The BC Picks and Analysis Thread

Tessablue
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:05 pm

Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:39 pm

For consolidating our thoughts about the upcoming races. Who do you like? Who's your lock and your best longshot? Feel free to write anything from a list to an essay.

Good luck to everyone, and may they all come home safe!
stark
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Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:46 pm

nt
Last edited by stark on Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Tessablue
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:05 pm

Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:04 am

Some useful resources for handicapping:

XBTV workout videos (the side-by-sides are particularly cool)- https://www.xbtv.com/breeders-cup/

A searchable and up to date BC stats database- http://stats.breederscup.com/#

Current overseas odds- https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racin ... eeders-cup

Thursday's SA card will be crucial for predicting how the track will play.
stark
Posts: 5430
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Location: SoCal

Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:07 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:04 am
Some useful resources for handicapping:

Thursday's SA card will be crucial for predicting how the track will play.
Good luck with that.
For example, the only 6F sprint on the card is the nitecap, $12.5 claimers, fillies/mares that have never won two races.
Do you really think you can spot a track bias that will parlay logic into the Breeders Cup? Shancelot can go wire to wire because speed is holding?
Let us know how it works out for you, thanks.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Somnambulist

Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:30 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:04 am
Thursday's SA card will be crucial for predicting how the track will play.
I figure they soup it up for one if not both of these days, so who knows.
Tessablue
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:05 pm

Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:40 pm

Somnambulist wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:30 pm
Tessablue wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:04 am
Thursday's SA card will be crucial for predicting how the track will play.
I figure they soup it up for one if not both of these days, so who knows.
You think they will with all of the scrutiny this year? Normally I'd agree, but I wonder if they'll just leave it alone if everything goes fine today (and so far it has). Definitely worth keeping an eye on the dirt tomorrow morning as you note, but I think the turf is actually more interesting to watch, because it has been very speed-favoring at times this meet and I doubt it will change too much in a couple days. Looks like it has been very fair today though, which is great news!
Somnambulist

Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:59 pm

They're talking about the possible switchback to synthetic... basically signaling this track is potential unsafe. I don't put it past them but we'll see. I'm still operating under the assumption that tomorrow is Thursday...

There is not one single favorite that I'm sold on. I wish Serengeti Empress was going to get the pace she needs to run at.
Tessablue
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:17 pm

The poly talk could be a reflex, but yeah it's a wildcard right now. Going to pay close attention to the undercard tomorrow.

The only favorite I'm sold on is Sistercharlie, and Dennis' Moment if he ends up going favored (not 100% on him but I might single him because the rest of the races tomorrow are so difficult). Haven't gotten to the Turf yet but I'm ready to oppose Midnight Bisou and Arizona.
Tessablue
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:53 pm

Some Friday analysis....

Juvenile Turf Sprint

It’s a juvenile race and a turf sprint, so you would be excused for hitting that “all” button in here. But I do believe that this race runs straight through Kimari. She has simply been exceptional in every one of her races, including a narrow Ascot loss to what has proven to be a very nice filly. I’d be more concerned about her gate troubles if she hadn’t shown her adaptability in her last start, and I like that she gets Johnny V back. With any sort of decent trip, she should be right there. Still, this is a turf sprint, so one has to look for other options as well. Four Wheel Drive is clearly a talented colt, and he looked great winning last time out with the highest Beyer in the field. However, I feel like this race may be a bit short for him. Chimney Rock is an interesting horse- he’s been beaten by the Ward fillies in his last two starts, but there’s no shame in that and his trips haven’t been great. The rail is hit-or-miss for a deep closer like him, but if he saves ground and sneaks through at the top of the stretch he could do some damage late. And although I strongly dislike betting Euros in turf sprints, I do think Band Practice is a little intriguing. She’s tough, she thrives at this distance, and she’ll probably just wing it for the lead from that inside post. I like that she picks up a jockey with plenty of BC experience, and she’ll certainly be a price.

Kimari
Chimney Rock/ Band Practice/ Four Wheel Drive


Juvenile Turf

This race really feels like it’s strongly divided into two tiers. Many of the Americans just don’t look fast enough to win, but I’m still going to take a risky stand here and go against Arizona. Here’s why: he drew atrociously and is likely going to end up wide and chasing, his much-touted last race came over soft ground, he’s stretching out for the first time after looking a bit tired late in his starts at 7f, and O’Brien is on one heck of a losing streak in North America. At the value he figures to offer, I might use him sparingly in horizontals but will mostly try to beat him. I’m not really going to go out of the box to do it though- Structor and Decorated Invader both look very live in here. Structor, a classy and versatile Brown horse, just makes sense. I think his trip last out was a little tougher than it looked, as he actually lost a decent amount of ground throughout. His rider from that race chose Decorated Invader over him- I’d bet it’s pretty rare to see an Ortiz brother jump off a Brown horse- and there’s not a whole lot to dislike about Decorated Invader either. To add a bit of price in there, I’ll also use Our Country, who has had some tough trips in his last two and is probably as good as the favorites on his best day. Love that he picks up Johnny V, who can hopefully work out a ground saving trip.

