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Jeff Siegel: Breeders' Cup Saturday Picks & Analysis | Saturday, November 6

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: 10:15 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-One Fast Bro; 7-Via Egnatia

Forecast: One Fast Bro has never been off the board in five starts over the Del Mar turf course and has been no worse than second in each of his last four starts, including a solid runner-up try at this level last month at Santa Anita to subsequent Twilight Derby winner Subconscious. Drawn nicely inside and therefore guaranteed a ground-saving trip, the California-bred son of Coil is fast on figures and projects to settle somewhere in mid-pack and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. Via Egnatia is raised in class following a pair of recent mid-level claiming victories that earned decent speed figures. He’ll have to step forward to seriously challenge top pick but if the R. Baltas-trained gelding isn’t policed on the front he could take this field a very long way. His record over the local lawn – two wins in four starts – is another positive factor. The bulk of our action will go to One Fast Bro, but we’ll have tickets using both in rolling exotic play.

RACE 2: Post: 10:50 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Lone Rock; 3-Cupid’s Claws; 4-Tizamagican

Forecast: These main track marathons are few and far between, but they’re always fun to watch, if not wager on. Lone Rock, listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite, was beaten at 10 cents on the dollar in the Grand Prix American Jockey Club S. at Belmont Park in mid-September, going down by length to his same-owner stable mate, the 18-1 long shot Locally Owned. The veteran son of Majestic Warrior and had no visible excuse, but he had won his previous four outings in dominating fashion so let’s operate under the assumption that he’ll bounce back today, though at 6/5 on the morning line he’ll offer little wagering value. Tizamagician, a proven marathoner and especially fond of the Del Mar main track, turned in a career top performance when runner-up to Tripoli in the Pacific Classic and then was below form when fifth after rating tactics were employed in the Awesome Again S.-G1 earlier this month. The son of Tiznow is more than capable of returning to winning form in this lesser assignment and likely will be on or near the lead throughout. Cupid’s Claws appears to be rounding back to form after finishing a close sixth (beaten less than two lengths) in the John Henry Turf Cup-G2 last month. A quality dirt marathoner when he’s on his game, the Kitten’s Joy gelding switches to L. Saez and offers decent price value at 6-1 on the morning line.

RACE 3: Post: 1:25 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Princess Grace; 7-Going Global

Forecast: Princess Grace and Going Global are difficult to separate. They’re both high class, thoroughly professional race mares who loved to win races, though on pure numbers a very slight edge might have to be given to ‘Grace. The daughter of Karakontie has been beaten just once in seven starts – she was second in the Valley View S-G3 at Saratoga after a premature move – and she’s already ventured to Del Mar once this year, having taken the Yellow Ribbon H.-G2 with a career top speed figure. K. Desormeaux, who was aboard in that win, reprises his role and most likely will have the M. Stidham-trained filly settled comfortably in the second flight before setting her down when the time is right. Going Global, a 3-year-old filly tackling older foes for the first time, has won five of six starts since being imported from Ireland. Most recently, she produced a strong victory in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 and has done extremely good work in the a.m. since that score to keep her right on edge. In a race we’d rather watch than wager on, both should be included in rolling exotic play, with a narrow edge on top to Princess Grace.

Notable Workouts:

Going Global (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.1h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Broke off several lengths behind Coulthard and Hollywoodhellraisr (both 5f, 1:00h TT) and closed the gap through the lane to finished lapped on the other two without ever being asked in a highly-impressive training track drill for P. D’Amato, splits of :24.1, :36 flat and :59.3, full of run late. Razor sharp and ready to fire another big shot.

RACE 4: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Post: 12:05 PT Grade: X
Single: 5-Gamine

Forecast: Gamine almost certainly will be the shortest-priced favorite in the two-day, 14-race Breeders’ Cup carnival. The public choice in every one of her races, never having closed at odds higher than even money. she’s a winner of nine of 10 outings, the defending race champion, perfect in four starts at this seven-furlong distance, and the likely controlling speed, though she can just as easily stalk and pounce if required. When last seen in late August at Saratoga, the daughter of Into Mischief captured the Ballerina H.-G1 despite wanting to lug out through the lane, and the B. Baffert-trained filly might be vulnerable if she pulls the same stunt at Del Mar, though it should be noted that in her recent workouts she has breezed straight and true for the most part. Simply put, the only way she loses is if she somehow beats herself.

