Breeders’ Cup Saturday Preview and Betting Tips – Not the Classic
Having previewed Friday's Breeders' Cup action, Joe Bianchino is back to take a look at Saturday's card, sans the Classic. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for betting tips and live-tweets throughout the weekend!
I had just gotten over post-Saratoga withdrawal; but yesterday's handicapping taste was enough to pull me back in. Today we've got Saturday's Breeders' Cup races, except the Classic, broken down below. Good luck!
Juvenile Turf: A wide open, 14 horse affair leads off Saturday's Breeders' Cup proceedings, with Dundonnell coming in from England to open as the 4/1 favorite. He's only one of many who could take the race, however, with, at the very least, Noble Tune and Joha needing serious consideration. Pace is difficult to figure, but I won't expect anything too fast. As such, I'll look to Joha as one to sit on the lead and prove the best of those three - though I'd certainly include each in exotics. Long-shot Gervihno begs to be bet, however. He comes in 2-0 with fear of his step up in class driving his odds to a too long 15/1.
Filly and Mare Sprint: It's ten horses in this seven furlong sprint, with two, I believe, above the rest. The first is the even money favorite Groupie Doll, who comes in a dominant winner of her last four races. The second is the 9/2 speed filly Dust and Diamonds, who boasts her own impressive record with five wins and four shows in nine career starts. Dust and Diamonds will likely be the first to claim the lead, and should do so in easy fashion. The question will be, without a ton of speed at the front, whether or not Groupie Doll can track down her down. I'll say she will, but I won't expect a romp, and both should be bet. Turbulent Descent and Musical Romance could also be there.
Dirt Mile: It's a pick 'em affair here with nine horses going a mile over the Santa Anita dirt. Dale Romans' Shackleford has been installed the 2/1 morning-line favorite, but will be only one of eight vying for the early lead. The race is begging for a closer to sit off pace and run past the tired front runners for the win, but I'm not sure such a horse exists, here. Relative long shot John Scott could be the one, but the guess is a tenuous one at best with those at the front having so much experience there. Shackleford, Emcee, and Jersey Town can't be ignored, but it's a six to five and pick 'em event, here.
Turf Sprint: The always exciting downhill turf course will be on display here, with 14 stepping up to the starting gate. It's another wide open affair with the morning-line favorite a meager 9/2 in the form of Todd Pletcher's Bridgetown. He'll be one of many near the front, but expect Bridgetown to sit just off the pace, not wanting to extend himself early. With that strategy, I'll take Bridgetown to be the one, but Unbridled's Note and long-shot Mizdirection deserve looks.
Juvenile: The eventual Kentucky Derby favorite may very well be in this field of nine two-year old colts. Winner of the Grade 2 Hopeful and Grade 1 Champagne, Todd Pletcher's Shanghai Bobby represents the early favorite, with Bob Baffert's Power Broker the 5/2 second choice. Both will be forwardly placed in what I expect to be a hot pace; and while it may very well come down to those two, I find myself intrigued by the prospects of long shot Dynamic Sky - who could, if he handles the surface, capitalize on the hot pace. Still, familiarity can't be overlooked with young, immature colts, so I'll take Power Broker - who has raced and won on this route before - to be the winner, but I won't overlook Shanghai Bobby or the late charging Dynamic Sky.
Turf: Not to be confused with the turf sprint or turf mile, the Breeders' Cup Turf will feature twelve entries this Saturday with at least half possessing a valid argument that they deserve your money. Point of Entry has been made the 3/1 favorite, and having won six of his last seven, seems a just one. A pair of 7/2 Euorpeans - St Nicholas Abbey and Shareta - will be game challengers and any of those three could be your winner. I'll likely play Shareta and Point of Entry, but switching to the turf - which everyone suggested was where he truly belonged - and running onto what should be an honest pace, I'll also take a shot with the 12/1 Dullahan - a well I've gone to before, but I'll stick with it one final time.
Sprint: It's a crowded gate in Breeders' Cup Sprint, with 14 colts, geldings, and horses set to go in Saturday's 10th - and it's as wide open as it is congested. The favorite is a modest one, the 4/1 Amazombie - with The Lumber Guy, Coil, and Jimmy Creed following him. There's some definite speed at the front in the form of Sum of the Parts, Trinniberg and the aforementioned The Lumber Guy, but with 14 horses, I don't see closers finding a way through the traffic. As such, I'll take those sitting close to but not on the lead to get the win - Amazombie is likely the best bet, but I'll also peg 12/1 Fast Bullet, admittedly making a dramatic jump in class, and front-runner Trinniberg, at 15/1, as solid long-shot bets.
Turf Mile: It's an Irish-American battle in this the penultimate Breeders' Cup contest as Kentucky bred Wise Dan, winner of eight of his last 10, enters the 9/5 favorite over the Irish colt Excelebration, a 2/1 second choice. The 6/1 Obviously could be dangerous from the lead, but I don't think he - or any of the other nine entries - survives the furious kicks that can, and will, be shown by Excelebration and Wise Dan. It's Wise Dan's experience on firm - as well as his stellar, commanding victory in this year's Fourstardave - that has me pointing his way. But any bets should include Excelebration.
Follow me on twitter as I live-tweet betting advice and reaction throughout Breeders' Cup weekend, and check back later for a preview of the Breeders' Cup Classic. Good luck! Cash early and often!