2018 Breeders Cup Classic and Distaff future wager thoughts

I am overjoyed to learn that the Breeders Cup had put in place several Future Wager pools for some of the BC races.
I have begged for these pools to be instituted for some time, at least some expansion of the pools. Before this, outside of a sportsbook, the only way to wager on the KY Derby or KY Oaks would be the 4 pools that run between November and April. Now there is new juice available, and I’m ready to make a run at these.
23 horses are in the Classic Future Wager (doesn’t that just sound lovely?) and 22 in the BC Distaff. Bets are individual $2 wagers. No field selections in these pools. Nice and simple.

5 horses have already qualified in the BC Challenge Series. The next races to impact the Classic will be the Awesome Again at Santa Anita in September, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont in October.
For the Distaff, there are 3 that will impact: the Personal Ensign, being run this weekend; the Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita in September, and the Spinster at Keeneland in October. In the Personal Ensign, these horses will contend: Abel Taman, She Takes Heart, Fuhriously Kissed, Wow Cat, Farrell and Elate.
All BC Challenge races award an entry to the winner of the corresponding BC race. The field gets filled further by nominations; that is my best guess, anyway.

There are 2 pools for the Classic, one this weekend, the other on the first weekend in October. the BC Juvenile, plus a Juvenile Sire pool, will be open next weekend! The Distaff pool is this weekend, and the Turf will be on the first week of October.

For my strategy, I know this much: It will be different than for the Derby or Oaks because we’re taking into account a lot of lifetime and recent stats, and very little inherent stuff. Of course, these horses will run 1 or 2 more times before November, so it’s still rather risky. Aside, there is the matter of actually winning the challenge races, or having the earnings or nomination to get into the field.
I won’t be using the field selections of these wagers, tho I know they’ll definitely take some money, as usual. Without an exacta opportunity in these 6 pools, it’s probably not wise to choose this option.

Here are my variables. I have had to take a limited view as I’m using Brisnet’s past performance services, and they allow me to see just the last 10 races, not lifetime stats. It’s something of a drawback, but not entirely.
I have just 5 variables in play. I choose the top 7 in each plus ties. Those with the most rankings get top consideration, up to 5 horses.
My wagers will be the mandated $2 win on the first 5 in the list that I believe will be 6-1 or worse by pool’s close.
DISTANCE: Longest distance win, as published in Brisnet. Exactly 7 horses had won in 10-furlong races.
CHURCHILL DOWNS PACE: Fastest listed pace run at Churchill. 9 have had any recent runs there.
FORGED PACE: Any horse who set a new speed figure ‘top’ since May. I choose the most recent 7 of these tops, measured by date set.
BINOMIAL PACE: Multiply the most recent speed figure by 3, next most recent by 2, third-most by itself gets added in. The totals get added up. The raw number is what I’m looking for. In the case of hores running outside of North America, I have my own system that uses the British Racing Post numbers, adjusting based on distance, age and class. Looking for the highest raw numbers.
PATTERN: I look for either of 2 patterns: Up/down in speed figure, and a variance in the horse’s last 3 races that is no greater than 7 points. Fastest patterns get in.

11 horses in all qualified with at 2 in the top 7. Here are those 11:
11th: #4 CATALINA CRUISER has just 3 starts but all doozies. 2.25 lengths win in his maiden debut vs fellow 3YOs at Santa Anita last October, 95 Brisnet. Off 7 months he wins by the same margin vs optional claimer 40k horses, same 6 furlong distance. Speed was 106. Wins the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar going away, after a 2 month layoff and his first time at a route distance, winning with a 108. 15-1 are nice odds if I have to bet down this far to get him.
10th: #6 COLLECTED has 8 wins in 14 lifetime. No races since the Pegasus World Cup in January, he peaked at 111 in 2 Graded races last year. Last year’s Pacific Classic win was a 10-furlong race. Current pace projection for pace is slightly downward but still plenty fast compared to these other 22 horses.
9th: #23 WEST COAST ran a game 2nd last out in the Dubai World Cup and in the Pegasus prior to that. Winners of last year’s Travers Stakes at 10 furlongs. Very fast pace numbers based on his last 3 runs.
8th: SAXON WARRIOR a wild card here as he’s raced only in the UK. Winners of his first 4, and never worse than 4th. The Racing Post suggests his pace numbers are very fast in comparison to the others in this pool. He even sports a very fast pace pattern.
7th: #20: THUNDER SNOW still a true mystery horse, as he was removed from the Triple Crown races. Winner of this year’s 10-furlong Dubai World Cup and last year’s Prix Jean Prat in France. Pace pattern is competitive to these.
6th: #3 BRAVAZO hasn’t won since February, that being the Risen Star. Has had limited success in Graded company since. Set new top on June 9th in the Belmont, with a 101. Best run at Churchill was this year’s Derby, with a 93 while finishing 6th.
Now for the top 5:
5th: #17: PAVEL was 4th in this year’s Dubai World Cup, and since then was 6th in the Santa Anita Gold Cup, won the Stephen Foster with a 106 at Churchill (best CD score of these horses), and was 2nd in the Pacific Classic. Overall pace and pace pattern is in the top 7 here. Love the 30-1 odds.
4th: #22 VINO ROSSO was 3rd in the Jim Dandy, and 4th in the Belmont, where his 105 set a new top. Ran a 91 in the Kentucky Derby. Pace is decent but pace pattern is as good as others here. 30-1 is also a nice price.
3rd: #12 HOFBURG won his 2nd maiden race with a 96, 2nd in the Florida Derby with a 104, was 7th in the KY Derby, 3rd in the Belmont, setting a new top of 106, and then paired up with a 105 while winning a sloppy Curln Stakes at Saratoga on 7/27. Pace and pace pattern here very competitive. Also one to like at 30-1
2nd: #7 DIVERSIFY has won 10 of 15 lifetime, including his last 3; the Whitney with a 101, the Suburban with a new top of 114, and the Commentator at Belmont with another 101. No pace pattern for him here but he qualified in all other categories. Ran a 100 in last year’s Clark at CD. 5-1 odds are not attractive enough to wager on but that can certainly change.
1st: ACCELERATE is touted as the big favorite and I must agree. 18 of 20 in the money lifetime; 1st or 2nd in his last 6 races. Very fast pace and pace pattern. Set new top of 114 last time out, winning the 10-furlong Pacific Classic by 12.

