Ok fellow handicappers, the time has come for Breeders' Cup selections.
I have received many of your picks for the contest, so I have an idea of what you guys are thinking. I don't like picking winners two days out and I will be handicapping up to the races on Friday, but I do want to get this out there so that we can open up dialogue on each race.
Fire away with any questions/comments you may have and be sure to join in for the live blogs all week. I'll post another blog on Thursday with my Saturday picks. Looking forward to debating with everyone...
I'm not crazy about this race, probably because other than a few horses, I haven't seen many of them race, and trying to handicap 1 ¾-mile races are not my specialty.
I've talked to some who say Mastery is the "lock" of the Breeders' Cup. I guess that is based on the St. Leger when he won by three-quarters of a length in September. He really has never run a bad race but has only won three times in eight starts. He's probably the deserving favorite, but if he is anywhere near 9-5 I will likely just play exotics and no win tickets.
I do like Father Time a bit. He had a troubled trip in that St. Leger and should improve off that. This could be a chalky race.
- Father Time
- Man of Iron
Juvenile Fillies Turf
It's hard to look past Lillie Langtry in this race, even with a full field. She has to go an extra furlong for the first time, but has been very consistent in all six starts. She had a nice, easy prep about a month ago and should be sitting on a huge effort.
I do like a couple of price horses here. Smart Seattle (8-1) has looked excellent on the track all week and I think a mile will suit her a little better than 8 ½ furlongs, in which she ran second in her last two. The Jessamine was the perfect prep for this race. She lost to House of Grace by a nose and will be a much better price.
Elusive Galaxy (20-1) ran pretty well in her prep, the Natalma at Woodbine, in her first try in North America and at a mile. She shipped to California last month and has settled in nicely for Ben Cecil. She also gets her second race with Bejarano aboard. A live 20-1 shot with Bejarano? I'll take a stab.
- Lillie Langtry
- Smart Seattle
- Elusive Galaxy
I'll box all three in an exacta
Tough race. Blind Luck has to be used based on her Oak Leaf. Hollendorfer hasn't had a lot of success at the BC, but he is still one of the best in California and has been for a long time. She is definitely the one to beat.
That being said, I'm going for an upset here. She Be Wild (8-1) has done absolutely nothing wrong in four starts. She dominated at Arlington in three starts and ran big in the Alcibiades at Keeneland for her prep. Wayne Catalano has a good handle on 2-year-old fillies and he has a live one here. Leparoux gets the mount and she should stalk the pace and pounce on the leaders in the stretch.
- She Be Wild
- Blind Luck
There are many who believe Forever Together has lost a half-step. Not me. What's she done wrong? She was beaten nose in the Canadian and came flying at the end of one-mile First Lady after being 20 lengths out. The 1 ¼-mile distance is ideal for her, as we saw last year. Don't look past her. She's a champion and Sheppard will have her revved up.
I think Magical Fantasy has to be included on the bottom of tickets because of her success out here and Pure Clan is in great form. Rutherienne stretches out to 10 furlongs for the first time but she might enjoy the added distance for a piece.
- Forever Together
- Pure Clan
- Rutherienne/Magical Fantasy
I'm a bit surprised at how many people think Ventura is going to get beat. She is a couple noses away from being undefeated in four grade I's this year. Her Woodbine Mile was sick. She won this race by four last year. She's a monster.
I'm not sure why I don't like Informed Decision as much; maybe because she hasn't been out here. She certainly is capable of pulling the minor upset.
I do like Evita Aregentina (20-1) to hit the board. What's she done? Well, she beat boys in the San Vicente over this course in February and became the first 3YO filly in 65 years to beat elders in the A Gleam two back. She is a bit inconsistent, but if she's on and gets a hot pace, watch out.
- Evita Argentina
- Informed Decision
It's wide-open without Zenyatta. You can make a good case for any of them in here. Even Lethal Heat, the longest choice on the morning line, is in good form and likes this track. Distance is her issue.
I was sure Music Note was going to win this race a week ago. She has been off the charts good in New York in her last two and is probably the best horse in the race--on dirt. I know she ran a solid third in this race last year and there is no reason to believe she shouldn't run well again, but...
I am leaning toward Proviso (8-1), a 4-year-old filly who impressed me a lot in the Spinster in her first U.S. start. She was much the best despite her disqualification, proving she can handle synthetics. I'm hoping she gets even better. She's has had an aggressive 2009 campaign in Europe this year, including a third to Goldikova in August. She fits well here and will be a big number.
I also can make strong cases for Cocoa Beach and Rainbow View
- Music Note
- Life Is Sweet/Cocoa Beach