The Breeders Cup starts Friday. Here are Star Tribune handicapper Johnny Love's picks, as well as a link to post positions and odds for each of the races.
To see the complete field and odds for each race, go here.
Johnny Love’s picks
Juvenile Turf is a dartboard play and will be looking for a price to kick off the Pick 4. Trainer Mark Casse brings in a couple of last-out winners with CONQUEST DADDYO and AIROFORCE. Conquest Daddyo is the better price at 12-1. M/L is coming off a late-driving win after a slow start in lone turf effort. Much room to keep improving on the Keeneland lawn that favors closers. AIROFORCE is undefeated in both career starts and will push the pace. DRESSED IN HERMES is a long-shot play coming off the rail and is training very well with HOF jockey Gary Stevens aboard. The European runners, CYMRIC and HIT IT A BOMB, are the ones to beat but drew the far outside positions. A tough place to break on the turf course.
The Dirt Mile is loaded with speed, and I think the outside runners will get hung out to dry on first turn. LEA is training extremely well on the Keeneland track, is 3-for-3 at the mile and is a Grade 1 winner. My choice to pull the upset while rolling late over the heavy favorite LIAM’S MAP. Liam Map is strictly the one to beat and most logical winner today, but I think he’ll have to duel with the #2 horse BRADESTER, resulting in a pace meltdown with our top picking up the pieces.
The American runners have done very well in recent years in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, but I’m going to put the Euros on top today. Going to give the two Irish bred fillies the two top spots with ILLUMINATE and ALICE SPRINGS. Illuminate is 3-for-4 against much tougher fields across the pond and retains jockey Dettori, who has multiple wins in the BC. Illuminate has yet to cover today’s distance but seems to be screaming for more yardage. Alice Springs comes off an impressive win last out for regular BC trainer Aidan O’Brien. CATCH A GLIMPSE and SAPPHIRE KITCHEN are my top North American choices. Catch A Glimpse will be the one to catch to get the win.
The Distaff is expected to be a spirited pace with a handful of front runners. I’M A CHATTERBOX has been training lights out and keeps improving with each race. She should set up perfectly with her inside draw gathering momentum late with a ground-saving trip. STOPCHARGINGMARIA, too, has been training smartly and will be prompting the pace in the wind tunnel behind the wall of speed. The race goes through the favorite, WEDDING TOAST, but there’s a strong chance of wearing down after an anticipated duel battle at expected punishing fractions. FRIVOLOUS will be bringing up the rear at a huge price.
Best Bet Race 8 Illuminate
50 Cent Pick 4 Race 6 (All/1,3,5/10/1,2,4,7) $84