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Breeders’ Cup Friday Preview

Matthew Stockman, Getty Images
Matthew Stockman, Getty Images

For a racing fan, there is no weekend like Breeders’ Cup weekend.  The coronations of the sport of kings’ newest royals, set against Southern California’s majestic, picturesque landscape.

Race after race, the world’s greatest thoroughbred’s take to the track while the sun dances its way across the mountains.

Race after race the eager crowd revels in the purity of an American pastime.

Race after race a championship is claimed.

And race after race, degenerates everywhere launch into obscenity laced tirades chastising those they’d wrongly supported.

It’s a dangerous game, horse gambling.  Equal parts thrilling and terrifying.  There are fortunes to be made and life savings to be lost.  And nowhere are the stakes higher than on Breeders’ Cup weekend.

We’re just trying to come out in the black.

Marathon: Let’s get this one out of the way – evenly matched race, I’ll take Commander to best Ever Rider and Old Time Hockey. Commander – Ever Rider – Old Time Hockey

Juvenile Turf: I don’t see a ton of speed, here, which should play into the hands of both Bobby’s Kitten and Bashart. The foreign invading Outstrip is one to watch as well. Got Shades an interesting long-shot option if he stays at 30/1 with the legendary Gary stevens aboard.  Of those, I’ll take the lethal Saratoga turf combo of Chad Brown and Javier Castellano aboard Bobby’s Kitten. Bashart and Outstrip rounding out the trifecta. Bobby’s Kitten – Bashart – Outstrip

Dirt Mile:Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  The question, dear friends, is whether or not to allow Verrazano the opportunity to fool me for a second time – the first being his no show in the Travers.  The answer, for me, is yes.  I’ll roll with the soon-to-be-retired Pletcher colt, counting on his finally finding the right distance in a big spot.  Pants on Fire, Goldencents, and Fed Biz next for me, with Taptowne, Hymn Book, and Broadway Empire each an interesting play at a price. Verrazano – Pants on Fire – Goldencents

Juvenile Fillies Turf: As sometimes happens with these turf races, it’s hard to overlook those shipping in from across the other side of the pond.  Vorda, Chriselliam, Clenor, and Testa Rossi all look strong, with My Conquestadory playing the role of the great American hope.  I wish so desperately that I could play the patriot and pick the latter of those options, but I can’t.  Vorda and Clenor on top for me. Clenor/Vorda – My Conquestadory

Distaff: What more could you possibly want?  The two best fillies of the East coast vs. the two best fillies of the West coast. The one that has ruled the racing world for years now vs. the one that threatens to take her crown.  Royal Delta, Princess of Sylmar, Beholder, Authenticity.  It will, no doubt, be an incredible finale to Friday’s Breeders’ Cup action, with the first three of that aforementioned quartet likely battling neck-and-neck down the stretch to the wire – Beholder trying to defend her home turf, the Eastern pair looking to cement their place as the best filly in racing.  Ultimately, I think the quick tempo likely to be set by Royal Delta and Beholder will cost them.  Princess of Sylmar won’t sit far off their pace, but given the grace and ease with which she can stalk and turn it on when the time comes, I see no reason why she won’t take control of this race in mid-stretch.  It’s a classic on paper, I imagine it will be a classic on the track, and it will be won by a classic, even if humbly begun, filly. Princess of Sylmar – Royal Delta – Beholder

For a preview of Saturday’s races, head to NoTicketSports.com, and for more Breeders’ Cup notes, including live reaction and betting advice, follow me on Twitter @Joe_1045.

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