Hofburg, Vino Rosso, Pavel, Bravazo and Thunder Snow most likely to be wagered upon, $2 each for win.
Here’s how I see the Distaff:
7 horses qualified out of the 22 for my consideration for betting for win here:

7th: #9 FARRELL: Winner last out of the Grade 3 9-furlong Shuvee at Saratoga. Peaked prior to that with a 100 in the Fleur De Lis on 6/16 at Churchill, scoring 100. 30-1

6th: #18 SHE’S A JULIE: Best race was in July, winning the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks with a 99. Followed up with a 96 running 2nd in the Alabama. One of the faster fillies of the field, with last 4 races in the 90s. Worth a shot at 50-1

Top 5 here for my consideration:
5th: #1 ABEL TASMAN ran lifetime best 112 in last year’s Distaff, finishing 2nd. Since then, she was 4th in the La Troienne, then won the Ogden Phipps, scoring a 101. Twice a winner at 9 furlongs. Winner of the Kentucky Oaks with a 102. One of the faster pace figures of the field. Hard to like at 4-1.
4th: #8 ESKIMO KISSES Won the Alabama with a new top of 103 last week. Great pace profile, tho no real pattern. Might be good for value at 8-1.
3rd:#3 BLUE PRIZE won this year’s Top Flight Invitational and the Fleur De Lis, the latter being a small new top of 102, set on 6/16. That 9-furlong race at CD ties 3 others for the best CD score of the 22 in this pool. Also has one of the leading pace totals. Good pick here at 30-1.
2nd: WONDER GADOT: Winner of this year’s Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales, she ran her best at CD in the KY Oaks, scoring a 102. Not the fastest here but has a competitive pace pattern 5-1 is an iffy pick here.
1st: MONOMOY GIRL is highly favored in the pool at 7/2. Probably not going to pick here but she deserves her place. Winner of 8 of 9 lifetime except for last year’s Golden Rod. Peaked at 102 in her KY Oaks win, and since then ran a 100 in the Acorn, and a 96 in the CC American Oaks. Competitive pace and pattern here.

I’m likely going with these five, depending on the movement of odds and the outcome of the Personal Ensign: Blue Prize, Eskimo Kisses, She’s A Julie, and Farrell. I know I need a 5th. Will split those hairs on Sunday if need be!
Post coming Friday night as I preview the major stakes action that is Travers Day at the Spa.

Breeders Cup Classic 2017 prediction

BREEDERS CUP CLASSIC, 10 furlongs, $6 million, 3YO+.

ARROGATE had that nice 7 win streak, capped by the Dubai World Cup. Since then, a 4th in the San Diego, and 2nd in the Pacific Classic. His 124 in last year’s Travers remains the best score for this field considering the distance. Prior winner off layoff. Considerable bounce risk given his increase of 16 in Bris last time out. One of two horses I’m forgiving for a wide or tough trip yet fast performance. Best turn time of the field…gained 1.4 seconds between last two races, :24.1 last race.
My odds: 6-1.
Prediction: Not in top 6
Winning pace: slightly slower than average overall.

War Decree debuts in the US, first time Lasix. Winner in GB and Ireland, twice at Graded levels. One of 2 horses who have created a small new top against last year’s best score. This was acheived last time out at Dundalk on 9/29.
My odds: 22-1
Prediction: 6th.