While Bella Sofia usually appears somewhat ordinary in her morning trials, the bargain basement $20,000 Ocala June Sale purchase is an entirely different performer when the lights go on. Successful in five of six career starts and a facile winner of the Test S.-G1 in her only prior outing at seven furlongs, the R. Rodriguez-trained filly isn’t nearly as fast as Gamine on pure numbers, but her figures continue to rise with each start, so a career top performance (which she will need to make a race of it) seems possible. We suspect she’ll wind up a distant second choice in the wagering over Ce Ce, a genuine and versatile West Coast Grade-1 winner but a non-threatening third behind Gamine in the Ballerina S.-G2 two races back and with just one triple-digit Beyer speed figure in her 15-race career.

Notable Workouts:

Gamine (October 30, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade: B | VIDEO
Easy work, breaking off several lengths behind Ginja (5f, 1:01.4h) and going on by when ready under very light coaxing only, splits of :24.2, :48 flat and 1:00.3 for B. Baffert. Not a scintillating work but more than good enough; will be odds-on in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint.

RACE 5: Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Post: 12:40 PT Grade: B
Use: 4-Lieutenant Dan; 5-Arrest Me Red; 6-A Case of You; 10-Gear Jockey

Forecast: Races at five furlong over the Del Mar turf course that offer a short run in from the top of the stretch to the wire present a near impossible task for the deep closers and an extremely difficult one for those not able to be within striking range right from the bell. Traffic can be a huge issue in a 14-runner field. Horses that save ground somewhere in mid-pack and wait for an opening must possess an electric turn of foot when the opportunity presents itself. Taking the overland route isn’t necessarily advised either, though at least those rallying wide have the opportunity to build momentum. Jockeys who are not accustomed to the short stretch often wait until the field straightens for home to make their move, but by then it’s often too late. Best place to be? On a clear early lead (that would be lovely), in a pace-stalking position, or in the second flight in the middle lanes, where a jockey can choose a viable path - either inside or outside - depending upon where and when room develops.

It’s more than likely that the group with finish in a heap, so a spread strategy in rolling exotic play is required. Whether or not he’s good enough remains to be seen, but the lightly raced and rapidly improving Arrest Me Red has the style and profile for the course and upside that some of the others might not have. A winner of four of six career starts, including the recent Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational-G1 with a career top 100 Beyer speed figure (making him a solid threat based on that number alone), the son of Pioneerof the Nile can win on the lead or from a stalking position, so if he has the good fortune to break running the W. Ward-trained sophomore will almost certainly have every chance to fire his best shot. We actually like him quite a bit better than his lower-priced stable mate Golden Pal, who is the quicker of the two but is slower on speed figures and vulnerable under pressure in the final furlong.

A Case of You arrives fresh from a career top performance when winning the prestigious Prix de l’Abbaye-G1 over the five-furlong straightaway course at Longchamp. Very much like Arrest Me Red, he’s a 3-year-old with rapidly improving form. Interestingly, he was assigned a Timeform rating of 122 in that victory, eight points better than what Glass Slipper earned in her win in that same race last year. He’s not particularly quick during the early stages of his races and as such may be taking the worst of it at Del Mar, but it’s safe to say that his closing kick matches anything in the field and with good racing luck the Irish-bred colt has a chance to make some serious noise in the final furlong.

Lieutenant Dan is a perfect two-for-two over the Del Mar course and distance, and while we’ve never considered him to be a world class grass sprinter, this California-bred gelding is a winner of four of his last five starts and has speed figures that fit. He’s proven to be quick enough to secure a favorable early position and generally provides a second move under pressure close home, so we’ll respect the S. Miyadi-trained gelding enough to include him on our ticket.

Gear Jockey earned a career top speed figure winning a Grade-3 sprint stakes at Kentucky Downs in mid-September, but the Del Mar course and distance couldn’t be more different, so we really can’t use that race to promote his chances under these conditions. However, the son of Twirling Candy has a dangerous late kick and could make an impact if the pace types falter and he get the opportunity to build up his moment with clear sailing from the head of the lane to the wire. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him at least hit the board.

