October 26, 2018
POLY WILL RUN A 'CRACKER' MILE
by Jeff Siegel, XBTV
ANALYSIS: North American-based runners have enjoyed reasonable success in the 34-year history of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, considerably better by comparison to what the home team has been able to achieve in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Trouble is, this has not been a banner year in the States for this division, which has been characterized by extreme inconsistency. OSCAR PERFORMANCE can be considered the current leader following his victory in the Woodbine Mile and is undefeated in three starts at this exact mile trip, including the BC Juvenile Turf two years ago. However, his only prior race over the Churchill Downs turf course was poor.
MAIN CONTENDERS: There aren’t any monsters among the invaders, but there are plenty of high-quality types that are capable on their best day of winning. The 3-year-old filly POLYDREAM had no chance due to severe traffic on Arc day in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, but her form before that was outstanding and included a win against older males in the 20-runner Group 1 Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in August. She’s not Goldikova or Miesque, but she won’t have to be. EXPERT EYE, a Group 3 winner at Royal Ascot in June, hasn’t yet won a Group 1, but he was most recently a strong closing third in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and before that finished an admirable second in the Group 1 Sussex at Goodwood.
VALUE PLAYS: Regarding the Americans, in addition to OSCAR PERFORMANCE, the California invader CATAPULT brings to Kentucky back-to-back Grade 2 wins and clearly has improved since joining the John Sadler barn three races back. ONE MASTER, the 47-1 upset winner of the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, had better form than her price gave her credit for, and can be included somewhere in the exotics.
WAGERING STRATEGY ($100):