Win The Space with a pretty decent record running in Cali. 0-3 at Del Mar. Gained 4 lengths on the leader last time out in the Awesome Again…finished 3rd with 100 Bris.
My odds: none.
Prediction: Worse than 6th.
Winning pace: average throughout

War Story has prior win first off layoff.Winner of the Brooklyn 3 races back; prior win was back in January in the Queens Count on a good inner track at Aqueduct. Increased by 6 points to 98 last time out in the Woodward. Waiting now 8 weeks to stretch out another furlong. 5 works, 1 local, 4 very fast, 1 bullet.
My odds: 7-5. Overlay
Prediction: winner.
Winning pace: Slow at first call, average at 2nd.

Gun Runner: 1st or 2nd in every race since 9/16, 8 races in all, and 9 races with a triple-digit Bris. Prior winner first off layoff. He’s the other horse influenced by a small new top. 114 win last out in the Woodward, ahead of last year’s 112. Gained 7 points from prior, so he might bounce. Waiting 8 weeks to stretch out. :24.1 turn time last race.
My odds: 9-1
Prediction: 4th
Winning pace: slightly faster than average throughout.

Mubtaahij won the Awesome Again last time out..first win in nearly 2 years. Best AWD numbers in the field (Dubawi/Pennegale, out of Pennekamp). Splitted time between US and Dubai. Good consistent runs, 10 of 18 in the money.
My odds: Not considered.
Prediction: Worse than 6th.

Churchill has 7 wins in 12 races, debuts in the US with Lasix for the first time. No real competitive numbers or form to consider him.
My odds: 18-1
Prediction: 5th

West Coast is 8-6-2-0, winning this year’s Travers, PA Derby, Los Alamitos Derby, Easy Goer. 108 and 112 ahead of 96 amidst her last 3…possible bounce risk. Also lacks evidence to dominate in any one variable in this great field.
My odds: none
Prediction: worse than 6th.
Winning pace: slightly faster than average throughout.

Gunnevara 9 of 13 in the money, serious pro horse who ran 2nd in the Travers with big lifetime best of 109. Could be forgiven for a tough trip in that one, tho a big bounce risk. Prior winner first off layoff. Notably he’s the only deep closer in the field.
My odds: 18-1. Almost enough for an overlay pick.
Prediction: 3rd.
Winning pace: Average at first call, slow 2nd.

Pavel the least experience of these, but is 4-2-0-1, with a win in the Smarty Jones. Lifetime speed figures: 95, 96, 100, 108. Bounce risk considerable.
My odds: none
Prediction: Out of the top 6.
Winning pace: Very slow throughout.

Collected 11-8-1-0, winner of 4 straight. 111 lifetime best 2 races back. Last out 110 here in the Pacific Classic, best Del Mar race of this field. Prior first win off layoff. Easily the speed of the field, best pace pattern as well. :24.1 turn time last out.
My odds: 6-1.
Prediction: 2nd.
Winning pace: slightly faster than average throughout.

Top 4: 4-11-9-5
Overlays: 4, 9

Breeders Cup 2017 Saturday picks (minus the Classic)

Continuing now with the Saturday Breeders Cup card…
furlongs, 2YO fillies, $2 million.
Top 3 are 7-13-9.. Moonshine Memories,
Separationofpowers, and Alluring Star. Overlays:
Caledonia Road, Blonde Bomber, Stainless. I figure
this race is more about the favored horses, and less
about value..but here’s what I am seeing:
Caledonia Road was 2nd in the Frizette with a 100, this
ahead of maiden debut of 89 over a sloppy track. Those
numbers are fastest of these. The Frizette trip was
slightly to very wide out late. This early closer had
very quick trips to rely upon to close.
Blonde Bomber took 5 tries to break maiden, then won a
75k stakes event with a nice 94. 5 straight gains in
pace. Waiting since 9/30 to stretch from 8 furlongs.
:24 turn time from last race.
Stainless was 3rd in the Schuylerville, then 4th in the
Adirondack, then 2nd in the Jessamin, debuting on turf
Most likely race thus far to produce favorites.

BREEDERS CUP TURF SPRINT, 3YO+, $1 million, 5 furlongs
on turf. Top 3: 3-6-10 Morning-line top 2 in Lady
Aurelia and Marsha. For 3rd I like Hogy. Overlays:
Stormy Liberal, Cotai Glory, Paquita Coqueta (AE).
Stormy Liberal twice has won first after layoff. Gained
a length on leader by 2nd call last time out.
Cotai Glory comes out of a pair of presumably lifetime
best speed figures.
Paquita Coqueta has shipping wins, a prior win on the
track, and gained a bit on the leader in her last

FILLY & MARE SPRINT, 7 furlongs, fillies/mares 3YO+,
for purse of $1000000, ”Top 3 are 4-1-11….Finest
City,Carina Mia, and heavily favored Unique Bella.
Overlays: Finest
City, Carina Mia, Highway Star, and Constellation.
Finest City has 15 placings in 19 races including the
Santa Monica and last years’ BC Filly/Mare Sprint. 102
in that BC race is fastest of this field for Del Mar.
Best turn time and turn time gain of the field too.
Carina Mia has wins in the Acorn and the Shine Again.
Was 2nd in a stakes race at Belmont 9/24, running a 96,
somewhat wide throughout.
Highway Star has 8 wins in 13 lifetime, including the
Gallant Bloom, the Ruffian, the Distaff and the Go For
Wand. Has several shipping wins, and switches back to
Angel Arroyo, regular rider.
Constellation has placed 11 of 12 races, won the La
Brea, the Phoenix, Ruthless and Furlough. Gained half
length on leader last time out, and worked out quite
well in prep; 5 works since last, 1 bullet.


