Paul Callaghan’s Breeders’ Cup Tips – Saturday 7th November
We move on to day two of the Breeders’ Cup, but before we do, we are five races down and what did we learn on Future Stars Friday?
Having drawn a blank on day one, the European horses still struggle to break with their US counterparts and maintain an even gallop.
Just be mindful, when you’re studying the form that in Ireland and the UK, our horses don’t break as fast as they do Stateside and it is generally the middle section of the race, where the pace quickens.
In the US, the horses are taught to break incredibly sharp from the gates and the opening two furlongs are pretty rapid.
It’s just the different styles of racing. So, when backing a European runner, don’t be surprised or too disappointed if you’re selection is slow away and fails to land a blow.
We also learned that the turf course is riding pretty fast, not the fastest by US standards but very few who were held up looked dangerous.
It’s the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, run this year at Keeneland, with no race ran for less than $1 million.
It’s not for the faint hearted and we’ve got nine races to get stuck into on Saturday evening, so let’s get cracking!
5:02pm – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Grade 1) (Dirt) over 7 furlongs.
I’m with Gamine for leading US trainer Bob Baffert and jockey John Velazquez. She’s already a dual Grade 1 winner, who likes to go forward and has a nice draw to do so in stall 2.
She was third in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in September, when not having an easy time upfront. So that’s an obvious concern. However, I think she’s a class filly representing top connections and will a tough nut to crack in the opener.
At a price, I have to give Speech a mention, as she only finished a neck behind Gamine when the pair met at Oakland Park in May.
Gamine lost the race following a positive sample. Speech is dropping back in trip, so will be interesting if they go too fast on the lead early on.
5:39pm – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1) (Turf) over 5 furlongs 110 yards.
I like Imprimis, trained by Joseph Orseno and ridden by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. Though I can’t confirm but I’m guessing that Irad could have ridden one or two other runners in an open looking field. That’s a definite plus.
The selection is a Grade 2 winner over course and distance back in 2019, having stumbled leaving the gates and looked to have lost all chances of winning, so that was a cracking effort.
He was first past the post two starts ago at Saratoga, but was disqualified and placed third following a stewards enquiry. He was a gutsy winner on soft ground, over 6 furlongs at Kentucky Downs on his last start in September.
He’s been kept fresh for this and has a nice draw in stall 3.
6:18pm – Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade 1) (Dirt) over 1 mile.
At the prices, you can’t pass War Of Will lightly. He’s last year’s Preakness winner and prior to that, was in the process of running a cracker in the Kentucky Derby until suffering interference on the home turn. He’s well drawn in stall 4.
That being said, I think this can go the way of the Brad Cox trained Knicks Go, under jockey Joel Rosario. Cox was on the double yesterday evening and Knicks Go is in the form of his life. He’s won his last two, which include setting the fastest time at Keeneland over 8.5 furlongs on his last run, at the beginning of October.
He’ll be difficult to beat if turning up in similar form today, from a nice draw in stall 5.
6:57pm – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1) (Turf) over 1 mile 1 furlong 110yards.
Plenty of chances here but it’s Terebellum who gets the nod, for trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori.
Having bypassed the Wesley Ward trained Golden Pal at Royal Ascot during the summer, Dettori was overlooked by connections for Golden Pal’s victory in the Juvenile Turf Sprint on Friday’s card. That will not sit well with the popular Italian and he will be up for this Saturday.
Terebellum was a good winner of a Group 2 at Newmarket over 1 mile 2 furlongs, on seasonal reappearance in June. She was a good second in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, behind Circus Maximus.
She has since posted two very respectable runs on soft and heavy ground. I think the return to decent ground will see the daughter of Sea The Stars go close here, from a good draw in stall 7.
7:36pm – Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade 1) (Dirt) over 6 furlongs.
Yaupon could be anything. The son of Uncle Mo is three wins from three starts and could well be up to putting in a smart performance here. At the prices, considering he’s drawn in stall 10, it could well pay to look for value elsewhere.
