JOHNNY LOVE’S SATURDAY BREEDERS’ CUP PICKS
Best Bet Race 11, Wise Dan; 50 cent Pick 4, Race 9 (4,7,8,9,10,11,12/ALL/8/6,9), $84
Race 4: BC Juvenile Fillies
SCANDALOUS CAT will attempt to steal the race as lone frontrunner but should expect others breathing down her neck in pursuit. Comes in to the race from the Florida circuit with three consecutive gate-to-wire wins by five lengths or more; solid shot to be a thief at a nice price. SHE’S A TIGER will be pushing the pace on our frontrunner with first attack coming from the outside post; two bullet works coming in with Gary Stevens remaining aboard makes her tough. UNTAPABLE is undefeated and deserves notice. ARTEMIS AGROTERA and SECRET COMPRESS will be near the front for second attack and are must use on tickets.
Race 5: BC Filly and Mare Turf
DANK is a decent single coming off a dominating Grade 1 win in her first North America debut in August; should get good stalking position while saving ground from starting rail position. Consistent runner has class edge over her rivals making her tough to beat. LAUGHING is the one to catch and enters with four straight wins on the east coast; definite candidate for win honors. TIZ FLIRTATIOUS and MARKETING MIX have home field advantage and loom to be the off-the-pace upsetters; serious considerations.
Race 6: BC Filly and Mare Sprint
JUDY THE BEAUTY zoomed past heavy favorite GROUPIE DOLL last out in the Thoroughbred Club of America race at Keeneland making her my top pick over Groupie Doll. The TCA race at Keeneland has produced the last four winners in today’s race. SUMMER APPLAUSE shortens up from route racing and is talented enough to sit closer to the pace picking them off late when it’s her turn to go. BOOK REVIEW and TEDDY’S PROMISE are local favorites who are major players but will need to step it up a notch; usually get a share of the prize money.
Race 7: BC TURF SPRINT
Home-field advantage comes in to play for the Turf Sprint more than any other race due to the one of a kind downhill race course at Santa Anita; the past three turf sprint winners on this course were California-based. CARACORTADO had a brutal trip last out against some of today’s foes but managed to get up for the fourth spot after long layoff; could pull mild upset with better trip and positive jockey switch to Stevens. BOAT TRIP missed by a nose to CHIPS ALL IN in same race as our top pick; ran six wide so deserves another shot to turn the table. Chips All In made quite a splash winning that race holding on stubbornly with the stampede on his heels.
Race 8: BC JUVENILE
Bob Baffert has two strong runners in here with TAP IT RICH and NEW YEAR’S DAY attempting to beat the deserving favorite HAVANA. Tap It Rich hopped and walked out of the gate in debut, giving the field a large lead before running greenly around them to a four length margin win. The grey horse has much to learn but definite confidence builder in the unveiling. New Year’s Day will be near or on the lead; comes off impressive win at Del Mar after grabbing the lead at the half way mark. Havana is the deserving favorite who has been crushing his opponents but doesn’t get top billing with me with no two turn race under his belt. BOND HOLDER is a Grade 1 winner at Santa Anita, should be a handful to fend off.
Race 9: BC TURF
European filly THE FUGUE, will be running with the boys as the deserving M/L favorite after winning consecutive Group 1 stake races overseas against much tougher. Ran third here last year in the BC Turf after troubled trip. INDY POINT seems to be peaking at the right time for trainer Mandella; impressive in two of three starts since coming to North America. LITTLE MIKE stopped the european runners from another BC Turf victory with the big upset last year; tough to catch once he gets the lead. POINT OF ENTRY’s one loss in past eight starts came after early trouble; seasoned veteran will be in the mix at the end.
Race 10: BC SPRINT
Most wide-open race of the day is loaded with early speed. SECRET CIRCLE has finished in the top two spots in all eight starts and got the victory last out after a year absence; training extremely well with two bullet drills. JUSTIN PHILLIP should enjoy the view of the heated battle up front sitting back off the rail winding up for late closing kick; logical win honors contender. PRIVATE ZONE will be one of a few up front slugging it out for the lead; comes off a couple of front running victories including a Grade 1 fending off Justin Phillip.
Race 11: BC MILE
WISE DAN hasn’t lost a turf race since 2011 and is the most logical single on the card. The 2012 Horse of the Year won this race last year but did run second in prep race last effort to SILVER MAX when race was taken off the turf due to rain. Silver Max ran his career best to beat Wise Dan on the Keeneland polytrack but can he repeat that performance on the lawn? NO JET LAG and European invader OLYMPIC GLORY are my only other runners I’ll use on my ticket.
Race 12: BC Classic
I think the Classic comes down to the two horses with the two best jockeys right now at Santa Anita, Mike Smith on GAME ON DUDE and Gary Stevens on MUCHO MACHO MAN. Game On Dude ran second best in the last two BC Classics trying to lead the field around the oval in both before getting caught late. I think Smith keeps him behind the expected heated pace battle up front today for first attack; training extremely well if not the best of the field. Mucho Macho Man won last out on this track against a tough field coming off the pace to a four length margin victory; expect to be pressing right behind Game On Dude. PALACE MALICE and WILL TAKE CHARGE are logical deep closing threats who will be compromised by the fast pace.