Key Races & Bets for Breeders’ Cup Friday, November 1 & Saturday, November 2

This week’s blog features special daily double wagers tying the Juvenile Fillies on Friday to the Distaff on Saturday and tying the Juvenile on Friday to the Classic on Saturday.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Race 7 at Santa Anita on Friday 11/1 – Post Time 5:32 PM Eastern/2:32 Pacific

It appears my choice of win contenders matches up with what the public is going to do as my two win contenders are Donna Veloce and British Idiom. Still, I wouldn’t argue with anyone who considered #6 Bast, #9 Comical or #7 Wicked Whisper contenders coming out of excellent preps for this race, but I will stop with the top two who I feel stick out against the other seven. The benefit of this race having only a couple of selections, with three back-ups, is it gives us a little value for the special daily double tying the Juvenile Fillies on Friday with the Distaff on Saturday.

Although just a maiden winner, Donna Veloce could be the real deal and make it so the rest are running for second if she run as she did in her debut over the track on 9/28. Although that was just a six furlong sprint, this filly ran a STAKES QUALITY race, with a 109 Equibase figure, powering home by nine lengths in handy fashion with gas left in the tank. Trainer Simon Callaghan has had his share of good horses and this daughter of Uncle Mo shows all the signs of being able to stretch out and win again, even in this grade 1 field.

British Idiom was spectacular winning the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland last month. She had won her debut pretty easily at six furlongs (like Donna Veloce) in August, then off a short rest and stretching out to two turns, she blew by the field on the turn to open up by a couple of lengths before coasting to a six length win. Although the Equibase figure was 91, she too had gas left in the tank and so with another big improvement likely in her third career start, she has a big shot to succeed, particularly if Donna Veloce regresses in any way off her debut win.

Win Bets: Donna Veloce to win at 5 to 2 or more. British Idiom to win at 7 to 2 or more.
When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Special Daily Double Ticket 1
Juvenile: Donna Veloce
, British Idiom
Distaff: Midnight Bisou

Ticket 2
Juvenile: Donna Veloce, British Idiom, Bast, Comical, Wicked Whisper
Distaff: Midnight Bisou

Breeders’ Cup Distaff – Race 10 at Santa Anita on Saturday 11/2 – Post Time 7 PM Eastern/ 4 PM Pacific

It’s nice to have a race with a “Single,” the only horse to use on multi-race tickets like the pick 3 and 4, and Midnight Bisou fits the bill for turning pick 3 tickets into the equivalent of a daily double and pick 4 tickets into the equivalent of a pick 3. I hesitate to use throw around the word “Amazon” too much, and admit you’ll see it again referring to Elate in the classic, so perhaps I’ll use the word “Alpha” instead to describe Midnight Bisou’s attitude when on the track. She just refuses to lose, and if she’s in the mood she’ll eye an opponent and beat them by a nose whereas other times she just blows by them. Smith is six for six on her this year and it would be seven for seven if he didn’t have another commitment when she won the Beldame in September. With back-to-back 115 Equibase figure efforts in grade 1 races at this nine furlong trip, by far the best in the field, it would take a big jump up in form for any of the 10 fillies and mares to beat Midnight Bisou today and while there is no such thing as a sure thing, she should win this year’s Distaff.

: Midnight Bisou at even money or more, a low odds overlay win bet. (Hopefully it won’t be necessary to bet her to win if we are live in the special daily double from the Juvenile Fillies on Friday).

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Race 9 at Santa Anita on Friday, 11/1 – Post Time 7:03 PM Eastern/ 4:03 Pacific

Dennis’ Moment is a legitimate favorite based on impressive wins in his last two starts after losing the jockey in his debut. He demolished the field by nearly 20 lengths at seven furlongs then once again made short work of the field, this time nine other horses in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes last month at this distance. His works at Churchill Downs then Santa Anita have been scorching and show he’s in top form. He doesn’t need the lead to win but these are the deepest waters he’s been in so although he looks very logical, based on his 98 Figure last out which isn’t any better than Eight Rings, Dennis’ Moment can win but doesn’t have to.

Eight Rings rebounded from dropping the jockey in the Del Mar Futurity to win the American Pharoah Stakes, his first two-turn rest, at the end of September with a strong 103 figure, dominating by six lengths. Blinkers were added to help him focus and not take a left turn as he did in the Futurity, and the equipment changes worked. He is likely to use his early speed to best advantage and be the one the rest have to catch to win, and since Baffert is deadly in these two year old stakes Eight Rings may prove all the hype to date is correct and win easily again. Still, there’s a lot that can happen in a race for two year olds who can improve by leaps and bounds from race to race, or by the same token regress.

Win Bets: Dennis’ Moment at 8 to 5 or higher.
Consider Eight Rings for a win bet at 2 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Dennis’ Moment and Eight Rings over Dennis’ Moment, Eight Rings, Scabbard and Full Flat.

Trifecta: Dennis’ Moment and Eight Rings over Dennis’ Moment, Eight Rings, Scabbard and Full Flat over Dennis’ Moment, Eight Rings, Scabbard and Full Flat.

