Tipsheet: Breeders' Cup Mile 2021
An overflow field of 16 will converge in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Del Mar on Saturday. The ultra-competitive event has a huge international contingent signed on and I see the imports as dominant figures in the field.
Breeders’ Cup Mile Picks
- #12 Pearls Galore
- #3 Space Blues
- #1 Master of the Seas
- #9 Mother Earth
- #2 Smooth Like Strait
Breeders’ Cup Mile Wagers
- $20 win and place #12 Pearls Galore
- $5 exacta key box 12 with 1, 2, 3, 9
- $1 trifecta 12 with 1, 3, 9 with all
Breeders’ Cup Mile Contenders
#1 MASTER OF THE SEAS has come up just shy on a few occasions at the top level but could be ready for a breakthrough in his U. S. debut. Godolphin's homebred is surely a top-class horse at this stage of his development, and he was a bit unlucky at Newmarket two back prior to struggling late with soft ground against a world-class cast at Royal Ascot most recently. The Charlie Appleby trainee rates a big chance from the rail under James Doyle.
#2 SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT is consistently very good with nine straight top-three finishes for McCarthy. The Grade 1 victor dons a sharp 5-2-3-0 mark on the course, and the son of Midnight Lute has the gate presence to sit a fine voyage to the top of the lane with first run on the closing types. Umberto Rispoli has the call.
#3 SPACE BLUES is the second Godolphin homebred who rates a big chance on Saturday. The Dubawi five-year-old is a multiple Group 1 winner in prime form, coming off a strong tally in the Prix de la Foret (G1) at Longchamp most recently. The chestnut runs over any kind of ground and looms as the one to beat with William Buick in the stirrups.
#4 RAGING BULL shows just a single tally in his last eight outings, but the Chad Brown trainee still possesses a big turn of foot and could make the frame with his best showing. The six-year-old captured his lone previous race at Del Mar and the son of Dark Angel has very good value under Irad Ortiz.
#5 VIN DE GARDE seeks his first win of 2021 for trainer Hideaki Fujiwara. The son of Deep Impact is not the top miler in his native Japan, and it’s hard to back him with confidence in an especially deep field. With that said, the bay could be an interesting exotics contender at a huge price when making one run late.
#6 MO FORZA has come out on top in eight of his last nine races for Peter Miller, including all four since having the blinkers removed. The five-year-old son of Uncle Mo has something of a home court edge after winning his last trio of races on the oval, but the Kentucky-bred will face some serious foes on Saturday and will need a lifetime best to take down this imposing cast. Flavien Prat will be in the silks.
#7 IN LOVE has begun to soar since removing the blinkers with two straight easy tallies, led by a going-away triumph in the Keeneland Turf Mile (G1) last time out. The Paulo Lobo pupil has never been better, and his brilliant turn of foot should play well on the Del Mar strip on Saturday. Alex Achard will be up.
#8 HIT THE ROAD seemingly always fires for Dan Blacker. The More Than Ready colt is a dual winner at Del Mar, and he could peak in his third assignment off the layoff. The bay will have John Velazquez in the silks and makes a lot of sense for the exotics.
#9 MOTHER EARTH is a multiple Group 1 heroine who will hope to cap a fine season with a win in this deep tilt. Aidan O’Brien's filly closed from the clouds to be runner-up in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Keeneland, and she could go one better on this occasion with her best performance. Ryan Moore has the assignment.
#10 BLOWOUT is the one to catch in the affair for Chad Brown. The Dansili mare is especially consistent and has local experience following her narrow defeat in the 2020 Matriarch S. (G1). Joel Rosario will ride the in-form pacesetter.
#11 GOT STORMY possesses a ton of class and would be a great story for Mark Casse. The six-year-old chestnut has mixed form this season, but she is still excellent on her best day, and the mare is also a winner from one prior run at Del Mar. Tyler Gaffalione will guide the memorable Kentucky-bred.
#12 PEARLS GALORE gets the upset nod from this corner for Paddy Twomey. The four-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit has fired in each of her five starts this season, and I loved her prep when second in the Prix de la Foret (G1) over ground that might not have suited her. The classy bay can be tactical in the early stages, and I envision her receiving a dream trip stalking the pace on Saturday beneath Billy Lee.
#13 CASA CREED has reached new heights this season when sprinting on the turf, but the Bill Mott trainee looks to be in a tough spot in this one-mile endeavor. The talented son of Jimmy Creed would be something of a surprise from off the pace.
#14 IVAR was well-backed in this race last season when finishing fourth by two lengths, but he has failed to impress from a pair of outings in 2021. The Agnes Gold five-year-old will also have to overcome the widest post in a fine and deep field.
#15 REAL APPEAL is the first on the also-eligible list for Jessica Harrington. The German-bred by Sidestep has won two of his last three in the graded ranks and will race as a gelding for the initial time, but the post slot will not do him any favors. Regular pilot Shane Foley has the call.
#16 QUEEN SUPREME would need a pair of defections to make the field, but even then, it’s hard to envision the former South African mare now in the hands of English trainer Andrew Balding making an impact in her U. S. debut with just one start under her belt since January.