2016 Breeders' Cup Thoughts

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D.S. Williamson

October 29th, 2016

I've got some early 2016 Breeders' Cup thoughts that I wanted to share with everyone. I'm actually going in depth on a blog about Aidan O'Brien and writing about the Breeders' Cup Mile and the Breeders' Cup Turf in separate blogs. These are my thoughts about the Classic, the Dirt Mile and the Distaff. My brother Eddie sent me the form. So, I've spent the past few days pouring over it.



Breeders' Cup Classic

Found/Highland Reel - Both of O'Brien's horses are ultra-classy. What it means is that they could make their presence felt in the BC Classic on Nov 5. But, making their presence felt doesn't mean that thy  have any shot of beating either Arrogate or California Chrome in the Classic. Those 2 horses appear so much faster than the other horses pre-entered into the field that's it going to be tough for anybody to run past either Chrome or Baffert's 3-year-old monster. Not to mention the fact that there is absolutely no dirt breeding in either Found or Highland Reel.

Frosted - The way that he hung in the Woodward is a bad sign. It's been well-documented how Frosted doesn't appreciate the 1 1/4 mile distance. I'm not sure if he doesn't appreciate it, or if he just keeps running into horses that are better than he is at 1 1/4 miles. He took on American Pharoah last year and got drubbed. Chrome demolished him in the Dubai World Cup this year. I have no clue why they're trying it again versus Chrome. I'm throwing him out of the win and place slots for sure.

Arrogate/California Chrome - I just don't think any other horse in the race can beat either one of these beasts.

Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

Dortmund - Now, teaching Dortmund to rate in the Pacific Classic makes sense. Dortmund might find someone else on the lead in the BC Dirt Mile. That could help Dortmund since he did rate kindly in the P. Classic. If nobody else wants the lead, the giant 4-year-old could bounds away to an easy win in this. I think that Dortmund goes off as the favorite. His cruising speed is impressive. He's the obvious choice as the favorite in the Las Vegas Dirt Mile now that Frosted didn't enter.

Runhappy - I'm not ready to give up on this guy after a single bad race over the wet fast at Keeneland. The problem is that I can't put him on top since he ran so badly in the Ack Ack. But, I do feel that he could challenge Dortmund for the win. I might have to play him on top of Baffert's horse in the exacta as a saver.

Gunrunner - He'll have to improve. I doubt anybody finds a gutsier horse on Friday. I think he's a must use after watching how he made up ground on Connect in the 1 1/8 Pennsylvania Derby. A mile is right up his alley and Asmussen almost trained Tapiture to an upset win over Goldencents in this race a few years ago.

Breeders' Cup Distaff

Beholder - She gets a target in the Distaff this year. Finally! After being Stellar Wind's target in her last 2 races, one of the greatest mares to ever set foot onto a racetrack gets to run after a horse. To me, that's huge. That's enough for me to agree with Eddie that Beholder has a shot. I'm leaning this way.

Songbird - Is she a freak?  I don't know. Like Arrogate versus Chrome in the Classic, she'll have to be a freak in order to beat Beholder and Stellar Wind. I'm not sure how great she is because she's never faced horses even close to the 2 superstar mares she faces in the Distaff.

Stellar Wind - It's hard to go against her after watching how she calmly beat Beholder in the last 2 match ups. But, here's the thing: sometimes it depends on how a race is run not whether or not one horse is better than the other. Gary Stevens found himself to the outside and on the lead in the last 2 races against Stellar Wind. He may not in the Distaff.

Good luck!