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Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Friday, November 3rd, 2017 1 month 2 weeks ago #458599

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BC - Juvenile Fillies Turf
By Anthony Stabile

Distance: 1 mile (T)
Purse: $1 million
Age: 2YOf
Time: 5:25 p.m. ET

The History

Created in 2008, a year after the Juvenile Turf where fillies were forced to face colts, there isn’t much. Flotilla and Chriselliam won consecutive runnings of this in 2012 and 2013 for Europe after the U.S. won the first four runnings.

Favorites: 1 for 9 (11%)
Shortest: $6.80 (Lady Eli, 2014)
Highest: $29.20 (More Than Real, 2010)
U.S based: 7
Foreign based: 2

The Best

Trainers Chad Brown and Aidan O’Brien each pre-entered 14 horses into the Breeders’ Cup World Championship races. So perhaps it’s appropriate that they both have a strong hand for the curtain riser as this is the first of the 13 races over the two days. Brown will saddle the two U.S. horses that will likely take the most money on the toteboard, Rushing Fall and Significant Form while O’Brien’s two, Happily and September, lead the European contingent.

Rushing Fall debuted in a 12 horse field going a mile at Belmont in mid-September, settled towards the back of the back then launched a very wide bid and kicked past the leaders at the eighth pole. She was even more impressive 23 days before this even at Keeneland in the G3 Jessamine. Facing 13 others that day, she was a long way back traveling down the backstretch before coming with a similar, though more potent, late rally to win by a widening three-plus lengths.

Things didn’t go as smoothly for Significant Form in her debut at Saratoga. Breaking from post 8, she broke poorly then tried to save ground early and in the process was a bit green, dropped over and clipped heels with a rival. Showing her abundant ability, she went on to cruise to victory by over two lengths but was disqualified from the win. She earned her first official victory last out in the G3 Miss Grillo at Belmont, where she tracked in third early then tipped wide to get the money over two far more seasoned foes.

Happily has already run six times, with four victories on her resume. After finishing off the board on debut, she won her next two, including a G3 before finishing second in a G2. She won a pair of G1 races coming into this, including one against colts going a mile last out where she was bumped at the start.

September is winless in her last three starts since winning her first two earlier this summer. She finished behind Happily in her two tries following a near-two month layoff before falling a nose short in a G1 at a mile most recently.

Capla Temptress won her North American debut when she rushed home to take the G1 Natalma at Woodbine by less than a length before being turned over to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Overseas, she won her first two starts, one on turf the other on a synthetic track, then finished third in a G3 before shipping over.

The Rest

Best Performance finished widest of all when second in the Miss Grillo behind Significant Form as she looks for her first turf victory. In fact, she’s been the bridesmaid in four consecutive stakes on both dirt and turf, including the Schuylerville, since winning her debut on the dirt at Belmont.

Orbolution won her first two starts on turf, including the P.G. Johnson at Saratoga, before failing to stay with the top two in deep stretch of the Miss Grillo.

Dixie Moon was a solid second in the Natalma after setting the pace, the only loss in her three race career. It’s sandwiched between a debut tally on the Tapeta surface and turf win in a Canadian-bred stakes against the boys most recently.

Ultima D broke her maiden in start 4, a lucrative stakes at Kentucky Downs over Best Performance going seven furlongs. She finished second against the boys in a maiden event at Saratoga in her only other try on the lawn.

Moon Dash just missed in the Surfer Girl off of a wide trip after breaking her maiden at Delaware as the 4-5 favorite in what has turned into a bit of a key race.

Fatale Bere made her U.S. debut a winning one when she passed nearly all of her 11 rivals to win the Surfer Girl by a nose at Santa Anita. She won her first two starts in Europe and finished third going a mile before settling in to SoCal.

Juliet Capulet has won two of her last three, including a G2 in England for trainer John Gosden. She’s made six starts in all.

Madeline owns two wins from six starts on the other side of the pond but has never raced past six furlongs.

Aidan’s son and former rider Joe O’Brien sends out the maiden Now You’re Talking. Two starts back she finished third in a multi-horse photo against the boys before finishing just behind Madeline in her latest when fourth.

