Magic Man’s Breeders Cup Preview, Friday edition

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The biggest weekend in horse racing is finally upon us as the 2017 Breeders Cup begins Friday, host by Del Mar Race Course in southern California for the first time ever.

A total of 13 races encompassing many divisions will be run over these next two days and there are a lot of what figures to be some chances to make a big score. Consider there are very few standouts in any of the 13 races this weekend. That possibility is music to the Magic Man’s ears.

I will give you my look at each of these 13 races over the next two days but for now we focus on the four races to be run on the Friday card headlined by the Breeders Cup Distaff which drew a compact yet highly talented field. Again, this next two days promises to be fun and a chance to make serious money if you get the right combinations in these races.

Below is my look in each of these 4 races along with my selections as well.

RACE 6 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade I) POST TIME – 2:25 PM




Exacta / Trifecta / Superfecta Pick 3 (Races 6-7-8) / Daily Double Pick 4 (Races 6-7-8-9)


Purse $1,000,000. For Fillies, Two-Years-Old. Weight: 122 Lbs. $15,000 to pre-enter, $15,000 to enter, with guaranteed $1 million purse including travel awards of which 55% to the owner of the winner, 17% to second, 9% to third, 5% to fourth, 3% to fifth, 1% to sixth, 1% to seventh, 1% to eighth; plus travel awards to starters not based in California. One Mile. (Turf)

P# PP Horse  Virtual
A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1 Best Performance (KY) [ ] 2/F L1 J L Ortiz 122 C Clement 12/1
2 2 Happily (IRE) [ ] 2/F L1 R L Moore 122 A P O’Brien 9/2
3 3 Now You’re Talking (IRE) [ ] 2/F L1 W Lordan 122 J O’Brien 30/1
4 4 Madeline (IRE) [ ] 2/F A Atzeni 122 R Varian 20/1
5 5 Ultima D (KY) [ ] 2/F L T Gaffalione 122 W A Ward 12/1
6 6 Orbolution (KY) [ ] 2/F L J R Velazquez 122 T A Pletcher 20/1
7 7 Capla Temptress (IRE) [ ] 2/F L1 J Rosario 122 W I Mott 6/1
8 8 Significant Form (KY) [ ] 2/F L I Ortiz, Jr. 122 C C Brown 8/1
9 9 Fatale Bere (FR) [ ] 2/F L K J Desormeaux 122 L Powell 15/1
10 10 September (IRE) [ ] 2/F L1 S Heffernan 122 A P O’Brien 6/1
11 11 Rushing Fall (KY) [ ] 2/F L J Castellano 122 C C Brown 7/2
12 12 Dixie Moon (ON) [ ] 2/F L E R Da Silva 122 C Day Phillips 20/1
13 13 Juliet Capulet (IRE) [ ] 2/F L Dettori 122 J H Gosden 12/1
14 14 Moon Dash (KY) [ ] 2/F L M E Smith 122 M Stidham 15/1
Also Eligibles:
15 15 Retro (KY) [ ] 2/F L F Prat 122 R E Mandella 20/1
16 16 Goodthingstaketime (IRE) [ ] 2/F F Geroux 122 J A Stack 30/1

Owners: 1 – West Point Thoroughbreds, Tango Uniform Racing & Robert Masiello; 2 – Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier & Michael Tabor; 3 – Keir MacLennan, Mikael Jooste and Ed Tynan; 4 – Godolphin Stable Lessee & Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum; 5 – For the People, Andrew Farm, Mrs. John Magnier & Mrs. Paul Shanahan; 6 – StarLadies Racing; 7 – Team Valor LLC; 8 – Stephanie Seymour Brant; 9 – Head of Plains Partners, Benowitz Family Trust, Mathilde Powell & Mark Mathiesen; 10 – Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; 11 – e Five Racing Thoroughbreds; 12 – Sean & Dorothy Fitzhenry; 13 – Cheveley Park Stud, Ltd.; 14 – Speedway Stable LLC; 15 – LNJ Foxwoods; 16 – Sheep Pond Partners, Tim & Anna Cambron & Bradley Thoroughbreds