As for Glass Slippers, she reproduced the same electric closing kick that had resulted in her 2020 victory at Longchamp when pulling off a 10-1 surprise in the B.C. Turf Sprint last year. She’s back to defend her crown, but she had an extra half-furlong and a longer stretch to work with at Keeneland and benefitted from a rather fortunate journey to register the upset from off the pace. Winless in three starts this year and under the conditions that really don’t suit her style at Del Mar, the English-bred mare is bet-against.

Notable Workouts:

Lieutenant Dan (October 29, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.4h TT). Grade: B | VIDEO
Usually a lazy sort in the a.m. but went well (for him) in this solo half mile training track drill, late changing leads but finishing with a bit more interest than usual, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :36.2. Always fires his best shot when it counts and is perfect over the Del Mar turf course.
View Workout Video

Arrest Me Red (October 31, Keeneland, 4f, :51.4b TC DU). Grade: B | VIDEO
Breezing work around dogs over soft course stalking Kaufymaker (4f, :52b, TC DU) and finishing down the lane with that one, both under a tight hold with both appearing to be eager and have plenty of energy. Sharp breeze despite slow final time.
View Workout Video

RACE 6: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Ginobili; 5-Life Is Good

Forecast: It appears that Life Is Good has no chinks in his armor. Perhaps for the purpose of finding “value” you may be inclined to try to beat the obvious heavy favorite in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but as hard as we’ve looked, we can locate nothing on his resume that suggests he won’t fire his best shot. Clearly the speed of the speed, this gifted front-runner showed in his 2-year-old debut last year that he can easily cope with Del Mar’s main track when he crushed maidens by more than nine lengths. During the winter, he won both of his two-turn races - each at the expense of subsequent Kentucky Derby-G1 first place finisher Medina Spirit – before suffering an injury that prevented a Triple Crown campaign. Beaten in a photo in a superlative effort off the bench by Jackie’s Warrior in the H. A. Jerkens Memorial S.-G1 at Saratoga in August in his first start in almost six months for new trainer T. Pletcher, the son of Into Mischief didn’t have any negative reaction from that tough, grueling effort. He returned to toy with his outclassed foes in the Kelso H.-G2 in late September in a race that was strategically chosen to easily tick him over for this much more important event.

Ginobili was always cut out to be a decent sort of racehorse – he finished a close second to undefeated Nadal in the 7F San Vicente S.-G2 as a 3-year-old – but it’s only been in his last two starts that the son of Munnings has truly become a legitimate top-class main track miler. Both of those outstanding victories, a runaway allowance win followed by an equally sharp performance in the Pat O’Brien S.-G2, were accomplished over the quirky Del Mar dirt surface. Local players know that there is no track on the West Coast in which the horse-for-course angle plays a more significant role in the handicapping process than at Del Mar. For that reason alone, you have to afford the R. Baltas-trained gelding something of a legitimate look and therefore use him as a small saver or a back-up in rolling exotic play.

Notable workouts:

Life Is Good (October 29, Belmont Park, 4f, :49.3b TT). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Under a stout hold throughout, full of run for T. Pletcher while being kept on edge for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Ready for a career top performance, it would seem.

RACE 7: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Post: 3:37 PT Grade: B+
Use: 4-Rougir; 6-Love; 7-War Like Goddess; 8-Love Only You; 12-Audarya

Forecast: There have been several excellent renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, but none as deep and contentious as this one, at least in recent years. There are at least five in the field that could, or should, be favored and are very difficult to separate. Love, believed to be only a small notch below Breeders’ Cup Turf-G1 favorite Tarnawa, was pre-entered in that race as well as the B.C. Filly & Mare Turf-G1, with trainer Aidan O’Brien ultimately opting to keep the daughter of Galileo with the girls. A five-time Group-1 winner in England but somewhat disappointing in her last three winless starts, she nonetheless is more than capable of winning a race of this quality with her top performance. The $1.8 million earner (and a winner of seven of 14 career starts) has the type of tactical speed that should keep her within striking range no matter how the pace flow unfolds, and while she was tagged right on the wire when nosed out as the favorite in the Blandford S.-G3 at The Curragh last time she hit the front too soon and probably doesn’t even know she lost. If there is a concern, is that her blood wasn’t right earlier in the month, necessitating her withdrawal from a scheduled appearance on Champions Day at Ascot earlier this month. She’s been deemed healthy enough by trainer A. O’Brien to have made the trip the Del Mar, so we’ll approach this race under the assumption she’s set to perform to high her standards.

