National Race Masters Blog

Back to Blog Home…


Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, November 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM

BREEDERS’ CUP BULLETIN

Volume 10...Number 11


CROWDED AND DEEP JUVENILE FILLIES TURF AND EMPTY AND JUST AS CONTENTIOUS DISTAFF WRAP UP FRIDAY BC ANALYSIS...PLUS SATURDAY’S OPENERS

All that now remains is the running of the Breeders’ Cup races. The last few morning jogs will be completed and in a matter of hours the top level contenders for the 2013 Breeders’ Cup will be draped an saddle cloths and saddles, had their riders legged up and been sent to the starting gates.
So post-haste let me get on with my brief race-by-race analyses.

In today’s edition of the BREEDERS’ CUP BULLETIN I’ll look at the Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Distaff that complete the Friday lineup and delve into the first three races on Saturday (Juvenile Fillies, Filly & Mare Turf and Filly & Mare Sprint.

JUVENILE FILLIES TURF COULD BE TOUGHEST RACE OF THE LOT

Conversation regarding Breeders’ Cup races too often lends itself to not just hyperbole but overblown hyperbole. But there is no way anything could be too overblown in describing the utter difficulty a player will have in breaking down the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

First off the race will be a rider’s challenge. Just think of the possibilities of 14 precocious juveniles travelling through the confines of a one mile race. Regardless of how talented a runner is, the trip will be everything. And wow, does this field have talent.

Eight of the fourteen youngsters won their last race, another, Ready To Act had a two-length lead in mid-stretch when he hopped the fence. Of the remaining five, two finished second, two third and one fourth. Collectively the 14 fillies have comprised a 40-21-9-3 career record on grass.

Races like this are the ultimate challenge and of course the pools are so evenly spread out that all the payoffs are bargains. Let’s take a look at the field from the rail out...