FILLY & MARE TURF, 9 furlongs fillies/mares 3YO+, $2
million. Top 3: 10-5-13 Queen’s Trust (overlay),
Wuheida, Goodyearforroses (overlay)

Queen’s Trust has a decent record, but 2 wins in 13
lifetime, is the defending champion of this race. She
ran last year’s version at Santa Anita, nosing out a
win with a 109 Bris score. Frankie Dettori rode her to
victory, and is back in the saddle today. Has a prior
win while dropping 4 lbs in weight carried.
Wuheida makes her US debut after competing well across
Europe. Won her first 2 races, one a Grade 1 event in
France. Could be recovering well in pace, ever since a
nice showing first after layoff in July. Only filly to
be under influence of new small top (possibly a Bris
near 100 last two races). First time Lasix doesn’t hurt
Goodyearforroses had a 3 win streak going through
March, then mixed results thereafter. Great AWD numbers
(Azamour/Guilia, by Galileo….notable Irish pedigree).
Proved best turn time of this field.4 works at sA, all
very fast, one a bullet.

SPRINT, 6 furlongs, 3YO+, $1.5 million. Top 3: 1-3-10
Calculator (overlay), American Pastime (overlay),
Imperial Hint. Totally going against favorites here.
Calculator was 2nd here last out in the Pat O Brien
with a lifetime-best matching 103. Owns prior win first
after layoff. Best turn time of this field.
American Pastime gained big in speed figure, 99 to 107,
coming out of older claiming company and into a Grade 3
event. Ran a bit slow at the beginning and was somewhat
wide in the Gallant Bob, but was fast enough to close
for 2nd. 2 bullet works.
Imperial Hint has 6 wins in his last 7, all convincing.
Good AWD numbers (Imperialism/Royal Hint, out of
Lahint). 111 last out is a new small top from his 2016
best mark.Definitely the speed of the field.

MILE, 3YO+, $2 million.
Top 3: 5-10-3 World Approval, Ribchester, Mr. Roary
(overlay). Om also an overlay here. Favorites likely
to win out here, so probably skipping this race.
Mr. Roary 0-5 at Del Mar. 4 works in prep, 1 at Del
Mar, 1 a bullet.
Om 16-19 lifetime in the money, and all 6 of his runs
at Del Mar. Hasn’t won since December of 2015. I am
banking on his works too…4 in prep, 2 bullets.

JUVENILE, 8.5 furlongs, 2YO colts/geldings, $2 million.
Top 3: 12-7-1 Hollywood Star, The Tabulator, US
Navy Flag. All 3 are overlays.
Hollywood Star won his debut vs maidens, 2nd in the
Saratoga Special, 2nd in the Iroquois, all with solid
pace numbers to each other. Gained nicely on the leader
last time out. 5 works, most of them very fast
including one local.
The Tabulator is undefeated in 3, including the
aforementioned Iroquois and the Prairie Gold Juvenile
(one of my Enlightened Trail races). Like Hollywood
Star, owns prior victory first after layoff. 5 works,
one local.
US Navy Flag is the lone European entry, with scores in
Ireland and England, 3 win race streak. Best AWD
numbers (War Front/Misty For Me, out of Galileo).
Appears to have the fastest speed figures. First time
Lasix for his US debut.

TURF, 12 furlongs, $4 million, 3YO+. Top 3: 3-2-10
Highland Reel, Bullards Alley, Fanciful Angel. Latter 2
are overlays, along with Cliffs Of Moher and Bigger
Picture. Could be a very tasty wagering opportunity,
with the ML favorite Ulysses scratched.
Bullards Alley comes out of an amazing 120 in his
Canadian International win; easily best numbers for
surface and distance. By default he must be the speed
of the field. Does he bounce?
Fanciful Angel began his career in Europe and Dubai,
with wins in both those continents. 3rd US race, having
finished 2nd in the Arlington Million and another Grade
1 event last out at Belmont 5 weeks ago. His run last
out was 107, but somewhat wide in his closing process.
Being that he gained well at 1st and 2nd call first off
layoff and claim, I must rank him high.
Cliffs of Moher makes his US debut, first time Lasix, a
win at GB and Ireland already. Best AWD numbers
(Galileo/Wave, out of Dansili). Only horse having to
recover from a bounce, and I think he will. One of 2
horses carries 122 lbs instead of the standard 126,
being a 3YO.
Bigger Picture 10 wins in 27 lifetime, runs pretty consistently overall. Won the United Nations in July with a 111, and the JB Conley with a 95 earlier this year. 6 works to prepare, 3 fast ones, 1 bullet.

