by Dustin Fabian
October 24, 2019
The Breeders’ Cup is just more than a week away and I know what you’re thinking:
This weekend is a good time to sit back, relax and not do anything that would jeopardize my Breeders’ Cup bankroll.
Personally, I’m taking the opposite approach.
With tracks like Keeneland, Santa Anita, Belmont, Laurel and Gulfstream West in action, there are plenty of chances to hit big and bolster that Breeders’ Cup bankroll.
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These are five races that jumped out at me, complete with my picks for each of them. What do you think?
Bold Ruler Stakes (G3; $200K)
Belmont Park (Race 8, 4:40PM ET)
The best place to start talking Saturday’s races is with the Bold Ruler at Belmont, which attracted Xpressbet Florida Derby/Haskell winner Maximum Security, as well as G3 Xpressbet De Francis Dash winner Killybegs Captain, G1 winner Knicks Go and G2 Gulfstream Park Mile winner Prince Lucky.
Scratches will play a key role in this race. If the speed horses stay in, I think Maximum Security is worth playing against. And it’s interesting that one of the main speed horses, Diamond King, is trained by John Servis. John Servis is Jason Servis’ (trainer of Maximum Security) brother. Family reunions may get a little testy if Jason’s “Derby winner” is run into the ground early by John’s speedball.
As of Thursday afternoon, my picks in here are Prince Lucky (3/1) and True Timber (8/1), the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the G2 Kelso Handicap. Both are proven at Belmont (Prince Lucky is 2-for-5 locally and True Timber is 2-for-6) and both have a stalk-and-pounce style that could give Maximum Security fits.
My Pick(s): #8 Prince Lucky (3/1), #4 True Timber (8/1)
Fayette Stakes (G2; $200K)
Keeneland (Race 9; 5:30PM ET)
I’ve been a big fan of Mocito Rojo for some time. I guess I’m a sucker for horses that just know how to win races, regardless of location. He’s won 17-of-25 starts at tracks from Churchill and Remington to Lone Star, Delta and Evangeline. And in big races, he just doesn’t get a lot of respect on the tote. When he won the G3 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star in April, he paid $12.40. And when he won the G3 Lukas Classic at Churchill last month he paid $19.60.
If not Mocito Rojo, I’ll take some chalk with Tom’s d’Etat. He shows solid form, having just finished 4th, beaten less than 2-lengths, in the G1 Woodward and he was also placed in the G2 Alysheba and G2 Stephen Foster earlier this year. He’s won 7-of-14 and has earned $766K.
My Pick(s): #5 Mocito Rojo (6/1), #3 Tom’s d’Etat (2/1)
Autumn Miss Stakes (G3; $100K)
Santa Anita (Race 7; 6:45PM ET)
Santa Anita’s Saturday feature is the G3 Autumn Miss and with 13 horses signed on (12 in the main field plus one AE), this is the type of race where the exotic bets can seriously impact your Breeders’ Cup bankroll.
I’m putting my money on two horses and crossing my fingers. Brad Cox ships Solent west and when Brad Cox makes this move, he usually means business. This daughter of Hard Spun, out of stellar mare Sightseek, has won two in a row, including an allowance at Kentucky Downs last out. Mike Smith picks up the mount from Florent Geroux, who is out with injury. That’s kind of like brining Babe Ruth off the bench to pinch hit. And remember, a similar Cox-shipper, Juliet Foxtrot, almost upset the heralded Vasilika at Del Mar. So the guy knows how to move horses around the nation.
The other horse I’m watching is the extremely logical Hidden Message. The Simon Callaghan-trainee was second behind Cambier Parc in her US debut in the G1 Del Mar Oaks and Cambier Parc is arguably the nation’s best sophomore turf filly and this one rallied to finish within a length and a quarter of her.
My Pick(s): #3 Hidden Message, #6 Solent
Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Filly Pace
Woodbine Mohawk Park (Race 5; 8:20PM ET)
All of the Breeders Crown races on Friday and Saturday are exceptional, with horses like McWicked, Shartin N, Greenshoe, Southwind Ozzi, Bettors Wish and Atlanta in the entries it’s easy to see why.
Any of these races could make this list, but I’m going with the 3YO Filly Pace, which attracted a field of 10, headlined by Warrawee Ubeaut. The Ron Burke-trained, Yannick-Gingras-driven filly has really turned a switch in the last few months. She’s a perfect 7-for-7 since a defeat at the Meadowlands on August 3 and those wins include the Jugette Final at the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair, the Glen Garnsey Memorial at the Red Mile and a local elim win for this race.
My Pick: #5 Warrawee Ubeat (4/5)
International Gold Cup Stakes ($75K)
Great Meadow (Race 6; 4:00PM ET)
Once again, Xpressbet is offering the jumps races from Great Meadow in Virginia and the day’s feature race is the $75,000 International Gold Cup, going 3 1/2 miles on the turf over hurdles.
The standout here is Andi’amu. The nine-year-old gelding won the Virginia Gold Cup over this course in May and also won a race here in May 2018. He’s ridden by Jack Doyle, one of the top steeplechase jocks, and has won five straight races dating to April 2018.
My Picks: #2 Andi’amu (6/5)