  • Nesso (20-1) -The daughter of Roman Ruler has finished second twice in a row in local stakes races behind Clenor, who she’ll meet again on Friday. She has wanted the front and gotten it in all three career starts and will likely be there again in the early going as the next three runners to her outside figure to take back. Will need to stay there the entire way to be a factor.
  • Al Thakira (6-1) -English bred daughter of Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) makes her NA debut following a pair of daylight victories at Great Darmouth and Newmarket. Her wins were at 6 and then 7 furlongs and she’s bred to get the distance. Whether or not she can do it with such a quick turn-around...her last was on 10/12...is a question, but she has loads of promise.
  • Colonel Joan (20-1) -Trainer Eoin Harty tried her in the Surfer Girl Stakes at SA on 10/6 and the daughter of Colonel John made up a ton of ground late to get the show at the same mile distance of this race. She’ll need an even better performance as she faces much tougher and after three career races is still a maiden.
  • Kitten Kaboodle (12-1) -The Chad Brown trainee began her career with a pair of second place finishes in MSW turf tries at Saratoga but that didn’t dissuade the red hot conditioner from sending her next in the Grade III Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland. As just about every Kitten’s Joy runner eventually does, she figured it out and blew away her rivals. This appears a bit steeper but once the sons and daughters of this prolific sire get right they stay right.
  • Granny Mc’s Kitten (20-1) -After breaking her maiden in the P G Johnson Stakes in career start number two this (yet another) Chad Brown trained daughter of Kitten’s Joy was caught three wide on both turns in the Miss Grillo n her last and flattened out late as the favorite vs three rivals who show up here. With a clean trip her consistent late kick could surprise.
  • Vorda (4-1) -The daughter of Orpen (a son of repeat BC Mile winner Lure) has done little wrong in his 5 career starts winning 4 of them and finishing second in the other, including a Group I triumph. She is well regarded as she gets set for her NA debut and the only question mark is how she handles the distance as this mile race will be her first test beyond 6 panels.
  • Street Sailing (15-1) -Very quietly the sons and daughters of Street Boss (Street Sense) have been running gangbusters on the grass and this Richard Mettee trainee is no exception as she won an allowance race at Keeneland in her first grass test following a trio of synthetic tries. The speed number she got from the race was by far her career best and if she moves forward even a little bit could claim a piece.
  • Chriselliam (6-1) -Yet another European invader who arrives with solid credentials. The Charles Hills trained miss pulled a huge upset in her last when she upset the Group I Shadwell Fillies Mile Stakes at Newmarket on 9/27. After racing a bit greenly in the first few races of her career she has responded to strong rating handling in her last two and could be peeking at the right time.
  • Dancing House (20-1) -The daughter of Tapit has only a pair of third place finishes to show in her last two, after breaking her maiden in her debut. But the Kieran McLaughlin trainee has kept good company and shown her versatility by gaining those show spots in the Grade I Spinaway on the sloppy Saratoga main track and in the Grade III Grillo on the Belmont turf. She might not have run her best yet and when a filly from this barn is 20-1 you know how deep the field is.
  • Clenor (8-1) -The daughter of Oratorio has won three straight over the southern California grass courses since arriving from Ireland. Now in the barn of Doug O’Neill she has closed dramatically in all three and done so each time at the mile distance, the last two in stakes company. If she runs the same race a fourth straight time she definitely factors in here.
  • Ready To Act (8-1) -If this daughter of turf loving More Than Ready is no worse the wear for her adventuresome trip in the Grade II Natalma at Woodbine when she had a two length lead in mid-stretch when she suddenly bore in and jumped the inside fence, she is another must consider. The third of four Chad Brown runners, her five works at Belmont since the Canadian calamity would indicate she has forgotten the incident.
  • Testa Rossi (8-1) -The last of the Chad Brown runners this French bred daughter of Dr. Fong (Kris S.) made a dramatic first showing in the states when she got up in the final strides to nose out Sky Partner and win the qualifying Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont on October 6. It was her fourth straight victory, each by less than a length so her toughness is not subject to question. If she doesn’t bounce in her second NA career race she’s right in this.
  • Sky Painter (15-1) -As good as Testa Rossi’s race was in the Miss Grillo, this gal’s performance was better. She was beaten a nose by that rival but it was just her second career race and she was fanned 7 wide into the lane before unleashing her furious rally. If not too much was taken out of her in that effort and she steps forward just a few lengths, this ML might seem like the best of gifts.
  • My Conquestadory (9-2) -It isn’t unreasonable for a detail oriented handicapper and better to look at the running style of this filly as well as the tough outside post draw and assume that she will have a lot, if not too much to do. But this is the same filly that won her debut not against fillies and not in a MSW race but against the boys in the Grade II Summer Stakes on the Woodbine lawn. That by itself was the stuff of early legend but her unbelievable rally from last place and between rivals in the stretch to pull away in the Grade I seminal Alcibiades over the Keeneland synthetic on October 4 was a difficult to deny eye test. Very much a major contender.

DON’T MISS JIM HURLEY’S 2 DAY - 14 RACE BREEDERS’ CUP BLOWOUT
Friday November 1 - Saturday November 2
Win Selections - Exactas - Trifectas - Superfectas
Daily Doubles - Pick 3’s - Pick 4’s - Pick 6’s

DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY YOU COULD WIN?
In The Last 3 Years Of Breeders’ Cup Races...BASED ON A $2 BET
The Average Winner Paid $27.90...The Average Exacta Paid $225.90
The Average Trifecta Paid $1,999.80...The Average Superfecta Paid $18,453.20
The Average Double Paid $302.60...The Average Pick 3 Paid $4,183.80
The Average Pick 4 Paid $28,435.50...The Average Pick 6 Paid $498,470.30
One Pick 6 Payoff Was 5 Of 6 $95,070.00
GET ALL JIM’S TOP SELECTIONS FOR LESS THAN $5 A RACE...
Click Here For All The Winning Info!

MORE ANGLES THAN RUNNERS IN TOP-NOTCH SIX HORSE DISTAFF

While Royal Delta looks to defend her Breeders’ Cup Distaff (nee Ladies’ Classic) crown and revenge her loss to Princess Of Sylmar in the Grade I Beldame Invitational at Belmont on 9/28, this race demands much more focus than just those two.

Will Royal Delta be hustled towards her comfortable pace setting spot much earlier this time around than she was in the Beldame? And if she does will she discourage the obviously front-loving Beholder or fall victim to a battle with that one? Indeed, can beholder even get the mile and an eighth under pressured conditions?