Breeders: 1 – Mercedes Stables LLC; 2 – Orpendale and Chelston Ireland; 3 – Stilvi Compania Financiera SA; 4 – Mr Manfred Wurtenberger; 5 – Hunter Valley Farm, Jayne Johnson &Keith Lazarz; 6 – Hinkle Farms; 7 – Pier House Stud; 8 – Brereton C. Jones; 9 – SNC Regnier and San Gabriel Inv., Inc.; 10 – Orpendale and Chelston; 11 – Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding; 12 – Sean Fitzhenry & Dorothy Fitzhenry; 13 – Yeomanstown Stud; 14 – Hunter Valley Farm & Beechwood FarmingInvestments; 15 – Barronstown Stud; 16 – David Keoghan & Casey McLiney

Pedigrees (Sire – Dam, by Dam Sire): 1 – Broken Vow – Give My Regards , by Smart Strike ; 2 – Galileo (IRE) – You’resothrilling , by Storm Cat ; 3 -Zoffany (IRE) – Granadilla (GB) , by Zafonic ; 4 – Kodiac (GB) – Madhulika (FR) , by Marchand de Sable ; 5 – Scat Daddy – La Violette , by Coronado’s Quest ; 6 – Orb – My Rachel , by Horse Chestnut (SAF) ; 7 – Lope de Vega (IRE) – Mrs Beeton (IRE) , by Dansili (GB) ; 8 – Creative Cause – Church by the Sea , by Harlan’s Holiday ; 9 – Pedro the Great – Mofa Bere (FR) , by Saumarez (GB) ; 10 – Deep Impact (JPN) – Peeping Fawn , by Danehill ; 11 -More Than Ready – Autumnal , by Forestry ; 12 – Curlin – Dixie Chicken , by Rahy ; 13 – Dark Angel (IRE) – Capulet Monteque (IRE) , by Camacho (GB); 14 – Malibu Moon – In the Slips , by More Than Ready ; 15 – Giant’s Causeway – Grace Anatomy , by Aldebaran ; 16 – Canford Cliffs (IRE) -Addictedtoprogress (IRE) , by Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) ;

Sire of Moon Dash standing at Spendthrift Farm

Analysis: The festivities start with this running of the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with a completely wide open outlook, as has been the case for the majority of its previous editions.

Rushing Fall is the tepid 7-2 morning line favorite and she comes in unblemished after two starts. The always potent combo of trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano are present with her and she figures to be dangerous in here. Consider, Rushing Fall has yet to be really tested and she figures to get one here but I believe she will be tough to handle if she continues her progression.

Happily is the 9-2 second choice and before you dive in with her let me offer this up to you. Her trainer Aidan O’ Brien has won a ton of races in his career but has yet to figure this one out. Also consider that the connections were 50-50 on whether to run after she missed a few days of preparations with a fever. If this filly was based in the U.S., I would not be as concerned but having to ship from Europe and to stay in quarantine before she can train at Del Mar tells me not to include her.

September is another O’ Brien starter who on paper has a good chance. She did get beat by Happily two back but with the questions surrounding that one and how this one has been going I tend to think she can make a sizable impact in here.

Capla Temptress is a very live price play candidate who impressed after a rough run in the Natalma at Woodbine in her last in which she got shut off and still managed to win. I really like how she ran that day and believe at a square enough price I may be inclined to make her my top choice but stay tuned.

Ultima D, one who will be the likely early pace setter here, could get brave considering the projected other speed drew badly. If allowed a clear lead, I giver a better than projected chance. Also consider her trainer Wesley Ward is pretty good with juveniles so she also merits a chance.

Best Performance draws the rail which is not ideal but she does have a few things going for her. She gets Jose Ortiz back aboard in who has given her best results plus she adds Lasix for this one. If she can work a trip from the rail, I think she can also be in the mix too.

My Selections

1-Capla Temptress-Think she has more to give and am hoping she is around her 6-1 morning line as I feel she prevails here.

2-Rushing Fall-another who is a prime contender and she has to be in any exotics or multi-race wagers for me.

3-Best Performance-feel like she can overcome the rail draw and she does get Ortiz back aboard so why not right?

4-Ultima D-another one who if she can get to the elad she can get very brave. At the worst she hangs on for a placing


RACE 7 Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade I) POST TIME – 3:05 PM




Exacta / Trifecta / Superfecta Pick 3 (Races 7-8-9) / Daily Double Pick 4 (Races 7-8-9-10)


Purse $1,000,000. For Three-Year-Olds And Upward. Northern Hemisphere Three-Year-Olds, 123 Lbs.; Older, 126 Lbs. Southern Hemisphere Three-Year-Olds, 120 Lbs.; Older, 126 Lbs. All Fillies and Mares allowed 3 Lbs. $15,000 to pre-enter, $15,000 to enter, with guaranteed $1million purse including travel awards of which 55% to the owner of the winner, 17% to second, 9% to third, 5% to fourth, 3% to fifth, 1% to sixth, 1% to seventh, 1% to eighth; plus travel awards to starters not based in California. One Mile.

