Potential Breeders' Cup Overlays to Watch
Other than, perhaps, watching a great champion streak to victory or witnessing one being crowned, nothing quite beats that time-honored Breeders’ Cup experience of cashing tickets on an overlaid contender or longshot few others seemed to like.
With that in mind, here are a few entries on this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup programs that figure to look attractive on the tote board.
Distaff: With Close Hatches coming off her worst race of the season, and Untapable untested against older fillies and mares and perhaps not as sharp as she was in the spring, the late-developing TIZ MIDNIGHT (10-1 ML) might have an opening to surprise the two favorites. Although she didn’t break her maiden until late June, the Bob Baffert trainee quickly reeled off two allowance wins at Del Mar and then ran Beholder, who might have been the horse to beat here if she had stayed healthy, close in the Zenyatta Stakes.
Tiz Midnight is likely to show speed from post 2 and could prove dangerous if able to step clear of Iotapa and Close Hatches, who is marooned out in post 11. She’s also bred to be any kind, by champion sprinter Midnight Lute out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Tough Tiz’s Sis, who won the Zenyatta when it was known as the Lady’s Secret.
JUVENILE FILLIES: Highly regarded from the start, FEATHERED (8-1 ML) was an odds-on favorite when she fell a head short in her debut and then when romping by 9 3/4 lengths against maiden foes, both times at Saratoga. She wasn’t quite as impressive in her stakes debut, the Frizette at Belmont Park, but re-rallied for third over a sloppy track that might not have been to her liking.
Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano are the leading money earners in their respective professions this year, and this looks like it could be one of those rare opportunities to get them at a price.
This filly’s pedigree is another asset, sublime in fact. She traces back to 1966 champion three-year-old filly Lady Pitt, whose descendants include numerous Grade 1 winners and champions campaigned by the Phipps family.
MILE: In the absence of Wise Dan, European invaders will be well-backed in this race. One of them, the progressive three-year-old MUSTAJEEB (6-1 ML), might not get the attention that several of his older rivals will. Group 2-placed as a juvenile, the Nayef colt has landed Group 3s at Leopardstown and Royal Ascot this season and finished a creditable third to the brilliant Kingman in the Irish 2000 Guineas over extremely heavy ground.
Although upset as the even-money favorite in a Group 2 at Leopardstown last time, he was coming off a layoff of nearly three months and was catching a hot horse in Bow Creek, who was exiting a win in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood three weeks earlier. That half-length loss was certainly no disgrace, and the Dermot Weld charge has a license to move forward here.