by Johnny D
October 27, 2021
Horseplayers, start your engines! Or, at least sharpen your pencils.
Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entries are out and we have our first look at who might run against whom in which races. We don’t have post positions yet. We’ll get those Monday, so it’s still difficult to completely embrace the handicapping process and to form rigid opinions. However, pre-entries in hand, players desirous of a running start from the gate for the two-day Breeders’ Cup event, can dig in fairly deeply starting now.
Not only do we have an idea as to who might run where, we also know Friday and Saturday’s race order. That’s critical in mapping out winning multi-race wager strategies. Clearly, there will be several ‘singles’ on the BC program and savvy players will want to key those seemingly ‘unbeatable’ runners with attractive longshots in surrounding races. The bold will take a stand or two against the ‘chalk,’ in an effort to score.
Friday’s card begins at 11:55 am Pacific with an allowance race followed by the Golden State Juvenile Stakes. The third race is Qatar Golden Mile. The Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes is next, just before the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes.
The Late Pick 5 begins with the first Breeders’ Cup race--Juvenile Turf Sprint at 2:50 pm Pacific. 19 are pre-entered and trainer Wesley Ward seems to hold aces in Averly Jane, Kaufymaker and Twilight Gleaming. Unbeaten One Timer is another likely to take money.
Race 7 is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with 9 pre-entered. Only Cairo Memories is cross entered, with first preference in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Race 8 is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with 18 pre-entries. Baby Steps has first preference in the Juvenile Turf Sprint. This appears a completely wide-open event with an assortment of talented fillies vying for favoritism.
Race 9 is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 14 are pre-entered with Jasper Krone having first preference in the Juvenile Turf. Chad Brown-trained Jack Christopher is the probable favorite over Bob Baffert’s unbeaten Corniche.
Day one of the 2021 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar concludes with Race 10 and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. 20 are pre-entered with Todd Pletcher-trained and unbeaten Annapolis as the probable favorite. Charlie Appleby’s Albahr and Chad Brown’s Portfolio Company figure to get some action.
Saturday’s card begins at 10:15 am Pacific with an Allowance race, followed by the Grade 3 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes. The Grade 2 Goldikova Stakes is next as race 3.
Actual Breeders’ Cup events begin with Race 4--the Filly & Mare Sprint at 12:05 Pacific. That race features everyone’s potential ‘single’ in Gamine. Only 6 are expected to face her.
Race 5 is the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and that appears a wide-open event. 19 are pre-entered and Daily Racing Form’s Brad Free has Golden Pal, Gear Jockey and Emaraaty Ana ranked at odds from 7-2 to 5-1. Not far behind them in price are Lieutenant Dan, A Case of You and Casa Creed—who has first preference in the Mile.
Race 6 is the Dirt Mile and probable favorite Life is Good will be a handful at a short price. 11 are pre-entered but a pair of runners likely will end up elsewhere. C Z Rocket has first preference in the Sprint and Stilleto Boy has first preference in the Classic.
Next on the docket is Race 7, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf topped by the Bill Mott-trained War Like Goddess. Several pre-entered in here are looking at other spots. Love, Tarnawa and Teona have first preference in the Turf. Queen Supreme has first preference in the Mile.
The Late Pick 5 launches with Race 8, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, followed by the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The former is topped by heavily favored Jackie’s Warrior and the latter is a wide-open affair with Space Blues as the possible favorite, chased in the wagering by Mo Forza and Smooth Like Straight. 24 are pre-entered in the Mile with the following runners with first preference in other races: Channel Cat has first preference in the Turf and Snapper Sinclair has first preference in the Dirt Mile.
Race 10 is the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, featuring short-priced favorite Letruska against 10 pre-entered foes.
Race 11 is the Breeders’ Cup Turf and 22 runners have pre-entered with connections of Loves Only You declaring first preference in the Filly & Mare Turf. Defending champ Tarnawa could go favored in here, but the Chad Brown-trained Domestic Spending appears a likely alternative. Euro-invaders almost always have something big to say about the outcome of this race and Aiden O’Brien-trained Love and Charlie Appleby’s Walton Street and Yibir deserve respect.
The two-day extravaganza concludes with an interesting Breeders’ Cup Classic that matches 5-year-old Knicks Go, the nation’s number one horse, against top-ranked 3-year-olds Essential Quality, recent Pennsylvania Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie, controversial Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and others. 10 are pre-entered to race for the winner’s share of a $6 million purse.