November is a busy here, what with the Zone Master stats getting published (batting side available, pitching side later in the month), and the Enlightened Trails taking us to the big Breeders Cup events at Santa Anita this weekend.
As with prior years, I’ll have live $ to wager. In this post, I’ll give you my top 3 plus overlays.
For Friday’s 4 races in the 2-day meet, I will be working and will not be wagering. Saturday I’ll be home to wager and to help cover the event on social media.
I’ll post 4 or 5 of the races between now and Thursday.
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE TURF
Top 3 are Good Samaritan, and overlays Channel Maker and Wellabled.
Good Samaritan is 2nd in the ML. Winner of his debut going 8.5 on Saratoga’s turf course, then again at a mile at Woodbine, in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes. No rust for this horse, having won its debut and is coming out of a 7 week layoff. Best works of the field; 5 works, 4 at Saratoga, 2 bullets, a 3rd very fast.
Channel Maker ran 3rd to Good Samaritan in the Summer, this after debuting 3rd at Woodbine in July, then won over a yielding WO turf course in August, in the restricted 150k Vanderbilt. Was near the front in the Summer, but despite having a matching new top of 92, he had a bumpy start and that may have cost him a win. If measured by his 2nd call stats, he’s the speed of the field.
Wellabled I’ve touted before, and for good reason; owner of 350 points in my Enlightened Derby Trail for wins in the Arlington-Washington and Fitz Dixon Memorial. Was 2nd in the Skidmore at Saratoga and also won his maiden race, wiring that field and winning by 7. Alternating scores of 92 and 87 for lifetime speed numbers. His lone 2nd place finish came on turf, the others were on Arlington Park’s all-weather surface. I think the speed figure pattern will hold for this race.
One other horse with EDT points coming in: Favorable Outcome (3rd, Champagne, 50 points)
BREEDERS CUP DIRT MILE
Top 3 are Accelerate, Dortmund, Tamarkuz. Overlays: Accelerate and Point Piper.
Accelerate broke maiden in 4th try, winning first route race by 8 lengths on 7/28. Won a 100k stakes event at Delmar 8/26, then won the Los Alamitos Derby (Grade 2) last time out 9/24. Those 3 wins were at speed figures of 99, 97, 91. Best workouts; 4 fast ones at SA, last one a bullet.
Dortmund has had a light 4YO campaign; 2nd in the San Diego (Grade 2) at Del Mar; 3rd in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic there, 2nd in the Awesome Again (Grade 1) on 10/1 here. Triple digit speed figures in last 5. 108 speed figure in the San Diego is his lifetime best, and he’s definitely the speed here. Only sprinter in the field. Switching back to Martin Garcia, who rode him in the Derby Trail series last year. Prior distance cutback win, plus a win here last fall. Deserving of the 6/5 ML grade.
Tamarkuz is a 6YO with a series of stakes race wins at Meydan in Dubai, then entered the last 2 runnings of the Kelso, Forego and Metropolitan. 4 wins in 8 at the distance. 105 rating last time in the Met Mile represents his lifetime best. 105 is also a forged/exploding pace top. He actually ran a bit wide in the Met Mile and might have won that race.
Point Piper was rather busy in 2016, with his last win coming in August at my home track of Emerald Downs (EMD’s best race, the Longacres Mile).Best AWD numbers (Giant’s Causeway/Imagine, out of Sadler’s Wells). Another horse with forging/exploding pace numbers, his 103 surpasses last year’s best of 102. Improved 2nd call speed figure by 9 points first race following the Mile and an 8 week layoff.
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
Top 3 in a value-packed race: Victory To Victory, Sweeping Paddy, Lull. Overlays: Victory To Victory, Sweeping Paddy, Madam Dancealot, La Force.
Victory To Victory 5th vs maidens in debut at Saratoga, then 2nd in a 74k allowance race at Woodbine, then won the Grade 1 Natalma, first time at route. Set 2nd straight new top with an 89, matched with prior 84. 35% wins for turf mile closers, and 14% for horses 4-7. Gained .75 length on leader between 1st and 2nd call last time out
3 works at Woodbine, 2 at CD. All 5 works very fast.
Sweeping Paddy gets in with 2 scratches. Won 2nd maiden start, first time at route and turf, by 12 lengths. Followed up with 4th place finish in the Grade 3 Jessamin at Keeneland last month. Best figures for distance and surface, a 97, scored in his maiden win. Could bounce back after bounce to 87 last time. Can be considered the speed of the field.
Lull won her maiden debut, then in a 100k stakes event lost rider and did not finish. Afterward, she won the KD Juvenile Fillies, and placed 2nd in the Jessamin. Pair of 91s in those last 2 races, rating her as one of the speedsters.
Madam Dancealot makes her US debut after 6 competitive GB races, including 3 Graded ones. She won 2 of those Graded races. Trainer Richard Ballas has done well in preparing her; owner of a stretchout and shipping win, a prior win with similar 4 lb drop in weight, first time Lasix, and waiting since 9/1 to stretchout.
La Force makes 2nd US start since her initial 3 races in Italy. Debut was here at SA, 3rd in the Surfer Girl stakes with an 82 Brisnet, her first route race at that. 82 is best of those on this track of the field. She got off to a slow start and ran wide on the lane, so a win definitely escaped her.
UPDATE: With late scratches announced, my new top 3 are Sweeping Paddy, Lull and Madam Dancealot. Not in position to fully recalculate stats but this is what I’m going with.
BREEDERS CUP DISTAFF
Top 3: Beholder, Stellar Wind, Land Over Sea. Overlay: Land Over Sea.
One of those races that looks like chalk will prevail. Beholder was on a nice winning streak, and has since finished 2nd in her last 3. On her home track, where she’s gone 15-13-2-0, she’s already got best distance and track speed figures of the field. Being specific, her best here in both categories was a 112 in last year’s Pacific Classic. 2nd in this year’s Zenyatta here, she’s on a nice pattern of close triple digit scores. Turn time leads the field as well.
Stellar Wind has a great history, with 11-7-2-1, and 5-4-1-0 at SA. In fact, she’s edged out Beholder in their last 2 meetings. Neatly forged two new small tops (best, 107) in those races. Usually runs one race, then gets layoff. The pattern continues and she has a few wins with that scenario in place. Improved off of layoff at 2nd quarter, and made up some ground on Beholder in the Zenyatta last time out.
Land Over Sea won this year’s Fair Grounds Oaks, and that’s just 1 of 2 lifetime wins in 12 races. Ran 4th in the Cotillion at Parx last time out, small gain to 85 speed. She had a lot of trouble in that race, and I can certainly toss out the number. Only late closer in the field. Improved 1st after layoff in the Cotillion.
Coming up, my take on the first 5 out of the 9 Breeders Cup races for Saturday.