Log In

Jeff Siegel: Breeders' Cup Friday Picks & Analysis | Friday, November 5

by Jeff Siegel

November 5, 2021

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Grade Descriptions:
Grade A=Highest degree of confidence
Grade B=Solid Play.
Grade C=Least preferred or pass
Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play

RACE 1: Post: 11:55 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-I’ll Stand Taller; 4-Triple Tap; 11-Sumo

Forecast: Trainer Bob Baffert has two major players in this first-level allowance sprint, and both are well-regarded colts with plenty of upside. American Pharoah’s half-brother Triple Tap was late to the party when finally making his debut in mid-March earlier this year. He won nicely over seven furlongs with a strong speed figure, but then disappeared. The son of Tapit returns almost nine months later following a string of sharp workouts while appearing at least as good and perhaps better than he did prior to his first start, and likely will settle in the second flight and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Stable mate Sumo was a short horse and a tad disappointing when fading to fifth in his debut in early September at Del Mar but left that form behind with an authoritative maiden score at Los Alamitos two weeks later, winning in good style with a sharp number. Comfortably drawn outside and likely to produce another forward move, the son of Not This Time picks up Johnny V. and should find himself in a soft stalking position and then be ready to pounce when called up on. Worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up is I’ll Stand Pat, a progressive son of Square Eddie with rising numbers, a good prompting style, and prior win over the Del Mar main track.

Notable Workouts:

Triple Tap (October 29, Santa Anita, 5f, 5f, :59.2h). Grade: B | VIDEO
In blinkers, in company outside Rockefeller (same time) while under a nice hold throughout, splits of :24.1, :35.2 and :59.2 before being allowed to gallop out strongly to the 7/8 pole, up in 1:12 flat on our watches for a full six furlongs. Coming back extremely well, seems fit, and may be an even better type now than he was breaking his maiden at first asking in March.

Sumo (October 31, Santa Anita, 5f, :59h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Slightly second best but did quite well working outside Breeders’ Cup-bound Private Mission (5f, :58.4h) for B. Baffert, mostly in hand and never really set down, splits of :23.1, :34.3 and :59 flat, sharp move by lightly-raced son of Not This Time. Plenty of improvement in him with added experience.

RACE 2: Post: 12:25 PT Grade: B
Use: 7-Birth of Cool; 8-Ready to Purrform

Forecast: Ready to Purrform arrives with a perfect record (two-for-two), graduating at first asking at Ellis Park by a nose in early September and then improving significantly when scoring handsomely in the Laurel Futurity by more than three lengths despite breaking awkwardly and then being forced to rally far wide from the the three-furlong pole to the wire. The son of Kitten’s Joy picks up J. Rosario for this mile grass event for juveniles that serves as a consolation prize for those not quite up to the B.C. Juvenile Turf. This could be a very nice colt down the road, especially when the distances increase, but for now the B. Cox-trained colt is being allowed to step forward at a proper rate. There’s plenty of early speed signed on to compliment his late-running style so with good racing luck he should be capable of producing the last run. Worth tossing in on a ticket or two at a big price is the maiden Birth of Cool. Unplaced in two career outings but encountering significant trouble in both, the son of Karakontie has much more ability than he’s been able to show and with clear sailing today could easily make his presence felt. The P. Gallagher-trained colt has a good turn of foot, picks up Frankie, and seems a bit better than his morning line of 12-1 gives him credit for.

Notable Workouts:

Birth of Cool (October 17, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.3h). Grade: B- | VIDEO
A little late changing leads in solo half mile main track drill for Gallagher but did well enough without every being asked, splits of :24.3 and :49.4 on our watches. In good shape but is a much better mover on turf. Has some upside.

RACE 3: Post: 12:55 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Big Novel; 6-Big Switch; 9-Vivacious Vanessa

Forecast: Two fillies by Mr. Big from the J. Sadler barn rate a big look in this year’s edition of the Golden State Juvenile Fillies S. over seven furlongs on the main track. Big Novel continued her improving pattern with a pleasing maiden win at Santa Anita last month, showing good tactical speed to the head of the lane and then drawing clear with authority when asked to quicken. On pure numbers she’s the best in the field and likely will continue to step forward, so at 3-1 on the morning she’s clearly the top pick. Her stable mate, Big Switch, won at first asking over the Del Mar main track in late August, doing so from off the pace like a filly that will do nothing but improve with experience and distance. She doesn’t quite match up with Big Novel based on numbers, so it’s understandable that J. Bravo jumps off to ride the favorite, but I. Ortiz, Jr. takes the call and, yes, he’s a pretty good replacement rider. We’ll also toss in the recent debut grass winner Vivacious Vanessa, thoroughly professional in victory three weeks ago but switching surfaces and shortening up while moving into stakes company. She’s another that had J. Bravo in the saddle for her race and today will be accompanied by the highly-capable J. Hernandez, one of trainer G. Mandella’s “go-to” riders. She should be running on strongly late.