Should those two hook up early and that duel become suicidal, will Princess Of Sylmar be close up and get the first run at them or will Authenticity, who tracked close up and ran second to both Royal Delta (in the Grade I Personal Ensign) and Beholder (in the Grade I Zenyatta) make the first move or will it be Close Hatches, who easily won the Grade I Cotillion at PARX in her final prep and is the only runner in the race to beat Princess Sylmar in that one’s last 9 races, having taken her measure in the Grade II Gazelle at Aqueduct this past April, ending the then 4 race wins streak.

With as much pace as there is in here the likeliest scenario has Royal Delta and Beholder cutting out decent fractions, the aforementioned Authenticity and Close Hatches making the initial moves and Princess Of Sylmar making the final move along with Street Girl, the longshot outsider who does have late punch and could get a piece if enough components fall apart.

Yet in another scenario, savvy Mike Smith on Royal Delta and Gary Stevens on Beholder could slow it down early, which makes the final quarter mile a sprint to the finish, as is so often seen in turf races, in which case the classy front runners would have an advantage over the always hard trying Princess Of Sylmar. Or it might even play out that Smith lets Beholder go out unchallenged for the first half mile in quick fractions if he senses that Stevens’ charge will find the distance a challenge and come back on her own.

Like I said...many, many angles for such a short field.

ONLY ONE LAST OUT GRADE I WINNER IN FULL JUVENILE FILLIES FIELD

If you are a what have you done for me lately handicapper and bettor then you’ll find only one filly among the ten that have been entered for this year’s running of the BC Juvenile Fillies Stakes that has won vs Grade I rivals in the last race. In fact, only four of the ten are last out winners at any level.
From the rail out, let’s take a look at the still developing field...

  • Artemis Agrotera (3-1) -The Michael Hushion trained Roma Ruler filly has been unhampered in her two career starts. She began by winning her debut when she crushed MSW rivals by 11 lengths as the not so well hidden 1-2 favorite. In her last she tracked the early pace of the one mile Grade I Frizette and dug in to hold off the late charging Sweet Reason, who she’ll face again on Saturday. Works say she continues moving forward.
  • Rosalind (8-1) -The daughter of Broken Vow has just three career starts but has already proven herself an honest and versatile filly. She broke her maiden in her career debut, winning at a mile on the turf at Ellis, followed that with a rallying third in the Grade III Pocahontas on the CD main oval and in her last ran second to the explosive Myconquestadory in the Grade I Alcibiades over the Keeneland synthetic. Joel Rosario takes over for Victor Lebron and with her usual effort his filly could easily get a piece. 
  • Designer Legs (30-1) -After winning the first two races of her career when sprinting on the bush circuit the now Dallas Stewart trainee shipped to Saratoga and came within a neck of upsetting the Grade II Adirondack. In her last two races, however, she appears to be badly off form. But if those poor performances were a result of a sloppy track in the Grade I Spinaway at the Spa and over the synthetic surface in the Grade I Alcibiades (beaten 5 lengths) who knows which filly shows up on the fast traditional dirt on Saturday.
  • Secret Compass (6-1) -Bob Baffert’s Discreet Cat filly garnered a solid win over the surface when she conquered the qualifying Chandelier Stakes on 9/28. It was her first start around two turns and at today’s distance and she ran to her best speed number to date. She’ll face as good a speed contingent and on paper better closers (her final 5/16ths of the Chandelier were a pedestrian :34 1/5) but if she moves forward she can be a factor.
  • Ria Antonia (30-1) -It is generally difficult to toss any runners once they’ve reached Breeders’ Cup inclusion, but since breaking her maiden at Woodbine in July she has gone off as a longshot in two straight stakes (her last the Grade I Frizette at Belmont) and hasn’t come close to competing. She did turn in a bullet half mile last Saturday after arriving here a bit early, but she still hasn’t been around two turns and might be better suited to sprinting.
  • Concave (15-1) -If you are a believer in great works then you can be forgiven if you take a flyer on this daughter of Colonel John. However, as solid as the works have been it is tough to get a handle on this filly because she has yet to ruin beyond 7 furlongs and hasn’t raced since the end of August. Those works say she gets involved early but she’ll need to exhibit stamina off a layoff against quality opponents. If you successfully back her you’ll earn every bit of 15-1 or more.
  • Untapable (5-1) -Her career has been brief but she’s shown the kind of talent and progress that hopeful connections work towards. After breaking her debut vs MSW in her first career start she stretched out from 5 ½ to 8 ½ furlongs against Graded Stakes rivals and captured the Grade II Pocahontas at CD. That being said, she’ll need to step forward again against this level, especially since she is making only her third lifetime start and first since September 7 for Steve Asmussen.
  • Scandalous Act (8-1) -Addition of blinkers has coincided with three straight daylight wins for this Florida bred daughter of Act Of Duty. On the plus side those three straight have been to solid speed figures and over increasing distances that culminated with the last at 8 ½ furlongs. On the questionable side of the ledger is that the three wins have been against restricted peers and she’s never raced anywhere else but Calder. She might be this good but if she is you should get better than 8-1.
  • Sweet Reason (5-2) -The daughter of Street Sense was a star in the making when she broke her maiden by closing an unheard of 18 lengths in a sloppy surface 5 ½ furlong MSW race at Saratoga. She followed that with an in-hand 5 length tally in the sloppy Grade I Spinaway at the Spa. In her final prep her aggressiveness probably cost her in the Grade I Frizette as she swerved in sharply and once over her greenness managed only a rally for the place behind Artemis Argotera, who she’ll meet again on Saturday. Trainer Lea Gyarmati travelled to Santa Anita early and the filly worked a very slow mile this past Sunday. That either means she has relaxed completely or has already reached her top. Fun, isn’t it?
  • She’s A Tiger (6-1) -The ultra consistent Jeff Bonde trained daughter of Tale Of The Cat is bred for a mile and a sixteenth distance, has run at 4 different tracks and at 5 different distances, graduating incrementally from 5 ½ to 8 ½ furlongs and has won three times and placed twice from five starts. She is also a Grade I winner and has worked better than ever since her last. Lest everything be considered full steam ahead, let it also be noticed that her two defeats were by Concave and Secret Compass, both of whom she’ll face again in here.

