Saturday, November 30, 2013

Horse to Watch: Cairo Prince

Cairo Prince is a two-year old colt by 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile out of a multiple stakes winning Holy Bull mare. In two starts, he is undefeated, having won his debut over six furlongs on the dirt at Belmont and following that up with a two and a half length victory in the G2 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct.

He is pointed to the G2 Remsen Stakes, which will be run at Aqueduct on November 30, 2013, in which he could potentially face talented A.P Indy two-year old Honor Code. The Remsen is a Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race.

LATEST UPDATE (11/30/2013): Cairo Prince finished an impressive second in the G2 Remsen Stakes, just a nose behind winner Honor Code. You can read my in-depth analysis of the Remsen Stakes here: http://cappingwithcandice.blogspot.com/2013/12/post-race-analysis-g2-remsen-stakes.html


Aqueduct 11/3/2013--Race 8:



More on Cairo Prince:
*Equibase profile: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9178753&registry=T
*Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/cairo+prince2

Friday, November 29, 2013

Stakes Picks for Friday, November 29, 2013

G2 Go For Wand Handicap--Aqueduct Race 9: #2 Centring (ML 5-2)
Just missed last time out in a 1 1/16 mile G3 at Belmont despite having to go five-wide. While she has yet to win this year, she has routinely faced top class competition including Princess of Sylmar, Royal Delta, and Authenticity. She fits right in with this group if given the right trip, should find the winner's circle.
*Others to consider: #1 My Pal Chrisy (ML 3-1), #5 Willet (ML 10-1)

G1 Clark Handicap--Churchill Downs Race 11: #1 Game on Dude (ML 8-5)
Although he didn't fire in the Breeders' Cup Classic, I expect Game on Dude, who had won six straight prior to failing in the Classic, to bounce back here. Much has been made of him being drawn in the first stall, but I don't believe that will be much of an issue since he should be going for the lead, regardless. If he gets that lead with relative ease, it's all over.
*Others to consider: #3 Bourbon Courage (ML 8-1), #7 Will Take Charge (ML 9-5)

Bonus Picks:

*Churchill Downs Race 7: #8 Amazulu (ML 12-1)

*Churchill Downs Race 8: #5 Moonlight Caper (ML 3-1)

*Churchill Downs Race 9:  #2 Chalice (ML 6-1)

*Churchill Downs Race 10: #9 Marchwood (ML 3-1)

*Churchill Downs Race 12: #2 Make Me Adorable (ML 20-1)

*Hollywood Park Race 7: #5 Bio Pro (ML 12-1)

*Golden Gate Fields Race 7: #2 Teaks North (ML 4-1)


Thursday, November 28, 2013

20 Two-Year-Olds to Watch

We're nearing year's end and that means one thing: we'll soon have a new three-year-old crop to watch, with the hopes that our favorite will become the next Frankel, Black Caviar, or Citation. Even if that's not likely to happen, we're still most certainly assured another great season of racing that will have more highs and lows than Millennium Force at Cedar Point.

With that being said, below, I've listed who I believe are the top 20 most promising two-year-old horses both in America and Europe. This list isn't exclusive to horses that would specifically be pointed to the Kentucky Derby or the Guineas, per se. It is instead meant to highlight horses that I believe can be successful three-year-olds, no matter their niche. 

1. Honor Code (A.P. Indy-Serena's Cat, by Storm Cat)
Lightly-raced colt from the final crop of A.P. Indy is about as blue-blooded as it gets. To add to his stellar pedigree are his two spectacularly run races. He broke his maiden in his first start, which was over the slop at Saratoga, after having spotted a solid field (two others went on to win next time out) over 20 lengths in what was easily one of the most memorable races of the year and he backed that up with a good second in the G1 Champagne. His connections opted to skip the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in favor of the Remsen.




2. Toormore (Arakan-Danetime Out, by Danetime)
The Richard Hannon-trained Toormore has an unblemished record in the three races he's ran. He ran gamely to defeat Outstrip, who of course went on to when the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, and he followed that up by dominating Group 1 winner Sudirman. He's the one to beat amongst next year's crop of top class Euros.




3. Miss France (Dansili-Miss Tahiti, by Tirol)
After a tough debut in which she finished ninth, Miss France hasn't looked back. This daughter of prolific sire Dansili broke her maiden at Chantilly over Indonesienne, who went on to win a Group 1 on the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe undercard, and she was hardly urged in her easy victory in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp stakes.

4. She's a Tiger (Tale of the Cat-Shandra Smiles, by Cahill Road)
The ever-consistent She's a Tiger hasn't finished worse than second in six races. A victory in the G1 Del Mar Debutante and a second place finish (after being disqualified from first) in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies highlight her career to this point. She's a half to multiple G1 winning sprinter Smiling Tiger.




5. Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile-Holy Bubbette, by Holy Bull)
He may only have two races to his name thus far, but the son of successful juvenile sire Pioneerof the Nile hasn't missed a beat. After easily winning his first time out, he impressively won the G2 Nashua, which was his first start against winners, despite starting from the outside post.

6. Australia (Galileo-Ouija Board, by Cape Cross)
Aidan O'Brien trains this royally bred son of two-time Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Ouija Board, who has only gotten better with time. Despite having to settle for second after breaking slowly in his debut, Australia has since won twice, the most recent of which was a demolition job of the highly regarded Free Eagle in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Trial Stakes at Leopardstown.



7. Shared Belief (Candy Ride-Common Hope, by Storm Cat)
In two victories in as many starts, Shared Belief's average margin of victory is just over seven lengths. Not even the well regarded Kobe's Back could come close when they met in the G3 Hollywood Prevue earlier this month.



8. No Nay Never (Scat Daddy-Cat's Eye Witness, by Elusive Quality)
This son of successful American sire Scat Daddy has won each of his three starts. After breaking his maiden in his debut at Keeneland, he became trainer Wesley Ward's latest Ascot winner when he took the Norfolk Stakes. It was his win in the Group 1 Prix Morny over both Vorda and Rizeena that cemented his status as one of the top two-year-olds in the world. He's expected to return to Europe next year and will most likely be pointed towards the St James Palace Stakes.




9. Havana (Dunkirk-Missy Turtle, by Kyle's Our Man)
Todd Pletcher's latest young star has defeated some of the best two-year olds in America, including the aforementioned Honor Code in the G1 Champagne. The son of leading American juvenile sire Dunkirk, Havana contested a fast pace set by Debt Ceiling in the Champagne, and yet he was still able to finish ahead of the fast-closing Honor Code. He backed up that effort with a solid second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.



10. Arethusa (A.P. Indy-Miss Coronado, by Coronado's Quest)
A horse we've previously profiled on the blog, Arethusa is by former Horse of the Year A.P. Indy out of a graded stakes winning Coronado's Quest mare. While she didn't have the best debut, Arethusa improved to hit the board behind the well-regarded Georgia and Be Proud in her next two efforts. Her most recent run, which was in the Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood Park, however, is what has catapulted her to being one of the top juvenile fillies in the world. After sitting at the back of the pack early, she showed an impressive turn of foot, which allowed her to take the lead at the top of the stretch and never look back.