Next post goes horse-for-horse in the Classic!

Breeders Cup Saturday 2016 races 9-12 selections

At last, the final races of the 2-day event are done for your perusal. I’ve barely caught up to Friday’s results, but  I know Maturkaz was a nice win payout.
Saving some time for you by just posting analysis of my overall winners.

As with most of the races with a number of horses invading from outside North America, I had to resort to Equibase past performances to fill in some details that Brisnet cannot provide.
Top 3: Mondialiste, Da Big Hoss, Flintshire.
Overlays: Lots of them… Ralis, Da Big Hoss, Ashleyluvsvinegar, Mondialiste, Money Multiplier

It’s Mondialiste’s debut race on the West Coast, 15 of 22 lifetime, races mostly in Europe. Winner of this year’s Arlington Million, last year’s Woodbine Mile, and stakes races in England.   Ran 98 figure last time in the Shadwell at Keeneland last month, surviving a bumpy start and a 4th place finish.  Only horse who improved 1st off layoff at 2nd call (98 from 71). Also gained a length on leader then at 2nd call.

Top 3: Tiara’s Tango, Gomo, Gloryzapper.
Overlays: Tiara’s Tango, Gomo, Wonder Gal.

Tiara’s Tango again at his home track, good consistent numbers here and lifetime. Winner of multiple races at the Graded level.  101 speed figure in this year’s Santa Margarita is best of this field.  Best workouts too; 4 of them here, all fast, 1 a bullet.
Top 3: Alice Springs, What A View, Tourist.  Overlays: Miss Temple City, Tourist, Midnight Storm.
Alice Springs is 2nd favorite via morning line, the majority of races across Europe. Last US race was a year ago in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, finishing 2nd to Catch A Glimpse.   Multiple Grade 1 winner in Europe. Exploding/forging pace numbers from recent races, and appears to be the speed here with good pattern.
Top 3: Effinex, California Chrome, Melatonin.
Overlays: Effinex, Melatonin, Keen Ice.
Effinex was 2nd to Hoppertunity in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in October at Belmont.  If it weren’t for his poor start and wide turns, he’d have won this race.  Only sprinter in the field. Track bias strongly in favor; for dirt routes in the meet, 19 of 44 have been won with upfront speed horses. 9 of the 44 have been won at the rail post.



Breeders Cup 2016 races 4-8 predictions

Top 3: American Gal, Daddys Lil Darling, Champagne Room, all 3 of whom are overlays.
American Girl won both of her lifetime races, a maiden event at Del Mar on 8/14, then the Anokia here at SA on 10/23. Speed figures of 91 and 94 respectively make her the absolute speed of the field, certainly best on this track. Only horse to improve at first call first after layoff.
Daddys Lil Darling won her 2nd maiden race, also the Grade 2 Pocahontas, and was 2nd in the Grade 1 Alcibiad. Set 3 new tops in those races, tho only in the 80s. Best turn time of the field.

Champagne Room ran 2nd in her debut maiden race, then won the Grade 2 Sorrento, 3rd in the Del Mar Debutante, then 4th in the Chandelier, first route race. Mike Smith had given her a rough ride (pulled, steadied), and never was in the top 3 in that race. Switches back to regular rider Gutierrez.

Top 3: Lady Eli, Sea Calisi, Pretty Perfect.
Overlay: Sea Calisi.
The favored Lady Eli has 7 wins and 1 second in 8 races. Only blemish was 2 races back in the Ballston Spa. After that came a win in the Flower Bowl Invitational. Both races were run at 101 speed figure, best for the track and turf of the field. Definitely a major speed threat, and has 3 races now with triple digit scores. Only early closer in the field.

Sea Calisi began her career in France and GB, and has since placed in all 4 US races, winning the Sheepshead Bay and Beverly D.  Best AWD numbers in the field, a daughter of Irish-bred Youmzain and German-bred Tricaria. 99 score in the Flower Bowl, placing 3rd, and was running wide on the lane; possibly missed out on winning that race.  Only deep closer of the field. Improved on first call first after layoff, as well as against leader at 2nd call last time out.

Pretty Perfect makes her US debut after racing at top levels in Ireland and GB. Based on available info (I had to read through detailed Equibase info instead of the usual Brisnet), trainer Aidan O’Brien has set her up well. Has several distance cutback wins, shipping wins, 4 lb allowance for being a 3YO, and first time Lasix. Prior win while cutting back 4 lbs also.

