TimeformUS Weekend Plays: Breeders' Cup Edition

Santa Anita Friday, Race 10, Local Post Time 4:35 pm PT
The G1 Breeders' Cup Distaff, 1 and 1/8 Miles, Dirt, F&M, 3+

By Robert Finnegan

1) #4 Royal Delta
2) #5 Beholder
3) #6 Princess of Sylmar

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The Breeders' Cup Distaff features the smallest field on the card, as only six fillies and mares are lined up to contest this prestigious $2m Grade One race.  What the field lacks in size it more than makes up for in terms of quality and accomplishment, however, as this is a tremendous group that seems certain to put on quite a late afternoon show for fans of the Sport of Kings and, in this case, queens.
We start with two-time defending champion #4 Royal Delta.  Last year, Royal Delta wired the field, posting a solid 123 TimeformUS speed figure. A duplication of that effort should get the job done on Friday.  Royal Delta comes into this race having lost her previous start--to the talented three-year-old Princess of Sylmar, who opposes her again on Friday.  While we have a great deal of respect for Princess of Sylmar, we have reason to believe Royal Delta can turn the tables in this spot.  Note that she is 6-for-8 lifetime when entering races off of losses, and that her trainer, Bill Mott, gets strong TimeformUS ratings when switching circuits (86), when employing today's spacing (88), and when using Mike Smith (100).

TimeformUS PPs for Royal Delta
The TimeformUS Pace Projector indicates that Royal Delta should get a stalking trip behind the outstanding three-year-old local horse, #5 Beholder. Given that Royal Delta will break inside of Beholder, one could argue that Royal Delta's connections will opt for frontrunning tactics, but our expectation is that this will not happen. We don't anticipate that Bill Mott will draw up a plan that requires his mare to outrun Beholder early and Princess of Sylmar late.
TimeformUS Pace Projector for the Distaff

Beholder is five-for-six at Santa Anita overall, and four-for-four in routes.  She was a brilliant two-year-old, and she's clearly top class.  However, she did lose her only start at nine furlongs, succumbing to Princess of Sylmar in the final strides of the G1 Kentucky Oaks.  It is also telling that the finest performance of Beholder's career came at the sprint distance of six furlongs, where she posted a spectacular 123 speed figure, and did so as a two-year-old, no less.
Which brings us to Princess of Sylmar, who soundly defeated Royal Delta at Belmont Park 34 days ago while earning a speed figure of 117.  Princess of Sylmar is trained by Todd Pletcher, who sports an overall Trainer Rating of 100, which is our maximum rating.  She also has the services of jockey Javier Castellano. Pletcher sports a terrific 98 rating when he uses Castellano. Moreover, he gets a 95 rating when employing race-spacing that is similar to today's. Plainly, there is much to like here. But there is also something here that gives us pause. Princess of Sylmar has had a very busy campaign, and this race was not originally supposed to be part of it. Does she have another peak effort in her off the cross-country ship only 34 days after that glistening effort she put in last time?  Note that the last time she posted a 117 speed figure, she reacted to it, and fillies are generally more reliable bounce candidates than their male counterparts. So, yes, there are big positives here, but there are also concerns--concerns that we find hard to dismiss given that her odds will be relatively short.
For our thoughts on the rest of the Distaff field, and for analysis and selections for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races, get the Breeders’ Cup Package

Santa Anita Saturday, Race 12, Local Post Time 5:35 pm PT
The G1 Breeders' Cup Classic, 1 and 1/4 Miles, Dirt, 3+

By Douglas Salvatore

1) #9 Game On Dude
2) #5 Declaration of War
3) #6 Mucho Macho Man

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Game On Dude capped an extremely disappointing day for trainer Bob Baffert's stable when he finished seventh beaten 15 lengths as the 6/5 favorite in last year's Classic.

It was certainly an uncharacteristically dull performance. Game On Dude broke tardily and was pinched back at the start. That poor start left him positioned in mid-pack, where he did not appear to be traveling all that comfortably. It quickly seemed evident that Game On Dude wasn't relaxing, and jockey Rafael Bejarano steered him from an inside position to a spot several paths outwards, causing him to race wide on both turns but leaving him free of any more dirt kickback to the face.

Game On Dude briefly showed signs of a pulse when Bejarano asked him to pick things up going into the far turn, but he was soon making hard work of it and faded steadily through the stretch.

That lackluster performance, as a strong favorite on a huge stage, did a lot to damage the reputation of Game On Dude. However, he's been sensational since that defeat, winning six straight races, five of them with TimeformUS speed figures in the 127 to 132 range.