11. Chriselliam (Iffraaj-Danielli, by Danehill)
The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf may have been her introduction to a worldwide audience, but she impressed in Europe before her trek to California, particularly when she defeated Rizeena and Ihtimal in the Group 1 Shadwell Fillies' Mile at Newmarket. She is expected to be pointed towards to the 1000 Guineas, for which she is currently the bookies' second choice.



12. New Year's Day (Street Cry-Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union)
Going into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, this son of Street Cry was known as "Baffert's other horse," but following an impressive stretch run that saw him overtake Havana late, he exited the race a superstar. While his debut was nothing to write home about, he quietly defeated the likes of Bond Holder and Candy Boy, who have both impressively broken their maidens since. It's unusual to say about a Breeders' Cup champion, but he may be one of the more underrated American horses of this crop.




13. Ria Antonia (Rockport Harbor-Beer Baroness, by Mr. Greeley)
At times, Ria Antonia has been brilliant, but she has struggled to maintain the consistency of the horses who are ranked above her. She emphatically broke her maiden in her second attempt, which was over the All Weather at Woodbine, but she struggled to replicate that effort in her next two races. She made good when it counted, however, when she was named the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies after She's a Tiger was placed second following a stewards inquiry.

14. Outstrip (Exceed and Excel-Asi Siempre, by El Prado)
Godolphin's newest star Outstrip is arguably the most battle-tested horse of this group. He nearly defeated Toormore in the Veuve Clicquot before winning a Group 2 at Doncaster. He then failed to threaten War Command in the Group 1 Dewhurst, but perhaps that can be attributed to him not handling the soft ground. He emphatically won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, but he's just a notch below his top class peers at this point.




15. War Command (War Front-Wandering Star, by Red Ransom)
A winner of four out of his five races, War Command's only loss was a narrow defeat at the hands of Sudirman in a six furlong contest at Curragh. His most recent victory in the Group 1 Dewhurst at Newmarket was more of a workmanlike effort than that of a superstar, but he got the job done.




16. Recepta (Speightstown-Honor Bestowed, by Honor Grades)
Another horse that has previously been profiled on here, Recepta won her debut before struggling in the G1 Frizette. She quickly bounced back, however, to win the Chelsea Flower Stakes on the turf at Belmont despite a very wide trip.

17. Testa Rossi (Dr Fong-Peggy Lane, by Dancing Spree)
A winner of four straight this season, including the G3 Miss Grillo, there's no doubt that this filly knows how to win. She may have finished second behind Chriselliam in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, but her run should not be disregarded, particularly since she checked up entering the stretch, but was still able to gather herself and rally to take runner-up honors.



18. Tap It Rich (Tapit-Gold Canyon, by Mr. Prospector)
The lightly-raced son of Tapit only has two runs to his name. His debut was as impressive as they come, as he dominated the field over a mile on the Santa Anita dirt despite breaking slowly. It was his run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile that made me believe, however. His fifth place finish despite a wide trip that gave him no chance at the victory certainly caught my eye.

19. Wired Bryan (Stormy Atlantic-Red Melody, by Runaway Groom)
When Wired Bryan wins, he wins big. This son of Stormy Atlantic already has four wins to his name, including the G2 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga and has won his last two outings in dominant fashion. The flashy grey also owns some of the fastest speed figures of the group.



20. Bobby's Kitten (Kitten's Joy-Celestial Woods, by Forestry)
Few juvenile races this year were more impressive than that of Bobby's Kitten in the G3 Pilgrim, in which he easily demolished the field by over six lengths. He entered the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf as the post time favorite off of that result, but he set lighting quick fractions early in that race, which cost him the lead. His ability to hold onto third place, regardless, showed that he's not your average runner. The son of leading American sire Kitten's Joy was named after the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel.



On the Rise:
*Indonesienne (Muhtathir-Mydarshaan, by Daarshaan)
Winner of two out of three races, including Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp (only loss 1 1/4 lengths behind Miss France)

*Noble Moon (Malibu Moon-Mambo Bell, by Kingmambo)
Wore down rivals to win debut at Belmont before finishing third behind Cairo Prince in the G2 Nashua

*Pablo Del Monte (Giant's Causeway-One Hot With, by Bring the Heat)
Won both races, both of which were over the All-Weather at Keeneland, but has yet to run in a stakes race.

*Indian Maharaja (Galileo-Again, by Danehill Dancer)
Easily won both races in which he's ran, but he's another who's yet to be tested in a graded stakes.

*Good Old Boy Lukey (Selkirk-Pivotting, by Pivotal)
Three for three including his most recent win in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket in July










Stakes Picks for Thursday, November 28, 2013

Churchill Downs Race 11: #5 Magic Hour (ML 12-1)
Daughter of Awesome Again finished in the top two in four straight before struggling after a tough trip in her last. Defeated fellow competitor Don't Tell Sophia in her last victory and I expect her to appreciate the stretchout.
*Others to consider: #1 Flashy American (ML 3-1)

Aqueduct Race 8: #3 Caixa Eletronica (ML 7-2)
He may not be quite at the level he once was, but the grizzly veteran and defending champion of this race enters off a win in the Duck Dance Stakes at Belmont. He'll be coming late.
*Others to consider: #5 Palace (ML 5-1), #2 Saturday's Charm (ML 10-1)

Hollywood Park Race 4: #Majestic Stride (ML 2-1)
After two wins in as many races this his comeback season, the four-year-old son of Trippi most recently finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. He's simple in a different class than the rest here.
*Others to consider: None

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Churchill Down Picks for Saturday, November 23, 2013 & Bonus Plays

Race 1: #2 Hot French Fries (ML 3-1)
Three-year old Unusual Heat filly who has four wins this season, including her most recent race, which was over the course and distance of today's contest. She'll need to improve in order to hang at this level, but all signs point to her being on the right track.
*Others to consider: #4 Majestic Shoes (ML 6-1)

Race 2: #5 Channel Marker (ML 3-1)
Channel Marker, a four-year old gelding by Purim out of Extended Applause, is a horse that I've been following ever since he lost by a neck on the turf at Saratoga three back. He has since won twice at five and a half furlongs on the turf. He does have a win over a small field in an off the turf race at Fair Grounds earlier this season.
*Others to consider: None

Race 3: #8 Coronate (ML 8-1)
In his debut over six and a half furlongs on the dirt at Churchill Downs, this three-year old son of 2007 Breeder's Cup Dirt Mile winner Corinthian, finished a good closing second. He figures to improve with a race under his belt.
*Others to consider: #1 Alert and Perky (ML 6-1)

Race 4: #1 Arrived Home (ML 20-1)
It's safe to say that I was impressed with this son of Orientate's last outing, which was over seven furlongs on the All Weather at Keeneland. After falling from near the lead to the back of the field early and going extremely wide around the turn, he displayed a strong late kick to steal show honors at the wire. He'll be switching back to the dirt, on which he has won in the past.
*Others to consider: #5 Gallant Pleasure (ML 3-1), #9 Turbalo (ML 10-1)

Race 5: #7 Zimbabwe Lady (ML 4-1)
Daughter of 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil finished a good closing second in her most recent race after running in the back of the pack early and having to go four wide into the stretch in what was her second career start and first on the dirt.
*Others to consider: #4 Dash to the Flash (ML 3-1), #10 Lady Mickelson (ML 6-1)