Special Daily Double Ticket 1
Juvenile: DennisMoment, Eight Rings
Classic: Vino Rosso, Code of Honor, Elate

Ticket 2
: Dennis’ Moment, Eight Rings
Classic: ALL

Ticket 3
Juvenile: ALL
Classic: Vino Rosso, Code of Honor, Elate

Breeders’ Cup Classic – Race 12 at Santa Anita on Saturday, 11/2 – Post Time 8:44 PM Eastern/ 5:44 Pacific

The rematch between Code of Honor and Vino Rosso is the number one story in this year’s Classic in my opinion and I will give slight preference to Vino Rosso in this case. His four year old campaign has been all about pointing to this year’s Classic and I think he’s on a pattern to run the best race of his career and win. Returning from six months off in March, Vino Rosso earned a new career-best 114 Equibase Speed Figure winning the Stymie Stakes, a one-turn mile race, before facing one of the best sprinters in the country (World of Trouble) in the Carter Handicap one month later, finishing fourth without showing any late kick at all. A brilliant move on the part of trainer Todd Pletcher was sending Vino Rosso west for the Gold Cup at Santa Anita in May at the Classic distance and the colt proved resilient in tying the 114 figure with a powerful effort as he rallied from fourth to lead in the stretch and gamely held that lead to the wire. Given two months off, Vino Rosso returned in the Whitney and, just as in the Carter, he ran evenly throughout, never threatening to win. Stretched out to a mile and one-quarter again for the Jockey Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont, Vino Rosso once again showed a lot of mental toughness in not only leading from the start, but battling with a number of horses in the late stages, prevailing by a nose on the wire over Code of Honor. Unfortunately, he had bumped his rival late in the race and the stewards felt that warranted a disqualification to second. Making his third start off a layoff in the Classic and on an improving pattern of figures (108, 112), I feel the previous race at Santa Anita may give Vino Rosso the slightest edge in experience which can help him to earn the glory of a Breeders’ Cup Classic victory.

Code of Honor is also on a solid pattern for improvement. Following his third place finish in the Kentucky Derby (moved up to second via the disqualification of Maximum Security), Code of Honor took two months off. That freshening did him a world of good as he won the Dwyer Stakes in July, the Travers Stakes in August and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (via disqualification of Vino Rosso) in September. Going from a 101 figure effort, to 108, to 112, is a pattern we might expect of a still improving three year old in the summer and fall, with further improvement to come. Furthermore, having run three times at the distance of the Classic, winning twice and finishing second in the other start, there’s little doubt Code of Honor has what it takes to succeed in this race.

Elate is an amazon of a mare and deserves to face off against males in this year’s Classic. She’s also a perfect three-for-three at the mile and one-quarter trip of this race. Although beaten a nose one race before last in the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga, the same race she lost by a neck the previous year, Elate earned a 115 figure as good or better than any of the males in this year’s Classic field. Tough as nails in the stretch in nearly every one of her 18 career starts, Elate has finished second seven times to match her win total. Trainer Bill Mott (who also saddles Yoshida) has given Elate a pair of three furlong “blowout” workouts coming into the race, a superb strategy to have her on edge for her best, which is good enough to post the mild upset in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

About the rest:
There is little doubt most of the other eight entrants in this race can run well enough to win and I would not argue with a single person who felt a win bet on any of them is warranted. However, there are little chinks in the armor on all of the rest in my opinion so personally although I will be considering them all for second place on exacta tickets and third place on trifecta tickets, I will confine my win bets to the three contenders above.

I’ll start with McKinzie, who has only finished lower than second one time in 13 races. His two tries at the Classic distance were below par in my opinion as he missed by a nose while having every chance to win the Santa Anita Handicap in April and was 12th in last year’s Classic at 7 to 2 odds. Although the 123 figure earned in his most recent start in the Awesome Again is the second best figure in the field, he seemed to be running in place throughout the race and although the jockey change to Rosario may help, I would prefer a jockey familiar with the horse but Rosario is riding McKinzie for the first time. Mongolian Groom led from start to finish in the Awesome Again and earned a field high 123 figure in the process. He has two third place finishes at this distance in his career and I don’t feel his last effort is repeatable at this distance or in this field. Owendale faces older for the first time, which isn’t an impediment in the fall, but the 110 figure earned in the Oklahoma Derby last month won’t be good enough to win if repeated and he too is winless in two tries at the Classic distance. Similarly, Preakness winner War of Will could not threaten in the Pennsylvania Derby and the 107 figure earned at nearly the distance in the Preakness is another effort which, even if repeated, is not likely to win this race. Yoshida closes from far back in nearly every start and rarely gets up in time, but should be in the top three or four at the end of able to run as he did in the Whitney in August when second with a 115 figure. Higher Power posted the upset in the Pacific Classic this summer with a 112 figure which appears to be an aberration as he was a non-threatening third in the Awesome Again following that win. Math Wizard was a great story for trainer Saffie Joseph, with a 113 figure which equaled the effort he put forth when second to Owendale in the Ohio Derby in June. Math Wizard is also facing older for the first time, as well as trying the distance of the Classic for the first time and those two hurdles may be too many to overcome. Seeking the Soul has had a brilliant career, winning over $3 million to date, but as he enters the race off seventh and fourth place finishes, particularly with most of the others in much better recent form, he is had to endorse.

Win Bets
: Vino Rosso and Code of Honor to win at odds of 5/2 or more.
Elate to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.
Win bets may not be necessary if we are live in the special daily double from the Juvenile on Friday but it’s a matter of personal preference if you want even more profit if we’re right.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Vino Rosso, Code of Honor and Elate over ALL

Trifectas: Vino Rosso, Code of Honor and Elate over ALL over Vino Rosso, Code of Honor and Elate.
Vino Rosso, Code of Honor and Elate over Vino Rosso, Code of Honor and Elate over ALL
(These two trifecta tickets played together help us win if any two of the three contenders finish 1st & 2nd or 1st & 3rd).

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Ellis Starr

Ellis is a well respected handicapper and contributor of AmWager. He has been a public handicapper for more than twenty years, educating racing fans of all skill levels with detailed commentary few other handicappers provide.

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