Structor/ Decorated Invader/ Our Country


Juvenile Fillies

Honestly, this race was kind of miserable to handicap, and I really don’t like anyone in here. The first thing I’m doing is tossing Donna Veloce, who has got to be the worst ML favorite on either card. Never mind that she drew the rail stretching out in her first start against winners, she’s also trained by a guy who sent out the ML favorite in this race to a terrible performance in both 2017 and 2018. I wouldn’t bet on her if you paid me to, but all credit to her if she pulls it off. I also don’t like Bast, who just doesn’t look like a router and would be double her odds with a different trainer. The pace last time out was so slow that you’d expect her to finish, but she just didn’t pick it up much in the stretch, and she doesn’t have the most efficient stride out there. So who do I actually like? Wicked Whisper is fairly interesting- she looked like an awfully good one in the Frizette, and based on her works I don’t think she’ll have much trouble laying off of Donna Veloce. There’s nothing to particularly dislike about British Idiom, aside from the fact that she got a golden trip at Keeneland and big Alcibiades winners almost always tank in the BC for some reason. With so many questionable favorites, this race feels ripe for a major upset… but even there the options feel pretty limited. Perhaps Perfect Alibi, who is pretty slow and was outmatched at Keeneland but always runs a bit better than expected? Or K P Dreamin, who had zero chance in the Chandelier but would appreciate a remotely fair pace and/or surface? I dunno, man. It could be a nine-horse dead heat and I still wouldn’t be surprised.

Wicked Whisper/ British Idiom/ Perfect Alibi/ K P Dreamin/ I have no idea/ Can I talk about another race now?


Juvenile Fillies Turf

Now this is a great handicapping race. Just a lovely bunch of fillies in one of the most competitive races on either day. Tough to pare down this field and I’ll be using four fillies pretty equally- two Euros and two Americans. Daahyeh is unlikely to remain at 5-1 and for good reason, as she’s kept good company in Europe and looks to be improving for a trainer with a decent BC record (5-0-1-1 so far). The other Euro I really like is Shadn. Her trainer hasn’t sent a horse to this event since 1994, her ratings are just a touch below the big guns, she’ll be a decent price, why not? For the Americans, I like the Saratoga Queen of Controversy, Crystalle who is just a sharp filly who does her best running late. I worry that she takes a little while to hit her best stride, but the pace should be fair and she’ll be mowing them down late. Finally, it’s tough to overlook the filly who actually beat Crystalle last time out. Selflessly has an absolutely terrible post, but I think she has a lot of talent and she’ll be a pretty good price for a Brown filly in this race. She’s a big beautiful filly and she ran an excellent race last time out, losing ground but winning pretty easily over Crystalle while stretching out for the first time. She could win this race on sheer talent alone.

Daahyeh/ Shadn/ Crystalle/ Selflessly


Juvenile

Finally, a straightforward race. To start, I’m tossing Eight Rings from the win spot. I didn’t like him even before his bizarre final workout, in which he labored late, swapped leads, and bore out under urging during the gallop out. That was the final nail, but I don’t much like his past performances either. Even looking past his questionable maturity, he had an easy trip over a speed-favoring surface against a terrible field in his last race. He still swapped leads late and looked very tired at the wire, and I don’t think he wants to route quite yet- especially not against fast horses. With Maxfield out, that narrows the win spot down pretty conclusively to Dennis’ Moment. I actually tried quite hard to find a way to go against him here, but I couldn’t find one besides the draw. This field is not terribly deep and this horse has some truly notable buzz around him. He’s handy, he’s incredibly talented, he’s working magnificently, I’m not going to oppose him. You can fill in the blanks underneath- Wrecking Crew, Shoplifted, Storm the Court, and Full Flat all look far too slow to make any impact, which leaves Scabbard and Anneau d’Or. I love a 2yo who jumps up while stretching out for the first time, and Scabbard’s last race was good enough to suggest that he may be the second most likely winner in the field. Scabbard’s odds will take a beating after Maxfield’s scratch, but Anneau d’Or is a pretty fascinating longshot. His debut race on the turf was really quite good, he’s working excellently, and his pedigree says dirt should be no problem. He drew wide enough to avoid kickback, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he sort of hangs around to hit the board at a decent price.

Dennis’ Moment
Scabbard/ Anneau d’Or/ Eight Rings
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:02 pm

I doubt they'll soup up the track this weekend. All the chatter has been about how deep and tiring the track is...people are plenty prepared but not sure about the horses. I'm finding it difficult to account for that in my handicapping.
Tessablue
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:05 pm

Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:28 pm

Taking stock after today: could have been better, could have been worse. Had the first three but it's not like any of them were hard to see. Totally missed the Fillies Turf and never would have used Storm the Court; that Anneau d'Or beat was physically painful.

Some observations: pace on the turf is clearly helpful. You don't need to be on the lead, but you want to be near the front at the top of the stretch because this course isn't very kind to late stretch runs. Meanwhile, good luck with the dirt- all those reports about how deep and tiring it is were clearly accurate. I don't think home field advantage is as important as stamina here, and you want to look for horses who can either run all day or get to the lead and grind home.

Oh, also, the NY jockeys are killing it on the turf. That ride by Manny Franco should be hung in the Louvre.

