by Johnny D
October 23, 2019
If you’re a racing fan, Breeders’ Cup resembles Christmas--heaps of anticipation followed by exhilaration. Stuffed stockings and presents beneath the tree become Tri’s and Superfectas accented by Pick 3s, 4s and 5s--all unwrapped with vigor in search of that special Santa delivery.
Next Friday and Saturday, some of the best horses in the world will tangle in 14 races over two days at Santa Anita for the 10th time—a record for any BC host track. There will be drama, excitement and historic moments…we just don’t know when, exactly, and in which races.
The Breeders’ Cup Sprint has a lineup geared to produce a race for the ages. Several of the fastest sprinters in the world will clash, led by Shancelot, Mitole and Imperial Hint. The first two have one way to go: to the front and at full speed ahead. ‘Hint won’t be far behind them. There’s a feeling here that when speedsters like that engage, something’s gotta give. Catalina Cruiser, who should be suitably placed just off the hot pace, ought to be licking his chops. He’s won 7 of 8 races, is 2-for-2 both at the distance and at Santa Anita. And that’s not all. There are a few other contenders in the race with serious closing ability. Firenze Fire, Whitmore and sophomore Hog Creek Hustle will circle pacesetters like buzzards over carnage.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic appears similarly wide-open. The starting favorite at 3-1 could be McKenzie, from the potent Bob Baffert stable racing on his home course. However, the colt didn’t impress last out when wringing his tail while futilely chasing longshot Mongolian Groom home in the Awesome Again. There are other options in the race. Code of Honor and Vino Rosso had a donnybrook in Belmont’s Jockey Club Gold Cup, with the former earning victory via a stewards’ disqualification. Higher Power, also playing a ‘home’ BC game, won the Pacific Classic like a good horse and then broke poorly in the Awesome Again. A summer bounce back puts him squarely in the Classic picture.
The BC Distaff may be one of those ‘coronation’ type events for Midnight Bisou. She’s been unbeatable this year—7-for-7, all graded stakes—and as reliable as the sun throughout her career—18 starts, 12 wins and never worse than third. She seems the most likely winner on the Saturday card and a standing ovation ought to welcome her to the winner’s circle as she joins previously dominating Distaff fillies and mares in a race that often develops according to form.
Those are just some of the anticipated highlights. And those opinions all could turn out to be completely wrong (although, for my wagering account’s sake, I hope not). In fact, it’s not unreasonable for a horseplayer to go 0-14 in the Breeders’ Cup. I know, I’ve done it. Last year, at Churchill Downs, was an exception. The races were more formful than ever. Chalk came home on top like trained pigs and mutuel prices were more deflated than the Iranian Rial. Think I may have even hit the pick six and lost a few bucks! The $11.66 average win mutuel was the lowest at the BC since going to a two-day format in 2007.
Don’t anticipate a similar scenario this year. As evidenced by samples above, 2019 BC races appear much more difficult to handicap. That’s why you’ll need all the help you can get. And one of the best sources for BC race information is Xpressbet’s FREE Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide.
The guide, available Free online Friday, Oct. 25, covers all 14 BC races Nov. 1 & 2—Friday and Saturday. The guide includes complete race breakdowns for each race, including Average Payoffs, Expert Analysis and Selections, Suggested Wagering Strategies, Stats & Trends and ‘Know This’ handicapping angles.
Some of your favorite writers, broadcasters and handicappers are in the guide, including XBTV’s Jeff Siegel and Millie Ball; Nick Luck of NBC Sports; Steve Byk from At the Races on Sirius, Horseplayernow’s Bob Neumeier and Eclipse Award winner Dick Jerardi. Xpressbet account holders and avid horseplayers will recognize handicappers: Ron Nicoletti, Frank Carulli, Brian W. Spencer, Brian Nadeau, Jerry Shottenkirk, Matt Dinnerman, Stan Salter and Dustin Fabian.
Daily guide updates will be posted to the web site beginning Tuesday, Oct. 29 and an updated guide version, including analysis and picks from NBC Sports’ Eddie Olcyzk and VSiN’s Brent Musburger, will be posted Thursday, Oct. 31.
Clearly, that’s an outstanding expert starting lineup geared toward making your 2019 Breeders’ Cup the best it can be. However, over the previous 15 years of the guide, one of the most popular guide features is the informative handicapping angles arranged mostly according to race.
One of my favorite stats surrounds the BC Filly & Mare Turf, originated in 1999, and involves starters based in California that are a remarkable 0-44 with just 5 in-the-money finishes. An equally astounding stat reminds that Aidan O’Brien, one of the world’s greatest trainers is 0-36 with runners in the Mile (23) and Filly & Mare Turf (13) combined! Other notable trainers with cold BC win stats are Christophe Clement (36-0-6-6) and Kenny McPeek (31-0-6-10).
All indications are that this year’s Breeders’ Cup will be one to remember. Let’s hope you remember it as the time you hit that big one! Xpressbet’s FREE Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide is designed to make that happen. And, remember, the Guide’s FREE and worth twice the price!