Race 6: #1 Aripeka (ML 20-1)
In what will be an off the turf affair, I like Aripeka, who finished a closing third in another race that was taken off the turf over one mile at Churchill Downs in his last outing. It's splitting hairs between him and Bold Challenger, but Aripeka offers the better value of the two.
*Others to consider: #11 Bold Challenger (ML 6-1), #4 Majestic Bay (ML 6-1)

Race 7: #7 Chalybeate Springs (ML 8-1)
If you plan on playing the Pick 5 or the late Pick 4, here's your single. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Chalybeate Springs is a four-year old son of the late Dynaformer and is one of the more consistent of this bunch. He finished second and third in his two most recent races, both of which were at the distance being contested today. He'll be coming off a two month layoff, but he sports a solid work pattern coming in to this one.
*Others to consider: None

Race 8: #4 Nantucketeer (ML 4-1)
Wesley Ward-trained son of Street Sense out of a winning Danzig mare will make his debut in this six furlong contest on the dirt. He enters this off of a series of quick works and should be primed to fire first time out.
*Others to consider: #1 Unbridledcharacter (ML 10-1), #6 Claymaker (ML 8-1)

Race 9: #4 Keep Up (ML 7-2)
Defending champion of this race enters off a win at a mile and an eighth over the turf at Keeneland. He's been working sharply and should get a favorable pace setup in this one. He'll be flying late.
*Others to consider: #9 Daddy Nose Best (ML 6-1), #7 Coalport (ML 5-1)

Race 10: #4 Distorted Music (ML 5-1)
This lightly raced three-year old daughter of Distorted Humor finished third in her only two starts, albeit on the All Weather surfaces of Keeneland and Arlington Park. Just the slightest of improvements could see her being the first to finish.
*Others to consider: #9 Infliction (ML 10-1)

BONUS PLAYS:

Delta Downs Race 6: #6 Concave (ML 7-2)
This Doug O'Neill-trained daughter of Colonel John won the G2 Sorrento over the well-regarded She's a Tiger at Del Mar over the summer and followed that up with a solid third place result in her next outing: the G1 Del Mar Debutante. She was freshened before the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies and by all accounts looked fantastic during her works, but she was unfortunately taken up in order to avoid Secret Compass, who had broken down near her. At her best, she towers over this field.
*Others to consider: None

Delta Downs Race 7: #7 Rankhasprivileges (ML 15-1)
In his only start, this son of Einstein was much the best. I think the pace setup will work in his favor and he'll get Lasix for the first time.
*Others to consider: #2 Coastline (ML 5-2)

TRACKER HORSES:

The following horses from my tracker are running on November 23, 2013:

Churchill Downs Race 2: #5 Channel Marker (ML 3-1)

Delta Downs Race 4: #5 Heitai (ML 2-1)

Hollywood Park Race 8: #3 Green Mask (ML 3-1)




Friday, November 22, 2013

Japan Cup Picks and Analysis

The G1 Japan Cup takes place on Sunday, November 24, 2013 and is run over a mile and half on the turf at Tokyo Racecourse. Below, are my top three choices for the prestigious race:

Gentildonna:
As if Japan's reigning Horse of the Year and this race's defending champion needed any help, she'll get top jockey Ryan Moore, who recently had the winning mounts in both the Breeders' Cup Turf and Filly & Mare Turf, on board in hopes of a repeat performance. Although it's clear that she hasn't repeated the form of her remarkable three-year old season this year, her performances are much better than they appear on paper. In three races this year, she has a strong second place finish behind 2011 Breeders' Cup Turf winner St. Nicholas Abbey in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan, a third place finish after coming off a nearly three month layoff in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin, and a runner-up finish in her most recent start, which was in the G1 Tenno Sho at Tokyo Racecourse. 

In the Tenno Sho, Gentildonna was overwhelmed by the late closing Just a Way after running close to a healthy pace up front. That start was her first off of a four month layoff and, in fact, it's worth noting that all three of her starts this season have come off of layoffs. She figures to improve in the Japan Cup, however, which will be her second start off of her most recent break. 

Gold Ship:
Gentildonna's biggest competition should come from her countryman Gold Ship, who defeated her earlier this year in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen. In four starts this season, the four-year old son of Stay Gold has alternated between victories and fifth place finishes. His most recent fifth place finish over a mile and a half in the G2 Kyoto Daishoten is a bit troubling, but it did come after a nearly four month layoff. He figures to improve here and if he can return to the form that won him last year's Arima Kinen, he'll be tough to beat. 

Simenon:
This year's crop of European challengers isn't the strongest, but I think Simenon provides the best chance of that group. The now six-year old gelding hasn't won this season, but his form coming in is still very nice. He has never finished outside the top four all year and he notched two runner-up finishes behind the likes of Estimate and the always consistent Ahzeemah in the G1 Ascot Gold Cup and G2 Lonsdale Cup, respectively.  

Simenon finished an impressive fourth in the G1 Melboune Cup earlier this month, so he'll be cutting back to a mile and a half here. The ground should be firm, which is a positive for him, and Richard Hughes retains the mount after their successful pairing at Flemington. 



Churchill Down Picks for Friday, November 22, 2013

Race 1: #8 Laope (ML 7-2)
Five-year old gelding who is starting for the first time for a new barn after being claimed following an easy win over six furlongs on the dirt at Churchill Downs. He has two wins in his last four races.
*Others to consider: #3 Biker Boy (ML 2-1), #2 Timely Pursuit (ML 10-1)

Race 2: #2 Trick My Ride (ML 8-1)
Daughter of Kela finished a well-beaten second in her debut, but her fifth place finish over six and a half furlongs on the dirt at Churchill Downs was better than it appears on paper, as she broke slowly and closed well down the stretch.
*Others to consider: None

Race 3: #5 Super Star Darrell (ML 8-1)
Finished second and first in his last two races, both of which were at today's distance, albeit at Indiana Downs. In his most recent start, he engaged in a duel down the stretch, but was able to wear down his closest competitor.
*Others to consider: #7 Swaylon Braylon (ML 4-1)

Race 4: #1/1A Lonesome Street/Beer Garden (ML 5-2)
In his last outing, Lonesome Street displayed an good late kick en route to a fifth place finish at the same distance as today's contest. Four-year old Tapit colt Beer Garden finished second in his most recent race. He won twice this season and finished on the board in seven of his eleven starts this year.
*Others to consider: #8 Motor City (ML 8-1)

Race 5: #4 Transylvania Flash (ML 6-1)
Three-year old More Than Ready gelding finished fourth in his last three outings, two of which were on the dirt at Churchill Downs. He's ran some of his best races at Churchill.
*Others to consider: #6 Good Time Coming (ML 10-1)

Race 6: #1 Relentless Spirit (ML 10-1)
Kenneally-trained firster by Indian Charlie is a half sibling to multiple graded stakes winner Heart Ashley. He's notched good works entering into this contest.
*Others to consider: #9 Franklin (ML 8-5), #4 Late Night Lu (ML 8-1)

