2017 Breeders' Cup Turf Preview and Picks

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D.S. Williamson

October 26th, 2017

Although the Prix de l'Arc winner, Enable, has decided to skip the Breeders' Cup Turf, there's plenty of other talent signed on for what's become one of the prestigious grass races in the world. This year's BC Turf will be run for a $4 million dollar purse. That makes it a must try for plenty of the best racing outfits throughout the world.

I'm going with a longshot on top. I believe the race is much more wide-open than other horseplayers. This is the race where I feel it's necessary to take a shot. Keep reading to find out my picks for the 2017 Breeders' Cup Turf!

1. Decorated Knight

After finishing fifth behind Ulysses and Churchill in the Group 1 Juddmonte International in August, Decorated Knight came back with a spirited win in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes. He went wide around the final turn and blew past the field. The closing kick he displayed on that day could come in handy in the Breeders' Cup Turf with frontrunners like Highland Reel, Mr. Roary, and Beach Patrol likely in the field. I'm expecting at least 12 to 1 odds on Decorated Knight.

2. Highland Reel

No horse deserves as much respect in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Turf as Highland Reel. The Adian O'Brien trainee has been the epitome of class the past two years. I know he can win this. He did last year facing a tougher foe in Flintshire than he should face this year. Also, his form might be turning around after the third place finish to Cracksman and Poet's Word in the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot. I can't help but feel he goes off around 8/5, though. That makes him a must use, but not my key horse in the BC Turf.

3. Ulysses

He's got a shot to win this based purely on class. When you finish third in the Prix behind a monster like Enable, you can handle anything thrown at you. Then again, the Breeders' Cup Turf will be his seventh race this year. I believe he peaked in August when he beat Churchill and Barney Roy in the Juddmonte International. I'm not sure the third place finish in the Prix is a sign that his form has come around more than a sign that his form has gone south just a bit. He should go off second choice in this.

4. Beach Patrol

He's easily the best of the American horses in the Breeders' Cup Turf. That alone means he'll go off at underlay odds to win this. Can Beach Patrol win the Breeders' Cup Turf? Sure. Will he? I don't believe he will. Beach Patrol beat Fanciful Angel in both the Arlington Million and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Fanciful Angel's last race overseas before coming to the U.S. was in the Gala Stakes at Sandown.

Ulysses, Highland Reel, and Decorated Knight were way too classy for Fanciful Angel to handle overseas. Beach Patrol might not have the class to handle the three top European horses on Nov. 4. He, like Fanciful Angel, is trained by Chad Brown. That should hurt his odds. It also gives Beach Patrol a puncher's chance.

Top Longshot Breeders' Cup Turf Play:  Bullard's Alley

I won't pretend he's classy enough to beat these because he's not. He is a Grade 1 winner, though. He beat Oscar Performance on the square in the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine. His odds should be close to 50 to 1 in this. Heck, just because of his odds I'm willing to blow $4 bucks and play a $1 exacta with Bullard's Alley over Decorated Knight, Highland Reel, Ulysses, and Beach Patrol.