The 2013 Breeders Cup, showcasing some of the top North American and Western European horses, presents another wonderful challenge, starting with five races on Friday's card from Santa Anita.
|You know, I'll bet these golden|
tickets make the chocolate
Golden Ticket -- Friday's Key
In keeping with tradition, I have allotted a $50 bankroll for Friday and $100 for Saturday's Breeders Cup races (I will handicap Saturday's card tonight and post thoughts on Saturday morning).
As I see it, the pace scenario sets up extremely well for Golden Ticket, whose past performances suggest the horse is tactical enough to sit off what I expect will be a frenetic pace and gets the benefit of a relatively easy run into the quick first turn, and I like Joel Rosario's two previous rides aboard this 4-year-old.
Golden Ticket's fourth-place finish in the Awesome Again Stakes in late September, too, gave this one a spin over Santa Anita's dirt track, which I view as a favorable lesson. Works look good too.
- Race 8: $1 Pick 3 -- 2, 11 with 2, 3, 6, 8, 13 with 3, 6 = $20
- I will include Pants On Fire as a backup on my Pick 3 and might have made him my top selection, if not for post 11 and that Paco Lopez has scant experience over the Santa Anita surface (I'll identify the horses of the second and third legs below).
- Race 8: $2 Daily Double -- 2 with 3, 8 = $4
- Race 8: $1 Daily Double -- 2, 4, 11 with 3 = $3
- Race 8: $1 Exacta -- 2 over 4, 8, 11 = $3
Breaking Down Races 6, 7, 9 and 10
Validating my opinion that one's just as well throwing darts to find the winner, the favorite is listed at 7-to-2 and the other nine range from 5-to-1 to 10-to-1. Knock yourself out figuring out who can win the race in under a half hour. I'm passing on it.
Race 7 (Juvenile Turf) and Race 9 (Juvenile Fillies Turf) are extremely vexing two-year-old races with the added twist of prohibiting "medications or any other substances administered within 24 hours of post time, including authorized bleeder medications otherwise permitted by state regulation."
Race 7: $0.50 Pick 4 -- 3, 4, 5, 7 with 2 with 2, 3, 6, 8, 13 with 3 = $10
Outstrip (GB), #4, is my top choice in Race 7, though I will go four deep in this first leg of the Pick 4 and use #3 Got Shades (30-to-1), #5 Bobby's Kitten (5-to-2) and #7 Aotearoa (12-to-1) and hope to make it to the second leg.
Got Shades looks sneaky-good to me, having run a decent third in an overnight stakes sans Lasix for the first time and gets jockey Gary Stevens, who is 15-for-51 on the Santa Anita meet, so I'm obviously hoping for a bomber score in the first leg but will be happy if either of my four wins.
Contrary to my Race 8 tickets, I'll single Golden Ticket in Race 8 for the Pick 4, confident that my horse will win, and if not can live with burning just $10 on that ticket.
In Race 9, I've made 20-to-1 long-shot Colonel Joan my top selection but will use five horses:
- #2, Al Thakhira (GB, 6-to-1)
- First-time U.S., first time two turns but boasts a Grade 2 win at Newmarket last month
- #3, Colonel Joan (20-to-1)
- Yes, still a maiden (0-for-3 lifetime), but is accustomed to running without Lasix and really stepped forward in her last try, a strong third at a 1-mile overnight stakes. Joe Talamo rides this one again, and trainer Eoin Harty has been knocking at the door so far this meet.
- #6, Vorda (FR, 4-to-1)
- An impressive French shipper who is 4-for-5, including Grade 1 and 2 wins in Great Britain and France and whose only loss came in a Grade 1 where it appears she was held up in traffic before finishing second by just a length. Seems a legitimate threat.
- #8, Chriselliam (IRE, 6-to-1)
- Suspicious with the 1:22 time posted at 7.25 furlongs for this one's second lifetime race, but another Grade 1 Euro winner who must be respected and gets a slight weight break
- #13, Sky Painter (15-to-1)
- Outside post inflates the odds, in my opinion, but she finished very strong in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont in October at the quirky mile-and-a-sixteenth configuration. Seems like a patient sort who might be capable of a big late charge to the finish.
- Race 9: $1 Exacta Box -- 3, 8 = $2
- Race 9: $2 Exacta -- 3 over 2, 6, 13 = $6
- Race 9: $2 Daily Double -- 3 with 3 = $2
I used Sylmar on the final leg of my Pick 3 ticket starting in Race 8, but refrained from much else with the Distaff.