Not yet sure how that affects tomorrow's analysis, but I'll post more walls of text tonight.
Tessablue
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:05 pm

Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:29 am

Sorry if I'm talking to myself in here; been making this thread for years and it's weird not to have Kennedy or peep in here to bounce ideas off of :(

My deep dive for tomorrow... I'm sure you're all dying to hear the latest analysis from the poster who confidently called the Juvenile a "straightforward" race!

The F&M Sprint

This might consistently be my favorite BC race to handicap every year. It plays more like a short route than a long sprint, and as such it tends to offer a ton of value if you look past the favorites. I don’t think this is the best year to do that (thanks to the connections of Secret Spice, who would have been perfect in this race but contests the Distaff instead), but I still think it’s worth taking a stand against Covfefe. How will she perform drawn inside against older horses in her first start off an enormous effort? Well, she actually faced that exact scenario in June, and the answer was “not great.” This is a tough race for 3yos, and it’s an especially tough race for a forwardly placed filly who will be hounded all the way and could bounce off a top-level effort. Given these factors and the deep tiring track, I much prefer Come Dancing, as that mare is versatile and fast enough to win this with her best effort. She’s been working lights-out while shipping for the first time, and although Belmont preppers do not fare well in this race when it is held at Santa Anita, I suspect that won’t hold up as well this year. Still, she has enough unknowns to make others worth examining. Bellafina isn’t going to light up the toteboard, and she’s both a 3yo and not quite fast enough on the face of things to win this. But she fits a pretty classic profile otherwise, as a filly with a lot of experience over the track who is classy enough to compete at longer distances. Historically, the cutback is a pretty powerful angle in this race, and her trip in the Cotillion was pretty impossible. As a bomber I like Lady Ninja, who loves this track, put in a sharp final work, and is not impossible in the (likely) case of a pace meltdown. Finally, Spiced Perfection is a logical pick on the basis of her last outing. She’s a bit too slow to comfortably use in the win spot, but she should get a pace to run at and the TCA is traditionally a strong prep for this race.

Come Dancing/ Bellafina
Lady Ninja/ Spiced Perfection


Turf Sprint

Turf sprints are just the best, aren’t they? So many tough old friends in one race. I don’t think this is the strongest renewal, but it’s certainly an interesting one. A lot of horses could win this race so it’s just a matter of picking the ones you feel best about and spreading your bets. Personally, I think any analysis of this race has to start with Pure Sensation. This fantastic old guy is in career-form at age 8, and he’s clearly going to be the speed from that inside post. Shekky Shebaz will be after him early, but Pure Sensation doesn’t mind company on the front end and could just wire them here over a surface that has been pretty kind to speed. I do think he’s historically a little better on soft turf, but he’s twice run well in this very race on a California course, and this could finally be his year. I’m a bit intrigued here by Belvoir Bay, who is likely to come down off her already-not-appealing ML. Still, she’s a mare who has shown herself capable of running with Blue Point and World of Trouble- probably the best turf sprinters in the world until their retirement- and she loves this surface. The draw is terrible and the layoff is concerning, but Miller did send Stormly Liberal to victory in this race two years ago off a nearly identical layoff. She’s a horse you really regret getting beaten by. And speaking of Stormy Liberal… I have to admit, I love the guy and I’m not ready to give up on him quite yet. He had some trouble getting open in his last start, this is his home track, and I just don’t think you can fully discount a horse who has won the last two editions of this race. He’s clearly at his best this time of the year, and even a step behind his best is enough to beat this field. You can throw a dart to fill in the rest of the exotics and there’s nothing to discount about Eddie Haskell aside from his price, and I kind of like Leinster for a Vassar hat trick as well. Originally I had Eddie Haskell on here as my tentative fourth pick, but after watching today’s races I’m going to supplement Shekky Shebaz. He has the draw, the speed, and Irad aboard. Wouldn’t be surprise if the finish looks like a lot like today’s Juvenile Turf Sprint, though I’m not sure you can really go wrong here though. It’s a turf sprint. They’ll all be separated by a length at the finish line anyways.

Pure Sensation/ Belvoir Bay/ Stormy Liberal/ Shekky Shebaz/ The Rest of the Field I Guess


The Dirt Mile

I kind of feel like a degenerate for betting this race. Five of the six short-priced horses are 3yos, and all of them have questions surrounding them that range from moderate to severe. Lucky, there’s a price horse I really love in here. Diamond Oops opts for easier pickings than the Sprint, and I think he was primed to run a big race wherever he ended up. This horse ran a pretty close-up fifth against an excellent field of turf sprinters in the Jaipur, beat Mitole in the Vanderbilt (albeit with a far superior trip), then ran an excellentrace in the Shadwell Mile to just get beaten on the wire after leading a strong pace. He’s a quality horse, and I think he’ll love the switch back to dirt, the mile distance, and the stalking trip he’s likely to get with that outside draw. I don’t know if he’s the most likely winner, but I love his chances to at least hit the board at a very generous price. Wish I could form any strong opinions on the rest of the field, however. Obviously the race runs through Omaha Beach, but aren’t we judging him more on how good he might rather than how good he actually has been? Don’t get me wrong, his last race was an excellent effort, but it also knocked him out per Mandella and he doesn’t tower over anyone on figures. I don’t think he can be tossed and he would be the least surprising winner, but I don’t love him, and I especially don’t love his price. The other 3yo I like the most is Mr. Money, who is a consistent known commodity and should enjoy the slight cut back to a mile. Finally, Improbable is a horse who has given bettors fits all year and looks set to do so again in this race. He’s not really tossable because his best race is pretty good and his PA Derby effort was much better than it looked, but he’s not super playable because of his gate issues, mental issues, and general lack of wins against top competition. Will use underneath and with caution.

