Breeders Cup Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 11/5/2010
The Breeders’ Cup starts today. I don’t know about you, but I’m counting the minutes until it starts. I’ve looked at the cards every different way over the last few days. All that’s left to do, then, is to make a few bold Breeders’ Cup predictions about what is going to happen:
Two days for the ladies - Horse racing is typically centered around the male horses. This year, though, it’s all about the ladies.
A filly and two mares are the three biggest stars on this card.
There is Zenyatta in the Classic, of course - the super horse who is looking to win her 20th race in 20 tries before retiring next week. Goldikova travels from Europe in an attempt to win the Mile on turf for the third straight times. Both of those two horses will be racing against - and favored to beat - the boys.
The third in the group, Midday will be running against girls in the Filly and Mare Turf, but that doesn’t downplay her dominance as she tries to win the race for the second straight year.
My prediction is that two of the three are going to have a very good day. Midday is a monster that totally outclasses her competition. Goldikova comes into this race much stronger than she did last year, and she was dominant then.
That leaves Zenyatta. I couldn’t be more impressed by what she has done in her career, and the romantic in me badly wants her to win. Still, I don’t like her chances.
She hasn’t been tested this year, and it’s not hard to believe that she has lost a step. She’s facing a much harder field than she did last year in this race - at least at the top end - and she has to do it on dirt, a surface she has only run on twice in her career.
She’s one of several horses that will be looking to come from far back, so her road could be congested. She’s also facing a potentially brutal pace up front from Quality Road - a horse who, if he gets the lead, will be able to push it hard and long.
I’ll be cheering for her with my heart, but looking elsewhere with my head.
Martin Garcia - I couldn’t be more impressed with this young jockey - he has a world of talent, and his partnership with Bob Baffert is potent. I think Garcia is going to have a good weekend - a surprisingly good one.
He has only five mounts scheduled, but there is a lot of promise among them. A Z Warrior is the clear class of the Juvenile Fillies and could get Garcia a win. Lookin at Lucky has a good look at upsetting Zenyatta as well in the Classic. Those are his two big horses, but not his two only chances.
Kinsale King comes into the Sprint off a four month layoff, but he has trained very well, and has beaten some very good horses in his career. He’ll fly under the radar but he can win the race.
Gabby’s Golden Gal is coming off an even longer break - she hasn’t run since January. She’s full of talent, though, and she has been training well. Baffert has a rare ability to get a horse ready off of ridiculous layoffs, so this is a longshot to watch.
Every year there is a jockey who breaks through at the Cup. This year that could be Garcia.
The turf track won’t be an issue - Handicappers have probably heard about all the drama surrounding the grass at Churchill. Louisville had a hot summer and drought conditions all fall, so they haven’t had significant rain since August. When turf tracks don’t get rain they get very hard. That’s tough on all horses, but especially on European horses that are used to running on soft turf.
There has been some bold talk by the connections of two favorites - Workforce in the turf, and Midday in the Filly and Mare Turf - that they might scratch and go home if things aren’t resolved. This is making noise, and forcing some people to question what will happen in the race.
It’s all meaningless, though. First, Churchill Downs has been heavily watering the grass, so it is getting better with every passing day. Reports of the conditions from several different jockeys are actually quite positive - that the firmness isn’t going to be an issue at all. Most significantly, the biggest rabble-rouser of all is Michael Stoute, the trainer of Workforce. Despite complaining to anyone who would listen about the grass for more than a week, he didn’t actually arrive at Churchill for the first time until Wednesday. Some trainers just like to complain, and Stoute is at the top of that list.
Doc’s Sports will have a full slate of picks for the Breeders Cup on Saturday. Breeders Cup picks are just $25 and that will get you our winning pick for each race on Saturday along with a full range of exotics for the BC Classic. Click Here for the picks.
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