Free Breeders Cup Betting Advice and Picks: Live Long Shots
The Breeders' Cup is a two-day betting frenzy - an almost endless stream of handicapping and joy. And part of what makes it so great is the long shots. You have 13 chances for a long shot to come through, pay off big, and give you bragging rights for years to come. After looking over all 168 horses entered in the Breeders' Cup, here are the five that stand out the most as live long shots. I define long shot at 15/1 or better, but all of these horses are likely to go off at higher than these morning line prices. ( click here to purchase expert picks for the 2017 Breeders' Cup from Doc's Sports ).
Snapper Sinclair, Juvenile Turf, 15/1: This Steve Asmussen son of City Zip isn't getting as much respect as he should be getting. He is making his graded stakes debut, and only his fourth career start, but what we have seen has been solid. He broke his maiden in his second try at Saratoga in August. Then he moved up to stakes company at Kentucky Downs, and he won very competently. He's been training in California for the last month and has really taken to it - he fired a bullet in his last workout. His numbers haven't been good enough to win this race yet, but there is plenty of upside here, and he will be a useful exotics play at this price.
Churchill, Classic, 15/1: Let's be clear - it is almost certainly a bad idea to run this horse in this spot, and he probably isn't good enough. He is making his dirt debut and doing it against a stacked field of dirt runners. And he has been in just plain lousy form since May. From June of last year until May of this year, though, the three-year-old won seven straight races and was one of the top horses in the world. He's lost that edge - as is often the case with precocious youngsters as they mature. Aidan O'Brien is one of the two or three best trainers in the world, though, so he isn't going to pick a spot that is completely hopeless. The price is right to make him a part of things in what could be a wide-open race.
Whitmore, Sprint, 15/1: Let's get the problems out of the way first - this horse has not run in a Grade 1 race since finishing 19th of 20 in the 2016 Kentucky Derby. Since becoming a sprinter, though, he has won six of eight races and has four speed figures better than 100. There is potential here. What really stands out, though, is that he is a competent closer. The Sprint is likely to be a truly crazily-paced race, so being able to let the other horses kill themselves up front, and sitting back to pick up the pieces later, could be a strong strategy. This is his third race back off a layoff, and he could be ready to uncork a big performance in a very opportune style.
Talismanic, Turf, 15/1: The biggest upset ever at the Breeders' Cup was Arcangues, who won the 1993 Classic at a stunning 133/1. The trainer was Andre Fabre, so whenever he brings even a remotely interesting horse to the Breeders' Cup I can't help but pay attention. Like Arcangues, this horse is making his American debut in this spot. He has run against top competition in France and has a G2 win to his credit two back. He'll need to have a huge day, but the Turf is as wide open as any race on the card, so backing Fabre isn't the worst idea - he has won this race twice before.
Zelzal, Mile, 20/1: This colt has run only three times as a four-year-old and has never looked particularly sharp. This is his second race after a break of a couple of months, though, so he could be ready to step back into form. And if he could find his form he could be potent - he had four wins in his first five starts as a three-year-old last year, including a G1 win as the last of those wins. His breeding is very sound for this task, and after looking uncomfortable on a soft track the last two times out he should get a firmer and therefore more favorable surface this time around. This is far from the strongest mile field we have seen, so it could be a good spot to figure a long shot into your betting decisions.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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