Breeder's Cup Picks!

Surely there is at least one other person here who purchased the BC video, and who has the Pre-Entry Past Performances at their desk right now (waiting for the God Damned Boss to leave so I can look at them - you’d think he would go to lunch - it’s almost 1:00! ).

What are your picks? Galileo in the Classic? Officer in the Juvenile?

OK, I just covered a couple of the obvious ones. You go now!

From a European standpoint, we have great difficulty in comparing formlines between US horses and those which have raced exclusively on this side of the Atlantic.

Every year we send a team of equine representatives, some of which at least seem to have a good chance of winning based upon their past performances and breeding.

However, the Breeders Cup series is held at the back end of the European flat racing season and several of our horses are going to be over the top. Additionally there are the problems of travel, change in climate and an unfamiliar racing surface for the horses to cope with.

Even when we seem to have a race in the bag, something happens to deny us e.g. Dayjur jumping a shadow in the Sprint or L. Dettori riding a stinker in the Classic.

We don’t hear a great deal of US horse racing in the UK (trade papers excepted, possibly) and most columns are content to report on the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, and items of interest such as the premature retirement of Point Given.

Several of our commentators are convinced that this year will be a good one for Europe but it was ever thus. I don’t know the full European line-up (I’ll try to find out) but it does seem that a good ‘second division’ US horse stands an excellent chance of beating a top-class European animal given the criteria described above.

On a strict interpretation of European form I forecast the following will occur:

  1. Sakhee is our best representative in the 12 furlong Turf. This horse has had a light season. He finished second in the Epsom Derby last year and a couple of weeks ago he won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamps in emphatic style. Sakhee would appreciate some cut in the ground. I consider him to be our best chance of a victory.

  2. Fantastic Light may beat this year’s Epsom Derby winner Galileo in the 10 furlong Classic. This is a tough horse. Owned by Godolphin, as is Sakhee, he comes to the race with a recent victory over Galileo in Ireland. Earlier in the season, Galileo beat Fantastic Light two lengths over 12 furlongs at Ascot but my view is that Galileo may be over the top for the season. However, a US horse will probably win the race.

  3. The French-trained Banks Hill will be a popular European choice in the Filly & Mare Turf. Her form is top-class and if she handles the journey she has a live chance in this event. Our second best chance of a win.

  4. Mozart is fancied for the Sprint, but not by me. Another triumph for the home team.

  5. I have no idea why I am making these predictions. They will come back to haunt me.

Anyway, if the programme is as good as last year with a gripping Classic as the finale, there will be no complaints.

Can you believe it?

Sakhee in the Classic, Fantastic Light in the Turf???

That throws a spanner into the handicapping.

The nice thing about the US horses is that everything is documented to the nth degree. See and download the free past performances for the Classic, for example.

It’s two different styles of handicapping - US goes for the numbers, Europe goes for a description of the race.

The problem I have with the television replays of the European races (as seen on the BC video and occasionally on ESPN) is the camera cuts make it very difficult to follow a particular horse, especially in a field of 17!

Here’s my penultimate picks, pending the post position draw:

Distaff: Exogenous, if they can keep this horse going straight, she should win.

Juvenile Fillies: You looks solid, with an easy Grade 1 win at the distance.

Mile: Toughest call - mayber Numerous Times or Affirmed Success, based on the Atto Mile, but who knows?

Sprint: Still think that Kona Gold can come up with the big race on BC Day

Filly & Mare Turf: Lailani looked strong, but may bounce - I will go with England’s Legend - a consistent top rank performer

Juvenile: Officer - those races were too easy.

Classic: Now what? I like Galileo over Fantastic Light, but now what do I do with Sakhee?? And Aptitude sure is strong over the Belmont track and at the distance.

This will be fun.

Thanks guys, I’m taking all this under advisment as I head to Vegas this weekend.

I forgot the Turf!!

Turf: Fantastic Light seems to be obvious, but maybe With Anticipation can take the lead and hold on.

I couldn’t get to this sooner, as I picked up a copy of the Daily Racing Form just last night :slight_smile:


Juvenile Fillies:
Bella Bellucci

Val Royal
Affirmed Success

(A moment of silence for Affirmed, who passed away earlier this year. I had the pleasure of being at the track to watch him win the Santa Anita Derby in 1978.)

Swept Overboard
Squirtle Squirt
Kona Gold

(I really like the filly, Xtra Heat, but I fear her front-running style will match poorly against Caller One, and both horses will burn out, setting the stage for a stalker like Swept Overboard or Kona Gold.)

Filly & Mare Turf:
England’s Legend

Came Home

With Anticipation

Guided Tour
Jane D’oh!, enjoy your trip to Vegas. Next time, consider coming to Reno: it’s a much prettier city and the traffic here is nowhere near as bad :slight_smile:

Now I’ve got to hurry and finish my chores before the races start in 3 hours…

Since the change of plan by Godolphin puts Sakhee in the Classic and Fantastic Light in the Turf, I don’t like either of them for their respective events.

Of his last 13 races, Fantastic Light has won 5 from 6 over 10 furlongs and lost all 7 over 12 furlongs. Sakhee needs 12 furlongs with some cut for optimum conditions. A strange decision.

I’ll go with Banks Hill in the Filly & Mare Turf and take Tiznow for a repeat in the Classic.

I was tempted by the 5-1 on offer over here for No European victory but resisted.

Kudos to Nostradamus for his picks of Banks Hill and Tiznow.

The winners:

Distaff: Unbridled Elaine
Juvenile Fillies: Tempera
Mile: Val Royal
Sprint: Squirtle Squirt
Filly & Mare Turf: Banks Hill
Juvenile: Johannesburg
Turf: Fantastic Light
Classic: Tiznow

That Classic was a HECK of a race, I thought that Tiznow was beaten halfway through the stretch, but he rallied gamely.

The Classic was a great race. Man oh man. There were a lot of very emotional people at the casino in the last quarter mile. There is nothing like that feeling.

After a race like that I know why I don’t go to the track on a regular basis. It would be very bad for my paycheck.

Oh, and SteverinoAlaReno next time for sure I will spend some time in Reno. I have a friend in Vegas and she said the same thing about Reno so we are already making plans for late February early March. I’ll let ya know. :wink:

(Not back 24 hours and already I wanna go back.)