Race 7: #10 Clovelly (ML 4-1)
In his only start, he finished a well-beaten second behind the highly regarded Green Mask. The son of Pleasantly Perfect out of a stakes winning Cozzene mare will be switching surfaces from the All-Weather to dirt and figures to improve with a start under his belt.
*Others to consider: #2 Indian Pegasus (ML 8-1)

Race 8: #10 Cookie (ML 7-2)
Three-year old daughter of Quest is a neck away from having won her last three starts. She has only finished outside of the top four once in her career.
*Others to consider: #1 Temptress (ML 12-1), #3 Anusara (ML 3-1)

Race 9: #9 Ford's On Fire (ML 8-1)
Son of Dixie Union out of a graded stakes placed Pulpit mare finished third in his only start at a sprint distance on the dirt, he'll switch bad to that here and figures to improve in doing so.
*Others to consider: #1 Kitchen Police (ML 7-2), #5 Go Go Sugar (ML 8-1)


BONUS TRACKER HORSE:
The following horse from my tracker is running on Friday, November 22, 2013:
Hollywood Park Race 8: #7 Tribal Rain (3yo filly by Tribal Rule)--ML 5-1

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Churchill Down Picks for Thursday, November 21, 2013

Race 1: #7 Legomyborrego (ML 5-2)
This daughter of multiple G1 winner Borrego hasn't finished outside of the top three since her debut. Her most recent was a win at Churchill Downs and she's neck away from having won her last two.
*Others to consider: #6 Sweet Cat O Line (ML 10-1), #1/1A Lady Caroline/Stakeholder (ML 7-2)

Race 2: #8 Shoot the Drone (ML 4-1)
Shoot the Drone ran better than it appears on paper after taking a wide trip around the track. Excuse her last, which was run on a the slop.
*Others to consider: #7 Maybe Lily (ML 4-1)

Race 3: #5 Mygalsal (ML 7-2)
Son of multiple-G1 winner Street Boss has found life since switching to the turf, having notched one win and three runner-up finishes on the surface.
*Others to consider: #3 Huntstown (ML 30-1)

Race 4: #8 Bullzaboy (ML 5-1)
He finished a good second to Canuletmedowneasy after having gone five-wide. He has never finished worse than third in as many appearances at Churchill Downs. This will be his first start off of the claim. I think it's splitting hairs between him and Canuletmedowneasy, but this five-year old son of Holy Bull should offer the better value of the two.
*Others to consider: #7 Canuletmedowneasy (ML 9-5), #5 Mardi Gras Party (ML 20-1)

Race 5: #7 Bail Bondsman (ML 8-1)
In what figures to be a pretty competitive contest, I prefer Bail Bondsman, who finished third in his most recent start after being passed late. He won at a mile two-back and should appreciate the slight cutback in distance off his last outing.
*Others to consider: #2 Cold Feet (ML 12-1), #3 Above the Curve (ML 8-1)

Race 6: #4 Bow to No One (ML 15-1)
Three-year old filly who finished second or third in six straight races prior to struggling after a tough start in her most recent outing. She'll be switching back to the turf.
*Others to consider: #9 Wanta Go (ML 9-2), #6 Lady Susan (ML 5-1)

Race 7: #6 Valdina Saint (ML 2-1)
This lightly raced son of Tiz Wonderful easily won his most recent start after finishing a good second to Squadron A two-back. He figures to improve in what will be his second start off of a two-month layoff.
*Others to consider: #8 Squadron A (ML 3-1), #5 Positively (ML 5-2)

Race 8: #8 Shesakitty (ML 10-1)
Daughter of Tapit is switching back to dirt, on which she's shown an affinity for in the past and is stretching out to one mile, which should suit her well. She'll be coming late.
*Others to consider: #9 Sanaaya (ML 5-2)

Race 9: #2 I'll Call (ML 8-5)
This son of top class turf sire Smart Strike has only finished outside of the top three once in his career. He enters this contest off of two close runner-up finishes and the pace setup should flatter his running style.
*Others to consider: None

Race 10: #10 Unbridled Destiny (ML 4-1)
This three-year old filly was disqualified out of a close second place finish in her last outing against similar. She's working well and Corey Lanerie retains the mount.
*Others to consider: #5 Pure Delight (ML 4-1)

Horse to Watch: Quick as a Bunny

Quick as a Bunny is by Indy Wind, the multiple stakes winning son of A.P. Indy, out of a winning Noactor mare. The Ian Wilkes-trained two-year old filly debuted on the dirt at Churchill Downs, where Julien Leparoux rode her in the back of the pack early, before she displayed an impressive kick to get to the front of the pack.

She ultimately finished one length ahead of favorite Ben's Juliette after completing the five and a half furlong contest in 1:05.22.

More on Quick as a Bunny: 
*Watch Quick as a Bunny here: http://www.churchilldowns.com/racing-wagering/toteboard/live/2
*Equibase profile: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9120622&registry=T
*Pedigree: http://www.equineline.com/Free-5X-Pedigree.cfm page_state=ORDER_AND_CONFIRM&reference_number=9120622##

Horse to Watch: Arethusa

Arethusa is a two-year old filly from the final crop of A.P. Indy out of a graded stakes winning Coronado's Quest mare. After a tough debut at Del Mar, Arethusa finished third and second respectively behind two highly-regarded fillies: Georgia and Be Proud.

In the Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood Park, however, she turned the tables on both of those fillies when she romped to an eight and one quarter lengths victory over Be Proud, who was nine lengths clear of the rest of the field, including the heavy favorite: Georgia.

Arethusa finished the one and one sixteenth miles contest in 1:45.41.


Hollywood Park 11/16/2013--Race 3:




More on Arethusa:
*Equibase profile: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9101095&registry=T
*Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/arethusa21

Horse to Watch: Green Mask

Green Mask is a two-year old Mizzen Mast colt out of a Forestry mare. In his only start, he romped to an easy five and a quarter lengths victory in the six furlong race, which was run on the All-Weather track at Keeneland in 1:09.92.

The Wesley Ward-trained Green Mask is entered in the one and one sixteenth mile Real Quiet Stakes, which will be run at Hollywood Park on 11/23/2013.


Keeneland 10/24/2013--Race 7:



More on Green Mask:
*Equibase profile: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9126082&registry=T
*Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/green+mask2

Horse to Watch: Wise Minister

Wise Minister is a two-year old colt by 2007 Preakness Stakes winner and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of a winning Touch Gold mare. He has ran three times and after finishing an impressive closing third in his debut at Parx, he was unable to back up that performance in his second outing, which was over a sloppy track at Laurel Park.

Just over one month later, however, Wise Minister returned to the track in a one mile Maiden Special Weight over the dirt at Laurel Park, where he was patiently ridden by Julian Pimentel. He showed an impressive burst of speed after being swung out six wide down the stretch.


Laurel Park 11/13/2013--Race 4:



For more on Wise Minister:
*Equibase Profile: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9108355&registry=T
*Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/wise+minister

Horse to Watch: San Onofre

San Onofre is a lightly raced three-year old colt by multiple graded stakes winner Surf Cat out of a Native Regent mare. After finishing second to Echo Eddie Stakes winner Omega Star in December 2012, he was away from the track for nearly eleven months before returning in a six furlong race on the All Weather Track at Hollywood Park.

In only his second start, San Onofre, who was ridden by Mike Smith, initially rated off of the front running High on Final before seizing the lead and romping to a ten and a half lengths victory in 1:09.35.