P# PP Horse  Virtual
A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1 Iron Fist (KY) [ ] 5/R L R Santana, Jr. 126 S M Asmussen 12/1
2 2 Giant Expectations (NY) [ ] 4/C L G L Stevens 126 P Eurton 12/1
3 3 Sharp Azteca (KY) [ ] 4/C L P Lopez 126 J Navarro 9/2
4 4 Gato Del Oro (KY) [ ] 3/C L J L Ortiz 123 R Baltas 30/1
5 5 Awesome Slew (FL) [ ] 4/C L J R Velazquez 126 M E Casse 12/1
6 6 Mor Spirit (PA) [ ] 4/R L M E Smith 126 B Baffert 3/1
7 7 Cupid (KY) [ ] 4/C L R Bejarano 126 B Baffert 8/1
8 8 Accelerate (KY) [ ] 4/C L V Espinoza 126 J W Sadler 7/2
9 9 Battle of Midway (KY) [ ] 3/C L F Prat 123 J Hollendorfer 10/1
10 10 Practical Joke (KY) [ ] 3/C L J Rosario 123 C C Brown 6/1

Owners: 1 – Whispering Oaks Farm LLC; 2 – Exline- Border Racing LLC, Gatto Racing, LLC and Garrett Zubok; 3 – Ivan Rodriguez; 4 – J. K Racing Stable, LLC and Bruce Chandler; 5 – Live Oak Plantation; 6 – Michael Lund Petersen; 7 – Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; 8 – Hronis Racing, LLC; 9 – WinStar Farm LLC & Don Alberto Stable; 10 – Klaravich Stables, Inc. & William H. Lawrence

Breeders: 1 – Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd.; 2 – Sunrise Stables; 3 – Cloyce C. Clark Jr.; 4 – Summer Wind Farm; 5 – Live Oak Stud; 6 – Elkstone Group, LLC; 7 – JKG Thoroughbreds LLC; 8 – Mike Abraham; 9 – Thor-Bred Stables, LLC; 10 – Whispering Oaks

Pedigrees (Sire – Dam, by Dam Sire): 1 – Tapit – Successful Outlook , by Orientate ; 2 – Frost Giant – Sarahisittrue , by Is It True ; 3 – Freud – So Sharp , by Saint Liam ; 4 – Medaglia d’Oro – Funny Feeling , by Distorted Humor ; 5 – Awesome Again – Slewfoundmoney , by Seeking the Gold ; 6 -Eskendereya – Im a Dixie Girl , by Dixie Union ; 7 – Tapit – Pretty ‘n Smart , by Beau Genius ; 8 – Lookin At Lucky – Issues , by Awesome Again ; 9 -Smart Strike – Rigoletta , by Concerto ; 10 – Into Mischief – Halo Humor , by Distorted Humor ;

Equipment Changes: 4 – Gato Del Oro – Blinkers off

   Out of the 13 races during the 2017 Breeders Cup, I am eagerly looking most forward to this one. This is a very deep and contentious group of horses that will contest this year’s Dirt Mile. Mor Spirit is the early line chalk at 3-1 and boy did he impress in the Met Mile back on Belmont day. However he has not run since that blowout win. He has worked steadily and if he is set he figures to be very tough but to me the room for error is small. Accelerate knocked off Arrogate in the San Diego in a virtuoso performance but he did not quite fire back finishing a well beaten 3rd in the Pacific Classic-I do admire his connections for bypassing the Classic to run here. The cutback helps him out immensely and he should also be one who has a good chance here. Sharp Azteca is 9-2 and after he was whipped by Mor Spirit in the Met Mile he produced 2 blowout wins and has a chance to flip the script here. I will excuse his Met Mile as it was his first race since his 3rd place finish in the Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night. There are 2 price horses I am going to give you to watch here. The first is Practical Joke who if you take away his attempts at longer distances you have to love his form. He is 6-1 because he does not appear to be as fast as the favorites here but he has to me what is the most important trait and that is his running style. The 10 post does not concern me too much because he can slide over and get a good positional trip. I give him a pretty good chance here. A double digit price horse that I think can fire is Battle of Midway who ran 3rd in the Kentucky Derby and his only “bad” race was the Haskell. His cutback to this distance to me gives him a better than expected chance. I think he is more a clunker than speedster so he to me has to be near the front of the pack at the break. If he can do that we already know he has heart. Remember it is not always the most talented it is the one who can work out a trip and be at the right place at the right time.

