Breeders' Cup Analysis - Jason Beem
Portland Meadows Announcer Jason Beem provides analysis and his selections for every Breeders' Cup race.
Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (Friday – Race 9)
Talk about a race loaded with talent, one of, if not the toughest editions of this race ever. Royal Delta will get much of the attention as the defending champ and a super talented runner. She comes into this race off a massive Beldame score that saw her dominate It’s Tricky. Since Mike Smith took over on this horse, she has truly been spectacular with three wins in four starts. Both Awesome Feather and My Miss Aurelia come into this race undefeated. Awesome Feather is 10 for 10 and really hasn’t been tested. She’s had plenty of breaks between races, but her comeback in September at Belmont was scintillating. My Miss Aurelia just tussled with Questing who had a huge three year old summer. Love and Pride might be the speed of the speed in a race that has plenty of early gas in it.
Selections for the Breeders Cup Ladies Classic
1. My Miss Aurelia
2. Royal Delta
3. Love and Pride
Longshot: Include Me Out
Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (Friday – Race 8)
Nahrain was second in this race last year and looks like a serious chance once again. She’s coming off a win in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl and Frankie Dettori takes over the reigns. Marketing Mix dominated the local prep for this race, the Rodeo Drive, but had a perfect set up that day and might not be so lucky. Ridasiyna is lightly raced and has won four of five career starts in France, including a Group 1 on Arc De Triomphe Day last time out. I’m a Dreamer got stuck behind a brutally slow pace last time out over a yielding turf course at Belmont and could improve with the running over a firm turf course.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf
1. I’m a Dreamer
Longshot: Lady of Shamrock
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Friday – Race 7)
Executiveprivilege comes into this race with five straight victories to start her career and has drawn comfortable down towards the rail, with Beholder right to her inside. Beholder put up a massive speed figure winning a sprint allowance last time, but the distance is the big question mark for Beholder. Executiveprivilege showed her meddle at a route last time out when she dominated the Chandelier Stakes at the 8.5 furlong distance of this race. Dreaming of Julia leads the east coast brigade, coming into this race a perfect three for three. She absolutely crushed her rivals in her first two starts, but struggled in victory last time out, having to battle all the way with My Happy Face. Todd Pletcher who trains Dreaming of Julia will also send out Kauai Katie who is three for three and has never been tested. She will be making her first start beyond six furlongs.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
1. Kauai Katie
2. Executive Privilege
3. Spring in the Air
Longshot: Broken Spell
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Friday – Race 6)
An interesting advantage for the Euros here might be that the Two year old races are not allowing Lasix, something the Euros are used to, but the American runners will be new at. Sky Lantern ships in from the Curragh off a huge Group 1 win at seven furlongs. She’s never finished out of the exacta in five career starts and Richard Hughes has flown over to take the mount. Spring Venture is a perfect three for three with two grass wins and has shown the ability to come from off the pace. Chad Brown sends out Watsdachances who has won two really great races since coming to the States. Sustained is an interesting long shot as she finished a good second behind Watsdachances after having a tough trip that saw her get bumped twice in the stretch.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
2. Sky Lantern
Longshot: Spring Venture
Breeders Cup Marathon (Friday – Race 5)
This race is always a tricky race to handicap because there just aren’t really any mile and three quarter dirt races run anywhere. Atigun draws toward the inside and has a bit of a class edge, considering he’s Grade 1 placed at a mile and a half (Belmont Stakes). Fame and Glory gets first time Lasix and is certainly proven at the distance with wins at a mile and three quarters and two miles. Jaycito is a Grade 1 winner and goes for one of the best barns in the country. Both Commander and Worth Repeating have drawn towards the outside and both could be the early pacesetters.