Top 3 are the favored Masochistic, Drefong, and Lord Nelson. Wide open race, with 7 horses of 9 having a fair chance.
Overlays: Delta Bluesman, Mind Your Biscuits, Joking, Limousine Liberal.
Masochistic is 8 of 13 lifetime and return to her home track where he is 4 of 6. Best track speed of the field, 110, set last summer in the Triple Bond. Only early sprinter speed of the field. Multiple bullet works in prep.
Drefong has 4 wins in 5 lifetime, 2 of 3 here. Was 5th in his debut. Bob Baffert has earned him several shipping wins, plus 2 lb 3YO allowance.
Lord Nelson has 5 wins in 8 races at Santa Anita, 7 of 13 lifetime. 2nd call numbers in last 3 races are 109, 110, 86. On positive pace pattern currently, maybe best of this field.
Delta Bluesman has 10 wins in 45 races lifetime. Best speed figure for distance, 108, was achieved in July at Gulfstream, 3 races back. Gaining 6 lbs for this race, a tactic which produced a prior win. Waiting since 9/17 to stretch out.

Joking has best AWD numbers (Distorted Humor/Spun, out of AP Indy), and forged 2 triple digit tops in last 3 races, last out being 106. Also owns best turn time of the field.

Limousine Liberal makes his West Coast debut after racing elsewhere in the US. My only reason for considering him is that he has good early tactical speed, and runs best on the backstretch. 40% of sprints have been won this way during the meet, and 14% are coming from posts 4-7.

UPDATE: Lord Nelson is an early scratch.  My revised top 3 are AP Indian, Mind Your Biscuits and Delta Bluesman.  Overlays remain unchanged.

Top 3: Obviously, Om, Holy Lute. Each of them are overlays.
Obviously 22 of 28 in the money for his career, and is an 8YO gelding. Last 3 wins were this year’s Poker at Belmont, and the 2014 Shoemaker Mile and American here. Best track speed of the field, 106. Measured as the absolute speed here, with recent speed figures around 100. Last 3 first call numbers for this sprinter: 115, 100, 104. Track bias in his favor, with 38% of turf sprint wins belong to early sprinters, plus 11% for posts 4-7.  Only early sprinter in the field, too.

Om has 11 placings in 14 lifetime. Strong 2nd call numbers in last 3: 112, 101, 100. I see improving form from his last race, the City of Hope Mile here on 10/8. He improved on his first call numbers by 13 points, and gained a full length on the leader at 2nd call, tho did not gain further. I have to think he’s got more in the tank and is a live overlay.
Holy Lute had a decent record at age 6, 27-6-6-3 lifetime. Best speed for distance, 100. Best works of the field, 4 coming at SA, 3 of them very fast.
Top 3: Practical Joke, Term Of Art, Theory.  Each are overlays.   This race is part of my Enlightened Derby Trail series.
Practical Joke a leading point-getter in the EDT, undefeated in 3, winning the Champagne at Belmont, and the Hopeful at Saratoga. Brisnet speed figures all in the 90s. Waiting a month to stretch out from 6 furlongs.
Term Of Art broke maiden in 3rd try. Best AWD numbers (Tiznow/Miles Of Style, out of Storm Cat). Best turn time of the field.

Theory won his maiden debut, then also the Futurity (Grade 3) at Belmont a month ago after a 10 week layoff.  Brisnet scores of 91 and 92. Only horse to gain at 2nd call first after layoff of this field.

Later on Thursday, or as time permits, I’ll analyze and post musings on the final 4 races of Breeders Cup action.

Saturday 2015 Breeders Cup race selections

Beginning the Saturday action is the BC Juvenile Fillies, a race on my Enlightened Derby Trail. The top 4 earn extra points in the Trail’s Heartland Division.  Top 3:
Rachel’s Valentina comes in with excellent breeding (Bernardini/Rachel Alexandra, by Medaglia D’Oro) 2 wins in 2 races at Saratoga, one of which was the Spinaway.   Layoff since that race should help immensely.  Prior stretch-out win, and good works entering, 4 in all, 3 at Keeneland, 2 of those 3 very fast. Slight concern of a bounce as she increase from 87 to 94.
Nickname won an 83k maiden race 2nd time in class,then won the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont last time out 4 weeks ago. Paired up Brisnet speed figures in the 80, measured as fastest of the field by pace.Proven winner while stretching out, good work tab and prior shipping win.  As with Rachel’s Valentina, she was faster at the 2nd call.
Dothraki Queen has 2 wins (maiden, Alcibiad) and a 2nd (Pocahontas). Best track performance of this field,an 83. Turn time between those races was 24 seconds, impressive to contend, along with his drop in speed figure.
Suggested odds:  Rachel’s Valentina 6-5; Tap To It 29-1;Songbird 6-1; Dothraki Queen 5-1 (overlay)  Nickname 10-1  Not much value here, tho I don’t like favorite Songbird to factor.

Next is the 1000k Turf Sprint 5.5 furlongs for 3YO+. My top 3
Marchman is fresh off 2 month layoff and reclaim by Bret Calhoun.  Won the Turf Sprint at Churchill in May of 2014 and the Shakertown a month prior. Best track/surface/distance performance of the field coming from that race, 103 Brisnet. Robby Albarado was aboard for both those wins and he comes back to align again. Very capable of winning after coming out from route distance and having once exceed track par speed.

