The Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup are the two main events that a small bettor can make a life changing score.
The races have full continuous fields and the handle will be astronomical with huge guarantees. This is the time to take your shot at a pick five, six or four and play some of those supers that will be huge. The signature race is the $5 million Classic on Saturday, featuring Game On Dude. More on this one later.
There will be some big twin Q’s around the city, Stations will be offering a 10k on Friday and a 20k on Saturday. South Point has a 10k on Saturday for its players out that beautiful race book. Also don’t forget all of the huge Breeders’ Cup seminars around the city, especially the one at Palace Station on Thursday evening at 6 in the Race Book.
The legendary Ralph Siraco from the Race Day Las Vegas radio show, Paul Truitt from Palace Station who was Mark Guidry’s agent when Mark won the Santa Anita Derby and yours truly will be supplying some winners hopefully. For sure, some color. It’s all free with food and cocktail service. Prizes will be given for those who come in costume since it will be Halloween.
Here’s a quick look at some of the races before the draw and the posting of lines.
Breeders’ Cup Friday
500k Marathon: Blueskiesnrainbows has home field and what looks to be a pace advantage. If he gets an easy lead could get brave. Trainer David Jacobson comes to town with Cease who looks very sneaky going from a 7 furlong race to this 1¾. Does Mr. Jacobson know something we don’t? If Gary Stevens rides Old Time Hockey for his buddy Tom Proctor he will be a must use.
$1M Juvenile Turf: Bashart in four lifetime starts has two wins a second and third. The wins have both come going long on the grass. He has speed and can also rate. Giovanni Boldini is a classy looking 2yo colt from Ireland for trainer Aidan O’Brien who looks to be loaded with his shippers. He also has Wilshire Boulevard pre-entered. The red hot owners the Ramsey’s, who have been winning everything with their Kitten’s Joy horses, send out Bobby’s Kitten in top form for trainer and Bobby Frankel protégé Chad Brown.
$1M Dirt Mile: Fed Biz showed a new dimension for Baffert in his last start, coming from the back of the pack to win going away. He’s is in top form and that last work has him on edge for a big effort. Pants on Fire is a 5yo pro who has won 4 of 7 going this mile distance, including his last start on the Churchill dirt at a mile in the Ack Ack.
$1M Juvenile Filly Turf: Since arriving here from Ireland Clenor has won all three of her turf starts – all at odds-on for trainer Doug O’Neill. Jockey Bejarano fits her like a glove. Flying Jib is a Juddmonte classy filly from Ireland trained by the great Dermot Weld. If she can handle the hard turf course she will be tough. My Conquestadory has won both of her turf starts for trainer Mark Casse and will come from the clouds. Ready to Act, who lost her rider in last start at 8/5, has been working with a purpose on the grass at Belmont. Looks ready to fire a big shot. Trainer Chad Brown has two pre-entered with the best looking like Testa Rossi, who won her first start in the U.S. on Oct. 6 when making a huge move from last to first in the stretch at Belmont Park. That was her fourth straight win.
$2M Distaff: The most compact field in the Cup, but what a field it is. Beholder has won 5 of 6 with a second stuck in between. The last 7 furlong work of 1:24.2 is a pip but she will need to be better than her best in order to beat Bill Motts’ two runners Close Hatches, who will sit off the hot pace, and last year’s winner Royal Delta, beat at 30 cents on the dollar by Princess of Sylmar whose owners put up 100k to get her into this race.
$2M Juvenile Fillies: Artemis Agrotera looked like a star when upsetting the 75 cents on the dollar odds-on choice Sweet Reason on Oct. 5 in the Grade 1 Frizette. Sweet Reason seeks revenge. Baffert sends out Secret Compass off a huge win with Rosie Napravnik. If she rides back I’ll be using her. She’s a Tiger is just that with 3 wins and 2 seconds in 5 lifetime starts. Napravnik also had ridden Untapable in both of her wins for trainer Steve Asmussen so she could be ridding that filly.