Four pre-entries did not make it into the body of the field. In order, Stainless finished second in the Jessamine, her only turf start from four starts. She has second preference but is in the field for the Juvenile Fillies. Retro won her debut before getting the show dough in the Surfer Girl last out. Princess Warrior won her debut then finished second in the G1 Alcibiades, both on first, and is first preference and in the Juvenile Fillies. Euro-maiden Goodthingstaketime is winless in four starts sprinting.

If I’m Right…

This will be a formful event. I don’t see how some of the longer shots can match the dominance of a Rushing Fall or Happily right now.

Live Longshot

Short or long, dirt or turf, Best Performance has always given just that in all five of her starts. She can get into the exotics at 12-1 or so.
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Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Friday, November 3rd, 2017 1 month 2 weeks ago #458600

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BC - Dirt Mile
By Anthony Stabile

Distance: 1 mile
Purse: $1 million
Age: 3up
Time: 6:05 p.m. ET

The History

Run around two turns at 1 mile and 70 yards in 2007 then on synthetic surface at Santa Anita in 2008 and 2009. Finally run at intended distance on dirt for first time in 2010. Goldencents became the first back-to-back winner of the event with a pair of gate-to-wire scorchers in 2013 & 2014 while Liam’s Map powered away to win after a tough trip in 2015.

Favorites: 2 for 10 (20%)
Shortest: $3.00 (Liam’s Map, 2015)
Highest: $77.40 (Dakota Phone, 2010)
The champ is here? No. Tamarkuz has been retired.

The Best

Sharp Azteca comes into this event sporting gaudy speed figures, a five for seven record at the distance and a controversial trainer in Jorge Navarro who has endured through a tough 2017. Horses like this certainly help.

Sharp Azteca started the year with an easy tally in the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap in February at the distance before finishing a gritty third in the G2 Godolphin Mile on the Dubai World Cup undercard. Upon his return to the U.S. he finished second in the G1 Met Mile then won the G3 Monmouth Cuyp around two turns at a mile and a sixteenth.

Forwardly placed in all of his starts, he bucked the bias in his most recent effort, a gate-to-wire tour de force in the G2 Kelso at Belmont.

Mor Spirit appeared to be on his way to a banner 2017. After finishing second for Bob Baffert behind stablemate Hoppertunity in the G2 San Antonio, he rolled in the Essex at Oaklawn and G3 Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park.

The best was yet to come as Mor Spirit may have been Baffert’s most impressive runner on Belmont Stakes Day when he won four stakes races on the card. Mor Spirit sat just off of the moderate pace set by Sharp Azteca in the Met Mile and ran away from him on the far turn to win by over six lengths.

Unfortunately, that was the last time Mor Spirit races, nearly five months ago. In a year where a lot of trainers are running their horses off longer than usual layoffs, this is one of the longest. You wonder what keeps a horse that looked so good away from the races that long. And his recent works have left a lot to be desired.

Baffert will also send out Cupid in the Dirt Mile, despite the fact that his best race has come going 10 furlongs in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita back in May, a race he won by over three lengths that resulted in his only triple digit Beyer Speed Figure.

A middle distance type throughout his millionaire career, Cupid does have a win at a mile over this course two starts back in the Brubaker before he failed as the 6-5 chalk when fourth in the G1 Awesome Again at Santa Anita in his latest. And Baffert has four lined up for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race Cupid is entered in as his second preference.

Practical Joke has won all five of his starts around one turn and is winless in all five of his starts around two turns. He’ll be making his first start against older horses for trainer Chad Brown and his first in a two-turn Mile.

A G1 winner at two and three, by way of victories in the one mile Champagne at Belmont and last out in the H Allen Jerkens going seven furlongs at Saratoga, Practical Joke was on the Kentucky Derby Trail early this season and actually ran a good fifth in the Run for the Roses.

One of the more curious horses in here, he has a ton of talent but a less than stellar resume when that second turn comes into play. He’s entered second preference in the Sprint but it’s all but certain he’ll run here.

The Rest

Accelerate shocked the world when he upset Arrogate in the G2 San Diego over the track when adding blinkers for the first time. Third last out in the G1 Pacific Classic behind Collected and Arrogate at 1¼ miles, he should appreciate the cutback in distance and has won three of his four starts at Del Mar.