War Like Goddess can’t quite boast the glitzy resume that Love can, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not just as good. Successful in six of seven career starts, her last three by daylight with ease and confidence, the daughter of English Channel owns an intense turn of foot that can neutralize any type of pace flow. According to her speed figures, she has produced a forward move in every one of her career starts and may need another one to defeat Love. But there’s no reason to believe she can’t rise to the occasion.

Audarya is the defending B.C. Filly & Mare champion, having won this race at Keeneland last year at odds of 17-1. She won’t be that price today. Her extreme outside post position number 12 is of no concern for a filly that will lag early and explode late, and though she was a close fourth to Rougir in the Prix de l’Opera-G1 in France last month over heavy ground, today’s firm grass course should bring out her best. Winless in five starts this year but with Timeform ratings that say she’s every bit as good now as ever, the French-bred filly is a “must use” at 5-1 on the morning line.

Love Only You showed her quality last winter on the world’s stage when finishing a superb third – beaten just a half-length – behind Mishriff in the Dubai Sheema Classic, then went to Hong Kong to win a Group-1 race less than a month later. The pride of Japan, a winner of six of 14 races arrives fresh after 10 weeks of vacation time and if she brings her best stuff she’s more than capable of winning.

If you have room on your rolling exotic ticket, you probably should consider including Rougir, at least as a back-up or a saver. Her recent win at Longchamp was well-earned, though a case could be made that the deep going promoted her chances. She’s listed at 6-1 on the morning line, a decent sort of price for a Group-1 winning French filly who has won or been beaten a neck or less in each of her last four starts.

Notable Workouts:

War Like Goddess (October 31, Del Mar, 4f, :48.1h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Worked alone on main track while displaying plenty of energy and looking as good as ever, final quarter mile without being asked in a sharp :23.3. Has never taken a backward move according to her speed figures and looks ready for another career top in the B.C. Filly & Mare Turf.

RACE 8: Breeders’ Cup Sprint Post: 2:38 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Jackie’s Warrior; 9-Dr. Schivel

Forecast: After a brief flirtation with distance racing early in 2021 to determine his viability for the spring classics, Jackie’s Warrior was returned to his roots as a dominating one-turn specialist and is every bit deserving of his 6/5 favorite’s role in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1. Thoroughly impressive when earning terrific speed figures in each of his last three outings, all wins, the S. Asmussen-trained colt most recently was assigned a career top 110 Beyer number when capturing the Gallant Bob S.-G2 under wraps. However, it was his performance two runs back that was his most impressive. In stalking and then out-finishing the brilliant Life Is Good in the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S.-G1 at Saratoga, the son of Maclean’s Music displayed championship qualities that are expected to continue under regular rider J. Rosario in a race that he projects to control from gate to wire.

Dr. Schivel is comfortably drawn on the far outside, which means the gifted son of Violence can pop and go or stalk and pounce. He’ll need a significant amount of improvement to put a scare into Jackie’s Warrior, but the twice-beaten in seven starts sophomore is a perfect three-for-three over the Del Mar main track and thus owns the home court advantage. Whether or not he’s good enough can be questioned but from all indications – including his appearance and his workouts – the M. Glatt-trained colt is prepared for a career top effort. He is worth including somewhere on your ticket for protection.

Notable Workouts:

Jackie’s Warrior (October 31, Del Mar, 3f, :36.4h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Under a hammerlock through the lane while appearing ready to explode, final quarter mile in :24.3. Should handle the Del Mar main track without any issues.