Game On Dude is clearly the best horse in this field on form. He has his doubters, to be sure, but the same was true going into the Pacific Classic last time out. They said, "Excuses or not, he's failed in his two prior Pacific Classic tries," and that type of skepticism led to Game On Dude going off at fairly generous odds of 8/5 against a wildly inferior field of horses. He answered his critics that day, winning the Pacific Classic by eight and a half lengths and doing so with devastating ease.

TimeformUS PPs for Game on Dude

In plain English, if Game On Dude shows up and runs his typical race, only unlucky tactical dynamics or a poor trip can beat him.

Our second selection is the European raider Declaration of War. He is a multiple Group 1 winner in Europe this year and has been assigned excellent figures, in the 125 to 130 range, in each of his last five starts.

Make no mistake, one must always be skeptical of European imports who tackle top-class American horses over a dirt surface.

Indeed, the record of foreign shippers in Breeders' Cup Classic editions run over a dirt surface is 35 starts, 1 win, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds. Those are obviously weak stats, though the lone winner, Arcangues, did connect at 133/1 odds after receiving a dream trip under Jerry Bailey in a less-than-stellar edition of the Classic.

Still, Declaration of War owns a pedigree well suited to dirt racing. His sire, War Front, and dam, Tempo West (a half-sister to Fountain of Youth/Champagne/Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags), were both North American dirt horses. That fact alone gives him a wildcard look at generous 10/1 morning line odds.

Our third selection is Mucho Macho Man. He was a fantastic second over this trip in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, coming up only a half-length short to a loose-on-the-lead Fort Larned. Mucho Macho Man reaffirmed his love for this track with a dominant win in the local prep for the Classic. If you draw a line through all of his wet-track clunkers, Mucho Macho Man is an admirably consistent horse who is very competitive with these on his best form.

For our thoughts on other contenders in the Classic field, and for analysis and selections for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races, get the Breeders’ Cup Package


Leave a Comment:


Reasonable arguments for your selections in both races but in the Distaff Princess Of Sylmar is as genuine and game as the day is long. With the anticipated battle up front between Royal Delta and Beholder, the race sets up well for the "Princess" ...and don't be surprised if "dark horse" Authenticity makes the exactor.

Regarding the BC Classic, not even a thought for the defending champion, Fort Larned?  Are you kidding me? Game On Dude is great against slow horses but he's going to be taken to 'spit the bit' by the sustained blistering pace of Fort Larned, Palace Malice and Moreno, setting things up just right for the "Macho Man". For me, its Mucho Mcho Man to win from Fort Larned and Will Take Charge.

01 Nov 2013 7:30 AM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

Woke up this morning to a column by Andrew Beyer in which he made an exacta pick of Justin Phillip and Bahamian Squall based on what he called a "bias" in the Vosburgh; I don't know if that's true and it's too late for me to get the Sept. 28 charts.  Now, these days at least Beyer is not the best picker, but it does suggest a consensus.  I don't like this race as a single. Private Zone also showed a string of seconds and the take on him is that he waits on horses.  I'll thank you in advance.  

01 Nov 2013 9:15 AM
Rusty Weisner


I don't have a pick for the Classic and will take half the field. I like Mucho Macho Man, tepidly, as one of my selections.  He hasn't won at the distance and he's coming back early (for him) after a lifetime high Beyer.  I like him tactically and think he's comparable in this regard to my preferred 3yo (who has already beaten older, BC contenders, to boot), Palace Malice -- I think will lay back a little, and whose aptitude for the distance I'm more confident in.  Or maybe he won't lay back and will run his usual race.  Declaration of War is a question mark I'll take solely for odds, and having run well on a non-turf surface will have to be enough for me to take him.

I'll be one of the "wiseguys" betting against Game On Dude.  I have to, on principle, go against a horse who's used to soft competition (I read an interview with John Sadler, who had the show and place horses in the Pacific Classic, and he indicated he had entered his horses precisely for the show and place money, so that tells you something).  Also, he may have been unlucky last year, but still - there was zero response to adversity.

I'm going to hope that Fort Larned has another bad race in an erratic year.  He also got lucky last year.

No one likes Flat Out.  I'll take him.  He had no chance last year; maybe the surface will be fairer and the setup good.

My preferences:  MMM, Declaration of War, Palace Malice, Flat Out.

Horses I will cover: Game on Dude, Fort Larned.

01 Nov 2013 9:36 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -

There has been talk of a rail bias the entire Belmont meeting. I will neither agree or disagree on that matter,  but I will emphasize our downgrade of PV (and subsequent upgrades of JP and BS), is the result of the Flow figure that indicates a very speed favoring scenario in the Vosburgh.

01 Nov 2013 9:40 AM
Rusty Weisner

What sleep brought:

I will limit myself to the four obvious choices in the Turf Sprint:  the 1-2-3 horses from last year and the supplemented contender, Chips All In.  This one is the fastest early among the contenders out of the Eddie D and still managed to hold them off.  I'm close to including Boat Trip. This will be the last leg of my P4; no using this race as a "single".