ARE THE EUROPEANS THE BEST IN THE FILLY & MARE TURF?

Although only one of them will be making her NA debut, the trio of European-developed fillies appears to be a tough contingent in the 2013 edition of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Alterite, the 3-year old French bred daughter of Literato made her stateside debut in mid-September and captured the restricted to age group Grade I Garden City Stakes at Belmont. Three weeks ago the Chad Brown charge closed well while 4 wide and just missed out-gaming a rallying Kitten’s Dumplings and settled for the neck beaten place. Also owned by the winner of last year’s edition, Zagora, the filly handled the 10 furlong distance at Longchamps so looks formidable in here.

Also looking for glory vs the American contingent are Dank and Romantica.

The former wasted little time in establishing her credibility as she got off the plane, worked two days earlier and promptly blew away the field in the qualifying Grade I Beverly D at Arlington on August 17. The English bred won multiple Group II and III races in Ireland and England and though she shows no posted works will justify her 5-2 ML favoritism if she duplicates her Beverly D performance.

As for Romantica, this will be her NA debut. Her final prep left much to be desired as she was a well beaten 7th in the Group I Qatar Prix Vermeille at Longchamps but prior to that she easily won the Group I Darley Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville going 10 furlongs and is in fact 4-3-1-0 travelling that distance.
The American contingent is headed by recent Grade I Rodeo Drive winner Tiz Flirtatious, last year’s runner-up Market Mix, who was run down late by the winner of the Rodeo Drive and last out Grade I Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Kitten’s Dumplings.

Tiz Flirtatious won her 4th race in 5 tries this season when she conquered the Rodeo Drive and did so over the same surface and at the same distance as Saturday’s contest. She also signaled her sharpness with a bullet 6 furlong drill in 1:11 4/5 a week ago.

Marketing Mix also appears ready to challenge for top honors as she has also worked forwardly three times since checking in right behind Tiz Flirtatious and is also the only runner to beat that one this season when she took the Grade I Gamely at Betfair Hollywood back in May. Another who is comfortable at the distance (6-2-3-0) she looks to be in the thick of things again.