Dr. Schivel (October 30, Santa Anita, 5f, :58.2h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Broke off behind Deservedly (5f, :58.3h) and finished down the lane with workmate to be head-and-head at the wire, splits of :23.2, :34.3 and :58.2, niggled at late, solid work for high class sprinter who always seems to save his best for the afternoon. Loves the Del Mar main track and will lay his body down when trying to stay with Jackie’s Warrior.

RACE 9: Breeders’ Cup Mile. Post: 3:20 PT Grade: A-
Single: 3-Space Blues

Forecast: Simply stated, European invader Space Blues is an exceptional racehorse and is superior to his North American counterparts. A winner of 10 of 18 career starts, including seven of his last 10 (all in top class stakes company), the five-year-old son of Dubawai will be stretching out to a mile for the first time following a recent series of outstanding seven furlong performances, but he should have no problem with today’s extra distance and in fact gives every indication that he’ll be quite comfortable over the Del Mar turf course’s tight layout and the extremely firm ground that it offers. From a good inside draw, world class jockey W. Buick can settle somewhere in mid-pack with cover and sit still to the far turn, at which time he’ll need to find room to allow the C. Appleby-trained horse to uncork the type of acceleration than none of his rivals can match. He’s the morning line favorite at 3-1 and deservedly so. Somewhere along the sequence we have to take a stand, and it’s in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Mile that we will do just that. There’s always a traffic issue to worry about in a 14 runner event over a course with a short run to the wire after the field straightens for home but with any degree of good racing luck, we’re confident the Irish-bred veteran will deliver the goods in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B+
Use: 3-Malathaat; 6-Letruksa

Forecast: Letruska has won 17 of 22 races during her career, including six out of seven in 2021, and will deserve plenty of support in the year-end voting for Horse of the Year. She is as genuine and consistent as they come and is the deserved 8/5 morning line favorite for this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff-G1. Always most effective as the controlling speed, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Super Saver will once again be on the front end, though there are others in the field, such as Private Mission, Horologist, and Shedaresthedevil, that will allow no breathers along the way. She will have to earn it.

Malathaat, clearly the best 3-year-old filly in North America, steps out of her comfort zone as she faces older mares for the first time, and, yes, she will need a career top effort to defeat Letruska and the others. We think she is capable of doing just that. A winner of six of seven career outings including three Grade-1’s, she has been freshened since winning the Alabama S.-G1 at Saratoga in August and has trained like a filly that is both physically and mentally ready to take on the new challenge. Most of Curlin’s offspring get better with age, maturity, and distance, and this T. Pletcher-trained 3-year-old seems primed to make the next leap. Based on the projected race flow, Johnny V. can settle somewhere in the second flight behind those that will be dealing with Letruska during the early stages of the race. He’ll move closer as the field enters the far turn. Then he’ll push the button. We’ll be gambling that she’ll provide the proper response.

Notable Workouts:

Malathaat (October 29, Belmont Park, 5f, 1:01.1h TT). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Breezing throughout outside Vindictive (same time) for T. Pletcher, never asked a drop while proving best late by a long head. Couldn’t be looking any better, ready for a career top performance.

RACE 11: Breeders’ Cup Turf. Post: 4:40 PT Grade: B+
Use: 7-Walton Street; 8-Broome; 13-Tarnawa

Forecast: European shippers have won 17 of the past 22 renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Turf, so it makes perfect sense to first focus on the foreign contingent in researching and handicapping this $4,000,000 mile and one-half marathon. Defending race champion Tarnawa returns to defend her crown and based on her current form appears to be every bit as good this year as last. She’s fresh, too, having had just three starts in 2021. A winner of a Group-3 affair in Ireland in early August in her seasonal bow, she next ran arguably the best race of her career when narrowly missing to likely European Horse of the Year St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion S.-G1 the following month. Then, most recently, the D. Weld-trained mare lost nothing in defeat when second, beaten less than a length, in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-G1 at Longchamp three weeks ago. Effective on any ground but quite comfortable over the extremely firm, pool table-type grass track at Del Mar, the five-year-old mare is blessed with an intense turn of foot and can be expected to produce a winning late kick, assuming she has the good fortune of to avoid traffic trouble from the top of the stretch to the wire.

