The first race on the card for this weekend’s Breeders Cup 28 million dollar horse racing event is the Longines Distaff which featured a classic battle between the 6-year-old, 3-time champion mare Beholder and then-unbeaten 3-year-old megastar Songbird in a mesmerizing duel to the end. Beholder won by a nose becoming a three-time Breeders Cup winner in the final start of a magnificent career. Beholder placed in 24 of her races winning 18 with two second-place finishes. This year’s event not as impressive it poses a wide open talented field. The fields include 1) Champagne Room, Jockey Mario Gutierrez, morning line odds of 15-1, 2) Stella Wind is the narrow favourite, Jockey Victor Espinoza, morning line odds at 5-2, 3.) Mopotism presents intrigue in that jockey Frankie Dettori gets the ride odds of 30-1, 4.) Abel Tasman a Bob Baffert trained filly, 4-1 Mike Smith the rider, Elate goes off at 3-1, the ride Jose Ortiz. Forever Unbridled is a 4-1 jockey, John L Velazquez. Next are Paradise Woods and rider Flavien Prat going off at 9-2? Finally, Romantic Vision with rider Brian Hernandez Junior goes off at 15-1
How to bet? This is the field is better than last year’s field. It would have been the strongest field ever but Songbird injured and most likely retired, and the grey super filly unique Bella is out. The field is still strong and I give the edge to the older mares over the fillies. My wager is Forever Unbridled and Stella Wind wins, place box coupled with Elate for show money. Paradise Woods will have an early lead and they need to watch her and the fractions she has stolen races before. That said I would bundle the top three win win-show bets win and place bets. It would not surprise me if Elate wins but she’ll need Stella Wind to run a hot pace with paradise Woo and have to worry about closer Forever Unbridled. I really like Elate I understand she may not be mature enough to bet the older mares.
The Juvenile Turf is an open race I expect the Europeans to lock up top two spots with a horse who has raced in Canada to possibly crack the top 4 spots. Masar is deserved of being the favourite I think he’ll finish first and you can couple Masar with Rajasinghe. I watched untamed money work out and race earlier in the year at the Summers stakes he a nice horse to rate and sit close to the pace and make a late run. My Masar to win.
The Dirt Mile is a tough race analyze. Accelerate and Mor Spirit has raced on the track and have the west coast edge. Sharp Azteca is the class of the field but unraced at Del Mar. This is going to be a speed duel between the big three and I expect a closer such as Iron fist to get a win, place show money. The big three I mentioned could easily win, Sharp Azteca, Accelerate or Mor Spirit. If we have a speed duel and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr rates Iron Fist just off the pace to come with the big run he could win. Best bet Iron win, place or show. Mor Spirit Sharp Azteca win-place box with iron fist show, another decent bet Accelerate win, place show.
The final race on Friday is the juvenile fillies turf. Happily trained by Aiden O’Brien is the favourite and class of the field. She is a multiple group one winner with exquisite breeding. Happily, wins the race on one leg coupled with any European horses from Ireland.
Later Friday night I will post Saturdays Breeders cup picks and college football picks.