BC – Dirt MileWelcome to Stabile’s Breeders’ Cup Preview, an in depth look into each and every Breeders’ Cup race to be held Friday, November 1 and Saturday November 2 at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California. 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 at VegasInsider.com. To purchase Anthony Stabile Pick Packs, Click to win!
Distance: 1 mile
Purse: $1 million
Date: Saturday, November 1
Time: 4:10 pm EDT
The HistoryRun around two turns at 1 mile and 70 yards in 2007 then on synthetic surface at Santa Anita in 2008 and 2009. Finally run at intended distance on dirt for first time in 2010. Goldencents became the first back-to-back winner of the event with a pair of gate-to-wire scorchers in 2013 & 2014 while Liam’s Map powered away to win after a tough trip in 2015.
Favorites: 2 for 12 (17%)
Shortest: $3.00 (Liam’s Map, 2015)
Highest: $77.40 (Dakota Phone, 2010)
The champ is here? No. City of Light retired after winning the Pegasus World Cup earlier this year.
BestOmaha Beach, after originally being pointed to the Sprint, lands in this event and should be an overwhelming favorite when he goes to the post against this bunch.
After starting his career with three turf starts as a juvenile, Omaha Beach finished second in his dirt debut in early January before rattling off three straight wins, including a division of the G2 Rebel by a nose over two-year-old champ Game Winner and a virtual gate-to-wire score in G1 Arkansas Derby for trainer Richard Mandella, an effort that established him as the favorite for the G1 Kentucky Derby, a raced he was forced to miss due to an entrapped epiglottis.
Omaha Beach, now playing catch-up as far as the Breeders’ Cup and year-end honors are concerned, returned in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship off of a near six-month layoff. After bobbling a bit at the break, he was able to make a move along the inside to nip fellow sophomore, the speedy Shancelot, in the final strides.
With a couple of other races in mind before retirement, it was decided that this spot, not the Sprint or Classic, would best serve Omaha Beach going forward.
Improbable will be making his third start since failing as the 5-2 favorite on the G1 Preakness while seeking just his second win in his seventh start of the season for trainer Bob Baffert.
Undefeated in three starts at two, including the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity, Improbable lost his division of the Rebel by a neck as the 2-5 chalk before chasing Omaha Beach around there for the second half of the Arkansas Derby.
Elevated to fourth in the Kentucky Derby before his Preakness flop, Improbable returned with his best effort to date, easily taking the Shared Belief at Del Mar going this two-turn mile before a poor start and dreaded inside trip at Parx cost him dearly as the 6-5 favorite in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby where he finished fourth.
Mr. Money has made plenty of cash this year by running in the easier, more lucrative races that are restricted to three-year-olds. Now, he has to step up his game again after just missing by a neck when he set a moderate pace in the Pennsylvania Derby last out.
Trained by Bret Calhoun, Mr. Money has earned over $1 million this season by way of wins in the G3 Pat Day Mile and G3 Matt Winn at Churchill along with the G3 Indiana Derby and G3 West Virginia Derby by sitting just off the pace. This will be his first start against older rivals
RestAmbassadorial ships over the pond to make his first start on, presumably, a fast track, having finished third two back in the G1 Korea Cup in the mud in Seoul. By Elusive Quality, he has hit the board in all seven of his starts over synthetic surfaces, with three wins. Looks to have an off-the-pace running style.
Blue Chipper comes over from Korea with a six-race win streak and having won seven of his eight starts overall. He’s undefeated in three starts on a fast track and won a pair of G1 events back home, including one at this distance, two starts back. It appears he’s been forwardly placed in a majority of his starts in the early going.
Coal Front re-rallied to win the Parx Dirt Mile on Pennsylvania Derby Day and is two for three overall at a mile, counting the G2 Godolphin Mile on the Dubai World Cup undercard as his other victory. Earlier this season, he won the G3 Razorback at Oaklawn and tired after setting the pace in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont.
Fifth in this heat last year, Giant Expectations will be looking for his first win in nine tries since his last victory, a gate-to-wire score over last year’s Classic winner Accelerate in the G2 San Antonio back in December 2017. Since the addition of blinkers for the first time in three years, he finished second against fellow New York-breds in the Commentator by a nose before getting outgamed by Catalina Cruiser in the G2 Pat O’Brien in his last start 10 weeks ago.
Snapper Sinclair, a two-time turf stakes winner, will be looking for his first win in a dirt stakes and first against graded company when he returns to the main track having passed nearly all of his rivals to capture the Tourist Mile over the Kentucky Downs grass last out.
Spun to Run blitzed a minor stakes at Parx going this two-turn mile trip in his first try against older horses after finishing fifth while beaten less than two lengths in the Pennsylvania Derby. Earlier this year, he was third in the G1 Haskell behind Maximum Security before gutting out a win in the G3 Smarty Jones at Parx.
If I’m Right...Omaha Beach would not have to be at his best to beat this bunch and while I’ve always felt he may not be a classic distance this trip should be right in his wheelhouse.
Live LongshotGiant Expectations is a bit enigmatic, to say the least, but if he fires his best shot, he’ll be right there.
Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6:00 p.m. ETon Wednesday and 3-7:00 p.m. ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 201 or streaming live at horseracingradio.net. He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as the co-host of Talking Horses and a backup racetrack announcer. Follow him on Twitter @TheBigAStabile
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