Breeders’ Cup Friday Picks

SantaAnita_TempLogo_15Jun15The first time the two-day Breeders’ Cup format really worked was the 2008 ladies day at Santa Anita Park, this year’s host. The reason it worked was it gave the great Zenyatta her own stage and headlines where, under the old setup, her brilliance would have been overshadowed by Curlin’s fourth-place finish in the Classic. The appearance of Songbird, Beholder and Stellar Wind is the same scenario three times over deserving of its own stage and headlines. A surefire classic.

Race 6 | Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf | 1 mile turf

1. Lancaster Bomber
2. Intelligence Cross
3. Good Samaritan
4. Oscar Performance

Comment: Lancaster Bomber was a respectable second to Churchill in the Group I Dubai Dewhurst and would be no surprise at a reasonable price. Good Samaritan is the best of the North American contenders. Intelligence Cross tries a mile for the first time with a pedigree that looks suited for it with a nice resume.

Race 7 | Grade I Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile | 1 mile 

1. Gun Runner
2. Dortmund
3. Runhappy
4. Tamarkuz

Comment: This is a toss-up race, but giving Gun Runner the slight edge and may like the cutback in distance based on his win at Churchill Downs in the Grade III Matt Winn. Dortmund, similarly, might like the cutback in distance and is extremely consistent. Runhappy should improve in second off the layoff, but this is a big ask for a second race off the layoff.

Race 8 | Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf | 1 mile turf 

1. Roly Poly
2. Intricately
3. La Coronel
4. Spain Burg

Comment: Roly Poly narrowly missed in last out and is consistent among group stakes company abroad. Intricately has a Group I win and would be no surprise. La Coronel won impressively at Keeneland and is the best of the domestic horses.

Race 9 | Grade I Breeders’ Cup Distaff | 1 1/8 miles 

1. Songbird
2. Beholder
3. Stellar Wind
4. Curalina

Comment: Songbird is a freak and gets a few pounds on her rivals. Beholder and Stellar Wind have dueled during much of the year and Stellar Wind has gotten the best of Beholder in their most recent matchups. Beholder can turn the tables here but will be all out, even still, to catch Songbird.

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