The world of Thoroughbred Racing has landed on my adopted hometown of Lexington, KY for the 32nd annual Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. 200 horses and their connections from all over the globe have descended at Keeneland Racecourse, where 13 championship races will be run to decide championships in various divisions. This will be the first time Keeneland will host the two day event, which runs this Friday, October 30, and on Saturday, October 31, 2015. I will be in attendance for the event, so I am looking forward to seeing these great horses run.
There is a huge buzz concerning this particular Breeders’ Cup event. Not only is it the first time that Keeneland is hosting it, as I said, but fans will be treated to seeing the very last race of the career of the 12th Triple Crown winner American Pharoah on Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, before he goes off to stud duty at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, KY. He will be facing 9 challengers, including the brilliant, undefeated mare Beholder. As I will be discussing the Classic in the “Day 2” part of the blog, so I won’t give too much away.
I am very excited about the event being here in Lexington, KY. I am looking forward to see how Keeneland Racecourse handles the large crowds. I have been to Keeneland many times. I’ve gone on Bluegrass Stakes Day. Keeneland is a small track. There are not too many ways to go in and out. It will be interesting, to say the least.
EVENT: Breeders’ Cup Day One.
DATE: Friday, October 30, 2015
TRACK: Keeneland Racecourse
LOCATION: Lexington, KY
TIME: 3:00PM-6:00PM, EST
2015 JUVENILE TURF, Grade 1
POST TIME : Approximately 3:30PM, EST
DISTANCE: 1 MILE, on the Turf
ANALYSIS: It is very hard to handicap a field of 14 2YOs on the turf. The favorite in this field is Cymric, owned by Goldophin Stables. I don’t like that he got that outside post of 13. It is hard to go against Goldophin, though. Hit It A Bomb, the #14 horse, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is the second choice on the morning line. I am really not in love with seeing two favorites on the far outside, especially inexperienced 2YOs. The turf itself may play a factor as well, as it has rained in Lexington this week. No rain is expected for Friday. as of this writing. I went out on Saturday morning to watch horses work out. I liked a horse named Conquest Daddyo. He’s owned by Conquest Stables. He’s 12-1 on the morning line. He looked very well on the main track just galloping. He might be useful in an exotic bet. I also like Dressed In Hermes, who’s ridden by Gary Stevens, as well as the 4-1 shot, Airoforce.
PREDICTION : It’s a wide open race. This is a tough race to figure out, but the top three horses for me are Airoforce, Conquest Daddyo, and Cymric. My long shot special is Dressed In Hermes at 25-1. The winner of the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf is AIROFORCE.
2015 LAS VEGAS DIRT MILE, Grade 1
POST TIME: Approximately 4:10PM, EST
DISTANCE : 1 MILE on the Dirt
ANALYSIS: This race is not a difficult race to figure out. The question is whether anyone can catch the even money favorite Liam’s Map. Liam’s Map could have gone to the Classic, but his connections opted for the Dirt Mile. Liam’s Map’s front running style will be tough in this race. He won the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga from gate to wire. Before that, he nearly pulled it off in the Whitney Stakes, but Classic entrant Honor Code ran him down, and nailed him at the wire.
The other horses that may have an outside chance to pull the upset are Wicked Strong, Lea, and maybe Red Vine. However, I honestly think that this is Liam’s Map race to lose. Lea has lost a few steps, and may hit the board. I would use Wicked Strong in exotic betting. Red Vine has had his days. Tapiture could surprise, and get a piece of the purse. The rest of the field is just window dressing. I mean, what is Mr. Z doing in this race? War Story also has no business in this race.
PREDICTION : As I said, unless Liam’s Map trips, this is a one horse race. Everyone is running for second. My top 3 horses are Liam’s Map, Wicked Strong, and Tapiture. For a long shot play, and for you War Front fans, I like War Envoy at 30-1. Your winner of the Las Vegas Dirt Mile is LIAM’S MAP.
2015 JUVENILE FILLIES TURF, Grade 1
POST TIME : Approximately 4:50PM, EST
DISTANCE : 1 MILE on the Turf
ANALYSIS : We have another large field of 2YO filles going 1 mile on the turf. There are a few horses that I like in here. One is Harmonize. The other two are Catch A Glimpse, and Illuminate (IRE). Harmonize has a very impressive win in the Jessamine Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. It looks like Bill Mott has his charge ready. Illuminate comes in with a second place finish at Newmarket. In the Natalma Stakes, Catch A Glimpse overpowered rivals in her last start. There is a scratch in this race, Tin Type Gal, due to injury.
2015 LONGINES DISTAFF, Grade 1
POST TIME : Approximately 5:35PM, EST
DISTANCE : 1 1/8 MILES on the Dirt
ANALYSIS: Now, to the final race of day one, the Longines Distaff. There is a huge scratch in the race. Untapable was scheduled to run, and attempt to defend her title. Unfortunately, she came down with a fever, and can’t run. That is very unfortunate. I was looking forward to seeing her. As Peace and War is an “Also Eligible,” I am going to guess she draws into the field.
The horses that have the best shot to win are Sheer Drama, Got Lucky, and Wedding Toast. I like that Got Lucky has a win over the track in the Grade I Spinster Stakes. If we were at Belmont Park, I would bet the farm on Wedding Toast. She has a stellar record there. I think Sheer Drama is the best horse in the field. In her 7 starts, she’s won four times, and placed 3 times. I also give StopChargingMaria an outside shot of winning the race, as well. I am not really impressed with the rest of the field. Both Warren’s Veneda and My Sweet Addiction have been owned by Classic entrant Beholder out west.
PREDICTION : My top 3 are Sheer Drama, StopChargingMaria, and Wedding Toast. My long shot special is My Sweet Addiction at 30-1, as she has Mike Smith aboard. The winner of the Longines Distaff is SHEER DRAMA.
This concludes my preview of the first day of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. In the second part of the blog, I will be discussing the second day of the Breeders ‘ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. I hope that my readers have enjoyed this first part, and feedback is welcome.