2019 Breeders Cup Long Shots: High-Value Horses to Watch
Our job here is obvious. Each year at the Breeders' Cup we see long shots come through to win races, and more that find their way into being a part of exotics by finishing in the top three or four. Figuring out which long shots are worth betting on can be the key to turning a decent betting day into a great one. Here are four live long shots that seem to be worth a close look. For the purpose of the discussion here, I defined a long shot as anything at 15/1 or higher on the track morning line.
Juvenile, Wrecking Ball (20/1): The first reason to look at this colt is trainer Peter Miller. He's not a high-volume trainer, but he has won two Breeders' Cup races in each of the last two seasons, so he has a hot touch right now. A hot streak like that is going to pull better horses into any barn, and since this is a two-year-old we can assume that this is a solid caliber of horse. And he has, in his way, showed us that that is true so far. He has finished second in the Grade 2 Best Pal and Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in his last two starts. Solid efforts in both. He hasn't raced at Santa Anita, but he's based in Southern California, so he has had plenty of training on the surface and he clearly seems to like it. At this kind of price, he's going to be useful to use in the bottom of exotics as a way to try to get a decent return if one of the favorites do win - or, even worse, if they finish 1-2.
Sprint, Engage (15/1): Chad Brown is one of the best sprinter trainers in the country, and he is certainly one to watch in any race he's in. But dirt sprints aren't where he is at his best traditionally, and he didn't connect with this horse for some reason. He trained him starting with his debut back in August of 2017 as a two-year-old, all through his three-year-old season, and for his first start this year in July. The horse won a Grade 3 and two other races, but certainly didn't seem like one that had any place in a race like this. Steve Asmussen took his training over in August, won a listed stakes with him in early September to see what he had, and then won a Grade 2 at the start of October, It's like he has been a whole new horse, and that is only after two months. The Sprint this year is a wide-open race , and the chances of a brisk early pace as high as horses try to assert themselves. If they put too much into those assertions, which will almost certainly happen if multiple horses flash early speed, then the race will set up for horses coming off the pace. He's always come from behind the leaders, and last time out he was way back before making his charge. The race could really suit him, and at this price or close to it he would really be worth a look.
Mile, True Valour (20/1): This race is totally wide-open, which makes it a good spot to go shopping for value. This is a five-year-old that started his career in Europe before coming over in July of 2018 to race at Del Mar. It was a disaster, but the connections were obviously committed because they moved him to California and shifted him to the barn of Simon Callaghan. He ran three times between August and February, capping the efforts with a win at a mile in a graded stakes on the same Santa Anita course he'll see here. Then he was off for a long time before returning in early October, when he again won against graded company at a mile on this track. His speed figures in that outing were a career best, and now he's dialed in with a race under his belt for fitness. We know he likes the track, and he could be sitting on a strong effort. He's at least useful as a piece of exotics in this race - and maybe more.
Distaff, Wow Cat (15/1): This mare seems like a forgotten horse in a race in which Midnight Bisou is going to draw massive amounts of money. If she goes off at anything near this price, she's useful - at least in exotics. The five-year-old started running in her native Chile before coming north to Chad Brown's barn last summer. In just her fourth start in the U.S. she was second in the Distaff last year. She has run three times since and had a long layoff before the first race as she did last year. She has looked solid enough with two seconds and a fourth in those starts. She has finished behind Midnight Bisou in her last two races, so she's not likely a good bet to beat her here . But she has been first or second in 13 of 15 career starts, so she always finds a way to be competitive. This is another potentially useful exotics horse - at least.
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