Jimmy Bouncer is a CA bred has 4 wins in 6. Impresses with :22 turn time, reclaimed by Doug O’Neill to start off the year.
Stacked Deck probably has had the toughest trip among non-winners coming in, a 99 Brisnet score and 3rd place in the Woodford here on 10/3. That score represents a small new recent top, only horse in the field to do so..nice advantage there.
Suggested odds: The Great War 29-1; Stacked Deck 7-2 (overlay); Marchman 6-5 (overlay); Jimmy Bouncer 3-1 (overlay)
The FILLY/MARE SPRINT is for 3YOs+,going 7 furlongs, 1000k.
Taris with strong AWD numbers (Flatter/Comedy out of Irish horse Theatrical; Best distance/track numbers of this field,winning the Raven Run here last with a sparkling 115, a 9-length win.  Fastest of field as measured by pace. Prior stretchout win, nice works coming in (2 at Santa Anita, both fast, one a bullet.); Stevens/Callaghan combo haven’t appeared yet during the meet.   Impressed me at first call with 103 Brisnet, much better than 88 Brisnet before this along with layoff.One of two who increased turn time while lowering speed figure.
The other horse in that category is my 2nd choice Super Majesty. 4-3-1-0 record,winner of the Dogwood last time out in September at Churchill.  Bounced to a 94 in that race. 5 works since then, 4 of 5 at Keeneland all fast, 1 with bullet.  Solis/Hollendorfer no experience this meet. Gained full second of turn time in the Dogwood.
Stonetastic won the Grade 2 Prioress last year. Comes out of a 40k allowance race winning by 15 at 6.5 furlongs 2 months ago at Parx,109 Brisnet.  Only horse in field to recently make small new lifetime top compared to 2014 races.   Prior win while going up in class, and her 2 month wait to stretch is longest of field Question mark about the 109 and if she will bounce from that.
Suggested odds: Taris 5-2 (overlay); Wavell Avenue 9-1; Stonetastic 3-1;  Dame Dorothy 14-1; La Verdad 14-1; Super Majesty 7-1; Room For Me 12-1
Another great race I’m totally ignoring the favorite (Cavorting) in.
FILLY/MARE TURF is 8.5 furlongs, 3YO+,2000k. Top 3:
Secret Gesture makes 3rd US start Prior races were across Western Europe at top level.Stateside she has won the Grade 1 Beverly D and last year’s version of this race at Santa Anita.   Prior winner straight off layoff, I rate her fastest of these based on available pace numbers (Brisnet doesn’t have pace parameters for horses racing outside North America, a shame)
Elektrum is one of the also-eligibles.Winner of the JC Mabee in August and a stakes race in France last year. One of two horses who recently forged a lifetime best mark. That was 2 races ago in the Mabee, a 98. After bouncing to 88 in the Rodeo Drive, I feel she can bounce back here well into the 90s.Best turn time gain and adjustment compared to Brisnet of this field.
Dacita is 10-7-1-1, and won her US debut at Saratoga last time out in the Ballston Spa,a 91 Brisnet score. Prior races were at Santiago in Chile.  Also has prior wins from layoff.  Best work tab of this field; 7 works in all, most of them on Belmont turf. Best turn time also at 23 seconds
If Elektrum does not make it to the show,I’ll add Legatissimo.She is 10-5-3-0 lifetime, and makes her US debut; all prior races in GB and Ireland at top level. Loses 6 lbs to 120, she has won in a prior adjustment. Brings back Ryan Moore as jockey, who won with this horse earlier in the year. Also owns shipping wins, and is a first time Lasix user for this race.
Suggested odds: Bawina 44-1; Sentiero Italia 7-1 (overlay); Talmada 44-1; Stephanie’s Kitten 3-1 (overlay); Elektrum 9-1 (overlay); Secret Gesture 3-1 (overlay); Legatissimo 8-1; Dacita 8-1
UPDATE: With the scratch of Elektrum, my top 3 are now Secret Gesture, Dacita, Legatissimo
BC SPRINT is 1500k race, 6 furlongs for 3YOs +     Top 3:
Kobe’s Back made 1 start here,winning the Grade 3 Commonwealth in April. I like the alternating pattern of Brisnet scores here and slight gain on leader last time out. 22 second turn time is best of the field.
Salutos Amigos is 32-10-3-4, a sharp 114 lifetime best at the distance.   Jose Ortiz won with him prior and is back aboard, tho nor he or trainer David Jacobsen have any record this meet.  Ran 2nd with a  104 Brisnet last timeout in the Vosburgh Invitational, overcoming a squeezed start.
Wild Dude I only really like for his great turn time and gain (22 seconds, up 2/5) between last 2 races.
Suggested odds:  Private Zone  2-1; Wild Dude 7-1; Big Macher 13-1 (overlay); Stallwalkin’ Dude 13-1; Salutos Amigos 17-1;  Kobe’s Back 5-1 (overlay); Runhappy 19-1; Masochistic 19-1.
BC MILE is for top 3YOs+, 2000k, Grade 1.
Top 3:
Mondialiste raced across Europe before making his American debut in September, winning the Woodbine Mile. earning a 97 Brisnet. Best breeding of the field (Galileo/Occupandise, 2 Irish horses, by Kaldoun,based in France). Prior win first off layoff.  Track bias may be in favor.  In 11 raceis70is70s, deep closer have won 3, and 11% wins are coming from posts 4 through 7.  23.3 turn time matches best of the field.
Mshawish has best works of the field, 3 here, 3 at the Spa, all very fast.  Wide trip running 5th in the Fourstardave last time out, but posted a 99, so maybe has a better trip here.
Impassable makes his US debut after 7 races in France, with 4 wins, the last 2 at Grade 2.   Lowest weight of the field at 120, and first time Lasix.   Maxime Guyon returns to ride; owns prior win in the Prix de Sandringham.
Suggested odds:
Mondialiste 5-2 (overlay); Mshawish 4-1 (overlay); Karakontie 7-1 (overlay); Grand Arch 4-1 (overlay) Impassable 4-1 (overlay)