My Selections

1-Practical Joke-shows he is fast enough and I believe good enough so he is my pick here

2-Sharp Azteca-thinking he can fire a big shot here. Has a great shot and is absolutely a must use

3-Accelerate-if he gets to the front at this shorter distance forget about it but he is one who also can impact

4-Battle of Midway-big price play is one to use in multi-race wagers if you have the urge to spread deep.


RACE 8 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade I) POST TIME – 3:50 PM




Exacta / Trifecta / Superfecta Pick 3 (Races 8-9-10) / Daily Double


Purse $1,000,000. For Colts And Geldings, Two-Years-Old. Weight: 122 Lbs.; $15,000 to pre-enter, $15,000 to enter, with guaranteed $1 million purse including travel awards of which 55% to the owner of the winner, 17% to second, 9% to third, 5% to fourth, 3% to fifth 1% to sixth, 1% to seventh, 1% to eighth; plus travel awards to starters not based in California. One Mile. (Turf)

P# PP Horse  Virtual
A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1 Mendelssohn (KY) [ ] 2/C L1 R L Moore 122 A P O’Brien 8/1
2 2 Untamed Domain (KY) [ ] 2/C L J L Ortiz 122 H G Motion 8/1
3 3 Sands of Mali (FR) [ ] 2/C L1 F Prat 122 R Fahey 30/1
4 4 Catholic Boy (KY) [ ] 2/C L M Franco 122 J Thomas 12/1
5 5 Beckford (GB) [ ] 2/C L1 J Rosario 122 G Elliott 8/1
6 6 Masar (IRE) [ ] 2/C L1 W T Buick 122 C Appleby 9/2
7 7 James Garfield (IRE) [ ] 2/C L1 L Dettori 122 G W Scott 6/1
8 8 Voting Control (KY) [ ] 2/C L J Castellano 122 C C Brown 8/1
9 9 Encumbered (KY) [ ] 2/C L M Gutierrez 122 S Callaghan 15/1
10 10 Flameaway (ON) [ ] 2/C L J R Leparoux 122 M E Casse 20/1
11 11 Snapper Sinclair (KY) [ ] 2/C L R Santana, Jr. 122 S M Asmussen 15/1
12 12 Hemp Hemp Hurray (ON) [ ] 2/C L J R Velazquez 122 W A Ward 8/1
13 13 My Boy Jack (KY) [ ] 2/C L K J Desormeaux 122 J K Desormeaux 8/1
14 14 Rajasinghe (IRE) [ ] 2/C L1 S Donohoe 122 R Spencer 30/1
Also Eligibles:
15 15 Tap Daddy (KY) [ ] 2/C L F Geroux 122 S M Asmussen 20/1
16 16 Pubilius Syrus (KY) [ ] 2/C L C S Nakatani 122 V Cerin 20/1

Owners: 1 – Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier & Michael Tabor; 2 – West Point Thoroughbreds; 3 – The Cool Silk Partnership; 4 – Robert V. LaPenta; 5 -Newtown Anner Stud Farm; 6 – Godolphin Stable Lessee; 7 – W. J. Gredley & T.C.O. Gredley; 8 – Klaravich Stables, Inc.; 9 – Reddam Racing LLC; 10 -John C. Oxley; 11 – Bloom Racing Stable, LLC; 12 – Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey; 13 – Don’t Tell My Wife Stables & Monomoy Stables, LLC; 14 -Rebel Racing; 15 – Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC; 16 – Holly & David Wilson

Breeders: 1 – Clarkland Farm; 2 – Clearsky Farms; 3 – Simon Urizzi; 4 – Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding; 5 – Joyce Wallsgrove; 6 – Godolphin; 7 – Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs Ltd; 8 – Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey; 9 – Rose Hill Farm & Ralph Stroope; 10 – Phoenix Rising Farms; 11 – K & G Stables; 12 – Bernard & Karen McCormack; 13 – Brereton C. Jones; 14 – James & Geoff Mulcahy; 15 – Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; 16 – Payson Stud Inc