RACE 4: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Hear My Prayer; 8-Superstition

Forecast: While this year’s renewal of the Senator Ken Maddy S for fillies and mares sprinting five furlongs on grass is highly contentious, we’ve boiled it down to two main contenders. It’s hard to get past Superstition as the top pick and one to beat. A perfect three-for-three over this course and distance, the daughter of Ghostzapper has an excellent stalking style that keeps her free of trouble and a highly-effective closing kick that makes her difficult to contain during the critical late stages of the race. Her victory two runs back in the Daisycutter S. probably beats this field, and with regular pilot F. Prat staying aboard we’re expecting the R. Mandella-trained filly to fire her best shot. Hear My Prayer, a winner of five of 10 career starts, shipped in from Florida during the summer meeting and was quite convincing in victory sprinting on grass in a good allowance race that earned a stakes-quality speed figure. She has enough early speed to turn her rail post position into a positive and can be effective on the lead or from a stalking position. A recent bullet half mile main track workout at Santa Anita in 46 1/5 seconds indicates she’s spot on for a career top effort.

Notable Workouts:

Superstition (October 27, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Worked in the dark in team drill for R. Mandella inside Sumter (same time) and was under a nice hold throughout while finishing with plenty left while breezing out to the 7/8 pole. On top of her game.
View Workout Video

RACE 5: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Joker Boy; 11-Slow Down Andy; 12-Finneus

Forecast: Slow Down Andy ran to his good workouts in his smart debut win last month at Santa Anita, employing a pace-pressing style before coming away with authority to register a nearly five length victory while earning a strong speed figure. Two easy breezes since that race should tick him over nicely for this tougher assignment, and with the likelihood that he’ll step forward with that experience behind him the son of Nyquist appears quite capable of winning right back in the Golden State Juvenile S. for California-bred two-year-olds. He’s drawn nicely outside and should have no issue with today’s extra three-sixteenths of a mile. Joker Boy was eliminated at the start when stumbling badly and subsequently was eased in the American Pharoah S.-G1 last month at Santa Anita. Prior to that outing, the son of Practical Joke won his first two starts sprinting over the Del Mar main track, including the I’m Smokin’ S. in a race that produced a strong speed figure, one good enough to make him a major player despite today’s disadvantageous rail post. He adds blinkers, picks up Johnny V., and seems likely to have a strong pace presence throughout. Finneus was another that was overmatched in the American Pharoah S.-G1 when well-beaten by Corniche but shortens to one corner and faces considerably easier state-bred foes, so we’re expecting the son of Stay Thirsty to regain his best form. During the summer season he was a distant but decent runner-up in the Del Mar Futurity-G1 over this track and distance, and with the switch to J. Rosario he should be able to produce a sufficient late kick to at least hit the board.

Notable Workouts

Joker Boy (October 17, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1h). Grade: B- | VIDEO
In blinkers, broke off a few lengths in front of Touchdown Brown (5f, 1:00.3h) and was ridden some in the closing stages to wind up head-and-head at the wire, splits of :24.3, :36.3 and 1:01.1, okay move, nothing flashy. Sprints only at this stage for stakes winning juvenile.
View Workout Video

RACE 6: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. Post: 2:50 PT Grade: B
Use: 8-Averly Jane; 9-One Timer; 11-Derrynane

Forecast: Based on the nature of the Del Mar turf course in five-furlong sprints that presents a quick run from the starting gate to the far turn and an extremely short stretch (817 feet), handicappers must identify those horses with excellent early speed along with those that can be within range and then produce the quick turn of foot required to maneuver through heavy traffic in the final furlong. Deep closers have an almost impossible task, so we’ll concentrate on those with tactical speed. Two proven abbreviated sprint specialists with the proper style for the race are a pair of unbeatens, the W. Ward-trained filly Averly Jane and One Timer, conditioned by L. Rivelli. Averly Jane, perfect in four starts and most recently a winner of the listed Indian Summer S. at Keeneland in her first try on grass, is quick but can produce a second move when challenged in the stretch. Furthermore, she’s shown she’s not a need-the-lead type, having won the Kentucky Juvenile S. in her second career outing from a stalking position. Her numbers are solid – not brilliant, but good enough – and she won coasting to the wire in the Indian Summer while giving indication that she could have reached back for something extra had it been required.

