Who Doug Salvatore Likes Today at Breeders' Cup
An eye-catching debut winner going just five furlongs at Belmont, Angela Renee is bred tremendously to go a route of ground. She's a full sibling to To Honor And Serve, and he won the Grade 2 Remsen at 9-furlongs at age two, soundly defeating second place finisher Mucho Macho Man and running a huge figure for a 2-year-old router in the process. Angela Renee finally got her chance to route in the local prep for this, and she always looked and traveled like a winner in her clear-cut victory in the Grade 1 Chandelier.
The bottom line is that Angela Renee has the edge in here, and it's very wide open after that. Pace and Trips will play a huge role in this race, and because this race forcasts to be run at viciously fast pace, I have to favor proven off the pace types for the minor awards.
1st Angela Renee
2nd Conquest Eclipse
3rd Majestic Presence
4th Wonder Gal
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf:
Hide the women and children! The Euro's are coming! And it all starts right here. Dank has had a very disappointing year, running by appointment, and only making two starts. Both times she was clobbered by competition that was WILDLY superior to what she faces today. In fact, those two starts have been Dank's only two starts at the Gr 1 level, away from American soil. I was a firm believer last year, that she was one of these Euro's who improved tremendously with the addition of lasix and her tractable running style and appreciation for fast ground always made her a candidate to appreciate the American style of grass racing. Dank was clearly exposed as far less than top class in Europe this year, but now she gets lasix and gets back to doing what she's done exceptionally well. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has done exceptionally well with his imports. Since 2008, his record is 9-5-1-1 (56% wins) and $3.92 ROI.
3rd: Secret Gesture
4th: Just The Judge
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint:
As mentioned in my write-up yesterday, Stonetastic (8/1 Morning Line) looked like a sensation when she dominated the Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga by 8.5 lengths over what was a strong inside-speed favoring track. She lost a lot of luster with the public in defeat, while third in the Thoroughbred Club of America last time out. However, Stonetastic engaged in a breakaway speed duel with the very fast R Free Roll. They hooked up from the bell, and quickly separated on the pack. Stonetastic won the battle, as her pace rival R Free Roll faded to fifth as the 3/1 second choice in the betting, but she lost the war.
Not only is Stonetastic a horse with more early zip than the rest of these, but rival jockeys are very hesitant to press a speed horse who failed to see out six furlongs last time out, and is going seven furlongs today. I look for Stonetastic to run a much improved race, especially if she's able to get the loose early lead, as I forecast she will under the exceptional gate rider Paco Lopez.
2nd: Judy The Beauty
3rd: Sweet Reason
4th: Artemis Agrotera
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint:
At long last, Bobby's Kitten finally gets a chance to do what he clearly has always wanted to do, and that is to compete in a turf sprint race. In North America, the real money and prestige in grass racing comes in races at distances of a mile to a mile and a half. Bobby's Kitten is sired by top grass stallion Kitten's Joy and his raw talent is immense. Trainer Chad Brown is hands down the best young trainer in North America, but sometimes he tries a little too hard to impose his will on horses in regard to getting them to go a distance that is further than the horse truly wants to go. Indeed, since 2013, Chad Brown has eye-popping stats of 35-19-5-4 (54% wins) $4.26 ROI with horses cutting back from a route to a sprint distance.
Race after race, for an entire year, Bobby's Kitten would try to run off in the early stages, and his jockey would try to restrain him. This wrestling match of horse and rider would usually cause Bobby's Kitten to get rank from resenting the stout restraint and that always takes a little starch out of a horse in the stretch run. It should be noted, that Bobby's Kitten relaxed more last time under jockey Joel Rosario, than he usually does. Still, now that it's become apparent to Chad Brown that he can't make Bobby's Kitten the star miler he hoped he'd be, he's finally giving the horse an opportunity to do what he wants to do. Generally speaking, this is one hell of a tough spot for a horse who has never competed in a sprint race of any kind before, but Bobby's Kitten has the unique type of raw talent and boneheaded style of running that makes him a true exception to the general rule. He's also good value at his 10/1 Morning Line price.
1st: Bobby's Kitten
3rd: No Nay Never
Breeders' Cup Juvenile:
Upstart has been nothing short of awesome in all three lifetime starts. He's bred tremendously well for a route distance. He's going to get a lot of pace and he does not have the wet track questions to answer like his conqueror in the Champagne Stakes, Daredevil, does. Upstart had proven tactical versatility and the only reason that he's being overlooked is because he doesn't fit the mold of what people want to look for in this race. Upstart is a New York Bred, he's trained by a guy in Rick Violette who does best first-time out, and generally gets a lot of fizzle out types. However, Upstart isn't some flashy pinhook with no breeding or poor confirmation, who smoked at a 2yo sale. He's a Ralph Evans yearling purchase who was bought with the purpose of racing and not with pinhooking in mind. The dynamic Pletcher duo is hard to ignore, and perhaps one or both of them are genuine stars. They're clearly the two horses I fear.
3rd: Carpe Diem
4th: Texas Red
Breeders' Cup Turf:
More European glory. Telescope is the selection getting first time lasix for Sir Michael Stoute. This is a genuine top class older turf male in Europe. He's finished in the top three in all ten career starts, nine out of ten in the exacta. He has a tractable running style and his win in the Hardwicke Stakes three starts back was tremendously impressive. He will have to beat a formidable cast of fellow European raiders, most notably the Arc second place finisher Flintshire. Indeed, on anything other than soft or good-to-soft ground, Flintshire has been a beastly, never finishing worse than second in those six lifetime starts.
3rd: Brown Panther
4th: Main Sequence
Breeders' Cup Sprint:
Bourbon Courage (30/1 Morning Line) is a horse who I always believed was best suited to sprint races. Finally, at long last, he's cutting back to them. A very impressive allowance winner at Keeneland last time out, Bourbon Courage is a dangerous longshot today and will be my top selection in a very wide open race. Remember, this is the same Bourbon Courage who was absolutely devastating in six furlong sprint races in the first two starts of his career.
1st: Bourbon Courage
2nd: Rich Tapestry
3rd: Private Zone
4th: Secret Circle
Breeders' Cup Mile:
The defection of Wise Dan really takes the historical excitement out of this race, but it will be a great betting event. The only non European turf horse I'm interested in at all today is the speedy Obviously. He's a locally based horse who is capable of running a hole in the wind if he breaks well and doesn't get any honest opposition in the early stage of the race. Considering his dazzling 8-for-12 lifetime record at the distance, he's worth stabbing with in the top slot as he's trained lights out for this. Obviously, even though he is my selection, I'm still scarred of the Euro's.
Breeders' Cup Classic:
Shared Belief is a deserving favorite and every bit the horse to beat. However, I can't get away from Tonalist, who is equally tactically versatile and probably a lot better suited to a ten furlong dirt distance. Candy Boy is my sleeper in the race, he's locally based and has the right running style and demeanor to see out this grueling distance and pick off tiring horses. Someone actually made a $1 million bet on Candy Boy near post time in the Kentucky Derby, and he was completely wiped out early in the race. His derby jockey Gary Stevens was in a sour mood indeed, in the post race press conference. Candy Boy has been his good and honest old self since the Derby, plodding his way to second and third place finishes while never threatening winners like Shared Belief and a bias aided Bayern. However, today is finally the day where he gets another chance to go 10 furlongs with a lot of pace to set him up. Not only should the circumstances of this race suit him, but don't discount the home court edge.
2nd: Candy Boy
3rd: Shared Belief
4th: Cigar Street