Pedigrees (Sire – Dam, by Dam Sire): 1 – Scat Daddy – Leslie’s Lady , by Tricky Creek ; 2 – Animal Kingdom – Ciao , by Lear Fan ; 3 – Panis – Kadiania (FR) , by Indian Rocket (GB) ; 4 – More Than Ready – Song of Bernadette , by Bernardini ; 5 – Bated Breath (GB) – Whirly Dancer (GB) , by Danehill Dancer (IRE) ; 6 – New Approach (IRE) – Khawlah (IRE) , by Cape Cross (IRE) ; 7 – Exceed And Excel (AUS) – Whazzat (GB) , by Daylami (IRE) ; 8 -Kitten’s Joy – Manda Bay , by Empire Maker ; 9 – Violence – Dying to Dance , by Street Cry (IRE) ; 10 – Scat Daddy – Vulcan Rose , by Fusaichi Pegasus; 11 – City Zip – True Addiction , by Yes It’s True ; 12 – Artie Schiller – Druidess , by Malibu Moon ; 13 – Creative Cause – Gold N Shaft , by Mineshaft ; 14 – Choisir (AUS) – Bunditten (IRE) , by Soviet Star ; 15 – Scat Daddy – Easy Tap , by Tapit ; 16 – Candy Ride (ARG) – Ruthenia , by Pulpit ;

Sire of Voting Control standing at Ramsey Farm

Sire of Pubilius Syrus standing at Lane’s End

Equipment Changes: 14 – Rajasinghe (IRE) – Blinkers On

Another contentious turf contest awaits and that seems to be the theme of this Friday BC Slate, isn’t it?

Masar is the 9-2 luke-warm choice as he ships from Europe. He did get nipped by Happily who figures to be one of the favorites in the Juvenile Fillies Turf earlier on the card. I really like the rider switch to William Buick and that helps him here.

Voting Control at 8-1 has a really good chance here, too. He broke his maiden in fast time and had a terrible trip in his last in which he rallied to finish a fast closing 2nd. I think Castellano and Brown at 8-1 could be considered felony theft if they go off that price and win.

Encuyumbered is 15-1 and before you dismiss him, consider this. He tried dirt in his last in which he got soundly whipped by Bolt D’Oro who figures big on Saturday in the BC Juvenile. A return to his preferred turf surface tells me they won’t try dirt again anytime soon. His grass form is solid. If he did not suffer any effects from his last, he can fire at a big price.

My Boy Jack is going to have to overcome the 13 post but why not him? If I like Encumbered at 15-1, then I have to like this guy at 8-1 right? That said he did win his last and seems set to fire a good race, too.

James Garfield ships also from Europe with enough credentials to be one of those who can win this one. He gets Frankie Dettori back aboard for this and to me he has to be respected.

My Selections

1-Voting Control-excited to see him here and think he moves another step forward with these and is my pick

2-Encumbered-if you try to make a big score you need the right price play for gimmicks and this guy is it for me

3-My Boy Jack-ran 2nd to Encumbered twice and won since so he is another one to watch as well

4-Masar-Euro shipper is another one who can win this on his best but feel like he comes up a bit short in this one

RACE 9 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade I) POST TIME – 4:35 PM




Exacta / Trifecta / Superfecta Distaff – Classic Double Super High Five


Purse $2,000,000. For Fillies And Mares, Three-Year-Olds And Upward. Northern Hemisphere Three-Year-Olds, 121 Lbs.; Older, 124 Lbs.; Southern Hemisphere Three-Year-Olds, 116 Lbs.; Older, 124 Lbs. $30,000 to pre-enter, $30,000 to enter, with guaranteed $2 million purse including travel awards of which 55% to the owner of the winner, 17% to second, 9% to third, 5% to fourth, 3% to fifth, 1% to sixth, 1% to seventh, 1% to eighth; plus travel awards to starters not based in California. One And One Eighth Miles.

