God's Tipster's Saturday Breeders' Cup Picks: 9 races, lots of good prices, and a longshot in the Classic
Friday’s Race Recap from Santa Anita:
(All odds US)
Race 5: 6th@ 6.00/1
Race 6: 7th@ 0.80/1
Race 7: 8th@ 29.40/1
Race 8: 4th@ 3.20/1
Race 9: 5th@ 10.50/1
In Race 5, the Juvenile Turf, Crimson Advocate shot to the front setting a sizzling early pace of 20 seconds. She led til mid-stretch where she was overwhelmed by the favorite and eventual winner Big Evs and faded late. In Race 6, Tamara similarly shot to the front and set a fast early pace and faded in the drive as Just FYI took the Juvenile Fillies. In Race 7, Life’s an Audible raced closer to the pace than usual and was spent by the far turn fading in the drive. In Race 8, Timberlake raced evenly around the track doing no better than fourth. In Race 9, Agate Road raced towards the back of the pack on the inside and rallied for fifth.
It’s BREEDERS’ CUP Saturday!!!!
Fast and firm conditions are expected. Let’s get to work!!
Race 3: Stage Raider - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile kicks off our Breeders’ Cup Saturday program and I’m looking to upend the hot favorite - Cody’s Wish who is 9/5 on the morning line but will probably be closer to even money by post time if not odds-on. He was razor sharp early this season but his Whitney was dreadful and his Vosburgh was okay, but he’s going to need his running shoes today because he was life and death to beat Accretive last time out and that one’s only an allowance winner. On his best day he beats these but at short-odds knowing he may not be up to the level he was earlier this year I’m looking elsewhere. Bill Mott is also just 1 for 7 in the money with dirt runners at Santa Anita over the last five years. Stage Raider is the kind of improving horse I like. This half-brother to Triple Crown winner Justify was a useful allowance type who has shown more consistency with the move to the barn of Cherie DeVaux. We had him last time when he chased Zozos around the track while that one got away with setting a slow pace. I think Brian Hernandez turns the tables and guns to the lead from his inside post. There’s a short run into the first turn at Santa Anita and the inside post has a definite advantage. With so many runners cutting back in distance and Cody’s Wish coming from off the pace, the strategy needs to be speed speed speed. Stage Raider needs to beat Zozos to the lead and if he does I’m confident that with continued improvement he can take these gate to wire at long odds.
Race 4: Win Marilyn - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 20/1)
The Grade 1 Filly and Mare Turf at a mile and a quarter should feature a fair amount of pace and while many are looking at this race as a matchup between the best American and European runners, I’m siding with Japanese runner Win Marilyn to upset. A winner of 6 of 20 career starts on turf, Win Marilyn was a Grade 2 winner in her home country before shipping in to Hong Kong in December to win the Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase defeating her male rivals. The Timeform US speed figure she put up in that effort: 120 was the highest number produced by anyone in this field at a distance longer than a mile but it wasn’t even the highest number of her career (121). She followed that effort up with a mid-pack finish in the Grade 1 Dubai Sheema Classic. Her form looks a little muddied up because of that effort and a “no excuse” 9th place finish off a five month layoff. Her most recent start was also a 9th place finish but it’s important to note that she’s been running against males in some VERY competitive Grade 1 and Grade 2 races. That most recent 9th place finish still produced a gaudy Timeform US speed figure of 112. She should be ready for these, third off a layoff. She’s one of only three in here with three wins at today’s distance and the price should be right.
Race 5: Society - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
The Grade 1 Filly and Mare Sprint appears to be a showdown between last year’s winner, Midnight Olive, and fellow Grade 1 winner, Society. And while most people expected to see Midnight Olive vs. Echo Zulu here, Society appears to be a more than capable substitution for her injured stablemate. Mitole, Echo Zulu, Jackie’s Warrior, Gunite - the Asmussen barn knows what to do with a good sprinter. Goodnight Olive is certainly capable of repeating but I’d be much more optimistic about her chances if she wasn’t breaking from the rail. Earlier this year in a similar situation, Olive got pinned down on the inside while racing in the Grade 1 Derby City Distaff. If she uses her speed she might get cooked. I don’t like that for a 6/5 shot and think Society offers more upside with a better trip at a better price.
Race 6: Songline - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile is next up today. Songline, the Japanese-based runner is my selection here. His Timeform US speed figures have been lights-out compared to the completion he faces today. His Timeform figures translate to Beyer speed figures in the neighborhood of 110 or 112. He’s had a ton of success at today’s one mile distance and that success has come over the more firm Japanese turf courses as opposed to some of the European runners who may be running on softer ground. Santa Anita’s turf course is like concrete so he should fit fine here.