The middle part of the card, the Turf Sprint and Juvenile, will be a relative betting breather.

01 Nov 2013 9:53 AM
Rusty Weisner

"They said, "Excuses or not, he's failed in his two prior Pacific Classic tries," and that type of skepticism led to Game On Dude going off at fairly generous odds of 8/5 against a wildly inferior field of horses. He answered his critics that day, winning the Pacific Classic by eight and a half lengths and doing so with devastating ease."

This is contradictory.  He didn't answer his critics by beating a wildly inferior field of horses.

01 Nov 2013 10:09 AM
Rusty Weisner


Pardon, that wasn't a last lifetime best Beyer.

01 Nov 2013 10:38 AM
Monarchos Matt

Only bets today:

Brujo to place

Pick 3:

Brujo, GC, V, Pants on Fire, Hymn Book, Golden Ticket/

Vorda, Testa Rossi, My Conquestadory/


Now, onto Saturday.

01 Nov 2013 11:23 AM
Monarchos Matt


Going back to our prior conversation, I thought you'd find this intersting...this is my initial allocation plan for my bankroll over the whole weekend as I have it slotted currently:

Outright win/place bets: 50%

Multi-race wagers: 33%

Exactas: 17%

01 Nov 2013 11:31 AM

I just saw a video clip of Alpha walking and he is on the muscle.

This 4YO is sitting on a big race.

I think he will be in the lead entering the 1st turn and will be right there when it being decided.

01 Nov 2013 11:36 AM
Monarchos Matt

Juv Filles: Sweet Reason, to use or not to use? Discuss.

I'm leaning towards trying to beat her...Welsch had negative reports from her workouts.

01 Nov 2013 11:54 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Beats me about Sweet Reason.  The workouts were unorthodox.  A mile and then 2f.  The 2f struck me as odd.  Bad juju.  What'd he say?

01 Nov 2013 12:06 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I've trimmed my planned bets to $900.  It's all rolling P3s and two P4s. It's ugly. I'm hoping to get lucky. Aside from the usual inherent hazard in the game additional risks include:  super chalky tickets, mixing up the numbers at the teller's window.

01 Nov 2013 12:11 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Actually, the 2f work makes me think the horse is going to scratch.

01 Nov 2013 12:11 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I think Flat Out is the anti-wiseguy horse.  Not his home track, etc.  Maybe I'm a dope, but I want one horse coming late, and this one is fairly seasoned compared to WTC.

01 Nov 2013 12:18 PM

Its a tough series of races.  I'll post picks before each race.

Race 1) I'm going with class (He's Had Enough).  No downhill experience which usually isn't a good thing, but taking a shot.  Hoping for 5-1.  

01 Nov 2013 12:38 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Good luck Kevin

01 Nov 2013 12:51 PM
Rusty Weisner

Yes, good luck, gentlemen.  I'm not playing today.  Bring 'em home.

01 Nov 2013 12:55 PM

Okay! Here we go, with a few thoughts on Saturday's races . . .

Juvenile Fillies: You can make a solid case that Sweet Reason was the best filly in the Frizette, but after her unusual training pattern leading into this race, I'm leaning toward Artemis Agrotera. But at the same time, the sheer brilliance of She's a Tiger worries me, and it's possible that she could end the race on the far turn. Concave could be an interesting longshot, even though she's never run farther than seven furlongs, as her pedigree suggests that two-turns in a possibility, and she was rallying pretty well at the end of the Del Mar Debutante.

Filly and Mare Turf: Dank and Romantica look like solid favorites, but they've drawn the two innermost post positions, and I am a bit worried about traffic issues. That's why I am leaning toward Laughing, who should be able to accelerate her final quarter mile in at least :22.50 seconds over the rock-hard Santa Anita turf course. The question is, can anyone else run that last quarter faster?

Filly and Mare Sprint: I believe that the surface and distance of this race are just what the doctor ordered for Groupie Doll, and I view her as a very, very solid favorite under these circumstances. Dance to Bristol and Dance Card both intrigue me off of their performances in the Gallant Bloom, but perhaps even more interesting is Summer Applause, who shortens up in distance off of twelve consecutive route races. This reminds me quite a bit of Switch, who placed in three consecutive editions of the Filly and Mare Sprint while twice prepping in route races. I also like Ismene, who was quite impressive on the dirt here at Santa Anita two years ago. She looks like the quickest filly over the first quarter mile, and she has the advantage of starting outside Teddy's Promise.

