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Homeracing

How Mucciolo is playing the Breeders’ Cup Saturday Late Pick 4

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

November 5th, 2016

The late Pick 4 starts in Race 9 with the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) and while this wager seems potentially a bit more straight-forward than the earlier sequence spanning Races 4-7, it is not for the faint of heart, either.

Turf:

The Euro invaders have been pretty dominant in this race over the years and bring a strong contingent for this renewal. I feel as though this will have to be a spread race and would prefer to be safe, rather than sorry, in Leg 1. Conditioner Aidan O’Brien will ship in the top-two finishers from the recent Arc d’Triomphe (Fr-G1) in defending champion Found and Group 1 standout Highland Reel, and each has to be on the ticket. In addition, Ulysses hails from three-time turf winning conditioner Sir Michael Stoute and has a ton of potential to move forward being lightly raced and is another to include. Globe-trotting star Flintshire, Arlington Million (G1) hero Mondialiste and Turf Classic (G1) victor Ectot are not necessarily shippers having raced in the U.S. in advance of the Turf, but these European-bred contenders fit the profile and my ticket will be six deep to start.

Filly and Mare Sprint:

This race is perhaps the most wide-open contest of the day that lacks a ton of Grade 1 class, and/or a standout, so I will have to use a few. Gloryzapper I like quite a bit, though I also respect Ballerina (G1) princess Haveyougoneaway, Grade 1 heroine Tara’s Tango, and very talented Acorn (G1) queen Carina Mia. This looks tough but I am somewhat confident that I can move along through Leg 2 with this quartet.

Mile:

The mighty Tepin showed a minor chink in her armor last time when being upset by Photo Call at Keeneland most recently. The splendid daughter of Bernstein is still held in the highest regard by this handicapper and will be a single on one of my plays, though I have a bit of trepidation now putting all my eggs in her basket as she faces a strong field with a slew of Euro invaders, as well as some consistently good U. S.-based milers. So the plan is this – single her on one ticket, and hit the “all” button on another ticket should the star fail to fire her best shot.

Classic:

California Chrome is surely the one to beat in the pinnacle of the day, and his main foe appears to be Arrogate, who was positively sensational in dominating the Travers S. (G1) in record-setting fashion most recently. I am not sure what to make of the latter, but if he duplicates his latest tour-de-force, the sophomore might be impossible to top, even for ‘Chrome. I will close out one ticket with just that pair.

As I break down this lucrative race, I continue to contemplate the possibility of that top pair and Melatonin could hook up and duel early, and perhaps, knock each other out in late stretch. For that reason, I will spread deeper on my more expensive ticket and dream big. Should the top pair of ‘Chrome and Arrogate get knocked off, the payout of this challenging wager could skyrocket! Frosted and Melatonin are the other pair of runners I like most, but Effinex, Keen Ice and Hoppertunity also get included.  

Tickets

Ticket #1

3,4,6,7,10,12 with 2,3,7,8 with 8 with 1,2,3,4,6,9,10 ($84)

Ticket #2

3,4,6,7,10,12 with 2,3,7,8 with All with 4,10 ($336)

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