Breeders’ Cup entries, picks, odds and begin occasions


The Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the final word handicapping problem for horseplayers, heads to Keeneland this yr, with Saturday’s schedule that includes 9 championship races, together with the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf and the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Traditional.

Flightline, unbeaten in 5 begins and the favourite within the Breeders’ Cup Traditional, is available in after a scorching efficiency within the Grade 1 Pacific Traditional, bringing a lot hype with him. Even his coach, John Sadler, was shocked by the final effort, going as far as to check him to all-time greats in different sports activities.

“It exceeded expectations,” Sadler mentioned of Flightline’s 19-length victory at Del Mar. “Because until a horse does a thing, they don’t know exactly how it’s going to go. It’s like when Tom Brady plays, they expect him to be great. With a horse like this, you’ve got to be a good steward. You know, if you have Michael Jordan, you don’t necessarily have to coach him up, but you’ve got to be a good steward.”

Flightline ought to be the shortest worth of the day, however he gained’t be the one odds-on favourite to go to submit. Jackie’s Warrior (4-5 on the morning line within the Dash) and Nest (9-5 within the Distaff) are certain to be well-liked amongst bettors.

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Beneath are choices for every championship race on Saturday. These contenders embody my prime decide to win, and different horses that ought to present good worth in multi-race wagers such because the Each day Double and the Decide 3, Decide, 4, Decide 5 and Decide 6 reasonably than exactas, trifectas and superfectas. There will probably be a brand new All-Turf Decide 4 on Saturday that may embody the Breeders’ Cup Turf Dash, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, Breeders’ Cup Mile and Breeders’ Cup Turf. There additionally will probably be three Decide 5 choices. The early Decide 5 will begin with Race 1, the center Decide 5 will begin with Race 3 and the late Decide 5 will start with Race 7. (There are two early races earlier than the nine-race championship schedule begins.)

My honest worth for every horse can also be listed. Odds greater than the honest worth warrant a win guess. Something decrease and it’s a go. In some circumstances, the fair-value odds will differ considerably from the morning line, however that’s as a result of the morning line, set by Keeneland, just isn’t at all times correct. For instance, Casa Creed, 6-1 on the morning line within the Turf Dash, was supplied at 10-1 odds by offshore bookmakers. Contenders are listed so as of submit place, not so as of desire. All submit occasions are Japanese.

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Dash

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Third race, 11:50 a.m. Seven-furlong race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up.

Decide: No. 11 Depraved Halo (10-1)

There may be numerous early pace on this race, sufficient that Sizzling Peppers, Slammed, Girl Rocket and Echo Zulu might all be drained by the point the horses enter the flip. The late runners, like Ce Ce, Sterling Silver, Compulsory and Chi City Girl, could also be too far behind to contend. Over the past two fall meets at Keeneland, nearly two-thirds of all filth dash winners had been inside one size on the half-mile marker.

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Chain Of Love, meantime, has solely gained considered one of her 5 occasions this yr and it required a muddy observe to get it completed. That leaves Edgeway, Goodnight Olive, Franks Rockette and Depraved Halo. Of these, Depraved Halo is the one a number of graded stakes winner who additionally has a win over this observe, the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes in October.

Different contenders: No. 1 Slammed, No. 8 Goodnight Olive and No. 13 Echo Zulu

Breeders’ Cup Turf Dash

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Fourth race, 12:29 p.m. 5½-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up; to be run on the turf.

Decide: No. 6 Highfield Princess (7-2)

Highfield Princess is a seasoned mare with three straight spectacular wins — two at 5 furlongs — in three completely different nations: the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest in France, the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes in England and the Group 1 Flying 5 Stakes in Eire. She’s additionally proven she will be able to deal with the left-hand flip unusual in European dash racing, having gained the Queen Charlotte Fillies’ Stakes over an artificial floor in 2021 at seven furlongs.

Different contenders: No. 8 Golden Pal

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Breeders’ Cup Dust Mile

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Fifth race, 1:10 p.m. One-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.

Decide: No. 10 Senor Buscador (12-1)

Senor Buscador is an overachiever, having just lately gained the Ack Ack Stakes, a one-mile Grade 3 race at Churchill Downs, at 6-1 odds in a area of eight horses. This son of Mineshaft additionally hit the board within the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien Stakes at lengthy odds (21-1). He’s even bought one other win at a mile beneath his belt, the Remington Springboard Mile at Remington Park, earned within the second race of his profession. The one concern is that this colt at all times appears to seek out himself three, 4 or five-horses huge, a notice that haunts him in all seven of his races. Nonetheless, jockey Francisco Arrieta was aboard for the Ack Ack Stakes and overcame a three-wide journey, so there may be hope he can do the identical on Saturday.

As a facet notice, some horses fall notoriously wanting the end line and Three Approach appears to be like to be that horse right here. In his eight begins at a mile on filth, he has gained simply as soon as, with three second-place finishes and three third-place finishes. However when he hits the board, it’s normally at a worth. He’s price contemplating for the place and present slots in a few of your exotics.

Different contenders: No. 1 Gradual Down Andy, No. 6 Laurel River and No. 9 Cyberknife

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf

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Sixth race, 1:50 p.m. 1 3/16-mile race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up; to be run on the turf.

Decide: No. 9 Rougir (12-1)

Rougir, winless in three begins main as much as October’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, took a large journey and was even steadied (taken in hand by the jockey, normally due to being in proximity to different horses) as she become the stretch. But the 4-year-old daughter of Territories closed strongly to win by a neck at 5-1 odds. What’s most fascinating about that race was her profession low tempo determine (64) to the half-mile mark, also called a “turf pace low,” coupled along with her highest ultimate pace determine thus far, a notable sample of enchancment.

