Saturday 5th November: Breeders' Cup World Championships Day Two - Santa Anita

Seen as it's been a while since I last posted on this page, I thought I should just check in to all of my long time fans and supporters that I am still alive and kicking and hopefully after a very busy year with changing jobs etc I can put some more time into my blogging as of next season. Shame really, as this year has been such an amazing year for Aidan O'Brien and all the team at Ballydoyle, breaking all records and I haven't been around for large portions of it and be able to write about it. 

As we all know, tonight is day two of the 2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships in Santa Anita, California, and although Team Ballydoyle and the Europeans in general hardly featured bar Lancaster Bomber in the Juvenile Turf, tonight is a new day and hopefully we will have a lot more luck in running and I can certainly back a few more winners than I did last night!

In this blog I intend to go through every Grade 1 race on the card and give you my selection in each race and a reason for that selection, so without further ado, let's get started.

7:05 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies - Grade 1 - 1m

Selection: Union Strike (5/1), Sweet Loretta E/W (7/1)

Reason: By Union Rags, Union Strike comes into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with some very solid form, beating the smart American Cleopatra from the Bob Baffert stable at Del Mar in September by two and a quarter lengths when trained by Shelbe Ruis. Now in the care of Craig Dollase, Union Strike has a good draw in stall nine and has a Grade 1 class jockey Martin Garcia in the plate. I've also decided to have a stab at Sweet Loretta e/w here because she has looked every inch a superstar in the making with three consecutive victories from as many starts, winning her maiden by 7 lengths, winning a Saratoga Grade 3 by four then absoluting careering away with the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes by five lengths last time. She can come off the pace off the bend and should have plenty of move to manuevre and has to be regarded a major player. 

7:43 - Breeders' Cup Fillies & Mares Turf - Grade 1 - 1m2f

Selection: Lady Eli (3/1)

Reason: A runaway winner of the 2014 Juvenile Fillies Turf, Lady Eli has had her fair share of problems since then but has bounced back as if nothing had happened this season, tasting defeat on her return which was to be expected but has resumed showing her ferocious talent with an impressive victory in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont last time, beating some extremely good fillies in the process. A lot of you guys are probably wondering why I am deserting the O'Brien filly here, but in the seventeen years Aidan has been training, this is one race that has eluded him in the States and I personally don't think Seventh Heaven will be strongly suited by the step down in trip to 1m2f around such a tight track considering she seems to be at her best over a longer, galloping track. She will have to get racing a lot earlier than anticipated here but she still has some excellent form in the book and should feature in proceedings towards the back end of the race. 

8:21 - Breeders' Cup Sprint - Grade 1 - 6f

Selection: Masochistic (5/1) 

Reason: With the standard setting Lord Nelson a late absentee from the Breeders' Cup Sprint, I have decided to side with Ronald Ellis' charge Masochistic. An eight time winner from 6f-7f, he won his latest outing over 7f when 1/5 favourite at Del Mar in August, beating Vyjack by four lengths. The form of that reason has taken a serious knock since, but Masochistic has already proven before he can handle course and distance and with the Breeders' Cup most successful jockey Mike Smith in the saddle, I think Masochistic is the one to beat. 

9:05 - Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint - Grade 1 - 6f

Selection: Washington DC (6/1)

Reason: On a track known for it's idiosyncratic downhill undulations to the home straight which could catch a good few of these sprinters out, I'm siding with Team Ballydoyle on this occasion and with Washington DC. One thing already proven by this son of Zoffany is that he can handle undulating tracks with a solid effort at Goodwood in the summer in the UK. He has promised so much this season and has gone close to landing his first Group 1 and with the advantage of knowing he will handle the track and the rattling fast ground, he could put Aidan O'Brien on the board for the first time at the Breeders' Cup this year. 

9:43 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile - Grade 1 - 1m

Selection: Gormley (5/1)

Reason: Won last year by Nyquist, who won the Front Runner on his way to the Kentucky Derby earlier this season, Gormley could well follow in his hoofsteps after winning the Front Runner himself by three lengths, beating Bob Baffert's Klimt who reopposes and it should be very tough to dislodge him here too. Plenty of others are of interest, including Classic Empire who was a runaway winner of a Grade 1 at Keeneland so he warrants respect but I'm confident of a Gormley success here. 

10:22 - Breeders' Cup Turf - Grade 1 - 1m4f

Selection: Found (11/4), Mondialiste E/W (25/1) 

Reason: As tough as nails, I would feel like I was disowning Found if I deserted her today considering I've followed her everywhere she has been and has won me a fair share of winnings in the past. As consistent as you'll ever see, this year has by far been Found's best, winning the Arc De Triomphe at Chantilly before losing out to Almanzor for the second time in the Champion Stakes at Ascot down in trip. Back to defend her title she pipped Golden Horn to last year, Found is most definitely the one to beat, but I've also decided to have a look for some e/w value in the race so I'm also going to put up Mondialiste at 25/1 simply because Found has a had an extremely long and tough season and it would be no surprise if this was the race to bomb out in and Mondialiste already knows how to win in the USA, winning last year's Mile and then winning the Arlington Million over 1m2f. Up to 1m4f for the first time today, he is worth a shot at the trip and although I'm not expecting him to be nailed on for a place, he's good value against the shorter priced Flintshire and Highland Reel. 

11:01 - Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint - Grade 1 - 7f

Selection: Tara's Tango E/W (10/1)

Reason: Although Jerry Hollendorfer has kept this daughter of Unbridled Song to longer trips this season, winning a Grade 1 over the extended mile back here in February, Tara's Tango has been seen notably running behind Stellar Wind and Beholder last time, however, she could have the speed to cope with the early pace here and certainly has the class to score at her local course. 

11:40 - Breeders' Cup Mile - Grade 1 - 1m

Selection: Miss Temple City E/W (22/1)

Reason: Originally I would have gone for my old friend Alice Springs here for Team Ballydoyle who has had a stellar season this year with two Group 1 successes but this is a very hot and open race with numerous contenders and I think Miss Temple City is being insulted at 22/1. Since Goldikova won three on the bounce, the US have won four out of the last five runnings of this race and even though Tepin is the one to beat and was a good winner of this last year, Miss Temple City beat Ironicus, Tourist and What A View who are also engaged in a Grade 1 at Keeneland and with unguaranteed stamina of Limato, I really think Miss Temple City has a huge chance of finishing in the places at huge odds. 

00:35 - Breeders' Cup Classic - Grade 1 - 1m2f

Selection: Arrogate (3/1)

Reason: With the fairytale story of California Chrome, who is out of a cheap mare and an unpopular sire before becoming the most richest horse in US racing history with victory in the Dubai World Cup set to take centre stage here, a lot of people will be rooting for him and it would be a great result for racing should he do so but I'm going to hopefully rain on his parade with Arrogate. Owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by last year's winning trainer with Triple Crown hero American Pharoah, Bob Baffert, Arrogate is on a five-timer and is one of only a few horses Chrome hasn't encountered yet, and he is set for an almighty one at that, as Arrogate comes into this Classic with a thirteen length romp in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga in record time on his CV. He is the one who can topple California Chrome and I hope he can finish off a very profitable and lucky day for not just myself but other readers who decide to take all or some of my advice. 

Thank you all for reading!!



 




 



 

 


 

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