Thursday, October 23, 2008

Breeders Cup Preview Part IV: The Friday Races

There are five races run on Filly Friday, one of which is quite fascinating and will get its own post later today/tomorrow: the F&M Turf. For the other four races, let's take a more summary-yet-in depth look at the races and make some predictions.

Filly & Mare Sprint

Oh, what to do with Indian Blessing? Baffert's fine filly is trying to win her second different Breeders Cup race, something that's never been done before. (Several have repeated in the same race, but none have won two distinct races.) She's wicked fast, she loves seven furlongs, and the competition is suspect. So why am I suspicious about her, besides the pace perhaps frying her? She's working out well, but not specatularly over the track. Methinks it takes something out of her speed, and leaves her susceptible to being killed by the early pace.

Given the anticipated pace meltdown, let's instead turn to Intangaroo, who will be 5-1 or so despite having won THREE Grade 1 stakes this year, and Tiz Elemental, a bomber who should be flying late and loves the track and the distance. Ventura isn't impossible, but query whether Frankel goofed by running her here instead of the Mile. The real wildcard is Zaftig, who has the fastest speed figure, but hasn't run since early June. Tough to back her off of that long a layoff.

Picks: 1. Intangaroo 2. Tiz Elemental 3. Indian Blessing

Juvenile Fillies Turf

Consequence Consequence Consequence. Consequence Consequence. Consequence? Consequence Consequence! Consequence Consequence Consequence Consequence Consequence. Consequence Consequence Consequence? Consequence Consequence. Consequence!

To fill out the rest of this crapshoot of a race, let's take stabs on Saucey Evening, who's already shown an affinity for the Santa Anita turf, and Euro import Heart Shaped. But this race smacks of toss up.

Picks: 1. Consequence 2. Saucey Evening 3. Heart Shaped

Juvenile Fillies

The most impressive winner of their prep race for the Breeders Cup was Zenyatta, who we'll get to in a minute. The second most impressive winner was Stardom Bound, who rocketed to the the front from the back of the pack in her last. She's proven she likes the track, she's plenty fast, and she'll get a real pace to run at. If she's 2-1 or higher, she's a great win bet.

Underneath, let's ignore Doremefasolatido, who seems like she's not stout enough to get the distance, take a pass on the hyped Sky Diva, who beat little in the Frizette and is up against it making her third start, Shug's Persistently, who's not training well, and Lukas' Be Smart, who doesn't really fit the description of a contender. Instead, let's take a couple of price plays. Evita Argentina is by neat first year sire Candy Ride, beat Stardom Bound two races ago, and comes into this race off a well-planned layoff, much like Tempera in 2001. Van Lear Rose won her last two races in Canada, is bred by the interseting young sire Stroll, should love Pro Ride, and may sit a perfect trip. Both of these horses should be 15-1 or higher, and are interesting plays.

Picks: 1. Stardom Bound 2. Evita Argentina 3. Van Lear Rose

Ladies Classic (nee Distaff)

Zenyatta is so far and away the best horse in this race, it's not even funny. She's probably has a 75% chance to win this race, which means she'd be an overlay at 3-5. Her only real negative is drawing the rail, but I can't see that stopping her. Let's move on to more interesting things: deciphering the trifecta.

Bear Now and Santa Teresita don't belong in this race, or in this discussion. Ginger Punch is the defending champion and has had a good year on paper (5 wins in 7 starts, including 3 G1's), but anyone who's watched her races can see that she isn't quite as good as last year and may be tailing off. I love McGaughey, but Carriage Trail looks like she simply freaked on Keeneland's polytrack in her last, and is probable to regress here. Cocoa Beach is an intriguing newcomer, but will probably win the Tamweel Award for being the most grossly overbet horse relative to her odds. People are talking about getting 10-1 on her; if she's 4-1 on Friday, I'll be surprised.

By contrast to Cocoa Beach, Hystericalady has had a fine year (7 starts, 4 wins), and while she can't beat Zenyatta, she's every bit as good as all the other horses in this field, and is 15-1 on the morning line. As the best pace-setter in the race, there's every reason to think she'll hang on for a piece at a nice price, given she hasn't run a bad race since February. Even more interesting is Music Note, who's a head bob from being undefeated this year, loves the distance, and is related to turf phenom Musical Chimes, which may translate into a love for synthetic surface. Play these two underneath the titan instead.

Picks: 1. Zenyatta 2. Music Note 3. Hystericalady

1 comment:

rand said...

we agree on a lot of fronts Angelo.