Banking on the Breeders’ Cup Head2Head wagers
Churchill Downs (c) Coady Photography
One of the fascinating new wagers that will be held during Breeders’ Cup weekend is the Head2Head (H2H). The incredibly attractive format has a minimum $10 base with a miniscule 10 percent takeout. Seven H2H options are available, with a trio on Friday and four more on Saturday.
Below are the matchups and my selections:
Juvenile Fillies Turf: (USA vs. Europe)
Of my top four picks, three are based in the United States (NEWSPAPEROFRECORD, SUMMERING, CONCRETE ROSE) and just one from Europe (JUST WONDERFUL). While the invader is my top pick, I will stay with the locals in the first H2H of the weekend.
WAGER – USA
Juvenile Turf: (USA vs. Europe)
This one is a slam dunk for me. I think the Euros could sweep the top four slots in the turf event. A no-brainer if the odds are even close to worth it.
WAGER – Europe
Juvenile: (Complexity vs. Game Winner)
I have made no secret that I really like COMPLEXITY to take the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile field all the way around the oval. However, it is not that simple. While he looks a bit of an all-or-nothing candidate, the same can’t be said for GAME WINNER, who has the running style and foundation to be a surefire top-four finisher. In the end, the value and choice will be with the speedster.
WAGER – Complexity
Filly & Mare Turf: (USA vs. Europe)
This wager is very appealing to me as my top picks in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) are all Euros. Sophomores shipping in from overseas have won the last two editions of the race, and I think it will be three straight following the grassy affair. WILD ILLUSION and MAGIC WAND is a formidable duo, while the four-year-old EZIYRA is no slouch either.
WAGER – Europe
Mile: (USA vs. Europe)
Six of the last seven Breeders’ Cup Mile winners were based in the states, though I expect the wagering to be slanted toward the imports. Eight in the field are shipping across the pond giving them strength in numbers and class. However, the duo of OSCAR PERFORMANCE and ANALYZE IT might be first and second early on while establishing moderate early fractions. The value is with the home team.
WAGER – USE
Turf: (Enable vs. Field)
Two-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) queen ENABLE is a massive talent and one of the best fillies I have had the pleasure of watching in some time. She faces 12 foes in Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), including defending champ TALISMANIC, Champion Stakes (Eng-G1) vixen MAGICAL and Arc fourth WALDGEIST. Tough call, though I will side with quantity as no Arc winner has won the Turf in the same season.
WAGER – Field
Classic: (Mendelssohn vs. Thunder Snow)
THUNDER SNOW answered a lot of questions for me in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) when a head second. The Helmet colt rated and closed while tracking off of his foes and, more importantly, he proved to me that he was more than just a Meydan specialist.
MENDELSSOHN, who obliterated the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) by 18 lengths in the spring at Meydan, has done the same. The well-bred colt finished runner-up in the Travers Stakes (G1) and third in Jockey Club as of late. His class can’t be doubted.
It’s a very tough decision, but Christophe Soumillon riding tips the scales to the former.
WAGER – Thunder Snow