Turf Sprint: In my opinion, experience on the downhill turf course is a must, but that doesn't narrow down the field a whole lot, does it? :)  Mizdirection, Unbridled's Note, and Reneesgotzip all look solid here once again, as do Eddie D Stakes 1-2 finishers, Chips All In and Boat Trip, but I personally am leaning toward Carcortado, who was beaten just three-quarters of a length in the Eddie D while making his first start since January 2012. He should be much sharper this time around, and his off-the-pace running style should suit itself well to this fast-paced race. I am also looking seriously at Rock Me Baby, who was beaten just 2 1/2 lengths when seventh in the Eddie D. He looked ready to make a bit of a run in the stretch, but got boxed in and lacked room throughout the final 150 yards or so. Overall, he has decent form on the downhill turf, and will be ridden by Joe Talamo, who won this race in 2009 aboard California Flag.

Juvenile: I was very confident in the chances of Strong Mandate up until the post position draw, but starting from gate fourteen is by no means appealing. Havana's post draw doesn't bother me nearly as much, as I feel he has the speed to clear most of the field, but in my opinion, his real problem is Diamond Bachelor. This colt is headstrong, very fast, and almost out-of-control at times -- remember, he ran the opening quarter mile of the one-mile Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Stakes in :21.97 seconds. I expect him to go to the lead on Saturday, with Havana chasing him through what may very well be a ridiculous pace. Determining who will take advantage of it is not easy, but perhaps Dance With Fate might have a shot if he takes back further than he did in the FrontRunner Stakes? Tap It Rich took advantage of a fast pace in his maiden win, perhaps he can do so again? We Miss Artie's Beyer speed figures may not be flashy, but he did finish up nicely in the Breeders' Futurity, and has a lot of experience training on dirt. Really, this race looks completely wide-open, and I can't really be confident in any selection. Havana comes into this race is much the same way that 2010 Juvenile champion Uncle Mo did, right down the almost identical Beyers. Perhaps he is just the best horse in this race.

Turf: The Fugue should have won the Filly and Mare Turf last year, and I believe she is quite a bit better this year than last, which makes her a solid favorite to win this race. The rest of the contenders look pretty evenly matched, with seemingly little separating Little Mike, Big Blue Kitten, and Real Solution. Indy Point's victory in the John Henry Turf Championship was among the most visually impressive performances I have seen all year, and the final time was spectacular. With that in mind, I'll take him as my second choice behind The Fugue, with utmost respect to the Kittens and Real Solution.

Sprint: Private Zone was as game as could be in winning the Vosburgh Invitational, but he may have been aided by the track, and he wasn't challenged during the early stages of the race. I was leaning toward Justin Phillip to turn the tables on Saturday, but then he had to go and draw the rail. Fast Bullet can be brilliant at times, but exactly the opposite at others. If you believe there was a speed bias at Santa Anita during last year's Breeders' Cup, it's worth noting that Fast Bullet was the only speed horse that failed to take advantage of it. So I guess my selection is Gentlemen's Bet, who I believe had legitimate excuses in his last two starts. If he can work out a stalking trip from gate three -- which could be challenging, I admit -- I believe he has what it takes to find the winner's circle at a decent price.

Mile: After drawing post eight, Wise Dan looks almost unbeatable in this race. I envision him stalking Obviously and Silver Max in the early stages, taking over in the stretch, and breaking his own track record in the process. :) I respect the chances of Silver Max, but I don't believe he will be able to handle the pace pressure of Obviously, who I feel is ready to rebound in a big way on Saturday. Olympic Glory has great form in Europe, but I seem to remember hearing a mention of him blowing a turn in a European race this year . . . probably not a good sign, and after Excelebration's disappointment last year off a two-week rest, I guess I can't see Olympic Glory winning this race. As in interesting longshot, I like Bright Thought, who is unbeaten and virtually untested on the Santa Anita turf. Having no races since March is a concern, but perhaps he can get a piece of it from mid-pack.

Classic:  I do believe that Game On Dude is the best he's ever been coming into this race, and assuming he gets off to a good start, I believe he can take this field all the way on the front end, no matter how fast the pace. Mucho Macho Man and Palace Malice look like the best of the mid-pack runners, and I can envision either one of them getting up to win under the right circumstances. The only other horse I really like is Paynter, who ran such an odd race in the Awesome Again Stakes. He seems to be training as well as ever, and perhaps he can end his fairytale comeback with a victory in the Classic.

So, in essence, here are my selections:

Marathon: Worldly

Juvenile Turf: Bobby's Kitten

Dirt Mile: Golden Ticket

Juvenile Fillies Turf: Al Thakhira

Distaff: Royal Delta

Juvenile Fillies: Artemis Agrotera (or She's a Tiger)

Filly and Mare Turf: Laughing

Filly and Mare Sprint: Groupie Doll

Turf Sprint: Caracortado

Juvenile: I don't know!!! Diamond Bachelor in a free-running, gate-to-wire, breathtaking display of speed.

