Scully's thoughts on Friday's Breeders' Cup races
Here are my thoughts on Friday’s four Breeders’ Cup races:
Race 6: Don’t have the strongest opinion in Juvenile Turf. Birchwood (#6) received an ideal post position & possesses the tactical speed to sit a good trip behind the early leaders before offering his best. Purchased by Godolphin early in his career, the Richard Fahey-trained colt exits a third to Europe’s leading 2-year-old, Air Force Blue, and defeated a strong field when capturing a Group 2 three starts back.
Ray’s the Bar (#7) is dangerous for Chad Brown; Shogun (#4) merits serious respect for Aidan O’Brien, who adds blinkers & first-time Lasix; and Conquest Daddyo (#10) will also be included in multi-race wagers off a sharp score in the Summer at Woodbine.
Other horses to consider if spreading deeper in exotics include a pair of Euros on the far outside, Cymric (#13) & Hit a Bomb (#14); Airoforce (#8) and Camelot Kitten (#12), the top two in the Bourbon at Keeneland; Highland Sky (#5) and Sky Marshal (#9), a pair of deep closers exiting troubled trip; and Pilgrim runner-up Azar (#2).
Race 7: I’ll take stand with a pair horses in the Dirt Mile. Liam’s Map (#3) probably leads wire to wire if he gets clear early, but there is other speed in the line-up. Red Vine (#1) will receive a ground-saving trip from his rail post and can take advantage if the favorite falters.
Race 8: Harmonize (#8) is my best bet on Friday’s Breeders’ Cup program -- I love her improving form for Bill Mott and she appears to be thriving in the local setting at Keeneland. She’ll be singled on my main Pick 3 & Pick 4 tickets.
On back-up tickets, I’ll include a pair of Euros, Alice Springs (#3) and Illuminate (#10); and Catch a Glimpse (#4), an impressive winner of the Natalma at Woodbine.
Race 9: The Distaff is extremely contentious and I thought the post draw benefited my top two choices. Stopchargingmaria (#4) is a five-time winner at the 1 1/8-mile distance who showed an affinity for the Keeneland main track last April, and she exits a trip in the Personal Ensign where she made the lead by default out of the starting gate and caught serious pressure on the backside; expecting a much better trip from the classy 4-year-old filly. Frivolous (#2) makes her third start off a freshening for Vicki Oliver and posted a convincing victory over Sheer Drama this summer under similar circumstances. And her last performance, a fourth in the Spinster, is excusable given she broke from the far outside and traveled wide on both turns; expecting her to sit in a perfect spot today.
Stellar Wind (#9), an improving 3-year-old filly for John Sadler, and Spinster winner Got Lucky (#12) are my main back-ups. And I’ll have at least one ticket using all in the Distaff.