For more on San Onofre:
*Watch his victory at Hollywood Park here (11/15/2013, Race 1): http://betfairhollywoodpark.com/live-streaming-video
*Equibase profile: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=8876766&registry=T
*Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/san+onofre


Horse to Watch: Divine View

Divine View is a two-year old colt by multiple graded stakes winner Divine Park out of a Skip Away mare.
Earlier this month, the J. Larry Jones trainee debuted in a six and one half furlong contest at Churchill Downs, where he impressively weaved through the field before swinging four-wide en route to a two and three quarter length victory in 1:18.76.

More on Divine View:
*Watch his debut race here: http://www.churchilldowns.com/racing-wagering/toteboard/2013-11-16/8-0
*Equibase profile: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9145121&registry=T
*Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/divine+view

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Horse to Watch: Recepta

Recepta is a two-year old Speightstown filly out of a Honor Grades mare. After winning her debut on the dirt at Saratoga, she struggled in the G1 Frizette before bouncing back to win the Chelsea Flower Stakes over one mile on the turf at Belmont just three weeks later.

After running wide for nearly the entire trip, she passed on the outside of a bunched up group of leaders coming down the stretch to win by three and one quarter lengths.

More on Recepta:
*Watch Recepta's Chelsea Flower Stakes win here (10/27/2013, Race 6): http://www.nyra.com/belmont/videos/race-replay/BED/2013/20131027/6/pan/
*Equibase profile: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9071388&registry=T
*Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/recepta2

Friday, November 15, 2013

Churchill Downs Picks for Saturday, November 16, 2013

Race 1: #6 Another Trick (ML 5-1)
Another Trick has a solid record at Churchill Downs (three wins, one second, one third in eight starts) and she won over the same course and distance two-back. She offers a bit of value in what appears to be a very competitive race.
*Others to consider: #3 Maybelle Slew (ML 5-2)

Race 2: #2 Kaminari (ML 6-1)
Draw a line through her last two races, one of which was over a sloppy track and the other of which was on the turf. Her last try on the dirt resulted in a win and a slightly longer trip along with the surface switch, addition of blinkers, and drop in class may well be the recipe for success.
*Others to consider: #1 Jardenia (ML 5-2)

Race 3: #10 Laser Cat (ML 5-1)
Three-year old daughter of Lion Heart won only start, which was a five furlong contest at Tampa Bay Downs back in March. In that contest, she won easily despite a troubled start and could do the same here if she repeats that form.
*Others to consider: #4 Ms Hoochie Coochie (ML 6-1), #6 Bye Bye Bunting (ML 20-1)

Race 4: #9 Perfect Prince (ML 15-1)
This three-year old son of 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic champion Pleasantly Perfect ran a respectable third in his only showing at Churchill Downs (which was on a sloppy track). He has ran solidly on fast dirt in the past and although distance is a bit of a concern, I'm willing to give him a chance at a price.
*Others to consider: #1 Dr Ireland (ML 20-1)

Race 5: #2 Candiebelle (ML 10-1)
In her only start, this daughter of Leroidesdesanimaux finished a closing fifth over the same course and trip She drops down in class here and figures to improve with a race under her belt.
*Others to consider: #4 Peggy's a Ten (ML 5-1), #8 Grand Dame (ML 5-1)

Race 6: #3 Bro Rodrigeaux (ML 4-1)
Perhaps this guy will finally get a look at a dry dirt track. After finishing fourth in the well-known debut race of Honor Code over the slop at Saratoga, he finished third on the all-weather at Keeneland. He's ran well in both tries, nonetheless and a bullet work coming in suggests that he may be sitting on a big race.
*Others to consider: #9 Quick Indian (ML 6-1), #5 Ship to Shore (ML 15-1)

Race 7: #11 O'Prado Ole (ML 15-1)
This son of English Channel comes into the race with some of the best form of the bunch. After a seventh place debut, he twice finished third before winning his two most recent races, both of which were at the 1 1/16 mile distance of today's contest. On paper, there appears to be a bit of speed in this race, and if that proves true, the pace could set up perfectly for his running style.
*Others to consider: #6 Winning Cause (ML 4-1), #12 Frac Daddy (ML 6-1)

Race 8: #11 Gambler's Ghost (ML 5-1)
First-time starting son of Ghostzapper sports solid works entering this race. Lanerie gets the mount.
*Others to consider: #3 I'mbetterthangood (ML 3-1)

Race 9: #3 Zero Game (ML 30-1)
Daughter of two-time Breeder's Cup Turf winner High Chaparral out of a Danzig mare romped in only showing in the United States, which was at Laurel Park last month. She's taking a class hike here, but she should appreciate the 1 1/16 mile distance and I expect her to improve in her second start on this side of the pond.
*Others to consider: #2 Quality Kitten (ML 15-1)

Race 10: #10 Ouiser (ML 9-5)
Ouiser has finished in the top three in four of her last five starts and she was leading before being caught late in her most recent outing. She fired a bullet work last week and adds blinkers for this contest.
*Others to consider: #4 Blissful Gold (ML 5-1)

BONUS TRACKER HORSES: 
The following horse from my tracker is running on Saturday, November 16, 2013:
Hollywood Park Race 3: #2 Georgia (2yo filly by Tiz Wonderful)--ML 7-5

The following horse from my tracker is running on Sunday, November 17, 2013:
Aqueduct Race 6: #4 Knockher Off (3yo gelding by Unbridled's Song)--ML 8-1




Churchill Downs Picks for Friday, November 15, 2013

Race 1: #1/1A On the Same Page/Gibes (ML 2-1)
Of the two horses in the coupled entry, I much prefer Gibes who has finished second in two straight versus similar coming into this contest. It doesn't hurt that you get a very nice runner in On the Same Page to go along with her.
*Others to consider: None

Race 2: #1 Ginny's Grey (ML 2-1)
Daughter of Political Force out of a graded stakes winning Deputy Minister mare won impressively three back after breaking slowly from the gate and having to go very wide. She has since had two-straight third place finishes, the most recent of which was better than it looks on paper.
*Others to consider: #4 Finishing Touch (ML 10-1)

Race 3: #8 Cheer's For Wicked (ML 3-1)
He looks to be coming into form, as he won by a head two-back and finished second by the same margin last time out. Leparoux gets the mount.
*Others to consider: None

Race 4: #6 Shobiz Star (ML 7-2)
He has been close in his two career starts, including a second place finish on the dirt at Churchill Downs in September. More impressively, he still salvaged a respectable third, while being sent off as the favorite, in his most recent start after bumping another with another horse at the start and having a wide trip.
*Others to consider: #4 Jet Cat (ML 10-1), #3 Dubaele (ML 3-1)

Race 5: #10 Cello (ML 5-1)
In her most recent start, this daughter of English Channel out of a winning A.P. Indy mare finished second on the turf at Keeneland. The outside post shouldn't hurt the Lukas trainee, who could very well lead the field from gate-to-wire.
*Others to consider: #9 Falutin (ML 5-1), #5 Gina's Kitten (ML 3-1)