I think Collusion Illusion is hugely overpriced and is worth an each way wager here. Trained by Mark Glatt and ridden by Flavien Prat, the colt was less than two lengths behind C Z Rocket on his last run, at Santa Anita at the end of September.
Prior to that, he won a Grade 1 contest at Del Mar in early August. He’s a hold up performer, so I am banking on the pace being rapid early on but for me, he’s too big of price to ignore.
As he likes to be held up, his draw in stall 3 is neither here nor there as he will give away the advantage of the low draw, being dropped in.
8:15pm – Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade 1) (Turf) over 1 mile.
Taking everything into consideration, this points towards a Kameko victory for trainer Andrew Balding and jockey Oisin Murphy from stall number 2.
His style of racing suggests that this will suit. The mile, I think is his ideal trip. He’ll love the ground and has a lovely draw to get a prominent position early on, without over exerting himself.
His main market rivals are drawn wide with the exception of Siskin, who can be awkward at the gate and in doing so, could find himself on the back foot from the word go.
I think a bigger threat could come from the Chad Brown trained Digital Age, who is looking to complete a hat-trick of victories here and is a winner of a Grade 1 on his last start at Churchill Downs in early September.
8:45pm, Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade 1) (Dirt) over 1 mile 1 furlong.
This is always one of the races of the Breeders’ Cup and this year is set to be no different.
It looks a match between Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver. It’s the latter for trainer Kenneth McPeek and jockey Robby Albarado, who gets my vote.
Swiss Skydiver has won six races from ten starts and looked better than ever when winning the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, at the beginning of October. She’s more favourably drawn in stall 5, than her market rival and there could be more to come.
9:33pm – Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1) (Turf) over 1 mile 4 furlongs.
Not surprisingly over a trip, the European raiders hold the aces here. Magical trained by Aidan O’ Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, lost very little in defeat behind Addeybb on British Champions day at Ascot last month.
She was a good second behind Enable, in this race at Churchill Downs in 2018. Her form this year is as strong as ever and I think is the one they all have to beat.
10:18pm – Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1) (Dirt) over 1 mile 2 furlongs.
This is it, this is the big one. The final race of the Breeders’Cup 2020.
The Classic, run for $6 million in prize money. It’s been five years since the Breeders’ Cup Classic was last run at Keeneland, which saw American Pharoah complete the US Grand Slam, having won the triple crown.
Though we have no standout performers of that standard, American Pharoah’s trainer, Bob Baffert is well represented here with Improbable, Maximum Security and Authentic.
However, it is the New York representative Tiz The Law for trainer Barclay Tagg and jockey Manuel “Manny” Franco who gets the nod.
He’s six victories from eight starts, which include the Belmont Stakes and the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in August. Tiz The Law absolutely demolished the field at Saratoga that day.
He never looked as comfortable and was caught a little wide on his last run, finishing second in the Kentucky Derby behind Authentic. He looks pretty uncomplicated to ride and is well drawn in stall 2. I was left somewhat deflated after his second in the Kentucky Derby.
Reports are that he’s been working well leading into the Classic, so I’m keeping the faith that we will see his big white face hitting the wire first in what would be a hugely popular success for trainer, jockey and all involved.
Don’t underestimate Tom’s D’Etat whose recent third reads a lot better than the form may suggest. He blew any chances of winning when stumbling leaving the stalls, in a race won by Improbable. He was only beaten by two and a half lengths.
That was a cracking run, all things considered, but it’s Tiz The Law for me, to bring the curtain down at Keeneland.
With nine Grade 1 races to get through, it’s going to be a marathon evening, so TRY and pace yourself. The Breeders’ Cup is one of my favourite events on the horse racing calendar, flat and national hunt. Pacing yourself can be easier said than done!
We are set for an evening of top quality racing once again. I wish you the very best of luck if you’re having a bet and as always, enjoy the action!