After last weekend’s wash out at Belmont, I though it fitting to handicap the The Breeders Cup Classic. This is one of the toughest races to work, so many wonderful horses, all are winners and in my opinion it is wide open. It is the 11th race on a huge card today, it goes the classic distance of a mile and a quarter for 3YO and upward and the purse is $5,000,000. Good luck, and sure many will disagree with me today, it’s that crazy of a field of 13. One more thing, speaking of big fields, that means anything can go wrong, bad trips, stuck on the outside, checked back etc. So an almost perfect trip is necessary to win it.
#2 Flat Out ML 6/1
This 5YO is not the obvious choice but his recent Beyer’s are the strongest and most consistent. He is coming off a G1 at Belmont at this distance on a muddy track. What was impressive that he was pulling away from Drosselmeyer and Stay Thirsty, two fine entrants today. He has won 2 of his last 4 and it appears since Solis has been riding him he has gotten real consistent. Hard to pass here.
#5 So You Think(NZ) ML 5/1
He has won 12 of 15 over in Europe and all on turf. Normally, I would shy away but with his strong G1 record overseas it is hard to ignore him. He is comfortable with this distance and has won some big events. He has won over $7,000,000 and that earns him respect, surface change or not. He get’s lasix for the first time and that is an interesting angle plus O’Brien is a crafty trainer.
#10 Harve de Grace ML 3/1
This is one tough knocking filly and has every chance to win this event. Her speed figures are right there and we know she is winner and a fighter. So why 3rd? My reasons might sound like I’m nit picking but she has not won at this distance, two seconds but each time she gave way, also last year in the BC Ladies Classic she faded on this surface. I know she beat Flat Out in the Woodward (G1) and she posted a huge 111 Beyer, but not sure with a larger group of tough boys, can she find her way home again.
#8 Game On Dude ML 10/1
One of my favorites. We know he can win at this distance and a great effort last out at Santa Anita. He likes to get out in front and that is a good thing in big fields. The trouble with this 4YO is he is a bouncer with his speed last out at 102 and had to fight off Awesome Gem to win it, the bounce pattern looks likely. I would really enjoy seeing him get consistent and win this one. This is my play for today.
#9 Stay Thirsty ML 12/1
It seems a bit bizarre to have to great horses as dark horses at double digit morning lines. I’m going to toss out the last at Belmont due to muddy track. He has done okay on off surfaces but not really his best efforts. At the Spa won back to back G1 going this distance and has posted 100+ Beyer’s three straight. He will go forward with Game On Dude and we should see some interesting pace. The only issue with him is he a Saratoga “horses for courses” or can he finally show us he can win elsewhere?
We have a lot of front pace in this race. That can open the door for a closer if that pace get’s out of hand. In that situation I like #4 Ruler On Ice ML 30/1. Since the Belmont he has done little until last out in the Pennsylvania Derby(G2). His speed picked upped and he got up late to finish second, most would say so what? Well, what I see is a horse that might be coming back into form, the Gomez switch seemed to help. Lastly, there is no pressure on him to win. All the attention will be on the others, and they can just race their race, toss in two bullet works and you have a recipe for a nice long shot here.
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