Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bombs Away on Breeders Cup Classic Day!

Three horses - two at 20-to-1 and another at 30-to-1 morning lines - set the basis for my Breeders Cup exotics selections this gorgeous, albeit chilly, autumn Saturday.

Holiday for Kitten, in my opinion, is a very credible option in the 5-furlong Turf Sprint (Race 6).  This extremely deep 14-horse field is ripe for the picking, in my view, and I think this 3-year-old Kitten's Joy filly has enough early speed to gun to the lead and save ground from post No. 2. If jockey Joel Rosario can get her out of the gate without trouble, this 30-to-1 horse has a legitimate shot. I recognize that Regally Ready gets attention as 3-to-1 morning line favorite, but generally avoid horses drawn outside post 6-7 in sprint distances this short and think Regally will need to get around California Flag to his inside to win. Oh, and Holiday for Kitten beat Musical Romance (winner of yesterday's Filly and Mare Sprint) last out.

Brilliant Speed is my choice at 20-to-1 in the Emirates Turf at a mile-and-a-half (Race 8). Come hell or high water I am avoiding all Euro shippers. I am sticking to my notes from last year to avoid the hype about foreign horses unless they have a U.S. prep race under the belt.  I just cannot justify the sub 9-to-2 morning lines on the five Euro shippers in this 9-horse field; perhaps ignorant, but that's not enough of a lure for horses I have yet to see race in North America.  Brilliant Speed's victory in the Grade 1 Bluegrass on April 16 is enough to convince me that this 3-year-old can close into slow fractions, and the Grade 3 win in the Saranac on the Saratoga turf on September 4 suggests versatility in terms of footing.  I will be using Brilliant Speed as the second of my three keys in Saturday investments.

Fort Loudon is my third key this afternoon, in Race 9, the Breeders Cup Juvenile.  Perhaps totally askew, but my view on 2-year-olds is that oftentimes the winner is a horse that can avoid trouble, especially considering the inexperience of these youthful fields.  A winner of four straight, albeit against mostly state-bred (Florida) company, Fort Loudon is especially intriguing at 20-to-1 from post No. 12 and I anticipate will track the early speed to his inside (Daddy Long Legs) and then stalk the leaders.  Fort Loudon's Beyer speed figures are not as eye-catching as some others here, but as the Daily Racing Form notes point out, Awesome Feather followed the same kind of route in shipping from Calder Race Course for the BC Juvenile Fillies in 2010.  Jockey Luis Jurado has been aboard for the last three, and this horse has proven victorious from both stalking positions in sprint races (three races back) and toward the lead in a slowly run $300k stakes last out.  In my view, this suggests the kind of patience needed this afternoon.

Consistent with my efforts to maximize a $100 bankroll, here are my selections for Saturday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for similar success to Friday's decent score.
  • Race 4: 50-cent Pick 4 -- 3, 9, 10, 12 with 1, 2, 8 with 2, 4 with 6 = $12
  • Race 5: $1 Pick 3 -- 1, 2, 8 with 2, 4 with 6 (a hedge on losing race 1 in the Pick 4) = $6
  • Race 6: $4 Daily Double -- 2 with 6
  • Race 6: $1 Pick 3 -- 2, 4 with 6, 8 with 5,8 = $8
  • Race 6: $10 Exacta Box -- 2, 4 = $20
  • Race 7: $1 Pick 3 -- 6, 8 with 8 with 10, 12, 13 = $6
  • Race 7: $4 Daily Double -- 6 with 8
  • Race 8: 50-cent Pick 4 -- 8 with 10, 12, 13 with 1, 13 with 3, 10 = $6
  • Race 8: $4 Daily Double -- 8 with 12
  • Race 8: $5 Exacta Box -- 5 with 8 = $10
  • Race 9: $1 Pick 3 -- 1, 12, 13 with 13 with 3, 10 = $4
  • Race 9: $1 Trifecta Box -- 10 with 12 with 13 = $6
  • Race 11: $10 Exacta (Straight) -- 10 over 3
Giving the obligatory Breeders Cup Classic pick, I think Havre de Grace will have a relatively easy time beating what I deem a sketchy field. I am throwing Drosselmeyer underneath and point toward this horse's effort in the 2010 Belmont (a victory with jockey Mike Smith...the last time Smith rode this horse) and last race in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (a decent second in the mud against Flat Out) as signs that maybe he can pick up the pieces late with enough early speed in the field.

Good luck to everyone today with their Breeders Cup selections!

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