Race by race Breeders’ Cup breakdown

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We don’t have post positions, weather or scratches but these will be my main contenders as of Monday morning. Make sure you attend our Breeders’ Cup seminar this Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Palace Station racebook to get the official plays. It’s free with food and cocktail service.

Friday

JUVENILE TURF: They go a flat mile on the Keeneland green and there are several ways to go but the way we choose is to key on Airoforce who is 2 for 2 on the grass including his last win which came on this course when beating Camelot Kitten. Now there is another race you could key on and that is the Belmont race in which Isotherm won. Exiting that affair is Azar who was a neck behind. The two Euro turf runners who look best are Hit it a Bomb in for O’Brien and the likely best runner in the race Cymric for John Gosden who is the best at this and the most likely winner of the Euros.

LAS VEGAS DIRT MILE: If we get a fast early pace with the odds on Liam’s Map we could see a runner like Lea flying late at a nice price or Red Vine at 5/1 or higher. Tapiture could even light up the tote at 20-1 or higher. We will be looking to try and beat Liam’s Map on Friday. It is a horse race isn’t it.

JUVENILE FILLY TURF: The Fillies take center stage going a mile on the green and the Euros look very tough in here with the likes of Alice Springs for O’Brien. Bill Mott has a runner named Harmonize who just won on this course on the 15th coming from far back in what was a style change. Sapphire Kitten exits the same race and was beaten a neck in her first try going long. At 15-1 she is a must use first and second as these two could hit the wire together again.

THE $2 MILLION DISTAFF: This race has gotten a little more wide open with Beholder heading to the Classic. We have several exiting the Got Lucky race who are listed around 8/1. Got Lucky won her last start here for Pletcher beating Untapable by a neck and Frivolous by four lengths, though losing to Sheer Drama at Saratoga. Yahilwa also exits the Got Lucky affair. She was just a neck behind the top two and is the speed.

Saturday

This will be a very scary day!

THE $2 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES: They travel 1-1/16 and all eyes on the West Coast will be on the undefeated Songbird who has cruised in all three of her wins. She will need to be at her best to beat the Todd Pletcher trained Rachel’s Valentina who comes off an eye popping win in the Spinaway at Saratoga but that was at 7 furlongs. Land Over Sea has been chasing Songbird and will again try to run her down.

THE BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT: They will be flying up front going 5-1/2 furlongs on the grass. Ageless is a distance specialist and loves this course with 2 wins and 2 seconds from her four starts and has never been off the board at this turf distance. She just beat Lady Shipman by a head here on Oct. 15. Lady Shipman will try and turn the tables as that was her first taste of defeat at this distance in eight starts. After those two anything could happen.

THE FILLY AND MARE SPRINT: The girls sprint 7 furlongs on the dirt we hope with no mud. We will be looking for a huge price in this race starting with Kiss to Remember who could be as high as 30/1. She loves this distance and will be making a late run. A must use in the tri’s and super’s. Cavorting looks like the filly to beat off her last two starts and her Grade 1 win in the Test at this distance at Saratoga was a good one. However she hated the slop so if it rains be careful. Dame Dorothy has won 4 of 5 at this distance and looks to wake up. La Verdad is the speed and she has been firing every race. If left alone on the front end she will be gone.

THE $2 MILLION FILLY AND MARE TURF: This starts the new $1 pick six. The race goes at 1 mile and 3/16ths, Legatissimo is in from Ireland via Great Britain via Ireland as she just goes back and forth with no problems. She has won 2 of 3 at this turf distance with a second. Miss France is in from France and looks very classy. Our price plays we will be using are Sentiero Italia 15/1 or higher, Sharla Rae 30-1 or higher and Stephanie’s Kitten who comes off a big win on the soft grass going a 1¼ at Belmont. This 6yo mare has won 10 of her 24 starts and will have no problem at the distance. We see around 12/1 on her.

THE BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT: They travel 6 furlongs and fast up front they will go. We see Private Zone and the very fast 3yo colt Runhappy who just worked very fast hooking up in what could be an epic speed duel. That could just set things up for Kobe’s Back if he can somehow just get out of the gate. At 20-1 we will be using and betting. We will also use Salutos Amigos who will be flying late. His last start has him set for a huge effort and could be around 15/1. This is the start of the .50 cent pick five.

THE $2 MILLION MILE TURF: This starts the late .50 cent pick four just in case we are dead in the pick six and pick five, Esoterique is in from over the pond for trainer Fabrea. This mare is very good and has beat the boys in the past. Grand Arch at 15/1 or higher is a must use, who has run here six times with 3 wins and 3 seconds. Andre Fabre (different trainer than Fabrea), sends out Make Believe and he looks very tough in here. Tepin is in top form for Casse and this 4yo filly just won here by 7 lengths at this mile turf distance. We will get around 15/1 on her. Tourist just was a head behind Grand Arch last out and is 15/1. He looks set for a smasher. Remember they have dime super boxes and this is a good race to play one.

THE $2 MILLION JUVENILE: The 2yo boys travel 1-1/16 and all eyes on the West Coast will be focused on the undefeated Nyquist but Swipe was gaining on his last out at this distance. Swipe will be around 15/1 while Nyquist will be around 6/1. Dale Romans says Brody’s Cause is the best off his last win when beating Exaggerator who has the connections that won this race last year, the Desormeaux. This will be fun to watch and bet.

THE $2 MILLION TURF: They travel 1-1/2 on the green, Big Blue Kitten just another one of those Kitten’s Joy offspring for the Ramsey’s comes into this in top form. At 12/1 we will be using probably in a desperate way trying to beat the odds on Golden Horn who comes here for John Gosden. Golden Horn has been nothing but Golden winning 7 of his 8 starts with his only loss coming by a neck. He is a superstar! Some other price plays will be Postponed a classy runner from over the pond, Red Rifle who just ran behind the Big Blue Kitten but can fire a big shot at times and the very speedy Shining Copper who will be out winging it on the front end. Slumber at around 15/1 was just ¾ of a length behind Big Blue Kitten. The very consistent The Pizza Man had a great prep for this and Twilight Eclipse 15/1 also exits the Blue Kitten race. We will see how good Golden Horn is. A single for most but we will try and beat him.

THE CLASSIC: The battle lines are drawn as the West Coast sends out their best in both Male and Female with the super mare Beholder taking on Triple Crown winner American Pharoah who will be around 8/5. Pharoah’s last work was great to say the least as Baffert who won this race last year has his champion set for a great career ending run. O’Brien is taking his shot with Gleneagles who makes his first start on the dirt. He won 7 of 10 on the grass. Honor Code will be making his usual late run. If the track is dry and fast he has a big shot. The big question is if Tonalist can transfer his great form to Keeneland. If so he looks right there but has had problems running at tracks beside Belmont with its huge turns. We look for American Pharoah to get the job done.

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GT’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Twitter: @SabesBet. Email: [email protected].

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