Midnight Storm won the G2 San Pasqual on New Year’s Day but has disappointed in five starts since. He showed some signs of life when set the pace in the Awesome Again before being passed in deep stretch by Mubtaahij. He’s a former G1 winner on turf at the distance.

Imperative makes his first start in over five months after capturing the G2 Charles Tow Classic in the slop for the second time in his career when last seen. Winless in seven starts locally, he is undefeated in three starts at a mile.

Iron Fist is three for his last four and has won five of seven starts at the distance, including a minor stakes at Evangeline Downs. He finished seven lengths behind Mor Spirit at the wire of the Sexton Mile where he finished third.

Awesome Slew changed barns earlier this season and has found success in one-turn races, with wins in the G3 Commonwealth going seven furlongs at Keeneland and G3 Ack Ack at Churchill going this distance last out. He’ll stretch back out to two-turns for this but certainly seems less effective when doing so.

Battle of Midway tries older horses for the first time after winning the Shared Belief at a mile at Del Mar two starts back when equipped with blinkers for the first time. Third in the Kentucky Derby, this will be his tenth start of the year.

Gato Del Oro won back to back starts, including one at this trip over the course, before losing ground late when second in the Shared Belief and third in the G3 Oklahoma Derby at nine furlongs.

Giant Expectations has done his best work around one-turn, including a G2 win in the Pat O’Brien going seven furlongs at Del Mar and is in fact winless in four tries around two turns.

If I’m Right…

This is going to be one of the more exciting races of the weekend. There appears to be a lot of horses that will contest the pace and a few who’ll be waiting to pounce. I’d be surprised if Sharp Azteca didn’t lead them into the stretch but who knows what happens after that.

Live Longshot

If Battle of Midway can duplicate his tactics from his most recent effort and can find his way to settle a few lengths off of the early pace I can see him firing a big shot at a big price, say 20-1.
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Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Friday, November 3rd, 2017 1 month 2 weeks ago #458601

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BC - Juvenile Turf
By Anthony Stabile

Distance: 1 mile (T)
Purse: $1 million
Age: 2YO
Time: 6:50 p.m. ET

The History

Contested by both sexes in its inaugural running back in 2007 and featured the Breeders’ Cup debut of Gio Ponti, who had a nightmare trip.

Favorites: 1 for 10 (10%)
Shortest: $6.80 (Pounced, 2009)
Highest: $27.20 (Nownownow, 2007)
U.S based: 4
Foreign based: 6

The Best

As they’ve had historically in the event, it appears as if the Euro-invaders have a slight edge, namely the Aidan O’Brien duo of U S Navy Flag and Nelson.

Having already faced the starter 10 times, U S Navy Flag is by far the most seasoned runner, and having won a pair of G1 races in his last two, the most accomplished, all four of his career wins have come in his last six starts since blinkers were added. It’s worth noting he’s never raced past seven furlongs.

Nelson, on the other hand, has made four of his five starts at a mile. He won two in a row, including a G3 before missing by a neck in a G2 last out when he looked a winner but held at bay as the 4-5 favorite. O’Brien also has Mendelssohn, second to U S Navy Flag when adding blinkers last out, but he’s entered with first preference in the Juvenile on dirt.

Masar comes over for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin sporting two wins from four starts. Oddly enough, in his two defeats, O’Brien-trained fillies September and Happily were the winners. It’s like Masar can’t escape Coolmore. He was third last out in a G1 when trying this distance for the first time.

Chad Brown’s Voting Control may be the best U.S. hope in the bunch. As impressive as can be when breaking his maiden at Belmont after putting in a sustained half-mile charge, he was wheeled back in just 20 days for the G3 Pilgrim on Super Saturday I. After getting bothered at the start, Voting Control raced a touch greenly but came with a big run when he finally got going outside of horses to miss by just a half-length.

Untamed Domain has made all four of his starts on turf. After breaking his maiden second out, he was a troubled trip third in the G3 With Anticipation at Saratoga. Last out, when trainer Graham Motion added blinkers, he was away a bit slowly and raced a bit erratically through the lane but managed to get up by a neck in the G2 Summer at Woodbine.

