In the first part of this two part blog, I analyzed the first four races of the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, which take place on Friday, October 30, 2015. I hope that the blog will help my readers in their handicapping. In this blog, I will be discussing the nine races that make up the racing card for Saturday, October 31, 2015. As Saturday is also Halloween, I hope that there will be a ton of treats, as in cashing in winning tickets. Please remember to bet with your head, and not over it.
So, without further ado, here is my analysis of the racing card for Day Two of the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
EVENT: Breeders’ Cup, Day 2
TRACK: Keeneland Racecourse
LOCATION : Lexington, KY
NETWORKS: NBCSN and NBC
TIME : 1:00PM-4:00PM, EST (NBCSN)
4:00PM-6:00PM, EST (NBC)
2015 14 HANDS WINERY BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES
POST TIME : Approximately 12:05PM, EST
DISTANCE: 1 1/16 miles on the Dirt.
ANALYSIS: There are two clear favorites for this race. There’s the morning line favorite, Songbird, who’s sired by Medaglia D’Oro. There’s also Rachel’s Valentina, who’s dam is the great 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Both of these 2YO filles are undefeated. The Jerry Hollendorfer trained Songbird is from the West, and the Todd Pletcher trained Rachel’s Valentina is from the East. This should be awesome. I am not too keen on both of their post positions. Rachel’s Valentina’s breaking out of the #13 hole, and Songbird is from the #14 hole. If you like value, I recommend Tap To It, and Nickname.
PREDICTION: This should be a very exciting race. Will Songbird’s rider, Mike Smith, have to use a lot of her speed to get a great position? Will Stonestreet Stables have yet another champion in Rachel’s Valentina ? Will there be a huge upset? My top 3 horses in this race are Songbird, Rachel’s Valentina, and Tap To It. My long shot special is Right There at 30-1. Your winner of the 2015 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies is RACHEL’S VALENTINA.
2015 TWINSPIRES BREEDERS CUP TURF SPRINT
POST TIME : Approximately 12:45PM, EST
DISTANCE: 5 1/2 Furlongs on the Turf
Bobby’s Kitten, owned by Ramsey Farms, is back to defend his title. He got a little rest this year, due to 2 lackluster starts this year. I am not too sure about him. The 5-2 morning line favorite is the 3YO filly, Lady Shipman. One of the favorites in this rather wide open affair is the Wesley Ward trained Undrafted. Undrafted’s victory in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot was sensational. The Great War has an outside shot at 12-1. I wish the Great War waa a bit more consistent.
PREDICTION: This race has not been easy to handicap. This is so wide open. My top 3 horses are Undrafted, Lady Shipman, and The Great War. My long shot recommendation is Green Mask at 15-1. The winner of the 2015 Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint is UNDRAFTED.
2015 TWINSPIRES BREEDERS CUP FILLY AND MARE SPRINT
POST TIME : Approximately 1:25PM, EST
DISTANCE: 7 Furlongs on the Dirt
In this race for filles and mares, 3YOs and up, there are a few horses that have a legitimate shot to win. The first horse is the defending champion, Judy the Beauty, owned and trained by Wesley Ward. She’s one of my personal favorite horses. I love her so much. I’ve always been a huge fan. However, this year, she appears to have lost a step. “Judy” has not won this year. In her last start at Keeneland, a track at where she was previously undefeated, she finished 3rd. She has a new rider in Frankie Dettori. I suspect she will hit the board, at the very least. Other horses to look at are Stonestreet’s Cavorting, winner of the 2015 Prioress Stakes at Saratoga, and Stoneway Farm’s Stonetastic, and La Verdad, who just won recently at Belmont Park , trained by Linda Rice. If Dame Dorothy returns to prior form, she could have a shot to win.
PREDICTION: There’s a ton of talented horses in this race. My top 3 horses are Cavorting, Judy the Beauty, and Stonetastic. My long shot special is Amertis Agrotera at 20-1. The winner of the 2015 Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint is CAVORTING.
2015 BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY AND MARE TURF
POST TIME: Approximately 2:10PM, EST
DISTANCE: 1 3/16th Miles on the Turf
ANALYSIS: Being that there will be a softer turf, I think one of the European horses will take this race. Of course, the “Euros,” as we American racing fans call them, always dominate the Breeders’ Cup Turf races. As it is, Ireland’s Legatissisimo is the 8-5 morning line favorite The absence of Lady Eli, due to her recovering from laminitis, makes this race a bit more wide open. Had Lady Eli been able to run in this race, she’d be as close to a lock. Anyway, there are a couple of American horses I think could take this race, Hard Not to Like, who has won at Keeneland, and the 2015 Flower Bowl winner, Stephanie’s Kitten. I think those two give the United States the best chance to win. Miss France (IRE) at 6-1 and Dacia (CHI) at 8-1 give good value.
PREDICTION: Who will join previous winners of this race, such as DayattheSpa, Ouija Board, and Intercontinental? I’m expecting an exciting race. My top 3 horses for this race are Legatissisimo, Stephanie’s Kitten, and Miss France. My long shot pick is Watsdachances at 20-1. How on earth is a Chad Brown trainee a 20-1 shot? The winner of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf is STEPHANIE’S KITTEN.