At seven years of age, the English-based Walton Street has never been better. His 119 British Race Form figure earned in his nearly six-length romp in the Canadian International S.-G1 at Woodbine in mid-September was a career top, and to place that in context with our top pick, that rating was just three points below the one assigned to Tarnawa in her recent ‘Arc runner-up performance. The C. Appleby-trained gelding is hardly out of his element against world class competition and is a “must use” somewhere on your ticket.

Price players may want to toss in Broome. Why not include a European-based, Group-1 winning millionaire trained by A. O’Brien and ridden by Frankie? Originally listed at 20-1 on the morning line (he may go lower after the scratch of the major contender Domestic Spending), the five-year-old stayer has Timeform ratings that fit with most of these and will offer value in the vertical exotics even if he just manages to hit the board.

RACE 12: Breeders’ Cup Classic. Post: 5:40 PT Grade: B+
Use: 3-Hot Rod Charlie; 4-Essential Quality; 8-Medina Spirit

Forecast: This much we’re certain of: Knicks Go will attempt to employ his usual gate-to-wire tactics in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1. How many of his nine wins were accomplished when he failed to make the early running? That number would be zero.
But unlike in his three most recent dominating front-running victories - the Corn Husker H.-G3, the Whitney S.-G1, and the Lukas Classic-G1 - the other main players in this race aren’t simply going to hand him the front end on a silver platter. This time, he’ll have to work to get the lead and work even harder to keep it. Medina Spirit, himself victorious in five of nine career outings, each in wire-to-wire fashion, may not be as committed to the front as Knicks Go, but there’s no way he’ll be backing off early. In fact, if Medina Spirit can somehow outrun Knicks Go early as his connections certainly hope he can, the B. Baffert-trained colt may be quite capable of reproducing his runaway score in the Awesome Again S.-G1, the race last month that produced his highest-rated victory in a career that remains highlighted by his first place finish in the Kentucky Derby-G1.

Where does the projected race flow leave Hot Rod Charlie? Probably in an ideal second flight, stalking position, similar to the trip he enjoyed when crossing the wire first in the Haskell Invitational G-1, a victory that was taken from him due to the carelessness of his jockey, F. Prat, who caused a mid-stretch spill. ‘Charlie returned to win the Pennsylvania Derby-G1 in September with a career top 111 Beyer speed figure that Knicks Go has exceeded just once in his 23-race career and four points better than anything Medina Spirit has ever achieved. A string of typically strong recent workouts suggests the D. O’Neill-trained colt still has additional improvement in him, and at anywhere near his morning line of 4-1 the son of Oxbow offers excellent wagering value in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.

Essential Quality, the colt that edged Hot Rod Charlie in the Belmont S.-G1 and then subsequently won both the Jim Dandy S.-G2 and Travers S.-G1, remains the leader for an Eclipse Award in the 3-year-old colt division, but in his first start since late August the son of Tapit surely will need a career top effort to win what is expected to be his final career race. He’s been beaten just once in nine lifetime outings – he was fourth without mishap behind Medina Spirit in the Kentucky Derby-G1 – and while we may question the ceiling of his natural talent there’s no doubting his will. Our first inclination was to leave him off our ticket, but we’re doing that with Knicks Go., so for now, he’s on. He’s simply too good of a racehorse.

Notable Workouts:

Hot Rod Charlie (October 30, Del Mar, 7f, 1:26.4h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Broke off behind Khantoro d’Oro (5f, 1:01.2h) and after using that one as a target easily drew clear through the under mild coaxing before traveling out all the way around to the six furlong pole, :24.3, :36.3, 1:00 flat (to the wire) and 1:12.3 to the seven furlong pole before galloping out in 1:26.3. Coming up to the Classic as good as one would want.

Medina Spirit (October 29, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:11.3h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
In company inside Ax Man (same time) for B. Baffert while working from the five furlong pole around to the seven furlong pole, splits of :24.1, :35.3, :59.2 and 1:11.3, easy to the top then mildly coaxed through the lane to prove a tad the best in yet another strong drill. Comes up to the Classic with a strong foundation and is plenty fit for his best effort.