The Rest

Beckford Won his first two, including a G2, but is winless in three starts against G1 competition, including a fifth place finish as the slight chalk behind U S Navy Flag last out.

Catholic Boy is perfect in two starts but will be making his first start in over nine weeks. After breaking his maiden at Gulfstream in his debut, he closed nicely through the lane to win the With Anticipation.

Encumbered is winless in two dirt starts but rolled home in both turf tries, a maiden win and minor stakes victory, which just so happened to have come over this course going this distance.

Flameaway will be making his turf debut but is a two-time stakes winner of races originally carded for the turf, including the G3 Bourbon at Keeneland most recently.

Hemp Hemp Hurray is a neck away from being undefeated in three starts. After winning his first pair of sprints impressively at Belmont and in the Tyro at Monmouth, he was cut down late in the Summer by Untamed Domain when stretched out to a mile.

James Garfield has won two of his six starts, including a G2 in England last out but has never raced past seven furlongs and never won past six panels.

Rajasinghe won his first two, one on synthetic the other on turf, before a third place finish and off the board finish in a G1 last out behind U S Navy Flag.

Sands of Mali never fired when last in a G1 last out but won his two prior starts in Europe.

A baker’s dozen horses didn’t make it into the body of the field, led My Boy Jack, a hard charging second in three consecutive turf tries before finally breaking his maiden last out in his fifth start in the Zuma Beach at Santa Anita. Snapper Sinclair is a perfect two for two on the turf, including a victory in a lucrative Kentucky Downs stakes eight weeks ago. Tap Daddy won his lone turf start before being elevated to second from third in the Bourbon when he was bothered in the stretch. Admiralty Pier broke his maiden on turf then finished a strong third in the Summer before a sneaky-good fourth place finish in the Bourbon.

If I’m Right…

The knee-jerk reaction is to side with the Euros but when you look closely at the PPs, the Euros don’t seem to be as imposing as you’d think. I think you can get a little creative.

Live Longshot

Encumbered won a pair at the distance over the course before running into Bolt d’Oro in a failed try on dirt in the Front Runner. A return to what he likes to do combined with 15-1 makes him very attractive.
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Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Friday, November 3rd, 2017 1 month 2 weeks ago #458602

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BC - Distaff
By Anthony Stabile

Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Purse: $2 million
Age: 3up (f&m)
Time: 7:35 p.m. ET

The History

In what could be considered the most memorable moment in the history of the Breeders’ Cup, Personal Ensign gunned down Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors in THE final stride of the 1988 running at Churchill Downs. Bayakoa won back to back runnings the following two years. Inside Information won it in 1995 by 13½ lengths, the largest winning margin in Breeders’ Cup history. Before tackling the boys twice, Zenyatta graced this race with her presence when she won it in 2008. Royal Delta won her second consecutive running in 2012 before failing in her attempt to three-peat in 2013 when 2012 Juvenile Fillies champ Beholder became the first winner of a juvenile event to win another Breeders’ Cup race. Rosie Napravnik announced her retirement after guiding the three-year-old Untapable to a popular score in 2014. Last year, Beholder beat the undefeated Songbird by a nostril in the “mother of all Distaffs,” joining Goldikova as the only other horse to win three Breeders’ Cup races.

Favorites: 14 for 33 (42%)
Shortest: $2.80 (Life’s Magic Entry, 1985)
Highest: $113.80 (Spain, 2000)
The champ is here? No. The great Beholder has been retired.

The Best

Six time G1 winner Stellar Wind will likely be favored when the fillies and mares wrap the Breeders’ Cup action on Friday. Fourth in this event after an awkward start last year, a year after missing by just a neck in this as a three-year-old, Stellar Wind has won all three of her 2017 starts, all in G1 races for trainer John Sadler. He took her on the road to Oaklawn for her seasonal bow when she sat her patented stalking trip to wear down Terra Promessa to take the Apple Blossom in mid-April.

Seven weeks later and back in California, Stellar Wind faced just two rivals, Vale Dori and defending Filly & Mare Sprint champ Finest City, in the Beholder Mile at Santa Anita. A virtual match race developed as Finest City lollygagged in last while Stellar Wind sat just off Vale Dori the entire way. Stellar Wind got in front off of the turn and tussled with Vale Dori the entire length of the stretch, eventually holding sway by a neck under regular rider, Victor Espinoza.

