifetime. Slight bounce
risk with matching speed figures last two races
(adjusting for Racing Post ratings, converted to Bris).
4 works in prep, 1 at Del Mar.
Happily already one of the top 3 choices via ML, a
winner at the Graded level in France and Ireland.
Another grandson of Sadler’s Wells, responsible for a
great 10.4 AWD number. Best speed figure for turf, and
best pattern of figures overall.
Madeline is the big price horse among what will be
popular choices. Winner of 2 minor stakes events in GB,
stretches to route for the first time. I like the two
shipping victories, and prior win while cutting back
significantly in weight.
Ultima D won the Juvenile Fillies at Kentucky Downs
last time out, pairing up a lifetime best of 86 with an
85. Also owns a shipping win, and is waiting the
longest of these to stretch out (9/6). 5 works, 1
BREEDERS CUP DIRT MILE, Grade 1 event, $1 million
purse, 3YOs +.
Top 3 are Practical Joke, Sharp Azteca and Iron Fist.
No overlays in this field.
Practical Joke 4th choice in the ML list with 6/1 odds.
Consistently running at the top levels of races, 10-
5-2-2 lifetime. Won the Dwyer first after layoff. One
of several horses carrying 123.
Sharp Azteca has won 7 of 14 lifetime, and has runs in
the 100s from his last 8 races, peaking at 113 in
February. Only pure sprinter in the field…may need a
slightly fast pace to win. 4 works, last one a bullet.
Improved in both of his 1st 2 calls in the Kelso, first
race after layoff.
Iron Fist is the longshot hope. Improved in 1st 2
calls last time out, first after layoff, in the
Governor’s Cup (9/24, Remintgton);
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE TURF, 1 mile on Del Mar’s turf
course, $1 millions for colts/geldings 2YO. My top 3
here are 11-3-10, Snapper Sinclair, Sands Of Mali, and
Flameaway. Those latter two I estimate as overlays.
Snapper Sinclair broke maiden at 83k level at Saratoga
on 8/14, then won a 350k stakes level 9/6 at Kentucky
Downs. Waiting since then to stretch out, he’s put in 7
works, 1 local, 2 very fast, include a bullet work.
Sands Of Mali won 2 of 4 lifetime at several GB tracks,
including a G1 and Class 5 level event. Via the Racing
Post information, he actually bounced last time out in
the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes, last of 12. First
time Lasix helps his cause.
Flameaway won his maiden debut, was 3rd in the Skidmore
at Saratoga, then 7th in the Iroquois, then 3rd in the
Bourbon, setting a 3rd straight noticeable gain in
speed rating. Best Bris pattern of this field.
BREEDERS CUP DISTAFF is the day’s feature, with top
fillies/mares 3YO+ going 9 furlongs, $2 million at
stake. Top 3: 4-6-3; Abel Tasman, Forever Unbridled,
and Mopotism (an overlay, as is Champagne Room)
Mopotism fared decently in her career, tho hasn’t won
beyond her maiden race. 2nd in the Santa Anita Oaks,
Island Fashion and the Las Virginnies. Peaked with 97
BRIS in her last 2 starts, the Grade 1 Cotillion and
Alabama. 4 works at Santa Anita, 3 of which were very
Champagne Room has a short and strong career, with wins
in the Remington Park Oaks and last year’s BC Juvenile
Fillies. Never worse than 4th in all 7. Only horse with
slight improvement over last year’s best mark (98 last
out in the RP Oaks).
In all 4 races, no real hope for any horse projected at
better than 4-1 to win.