Turf: The Fugue (or Indy Point)

Sprint: Gentlemen's Bet

Mile: Wise Dan

Classic: Game On Dude (or Palace Malice)

If anyone else would like to post their top pick for each race, I'd be happy to host a little informal handicapping contest! It would be done in the same style as our Breeders' Cup contest from last year, with scoring based on imaginary $2 win/place wagers.

01 Nov 2013 12:56 PM

Kevin! Welcome back! I'll look forward to your selections. If I recall, you had some good ones at last year's Breeders' Cup!

01 Nov 2013 1:00 PM
Monarchos Matt


Welsch said that she didn't gallop well and "looked poor." That's good enough for me to exclude her on top at 5-2 odds. I'm not playing an exotic in that race so decision made. win/ place bet on Untapable and

Pick 3:

Untapable, Artemis Agrotera/

Dank, Romantica/

Dance To Bristol, Dance Card, Book Review, Groupie Doll, Teddy's Promise

01 Nov 2013 1:14 PM
Monarchos Matt


Wow that sounds pretty chaotic. It sounds like you are spread wide enough that you probably won't lose the whole boat. I'll be interested to see how that turns out for you.

Regarding Flat Out, he was actually my win pick two years ago. I even used him in the exacta last year...going to pass this year as 7 yo seems to have left his best days behind him. I'm more interested in rapidly improving younger horses like Palace Malice. And if you want a late runner, I'd be inclined to take a shot with Declaration of War.

01 Nov 2013 1:20 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FYI, if anyone is looking for the thread on this Unlocking Winners Blog that has the 177 Breeders Cup comments on it, it's already been moved to the October Archive????

Of course,  this makes no sense as a thread about the Bold Ruler, with 1 comment,  from October 24th, remains more readily accessible.

Huh ?

01 Nov 2013 1:25 PM

Also put together an early pick 3.

Race 1) 5,6,8,9,11/2,6,9,13/2,7

Hoping for an upset in the 3d or it won't pay.  

01 Nov 2013 1:25 PM
Plod Boy Phil

SA R1)

Let's dutch the 2 and 3 and make that exb.

01 Nov 2013 1:38 PM
Monarchos Matt


Marathon: Worldly

Juvenile Turf: Bobby's Kitten

Dirt Mile: Brujo de Olleros

Juvenile Fillies Turf: Vorda

Distaff: Beholder

Juvenile Fillies: Untapable

Filly and Mare Turf: Dank

Filly and Mare Sprint: Dance to Bristol

Turf Sprint: Unbridled's Note

Juvenile: Tap It Rich

Turf: Real Solution (using your three in exacta box, btw)

Sprint: Private Zone

Mile: Wise Dan

Classic: Mucho Macho Man

Good luck!

01 Nov 2013 1:40 PM

Vorda is a very classy filly.  She has speed, should be able to be placed well, and can kick home.  Low odds probably and there are distance concerns, though her jockey is confident.  Al Thakhira is a progressive filly with upside and better odds.  In the Juvy Turf, do not ignore Wilshire Blvd.  should be better odds than his more fancied stablemate.  Outstrip is a very nice 2 yr old.

01 Nov 2013 1:54 PM
Little Bill

Rusty, I have to comment on Larned being lucky. I'm not a speed figure guy but he ran to or beat that 3yr DRF speed fig five times at five different tracks at three different distances and crushed it twice. You don't see that very often. He's done it twice this year, doesn't need the lead, and his breeding screams 1 1/4 to me.

He was my second pick last year to a buster I'm embarrassed to mention. He is again my second pick to P Malice.

01 Nov 2013 1:58 PM

Top Picks for Friday BC.

Marathon:  Old Time Hockey

Juvy Turf:  Giovanni Boldini

Dirt Mile:  Pants on Fire

Juvy Filly Turf:  Chriselliem

Distaff:  Royal Delta

01 Nov 2013 2:00 PM
Rusty Weisner


What the heck, here's a contest list.  Maybe it will bring me luck.  I picked the longer odds ones among horses I like.



Dance Card

Chips All In

New Year's Day

The Fugue

Gentlemen's Bet

Wise Dan

Flat Out

Also playing, among others: Dank, Book Review, Dance to Bristol, Unbridled's Note, Mizdirection, Reneesgotzip, Justin Phillip, Private Zone, Declaration of War, Palace Malice.

01 Nov 2013 2:01 PM
Rusty Weisner

Fugue for Tinhorns,

Thanks.  I may be pressing my luck trying to beat both him and Game on Dude.  I'll keep that in mind.

I actually liked him last year...but was broke by the Classic.