The Clement Hirsch nearly two months later at Del Mar proved to be a carbon copy of the Beholder. While there were a couple of more rivals in the field of five, none of which were Finest City, the race unfolded EXACTLY the same way and again, Stellar Wind held Vale Dori by a neck to run her record at Del Mar to a perfect three-for-three.

It’ll be 95 days between races for Stellar Wind, a long time between drinks, even for a five-year-old mare who has made just a total of 15 starts in her career that started late in 2014. It’s also worth noting she is winless in three starts at nine furlongs, though they have come in the two prior renewals of this and the G1 Kentucky Oaks.

Though she’s spent nearly her entire career in the eastern half of the country, Forever Unbridled is similar in many ways to Stellar Wind. They’re the same age, both started their careers at the same time, sport lots of layoff lines in their PPs and frankly, don’t run too often as this mare has made just one more start.

In fact, since a third place finish in this last year, trainer Dallas Stewart has run her just two times this year. In her first start, nearly seven months after last years’ B.C., Forever Unbridled came from well back in a field of eight to take the G2 Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs under Joel Rosario by almost two lengths as the 11-10 favorite.

A little over two months later, Forever Unbridled captured the third G1 of her career, having won both the Apple Blossom and Beldame last season, when she cut down the great Songbird in the Personal Ensign on Travers Day.

Last early in the field of just four, Rosario did an amazing job of keeping Forever Unbridled in the middle of the course so Songbird, who led nearly every step of the way, was down along the rail. Not only did it allow Forever Unbridled to stay out of her rivals periphery, it kept her on the better part of the track as the inside didn’t seem like the place to be on that day.

Now, 10 weeks later, she’ll look for the biggest win of her career at a distance she excels at, sporting four wins and two show-dough finishes from seven starts at nine furlongs.

Abel Tasman takes on her elders for the first time while leading a talented three-year-old filly brigade into the Distaff. In a year in which the boys were a questionable lot until the emergence of Classic contender West Coast, the fillies have shown a world of talent, led by this Bob Baffert trained runner. And since Baffert took over her training before a second place finish in the G1 Santa Anita Oaks, Abel Tasman has done little wrong.

She rallied from last in a field of 14 in the slop at Churchill to take the Kentucky Oaks despite some traffic trouble and a wide trip under Mike Smith. The two came back to again pass all of their rivals in the G1 Acorn at Belmont Stakes Day, when Smith deftly saved all of the ground and rode the rail to a length tally with one of the smartest rides we’ve seen all season.

Her last two trips, however, were questionable with different results. Abel Tasman ran her streak of G1 wins to three when she captured the Coaching Club American Oaks on opening weekend at Saratoga in controversial style. Smith rightfully sensed they were going slow early and made a bold, wide move to the lead going down the backstretch. She stayed in the middle of the track off of the turn, allowing Elate to run up the inside. These two battled through most of the stretch, with things getting tight for Elate a couple of times before Abel Tasman held on by a head. The inquiry and objection signs were posted but after a lengthy look the result stood.

Another strange trip followed in the G1 Cotillion at Parx. After breaking a bit poorly, Smith guided his filly from post 10 down to the rail, which is NOT the place to be, historically, at the Bensalem, Pa oval. She rushed all the way up to the leaders down the backstretch and turned for home with every chance to win but was run down in deep stretch by It Tiz Well.

The Rest

Unlike Abel Tasman, Elate has taken on older fillies and mares and did so with style when she trounced six others in the G1 Beldame last out at Belmont Park for trainer Bill Mott. It’s been a roller-coaster season for this filly, who’s made eight starts since breaking her maiden at first asking in her lone start as a juvenile.

She disappointed as the chalk in her first four starts of the season at odds of 9-5 or less before winning a minor stakes at Delaware Park and finishing second in the aforementioned CCA Oaks.

The G1 Alabama proved to be her coming out party. She raced in mid-pack of the 10 furlong summer staple at the Spa before launching her bid on the turn and hitting the wire five and a half lengths ahead of It Tiz Well, in a move reminiscent of a filly she draws many comparisons to, fellow Mott trainee and two time Distaff winner, Royal Delta. (Editor's note: It Tiz Well scratched)

While his Unique Bella missed too much time to be ready for the Distaff (she’ll try the Filly & Mare Sprint), Jerry Hollendorfer will be represented in here by It Tiz Well. Like Abel Tasman, this filly has improved nicely since the addition of blinkers.