Diamond Oops/ Omaha Beach
Mr. Money/ Improbable


The Chad Brown vs. Europe Turf Invitational

Sistercharlie is just a complete standout in this race and, in my opinion, the only remotely appealing single on the day. She’s just a model of brilliance and consistency, and I don’t think the scratch of Thais hurts her because nobody ever takes Thais seriously anyways. Her usual effort should be enough to win here, and the fact that she’s currently 11/10 abroad tells you how much respect she has earned around the world. But this is horse racing, and it’s not like this field is terrible to begin with. Iridessa is a pretty intriguing filly. She’s a pretty clear second favorite abroad which I think is telling, and she just looks like a filly who wants to run 10f on firm ground. She beat a nice group of older mares by daylight in the spring and my only main concern is her jockey, who has ridden some high-profile disappointments in the BC lately. With Thais out, I have to give Mirth a second look simply from a pace perspective. Santa Anita editions of this race has been pretty kind to speed- recall Dayatthespa’s win and longshot local Avenge finishing third a few years ago. I’m not the biggest fan of Mike Smith in big races, but she jumped up with him last time out and he will know to get this filly clear in a race where nobody wants to challenge her. To fill in that third spot beneath Sistercharlie, I’ll go with Mrs. Sippy. This mare hasn’t done anything wrong since joining Motion’s stable, and she was able to keep touch with the favorite in the stretch despite racing kind of distractedly with her ears straight up. This race might be too short for her, but I’m not exactly looking for her to win.

Sistercharlie
Iridessa/ Mirth/ Mrs. Sippy


The Magnificent Sprint

Enough has been written about the quality of this field, so let’s get down to handicapping it. The first thing I’m going to do is toss Catalina Cruise, not just because it worked out last year but because I simply don’t think he’s going to handle these horses at 6f, especially not on the rail. He strikes me as one of those horses who just doesn’t quite step it up in big, high-quality fields. Could be wrong and maybe I’m just trying to make this race easier, but I’ll let him beat me. I also don’t really want a piece of Shancelot, at least not on top. He’s had two chances now to show us that the Amsterdam was for real, and he just… hasn’t. His last two races simply will not win this, and he has never faced anything near the likes of these. Respect him a lot, but I’m betting he doesn’t have another Amsterdam in him on Satuday. On the other hand, I’m not going to try to beat the big two. Going in to this race I slightly preferred Mitole because he’s a marvelous horse who has made a spectacular appearance thus far at Santa Anita. He had plenty of reason to lose the Vanderbilt and I fully expect him to run his best here. I’m just a little concerned about the post, as his jockey is going to have to decide what to do with Shancelot. Mitole doesn’t need the lead and can make a trip, but any difficulty will set things up for the wonderful Imperial Hint. The little rocket is somehow as good as ever at age 6, and he drew beautifully for this race. His Vosburgh is one of those races you can view however you like- was it too hard and a step back, or was it the tightener he needed for this tougher race? I think he’ll get a better trip in here either way, and reports of his morning appearance at Santa Anita have been positive. I adore the little guy and will be rooting him home… while using him equally with Mitole in the win spot. Underneath is sort of a process of elimination. I don’t like Shancelot as a winner, but he’s very game and he feels like a horse who hangs tough in third or fourth. Old friend Whitmore looks like he’s lost a step, but he was probably best in a bad edition of the Phoenix and I don’t think anyone would be surprised if he takes advantage of a meltdown and closes for a spot on the board.

Imperial Hint/ Mitole
Shancelot/ Whitmore


The Mile

Possibly the most difficult race of either card, starting with the fact that there’s no pace in here at all. Who is going to the lead in this race? Bolo? The pace ambiguity combined with the lack of standouts make this race very tough to figure. To start, I’m deeply suspicious of Circus Maximum. Yes, he has speed, but I don’t really trust that speed in this situation. Moreover, exceptional European milers in this race tend to get absolutely hammered abroad- Polydream was something like 6/5 when she was forced to scratch last year, if I remember correctly. There aren’t a lot of strong contenders in here, but he’s still only around 3-1 abroad, having drifted up a touch after today’s races, with Got Stormy and Uni close behind him. The European analyses I’ve read have been pretty lukewarm on him (example here: https://twitter.com/TimeformUS/status/ ... 4846035968), and he just feels a bit risky as the favorite. Uni is very cool but looks unlikely to get any pace at all over a course that looks pretty difficult to close on, so I like Got Stormy the best out of the favorites. She’s versatile, consistent, and plenty fast enough to win this race. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see her very close up here, and I think she’ll like this firm track. Meanwhile, Without Parole is a horse I’ve seen talked about a decent amount, and I can see why. Brown wouldn’t throw him to the wolves unless he had some confidence, but you don’t really need to take his word for it- the horse has been keeping pace with the mighty Bricks and Mortar in the mornings, and his best European form is quite good. Besides, his layoff is hardly more insane than Animals Kingdom’s layoff a few years back, and Animal Kingdom was miles the best in that race. Hey Gaman has some early foot and is clearly desperate for firm turf; terrible draw (though it worked out for Karakontie) but his best put him right there at the finish. And you know what? I’ll put a little something on Bolo. Crazier things have happened (remember Court Vision over Turralure? Or today’s Juvenile?) and he’s the lone speed here at his home course. He’ll be like 40-1, as he should be, but he’s run races that could win this in the past. Would it really be that surprising in a race as wide open as this one?