One Timer is three-for-three, having won at Arlington Park and Woodbine (both all-weather races) and then most recently at Santa Anita, where he captured Speakeasy S. with a Beyer speed figure (70) that doesn’t do him justice. The running line suggests that he barely held on in the Speakeasy but in truth he was waiting on his competition and actually galloped out far in front after re-breaking past the wire. The Trappe Shot gelding has shown he can dish out heat and take it as well, and everything he has done in the morning since his last race indicates he has plenty more to give.

Derrynane, like Averly Jane a filly tackling the boys, perhaps is the most dangerous of the closers. She’s likely going to have plenty to do from the top of the stretch to the wire will need good fortune to secure a clear path through traffic, but if the leaders do each other in this daughter of Quality Road had a chance at what should be a substantial price. At least she’s worth including underneath in the horizontal exotics.

Notable Workouts

Averly Jane (October 31, Keeneland, 4f, :53.2b TC DU). Grade: B + | VIDEO
Broke off a length in front of Golden Pal (4f, :53.1b TC DU) for Ward and finished down the lane head-and-head over soft going, both under wraps while appearing sharp and eager. Undefeated filly looks terrific and may be the one beat in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint.

RACE 7: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Post: 3:30 PT Grade: X
Use: 2-Hidden Connection; 6-Echo Zulu

Forecast: Undefeated in three starts, each by daylight and each more impressive than the previous race, two-time Grade 1 winner Echo Zulu tries two-turns for the first time, but based on running style, pedigree, and everything else we can throw in the hopper this terrific 2-year-old filly shouldn’t be the least bit inconvenienced by today’s longer distance. While she gives the impression of being a quick-actioned, sprinter type, the S. Asmussen-trained filly can switch off early and explode late while always providing regular jockey R. Santana, Jr. with the easiest of rides. The daughter of Horse of the Year and leading first-crop stallion Gun Runner has trained like she’ll have plenty more to give whenever asked. She’ll be a logical short-priced favorite to win this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Hidden Connection has won her first two outings by a combined 17 lengths, most recently the two-turn Pocahontas S.-G3 two-turning at Churchill Downs. We can question the quality of the competition she has beaten so far while recognizing that the B. Calhoun-trained daughter of Connect has a dangerous second flight, stalking style that should she keep her trouble free and give her every chance to show what’s she’s made of. We have to think she has the best chance among the others to provide Echo Zulu with some competition.

Notable Workouts:

Echo Zulu (October 31, Del Mar, 4f, :50.1h). Grade: B | VIDEO
Never asked at any stage in easy solo breeze, final quarter mile in :24.3. Plenty fast but not speed crazy and should stay a middle distance in her present mindset.
View Workout Video


RACE 8: Breeders’ Cup Fillies Juvenile Turf. Post: 4:10 PT Grade: B+
Use: 6-Hello You, 9-Koala Princess; 13-Mise En Scene

Forecast: The European contingent for this year’s renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf is reasonably formidable but you may be surprised to know that over the years foreigners have badly underperformed in this particular race. Only two overseas shippers have been successful in the 13-year history of the event, though Mise En Scene, a Group-3 stakes winner in three career starts and an unlucky fourth last time out in the Fillies Mile-G1, has credentials to be quite dangerous. The English-bred daughter of Siyouni lacked a clear path when attempting to rally at Newmarket yet still finished a strong fourth in a race that produced a career top Timeform rating. She should easily handle Del Mar’s firm ground while the race’s two-turn trip should be of no concern, either.

That said, we’ll stick with the North American-based Koala Princess as our top pick. Thoroughly convincing in both of her wins, a runaway maiden score on the front end at Monmouth Park followed by an off-the-pace victory (rallying from eighth of 11) in a valuable listed sprint stakes at Kentucky Downs, the daughter of More Than Ready is genuine and versatile. She switches off beautifully in the early stages of her races and then quickens instantly when called upon, so we’re expecting she’ll be even more comfortable as the distances increase.

While Koala Princess and Mis En Scene will receive the bulk of our action, we’ll have a saver ticket or two that includes Hello You, a seasoned European import fresh from a noteworthy score in the 7F Rockfel S.-G2 over the testing (uphill late) Newmarket straightaway course on firm ground in late September. She has plenty of experience (six starts) and Timeform ratings that our fairly decent. Not much improvement, if any, will be needed to make her dangerous right off the plane.

