As you sift through my picks in the 14 Breeders' Cup races this weekend, know that a few picks should be leveraged in multirace wagers. Read on and you will know which horses I like and which horses I really like. Building bets around your best opinions is the key to winning money over the next two days. And that is the best thing about horse racing. There is nothing subtle about the results -- you either have more money than you started with or you don't.
1. Indian Jones. 2. Wordly. 3. Old Time Hockey
Indian Jones is decidedly not a homer pick. I have watched this horse up close at Parx and seen him get dramatically better since he was reclaimed by Phil Aristone in May. The mile-and-three-quarter distance seems well within his scope and he has the race's best set of speed figures. It is fascinating how much speed is in this race so the pace scenario also should help my pick, who will be coming from the back. Wordly chased Fort Larned last time and held on pretty well.
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
1. Bobby's Kitten. 2. Giovanni Boldini. 3. Outstrip
I love Bobby's Kitten and not just because he is named after one of my favorite people ever in the sport, the late, great trainer Bobby Frankel. Love this colt's acceleration. That he is owned by the Ramseys, who are having one of the best years ever for an owner, and trained by the white-hot Chad Brown only adds to my confidence. Euros Giovanni Boldini and Outstrip are obviously the dangers.
1. Goldencents. 2. Verrazano. 3. Pants On Fire
Goldencents has run brilliantly since his Triple Crown debacle and loves this track. This distance may be perfect, but the 12 post is a concern. Pants On Fire and Verrazano also drew outside, but both have run really fast. Verrazano's best race wins, but he has run terribly in his two biggest races.
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
1. Vorda. 2. Al Thakhira. 3. Clenor
When in doubt, go with European horses on grass. Vorda is one length from being unbeaten in five starts. The Americans don't appear to have much.
1. Beholder. 2. Royal Delta. 3. Princess of Sylmar
This is the championship fight that never happens, A truly great race (7:35 p.m. on NBC Sports Network) among three champions. I lean very slightly to Beholder because she has home-track advantage and may have the speed to get clear. Royal Delta, the two-time defending champion, always runs her best in the biggest moments. The brilliant Pennsylvania-bred Princess of Sylmar could actually win Horse of the Year if she wins and the other BC races break the right way.
1. Uptapable. 2. Sweet Reason. 3. Concave
Untapable was relentless when she won that stake at Churchill Downs and has been perfectly prepared for this race. Sweet Reason was about five lengths from the best when second in the Frizette after a brutal ride from Alex Solis.
FILLY AND MARE TURF
1. Dank. 2. Kitten's Dumplings. 3. Laughing
Dank was a good horse in Europe, an explosive horse at Arlington Park in August when she got Lasix for the first time. If she repeats that performance, this won't be close. I don't think this is going to be close. Kitten's Dumplings runs great for Joel Rosario. Laughing is dangerous again because she is lone speed again.
FILLY AND MARE SPRINT
1. Dance to Bristol. 2. Teddy's Promise. 3. Starship Truffles.
Dance to Bristol is seven of nine with two seconds this year. She appears to have the perfect close-to-the-pace style. Defending champ Groupie Doll is about six lengths off her brilliant 2012 form.
1. Reneesgotzip 2. Mizdirection. 3. Unbridled's Note
Better go deep in this race that starts the Pick 6. So many possibilities but not much early speed, which is why I fell on the incredibly fast filly Reneesgotzip. Defending champ Mizdirection has never lost on Santa Anita's unique downhill grass course with all its twists and turns. Unbridled's Note clearly has been trained for this race all year. Expect his very best.
1. Havana. 2. Tap It Rich. 3. Mexicoma
Havana reminds me a bit of Uncle Mo, who dominated this race in 2010. And he may have a huge tactical edge as there is little other early speed. Tap It Rich's only race was visually off the charts. Mexicoma ran out of the TV set when breaking his maiden at Delaware Park and was promptly bought by the same people who gave us 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
1. Little Mike. 2. The Fugue. 3. Magician
Defending champ Little Mike does one thing really well -- win. It took all year for him to recapture his 2012 form, but he has found it just in time. That there is very little other speed definitely helps, but this is some field. The Fugue has won two consecutive Group I races in England and Ireland and is trained by the brilliant John Gosden. The filly will be very difficult to beat.
1. Gentlemen's Bet. 2. Justin Phillip. 3. Private Zone.
There is so much early speed that you really have to look for a closer. Gentlemen's Bet is normally a speed horse, but it will help his chances when he gets outrun early. Video study shows he is a fighter in the stretch. He will be a very attractive price. Justin Phillip has the perfect style for this race, but the 1 post is very tricky for a closer. Private Zone is probably the best horse, but may have the wrong style as a front-runner in a race with all this speed.
1. Wise Dan. 2. Za Approval. 3. Olympic Glory
I love Wise Dan. Let me repeat. I love Wise Dan. Yes, his winning streak finally ended, but he still ran great on the polytrack. He is 9-for-10 at this distance on this surface. I think he will be sitting third or fourth right off a hot, contested pace and win this race again. This is my single.
1. Game On Dude. 2. Flat Out. 3 Will Take Charge
I have come 180 degrees on Game On Dude. I was thinking there would be too much early heat, but there really is not. He is not a stand-alone, but he is the most likely winner despite that disaster in this spot last year, his only loss in eight tries at Santa Anita. He has never lost with Mike Smith. If Game On Dude wins, he is Horse of the Year and a lock for the Hall of Fame. If he loses, it will be easy to say he has run fast beating a bunch of second-rate horses. Defending champ Fort Larned can win if he clears the field. Most of the rest look similar to me, really good horses that are certainly capable. Great race and a perfect ending on NBC in prime time (8:35 p.m.).
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