Got Stormy/ Without Parole/ Hey Gaman/ Bolo


The Distaff

Midnight Bisou is an absolutely wonderful mare, and I have all the respect in the world for her. That being said… I think she’s a very vulnerable favorite here. Two of her last three races were frankly not good enough to win this race, and she got a better trip than Elate in the Personal Ensign- and does beating Elate look as good in retrospect, given what happened in the Spinster? I think she’ll absolutely be there at the finish, but she’s going to be heavily bet down against some nice competitors. My pick in here is going to be Dunbar Road instead. Dunbar Road was easily best in her stakes races prior to the Spinster- she wasn’t facing much, but she won the way a good horse wins. Her Spinster might have actually been her finest effort, however- she finished barely a length off of two very nice older mares while stuck on a terrible rail, and I think a move forward from that race wins this one. I think she has a stamina advantage over field so the slow tiring surface should work out for her. Serengeti Empress is a filly I really like, and I think she could really surprise people if she finally gets her trip. Her Cotillion trip was completely impossible, so draw a line through that one, and before that she dueled with Covfefe and Guarana. If she gets clear and brave on the lead against these far less lethal pace horses, she could take them a long way. Paradise Woods is perfectly logical as a final horse to use underneath, but I’ll go with Ollie’s Candy, who had the much tougher trip in the Zenyatta and picks up Joel Rosario.

Dunbar Road
Midnight Bisou/ Serengeti Empress/ Ollie’s Candy


The Turf

This race feels like it should be a bit easier to gauge than it is. I absolutely adore Bricks and Mortar and think he’s one of the best American turfers we’ve seen in recent memory. His races give zero indication that he’ll fail at 12f, and he’d be a single were it not for that one nagging question mark. But who can really challenge him? This isn’t the saltiest field, and the Euro shippers are not as good as they have been in previous years. Anthony van Dyck has been talked about quite a bit as a horse with some quality who has been pointed to this race for a long while. I’ve been pretty mean to O’Brien horses this year and I’m afraid that isn’t going to change here- while he could win, he’s not exactly talked up much by European racing publications, and his best race is good but not unbeatable here. So although I don’t want to discount him entirely and I will certainly use him in some places, especially if Circus Maximus runs well in the Mile, I prefer the other main shipper, Old Persian, instead. Why Old Persian? Well, let’s just say that if Charlie Appleby sent a literal donkey to the BC I’d still bet on it. His record is a farcical 6-3-1-0 in this event, and he has sent a pretty good one over to contest this race. Old Persian’s best race is very good, he likes firm turf, and his jockey has noted that he has pretty good early foot. I think he’s just a bit more likely than Anthony van Dyck to win here. I don’t have much interest in the other horses here, aside from a general fondness towards old pals like Channel Maker and Arklow. Mount Everest doesn’t do it for me at all; I can’t think of any “other O’Briens” who did much in this event, and O’Brien himself has said that he only sent the horse over to give him some experience. So for some price underneath, I think I’ll actually use Zulu Alpha. He’s a distance specialist who can run a pretty good race on his best day, and he had a bit of a weird trip in the Hirsch, rating off a slow pace and switching leads multiple times when forced to cut out in the stretch. He gets Jose Ortiz back and could hit the board at a huge price.

Bricks and Mortar/ Old Persian
Anthony van Dyck/ Zulu Alpha


The Classic(?)

In some years, the Classic is impossible to handicap because there are so many good horses contesting it. In others, you love a 15-1 ML 3yo then just have to work backwards from there. I don’t actually think this race is that bad, but it’s a puzzling one for sure. The only thing I’m certain of here is my absolute love of Owendale, both as a horse and as a betting prospect. I’ve been a fan of this guy all year long, and I’m still patiently waiting for him to get a good trip at the top level. In the Preakness, he rallied widest against a golden rail and just missed out for second, while in the Travers he simply got trapped on a quicksand rail all the way around. In his easier races, he shows genuine acceleration and always looks at his very best right at the wire, so I’m excited for him to get a second chance at 10f. Brad Cox had British Idiom ready to go today and Owendale has looked fantastic in the mornings at Santa Anita. He’s a beautiful strapping horse who gives every impression that he’s improving with age.