2015 TWINSPIRES BREEDERS CUP SPRINT
POST TIME : 2:5050PM, EST
DISTANCE: 6 Furlongs on the Dirt
ANALYSIS: This race comes down to two horses, Private Zone and Runhappy. If Private Zone gets his way, there’s no catching him. I was very impressed with Runhappy’s last start at Keeneland, when he won the Odgen Phoenix Stakes. I think he’ll be a huge threat to win the race, if Private Zone falters. Private Zone’s #13 post position is not desirable either. For value, I recommend Holy Boss and Wild Dude.
PREDICTION: I still see this as a two horse race. You never know though, as it’s the Breeders’ Cup, and anything can happen. My long 3 are Private Zone, Runhappy, and Wild Dude. My long shot pick is Limousine Liberal at 15-1. Your winner of the 2015 Twinspires Breeders Cup Sprint is RUNHAPPY.
2015 BREEDERS’ CUP MILE
POST TIME: 3:30PM, EST
DISTANCE: 1 Mile on the Turf
In the Breeders’ Cup Mile, there are Fillies who are taken on the boys in this year’s edition. I definitely think one of them, Esoterique (IRE), who’s the favorite, has a great chance to win this race. Again, the race is loaded with European entries, such as Obviously (IRE), Impassible (IRE), and another favorite, Make Believe (GB). For the United States, there’s Grand Arch, who won the 2015 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, and Mshawish, a son of Medaglia D’Oro.
PREDICTION: This race is a tough one. I like a couple of horses in here. My top 3 horses are Esoterique, Grand Arch, and Make Believe. Tourist, at 15-1, is my long shot recommendation. The winner of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile is MAKE BELIEVE (GB).
2015 SENTIENT JET BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE
POST TIME: 4:10PM, EST
DISTANCE: 1 1/16th Miles on the Dirt
ANALYSIS: Before I continue, as the approximate post time for this race is 4:10PM, EST, the television coverage will be switching from NBCSN to NBC at 4:00PM, EST, and will end at 6:00PM, EST. Please take note.
Anyway, now we come to the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. We are going to be looking at future 2016 Kentucky Derby contenders. I should also say that filles are still welcome, as long as they participate in the proper preps, thanks to the current point system. I state this, so I do not give the wrong impression that only males can compete in the Derby.
Anyway, there are some very interesting contenders for the Juvenile. Greenpointcrusader won the Champagne Stakes at Belmont. The Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity gave us Brody’s Cause, the winner, Exaggerator, who placed, and the show horse, Rated R Superstar. Another horse I like in here is the morning line favorite, Nyquist. He’s by Uncle Mo, and is unbeaten. I don’t like that far outside post position he got, #13. However, he is the best horse in the field, and should he rum his best, I’d expect him to win. I am sure my readers who read my wrestling blogs know which horse I favor.
PREDICTION: Which horse will have the label of “Derby hopeful” bestowed upon them? We will have to see. My top 3 choices are Nyquist, Exaggerator, and Greenpointcrusader. My long shot recommendation is the Kenny McPeek trained Rated R Superstar at 15-1. Your winner of the 2015 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is, yes, you guessed it, RATED R SUPERSTAR.
2015 LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF
POST TIME : 4:50PM
DISTANCE: 1 1/2 Mile on the Turf.
ANALYSIS: This race showcases the best distance horses on the Turf from all over the globe. This is a very good group of horses. It features Ramsey Farm’s Big Blue Kitten, who won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Chicago’s own The Pizza Man, winner of the 2015 Arlington Million, and runner up to Grand Arch in the 2015 Shadwell Turf Mile is in the field. Red Rifle, named for Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton, and Great Britain’s Golden Horn are also featured in the Turf. I think the European horses will take to the soft going. I do wonder if The Pizza Man’s use of a mile race will eventually hurt him. After all, Saturday’s race is 1 1/2 miles.
PREDICTION: This is a tough race to figure out. I am thinking a European horse wins this this. My top 3 are Golden Horn (GB), Big Blue Kitten, and The Pizza Man. Red Rifle is my recommendation for a long shot. The winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf is GOLDEN HORN (GB)
2015 BREEDERS CUP CLASSIC
POST TIME: Approximately 5:35PM, EST
DISTANCE: 1 1/4 Miles on the Dirt
ANALYSIS: Now, we have come to the race that has had everyone talking. Of course, I’m talking about the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic. This race has had many great horses win it, such as Alysheba (1988), AP Indy (1992), and Curlin ( 2007). Only Tiznow has won it back to back in 2000 and 2001, and Zenyatta is the only female to win it in 2009. In the 1988 Classic, not only was Alysheba stamped “Horse of the Year,” and “America’s Horse,” but became the richest horse in the world at the time, surpassing John Henry.