Kitten’s Dumplings also arrives following a strong last out showing and the way Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s runners have been faring this year (especially the sons and daughters of Kitten’s Joy) it wouldn’t be a total surprise if this one once again found the furious late kick that saw her run down her opposition and pull away in the Grade I Queen Elizabeth at Keeneland and outrun her 10-1 odds.

If you are looking for an interesting longshot angle you might want to consider Laughing, a winner of four straight. Despite beating slightly softer during the streak, what makes the Alan Goldberg mare noticeable is that she is a committed front runner (her last three were wire-to-wire) is that there are no other early pace oriented runners in the field.

Rounding out the field are Lady Of Shamrock, who was beaten by Tiz Flirtatious and Marketing Mix (5th by 3 ¼) in the Rodeo Drive, but at 20-1 can be considered as an under-play by virtue of her second behind Tiz Flirtatious two races back, Emollient, who was no match for Alterite in the Garden City but rebounded to win on the Keeneland synthetic when grabbing top honors in the Grade I Spinster last time out and Qushchi who made only a mild run at Laughing and checked in fourth in the Flower Bowl in her first career Grade I start.

This is one of those terrific European vs American turf races where bragging rights are trumped up by the talking heads and that can only help spread out the pools in a race that appears at least seriously 7 runners deep.

DOES SHE RETURN TO BEING THE DOLL OF THE GROUP OR WILL ANOTHER CLAIM HER CROWN?

In the deeply contentious 12 horse field of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint you could have gotten a number of sub-sets as to the ML prices, so under those scenarios why not choose the defending champ as deserving of the honor until and if another dethrones her.

So base on the established ML let us say that they have Groupie Doll to beat and let’s take a look at the field.

