Jason Beem's Thursday Column for Nov. 3, 2022
A good Thursday to you all and Happy Breeders’ Cup weekend! Getting more and more excited as we inch closer to the two big days. I will always readily admit that I’m a very average to below average handicapper. It’s just never been a strength of mine. I appreciate folks who have the discipline and the eye to gauge how horses will do. But that said, I still find the process completely enjoyable and like everyone else, I’m going to try to find some winners this weekend.
I will say that I don’t have any comments on Friday’s card. I stink at two-year-old races and just never have a good gauge on them, especially at Breeders’ Cup. So let’s move ahead to Saturday, shall we. We talked a fair bit about the middle and late Pick 5s on my Thursday podcast this week. So here are some thoughts I have on Saturday’s big races.
Filly and Mare Sprint
This always feels like one of the more wide-open races of the Breeders' Cup series and has produced some good longshot winners since its inception back in 2007. I’m actually really liking Echo Zulu in this spot.
I think maybe her best races are at a sprint distance, she was just good enough to be beating her competition going long as well. If she sits outside some of the other speed, she should have a clear run throughout the race. Not going to be a big price; in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s favorite or second choice, but I think she’s got a big shot. A key horse for me on Saturday.
I know this race is sometimes maligned, but I kind of like this year's edition of it. Cody’s Wish is a deserving favorite, and I think he’s a major player. But he’s going to be a short price, and he hasn’t won at two turns yet.
This race is a mile on the main track, but with the long run-up of 70 yards and two turns, I think it plays a little longer. I’m hoping Simplification can sit somewhat close behind the leaders and maybe get first run. I know he hasn’t been in good form, but I think on his best day he’s still a player in a race like this.
I’m very curious to see how Society is bet because to me she seems like the logical horse to go with if you’re trying to beat the top two, Nest and Malathaat. She’s been so good in her last two races, and I feel like she has to be on the lead here. In a weird way, I worry that if the course is favoring speed then Nest is going to try to go right up with her early on and maybe they battle each other out. So, hopefully, a couple off-the pace winners get Nest to chill out early and let Society go steal it on the lead. I feel like I’m relying on Steve Asmussen to have a big weekend because if he does, I do!
OK, I realize this is super hot-takey to go against Flightline, but here’s my only real reason. So many people are going to be singled into him in the multi-race bets. He’s going to be crushed in the late Pick 4s, Pick 5s, etc. I just can’t imagine taking 2-5 or 3-5 on any horse with Taiba, Epicenter, and Life Is Good also in the race.
All three of those horses are better than what Flightline demolished in the Pacific Classic (G1). This isn’t saying Flightline can't or won’t win. I’m just saying I can’t take that short of a price on any horse going against those three very good horses. Especially on a new track and at 10 furlongs. Feel free to laugh at me when Flightline wins by eight lengths, but I just can’t do it.
Best of luck, everyone. Have a great Breeders’ Cup, and come back rich!