Welcome to Stabile’s Breeders’ Cup Countdown. In the weeks leading up to the 30th annual Breeders’ Cup, to be held this year Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd at Santa Anita in Arcadia, CA. VegasInsider.com handicapper Anthony “the Big A” Stabile will cover the major prep races in almost every Breeders’ Cup division, culminating with his annual Breeders’ Cup Breakdowns, an extensive 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 “the Big A” 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 at VegasInsider.com.
With all the major preps now in the books and less than three weeks until Breeders’ Cup weekend, the fields are starting to take shape. And while they will change a bit in the coming fortnight, we pretty much know who’ll be running where on two of racings’ biggest days. We’ve covered the ten races for older horses below.
As a reminder, pre-entries for all 14 races close on Monday, Oct. 21 and will be announced Wednesday Oct. 23. As for this space, we’ll use it here to update the fields and then begin our Breeders’ Cup Breakdowns on Friday, Oct. 25. The four juvenile races omitted from this piece will each have a Breakdown as well.
We’re in for a rare treat this year as the first four finishers from last years’ Classic – Fort Larned, Mucho Macho Man, Flat Out and Ron the Greek – as well as the beaten favorite last year/probable favorite this year Game On Dude will go at it again. Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, along with Will Take Charge and Moreno, the one-two finishers in both the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby winner lead the three-year-old contingent while miracle horse Paynter will try to cap off his rollercoaster season with for his trainer Bob Baffert, who also conditions “The Dude.”
Restored to its original name after being called the Ladies’ Classic for the past few seasons, two-time defending champ will look to join the great Goldikova as the only three time Breeders’ Cup winners. Now a five-year-old, perhaps it’s fitting that a trio of sophomore lassies figure to her biggest obstacles on the road to a three-peat. It appears as if Princess of Sylmar, who upset Royal Delta in the Beldame last out, will now be supplemented to the Cup and comes in with four consecutive G1 scores under her belt. Mother Goose and Cotillion winner Close Hatches, who like Royal Delta is trained by Bill Mott, and local speedster Beholder, a multiple G1 winner in her own right who defeated older in the Zenyatta last out, should provide an honest pace.
Trainer Shug McGaughey, who won the Kentucky Derby earlier this season with Orb, is looking to pull off an even more improbable win should he get Point of Entry, second in this race last year and unraced since Belmont day of this year when he came out of his win in the Manhattan with a condylar fracture, in the starting gate for this. He’s been working well but will have plenty of stiff competition as Arlington Million winner Real Solution, Sword Dancer winner Big Blue Kitten and defending Turf champ Little Mike, who defeated the previous two in the Joe Hirsch last out, will all be waiting, along with local hope and John Henry winner Indy Point. The connections of Euro filly The Fugue are still deciding between this and the F&M Turf.
Filly & Mare Turf
Whether The Fugue runs here or takes on the boys, the Euros, led by Beverly D winner Dank, hold a strong hand in here as most of the American hopes have glaring holes. Laughing may be a perfect four for four this season but she is an admittedly terrible shipper and may want less ground. Marketing Mix has obviously lost a step or two and Tiz Flirtatious had to run her eyeballs out to beat her last out. Euro three-year-olds Winsili, who’s been pointed to this race since the summer and Flotilla, winner of the Juvenile Fillies Turf over the course last year, could offer some value. Three time G1 winning three-year-old Emollient is on the fence while Kitten’s Dumplings, winner of the QEII for the Ramseys will be running off just three weeks rest.
I guess you can’t hold Wise Dan’s defeat against him in the Shadwell Turf Mile since heavy rains forced it to be run at 1 1/16 miles over the Keeneland Polytrack. He had won his previous nine starts, all on turf, including last years’ renewal of this. Silver Max got loose on Wise Dan and managed to pull off the mild upset last out on a day in which Obviously appeared to have his field over a bigger barrel than Wise Dan did but blew up as well in the City of Hope, who’s winner No Jet Lag leads a slew of three-year-old possibles with him being the lone American. The connections of Toronado, Dawn Approach and Olympic Glory are all still taking a wait-and-see approach.
With Graydar all but officially confirmed for the Classic, a couple of three-year-olds, the Pletcher trained Verrazano and local hope Goldencents from the Doug O’Neill barn, figure to vie for favoritism at the betting windows. They lead a deep cast which also includes G1 winners Fed Biz, Hymn Book, Golden Ticket and Power Broker along with multiple graded stakes winners Pants On Fire and Last Gunfighter, who is a perfect three for three at the distance.
Unfortunately, this is the event that has suffered the most of the past few years since a bunch of new races, namely the Filly and Mare Sprint and Turf Sprint, came into play. Still, this years’ renewal seems to have all the major players currently in the division. The first two finishers from the Vosburgh, Private Zone and Justin Phillip, Santa Anita Sprint Championship victor Points Offthebench, Phoenix winner Sum of the Parts, the speedy Fast Bullet and the one-two finishers from last years’ Sprint, Trinniberg and the Lumber Guy, both of whom are looking to regain their form of last year, are all set to duke it out for six panels.
Last year’s champ Mizdirection will defend her crown while making her first start since a failed run in the Big Apple back in June while returning to the scene of some of her biggest scores. Another filly in the fast Reneesgotzip figures to take plenty of action coming off an August layoff of her own. The first four finishers from the Eddie D – Chips All In, Boat Trip, Unbridled’s Note and Caracortado- the local prep for this, return and are joined by Woodford winner Havelock, Europe’s Lethal Force and a couple of former claimers shipping in from N.Y. in Spring to the Sky and the speedy Tightend Touchdown.
Filly & Mare Sprint
Groupie Doll roared into this event last year and won it with breath-taking ease, especially when you recall that she was one of the only horses to make up an inch of ground over a speed-biased course, to put it mildly. Things are different this season, however, as she’s one just once in three starts and was a lackluster third in the TCA last out behind fellow runner Judy the Beauty. The Baffert pair of Book Review and Executiveprivilege will be running late as L.A. Woman winner Teddy’s Promise figures to be cutting it up pretty good on the front end. Win machines Sweet Lulu and Dance to Bristol are both coming into this off losses but should love the distance and sit great trips.
Frankly, there is not much to say about this bunch since most are unproven at this odd 1 ¾ mile distance. As of press time, the following runners were listed as probable for the event: Blueskiesandrainbows, Ever Rider, Indian Jones, London Bridge, Oilisblackgold, Percussion, Pool Play, Sky Kingdom, Suns Out Guns Out and Worldly. The field lost Take Control earlier in the week when he was hurt in a workout and had to be euthanized.
Mike DempseyMike 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. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick. Mike 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. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike daily with top picks from Aqueduct or Gulfstream Park. You can also get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins. Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
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