Selections for the Breeders Cup Marathon
2. Not Abroad
3. Worth Repeating
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint (Friday – Race 4)
This race came up pretty light, with just seven runners and the favorites being a pair of Santa Anita sprint winners. Merit Man will likely go favorite by virtue of his win in the Tim Conway Stakes at six furlongs. Super Ninety Nine looks like the main contender, even though he’s just a maiden winner in his one career start. He won impressively at seven furlongs which is always difficult in a debut and the runner up to him that day already came back to get a win. Sweet Shirley Mae leads the East Coast contingent coming off a second place finish in a Grade 1 win from Saratoga.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint
1. Super Ninety Nine
2. Merit Man
3. Sweet Shirley Mae
Longshot: South Floyd
Breeders’ Cup Classic (Saturday – Race 12)
Game on Dude has been given the role of favorite and rightfully so. He’s a perfect five for five at Santa Anita and has been nearly perfect since coming back from Dubai in March. He won the Hollywood Gold Cup and just got nosed out in the Pacific Classic over a surface that isn’t his favorite. He was second in this race last year and while he’s won before at a mile and a quarter, with some early pressure, the distance does become a bit of a question mark, as he’s been caught late in a number of 10 furlong events. Flat Out is one who deserves a serious look as he has come back to his former self since being transferred to the Bill Mott barn. He was the favorite in last year’s Classic and seems to be peaking at the right time as he just took home the Jockey Club Gold Cup at 10 furlongs at Belmont. Fort Larned will get a lot of attention because of his good stalking running style and his big win two starts back in the Whitney at Saratoga. Put up a bullet workout on Sunday and is sharp. Ron the Greek returns to Santa Anita where he won the Big Cap earlier this year, but he had a very fast pace to run into that day. He likely won’t get that sharp of fractions, but he’s dangerous on his best day. Nonios and Mucho Macho Man could both be live runners as both have good stalking styles and should get a first run at horses like Game on Dude who should be on the lead.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Classic
1. Mucho Macho Man
2. Flat Out
3. Game on Dude
Longshot: Pool Play
Breeders’ Cup Mile (Saturday – Race 11)
Wise Dan is looked at by many as the top American horse running on either BC Day, however he will have to take on some tough Euro runners in the prestigious Mile. Wise Dan is up for Horse of the Year with a win as he has turned in three massive turf scores in his last three starts. He’s 4 for 5 at the one mile distance and 4 for 5 over the turf. Excelebration is the top Euro shipper coming off a Group 1 win in the QIPCO QE II. He would be five for five this year if he hadn’t run into super horse Frankel twice, where he ran second behind that beast. Moonlight Cloud ships in from Paris after a win at Longchamp in a Group 1. An interesting price play could be Obviously who is the likely pacesetter and will be the one to catch. Has won three straight mile events including a career best performance in the Aseco Mile at Santa Anita last time out.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Mile
1. Wise Dan
Longshot: Willcox Inn
Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Saturday – Race 10)
This race always seems to be one where California runners are contenders, whether in California or somewhere else. Amazombie, Capital Account and Coil are the top So. Cal sprinters in this year’s edition that drew 14 runners. Amazombie took the Sprint last year at Churchill and is always a contender in 6 furlong events. He should get a trip from in behind the pace as there is tons of early speed. This race has the potential to fall apart, and Amazombie and Capital Account should both be flying late. Hamazing Destiny and Justin Phillip are both going to be large prices, but are horses that on their best day can close in and catch the early speedsters who will be tiring late.