But I could wax poetical about Owendale for a while, and I don’t think he’s a lock to win by any means. So let’s start to pare down the rest of the field. First of all, I’m tossing McKinzie altogether. Is anyone in the world actually excited to bet Mckinzie? He has disappointed a lot of bettors throughout his career, and his trainer- who did not have a great day today- isn’t even pretending he can get 10f. He becomes even less appealing over this tiring surface. Other tosses include Mongolian Groom and Higher Power, because I simply cannot trust any horse whose best race came suddenly on the front end. And speaking of the front end, what on earth is War of Will going to do here? He’s been pretty eager in the mornings and I hate blinkers-on with a horse who already has plenty of speed. I think there’s a decent chance he runs off Palace Malice-style and melts the whole race down.

Who would actually stand to benefit in this situation? Vino Rosso isn’t a particularly novel or exciting horse to bet, but he simply makes sense here as a versatile horse who should thrive at this distance. He just feels like a horse who will enjoy the slower surface, and he’d be completely unsurprising as a winner- which you can’t say for many contestants in here. Along that same vein, I’ve tried to beat Code of Honor many times this year, and it just doesn’t make sense anymore. He’s a good horse, he keeps running through the lane, nobody would be shocked if he won this race, I’m not going to fight him any longer. And finally, speaking of horses whom I’ve bet against in the past, I find myself gravitating towards Yoshida as a viable horse underneath. I don’t think 10f is Yoshida’s best distance, but he’s a “flatten out late” kind of 9f horse, not a “fade off the map” 9f horse like McKinzie. He’s just a solid closer who can run quite well on his best day and might get a good pace to run at here.

Owendale/ Vino Rosso
Code of Honor/ Yoshida

Did I mention I love Owendale?
MySaladDays
Posts: 1051
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:16 am

Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:51 am

CoH is still, IMHO, the best bred horse in the Classic. His stamina on the mare side is outstanding, what you need to get over that tiring track. Whether or not he can stay up close is my only worry. If Mike can gun Yoshida to the front early, he has a shot and so does Mongolian Groom. Vino Rosso is CoH's main competition because he has both the speed and the stamina to win this.
I hope owendale does something for you......my feeling is that he belongs in the Mile and should have gone there. He's better than a lot in this race, and his speed should carry him a good distance, but I just don't see him as a true 10F horse.
For the sprint I love Mitole but can't take those odds. I think I will put a few dollars on Firenze Fire as a longshot.
I love Old Persian in R11.
Want to give Improble a last chance in R6.....head case but a talented nut. My Longshot bomb for Sat: Snapper Sinclair.
middleground
Posts: 505
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:29 pm

Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:14 am

Tessablue wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:29 am
Sorry if I'm talking to myself in here; been making this thread for years and it's weird not to have Kennedy or peep in here to bounce ideas off of :(

My deep dive for tomorrow... I'm sure you're all dying to hear the latest analysis from the poster who confidently called the Juvenile a "straightforward" race!
Great post, per usual.
User avatar
Treve
Posts: 4570
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 5:12 pm

Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:19 am

Tessablue wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:29 am
I can’t think of any “other O’Briens” who did much in this event, and O’Brien himself has said that he only sent the horse over to give him some experience.
Great analysis TB!
Just so I can understand though - do you mean the ones AOB has entered this year haven't done much?
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
Kezzz__
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:59 am

Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:42 am

As always I have one in every race tonight, really starting to like Bellafina in the opening graded race, she's 100% at Santa Anita and has been working well.Castle Lady will love the step up and ground in the F&M Turf (of which Fleeting is now out). I think Mitole will be incredibly tough but I'm praying with the jockey upgrade that Shancelot just blasts out in front and gets too far away to be caught. Without Parole is of interest at a price in the mile, Chad Brown has thrown him in based on the fact he's been working very well with Bricks And Mortar. Hoping Serengeti Empress gets the pace and trip to steal a place in the Distaff, and Arklow is always a good each way play in the Turf. Code Of Honor will love the tight track and that will suit his speed, I'm hugely confident on him, and War Of Will in blinkers to run a big one at a price.

Disappointingly Suedois and Fleeting are out for the Euro's
Tessablue
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:05 pm

Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:50 am

Thank you middleground!
MySaladDays wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:51 am
CoH is still, IMHO, the best bred horse in the Classic. His stamina on the mare side is outstanding, what you need to get over that tiring track. Whether or not he can stay up close is my only worry. If Mike can gun Yoshida to the front early, he has a shot and so does Mongolian Groom. Vino Rosso is CoH's main competition because he has both the speed and the stamina to win this.
I hope owendale does something for you......my feeling is that he belongs in the Mile and should have gone there. He's better than a lot in this race, and his speed should carry him a good distance, but I just don't see him as a true 10F horse.
For the sprint I love Mitole but can't take those odds. I think I will put a few dollars on Firenze Fire as a longshot.
I love Old Persian in R11.
Want to give Improble a last chance in R6.....head case but a talented nut. My Longshot bomb for Sat: Snapper Sinclair.
Totally fair! I've seen a lot of debate about Owendale's stamina, and admittedly I'm basing my assumptions on visual appearance moreso than actual evidence. Will be interesting to watch, especially with this track in the mix. And isn't it wild how Code of Honor's distance ability was a hot topic of debate earlier this year? All the credit to Shug, and the horse himself. Meanwhile, Snapper Sinclair is definitely interesting. I think you want an outside stalking trip on this surface and he looks primed to get it. Good luck today!
Treve wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:19 am
Tessablue wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:29 am
I can’t think of any “other O’Briens” who did much in this event, and O’Brien himself has said that he only sent the horse over to give him some experience.
Great analysis TB!
Just so I can understand though - do you mean the ones AOB has entered this year haven't done much?
Thank you Treve! That did sound kind of unclear; I meant it in the same way we talk about "the other Baffert." O'Brien's less-heralded secondary entrants don't tend to perform very well, at least least according to a cursory look at his latest BC races, so I don't think the angle is as appealing as it can be with other trainers. I feel bad for discounting O'Brien so much this year- Arizona absolutely could have won with a better trip- but I haven't sensed much excitement regarding his chances in the European articles I've read.
Kezzz__ wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:42 am
As always I have one in every race tonight, really starting to like Bellafina in the opening graded race, she's 100% at Santa Anita and has been working well.Castle Lady will love the step up and ground in the F&M Turf (of which Fleeting is now out). I think Mitole will be incredibly tough but I'm praying with the jockey upgrade that Shancelot just blasts out in front and gets too far away to be caught. Without Parole is of interest at a price in the mile, Chad Brown has thrown him in based on the fact he's been working very well with Bricks And Mortar. Hoping Serengeti Empress gets the pace and trip to steal a place in the Distaff, and Arklow is always a good each way play in the Turf. Code Of Honor will love the tight track and that will suit his speed, I'm hugely confident on him, and War Of Will in blinkers to run a big one at a price.

Disappointingly Suedois and Fleeting are out for the Euro's
Great stuff Kezzz, and welcome to TBC! Am I correct in assuming that you are very familiar with the European horses? Would love to hear your opinion on Circus Maximus, and I hope we both get a price on Without Parole.

Imperial Hint's scratch is extremely disappointing from a personal perspective, and I hope we see him get another chance next year. It's also tough from a handicapping perspective. I'm already singling Sistercharlie and Mitole doesn't quite feel like a single, so I think I'll elevate Shancelot here. I don't love him and he has to run far better than he did in his prep, but he's getting over this surface in the morning, and that might be all he needs to do. Also might give Matera Sky a second look. Aren't Japanese tracks supposed to be very deep and sandy? EDIT: just watched his last work... I'll stick with Shancelot.
Kezzz__
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:59 am

Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:04 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:50 am
Thank you middleground!
MySaladDays wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:51 am
CoH is still, IMHO, the best bred horse in the Classic. His stamina on the mare side is outstanding, what you need to get over that tiring track. Whether or not he can stay up close is my only worry. If Mike can gun Yoshida to the front early, he has a shot and so does Mongolian Groom. Vino Rosso is CoH's main competition because he has both the speed and the stamina to win this.
I hope owendale does something for you......my feeling is that he belongs in the Mile and should have gone there. He's better than a lot in this race, and his speed should carry him a good distance, but I just don't see him as a true 10F horse.
For the sprint I love Mitole but can't take those odds. I think I will put a few dollars on Firenze Fire as a longshot.
I love Old Persian in R11.
Want to give Improble a last chance in R6.....head case but a talented nut. My Longshot bomb for Sat: Snapper Sinclair.
Totally fair! I've seen a lot of debate about Owendale's stamina, and admittedly I'm basing my assumptions on visual appearance moreso than actual evidence. Will be interesting to watch, especially with this track in the mix. And isn't it wild how Code of Honor's distance ability was a hot topic of debate earlier this year? All the credit to Shug, and the horse himself. Meanwhile, Snapper Sinclair is definitely interesting. I think you want an outside stalking trip on this surface and he looks primed to get it. Good luck today!
Treve wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:19 am
Tessablue wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:29 am
I can’t think of any “other O’Briens” who did much in this event, and O’Brien himself has said that he only sent the horse over to give him some experience.
Great analysis TB!
Just so I can understand though - do you mean the ones AOB has entered this year haven't done much?
Thank you Treve! That did sound kind of unclear; I meant it in the same way we talk about "the other Baffert." O'Brien's less-heralded secondary entrants don't tend to perform very well, at least least according to a cursory look at his latest BC races, so I don't think the angle is as appealing as it can be with other trainers. I feel bad for discounting O'Brien so much this year- Arizona absolutely could have won with a better trip- but I haven't sensed much excitement regarding his chances in the European articles I've read.
Kezzz__ wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:42 am
As always I have one in every race tonight, really starting to like Bellafina in the opening graded race, she's 100% at Santa Anita and has been working well.Castle Lady will love the step up and ground in the F&M Turf (of which Fleeting is now out). I think Mitole will be incredibly tough but I'm praying with the jockey upgrade that Shancelot just blasts out in front and gets too far away to be caught. Without Parole is of interest at a price in the mile, Chad Brown has thrown him in based on the fact he's been working very well with Bricks And Mortar. Hoping Serengeti Empress gets the pace and trip to steal a place in the Distaff, and Arklow is always a good each way play in the Turf. Code Of Honor will love the tight track and that will suit his speed, I'm hugely confident on him, and War Of Will in blinkers to run a big one at a price.

