Plenty of races on Breeders Cup Saturday
Breeders Cup Saturday is a smorgasbord of top class racing, with nine main courses. All of these races are Grade Ones, and the minimum purse is $1 million for the first three and goes up to $6 million for the Classic. NBCSN will cover the first several before NBC takes over in the middle of the afternoon. As stated in Friday’s article, breederscup.com will also provide extensive camera coverage.
Although I will try to give a brief synopsis of each race, do not miss the BC Classic, which is scheduled to run at 5:13 p.m. There are 10 horses entered, including both the 2020 Kentucky Derby winner, Authentic, and 2020 Belmont Stakes winner, Tiz The Law, who also finished second in the Derby.
Maximum Security is a sentimental favorite. He crossed the finish line first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but then was subsequently disqualified for interference. He has won several G1s, and if he can rate early, is a legitimate threat. Look for Authentic and Maximum Security to vie for the early lead.
Improbable will likely be the slight favorite in the Classic, and has won three straight G1s this year, including his last start when he beat Maximum Security. Improbable finished fourth in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, after going undefeated as a 2-year-old in 2018. Tom’s D Etat is the “old man” at age 7, but is a real threat. He has had some minor issues that resulted in his only having 19 starts total, including winning four of his last five. He finished third in his last start after stumbling at the start, costing him all chance of victory.
Tacitus, By My Standards, Title Ready, Higher Power and Global Campaign make up the rest of the Classic field. By My Standards is 10-1 odds with the other four 20-1 or higher.
The F&M Sprint is the first BC race, and will be conducted at seven furlongs on the Keeneland dirt surface at just past noon. Gamine, who has been awesome at the shorter distances, is the heavy favorite. Although I expect her to win, keep in mind that the best of the best are entered.
Most of these horses are multiple Graded Stakes winners, many at the G1 level. Look for Gamine to go straight to the lead and try to run the rest of the nine-horse field off their feet. Serengeti Empress is the second choice, and several others are also at single digit odds.
The 5.5-furlong Turf Sprint is scheduled for 12:39 pm. It’s a 14-horse field with four AEs entered. With this crowded field and short distance, a long shot could easily win this race. Got Stormy is the favorite, but will have to get a good trip, as she will likely be trying to close like a freight train from near the back of the pack to run down her male counterparts. If this were seven furlongs, I would feel more confident in the favorite, but not at this shorter distance.
This is truly a wide open race, and worthy of betting on longer priced entries. Bombard, at 15-1 odds, may try to lead from start to finish, although with this much quality he is likely to get run down late.
The Dirt Mile goes post-ward at 1:18 p.m. and has 12 entries with one AE. The two horses that stick out to me in this race are Art Collector and Complexity. I would not have been surprised if Art Collector had gone in the Classic, as he is a very talented 3-year-old. Others that are less than double digit odds include Knicks Go, Mr. Freeze and Owendale.
The Filly and Mare Turf, at 1 3/16th of a mile — with 14 entries –is set to go at 1:57 p.m. This is a hard race to pick, even though the favorite, Rushing Fall, has won 11 of 14 starts, including six G1s. There are several quality horses in this race, including interesting longshots Civil Union and Terebellum. Shorter priced horses include Sistercharlie (ire), Mean Mary, and Cayenne Pepper.
At 2:36 we will be treated to the Sprint, run at six furlongs. Vekoma, who would have been the favorite, spiked a fever earlier this week and scratched, allowing AE, Lasting Legacy, to draw into the 14-horse field. This race is primed for a longshot winner, with Collusion Illusion, at 20-1 odds, worth a shot. CZ Rocket and/or Yaupon may inherit favoritism. Diamond Oops, Firenze Fire, and Frank’s Rockette could also be in the mix.
Whitmore, age 7, may also be a sentimental favorite. He has 14 first-place finishes and 11 second-place finishes. He also has three third-place finishes in 37 career starts.
At 3:15 is the Turf Mile, with several foreign invaders making up over half of the 14 horse and one AE entries. The Brazilian bred, Ivar, is the slight favorite on the morning line. Uni (Great Britain), Digital Age (Ireland), Raging Bull (France), and Kameko are all at single digit odds on the morning line. Safe Voyage (Ireland) and Sisken offer good value in this wide open race.
The Distaff, set to go at 3:54 p.m., is my second favorite race today. It is run on the dirt at 1 1/8th of a mile.
Swiss Skydiver — who was last seen beating Classic contender Authetic in the Preakness — is my choice. She takes on the likes of Monomoy Girl, who has returned to the top of her game while winning all three of her starts in 2020. She missed the entire 2019 racing season, after winning this same race in 2018.
With 12 wins and two second-place finishes in 14 lifetime starts, including six G1 wins, Monomoy Girl is the deserved favorite. There are 10 fillies and mares in this race, with Horologist, at 8-1 odds, being the third betting choice. Swiss Skydiver is a 3-year-old, and therefore considered a filly. Monomoy Girl, age 5, is considered a mare. All females are considered fillies until they reach age 5.
At just past 4:30 p.m. the BC Turf is run at 1 1/2 miles. Six of the 10 entries are European bred, including the favorite, Magical (Ireland). Seven of the 10 entries are listed at single-digit odds, making for another wide open race.
This is the longest race of the day, as the Classic is run at 1 1/4 miles.
And down the stretch they come!