RACE 9: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Post: 4:50 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Oviatt Class; 10-Commandperformance; 12-Corniche

Forecast: The scratching of Jack Christopher changes our entire outlook of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Obviously, the race loses one of its star attractions while making the pace scenario much more comfortable for Corniche, who will be sent from the bell over a track that played quite kindly to speed yesterday. Yes, he’s a fast colt, most likely a need-the-lead type, and trainer B. Baffert won’t be doing any experimenting. The son of Quality Road, a $1.5 million purchase at the OBS Sale in April, sizzled in his debut sprinting over the Del Mar main track while recording a sensational 98 Beyer speed figure but came back to earth somewhat when scoring in gate-to-wire fashion over a strongly biased pro-speed track at Santa Anita in the American Pharoah S.-G1 in his next appearance, earning a pedestrian 85 Beyer in that victory. Still, we still like Corniche, but he needs to come out running from his outside draw.

Originally, we really believed Oviatt Class had a legitimate long shot chance, and we still expect him to run very well, though the help he needs up front now may not materialize. A four-length maiden winner at Del Mar at mile during the summer meeting, he made up a ton of ground against the bias to finish a better-than-looked third in the American Pharoah and has trained extremely well since. Is he good enough? On paper, maybe not yet, but he is a son of Bernardini, whose offspring generally mature with experience and distance. You should also include on your ticket Commandperformance, a twice-started maiden that closed with courage to finish second to Jack Christopher in the Champagne S.-G1. He seems certain to improve with age, experience, distance, and development, as one would expect from a son of Union Rags. However, like Oviatt Class, he’ll need a pace meltdown to have his best chance.

Notable Workouts:

Oviatt Class (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Broke off a few lengths behind Miss Everything (5f, 1:01.3h) and inhaled workmate in the final furlong while under some coaxing, plenty left late splits of :23.4, :35.3 and 1:00.1 for Desormeaux. Stretch runner appears to be improving all the time and broke his maiden over the Del Mar main track during the summer season. Will be rolling late in the B.C, Juvenile.

Corniche (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
In company inside Enbarr (same time) and did nicely without being asked, splits of :23.1, :48 and 1:00.3 while traveling from the half mile pole to the seven furlong pole, solid work. Maintains his form, probably a need-the-lead type at this stage of his career.

RACE 10: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Modern Games; 3-Dakota Gold; 6-Mackinnon; 10-Potfolio Company

Forecast: Modern Games is listed at 5-1 on the morning line and represents an excellent gamble at that price. The tight Del Mar turf course with a short run-in from the top of the stretch to the wire always is problematic and it never should be surprising when the best horse is beaten due to traffic, but this European colt has the type of natural talent and acceleration to win this year’s renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, His rail post position will allow for a ground-saving trip, but he’ll need to be extracted somewhere during the running – preferrable before the field heads up home – to secure his best chance. The C. Appleby-trained son of Dubawi was scintillating in victory at Newmarket in late September when winning the Sommerville S.-G3 while earning an outstanding Timeform rating of 102, and while today will be his first try over a mile the extra distance should only make him more formidable.

Dakota Gold appears to be the most dangerous of the North American contingent. Undefeated in two starts and highly impressive in both, the New York-bred son of Freud won the listed Nownownow S. over a mile on grass at Monmouth Park in his most recent appearance, drawing away with authority despite losing ground while wide most of the way. The D. Gargan-trained colt is drawn comfortable in the three-hole and with a clean break should find himself much closer to the pace than last time, perhaps even as a pace-stalker or presser. He’s highly-competitive on numbers and has plenty of further improvement in him.

Mackinnon, trained locally by D. O’Neill, has won his last three starts in visually pleasing style, with two of those victories accomplished over the same course and distance as today’s race. Not quite as fast on speed figures as Dakota Gold but developing with each outing, the son of American Pharoah likes to settle in mid-pack and then blast home, and with clear sailing from the head of the lane to the wire he’s certain to have a say in the matter in the closing stages. He’s looked terrific in the a.m. in recent weeks, so it’s not likely we’ve seen anything close to his best quite yet.

Notable Workouts:

Mackinnon (October 30, Del Mar, 6f, 1:14.4h). Grade: A- | VIDEO
Can’t verify the official final time but we caught him from the quarter pole to the wire in a sparkling :22.4 without really being asked, full of run while gobbling up the ground in the late stages. Gets better every time we see him.