Disappointingly Suedois and Fleeting are out for the Euro's
Great stuff Kezzz, and welcome to TBC! Am I correct in assuming that you are very familiar with the European horses? Would love to hear your opinion on Circus Maximus, and I hope we both get a price on Without Parole.

Imperial Hint's scratch is extremely disappointing from a personal perspective, and I hope we see him get another chance next year. It's also tough from a handicapping perspective. I'm already singling Sistercharlie and Mitole doesn't quite feel like a single, so I think I'll elevate Shancelot here. I don't love him and he has to run far better than he did in his prep, but he's getting over this surface in the morning, and that might be all he needs to do. Also might give Matera Sky a second look. Aren't Japanese tracks supposed to be very deep and sandy?
I am very familiar yes, I usually manage to catch all the European Grade/Group 1 races through the year in the build up to the BC. Circus Maximus is interesting, a lot of people seem to think he might get a bit tapped for toe in this and not have the speed early. He started out being thought of as being able to stretch out to 2 miles, then ran 1m 4f and was eventually dropped back to 1m, so its an interesting change, his last couple of races he's been well forward which based on last nights racing will help him. Without Parole 18/1 with the English bookies which is good enough, I'm starting to think it could play well for Got Stormy however.

I do want Sistercharlie to win, but Castle Lady is gorgeous and I really think if she can get a good trip she will be motoring late, and she's had some US experience.

Until you mentioned it I hadnt even noticed Imperial Hints scratch, I thought there was a name missing when I checked! I think Shancelot had an excuse 2 races back as he didnt get the 7f, last time he was just beaten by a possible superstar, we'll see if Omaha Beach does the business earlier on the card, Shancelot has been out at SA for a while now so he'll be at home, I want Jose to just let the reins go and let him free, and he wont be for catching!
Tessablue
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:05 pm

Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:12 pm

Kezzz__ wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:04 pm
I am very familiar yes, I usually manage to catch all the European Grade/Group 1 races through the year in the build up to the BC. Circus Maximus is interesting, a lot of people seem to think he might get a bit tapped for toe in this and not have the speed early. He started out being thought of as being able to stretch out to 2 miles, then ran 1m 4f and was eventually dropped back to 1m, so its an interesting change, his last couple of races he's been well forward which based on last nights racing will help him. Without Parole 18/1 with the English bookies which is good enough, I'm starting to think it could play well for Got Stormy however.

I do want Sistercharlie to win, but Castle Lady is gorgeous and I really think if she can get a good trip she will be motoring late, and she's had some US experience.

Until you mentioned it I hadnt even noticed Imperial Hints scratch, I thought there was a name missing when I checked! I think Shancelot had an excuse 2 races back as he didnt get the 7f, last time he was just beaten by a possible superstar, we'll see if Omaha Beach does the business earlier on the card, Shancelot has been out at SA for a while now so he'll be at home, I want Jose to just let the reins go and let him free, and he wont be for catching!
Awesome, thank you! Interesting that you note some uncertainty over whether he has the early foot; I think a lot of us are desperate to find the pace in that race and perhaps the first few strides will determine his chances. And I suspect I'll be very jealous of your 18-1 once the parimutuel odds are posted :D Good luck today!
Kezzz__
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:59 am

Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:24 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:12 pm
Kezzz__ wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:04 pm
I am very familiar yes, I usually manage to catch all the European Grade/Group 1 races through the year in the build up to the BC. Circus Maximus is interesting, a lot of people seem to think he might get a bit tapped for toe in this and not have the speed early. He started out being thought of as being able to stretch out to 2 miles, then ran 1m 4f and was eventually dropped back to 1m, so its an interesting change, his last couple of races he's been well forward which based on last nights racing will help him. Without Parole 18/1 with the English bookies which is good enough, I'm starting to think it could play well for Got Stormy however.

I do want Sistercharlie to win, but Castle Lady is gorgeous and I really think if she can get a good trip she will be motoring late, and she's had some US experience.

Until you mentioned it I hadnt even noticed Imperial Hints scratch, I thought there was a name missing when I checked! I think Shancelot had an excuse 2 races back as he didnt get the 7f, last time he was just beaten by a possible superstar, we'll see if Omaha Beach does the business earlier on the card, Shancelot has been out at SA for a while now so he'll be at home, I want Jose to just let the reins go and let him free, and he wont be for catching!
Awesome, thank you! Interesting that you note some uncertainty over whether he has the early foot; I think a lot of us are desperate to find the pace in that race and perhaps the first few strides will determine his chances. And I suspect I'll be very jealous of your 18-1 once the parimutuel odds are posted :D Good luck today!
There is a similar worry about Anthony Van Dyck with a few locals over here, he usually gets going late on so position will be vital for him, Old Persian is the Euro everyone wants. I hope forward positioning from last night isnt a clue for tonight as my Uni bet will look a little less convincing! I'm very much a fan of the juveniles so last night was enjoyable for me and I managed to find plenty of winners, so down on Dennis' Moment as if Sistercharlie, Midnigt Bisou and Code Of Honor win later then Dennis' Moment will have failed me for a £1,750 win :oops:
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