This will be one of if not the biggest weekend for our Las Vegas racebooks with the Breeders’ Cup starting this Friday for the first time at Del Mar.
We will do a short synopsis of the races with our final decision coming after the official draw and some deep handicapping. You can get all of this at our free Friday morning coffee and donuts seminar in the Palace Station racebook at 8:30 a.m. Get there early to get some coffee and a few donuts.
Race 6 – BC Juvenile Turf
The favorites have won this race at an 11% clip with an average payoff of around $17 so don’t go crazy on the chalk. Trainer Chad Brown has won this race three times but if world class trainer Aidan O’Brien runs Happily they all will be racing for second. O’Brien also has September entered while Brown has Rushing Fall and Significant Form. Bill Mott sends out a possible upset horse in Capla Temptress who comes off a Grade 1 win at Woodbine.
Race 7 – BC Dirt Mile
Favorites have won this race at around a 20% clip with an average payoff of $23 so we should look for a price. This race has only been around since 2007 when it ran the first time on the slop at Monmouth Park. Accelerate loves Del Mar, winning 3 of 4 starts, and comes off a third place finish behind Collected and Arrogate so he can get it done. Baffert could send out Cupid, who won in his only start here, and the price could be right. Midnight Storm looks the speed but if Mor Spirit, the other Baffert runner who freaked in the Met Mile, runs back to that race with big-race Mike Smith riding, well, it will be over. Sharp Azteca is the likely favorite and also has big early speed; he was behind Mor Spirit in the Met Mile. Practical Joke could get the perfect setup.
Race 8 – BC Juvenile Turf
Favorites have won at only a 11% clip with the average payoff around $15 but trainer Aidan O’Brien has held the upper hand here as he has won this race three times. US NAVY FLAG will be the one to beat. This 2yo coming in from over the pond has already run 10 times, winning four, and is on a three-race win streak. O’Brien also sends out Nelson. The price plays could come from James Garfield who is also in from over the pond and looks classy. Encumbered has home field advantage as he is two for two here at Del Mar on the grass.
Race 9 – BC Distaff
The chalk has ruled at 42% but the average payoff is still around $18. This looks like a very strong field and the pace will be the key. Baffert looks to have Abel Tasman ready for a big race but Elate, who is off back-to-back Grade 1 wins, looks the one to beat along with Stellar Wind. If Paradise Woods fires his best shot she can win, we will look for a price.
Race 4 – BC Juvenile Fillies
The 2yo fillies have hit at around 55% with the average payoff still around $18, but the favorites have been the way to go. Sometimes we horseplayers need to take a stand and in this race we will take a stand using two fillies exiting the same race – Alluring Star who we believe is a future star, she just finished a solid second behind Moonshine Memories who is a perfect two for two here at Del Mar. We will take our shot with one of them.
Race 5 – BC Turf Sprint
The favorites have won at around 44% with the average payoff of $21. This one could be crazy as they will be going only five furlongs so don’t blink. Lady Aurelia is a world traveler and a world class sprinter beat her to cash; Marsha beat the Lady by a nostril the last time the met. Pure Sensation is a distance specialist and could upset.
Race 6 – BC Filly & Mare Sprint
The chalk has won around 30% with the average win payoff around $13. If Unique Bella is on her game you can single in the picks, if not bombs away. All of us here at GamingToday will be rooting for Skye Diamonds who has GT connections with columnist Jon Lindo one of the owners. She is two for two here at the spa.
Race 7 – BC Filly & Mare Turf
The favorite has won at only a 22% clip with the average payoff around $20 so we will try and beat the likely chalk, Lady Eli. Last year’s trifecta finishers are in this race with Queen’s Trust the winner, Lady Eli who was second by a nostril, and Avenge who looks to have home field advantage this time around. O’Brien sends out Rhododendron and Roly Poly, both a must use.
Race 8 – BC Sprint
The chalk has won the sprint only around 24% with the average payoff around $20 so look for a price. Drefong, who won this race last year, is very fast and the one to beat and his works have been sizzling. American Pastime is on the uptick and could close to catch Drefong on the line if the pace is very fast.
Race 9 – BC Mile Turf
The favorites have clicked around 33% with the average payoff around $21. The main players look to be Ribchester, who has big time class, and Roly Poly trained by O’Brien. World Approval has the best shot to beat the Euros with the speedy Midnight Storm leading the way on the front end. He has won 5 of 7 starts at Del Mar. Suedois is another very classy Euro invader.
Race 10 – BC Juvenile
The favorites have won around 33% with the average payoff around $16. The chalk will be the undefeated Bolt d’Oro who we will try and beat. Solomini finished seven lengths behind the Bolt in the Grade 1 Front Runner last out. He is getting better and looks to be sitting on the biggest race of his life.
Race 11 – BC Turf
The favorites have won at only a 27% clip with the average payoff around $21. This race has been owned by the Euros as they have won it 16 of the last 22. Pin your money and hopes on Highland Reel trained by O’Brien or Ulysses trained by Sir Michael Stoute. Beach Patrol is in top form and gives the U.S. a top contender. Oscar Performance finished behind Beach Patrol last out.
Race 12 – BC Classic
The favorites have won this race around 27% with the average payoff $26. Everyone hopes this will be a classic battle between Arrogate, who has not done well here at Del Mar and, Gun Runner, who has won three straight Grade 1 races since his loss to Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup. We hope both run to their best but don’t leave out the ever improving West Coast.
See you Friday at the seminar.