Breeders Cup Juvenile is for top 2YOs going 8.5 furlongs, Grade 1, $2000k.

Nyquist undefeated in 4 races, winning at the distance last time in the Grade 1 Front Runner. Fastest horse as measured by overall Brisnet speed, and good close pattern of scores as well.  Each of his Graded victories, this plus the Del Mar Futurity and the Best Pal, saw Swipe finishing 2nd.
Greenpointcrusader won an 83k maiden race at Saratoga, then took the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont on 10/3, 97 Brisnet.  May benefit from track bias: Deep closers at this distance have won 11 of the 36 races here, 31%. 7 races have been won from the first three posts.
Cocked and Loaded is my overlay pick. Winner of the Iroquois at Churchill at this distance, as well as the Tremont at Belmont.  1 prior win first off layoff. 4 works since the Iroquois, 2 of them very fast, 1 a bullet.
Suggested odds: Waterloo Bridge 11-1 (overlay); Unbridled Outlaw 7-1 (overlay); Nyquist 6-1; Brody’s Cause 14-1; Cocked & Loaded 6-1 (overlay); Greenpointcrusader 6-1; Isotherm 10-1 (overlay); Ralis 11-1.
BC TURF is run at the classic 12-furlong distance.  3000k  for 3YO+
Cape Fighter recently posted small new lifetime best of 100, nearly wiring the Knickerbocker Stakes field at Belmont 3 weeks ago. Only early-presser pacer in the field, so he’ll have command of the backstretch.   Turn time of 23.4 is best of the field, along with the 1.6 second gain from previous race. Hasn’t been out of the top 4 in some time.  He should not be 34-1 like last time.
Big John B has won 14 out of 34 lifetime including 3 straight. Prior winner first off layoff. Also has won with a similar noticeable weight gain, and is waiting the longest among those stretching out.
Ordak Dan, another longshot I like here, makes his US debut after years of racing in his native Argentina vs top competition. I’m mainly sold on his workouts. Off since May, he’s got 5 in all, 3 here, one a bullet. Also is a first-time gelding.
Suggested odds: Found 44-1; Slumber 44-1; Twilight Eclipse 17-1; Big Blue Kitten 17-1; Red Rifle 9-1; Cage Fighter 5-2 (overlay); Big John B 3-1 (overlay); Da Big Hoss 44-1; The Pizza Man 44-1; Ordak Dan 5-1 (overlay)

BC CLASSIC won’t have Beholder or Smooth Roller but it will have 8 other challengers, including American Pharoah, in the Triple Crown winner’s final race. 5000k at stake for this 10 furlong race of champions.

Keen Ice won the Travers after having mixed results in Graded stakes going back to a year ago.  He’s the lone early closer, so watch him at the far turn and early stretch.  Tripled up in Brisnet scores last 3 races…have to wonder if he’s subject to bounce here.   Also, best turn time of 23.2 and gain (1.2 seconds) from prior race

American Pharoah truly has nothing left to prove.   Finished 2nd to Keen Ice in the Travers, and I see that result here again.   Only horse in field to win first after layoff; fastest of these as measured by his early-pressure pace.   Best works coming in; all 6 of them at Santa Anita, 4 very fast, 1 a bullet .

Honor Code always a threat: 10-6-2-1 record, with wins in the Whitney, the Metropolitan and the Gulfstream Park Handicap.  Ran 101 in the Kelso a month ago with a lot of trouble, both at the gate and running 5 wide.   His performance in the Kelso is better at 2nd call as compared to prior, a good sign for horse 1 race after layoff. Also is one of two who had recently bounced.
Suggested odds: Gleneagles 44-1;Honor Code 9-1Tonalist 8-1; Effinex 22-1; Hard Aces 22-1 (overlay); American Pharoah 12-1; Keen Ice 3-1 (overlay); Frosted 9-1.

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