Race 7: Le Da Vida - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 20/1)
The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff is our main track championship for the ladies! Between Hoosier Philly, Idiomatic, Adare Manor and Randomized the pace should be hot. Who benefits the most from a hot pace? Wet Paint? Maybe, but her best seems a few ticks below these. Clairiere looks like she may have lost a step although she’s been training here for a few months for this. I like Le Da Vida to close from behind for the money today. Last time there was no shame finishing second to a loose on the lead Idiomatic. She had no shot running down that multiple Grade 1 winner but with plenty of pace on today she won’t have that excuse today. Trainer Nacho Correas doesn’t get the attention of a Chad Brown, Steve Asmussen or Bill Mott, but he won the Breeders Cup Distaff in 2019 right here at Santa Anita with Blue Prize at nearly 9/1. He’s run two horses here at Santa Anita over the last five years and won with both - the Grade 1 Distaff with Blue Prize in 2019 and the Grade 2 Rodeo Drive with Didia earlier this year. Bombs away from off the pace in the Distaff!
Race 8: Onesto - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf is Race 8 on the program and this is the first race where I think the Euros really have us. Up to the Mark is probably the best chance of the US contingent but there are a few Euros that look better than their US counterparts. Onesto is my favorite of the Euros. Shahryar looks like he’s lost a step this year. Auguste Rodin is fine but his most recent win was at shorter and his races at a mile and a half haven’t been as strong according to the Timeform figures. Mostahdaf is without a win at a mile and a half, and like Auguste Rodin, King of Steel has done his best work at a mile and a quarter. Onesto raced his career best effort last time out but he’s an improving four year old colt who was moving best of all in the late stages of the Grade 1 Arc de Triomphe. He was 55/1 that day. He won’t be quite that high today but 8/1 is fair. His most recent win came at today’s mile and a half distance in the Grade 1 Prix de Paris and I like him to upset the Grade 1 Turf today.
Race 9: Dreamlike - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 30/1)
The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic is our day’s feature race but not the last race of the day. Some are saying that the pace here is expected to be slow but with Saudi Crown and Arabian Knight likely headed for the lead and Bright Future and White Abarrio not far off, I don’t think the pace will be all that slow. Saudi Crown probably won’t be the 12/1 he is on his morning line - I think he’ll be much lower – but Dreamlike might actually be 30/1 and that’s why I like him. Only 1/2 length separated him from Saudi Crown last time out with Saudi Crown allowed to dictate terms on the front end over a sloppy track at Parx. Today with a fast track, more pace and an additional furlong, I think Dreamlike gets the right trip today. Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2019 with Vino Rosso right here at Santa Anita and is an impressive 5 for 6 in the money here winning 2 of those 6 races for a 33% win percentage and an 83% in the money percentage. Every one of those races was either a Grade 2 or Grade 1. This is a FAST improving son of Gun Runner, and he’s getting really good at the right time.
Race 10: Big Invasion - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
The Grade 1 Turf Sprint is our penultimate race on today’s Breeders’ Cup card. This one’s a real head-scratcher. It’ll come down to the trip and while jockey Joel Rosario hasn’t always done right by Big Invasion, my job is to pick the best horse and his job is to get him home so Big Invasion gets the nod for me. Big Invasion has won 6 of 9 starts at today’s five furlong distance. More than anyone in the field save Beer Can Man, who breaks from the far outside, and has won 6 of 11. This year he’s only won a pair but he’s tried every time. He’s had a few unlucky trips and made a trip to Royal Ascot where he got smashed, but all in all he’s been a very consistent sort. If he can work out the right trip on the rail off the speed he’ll be tough here. 15/1 offers tremendous value on a horse with his level of consistency.
Race 11: Gunite - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/1)
The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at 6 furlongs is the final race on the Breeders’ Cup portion of the race card and will be run at 8 pm EDT. After that it’s time to say Gunite as Steve Asmussen’s top sprinter looks to take us home winners. We’ve got a field of nine runners here but I think the two New York based runners are the ones to beat. Both appear to hold the tactical advantage of coming from off the pace late. Last time out Gunite defeated Elite Power and turned the tables on that one after an earlier defeat. I think Gunite is perfectly posted on the outside of this field so he can stalk the pacesetters and make his move turning for home. He should get the jump on Elite Power and I like him at his 4/1 morning line today.
Best of luck to all our members playing Breeders’ Cup Saturday from Santa Anita!!