Race 6: #7 Son Tsar (ML 5-1)
Robby Albarado gets the mount on this son of 2005 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Silver Train, who won his most recent start. He has finished in the money in two of his three starts at Churchill Downs and the slight cutback in distance should play to his strengths.
*Others to consider: #2 Capital Goods (ML 9-5), #6 Tahquamenon (ML 12-1)

Race 7: #7 Skilltopaythebills (ML 6-1)
He's faced tougher this year and has finished in the money in three of his seven starts this season. He figures to improve with the slight cutback in distance and the surface switch from turf to dirt.
*Others to consider: #8 Face of Glory (20-1), #3 Little Jimmy (4-1)

Race 8: #2 Shee's Swift (ML 30-1)
She has solid form coming into this race having only finished outside of the top four once this year. That sixth place finish, which came in her most recent race, wasn't nearly as poor of a showing as it initially appears. After breaking slowly, she had to work her way through a 12 horse field and was able to rally up to sixth place down the stretch. I'm willing to give her a second chance at a price.
*Others to consider: #8 Slew Water Slew (ML 5-1), #1 Missing Sefa (ML 7-2)

Race 9: #5 Strong Response (ML 12-1)
He has finished top four in all of his starts this year, including a second place finish at Presque Isle Downs in his most recent start in June. He should be fresh off of the layoff and has recorded solid works recently.
*Others to consider: #2 Sayler's Creek (ML 5-2)

Race 10: #9 Makin Mo Love (ML 7-2)
Makin Mo Love, the daughter of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, sports some of the most consistent form of the group, having finished in the top four in the five races she's ran since her debut at Churchill Downs. Although her most recent second place finish was on the all-weather track at Keeneland, she has ran respectably on the dirt in the past.
*Others to consider: #5 Flashy Bertie (ML 4-1), #10 Bluegrass Ziggy (ML 20-1)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Churchill Downs Picks for Thursday, November 14, 2013

Race 1: #4 I Knot (ML 10-1)
In ten starts this year, I Knot has notched five wins and two runner-up finishes and her most recent wins have been done with style. This may be a bit of a stretch, but she's been running far too well lately to not take her at a price.
*Others to consider: #2 Sunday Mass (ML 5-1), #3 Be Brave (ML 3-1)

Race 2: #6 Muhaaseb (ML 3-1)
This six-year old son of 2004 Breeder's Cup Classic champion Ghostzapper has some of the best recent form of the group. After coming close two back, he had a workmanlike victory the next time he hit the track. A duplicate of that effort should be good enough here.
*Others to consider: #3 It's All About Joy (ML 15-1), #8 Hometown Legend (ML 7-2)

Race 3: #4 Awesome Bet (ML 7-2)
The Steve Asmussen-trained Awesome Bet has only finished out of the money twice in seven starts this season and he won his most recent outing at Indiana Downs. He takes a class drop here and looks like the one to beat.
*Others to consider: #1 Homeboykris (ML 3-1)

Race 4: Never Tell Lynda (ML 4-1)
This daughter of Dehere has only two starts this season, in which she finished second and fourth respectively. She didn't have the best of trips in either race and yet was still closing at the end of both races. She has experience at Churchill and will be coming late.
*Others to consider: #1 Tooprettyforwords (ML 8-1), #4 Kerisma (ML 4-1)

Race 5: #1 Fast Bobbi J (ML 3-1)
I couldn't get past Fast Bobbi J, who has finished in the top three in her last three outings and will run in her first start off the claim today. In her most recent outing, which was at today's course and distance, she had to settle for third after going three-wide, but she was closing in on the leaders late in the race.
*Others to consider: None

Race 6: #2 Wall Street Kitten (ML 8-1)
Two-year old son of Kitten's Joy owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey starting for the first time on the turf. We've seen this play time and time again from these connections this year, who have dominated American turf races, and I don't expect this one to go any differently. Solid recent works further cement my confidence in him being ready.
*Others to consider: #10 Tropic of Artie (ML 3-1), #5 Signature Seven (ML 10-1)

Race 7: #11 Contempt of Court (ML 8-1)
The three-year old son of Lawyer Ron won two straight before a poor showing at Keeneland last month. He should relish the cutback in distance and the surface switch back to dirt, however, in what appears to be a fairly wide open contest.
*Others to consider: #4 Hondo Wando (ML 15-1), #5 Lost Decade (ML 3-1), #7 Kid Twist (ML 8-1)

Race 8: #10 Thingamajigger (ML 7-2)
Thingamajigger, a three-year old son of Holy Bull, finished second in his two most recent outings, both of which were at Churchill Downs. After being the runner-up at both seven furlongs and 1 1/16 miles, perhaps one mile will prove to be his ideal distance.
*Others to consider: #3 Egyptian Warrior (ML 3-1)

Race 9: #8 Liberated (ML 8-1)
The son of two-time horse of the year Curlin, Liberated has been good, but just not quite good enough all year long. He's finished third in his two most recent starts, but solid recent works perhaps suggest that he's ready to move forward.
*Others to consider: #10 Bustle (ML 5-2)

Race 10: #11 Canyouletmedowneasy (ML 8-5)
Earlier this season, Canyouletmedowneasy finished fourth in the G3 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland, which was won by Breeder's Cup Turf Sprint participant Havelock. He takes a big class drop here and should have no trouble handeling this group.
*Others to consider: #9 Bullzaboy (ML 5-2), #10 B L's Tsunami (ML 12-1)



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Churchill Downs Picks for Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Race 1: #1 Emma Lushka (ML 8-1)
This looks to be a competitive, albeit fairly weak race. That being said, I've sided with Emma Lushka, who hasn't shown much in her only two starts, but has tons of potential from a breeding standpoint. This daughter of 2008 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerofthenile, one of America's top freshman sires, has the breeding and connections of a winner. She's shown speed at times and will be tough if she can put a full race together.

Race 2: #5 Sweetonrich (ML 5-2)
I found it hard to look past Sweetonrich, who looks to be coming into her own after finishing third and second in her two most recent races, both of which were at Churchill Downs. She looks well-suited against these and a solid run could see her taking home the win.

Race 3: #6 Bellarmine (ML 5-1)
Earlier this year, Bellarmine was running against some of the top three year olds in the country and he even notched a win over G3 Matt Winn Stakes winner Code West. After a failed attempt at running on turf and a poor showing over a sloppy track at Parx, he'll return to the dirt and drop down in class here. If he can rebound back to form, he'll be tough to beat.

Race 4: #4 An Shanachie (ML 12-1)
This five year old son of Indian Charlie appears to have turned a corner this year, as he's won two of his three starts this season. In fact, his only race of the year that did not result in a victory was two back when he finished fourth after starting from the innermost post on Santa Anita's downhill turf course. He set quick fractions early on in that 6 1/2 furlong contest and was nosed out of third. He's recorded solid works as of late and the course and distance should suit him well.

Race 5: #5 Lil Napoleon (ML 15-1)
Despite tough starts in both of his first two races, Lil Napoleon showed some decent closing speed after being shuffled to the back of the field. This distance should suit him well and if he can avoid another poor break, he should challenge late.

Race 6: #8 All American Girl (ML 12-1)
After a series of solid works, All American Girl looks more than ready to make her debut. The daughter of prolific sire Tapit, All American Girl is out of a winning Stormy Atlantic mare.