In this year’s event, there are a couple of horses who are trying to make history. There’s the great mare, Beholder, who is trying to accomplish a few things. Beholder has already won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2012, and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 2013. She missed last year’sevent due to illness. Should she win the Classic, she will be the first horse in Breeders’ Cup history to win 3 different events. She will join Zenyatta in being only the second female to win the race. I can’t say enough great things about Beholder, that I have already said. She’s won a Grade I race at age 2, 3, 4, and 5. She’s amazing.
Of course, all complements go to her trainer, Richard Mandella. It is hard to keep a top equine athlete performing at a high level like Beholder is doing. I realize that the knocks against her are that she’s yet to win outside of California. Well, the two times she lost outside of her home state, she didn’t lose badly. In the 2013 Kentucky Oaks, she acted up in the post parade, and only lost in the last 60 yards. In the 2014 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park, she suffered an injury, and finished 4th by a length. Some haters called her wound a “paper cut.” This gash reopened, and Beholder missed the entire Del Mar meet. My point is that some people can’t appreciate what this mare actually accomplished. I still think she’s great whether she wins on Saturday or not.
Another horse who is going for history is the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. He will be going for what’s being coined, “the Grand Slam.” The Grand Slam is the completion of the Triple Crown races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup Classic all in the same year. American Pharoah will be the first to attempt this feat, as the Breeders’ Cup started in 1984, and he is the first Triple Crown winner since then. I am very excited about his attempt. I want to state that American Pharoah is a great horse, whether he wins on Saturday or not. He won the Triple Crown, the first in 37 long years. I am seeing too much complaining about this horse. American Pharoah did not choose to be born in 2012, during a year that some of his detractors say gave us a “weak crop of 3YOs.” That’s not his fault. He won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont. Can people stop living in the past? We have a LIVING Triple Crown winner. Let’s appreciate him for his last race. Secretariat was a great horse. No one is denying that. However, to keep harping on how American Pharoah “is no Secretariat” is very short sighted. You have greatness right in front of you, and it is still not good enough? Stop seeing the forest for the trees. American Pharoah is a great horse. I’m tired of the “He’s not this, and he’s not that.” Enough, already.
As for the race itself, much attention is to the showdown between American Pharoah and Beholder. Both horses have been training very well up to the race at Santa Anita. Beholder arrived at Keeneland Racecourse on Monday, October 19th. She tends to be very antsy away from her Southern California home, and this trip was no different. She gave everyone a scare when she came down with a slight case of shipping fever on Tuesday, but all was well later in the day, and she’s been thriving at Keeneland ever since. Her temperature was one degree higher than normal. I was able to watch her gallop on Saturday morning, October 24th. It was a very good gallop. I was impressed by her very efficient stride, and by how well built she was. It was awesome. American Pharoah arrived on Tuesday, October 27th to a lot of fanfare. He just walked the shedrow on Wednesday, due to the sloppy track, as did Beholder.
From looking at the field, and considering that there’s hardly any pure speed in the race, as Liam’s Map’s in the Dirt Mile, it will be interesting to see who will go with American Pharoah. The last thing the other jockeys want to see, is American Pharoah loose on the lead, or it’s over. I’m going to guess that someone is going to have to use their horse. I do like that Beholder has that #10 post position, as Gary Stevens can keep her out of trouble. I don’t expect Beholder to be put on the lead, but I definitely think she’ll be forwardly placed. It will be an interesting chess match between Espinosa and Stevens when the horses head for home. Will the European invador Gleneagles (IRE) go to the front? I would use him in exotics, by the way. Europeans have done well in the Classic. Smooth Roller appears to be the “wise guy” horse. I think his inexperience may trip him up.
As much as I LOVE Tonalist, and his trainer Christophe Clement, I don’t see him winning. If this were at Belmont Park, I would bet the farm on him. Frosted always runs an honest race. Use Frosted in your exotics. I would be stunned if he didn’t hit the board. Effinex is a horse that I can’t figure out. He has a terrible problem with breaking from the gate. He’s going to be wearing new blinkers with bigger cups. Honor Code is one of my favorites in this field. Honor Code’s sire is 1992 Classic winner AP Indy, so if Honor Code should win, he’d be the first offspring of a Classic winner to win the race. Honor Code’s been training very well. His trainer, Shug McGaughey. Is very high on him. McGaughey is not one to brag, so I would pay attention. The only caveat with this horse is that he needs a very fast pace. Keen Ice, trained by Dale Romans, who handed American Pharoah his only second career defeat in the 2015 Travers Stakes, is also going to need pace. Hard Aces is the only horse that I can’t see even hitting the board.
PREDICTION: Well, which horse will make history?Will it be the great American Pharoah? Will it be the brilliant Beholder? Will Gleneagles win it for Europe like Arcquanges did in 1993? Will there be a huge upset? We will see. My top 3 horses for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic. are American Pharoah, Beholder, and Honor Code. My pick for the long shot special is Gleneagles (IRE). The winner of the 2015 Breeders Cup Classic is BEHOLDER.
Well, that is it. I hope that you enjoyed this two part blog. I enjoyed writing it. Feedback is welcome, and encouraged. Enjoy the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.