by Jeff Siegel
November 1, 2017
ALREADY SCREENED THIS 'REEL
by Jeff Siegel XBTV.com
ANALYSIS: European invaders have captured the Turf 16 times in the past 22 years, a sobering statistic that is further accentuated due to the fact that most of those winners, while hardly scrubs, weren’t considered among the absolute foreign elite. North American-based runners have been in especially deep water in years when overseas outfits actually send a truly legitimate top-class runner, like HIGHLAND REEL in 2016 or Found the year before that. Such will be the case this year, as HIGHLAND REEL is back to defend his title along with the 2016 fourth-place finisher, ULYSSES, who appears much improved this year and, in fact, is now rated higher than ‘REEL. Yet another win in the BC Turf by the visiting team seems inevitable.
MAIN CONTENDERS: HIGHLAND REEL is a top-of-the ground specialist whose form has been comprised by unsuitably soft turf in his last two outings. ULYSSES has performed superbly, winning the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York and then finishing third in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.
VALUE PLAYS: On pure form, the home team doesn’t match up well at all, though OSCAR PERFORMANCE, the 2016 Juvenile Turf winner, might be overlooked in the wagering and easily could outrun his backing. Always dangerous on the lead, the son of Kitten’s Joy seems capable of providing a real scare should he inherit the role as the controlling speed. BEACH PATROL arguably has risen to the top of the American turf ranks following Grade 1 victories in the Arlington Million and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and is quite capable of at least landing in the frame.
WAGERING STRATEGY ($100)