After encountering a ton of trouble as the favorite in the G2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita, It Tiz Well came back to win the G3 Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park before her second in the Alabama when she set the pace.

Her set-up was much better in the Cotillion. Originally sitting second behind the speed, Abel Tasman went on to apply pressure allowing It Tiz Well to back off and sit the outside stalking trip in third, one she eventually parlayed into a two-length score. This will be her first start against older.

It’s been feast or famine as far as Paradise Woods in concerned. When the “good” filly shows up, she’s sensational, winning races like the Santa Anita Oaks by almost a dozen lengths and the G1 Zenyatta by over five lengths last out in her first try against older. And it looks like she should be able to control the pace, like she did in those starts, in here.

But the bad races are awful. She had company on the front end in the Kentucky Oaks and folded like an accordion before a three month break then stumbled at the start and was out of sorts when she was forced to rate in the G3 Torrey Pines in her comeback. The Distaff may go through her, depending on which version of this runner shows up for trainer Richard Mandella.

2016 B.C. Juvenile Fillies upsetter Champagne Room may be the only one that can keep Paradise Woods company early on. She’s run just twice since last years’ win, a second place finish three months later behind Unique Bella in the G2 Las Virgenes and last out, off of an eighth month break, when she led the Remington Park Oaks from start to finish as the 1-5 favorite for trainer Pete Eurton.

Romantic Vision scored her first G1 win in the Spinster at this trip over a sloppy Keeneland course last out after taking the G3 Locust Grove two back, the first time she’s’ won back to back starts in a career in which she’s disappointed more than she’s thrilled for trainer Rusty Arnold.

Mopotism is eligible for a second level allowance contest for trainer Doug O’Neill. A minor stakes win and second in the Summertime Oaks are counted as some of her best efforts to date and she’s hit the board, without ever really threatening to win, in races like the G1 Starlet and Las Virgenes.

If I’m Right…

The time between races, amongst other things, will prove to be the undoing of the two top older mares, Stellar Wind and Forever Unbridled.

Live Longshot

Paradise Woods should get loose on the lead and has been dominant when she’s done so in the past. Not sure how big of a price she’ll be but I can’t imagine she’s a top three choice on the tote board.
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Breeders Cup Betting News and Notes Friday, November 3rd, 2017 1 month 1 week ago #459350

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At the Gate - Friday
By Mike Dempsey

After a four-day break we are back in action in New York on Friday afternoon with the opening of the Aqueduct meeting.

Today’s feature is the $150,000 Tempted (G3) for two-year-old fillies that drew a field of six led by the Tony Dutrow trained Navajo who is the 4-5 morning line favorite.

The four-day break gave me plenty of time to handicap the Breeders’ Cup which gets underway this afternoon with four championship races followed by nine more on Saturday at Del Mar.

We have nine former Breeders’ Cup winners back in action. One contender looking for her first Breeders’ Cup win is Stellar Wind, who ran second in the 2015 Distaff and fourth in last year’s memorable race behind Beholder and Songbird.

This year she is the 5-2 morning line favorite but faces a talented group that includes Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Abel Tasman and Beldame (G1) winner Elate, a pair of very talented three-year-old fillies.

Also in the field is Forever Unbridled, who upset Songbird in the Personal Ensign (G1) in her last outing and Paradise Woods, the winner of the Zenyatta (G1) in gate to wire fashion in her final prep for the Distaff.

Toss in Spinster (G1) winner Romantic Vision, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Champagne Room and Cotillion (G1) fourth place finisher Mopotism and we have quite the lineup.

The Breeders’ Cup kicks off in the sixth race on the 10-race card today with the Juvenile Fillies (G1) followed by the Dirt Mile (G1) and then the Juvenile Turf (G1).

The races will be televised on the NBC Sports Network at 5:00 ET.

The Breeders’ Cup continues Saturday with nine championship races highlighted by the $6 million Classic which will be a showdown between Gun Runner and a quartet of Bob Baffert runners—Arrogate, Collected, West Coast and Mubtaahij.

