“Future Stars Friday” features the best 2-year-old colts and fillies in the world. This is their day to shine and show off their raw talent and get a look horses who could be the future superstars of horse racing. We start with five races with large fields for a total of $7 million in purse money. It’s a great way to kick off the two-day event at Santa Anita.
TV: 3 p.m. today, NBCSN; 2:30 p.m. Saturday, NBCSN; 7 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 11.
The Breeders’ Cup races begin in Race 5 and end in Race 9 with the $2 million Juvenile -- the race where we will have a good idea who the early favorite will be for next year’s Kentucky Derby.
Good luck and let’s cash some tickets.
The five-furlong turf sprint kicks off the Breeders’ Cup with a 12-horse field in a wide-open affair. I’m going to lean towards the North American runners and I think the race goes through the three Wesley Ward runners, KIMARI, FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, and CAMBRIA. KIMARI’S lone loss was overseas in a Grade 2 event where she lost by a head. This versatile filly can sit back or sit close to the speed. Her last win was the most impressive, when she overcame a bumpy start and traffic problems, to circle the field 8 wide and get up easily for the win. FOUR WHEEL DRIVE will be on or near the lead and is undefeated in two starts. CAMBRIA is a late closer and could have a say at a big price. A’ALI appears to be the best of the Euro’s, with three wins in Graded 2 stakes overseas.
The Europeans have dominated this race winning 9 of 12, and trainer Aidan O’Brien has won 4 of the last 8 with his runners. Jockey Ryan Moore has 4 wins in 9 starts, so I’m going to stick with this jockey/trainer combo and their entry ARIZONA. This beautiful colt ran second last out in a Grade 1 stakes to a undefeated horse, who many considered to be the best two-year old in Europe. That race was on soft footing and O’Brien believes his colt will run even better on a firm surface, which will be the case at Santa Anita. Stablemate FORT MYERS, won last out on synthetic surface, and needs to improve on the turf, but should also enjoy the firm footing. STRUCTOR, GRACEFUL KITTEN, and ANDESITE appear to be the best of the of the North American group. GRACEFUL KITTEN has plenty of speed in his arsenal and is the one to catch to get the win. STRUCTOR and ANDESITE will have dead aim on the target, stalking from cozy spots behind the speed.
The last three races in this event at Santa Anita have turned out huge prices, and California-based runners have done very well at their home track. BAST is a Bob Baffert runner, based out of California, and comes in with consecutive wins. The filly should get first run on the front runners, which is loaded with speed this year. Baffert seduces HOF rider John Velazquez to ride. The team won last time out in the Grade 1 Chandelier as the heavily bet favorite. DONNA VELOCE moves to the rail with blazing speed. Strictly the one catch to cash your tickets. Bullet drills all over his workouts. COMICAL too is loaded with speed and missed by a neck to BAST last out. BRITISH IDIOM and K P DREAMIN loom the late closing threats. BRITISH IDIOM is undefeated in two starts, drawing away from the field in both.
North American runners have won this race 9 out of the last 11 years, so let’s stick with this route to the finish line. Trainer Chad Brown horses have won the last three events, and he appears to have another special filly in SELFLESSLY. Filly has two races under her belt and won last time out with a strong five-wide rally to get up in time. I think this baby girl has a lot of upswing to her, and look for her to be rolling late from the cheap seats down the stretch. Slight concern is starting from the 13th post. SWEET MELANIA will be right to the inside of our top pick and is full of speed, making her a big threat. Drew off in impressive fashion last out to a five-length margin victory. ABSCOND doesn’t have the speed numbers as the top two picks, but she will be involved early out of the gate and attempt to milk the fractions on the lead at a price. DAAHYEH and ALBIGNA are my top picks among the Europeans.
The featured race of the day comes down to the two favorites in my opinion, EIGHT RINGS and DENNIS’ MOMENT. With not much speed signed up, EIGHT RINGS should be alone on the lead, attempting to run out the clock to the wire. The colt has been a little green in his three races, including dumping his jockey two during its lone loss. Trainer Bob Baffert, has the horse training smartly and quickly leading up for the big race, and is full of confidence. California-based runners have won 6 out of the 9 Juvenile’s at Santa Anita. DENNIS’ MOMENT the other logical contender, has been training like a rocket. Expect this colt to sit off the pace for first crack on the front runner. Draws the fence with one of today’s top jockeys aboard in Irad Ortiz. SCABBARD will be my late-closing threat and should get a nice trip behind the speed. Big price play for bettors, who are hoping for a hotly contested pace battle.
Wagering Menu
Race 9  $50 Win/Place bet: Eight Rings  Total $100