The title here is simple and explains it all - these are horses in the Breeders' Cup this year that offer value at their double-digit morning line odds. Some of these horses stretch the definition of long shots, and none this year are true out-of-the-cloud bombs, but they all promise to deliver at least $20 of profit on a $2 bet. There are seven on the list this year, so just one winner would produce a nice return on investment. Without further ado:
Sprint - Favorite Tale (15/1): He had a solid summer, winning a graded stakes race and running solidly behind the unfortunately deceased Rock Fall twice. He was given a rest after the last stakes outing at the start of August. He came back strong, winning an allowance race professionally while setting a new high speed figure. Since then he's worked very well. In a wide-open field in the Sprint, he'd make some sense at this price. He's certainly not nearly as outclassed as the odds suggest.
Juvenile Fillies - Nickname (10/1): She had a dismal debut, but after a jockey change she has won two in a row. The most recent was a very nice win in the Frizette at Belmont at the beginning of the month. Some are turned off by the fact it was a sloppy track and that the speed figure was low. I'm not worried about that. I'm more interested at this point in the fact she handled the adversity of the conditions very nicely and that she has moved forward each time out. She's training like she really likes this track, too. Lots of potential here.
Filly and Mare Sprint - Artemis Agrotera (12/1): I bet on her in this race last year at 9/2 and was very disappointed when she had a brutal trip and was a non-factor. Oddly enough, that was the last time she raced. She has come back recently and trained like she has rocket boosters on her feet, but can she overcome such a long layoff? It's not completely unprecedented - after winning the Sprint in 2007 Midnight Lute was out of action until one disastrous race in August, but came back to win the Sprint again in 2008. Mizdirection also won the Turf Sprint in 2012 off a layoff of over five months.
Filly and Mare Turf - Stephanie's Kitten (10/1): The weather has been lousy at Keeneland. The turf was soft already after the last week, and rain during the week this week has only made that worse. It is going to most likely be soft and deep turf. That often isn't a good thing for the European horses. American turf is often particularly firm, so the Europeans send horses that are well suited to that. Soft turf, then, can remove some of the distinct advantage the European horses have on the grass. We have three American horses that could benefit from the soft turf. The first is Stephanie's Kitten. She won the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2011 and was second in this race last year, so she's capable of big performances on this weekend. She also won last time out on a soft track. I like the price. Unfortunately, I'd like it a lot better if heavy favorite Legatissimo hadn't also won on a soft track in her last start.
Mile - Grand Arch (12/1): How do we know that this horse will handle an off track at Keeneland? Well, since April he has twice won on off turf at this same track. The last time out was against a pretty solid group of horses, too. He likes the surface. He also isn't comfortable chasing a fast early pace, and the softer the surface is the less of a concern that will be. He's a much more attractive option on an off track than he would be on a firm one, so it's worth keeping an eye on the conditions with this one.
Turf - The Pizza Man (12/1): Golden Horn is an overwhelming and deserving favorite in the Turf. Maybe the best chance of beating him is if the turf is soft and heavy - though the horse has done well on that in the past, too. If it does come up soft, though, this will be a horse to watch - even if just as an option in the exotics under Golden Horn. He has performed generally better on off tracks. In his last two he has won and finished second on yielding tracks. The second was to Grand Arch here at Keeneland, and at a mile that race was too short for The Pizza Man. He unleashed a massive move and nearly caught the winner. A bit more distance and he would have. He's in the best form of his career, and he has the breeding to run forever. Well worth a look if the track comes up less-than-ideal.
Juvenile - Cocked and Loaded (12/1): He won his debut way back in April here at Keeneland, so we know he likes the track. He was sold after that race. The new owners had some bad luck in his graded stakes debut and then panicked and tried him on a synthetic track the next time. It went poorly, and they came to their senses and returned him to dirt. He rewarded them with a win - at the same distance as this race. Since coming to Keeneland in early October he has trained very well, showing that his love for the track endures. If he goes off anywhere near this price in this wide-open field he'll be packed with value.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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