P# PP Horse  Virtual
A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1 Champagne Room (KY) [ ] 3/F L M Gutierrez 121 P Eurton 15/1
2 2 Stellar Wind (VA) [ ] 5/M L V Espinoza 124 J W Sadler 5/2
3 3 Mopotism (KY) [ ] 3/F L L Dettori 121 D F O’Neill 30/1
4 4 Abel Tasman (KY) [ ] 3/F L M E Smith 121 B Baffert 4/1
5 5 Elate (KY) [ ] 3/F L J L Ortiz 121 W I Mott 3/1
6 6 Forever Unbridled (KY) [ ] 5/M L J R Velazquez 124 D Stewart 4/1
7 7 Paradise Woods (KY) [ ] 3/F L F Prat 121 R E Mandella 9/2
8 8 Romantic Vision (KY) [ ] 5/M L B J Hernandez, Jr. 124 G R Arnold, II 15/1

Owners: 1 – S. Alesia, Ciaglia, Exline-Border, Gulliver Racing & R. Christensen; 2 – Hronis Racing, LLC; 3 – Reddam Racing LLC; 4 – China Horse Club & Clearsky Farms; 5 – Adele B. Dilschneider & Claiborne Farm; 6 – Charles E. Fipke; 7 – Steven Sarkowsky & Martin Wygod; 8 – G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.

Breeders: 1 – Respite Farm; 2 – Keswick Stables &Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC; 3 – Frank T Batten; 4 – Clearsky Farms; 5 – Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider; 6 – Charles Fipke; 7 – Herman Sarkowsky; 8 – G. Watts Humphrey Jr.

Pedigrees (Sire – Dam, by Dam Sire): 1 – Broken Vow – Lucky to Be Me , by Bernstein ; 2 – Curlin – Evening Star , by Malibu Moon ; 3 – Uncle Mo -Peppy Rafaela , by Bernardini ; 4 – Quality Road – Vargas Girl , by Deputy Minister ; 5 – Medaglia d’Oro – Cheery , by Distorted Humor ; 6 – Unbridled’s Song – Lemons Forever , by Lemon Drop Kid ; 7 – Union Rags – Wild Forest , by Forest Wildcat ; 8 – Lemon Drop Kid – Perfect for You , by Giant’s Causeway ;

Sire of Abel Tasman standing at Lane’s End

Sire of Paradise Woods standing at Lanes End

Sire of Romantic Vision standing at Lane’s End

The Friday BC Card closes with a deep yet compact group contesting the Distaff. Stellar Wind is the early favorite and most liked her last year to win but a terrible break cost her that day. Coming into this running, Stellar Wind has not lost in three outings but that said she hasn’t exactly impressed. Maybe that is this year’s group in a nutshell although she must be respected I am going to try and beat her here.

Elate is the hot horse coming to this Distaff with two recent dominating efforts, plus you get trainer Bill Mott who has five wins in this Distaff. I love how she is going and can forgive her loss to Abel Tasman, also a prime contender, as Elate had trouble that day.

Speaking of Abel Tasman, I was all over her when she won on the slop in the Kentucky Oaks. For the many reasons, I liked her that day. I am wondering if she might be tailing off in form. Of note, her last out in the Cotillion can be forgiven but just a sneaking suspicion she might be over the top here. I won’t eliminate her but I am not as bullish on her here as I was on Oaks day.

Forever Unbridled is another one who on paper can do some damage but to me the fact she has been sparingly campaigned. With what she will face, it suggests she could be a sucker play.

Paradise Woods, who I threw out as the favorite on Kentucky Oaks day, shows up here off a blowout win in her last. Her speed must be respected back in California. I would be willing to bet the field lets her get away and if that happens she will forget to stop.

My Selections

1-Elate-going great and Mott knows how to win this particular race so I am going this way for the win.

2-Paradise Woods-her speed must be respected and she can absolutely steal this on her best

3-Stellar Wind-has not lost yet this season but she does not appear to be as good as she was last year.

4-Abel Tasman-if I am right about her she cannot win here but is good enough to be somewhere on the board.

That will do it for my look at the Friday slate of the Breeders Cup. It is just the start to a pair of glorious days of racing where the turf meets the surf at old Del Mar. I will be back to preview the Saturday races which features the Breeders Cup Classic so stay tuned for that and until then as always may your winners be plentiful and your wallets be fat.

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George Pepis

Horse Racing Analyst

George Pepis provides racing analysis during each Fair Grounds racing season. He also shares commentary and selections for major stakes events and prep races around the country. In the past, George has hosted sports talk programming on WGSO 990am in New Orleans. He has served as both play-by-play and color analyst on Louisiana high school football radio and internet broadcasts.

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