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  • 2010 Breeders Cup - Saturday Selections

       November 05, 2010

    (see all of our 2010 Breeders Cup articles)

    Assuming I have some money left after Friday's races, here are my picks for THE BEST SATURDAY EVER!

    Juvenile Turf: I know that, in theory, I should probably pick some European horses in these turf races, but honestly, I think that the two best closers are probably the Americans Air Support & Banned. Fans of Ruffian will be interested to know that her connections own Air Support. I like Banned just a bit better, but I honestly don't have a strong opinion about this race at all.

    Sprint: This year's Sprint perplexes me. I think Atta Boy Roy and Cash Refund are the speed of the speed, but I don't think one is clearly faster than the other, so I don't think they can clear the field. I think there will be a fast & contenious pace that should set things up for a closer. Unfortunately, there's no closer like a Lit de Justice in the field. I think the likely favorite Giralomo will probably be further back, but I just don't really like him. In general, I like California sprinters, so I guess I'm going to go with the best of the west, Smiling Tiger.

    Turf Sprint: This race is absolutely loaded with speed so the logical pick is the confirmed closer Silver Timber. However, I think that Central City can clear the field from the advantageous #2 post.

    Juvenile: Boys At Tosconova and Jaycito are nice colts, but I truly believe that Uncle Mo is something special. His last race was simply a masterpiece. He was tested early, fought off that challenge and pulled away to win, all in only his second start. Let's go Uncle Mo!

    Mile: This is the best race on the card. You've got Goldikova looking for her third Mile win in a row. There are three world class closers in Proviso, Gio Ponti & Paco Boy. And then there's the freak, Sidney's Candy. The setup of the race is simply fascinating. Sidney's Candy will simply wing it from the front - and catch him if you can. He's going to go too fast for the other contenders to run with him without compromising their chances. While Goldikova can lay close to the lead, the pace will be similar or faster to last year's race in which she came from well off of the pace. Proviso, Gio Ponti & Paco Boy are going to wait for Goldikova to make her run before they make theirs. What I think is going to happen is that those four horses are going to be playing cat & mouse games while Sidney's Candy is lengths and lengths in front of them and I don't think they're going to be able to catch him. Sidney's Candy in a smashing performance.

    Dirt Mile: After the epic battle of the turf, the Dirt Mile seems like a letdown to me. My strategy here is simply to pick the classiest horse in the race, who I think is Crown Of Thorns. He's done well at 9 and 7 furlongs, so it's probably logical to think he'll excel at 8 furlongs, right?

    UPDATE: Crown of Thorns has been scratched. Uh...for lack of any other thoughts, I'll go with Dakota Phone who finished behind him in his last race.

    Turf: Looking at the field, I think this is one of those races where everyone is going to lope along and then gun it at the top of the stretch. Everyone is all over the European horses, but I think the Arc winner Workforce looks more like a grinder than a horse with an explosive kick. And while Bekhabad might have had some trouble in that race, it wasn't like he was flying at the end. Likewise, Dangerous Midge just looks like another stalker to me. I know this is probably crazy, but I think the most explosive closer is the American Winchester. USA!

    UPDATE: The favorite Workforce has been scratched because his connections are whiny little bitches about the track. I'm a tad bitter because I hated him in this race and his defection will just lower the odds on everyone else.

    Classic: So clearly, I'm picking Zenyatta. I know it's an emotional pick, so I dug a little deeper in the Form and tried to find a reason not to back her. I don't have one. Saturday she's actually going to get a decent pace to run at. She has the fastest closing kick of any horse in the race and she's going to have that long Churchill Downs stretch to gobble up the field with her giant strides. I believe.

    So, my picks, my the morning line in parentheses:

    Juvenile Turf: Banned (10-1)
    Sprint: Smiling Tiger (6-1)
    Turf Sprint: Central City (12-1)
    Juvenile: Uncle Mo (7-5)
    Mile: Sidney's Candy (10-1)
    Dirt Mile: Crown Of Thorns (4-1) Dakota Phone (30-1)
    Turf: Winchester (8-1)
    Classic: Zenyatta (8-5)

    (follow my results here)

    Posted by kris at November 5, 2010 02:24 AM

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    #  November 6th, 2010 9:55 AM      kris
    So, I accidentally bet on Chamberlain Bridge in the Turf Sprint (punched the wrong number). So I've got a win bet on him and then a smaller WPS show bet on Central City because I figured that I'd just about die if he won and I didn't have anything on him.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 12:26 PM      kris
    cute story:

    Bob Baffert, the terror of the training game, last week asked his five-year-old son Bode to name the fastest racehorse in America.
    "Zenyatta," the boy replied.
    Baffert asked, "Why do you say she's the fastest?"
    Bode said, "Because she wins every time she races."
    Baffert reminded his son that their horse, Lookin At Lucky, would be racing against Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup. Bode thought for a moment, then said, "Why?"
    Why, indeed. Baffert is still laughing -- and meditating -- on the boy's wisdom. The trainer has won just about every trophy and accolade the turf has to offer, but he has never run up against an institution like Zenyatta, the wonder mare who has never lost a race in 19 starts.
    #  November 6th, 2010 2:36 PM      kris
    WOW! The horse racing gods are with me as my accidental bet, Chamberlain Bridge WINS and Central City finishes 2nd and suddenly my tally is looking much better. Nice.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 3:04 PM      kris
    And Uncle Mo wins too! Woohoo!  
    #  November 6th, 2010 3:46 PM      kris
    Goldikova wins her third mile in a row. I thought Sidney got a crappy ride - he needed to open up more lengths by the head of the stretch as they were never going to outkick the field. Dumb.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 4:26 PM      kris
    Holy cow! Dakota Phone wins it at 37-1 - by FAR my biggest score EVER.

    #  November 6th, 2010 4:55 PM      BVBigBro
    Our favorite Englishman is currently on TV yapping that even if Zenyatta wins Goldikova is the real star. I hereby channel whatever cosmic energy is still in Da Hoss to help Zenyatta shut him up forever.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 5:05 PM      BVBigBro
    Sir Talkalot, as the TV announcers are now calling him, has another Excedrin moment as Behkabad loses.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 5:06 PM      kris
    I don't get the Sir Talksalot - Mutton Chops is so much better.

    My betting day has been so spectacular that I'm just terrified that it's the universe making it up to me because Zenyatta is not going to win. God, I hope I'm wrong.

    #  November 6th, 2010 5:07 PM      kris
    Goldikova is great - the Mile, tactically, was set up against her and she still won for fun.

    There's no need to denigrate either mare - the world is big enough to appreciate both of them.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 6:02 PM      BVBigBro
    Might have caught Blame with a few more strides. I don't think the ride was bad or too rough. Clearly there were two evenly matched horses in the race.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 6:03 PM      kris
    She should have won. I feel devastated.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 6:16 PM      BVBigBro
    Overhead showed a good ride. Smith got her clear outside and let her run.  
    #  November 6th, 2010 7:31 PM      kris
    I don't mean that she should have gotten a better ride or whatever, just that she should have won for every other reason.  
    #  November 7th, 2010 8:41 AM      james
    ZENYATTA! Very exciting race. So close.  
    #  November 7th, 2010 9:01 AM      kris
    I never thought I'd so wildly agree with Hitler. The best part is the truth in how if the Zenyatta train has reached the station, then everyone is now getting on the Uncle Mo train.

    #  November 7th, 2010 9:12 AM      james
    i thought i would never watch one of those hitler videos. and i was right!  
    #  November 7th, 2010 9:18 AM      kris
    whatever - it actually made me feel better than collecting a bunch of cash (thanks Dakota Phone!) did.

    i went out to Canterbury last night after the Classic to cash out and even there, among the hardcore gamblers, people were talking about how, yeah, their exacta was bigger, blah blah blah, but they still wished she would have won.

    the nice thing about racing is that there's always hope in the form of some new horse but it just shouldn't have ended like that - it's kind of like that last second shot by Butler in the NCAA basketball title game - that should have gone in and Zenyatta should have won. I'm still just heartbroken. It's worse than Easy Goer/Sunday Silence because I could console myself with the fact that Sunday was a great, great horse too.  
    #  November 7th, 2010 12:32 PM      kris
    Interesting estimates of the fractions:

    1/4 ---- 1/2 ---- 3/4 ------ 1m ------ 1m1/4
    26.49 - 50.14 - 01:13.96 - 01:38.32 - 02:02.32
    26.49 - 23.65 - 23.82 ---- 24.36 ----- 24

    24.64 -- 49.24 -- 01:12.96 -- 01:37.37 -- 02:02.28
    24.64 -- 24.6 ---- 23.72 ---- - 24.41 -- 24.91

    #  November 7th, 2010 12:36 PM      kris
    So she ran almost a full second faster down the stretch, but was just done in by the horrible start and having to steady a bit at the head of the stretch.

    She's generally capable of running sub 24 second final quarters and 23.95 would have gotten her there. Ugh.  
    #  November 7th, 2010 12:36 PM      KVBigSis
    For some reason, the "He didn't mean that about Goldikova" line in the Hitler video made me literally laugh out loud.

    Kris, I hope someday you will be able to appreciate the beauty and the bravery of Zenyatta's performance. It will never be forgotten, and SHE will always be the star of that race. I know she made more fans in defeat than she could have in victory.

    And you know, it could have been so much worse. When Quality Road slowed and she was forced to almost mis-step, Sara and I both gasped and were relieved she kept running.

    When your perfect horse ends her final race with her hoof flopping about on the track? That's heartbreak.  
    #  November 7th, 2010 12:43 PM      kris
    Oh, and I did get a "nice one!" comment from the Canterbury teller when cashing the Dakota Phone ticket.  



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