01 Nov 2013 2:03 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I like Declaration of War, Flat Out, Palace Malice.  I will cover Fort Larned and GOD.  I'm thinking of going against MMM for the reasons I mentioned.  Flat Out is 12-1.  It's not the same track, but he's better than Drosselmeyer at the same odds.

01 Nov 2013 2:08 PM

Well, if Race 2 is any indication, first lead wins.  21 2/5 for the first quarter, 43 for the half and he kept going?  Especially puzzling for a horse who showed no previous speed.  

01 Nov 2013 2:20 PM

Indian Jones

Wilshire Blvd

Hymn Book



I'll take a stab at the contest

01 Nov 2013 2:23 PM

London Bridge


golden ticket


Close hatches

race 5...rising legend. Great betting race

good luck

01 Nov 2013 2:52 PM

Wow.  I'm officially just watching the rest of the day.  Crap shoot on who gets the lead and then its over.    

01 Nov 2013 2:56 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I'm going to thank you in advance for reminding me of that workout and thereby talking me off Sweet Reason.  I only hope she doesn't scratch.

01 Nov 2013 3:00 PM
Little Bill


6) Pool Play

7) Giovanni Boldini

8) Hymn Book

9) Colonel John

10)Close Hatches

Thanks Keerlerman and good luck to all.

01 Nov 2013 3:15 PM
Sam Santschi

Good luck today and tomorrow:

Marathon stab is Pool Play


Juv turf: Giovanni, Outstrip, Bobby's Kitten.

Dirt Mile:  Alpha, Brujo, Golden Ticket.

Juv fillies turf:  Ready to Act, Vorda, Testa Rossi, Al thakhi

Distaff:  all but street girl

01 Nov 2013 3:20 PM
Rusty Weisner


Laughing is 8-1.  She has just won two G1s and will have the lead.  

01 Nov 2013 3:37 PM
Monarchos Matt

Interesting developments on the undercard as a 37-1 shot and 47-1 shot just won on the lead. The cries regarding the insanity of the speed bias are already deafening on Twitter...

01 Nov 2013 3:56 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

These are my "singles":

Untapable (about $50)

Dank/Romantica (about $200).  I like Tiz Flirtatious and Laughing after these, with Lady of Shamrock as a longshot.

The Fugue (about $150)

Wise Dan (about $150)

I'll wait to see how the track is playing to see what to do about the F&MSprint (none of my favored horses are speed types) and the Sprint.

01 Nov 2013 4:01 PM

I hate when the track gets deliberately souped up.  On a big day like this you would hope they want the track to be playing fairly for all.

01 Nov 2013 4:13 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Boy am I glad I'm not playing.  I'll look forward to checking in tomorrow morning to see how this all went.  Good luck!

01 Nov 2013 4:22 PM
Sam Santschi

It's a real shame if this keeps up.

01 Nov 2013 4:31 PM
Monarchos Matt

Some other notable workout-related negatives from DRF's Mike Welsch:

Fast Bullet:  "Tired under steady urging to the wire in final Churchill work, according to Vesce, and has been handled with kid gloves ever since, with no local breezes.  Has spent several mornings simply jogging on the training track."  

Olympic Glory:  "Was not striding out smoothly and remained on left lead throughout the stretch galloping on the turf here Thursday."  

Of these two I am more inclined to take seriously the notes on Olympic Glory, although admittedly neither is very inspiring.

However, with the way the track is playing, it could play right into Fast Bullet's hands. He breaks to the outside of Private Zone, remember.

01 Nov 2013 4:34 PM

Congratulations to TnT! You are the early leader in our contest thanks to an exciting victory in the Marathon by London Bridge, who paid $20 to win and $10.20 to place!

01 Nov 2013 4:55 PM
Monarchos Matt

I have to say, if I can get through the first two legs of my Pick 3, where I'm using 9 horses, I feel pretty good about my Beholder single in the Distaff with the way this track is playing. Kind of odd to be more worried about a race where I'm using 6 out of 11 horses, yet here we are....

01 Nov 2013 4:59 PM
Monarchos Matt


Are you excited for the Pick 5 carryover tomorrow? $900k. Not a bad deal at all.

01 Nov 2013 5:21 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Contest - Dirt Mile

3 Hymn Book

01 Nov 2013 5:43 PM

Congratulations once again to TnT! Here are the standings after the Juvenile Turf . . .

1. TnT $51.00

2. Kevin $6.40

2. Fugue for Tinhorns $6.40

01 Nov 2013 5:56 PM

Alive with 2 to go in the Pick 4

2,6,8,12,13,14 over Royal Delta.  

Clenor (10) is huge early favorite in the Juvy Filly Turf.  

01 Nov 2013 6:16 PM

No one had Goldencents to win the Dirt Mile, but TnT and I had Golden Ticket to place, so here are the updated standings . . .

