Breeders’ Cup Saturday Pick 5 Analysis
by Scott Shapiro
As a regular player of the Pick 5 it excites me tremendously to get a sequence with five consecutive stakes races that include large fields throughout.
The monster card on Saturday begins with three stakes races that are not Breeders’ Cup events and then it is onto the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to get the championship events rolling. As usual, the Players’ Pick 5 commences with the opener slated for 10:15 AM local time.
As much as I hate to single the most logical winner in any sequence, #4 California Diamond looks like a standout in the second race, the Golden State Juvenile. He would have to regress quite a bit or really dislike the seven-furlong distance to not beat this group of California-breds. I will build my ticket around him winning at a short price and one of the Chad Brown fillies, #1 Sea Calisi or #8 Lady Eli hitting the wire first in the Filly & Mare Turf.
The fourth running of the Juvenile Turf Sprint kicks off the massive day of racing at Santa Anita Park. Trainer Wesley Ward sends out three of the logical options, including 5-2-favorite #9 Red Lodge. I respect this Midshipman filly, as well as Ward’s other two runners #1 Con Te Partiro who got a tough trip in the Surfer Girl Stakes at two turns last time out and New York-bred #2 Awsum Roar, but am not convinced that any of these fillies will find the six and a half furlong distance ideal. Therefore, I will spread deep and hope to get the day started with a price. I give a long look to #7 Oopper Wallah at 15-1 on the morning line. This Congrats colt put forth a solid effort going two turns on the grass for the first time in the Zuma Beach on October 10th. He should appreciate the cutback in distance and I love the way Norberto Arroyo, Jr is riding.
The aforementioned Golden State Juvenile run at seven-eighths is the second leg of the sequence. I will live and die with the chalk, #4 California Diamond. This Harbor the Gold colt has won 4 of 6 races to start his career and beat open company competition last out over this oval.
The Grade 3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes came up strong this year. The event contested at six and a half furlongs down the hillside turf course features the runner-up in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, #13 Lady Shipman. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee ran poorly in her first try over this course in the Eddie D on Opening Day, but draws outside instead of along the rail on Saturday. I was completely against her that day and will play against her in this spot too, but the 13-post does give her running style a better shot. I will use five fillies, including value play #11 Entrechat. This daughter of Giant’s Causeway was in fine form this summer before a less than ideal voyage two back at Del Mar and a poor effort over a yielding course at Kentucky Downs. I can forgive both and am willing to hope she can run back to her race on June 3rd over this course. European invader #8 Mehronissa also intrigues me with the addition of Lasix for trainer Edward Vaughan.
The fourth leg of the Pick 5 is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. I do not have a strong opinion in this spot, but made #2 With Honors my lukewarm top selection. The LNJ Foxwoods filly illustrated she can run on dirt, as well as turf when she ran a game second in the Grade 1 Chandelier last month. I think she can improve in the first championship event of the day.
The Pick 5 concludes with the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf conducted at a mile and a quarter. I am leaning on Chad Brown to get the job done in this two million dollar race over the lawn. #8 Lady Eli is a great story and has a huge shot, but I prefer the value of #1 Sea Calisi. This filly has been ultra consistent in four starts in the States and should get a much stronger pace to run into than in her most recent start in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park.
Here is my ticket:
Race 1- 1+4+7+9+10+12
Race 2- 4
Race 3- 2+8+9+11+14
Race 4- 2+3+4+6+10
Race 5- 1+8
Total = $150