You’re Damn Right I’m Gambling, It’s Breeder’s Cup Weekend.

Featured, Sports and Bets — November 1, 2013 at 12:38 am by

The best damn horseracing weekend of the year is upon as the Breeder’s Cup takes center stage in California.  For us diehard horseplayers, no weekend is more challenging and more fun than this two-day card of championship racing.  The best horses in North America, and even some of the best horses from abroad, all gather within their respective divisions to take a shot at a Breeder’s Cup Championship.  Horses must qualify for the Breeder’s Cup, this isn’t a party that every pony is invited to.  There are 14 races representing horseracing’s different divisions and age levels.  The two-year olds compete in the Juvenile races, the fillies and mares compete in their own set of races (though they can race with the boys if they so desire), and there are both turf and dirt races at different distances.  The most distinguished and richest race of the two day event is the Breeder’s Cup Classic, which is the final race run on Saturday at a purse of $5 million.  This is the big time babes, and that means that there is also money out there for us gamblers.

The payouts in the Breeder’s Cup are almost always large, and with so many good horses running it means that literally any horse can win every race.  Double digit long shots become extremely playable, and if you are fortunate enough to hit something like a Pick 4 or Pick 6 on Breeder’s Cup day, the payouts can be life changing.  It’s truly a beautiful thing.  While I’ve had decidedly mixed results over the years with the Breeder’s Cup (I’ve won the most I’ve ever won at a track one year, and lost every race the next), I always love the challenge of handicapping these incredible races featuring these incredible athletes.

This year the Breeder’s Cup is again in sunny California at Santa Anita Park.  I went to the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita in 2008 and the place is gorgeous.  The San Gabriel mountains sit beautifully in the background, and the palm trees and the great weather make it a perfect spot to watch these bad ass animals win millions of bucks.  It’s also great when these bad ass animals win me some money too, and ultimately that’s why we’re here, to rake in the cake in.  So without further adieu, let’s handicap some winners for Friday’s Breeder’s Cup.

Gorgeous babes.

The first Breeder’s Cup race is Friday at 4:45 p.m. EST, and it’s race 6 on the Friday card.  There are five Breeder’s Cup races on Friday and nine on Saturday.  I’ll have Saturday’s picks tomorrow.  Let’s tackle Friday now.

Race 6 The BC Marathon-  This race may be the only BC race that doesn’t really ring “championship”.  Basically it’s a glorified allowance race.  It features a long distance of 1 and 3/4 miles that’s not really run much in the United States anymore.  The BC thought that adding this race would challenge more trainers to run their horses at this longer distance, as well as attract even more European horses to the BC. (This distance is run a lot more over there.)  The race’s existence has failed to accomplish either goal, but it’s here and we’re here to bet, so bet we will.  We’ll go with the #6 Indian Jones.  Jones is in great form and has handled and excelled at the mile and a half distance, this extra panel shouldn’t hurt him.  We think he’ll sit back far off the pace and let Commander, Ever Rider, and Blueskiesandrainbows set the early lead.  Be patient and know Indian Jones late.  2nd- #10 Wordly.  3rd- Cease.  By the way, I feel about as confident in this race as I would playing one-on-one against Michael Jordan.

Race 7-  BC Juvenile Turf.  This race for 2 year olds has been historically dominated by European imports.  The Euros are better on the lawn, that’s a fact babes.  But this year I’ll be betting the big bad American and the race’s probable favorite, Bobby’s Kitten, to win.  In his last out, Bobby’s Kitten led wire to wire in a Grade 3 while posting a 91 Beyer.  He’s now won two in a row and with JJ Castellano and Chad Brown, he boasts one of the hottest outfits in the country.  Plus, I see him sitting a comfortable lead right out of the gate, I don’t see the #13 Bashart gunning for the early lead from way out at that post.  It will be a calvary charge late as they try to run him down.  Hold em off babes, wire-to-wire.  2nd- #4 Outstrip 3rd- #2 Giovanni Boldini

Race 8- BC Dirt Mile.  Love the #11 Pants On Fire.  This pro is coming off back to back graded stakes victories and just posted the best Beyer of his career.  Bounce off that?  No way.  He’s been training lights out and is in incredible form.  The post suits his stalking style,  he’ll track the leaders and stay out of trouble early.  Granted, he might like 1 turn miles better, but he’ll be fine in this spot. 6-1 odds add to the appeal.  Heavy play.  Put him up and down in exactas with the #4 Brujo de Olleros.  I expect the favorites Verranzano and Goldencents to fold just like they do every time they face real good competition.  3rd Central Intelligence.

Pants On Fire

Race 9- Juvenile Fillies Turf.  Here come those Euros.  No way that two Juvenile Turf races go to two American ponies.  European form is just too good on the green.  Hell, they might beat have already beat Bobby’s Kitten.  In this affair I might be crazy for not betting the #6 Vorda to win, but I’m looking for value so I’ll go with the #8 Chriselliam.  This British filly just blasted her way to a Group 1 win and her late kick looks really strong.  Reports out of Cali are indicating that this miss looks the part and is ready to roll.  Of course they say that shit about 80% of these horses.  Regardless, I like the look of this baby girl.  2nd-  Testa Rossi   3rd-  Al Thakhira

Race 10-   BC Distaff.  This race is huge.  Royal Delta is going for her 3rd straight BC Distaff and Princess of Sylmar just beat her and is chasing her 5th straight Grade 1.  Beholder is another monster and Authenticity has the look of a wise guy horse.  But none of these are my win bet. Sometimes you have to be a contrarian in order to see the light.  Our resident handicapper Cliff B told me that he loves the #3 Close Hatches.  The more I look at her, the more I agree.  She beat Princess earlier this year and she’s coming into this race off of a nice prep win at Parx off of a 2 month layoff.  Royal Delta and Beholder will battle for the front and asking Princess to win 5 straight is a lot to ask.  Close Hatches is 6-1 and I’ll bet she drops to 8 or 10-1.  Big price=real nice. Another positive is the fact that she’s versatile, and with Joel Rosario in the irons I see her sitting off the pace and making her move in the turn.  Upset city baby.

Good luck to all.  Like The Chode says, “take these picks for what you will.”  We’ll be posting Saturday’s picks as soon as humanly possible.

Close Hatches, our upset special.

pics: equibase, bloodhorse

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