Holland's North American free racing picks for Nov. 5
With the Breeders' Cup just one day away, Tim Holland offers his expert picks across North America at Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park West, and Indiana Grand.
Trainer Hough wins with 18% of his first-time starters and saddles #6 Augusta Melody (10-1), a debuting son of 16% first-out sire Speightstown who is out of Honorable Miss (G2) winner Tar Heel Mom. Dark bay is a half-brother to one winner and has been working well for Hough, who wins with 21% of his maiden claimers. Dark bay is likely ready for a good first outing with Bejarano riding.
#12 Warrior In Chief (10-1) hung late after making progress from just off the pace when fourth in his debut as the favorite at Keeneland last month. Trainer McPeek wins with 16% of his second-time starters and with 18% of his runners that were beaten as the favorite last time out. Bay can be in good early position from the outside post with Albarado remaining aboard.
Gulfstream Park West
Mark Casse wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days and saddles #8 Catch a Thrill (5-2), who was last seen finishing second as the favorite after pressing the early pace at this level and distance at Gulfstream in mid-September. Daughter of City Zip has won one eight starts on turf for Casse, who wins with 16% of his runners on grass. 4-year-old can be in good position throughout under Jaramillo, who has won with one of his last four rides for the barn.
Allowance runners on grass include #1 Leading the Charge (5-2), who returns to state-bred company off a closing fourth-place finish over 1 1/16 miles here last month. Son of Suntracer has won one of four starts on this turf and trainer Dobbs wins with 12% of his runners on grass and has won with 13% of his starters at this meet. Gelding can be along from off the pace with Sanjur retaining the mount.