Race 7: #5 Marchwood (ML 5-2)
Since coming to America, Marchwood has finished in the money in seven of his ten starts, including his most recent, which was a win at Indiana Downs after going four-wide. He'll be flying late.

Race 8: #7 Cougar Ridge (ML 4-1)
There hasn't been much to write home about Cougar Ridge since he arrived in America a few months ago, but even though his two starts on this side of the pond haven't been flashy, they have been solid. He was forced to go extremely wide in both of those races and still ended up with respectable finishes. Perhaps his third start in America and a better trip could allow him to show his true potential.

Race 9: #8 Cold Facts (ML 5-1)
Cold Facts had been the epitome of consistency when finishing second in three of his first four starts, before a poor showing in his most recent start. He has since been freshened and a bullet five furlong work may signal that he's ready to come back. At his best, he towers above this field.

Race 10: #3 Aspergia (ML 10-1)
The three year old daughter of Langfuhr finished fourth in her most recent start, which was her first off of a nearly four month layoff. That being said, she was flying late in the race, but after starting poorly, she was left with too much work to do. She figures to improve in her second start since the break in what appears to be a wide open race.









Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2013 Breeders Cup Picks


Friday Breeders' Cup Picks:

R6 Marathon (1 ¾ mile, dirt course): Perhaps the toughest race on the card from a handicapping perspective, the Marathon has a recent history of upsets including the two most recent winners: Afleet Again in 2011 and last year's winner Calidoscopio. While this year's bunch may be tough to separate, I'm keen on Indian Jones, who's recent form tells me that he's a contender. While his two allowance wins over the summer may not be anything to write home about, he finished a game second to 2010 BC Marathon winner Eldaafer after dueling him down the stretch in the G3 Greenwood Cup and he also showed an impressive late kick in his most recent at Laurel Park. He should relish the added distance and his running style will be a positive. Others to watch include Old Time Hockey, who will be stretching out and switching to turf, but who's fourth place finished behind the likes of Indy Point, Vagabond Shoes, and Lucayan after swinging wide around the final turn in the G2 John Henry Turf Championship Stakes was impressive. Blueskiesnrainbows has shown an affinity for Santa Anita in the past, but his recent form is questionable and going wire-to-wire in this race will be a tough ask.
#6 Indian Jones (ML 5-1), #1 Old Time Hockey (ML 8-1), #8 Blueskiesnrainbows (ML 6-1)

R7 Juvenile Turf (1 mile, turf course): Historically, this race favors the Euro shippers and I don't expect this year's edition to be any different. Outstrip comes into this race off of a third place finish behind War Command in the G1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, but I'm not sure he took a liking to the ground, which was rated “good to soft.” His prior races included two relatively easy wins and a very close second to the top-rated European two-year old Toormore in the G2 Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes. If this son of Exceed and Excel runs his best and can stay the extra furlong, he'll be tough to beat. The sky is the limit for Bobby's Kitten if he repeats the effort he gave in his most recent outing in the G3 Pilgrim at Belmont. After rating off of the early lead set by Marvin's Miracle, he blew the doors off the field en route to over a six length victory. He aims to be the latest of a laundry list of Kitten's Joy progeny to win an American G1 turf race this year. The Aidan O'Brien-trained Giovanni Boldini has won two of the three races that he's contested this year, including his most recent easy 4 ¾ length victory at Dundalk.
#4 Outstrip (ML 4-1), #5 Bobby's Kitten (ML 5-2), #2 Giovanni Boldini (ML 7-2)

R8 Dirt Mile (1 mile, dirt course): With the probable favorites all drawn on the outside, this race figures to be one of the best betting races on the card. Fed Biz most recently rallied to defeat Goldencents and BC Sprint contender Wine Police the G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes, which was contested over the all-weather surface at Del Mar. His come from behind-style should be aided by a healthy early pace and two recent bullet works over the Santa Anita dirt suggest he's ready. Hymn Book is another one that should benefit from the likely pace scenario. His most recent run in the G2 Kelso at Belmont was nicer than it appears on paper. After being brushed at the start and spending most of the race boxed between horses, he was able to find running room down the stretch and just narrowly missed out on place honors. As far as the favorites go, Verrazano is a beast when at his best. His win in the G1 Haskell was arguably the best race by a three-year old all season and a line can easily be drawn through his Travers and Kentucky Derby runs as 1 ¼ miles appears to simply be too far for him. He will have to overcome an outside post, however, and that may simply be too much to ask.
#5 Fed Biz (ML 6-1), #3 Hymn Book (ML 15-1), #10 Verrazano (ML 3-1)

R9 Juvenile Fillies Turf (1 mile, turf course): This is perhaps the race that sports the deepest Euro bunch of them all. French shipper Vorda has won four of her first five starts, with her only loss being a one-length defeat to the highly regarded colt No Nay Never. She is untested past 6f, but bear in mind her sire Orpen is a son of two-time BC Mile winner Lure, so the potential is there. Racing Post ranks Chriselliam as the top two-year old filly in Europe for good reason. This daughter of Iffraaj most recently won the G1 Shadwell Fillies Mile at Newmarket over the second-highest ranked European filly (according to Racing Post), another daughter of Iffraaj: Rizeena. The lightly-raced daughter of Street Cry Sky Painter was very impressive in what was just her second outing when she was nosed out of a win in the G3 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont. She was forced to go very wide in that outing and yet, she showed a strong final kick in the 1 1/16 mile contest. Her only other race was a win over Super Sky, who easily broke her maiden in her next outing.
#6 Vorda (ML 4-1), #8 Chriselliam (ML 6-1), #13 Sky Painter (ML 15-1)

R10 Distaff (1 1/8 mile, dirt course): Count me in the group that believes there will be a speed duel up front, especially with the two likely sources of early speed being drawn side-by-side. Pletcher-trained Authenticity should benefit from that pace scenario and her inside post will be beneficial, as well. She has spent the bulk of her season snagging runner-up honors, but her final prep in the G1 Zenyatta at Santa Anita was sneaky good. After spending much of the race boxed between foes, she unleashed a nice closing kick to get within 1 ¼ lengths of wire-to-wire winner Beholder. Authenticity also boasts two recent 4f bullet works, which suggests she may be peaking at the right time. The aforementioned Beholder loves Santa Anita, as was suggested by her recent win in the G1 Zenyatta, as well as, wins in the G1 Santa Anita Oaks, G2 Santa Ynez Stakes, and last year's G1 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. If she's able to shake Royal Delta loose early, this race will be hers for the taking. Princess of Sylmar has undoubtedly been this year's American breakout star. Not only has she won six of her seven races this year, but she has beaten the likes of Beholder, and most recently, Royal Delta. Her connections had previously stated, however, that she was not pointed to the Breeders' Cup, so the relatively last minute decision for them to bring her is a bit worrisome.
#2 Authenticity (ML 8-1), #5 Beholder (ML 5-2), #6 Princess of Sylmar (ML 9-5)

Saturday's Breeders' Cup Picks:

R4 Juvenile Fillies (1 1/16 mile, dirt course): Undefeated Tapit filly Untapabale was impressive when she won the G2 Pocahantas in only her second start and off of a nearly three month layoff. By all accounts, she has looked fantastic in her recent works. Concave was closing in the G1 Del Mar Debutante, but ran out of running room. The extra furlong here should help this steadily improving filly who will run on dirt for the first time. She's a Tiger finished a game second over the course after breaking from an outside post. Her recent works have been some of the best of the bunch, but she'll have to overcome a tough post, yet again.
#7 Untapable (ML 5-1), #6 Concave (ML 15-1), #10 She's a Tiger (ML 6-1)

R5 Filly & Mare Turf (1 ¼ mile, turf course): The winner of four-straight Laughing looks as if she'll be allowed to snag another easy lead this time around. Her most recent win in the G1 Flower Bowl was at this distance and she has been flattered by the likes of Pianist and Tannery, who rebounded to win the G3 Athenia and G1 E.P. Taylor respectively after losing to her. If someone is going to pressure Laughing, it may very well be British shipper Romantica. She'll be wheeling back to her preferred distance and the quicker ground should suit her well. This daughter of Galileo was very impressive two-back when winning the G1 Prix Jean Romanet over Dalkala, who rebounded to win the G1 Prix De l'Opera, and a repeat of that effort would be tough to beat. Tiz Flirtatious who most recently won the G1 Rodeo Drive over this course loves Santa Anita and her recent form suggests she's a contender.
#7 Laughing (ML 8-1), #2 Romantica (ML 6-1), #3 Tiz Flirtatious (ML 7-2)

R6 Filly & Mare Sprint (7f, dirt course): Dance Card won four-straight before a troubled trip in the G2 Gallant Bloom Handicap resulted in a third place finish. She's working well, however, and when at her best, she's better than this bunch. Like Dance Card, Sweet Lulu also won four in a row before falling to Distaff contender Close Hatches in the G1 Cotillion. She's dangerous while wheeling back to 7f here. Since finishing eighth in last year's Filly & Mare Sprint Teddy's Promise has yet to finish off of the board. She has won three of her last four starts at Santa Anita and a win in the local prep suggests she's ready.
#4 Dance Card (ML 8-1), #12 Sweet Lulu (ML 8-1), #5 Teddy's Promise (ML 8-1)

R7 Turf Sprint (6 ½ f, hillside turf course): It's tough to find a knock in the defending champion Mizdirection, who is five for five on this course, including two wins this year. The nearly four month layoff is a concern, but she won last year's edition after a slightly longer break. After a disappointing trip to England, Havelock returned stateside and won the G3 Woodford off of a several month break. He figures to improve in his second start off of the layoff and the extra furlong should benefit his running style. Tightend Touchdown is a true sprinter who hasn't finished worse than second in his last seven starts and is worth considering at a price. #12 Mizdirection (ML 4-1), #10 Havelock (ML 10-1), #7 Tightend Touchdown (12-1)

R8 Juvenile (1 1/16 mile, dirt course): With the favorites having all drawn poor posts, I'm going to look elsewhere. Dance With Fate finished second in the G1 Del Mar Futurity despite being boxed between horses and again was the runner-up in his most recent race, the G1 Frontrunner after riding close to a healthy early pace. He'll likely be at a nice price, however, and slightest of improvements could get this son of Two Step Salsa over the top. He may only have two runs to his name, but Mexikoma's last outing was as impressive as they come. The son of Birdstone routed the field at Delaware by over fourteen lengths and it's worth noting that the runner-up that day Smiling Charlie easily broke his maiden in his next outing. One race was all it took for the Bob Baffert trained Tap It Rich to make a statement. He won going away in his only outing, which was at Santa Anita, but winning the Juvenile in only his second start may be a bit much to ask. #2 Dance With Fate (ML 8-1), #3 Mexikoma (ML 12-1), #6 Tap It Rich (ML 6-1)

R9 Turf (1 ½ mile, turf course): On paper, British shipper The Fugue is head-and-shoulders above this group. The four-year old daughter of Dansili has most recently won two G1's, the most recent of which was ahead of well-regarded European runners Al Kazeem and Trading Leather. She finished an unlucky third after a troubled trip in last year's Filly & Mare Turf and she comes back even stronger to face the boys. Big Blue Kitten,the son of top American turf sire Kitten's Joy, is a nose away from having come here the winner of three straight. He was much the best in defeat to Little Mike last time out, however, and he figures to compete for a piece if he can effectively weave through traffic and handle a wide post. At his best, last year's runner-up Point of Entry is one of the best in the business, but I am a bit concerned about him coming off of an injury and a long layoff.
#7 The Fugue (ML 3-1), #10 Big Blue Kitten (ML 6-1), #8 Point of Entry (ML 4-1)

R10 Sprint (6f, dirt course): The rail may not be the best spot for him to start, but it's hard to ignore Justin Phillip, who seems to have finally come into his own at five-years old. After finally winning his first G1 in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga earlier this year, he showed that result was no fluke when he was narrowly defeated by Private Zone in the G1 Vosburgh after a literally bumpy trip. Secret Circle may have been out of the game for over a year, but you would have never known it from his victory over the course in his first race since the layoff. His two most recent works at Santa Anita were bullets, which is encouraging. Wine Police was also away for over a year before returning this season. He won both of his 6f races this season and could pull off a big upset.
#1 Justin Phillip (ML 4-1), #9 Secret Circle (ML 4-1), #10 Wine Police (ML 30-1)

R11 Mile (1 mile, turf course): After finding little success in Europe, No Jet Lag is two-for-two in the US, including a win in the G2 City of Hope Mile over this course. He'll need a healthy pace to close into, but that shouldn't be an issue here. Wise Dan is obviously the superstar in this race and although you can draw a line through his most recent outing, which was taken off of the turf and in which Silver Max was let loose on the lead, him drawing a wide post is enough for me to not take him at even money and the probable pace scenario won't play to his strengths. The recent winner of the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot Olympic Glory is as classy as they come, but two weeks may be too quick of a turnaround for him. He should benefit from a likely quick pace up front, however.
#1 No Jet Lag (ML 8-1), #8 Wise Dan (1-1), #5 Olympic Glory (4-1)

R12 Classic (1 ¼ mile, dirt course): The son of 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Curlin, Palace Malice will look to follow in his father's footsteps with a win in the most prestigious race on the card. After easily winning this year's G1 Belmont Stakes, he backed up that effort with a victory in the G2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga, but it's his defeat in the G1 Travers that showed what he's really made of. After stumbling badly out of the gate and having to go very wide, he furiously closed down the stretch to finish less than a length behind the winner: Will Take Charge. In his most recent start, he ran a big one, beating the likes of Flat Out and Last Gunfighter in his first start against elders, albeit in defeat to Ron the Greek. You'd be hard-pressed to find a horse that loves Santa Anita more than last year's runner-up finished Mucho Macho Man. He most recently won the G1 Awesome Again with style at Santa Anita and by all accounts he's looked great in his recent works. Aidan O'Brien-trained Declaration of War has faced top-class foes all year long and aside from his two G1 wins, he also boasts solid finishes behind standout miler Moonlight Cloud and multiple G1 winner Al Kazeem. He'll have a big chance if he can handle the dirt.
#8 Palace Malice (ML 10-1), #6 Mucho Macho Man (ML 5-1), #5 Declaration of War (ML 10-1)