1. TnT $57.40

2. Kevin $6.40

2. Fugue for Tinhorns $6.40

2. Keelerman $6.40

01 Nov 2013 6:20 PM

Nice pick in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, Kevin! Here are the standings after four races . . .

1. TnT $57.40

2. Kevin $30.00

3. Fugue for Tinhorns $6.40

3. Keelerman $6.40

01 Nov 2013 7:08 PM


01 Nov 2013 7:47 PM

Congratulations to TnT, who picked two winners and two runner-ups from five races! You are the winner of our Friday Breeders' Cup Handicapping challenge!

Here are the final standings . . .

1. TnT $64.00

2. Kevin $30.00

3. Fugue for Tinhorns $13.00

4. Monarchos Matt $11.80

4. Footlick $11.80

6. Keelerman $6.40

Good luck tomorrow, everyone! Nine more championship races await!

01 Nov 2013 7:59 PM

Congrats to all

01 Nov 2013 8:24 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Mary -

Nicely done in the Marathon with the cold exacta box.

Hope that made your day at the windows.

01 Nov 2013 8:27 PM
Pedigree Ann

If the board tries to make this front-runners' heaven the permanent home of the BC, they will cause the demise of the BC as we know it. If your horse doesn't want to run in the first flight, you have no shot. Buckpasser probably couldn't win a race on this track. And Zenyatta? Forget it - on this surface, she becomes a chronic runner-up. No point in running if your champion closer is guaranteed a humiliation.

On the old Santa Anita dirt track, a horse like My Own True Love Cougar II could close and win; so could Spectacular Bid, John Henry, etc. Can't Stronach hire competent people who can install and maintain a reasonable racing surface? I mean, they blew the first AW installation, and the second one, too, so badly that the state board took pity on them and allowed them to return to dirt. (How did they finesse the law requiring AW?) The track wasn't like this a year ago in the spring, when I'll Have Another was winning his classic preps from behind; what have they messed up since then?

01 Nov 2013 11:02 PM
Rusty Weisner

Re: track bias.

To quote Tessio in the Godfather, "That messes up all my plans."

Some, anyway.  I really liked Dance to B., Dance Card and Book Review and wanted to play these in horizontal and vertical exotics, but I'm promoting Artemis A now.  There are some I like less now in the Juv Fillies now, and I now can't make the Florida speedster a toss.  I like Private Zone better in the Sprint now, and Ismene is not a toss for me.  I like Flat Out less now in the Classic.

The race I'm interested in playing verticals is the F&M Turf, where I like Dank/Romantica,Tiz Flirtatious, Laughing and Lady of Shamrock.  I'm inspired by Keelerman's confidence in this horse and a sub-23 final quarter (even if the first was 25-plus).   I guess that translates into a 21.0 at SA?

02 Nov 2013 7:59 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Thanks for those.  I'll use those.  I wasn't liking Olympic Glory as a top choice, but that gives me added courage.  I didn't want to bet Fast Bullet to begin with, because the horse is so infrequently raced and has moved out of Baffert's barn, but this seals it (Gentlemen's Bet is my third choice).  

Any notes on Sweet Reason?  I want to play against, because of running style, inflated Beyer, trainer who just won her first graded stake with this horse.

02 Nov 2013 8:03 AM
Rusty Weisner

To clarify point about Laughing:  a very good bet to hold on for the exacta, if not to win.  One of these Euros has a chance of mistiming her run.  I like my top three's chances of beating her, but think I'll have her on every ticket.

02 Nov 2013 8:07 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I was just reading Mike Watchmaker's wrap-up and one of the commenters has almost my exact P5 choice, though I go wide in one race, the 4th.  So thanks for the reminder.

02 Nov 2013 8:13 AM
Rusty Weisner

...Actually, that's a bad omen.

02 Nov 2013 8:13 AM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

I saw you over there, too.

02 Nov 2013 8:14 AM
Rusty Weisner

Havana has returned to being an option (and he's now in the 12 instead of the 13).  

02 Nov 2013 8:19 AM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

It's your anniversary here.  Last year you meet with universal hoots of derision for being skeptical about the track bias.  You've shown me anyway that skepticism about this factor is warranted, but what's your opinion of yesterday?

02 Nov 2013 8:21 AM
Rusty Weisner


I don't often play WPS, but I like WP on Laughing and PS on Lady of Shamrock with a little to win (she's already on my multi-race ticket).  

02 Nov 2013 8:32 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I'm probably down to $700.  I'll have a late P4 ticket with the Fugue, but I hope not to be stuck playing the final P3; as I said, I'm pressing my luck showing disrespect to both Game On Dude and Fort Larned, particularly on this track (I feel bad in advance for Flat Out).  I'll concentrate more on the R9-11 P3.

