Under-the-radar Breeders' Cup Saturday contenders
Nine Breeders’ Cup races are taking on Saturday at Keeneland, the second day of the Nov. 4-5 event. In each contest, I have tabbed a contender who will offer excellent value as a potential upset player and/or vertical exotics contender.
Recent Test S. (G1) heroine #3 Chi Town Lady (20-1) is getting very good at the right time and looks like a dangerous player from off the pace. Chestnut filly has shown big improvement in her sophomore campaign since removing the blinkers, and I envision the daughter of Verrazano rallying into top-three contention late at a big number with Flavien Prat inheriting the mount.
I will also dabble with #1 Slammed (15-1) at anything close to her morning-line price. Todd Fincher trainee blitzed her foes on this track most recently, and I like the fact that she doesn’t need the lead to run well. The Marking four-year-old will have Florent Geroux in the silks.
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I believe that #9 Jackie’s Warrior (4-5) will cement his legacy in the dash as both the speed and class of the field, but defending champ #5 Aloha West (12-1) could be rallying best of all late at a nice price for Wayne Catalano. The Hard Spun five-year-old ran into a pair of monsters in two races to kickstart his 2022 season, then showed fight in taking the Kelly’s Landing S. at Churchill Downs in his latest performance. Maryland-bred five-year-old has run quite well in each of his prior tries over the surface, and the dark bay has also fired a pair of bullet morning drills on the surface as of late. Luis Saez will ride.
A sensational field will go postward in arguably the deepest race of the weekend. I am eagerly awaiting the return of #14 Domestic Spending (8-1) in his comeback off of the 14-month absence for trainer Chad Brown, but for wagering purposes, #9 Malavath (15-1) gets the nod. Second in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Del Mar, the daughter of Mehmas got back into top form with a strong runner-up showing at ParisLongchamp last time out, and I envision the Irish-bred making another forward move on Saturday. Tyler Gaffalione will take the reins.
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Plenty of international star power is on display in the 2022 @BreedersCup. There are so many logical contenders that a few could be overlooked, especially those with a dark-horse vibe.@GallantFox1930 looks at some that are under the radar ⤵️ https://t.co/mDb5aGUdCK— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) November 2, 2022
Clement L. Hirsch (G1) heroine #2 Blue Stripe (20-1) has moved forward in each of her assignments since arriving in the U.S. last campaign. Marcelo Polanco pupil faces a daunting task in a superb field, and while winning the Distaff might be a reach, I do feel that the five-year-old mare will be well placed to earn a share inside the final furlong at a nice number.
MUCCIOLO: Tipsheet: 2022 Breeders’ Cup Distaff
I am firmly on the #6 Epicenter (5-1) bandwagon in the most lucrative race of the afternoon, but the horse flying under the radar most in my opinion is #5 Hot Rod Charlie (15-1). The Oxbow colt was a creditable fourth in the 2021 Classic, and the subsequent Dubai World Cup (G1) runner-up could go better this time around. Dark bay four-year-old has a lot of fight in him, and he has proven on multiple occasions that 1 1/4 miles is within his scope, too. Hot Rod Charlie will help spike the exotics in the feature under Tyler Gaffalione.
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