The Breeders’ Cup starts today!
My selections and longshots for Friday, as well as videos with my pick and pass for each Breeders’ Cup race, are over at Picks and Ponderings. My top selections in each race are also published at Hello Race Fans as well.
My most likely winner of the day comes not in one of the Breeders’ Cup races, but in one of the undercard races: the Bryan Station Stakes, a nine-furlong grass race for sophomores. One Go All Go (8) is in nice form right now, bypassed the Hawthorne Derby for this spot, and should be able to get things his way on the front end again. He should also be a square price — not a bomb like last out, but still a longer price than the likes of Closing Bell.
My best bet among the Breeders’ Cup races is in the Juvenile Fillies Turf: Alice Springs (3). She improved beautifully going from six furlongs to seven, and should like the stretch to a mile as well. Harmonize (my second choice) and Illuminate (a horse I am standing against as more likely to be a six-furlong type than a miler) will both take a lot of money. So, though the 6/1 morning line on Alice Springs seems a bit of a Battaglia Special, she should be a square price for a filly in the right form with upside at the distance.
In the Distaff, I endorse a longshot on top: Yahilwa. She has shown form at a mile and an eighth this year, and finished third in the Spinster (GI) only beaten a neck by closer Got Lucky after doing dirty work on the front end last out. That said, she does not have to be the one right on the front end to keep fighting. Yahilwa should be forwardly placed, but does not She has danced a lot of dances, and though she is California-based, she has taken her show on the road. Even so, Yahilwa did stay at Keeneland after the Spinster, and has been working lights-out there. She is serious, well-intentioned…and in a division with no clear leader, the Distaff is the right spot to take the consistent type at a big price.