My Best Plays Report for Friday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Del Mar.

Now would be a great time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. You get an entire month of action from Aqueduct, my weekend Best Plays Reports as well as my Breeders’ Cup Report!

To purchase my Aqueduct, Best Plays, and Breeders’ Cup Reports for Friday click here.

Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 1 Clm $16,000N2L (12:20 ET)
1 Bar None 7-5
4 Son of Mine 7-2
6 Conquest Expresso 5-2
2 Northern Grey 12-1

Analysis: Bar None prompted the early pace, took over a short lead heading for home and could not match strides late with eh winner in a runner up finish last out at this level going a mile. The gelding cuts back to six furlongs here for the Jacobson barn and she ran well two and three back at Belmont sprinting, a couple of runner up finishes. She should get a god trip sitting just off the pace and looks tough here as the likely chalk to start the day.

Son of Mine was outrun last out against $40,000 non-winners of two on turf and now returns to the main track. He broke his maiden at 5 1/2 on turf and was a decent third in his second career start at Laurel Park on the main track in a race taken off the turf. The Rice barn is 28% winners moving runners from turf to dirt.

WIN: #1 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,2,4,6
TRI: 1,4 / 1,2,4,6 / 1,2,3,4,6

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 Clm $35,000N3L (4:22 ET)
5 Cheyenne Bull 3-1
8 Strike Midnight 7-2
10 Daddy D T 6-1
4 Baratti 6-1

Analysis: Cheyenne Bull tracked the early pace while saving ground and finished evenly in a fourth-place fish last out against Alw-2 optional claimers at Monmouth Park. The runner up and third place finisher exited that race to win next out. The colt was game second two back and now drops back in for a tag for the red hot Servis barn. The colt looks like a good fit in this spot.

Strike Midnight drops back in for a tag for his second start off the claim by the Servis barn. Last out the colt stalked the early pace and had no punch left late in a fifth-place finish against Alw-2 optional claimers. He was a game second two back against $50,000 non-winners of three. The colt spent most of last year in stakes company and was only beaten 3/4 of a length in the Hall of Fame (G2) and ran second in a couple of ungraded stakes. He is a logical threat here on the class drop.

WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,8 / 4,5,8,10
TRI: 5,8 / 4,5,8,10 / 4,5,8,10,12

Today’s Featured of the Day from Del Mar:

DMR Race 7 The BC Dirt Mile G1 (3:05 PT)
10 Practical Joke 6-1
8 Accelerate 7-2
6 Mor Spirit 3-1
3 Sharp Azteca 9-2

Analysis: Practical Joke tracked the early pace while saving ground and finished evenly in a fourth-place fish last out against Alw-2 optional claimers at Monmouth Park. The runner up and third place finisher exited that race to win next out. The colt was game second two back and now drops back in for a tag for the red hot Servis barn. The colt looks like a good fit in this spot.

Accelerate won the San Diego Handicap (G1) where Arrogate was fourth earning a career top speed fig and then bested that fig in his third-place finish in the pacific Classic (G1) behind Collected and Arrogate, beaten 4 1/4 lengths. He has won three times over the main track here for the Sadler barn that is looking to get off the duck at the Breeders' Cup (0 for 39). The cut back to a a mile suits this guy and he has missed landing in the money just once in his career.

Mor Spirit ran huge winning the Met Mile (G1) with a career top speed fig back in June. The runner up Sharp Azteca came back to win the Monmouth Cup (G2) and Kelso ' Cap (G2) in his next two starts. Rally Cry and Tom's Ready also came out of the Met Mile to win stakes in their next starts. The 146 day break would be a concern except it is Baffert who is 28% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. He has worked sharply but his price is going to end up on the short side.

WIN: #10 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 8,10 / 3,6,8,10
TRI: 8,10 / 3,6,8,10 / 3,5,6,8,10

Live Longshots:
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.

R1: #2 Northern Grey 12-1
R3: #1 Paz the Bourbon 8-1
R6: #7 Flash Drive 8-1
R9: #6 Sunnysammi 8-1
R9: #2 Eila 8-1
R10: #4 Blue Eyes 10-1
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