02 Nov 2013 8:38 AM



Rosaline I an interesting longshot. Three starts at a mile and longer on three different surfaces. She has only been beaten by combined 4L by Untapable and My Conquescadory. What this big chestnut filly lacks in tactical speed she has in heart. Her enormous strides can play a major padt is she can get close enough early.

Designer Legs won at Saratoga in a good time. She then flopped on a sloppy track and ran an even race in her 8.5F effort on synthetic. She returns to dirt and could surprise  


The bomb of the day could be Great Hot and Chantal. She finished 8th beaten 41/2L in the Pat Obrien.  She was 31/2L behind Dirt Mile winner Goldencents who was second to Fed Biz. She then finished 2nd to Teddy‘s Promise in the A Woman at 61/2F.  She has 1 victory at 7F and is in good form. Using Goldencents performance in the Dirt Mile as a measure she must have a big shot.


The last time Capo Bostone returned from 2 month between races he won at 28-1. Without adoubt he has the best turn of foot in the field and is the only 3YO entered. If he is close when they hit the bottom of the hill, step to the cashier.


Tough race that is primed for an upset. I am attracted to 3 longshots, Smarty’s Echo, Rum Point and Medal Count. Of the 3 only Medal Count has made a start on dirt. Medal cpunt is my #1 amongst them as he is well bred May foal that has been in trouble in both starts. On the first occasion he won by 61/4L and the next he was not persevered with close home.


Sum of The Parts, Majestic Stride and Laugh Track have a lot of appear. Sum of The Parts led the 2012 Sprint as a 3YO. AS a 4YO he must be a stronger horse and will have to be caught.

Majestic Stride has made two winning starts for 2013 and has 5 starts in total. He is relatively unknown quantity. His dam was sired Great Above of Holy Bull fame. Even more important is the fact that Great Above was the dam sire of champion sprinter Housebuster. He like ML favorite Secret Circle are the only ones unbeaten in 2013.

Laugh Track is ideally drawn and is the one most likely to benefit from a pace melt down. Mike Smith can hurt as well. A horse produced by a Touch Gold mare is actually a sprinter. Not possible!

02 Nov 2013 8:45 AM
Rusty Weisner


Admirably long shots, but some of them, like Rosalind, Laugh Track and Great Hot, are at the mercy of a track bias if one exists.

02 Nov 2013 9:11 AM
Rusty Weisner

I'm going in.  I'll let you know how I do tonight or tomorrow.  Good luck to you.

02 Nov 2013 9:40 AM

Good luck, Rusty! I hope you hit it big today!

02 Nov 2013 10:09 AM
Pedigree Ann

Here are my Equibase contest (which does win-place) picks:

Juvenile fillies - Scandalous Act

Ladies Turf - Tiz Flirtatious

Female sprint - Teddy's Promise

Downhill Sprint - Mizdirection

Juvie boys - Dance with Fate

Turf - Indy Point

Open Sprint - Fatal Bullet

Mile - He Be Fire N Ice (because Acclamation never got the chance to give Unusual Heat a BC winner)

Classic - Game on Dude

Assuming the track plays the same way it did yesterday. I'm really fond of Book Review, but the track is against her. Florida Sire Series has provided 2 BC Juvie Fillies winners, Brave Raj and Awesome Feather, and none of the 'G1' types have impressed me greatly, so...., Indy Point was a first class grass AND dirt stayer in South America; horse who beat him in the Pellegrini placed second in a G1 in France last month - class race.

02 Nov 2013 12:33 PM

I have no idea if the contest is going on or not but I have st submit picks now so here they are:



Teddy's Promise




Secret Circle


Declaration of War

Good luck all

02 Nov 2013 12:35 PM

Gotta join my buddys Footlick and Pedigree Ann in this game. Where are those ol' rascals KY Vet and Carlos in Cali when we need them? (LOL).

Juvenile fillies - Artemis Agotera

F & M Turf - Dank

F & M sprint - Groupie Doll

Turf Sprint - Mizdirection

BC Juvenile- We Miss Artie

Turf - The Fugue

BC Sprint - Triniberg

BC Mile - Wise Dan

Classic - Mucho Macho Man

02 Nov 2013 3:12 PM

Rusty Weisner 01 Nov 2013 4:01 PM

Congratulations on calling that F & M Turf exactor Dank/Romantica. Good job.

02 Nov 2013 6:14 PM
Pedigree Ann

I can simmer down now - looks like they broke out the harrow and gave the track a few passes. But yesterday was ridiculous.

02 Nov 2013 6:41 PM
Rusty Weisner


I think you hit the trifecta in the Classic.  Now that merits congratulations.

03 Nov 2013 8:36 AM
Rusty Weisner

My exhaustive recapitulation of another lousy day on the other thread.

03 Nov 2013 8:38 AM

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