Breeders’ Cup Filly And Mare Sprint
The first race of the Breeders’ Cup is almost a microcosm of the theme for the whole meet. This race like so many others has a clear favorite who is seemingly legitimate and seems much better than their rivals on paper. As a general rule I’m not going to be tossing horses like Indian Blessing, Zenyatta or Curlin but I will still be looking for possible upsetters and ways to make good money in the exotics even if these horses finish on top. Indian Blessing lays over the field. She has never lost a sprint, her figures are much higher than the competitions and she has learned to rate in her last few races. That’ll come in handy because this race is packed with speed. Dearest Trickski, Dream Rush, Indyanne and maybe even Lady Sprinter could be significant pace factors. If you want to analyze the pace the common way you’d say that the speed is going to burn itself and closers or good stalkers have the best chance. Indian Blessing could be long gone before the late closers get going and I really think that although Intangaroo is accomplished she isn’t quite as good on synthetics. I’d use her for minor placings for sure but the impact of her late run is blunted on this surface. I think Ventura looms a much bigger danger as a closer. She’s in great form and has had ideal preparation. The surface switch may help a bit with the price but she’ll still be well backed. Upon reflection we see that she beat very little at Keeneland. I’m inclined to go against her despite respecting her chances a great deal. I think she might be a bit overbet and she still has to improve a lot to beat in Indian Blessing’s league. If I’m taking a shot I figure it ought to be on more than a 6/1 shot. I have this theory that Keeneland form is not going to hold all that well at Santa Anita and I’m also not big on the quick turn of foot horses. I think steady acceleration is the way to go. One bomb that I’ll use in all spots is Tizzy’s Tune. Her speed figures look well below par but 40/1 shots rarely appear without blemish. She likes the surface and has the right style. A mid-pack stalker who is heavy bodied and a gradual accelerator. Relative form guides put her right in the mix with the rest of the field aside from the favorite. She lost by a head to Intangaroo in January but beat Tiz Elemental and Magnificience in her last. Logically it would mean she ought to be good enough to run with Dearest Trickski as well. She does really well in longer sprints on synthetics and I think she is coming up to the race the right way. As I said I’m going to use her in all spots, especially right beneath Indian Blessing. I’d have a saver in the win pool as well. I just have a feeling that if Indian Blessing is to lose it’ll be to a totally odd horse. If pressed for a third selection, and in keeping with my odd horse theory, I would actually include Dream Rush. She hasn’t really got going in three starts this year but this filly is one running son of a gun. She is the speed of the speed and in races that seem to have so much speed on paper sometimes a few of the riders decide to hold back. How many times have we seen speed duels fail to materialize and the speed of the speed dominates. Dream Rush hasn’t shown the requisite talent for a while now but we know it’s in there somewhere. Most of the chatter says you can’t win wire to wire at Santa Anita. The contrarian in me says we’ll see it done more than you think. She’s got speed, back class, and she is very consistent. Stranger things have happened.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
I don’t like this race very much and I don’t think a race full of this level of horses belongs at the Breeders’ Cup. It looks like a stakes race in August at Saratoga not a championship event. I’ll be keeping my hands in my pockets for this one. The only real interest I have in this is one is to get a feel for how the turf course in playing. Most of the main contenders are from the east but Californian BC’s tend not to be kind to eastern horses. C Karma, Laragh, Maram and Consequence look like the most logical horses but if they all flop it could spell out a do not touch sign on some eastern males running later on in Breeders’ Cup races. I think people are more or less obliged to pick at least a rooting interest in each race so I’ll take Saucey Evening. I like the connections and she’s got a bit of proven class as well as route experience. She looks like the most experienced west coaster and her breeding is nice for the grass. Hopefully she gives me something to root for down the lane.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
This race features the second logical favorite whom the public will absolutely eat up at the windows. Anyone who has followed this division knows that Stardom Bound has been the talk of the town for months. I’ve decided to try and oppose her, whether or not that’s a smart thing to do time will tell. The Juvenile Fillies is not usually a race that falls apart and is picked up by a deep closer like Stardom Bound. I know this is synthetics and it plays differently but my thought is that any horse who continually closes from way back eventually finds themselves in a race with a decent stalker who gets the jump on them and there is simply too much to do. It happened to Street Boss in the Ancient Title and it could happen to Stardom Bound here. Actually it has already happened to Stardom Bound twice in her career. Someone gets the jump on her and she was unable to go and get them. The logical candidates to beat her are C.S. Silk, Sky Diva and Dream Empress. I’m not thrilled about the fact that none of these horses are west coasters but it’s a fact I’ll have to live with. Sky Diva seems to be the most talented of the trio but a lack of any synthetic experience has me a bit nervous. I might use her but only a little bit. There have been much better winners of the Frizette who have failed in the BC. I think Dream Empress is your tough benchmark kind of horse. Sort of like Persistently has been in NY. Dream Empress is not brilliant but she’s solid and very tough physically. Her maiden win showed that she is brave enough to go through a hole and tough enough to take some bumping. She seems to have a good mind. Unfortunately I see her as a great type to use underneath Stardom Bound, not on top of her. She just doesn’t seem brilliant enough at her best. That leaves me with C.S Silk. This filly has the look of a special one. Her competition has been weak so we’re really pretty blind on her true form. She seems to be the type that will either run big and upset this thing or finish well back. I think she might be worth a look to win. She was immense at Arlington and while I don’t love the fact that she was setting the pace that day I do think that she is rateable. This was not a case of getting out in front and putting the rest of the field to sleep. This was a Vineyard Haven equivalent performance where she simply dominated and proved to be in a different league entirely. She will be coming off one of the longest layoffs in the field but that doesn’t scare me. I think connections wanted to have her fresh for this after her big performance at Arlington. The key for her will be not to go too fast too early. If the pace is really hot Stardom Bound will inhale the front runners. C.S Silk needs a steady pace and then needs to get clear before the favorite has a chance to get in gear. Longshots that I’ll be taking a close look at are Be Smart and Pursuit of Glory. I think Lukas rarely gets good stock anymore and he often screws up any good ones that he gets. So when one of his runs well I sit up and take notice. He hadn’t won with a first timer at Saratoga in ages but Be Smart was impressive over some next out winners. She then went straight into a G-1 route on Polytrack. She did very well despite being no match for the winner. She could stay around a lot longer than people think. Pursuit of Glory has a “Square Eddie” sort of look to her in that she has some form on European synthetics as well as on grass. The big question with her is whether or not she is ready to go two turns but she is bred to go longer might be completely overlooked. She is a far better filly than any of the Europeans in the Juvenile Fillies Turf so if one of them captures that event she may even be worth a win bet. I like the thought of using a total outsider, although Europeans have never captured this race they have had success in the Juvenile. Perhaps they're due, she at least has the speed to be in front of Stardom Bound and if she fires she'll make her move before the favorite and that's what I'm looking for.
Pursuit of Glory