Ultimate Guide To The Most Important Race on Breeders' Cup Friday

If you're a multi-race player then the most important race on Friday isn't a Breeders' Cup race but the Grade 2 Twilight Derby for three-year-olds on the turf.

Carded as the fifth race of the 11-race card, the Twilight Derby ends the Pick 5, starts the Pick 6, is the third leg of the early Pick 4, is part of three rolling Pick 3s, and a pair of rolling doubles. Getting this race wrong could knock you out of eight multi-race bets.

So, we better get it right, right? Lucky for us, my employer has lots of great information for this race since it's a part of Breeders' Cup Friday.

The two most logical winners for me are the deuce, Charming Kitten, and #12, Gabriel Charles. We'll have a firm course on Friday, and Charming Kitten's best race (by Brisnet Speed Rating) was on firm turf at Penn National, and he ran well this winter at Gulfstream. I like the distance for him, and he'll be running late as will Gabriel Charles, who is short on Speed Ratings (lifetime best is a 95 twice), but who closed in 34 seconds when winning the Del Mar Derby last out. He's another who will running late, but his Brisnet Pace Ratings tell me he won't have to do it from the clouds.

Two horses I won't want to knock me out at big prices are the uno, Irish Surf, and #4, Dice Flavor. The former is the only sophomore to have tried elders--having done so in his last five starts, but now he drops back against his own age and turns back slightly to 1 1/8 miles from a trio of 1 1/4-mile-1 3/8-mile efforts. The latter didn't show much last out, but he closed from the clouds to win the La Jolla after pressing the pace in the Swaps. I like the tractability in a race without much pace, and he could end up getting first run under Alex Solis.

The last horse I'll mention is Rookie Sensation. From the red-hot barn of John Shirreffs, this one is stepping up to stakes company, but he's come home in less than 29 seconds in both his turf starts and if he runs to his works will outrun his odds.

I realize these multi-race bets get expensive when you use five horses, but the $.50 minimums on the Pick 3s, 4s, and 5s help ($2 minimum on the double and Pick 6).

My primary tools for handicapping this race were Ultimate Past Performances & Bruno With The Works, and both are available now for both Breeders' Cup days on the Special Reports Page, which also includes tons of other great info for Breeders' Cup like spotlight selections from Mark Johnson, Ron Rippey, and Bill Finley, the National Turf Clocker Report, and Daily Selections full-card analysis with best bets.

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