One different horse to focus on is Going to Vegas, a horse following the same trek to the Breeders’ Cup as she did in 2021. That yr she raced within the Grade 2 John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar, then the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita earlier than attempting the 1⅜-mile Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Del Mar. This yr the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf is at 1 3/16 of a mile, significantly shorter than 2021 and probably higher suited to Going to Vegas’s endurance. Coach Philip D’Amato is not any stranger to this occasion (he gained the Breeders’ Cup Turf Dash in 2016) and I wouldn’t suppose he would take the identical route if he didn’t suppose it will repay. Even his jockey selections, Flavien Prat for the Mabee Stakes and Umberto Rispoli for the Rodeo Drive Stakes and Breeders’ Cup, is identical this yr because it was final yr.

Different contenders: No. 12 Moira

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Seventh race, 2:30 p.m. Six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up.

If you’re taking part in the Decide 4, Decide 5 or Decide 6, this is a vital race for you. The general public will probably be singling Jackie’s Warrior on this leg, making it extra profitable to go along with different horses. Sure, Jackie’s Warrior is a worthy odds-on favourite and deserving of all of the motion he’ll get, however in a pari-mutuel pool you need a distinctive ticket, and that’s most likely inconceivable with him within the combine.

As a substitute, check out Kimari. A Grade 1 winner at Keeneland one yr in the past, she is coming off back-to-back Grade 2 wins with the very best pace figures of her profession. She can also be carrying that pace later than ever, making her a menace at this distance. Plus, she has latest success coming off a layoff. She’s 3 for 3 in filth sprints off a layoff, with two wins in graded stakes.

Different contenders: No. 1 Manny Wah, No. 4 American Theorem, No. 6 Elite Energy and No. 9 Jackie’s Warrior, though as talked about, taking part in the favourite just isn’t really useful

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Eighth race, 3:10 p.m. One-mile race for 3-year-olds and up; to be run on the turf.

Decide: No. 11 Annapolis (10-1)

Give me the precocious 3-year-old with a flexible operating type that is likely to be ignored on this race.

Annapolis has been stable since breaking his maiden on the primary attempt at Saratoga in 2021. The Struggle Entrance colt has completed first or second in six turf stakes races since. 5 of these six had been graded stakes races, with wins within the Grade 2 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont, the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga and most just lately the Grade 1 Turf Mile Stakes (at 6-1 odds) over the oval at Keeneland, the positioning of Saturday’s race. In that final effort, Annapolis set new profession pace figures to the half-mile mark and for the ultimate race, indicating the younger horse is peaking on the proper time for coach Todd Pletcher.

One different horse I’d take into account is Shirl’s Speight. On paper this can be a powerful horse to again, however there may be one race that gives hope, the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes right here at Keeneland in April. That not solely offers this son of Speightstown (the Breeders’ Cup Dash winner in 2004) a win on the similar distance over the identical observe as Saturday’s occasion; it additionally reunites him with the jockey from that race, Luis Saez. These two managed to beat seven different horses at 9-1 odds that day without work a layoff, an in depth match for what is going to transpire on this race.

Different contenders: No. 7 Past Sensible, No. 9 Malavath and No. 13 Kinross

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Ninth race, 3:55 p.m. 1⅛-mile race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up.

Decide: No. 8 Society (6-1)

There are many high-caliber names to select from right here, together with five-time graded stakes winner Nest and seven-time graded stakes winner Malathaat, but I can’t assist backing Society, an overachieving Gun Runner filly that could possibly be free on the lead because the race’s solely true front-runner.

Society broke her maiden at Keeneland and paid handsomely at $57.60 on a $2 win guess, and she or he just lately gained the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx, paying $17.60 on a $2 win guess. She figures to be in the identical odds vary once more on Saturday and comes into the race with the very best pace determine of her profession, 109, which is effectively above par.

Different contenders: No. 6 Nest

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tenth race, 4:40 p.m. 1½-mile race for 3-year-olds and up; to be run on the turf.

Decide: No. 2 Struggle Like Goddess (9-2)

This race’s morning-line favourite, Insurgent’s Romance, has gained three straight 1½-mile turf races, two on the Group 1 degree (European races are “grouped” by class, whereas in america they’re “graded” by class). Nonetheless, don’t low cost Struggle Like Goddess, a winner of 5 straight 1½-mile turf races, simply not over consecutive races like Insurgent’s Romance. Two of these races had been right here at Keeneland, the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes in each 2021 and 2022.

Different contender: No. 7 Nations Delight and No. 11 Mishriff

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eleventh race, 5:40 p.m. 1¼-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.

Decide: No. 2 Life is Good (6-1)

It is a very aggressive area. The horse you need to keep away from is Flightline, the 3-5 morning line favourite. He’s certain to be on the lion’s share of tickets in each pool obtainable, miserable the payout of these tickets. I’d additionally toss out Kentucky Derby hero Wealthy Strike and 5-year-old Blissful Saver. Wealthy Strike has improved in every race since his beautiful Run for the Roses however he feels overmatched right here. Blissful Saver, in the meantime, has only one Grade 1 win over the previous three seasons, and that got here in October of 2020. Epicenter and Taiba have but to beat older horses, which is important. Just one 3-year-old, Genuine in 2020, has gained this race over the previous 5 years. The 2 earlier 3-year-old winners, Arrogate (2016) and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (2015) had been the favorites.

That leaves Sizzling Rod Charlie, Life is Good and Olympiad. I’d again any and all of these horses within the Decide 4, Decide 5 and Decide 6, with win wagers on any that supplied 3-1 odds or higher. If pressed for a single horse to work with, I’d select Life Is Good, who could possibly be the lone front-runner on this race.

Different contenders: No. 5 Sizzling Rod Charlie and No. 7 Olympiad

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