Selections in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint
1. Capital Account
2. Hamazing Destiny
Longshot: Justin Phillip
Breeders’ Cup Turf (Saturday - Race 9)
An American horse hasn’t won this race since English Channel took it in 2007 at a wet Monmouth course, but Point of Entry looks to be the best U.S. hope in a while. He comes into the race with five straight wins, three straight Grade 1 wins and has never lost in 4 tries at a mile and a half. St. Nicholas Abbey is back to defend his title and while he’s struggled in 2012 with just one win since his BC Turf triumph, he’s been keeping strong company. Shareta was just 9th in the Arc De Triomphe, however that was over a heavy course that she will not likely see as she takes on the boys in the BC Turf. Japanese shipper Trailblazer made a good run first off the layoff and his first domestic start last time out.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Turf
1. Point of Entry
3. Treasure Beach
Longshot: Slim Shadey
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Saturday – Race 8)
The race that determines the early Kentucky Derby favorite, the Juvenile looks like a one horse race to me, with Shanghai Bobby perfect thus far in his career. He has yet to run two turns, but he has shown ability to rate or go to the lead and this race has a lot of speed, so he should sit a nice tracking trip. His main competition according to the morning line, but the outside draw and a pretty quick run to the first turn could see him losing precious ground early on as he competes for a good spot. Dynamic Sky is 12/1 on the morning line but looks like a horse that could a late running horse. He’s only competed over synthetic courses, but his recent works at Churchill Downs as well as his solid Grade 1 second place finish last time out makes him a possible price play.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
1. Shanghai Bobby
2. Dynamic Sky
Longshot: Capo Bastone
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Saturday – Race 7)
A wide open event down the hill at Santa Anita with fourteen runners involved. Bridgetown is the tepid morning line favorite and comes into the race with two straight wins. He’s a Grade 3 winner but has only competed at Santa Anita one time, that being a good second place finish in this race. Great Attack was fourth in this race last year and has been a solid turf sprinter in recent years. California Flag won this race back in 2009 and has competed in it for three straight years, with this year being his fourth attempt in the race. He’s five for seven at this distance and is a course specialist, as is Mizdirection. Unbridled’s Note is also a contender, and won the Eddie D Stakes, a race that has had 2 of 3 starters come back to win since then.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint
1. Unbridled’s Note
2. Great Attack
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Saturday – Race 6)
Always an exciting race, this year’s edition features last year’s runner up Shackleford as well as east coast sprinter Emcee who is trying to stretch out. Shackleford took the Met Mile and also has routing credentials by virtue of his Preakness win two years ago. He will be making his West Coast debut and the last time he raced at two turns he was well beaten in the Donn Handicap. Emcee comes off a crushing win in the Forego at Belmont and has been a sprint specialist in his young career. Jersey Town is coming off a win in the Kelso Handicap but has been very inconsistent in his career. Fed Biz and John Scott look like main local chances with Fed Biz a perfect 3 for 3 at the mile distance. Players looking for a huge upset might want to look at Second City who is 30/1 on the line and was undefeated before a very disappointing run at Hoosier Park last time out.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
1. Fed Biz
2. John Scott
Longshot: Second City
Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (Saturday – Race 5)
This race certainly goes through Groupie Doll who is coming into this race with four consecutive monster wins. She has a good closing style and has fared well on dirt in her career, including a big win in the Humana Distaff on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill. Musical Romance is the defending champion in this race and comes into this race after winning a small stake at Calder. She has been plagued by inconsistency in as she doesn’t usually put together back to back wins. Turbulent Descent was a Grade 1 winner at Santa Anita before heading back east. She was fifth in this race last season and trainer Todd Pletcher hopes her return to Southern California will be a welcome one. Dust and Diamonds comes into the race with three straight victories in tow including the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint
1. Groupie Doll
2. Dust and Diamonds
Longshot: Belle of the Hall
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Saturday – Race 4)
As with most turf races on Breeders’ Cup weekend, it’s the Euros vs. the Americans in this one as well. Frankie Dettori will ride Artigiano who comes into this race with two straight Group 2 runner up finishes. George Vancouver is the other Euro shipper worth a look, after a recent third place finish in a Group 1 at Newmarket. Some interesting US Price horses can be found in this race, including Gervinho, Balance the Books, and Noble Tune. Gervinho is two for two and shows a good closing style. Balance the Books has won two straight graded races going around two turns, which sets him up for a big run in this event. Noble Tune is a perfect two for two and comes into this race for trainer Chad Brown who has become an east coast kingpin.
Selections for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
1. Balance the Books
2. Noble Tune
3. George Vancouver