$2M Filly & Mare Turf: Dank is one classy filly who ran a big WOW race in her first start in the U.S. for trainer Sir Michael Stoute. Bet her to cash. Emolient is back on the grass for Mott. Her five wins have been every other race. This is her win race. Marketing Mix is one tough 5yo mare who has some home field advantage plus a win and two seconds on this turf course. The other top contender is The Fugue off back-to-back wins. May have been best in this race last year but was blocked and steadied down the lane, finishing third at 8/5. She will be very hard to beat with Mr. Buick in the irons. Tiz Flirtatious is in great form and as consistent a mare as you will find. She hit the board in all 12 lifetime starts with eight wins, four coming here at Santa Anita, including her last in the Grade 1 Rodeo Dr.
$1M Filly & Mare Sprint: Book Review has never been better, likes this track, and the price just may be right. Great Hot has a blistering work over the track Oct. 17. Groupie Doll may not be the same mare who won this race last year by more than four lengths but has won 10 of 20 lifetime starts. Dance to Bristol won seven straight before finishing second in her last start when running against the bias at Belmont. The winner came back to score in her next start.
$1M Turf Sprint: Boat Trip made a huge late run only to lose by a nostril to Chips All In. Both look to have a say in here. Unbridled’s Note had his race over this course when finishing a close third behind Boat Trip and Chips All In. 1-2-3 again? Rock Me Baby also exits the race and had a horrible trip. He could surprise. Box all of them out of the same race.
$2M Juvenile: This will be a great race featuring the up and coming Baffert second time starter Tap It Rich, who has been a hot item in John Avello’s Kentucky Derby future book at Wynn. In his first start going a flat mile he recorded a Beyer of 89 – a big WOW. Even if he can run back to that number, it may not be good enough to beat Havana who has run a 93 and 102. After the top two this one is wide open.
$3M Turf: Grandeur won here last year and in top form from over the pond. Little Mike looks to be back in form and won this race last year at 17/1. Point of Entry is a distance specialist and one tough customer, who was a head behind the upset winner Little Mike in last year’s race. Just won the Grade 1 Manhattan at 55 cents on the dollar.
$1.5M Expressbet Sprint: They will be flying out of the gate in this 6 furlong sprint. Secret Circle had his race and will be sitting right off the hot pace. He loves this track and is 3 for 3 at the 6 furlong distance. Private Zone has some guts and can battle it out on the front end. He’s finished second in all three starts here and is fresh off a great win in the Grade 1 Vosburgh, holding off the troubled Justin Phillip by a neck.
$2M Mile (on grass): This is the first leg of the South Point $10k Twin Q. Bright Thought has home field advantage with all three of his wins turf starts on this course. Wise Dan, last year’s horse of the year, was upset at 50 cents on the dollar by Silver Max, who went wire to wire. Max will have plenty of company up front with Bright Thought and Obviously, if he goes in here. No Jet Lag and He Be Fire N Ice will both be closing for a piece, but Dan is the one to beat at a short price.
$5M Classic: All eyes will be on likely favorite Game On Dude who has won 7 of 8 starts on this course. His only loss came in this race last year when Bejarano got left at the gate. He has reeled off 6 straight wins since and has been working a hole in the wind. There are plenty of buts, including a ton of other early speed in this race.
Dude will get no easy lead but could run the other speed into the ground, like Fort Larned who went wire to wire in this race last year. The very fast Moreno will get buried on the front end if he attempts to run with the top two. Handicap this race by tossing out all the 3yo’s, then go from there.
The best that will be coming with late runs could be the very classy O’Brien shipper Declaration of War, who makes his first start in the states and first on a conventional dirt course. He could be a good price play. Mucho Macho Man is proven on this course and will get a great stalking trip. Ron the Greek woke up in his last start for Mott and he could surprise. All in all, if Game On Dude breaks on top he will be very hard to beat.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].