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  • 2007 Breeders Cup Picks

       October 25, 2007

    This year, the Breeders Cup adds three races and spans two days, so my annual picks come a day early. I admit that I haven't given these picks that much thought this year, but at least I'm in no danger of over analyzing the races. Whew!

    Filly & Mare Sprint
    The first Friday races kick off with distaff sprinters. As with the males, analysts always say that there's tons of speed in the race and that therefore a closer will win. Sometimes that's true, but sometimes there's a speed of the speed. If that's the case, then give me that horse. I this race, Shaggy Mane fits the bill. She's gotten the lead in her last 11 starts. She doesn't always win, but I feel like with that kind of style she'll give herself a fighting chance, all with a tasty 12-1 morning line. Honorable mention: La Traviata and Wild Gams.

    Juvenile Turf
    In this race, I want a two-year old with some turf success and/or a strong turf pedigree. I think an outside post would be difficult to overcome. Putting it all together, I like Gio Ponti, who's 2-2 on the turf, out of an Alydar mare (Alydar is a strong turf influence in pedigrees) and is trained by a good turf trainer in Christopher Clement. Honorable mention: Prussion and Strike The Deal.

    Dirt Mile
    A mile on the dirt is a funny race. Traditionally, good milers are the best stallions. I think it's because the mile requires a unique combination of speed and stamina. The first dirt mile is absolutely loaded with speed. Discreet Cat, Gottcha Gold, High Finance and Wanderin Boy are all quick horses. I think that'll they battle each other to the death and Corinthian will swoop past them for the victory like he did in this year's grade 1 Metropolitian Mile. Honorable mention: Discreet Cat and Xchanger.

    Juvenile Fillies
    Saturday's races kick off with the two-year old fillies. What I want in this race is a filly that has looked decent in a two-turn race, has improving or steady speed figures and is not in an outside post position due to the short run into the first turn at Monmouth Park. Of course, that's the ideal. In the real world, I'll be happy to settle for Indian Blessing. She hasn't run around two turns yet, but she also hasn't lost. She's going to be favored, but a few favorites do win on Breeders Cup day and I think she'll be one of them. Honorable mention: Tasha's Miracle and Irish Smoke.

    I loved Dixie Chatter in this race, but he was unfortunately scratched yesterday. As with the fillies, I'd like a colt with two-turn experience, improving numbers and an inside post. Shore Do has all of those attributes and a pedigree that says he'll improve with distance. He's a huge longshot, but he was just three lengths behind Dixie Chatter in his last and he's ever right to do better here. Honorable mention: Old Man Buck and Slew's Tiznow.

    Filly & Mare Turf
    In the Filly & Mare Turf, I want a horse with success at the Grade or Group 1 level. Because it might be wet in New Jersey this weekend, I'd like a horse with success on soggy turf and, believe it or not, I have a bias towards French-trained runners. Really. Unfortunately, there are no good Frenchies this year. Boo! There is, however, the unbeaten Nashoba's Key. While you always have to respect an unbeaten horse, I'm not sold on her because she hasn't raced outside California and she hasn't raced on soft turf. I'm going to go with Wait a While. Her form is a little erratic, but she's also excelled in a variety of conditions. My Typhoon, who has beaten Wait a While a couple of times this year, isn't in this field, so I think things are going to open up for this lovely gray mare. Honorable mention: Lahudood and Nashoba's Key.

    My key to the sprint is to find a good 6 furlong specialist. Not a good 7 furlong runner or a good miler. Nope - I want a pure sprinter. This year I like Smokey Stover breaking from the one hole. "Smokey" is 5 for 6 this year, all at 6 or 6 1/2 furlongs. He's won all over the country, including at Monmouth Park. He's a versatile sort who can get to the lead or hang just off of it, as circumstances require. I'm sold. Honorable mention: Idiot Proof and Greg's Gold.

    The Mile is about one thing and one thing only - who can run the quickest final quarter of a mile. Seriously. Sometimes you'll do some calculations and find a clear fastest finisher. This year, not so much. No one in this field stands out to me but I did like Nobiz Like Shobiz's last start where he gained four lengths in the last quarter. His running line paints the right picture too: "going away late", "hard drive", "good finish outside", "all out, prevailed". Honorable mention: Purim and Host.

    Without Rags to Riches, I think the Distaff will come down to the top three finishers in the Beldame Stakes: Ginger Punch, Indian Vale and Unbridled Belle. This really isn't the best reason, but I'm going to pick Indian Vale because she's a daughter of A.P. Indy, and the "Indys" have been good to me over the years. Honorable mention: Unbridled Belle and Teammate.

    Dylan Thomas is the hot favorite here, but I think that this is a just a side trip on his road to stud. His big target was the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (which he won). I think he's over the top, but I don't think there's anyone in this race good enough to beat him even if he only brings his "C" game. Honorable mention: Shamdinan and Grand Couturier.

    The classic is a fantastic race this year with Street Sense, Curlin, Lawyer Ron, Any Given Saturday, Hard Spun and Tiago in the field. Street Sense lost the Kentucky Cup Classic to Hard Spun last out, but that was a prep. This is the target. Street Sense's amazing acceleration will catapult him past this field and straight to a stud as the first horse to ever win two different Breeders Cup races. Honorable mention: Any Given Saturday and Curlin.

    Good luck everyone!

    Posted by at October 25, 2007 09:31 PM

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    #  October 26th, 2007 4:10 PM      kris
    Two races: two out of the money finishes. Go me!  
    #  October 26th, 2007 4:34 PM      kris
    I'm going to track results based on an imaginary $2.00 across the board (a win/place & show bet) on the picks listed above. So, that puts me for $66. Will I make a profit??  
    #  October 26th, 2007 4:48 PM      kris
    Yes! Corinthian wins the Dirt Mile! My three bets paid a total of $16.80, so I'm now just down $49.20.  
    #  October 28th, 2007 7:29 PM      kris
    Yikes! My only other in the money finish was with Indian Blessing, who did win the Juvy Fillies. My pick in the Filly & Mare Turf, Wait a While, was scratched, so my final tally for the day was minus $29.80.

    That's just sad.  



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