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Jon White's 2020 Breeders' Cup Picks

by Jon White

November 4, 2020


1. GOLDEN PAL (8-5 on the morning line): Believe he wins despite post 14; Ward praises him
2. BODENHEIMER (8-1): Lone loss by WA-bred came on soft ground
3. AFTER FIVE (6-1): Maiden by The Factor could be a factor

Nice-price danger: COUNTRY FINAL (15-1): Interesting at 15-1 ML, especially with Rosario

Note: Despite drawing post 14, Golden Pal is my most probable winner at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Yes, I would like him much better if he had not drawn the outside post. But I do still see him flexing his muscles vs. these juveniles. Trainer Wesley Ward has raved about Golden Pal for months.

I think this is a difficult Breeders’ Cup to come up with a most probable winner. This is the least confidence I’ve ever had in picking a most probable Breeders’ Cup winner.

Many understandably would choose Jackie’s Warrior in the Juvenile as the most probable winner at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. But in addition to my decision to not make Jackie’s Warrior my most probable Breeders’ Cup winner, I am not even picking him to win his race.

My most probable winner during the Nov. 6-7 racing at Keeneland actually is Nashville (4-5 morning line) in Saturday’s first race, the Perryville Stakes. But in terms of the 14 Breeders’ Cup events, Golden Pal is my choice as this year’s most probable winner at Keeneland this Friday and Saturday.

My most probable Breeders’ Cup winner has won in 12 of the 16 last years. These are my most probable Breeders’ Cup winners going back to 2004:

2019 Midnight Bisou (finished second)
2018 Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (won)
2017 Bolt d’Oro in the Juvenile (finished third)
2016 Dortmund in the Dirt Mile (finished fourth)
2015 Songbird in the Juvenile Fillies (won)
2014 Goldencents in the Dirt Mile (won)
2013 Wise Dan in the Mile (won)
2012 Groupie Doll in the Filly & Mare Sprint (won)
2011 Goldikova in the Mile (won)
2010 Goldikova in the Mile (won)
2009 Zenyatta in the Classic (won)
2008 Zenyatta in the Ladies’ Classic (won)
2007 Midnight Lute in the Sprint (won)
2006 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won)
2005 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (finished second)
2004 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won)


1. CADILLAC (6-1): Euro is 2 for 2 when racing around a turn
2. GRETZKY THE GREAT (8-1): Achieved hat trick with G1 Summer victory
3. BATTLEGROUND (6-1): O’Brien has 4 BCJT wins; dam BC Turf winner

Nice-price danger: NEW MANDATE (12-1): Threat with remarkable Dettori as pilot


1. PRINCESS NOOR (9-5): Yet to be tested; must improve soft figs
2. DAYOUTOFTHEOFFICE (5-2): Frizette triumph yielded best Beyer of these
3. SIMPLY RAVISHING (5-2): Simply a major player here off Alcibiades

Nice-price danger: VEQUIST (8-1): Was 9-10 favorite when 2nd in Frizette


1. CAMPANELLE (4-1): Victorious in U.S., England and France
2. PLUM ALI (4-1): Undefeated in 3 starts; figs are improving
2. AUNT PEARL (3-1): Won G2 Jessamine smartly on Keeneland turf

Nice-price danger: MADONE (10-1): Undefeated stakes winner from SoCal


1. ESSENTIAL QUALITY (4-1): Dandy G1 victory going 2 turns at Keeneland
2. JACKIE’S WARRIOR (7-5): Favorite has spotless record; now tries 2 turns
3. REINVESTMENT RISK (9-2): Third try the charm vs. Jackie’s Warrior?

Nice-price danger: SITTIN ON GO (12-1): Big late kick to win G3 Iroquois going away


1. SPEECH (6-1): Best race came on Keeneland main track
2. GAMINE (7-5): Perfect 3 for 3 when racing around one turn
3. BELL’S THE ONE (6-1): Anticipated swift pace sets it up for her?

Nice-price danger: SCONSIN (20-1): Fast pace also would aid this stretch runner


1. BIG RUNNEUR (12-1): Speedy runner might lead all the way
2. LEINSTER (4-1): This guy loves the Keeneland lawn
3. IMPRIMIS (4-1): Coming into BC in razor-sharp form

Nice-price danger: OLEKSANDRA (12-1): Capable of unleashing powerful late surge


1. KNICKS GO (7-2): Monstrous Keeneland victory for Cox
2. COMPLEXITY (2-1): It’s quite simple, really -- he merits respect
3. MR FREEZE (6-1): Took Keeneland’s G2 Fayette in game fashion

Nice-price danger: SHARP SAMURAI (15-1): Dangerous off good effort in Pacific Classic


1. RUSHING FALL (5-2): 11 for 14 win machine is 5 for 6 at Keeneland
2. MEAN MARY (7-2): Consistent miss sports 7 of 8 exacta finishes
3. SISTERCHARLIE (6-1): Has 2018 winner of this race lost a step?

Nice-price danger: STARSHIP JUBILEE (10-1): $16,000 claim beat males in G1 Woodbine Mile


1. FIRENZE FIRE (8-1): Big chance to win off Thoro-Graph numbers
2. C Z ROCKET (7-2): Eyes 6th straight; Miller does well in BC sprints
3. YAUPON (7-2): Sophomore speedster is 4 for 4 coming into this

Nice-price danger: FRANK’S ROCKETTE (10-1): Fleet filly could prove tough customer

NOTE: Odds in this race are original ML prices prior to announcement that 3-1 ML favorite Vekoma will be scratched.


1. IVAR (4-1): G1 grass winner at Keeneland has terrific trainer
2. UNI (5-1): Won this race in 2019, might do it again in 2020
3. KAMEKO (6-1): Euro shipper belongs on list of contenders

Nice-price danger: MARCH TO THE ARCH (15-1): Might march into superfecta at juicy price


1. SWISS SKYDIVER (2-1): Indefatigable 3-year-old can defeat elders
2. VALIANCE (12-1): G1 Spinster win at Keeneland adds to appeal
3. MONOMOY GIRL (8-5): 2018 BC Distaff winner merits much respect

Nice-price danger: OLLIE’S CANDY (10-1): Like the price on mare usually in battle late


1. LORD NORTH (8-1): Draw line through last due to soft ground
2. MAGICAL (5-2): Ran 2nd to great Enable in this race 2018
3. TARNAWA (6-1): Dual G1 wins in France for fab horseman

Nice-price danger: UNITED (8-1): 2nd this race 2019 at 51-1; hits board again?


1. TOM’S D’ETAT (6-1): Excuse for Whitney defeat (stumbled start)
2. IMPROBABLE (5-2): Dominant during 3-race winning streak
3. MAXIMUM SECURITY (7-2): Has trained with verve since Sept. 26 loss

Nice-price danger: TACITUS (20-1): The price is right for superfecta candidate