Del Mar presents a unique Breeders' Cup surface
October 24, 2017 3:12 AM
by Dave Valento
The 34th Breeders’ Cup will take place at Del Mar on Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4. It is the first time it has taken place at Del Mar, which has a significantly different surface than Santa Anita, where it has been held 4 of the past 7 years.
A couple of facts from each of the Breeders’ Cup races:
Juvenile Turf: Euro Lancaster Bomber closed strongly for 2nd last year. Had he got up, Euros would be 8 for 10. It has typically favored deep closers (2nd, 3rd and 4th in 2016 on a speed-favoring SA turf).
Dirt Mile: Historically favored those closing. Santa Anita held the Breeders’ Cup in four of the last seven years on a speed bias surface. Both times held at Churchill Downs the winner came from dead last.
Juvenile Fillies Turf: Chad Brown has three wins and two seconds in the nine years this race has been run (56%). He won it last year with New Money Honey. West Coast runners hit the board just twice with no wins.
Distaff: Low priced runners have dominated. Since 2007, 31 of 38 trifecta spots included those at under 10-1 (81%). Three-year-olds have been part of the exacta each of the past seven years.
Juvenile Fillies: Speed has been dominant. Seven of the last 12 winners went wire to wire and four others won pressing (92% early speed). Only off-the-pace winner was on a synthetic Santa Anita course in 2008.
Filly and Mare Turf: Euros made up 30 of 52 trifecta spots (58%) though only having 35% of the starters. SoCal based horses are 0 for 40 with three in the Top 3. Chad Brown has three wins in this race since 2012.
Sprint: Second highest average superfecta payout in all Breeders’ Cup races. It normally produces a price or two in the Top 4. Drefong wired last year but it was only the third time a runner wired the field in last 20 years.
Turf Sprint: This race has been run at 6.5 furlongs at Santa Anita in 7 of the 10 years. In the three years it was run at either 5 or 5.5 furlongs, controlling speed won twice and ran second once.
Juvenile: Favorites are clicking at near 34%. Top 2 last year were 2nd and 1st favorites, separated by a neck. The Champagne (East) and Front Runner (West) have been the two strongest preps.
Turf: Euros made up the superfecta last year and won 22 of 33 all-time. The last five times a Euro ran in this race and previously ran in the Arc de Triomphe, they ran in the exacta. Aidan O’Brien won for the sixth time in 2016.
Filly and Mare Sprint: Zero wire to wire winners in 10 years of this event. The TCA Stakes has been a key prep (five of the 10 winners came out of that race). No 3YO filly has ever won.
Mile: Euros and closers have performed well. Prior to last year, you’d have to go back to 1993 the last time a deep closer didn’t hit the board. Five runners have taken this more than one time (led by Goldikova three times).
Classic: The Jockey Club Gold Cup and Whitney have been solid preps. The preferred style has been midpack. Recent speed winners were helped by running at speed friendly Santa Anita.
Play Of The Week
The horse racing play of the week comes in the 1st race at Keeneland on Wednesday, Oct. 25. No. 6 ELKHORN POET is dropping from straight maidens to this $40,000 maiden claimer. He showed speed in his last start at Churchill Downs against better company. He tired in the lane to finish far back but they really finished well for a final time of 1:16.3. He has two solid works since his last start. This $20,000 purchase is in for twice that price here. He is 3-1 on the morning line. Post time is 10:05 a.m. PT.