BC - Marathon
October 24, 2013
By Anthony Stabile
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Welcome to Stabile’s 2013 Breeders’ Cup Breakdown, an in depth look into each and every Breeders’ Cup race to be held Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd at Santa Anita in Arcadia, CA. VegasInsider.com handicapper Anthony “the Big A” Stabile will take a look at the contenders in each event, talk about how the race should set-up and provide some strategies on how to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to betting on the race. If you want to know what Anthony will be betting on both Breeders’ Cup days, make sure to check back on Friday and Saturday to purchase Stabile’s Breeders’ Cup Picks and Plays of the Day, a look at how he’ll wager on each and every race, available EXCLUSIVELY on VegasInsider.com.
Breeders’ Cup Facts and Figures
Distance: 1 ¾ miles
Age: 3-Year-Olds & Up
Date: Friday, Nov. 1
Post-time: 4:45 p.m. EDT
Run at 1 ½ miles in its first year before stretching out to this distance. European shippers won the first two runnings over the synthetic surface at Santa Anita. This event is best known altercation between jockeys Javier Castellano and Calvin Borel at the scales after the 2010 race.
Favorites: 0 for 5 (0%)
Shortest: $14.80 (Man of Iron, 2009)
Highest: $85.20 (Afleet Again, 2011)
The champ is here? No
Front Runners: Blueskiesandrainbows, Commander, Ever Rider
Mid-pack: Cease, London Bridge, Old Time Hockey, Suns Out Guns Out, Worldly
Closers: Indian Jones, Pool Play
The Best and the Rest
Normally, these two categories each have their own section but if I’m being honest there just isn’t enough information, or talent, frankly, to separate this bunch. So, everyone gets equal time, in alphabetical order.
The connections of BLUESKIESANDRAINBOWS are hoping his affinity for Santa Anita will make up for his possible distance limitations as he has hit the board in six of his seven starts over the course. To go along with his two wins here, Blueskiesandrainbows finished third in the Santa Anita Derby last year behind eventual Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another. Blueskiesandrainbows won a minor stakes two back and was third in the 1 ½ miles Cougar II at Delmar this past summer.
Two seasons ago, CEASE turned for home in this event two in front while making just the seventh start of his career. He finished off the board that day but is back for another crack this season while making his third start off of a recent claim. Cease in for a claiming tag was a bit surprising when you recall that just last year he was finishing third and second in races like the Woodward at Saratoga and Hawthorne Gold Cup. Cease won an allowance/optional claimer going seven furlongs at Belmont last out in his first start with blinkers.
Since finishing far, far back in last years’ Marathon, COMMANDER has had a pretty solid 2013 campaign, winning half of his eight starts since returning to the races at the end of April. In fact, Commander is four for five routing this year, with his biggest score coming in gate-to-wire fashion last out in the Premier at Hastings Park going 1 3/8 miles.
South American import EVER RIDER is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his Argentinean countryman Calidoscopio, last years’ upset winner, by annexing the event this season. Unlike Calidoscopio, who came from the clouds, Ever Rider does his best running on or close to the lead as the words “close up” and “led throughout” litter the comment lines on his PPs. Ever Rider will be making his first start in over four months.
INDIAN JONES has raced 34 times in his career. Just one of those starts has come at a distance farther than 1 1/8 miles and it was two races back when he came flying late in the 1 ½ mile Greenwood Cup, a race he eventually lost by a nose to former Marathon winner Eldaafer but one that stamped him a contender for this.
Euro import LONDON BRIDGE is actually a New York bred son of Arch who will be making his conventional dirt debut in here. London Bridge had little luck in the first two starts of his career over synthetic surfaces before winning three in a row on the grass, including a 1 ½ mile event. He’ll be making his first start since mid-August.
Winless in his last eight starts since taking the La Jolla at Del Mar in August 2012, OLD TIME HOCKEY has raced exclusively on grass since the third start of his career. He has shown some life in his last pair while gaining ground late against better going 1 3/8 miles and 1 ¼ miles, respectively, and is by all means bred to handle the dirt.
POOL PLAY is tried the Classic last season to no avail and will be looking for his first win since last season’s Hawthorne Gold Cup. Winless in seven tries this year, Pool Play finished second in the Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream to start the season then didn’t come close until he finished third in the Greenwood Cup two back.
SUNS OUT GUNS OUT arguably ran the best race of his life in start number 22 last out, his first with the addition of blinkers, in an optional claiming/allowance contest at Parx. Two starts back, Suns Out Guns Out was fourth in the Greenwood Cup over a muddy strip. The “P” word, pedigree, hasn’t come up yet in regards to going this crazy distance but I would say his is best to handle the trip.
WORLDLY will be looking for his first victory in over two years in the Marathon but has been rounding in his last three starts since a March layoff. He was second three back to Dirt Mile contender and 2012 Travers winner Golden Ticket before missing by just a neck to multiple graded stakes winner Prayer for Relief two back. Last out in the Homecoming Classic at Churchill, Worldly finished third, beaten just 3 ¾ lengths to defending Classic winner Fort Larned. Though he’s never raced past 1 ¼ miles, he has won at that distance and is by 1992 Belmont winner A.P. Indy.
Between the distance question marks and a lack of serious talent, this figures to be a wide open betting race. I doubt the favorite will be less than 7-2 or 4-1, so boxing a few horses and spreading a bit in multi-race exotics would be the smart move.
There is a chance the lone G1 winner in the field, Pool Play, will be the longest shot on the board. Give him a whirl at 12-1 or better.
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
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Mike has also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.
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