  • Renee’s Titan (30-1) -She hasn’t come close to winning a race in four tries since winning the Grade II Santa Ynez over the Santa Anita surface in January. Not much to say.
  • Book Review (6-1) -She’s won at Santa Anita and has been a competitive first or second in her last 5 races (all vs Grade I and Grade II rivals), including a win in the Grade I La Brea over the surface. The daughter of Giant’s Causeway is also a master at the distance, winning 5 of 7 with a second at 7 panels. Bob Baffert has kept her uncharacteristically quiet in the morning with slower works than he usually demands so he must be plenty confident.
  • Starship Truffles (15-1) -This 4-year old is tough to gauge. On the one hand she has been well-beaten in her last two but has posted an amazing 14 wins from already 26 starts and still in her fourth year. A quick look at the company lines might indicate that she has not been tested too often by this kind but only three races back she blitzed Judy The Beauty, who in turn conquered last year’s F&M Sprint winner and this year’s ML favorite Groupie Doll three Saturdays ago in the Grade II Turf Club America Stakes at Keeneland. Like I said...tough to gauge.
  • Dance Card (8-1) -The lightly raced 4-year old Tapit filly had her four race win streak snapped when she was topped by the brilliant (why isn’t she here?) Cluster Of Stars and Dance To Bristol (who is here) in the Grade II Gallant Bloom in last and in that 6 ½ furlong race rallied a bit and might have needed to be re-familiarized with the sprint distance after that four race win streak coming at 8 ½ to 9 furlongs.  
  • Teddy’s Promise (6-1) -The 5-year old Salt Lake mare appears to be a lot further along this year than she was in last year’s edition when she did the quintessential pop and stop by setting the pace and dropping back rapidly. She entered last year’s edition off a series of off the board finishes but this time enters behind a 7-4-2-1 record since that disaster, including an easy win in the LA Woman Stakes and a second behind Book Review in the Grade II A Gleam last time. She’s also 5 for 9 over the surface so is worth a look.
  • Ismene (20-1) -Based on her recent completion, which has as often as not been vs restricted Cal-breds this is definitely a reach. One thing she does have is speed so like a number of others in here, should contribute to very honest early fractions.
    Summer Applause (12-1) -It is difficult to question the tactics of a trainer that has been as successful as Chad Brown so the thinking here has to be that there is so much speed that this tactical speed oriented distance runner (her last 11 have come at 8 ½ to 10 furlongs) will pick up all the early spenders. It might seem a reach, but the daughter of Harlan’s Holiday does know how to win (6 of 14 lifetime.) Crazier things have happened in the Breeders’ Cup so if you are so inclined far be it from me to dissuade you.
  • Dance To Bristol (5-1) -The daughter of Speightstown began the season at Charlestown, Laurel and Pimlico and won. Then she moved up the ladder to Belmont and Saratoga and kept winning. She has won 7 of 9 all told with a pair of seconds in 2013, including a seven race win streak that included the Grade II Honorable Miss and the Grade I Ballerina at Saratoga before the streak was stopped when she finished second in the Grade II Gallant Bloom at Belmont on 9/21. She might have the perfect running style to impact this race as she always sits just off the pace and rallies early enough to take charge by picking up the contesting front runners. She would not be a surprise.
  • Judy The Beauty (6-1) -Another sprinter who isn’t left out against the best and always shows up. She has remained in terrific form throughout her career, racing 12 times and compiling a 5-6-1 record. In her last two she was beaten by Groupie Doll in the Grade II Presque Isle Masters Stakes and then revenged that loss by topping her in the Grade II Turf Club America Stakes at Keeneland. If the Wesley Ward trainee has one idiosyncrasy it is that of her 12 career races she has won 4 of 5 on synthetic and 1 of 2 on turf. What is left is 5 seconds from 5 tries on traditional dirt. Place bet anyone?
  • Great Hot (20-1) -She is another of a handful that has to be considered outsiders. The 5-year old Orientate mare is really in need of a new GPS because in 16 excursions over the course of the last two years she has only found her win circle destination once. She also has only 4 seconds and 2 thirds. Now I you want to be a die hard, you can look to that lone victory did come vs Book Review here in the Grade II Santa Maria here in February. But in that race she went wire-to-wire at 8 ½ furlongs through a slow pace. I just used a lot of words to say she should probably be avoided.
  • Groupie Doll (5-2) -The public has become so used to the brilliance of this 5-year old race mare that when she failed to kick in late in the Grade II Turf Club America Stakes at Keeneland 4 weeks back and settled for the show the doomsayers immediately looked back a few races, even to ones she won, but apparently not impressively enough and began to wonder if she was slowing down. Here’s what happens after Saturday’s race is run. Those that believed so will either say, "I told you she was slowing down," or chortle away, "I told you there was nothing wrong." I’ll leave it this until the queen is dethroned or dies, she’s still the queen.
  • Sweet Lulu (8-1) -This sharp 3-yaer old could be this good. She won the first four races of her career including the Grade I Test Stakes at Belmont at the 7 furlong distance two back. In her most recent she made the pace at a mile and a sixteenth at PARX in the Grade I Cotillion Stakes and faded a bit in the late going and checked in second. That prep probably sets her up for a solid stalking trip from the outside. If you want to get a good handle on her prospects you’d be well advised to see how Close Hatches does against the best fillies and mares in training in the BC Distaff on Friday as that filly was who beat her in the Cotillion.

So there you have the latest edition of Breeders’ Cup analysis. I’ll be back Friday evening with the final six races...but IN THE MEANTIME...sign up right now for my COMPLETE BREEDERS’ CUP SELECTIONS...Friday’s Races are online now...including bonus action with the Full 11 Race Card at Santa Anita for Friday.

DON’T MISS JIM HURLEY’S 2 DAY - 14 RACE BREEDERS’ CUP BLOWOUT
Friday November 1 - Saturday November 2
Win Selections - Exactas - Trifectas - Superfectas
Daily Doubles - Pick 3’s - Pick 4’s - Pick 6’s

DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY YOU COULD WIN?
In The Last 3 Years Of Breeders’ Cup Races...BASED ON A $2 BET
The Average Winner Paid $27.90...The Average Exacta Paid $225.90
The Average Trifecta Paid $1,999.80...The Average Superfecta Paid $18,453.20
The Average Double Paid $302.60...The Average Pick 3 Paid $4,183.80
The Average Pick 4 Paid $28,435.50...The Average Pick 6 Paid $498,470.30
One Pick 6 Payoff Was 5 Of 6 $95,070.00
GET ALL JIM’S TOP SELECTIONS FOR LESS THAN $5 A RACE...
Click Here For All The Winning Info!

Join the discussion

Login

Forgot password

Register
Keep me logged in
Ok