The Breeders’ Cup World Championships are finally here and Santa Anita is once again the home for the global phenomenon. The Turf runs for a purse of $3 million on turf and is another race on a fully stacked card. Previous winners of the race include Magician, St. Nicholas Abbey, Conduit (Twice), English Channel, Better Talk Now, Red Rocks and High Chaparral (Twice).
Race: Turf (G1)
Location: Santa Anita Park
Distance: 1 1/2 Miles
Date: Saturday, November 1, 2014
Post time: 3:22 PT
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network 3:30 Pm EST, NBC 8 PM EST
|1||4-1||Telescope||Moore||The turf has been in his sights for months. Two wins and a 2nd in his last three trips at a mile and a half including a 2nd two back in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1). A clear contender.|
|2||12-1||Twilight Eclipse||Castellano||Running strong but constantly finishing behind Main Sequence and traded place positions with Imagining the last two. Take MS and add in the invaders and this is a challenge to say the least.|
|3||12-1||Imagining||Rosario||Running the best of career at 6 years old but has proven that 1 1/2 just might be a bit to long. Cannot get by Main Sequence in last two although did look better a couple back. Prefer at a 1 3/8 or 1 1/4. Just think it is to far against this crop.|
|4||8-1||Brown Panther||Kingdcote||Distamce is no issue. Heck he is cutting back to a 1 1/2. Stalking winner last out in the Irish St. Leger (G1) bu not on paper is the dumping of his rider twice and a runout at the Canadian International that resulted in a scratch. Don't be fooled, jockey sure missed the moment. If he can be nice there is a real shot.|
|5||30-1||Hangover Kid||Lezcano||Okay so here is the deal. He has found a way to be close against Imagining, Big Blue Kitten and Twight Eclipse but could not beat them. Those are on the outside here so that puts him on the outside of the outside. Probably should find a way to avoid a Hangover in this race.|
|6||30-1||Finnegans Wake||Talamo||On the plus side he did finish ahead of Big John B last out over this track. On the downside he only managed a 2nd last out over this track against inferior competition. A wake is probably in order.|
|7||7-2||Flintshire||Guyon||At best when on Fast/Firm ground. That was proven when he finally got good ground at the Arc de Triomphe(G1) finishing an impressive second. Mathcing that in the BC turf would land the top of the board. Invader should be fond of the SA turf. Likely betting favorite.|
|8||5-1||Magician||O'Brien||The 2013 BC Turf winner is back to defend the title. In 2014 he has more 6th place finishes (2) than ins (1). Both attempts at 1 1/2 this year were the 6th place finishes. Second last out at the Arlington Million (G1). Possible but rather side with others.|
|9||10-1||Hardest Core||Vaz||Upset winner of the Arlington Million (G1) last out will try and show that the first graded stakes win was not a fluke. Style might give the first jump but with the invaders and MS it could be tall order. Plus is he closed very strong at 1 1/4 pulling away from Magican. You can expect 10-1 or better odds and that might do the trick here.|
|10||30-1||Starspangled Heat||Nakatani||Best graded staeks race came last out in the John Henry Turf Championship where he finished right behind Finnegans Wake. See my thoughts on FW to get a feel for what I think about Starspangled Heat in the turf.|
|11||8-1||Chicquita||Dettori||She comes in off a 3rd at the British Champions Filles and Mares Stakes (G1) only two weeks ago. Finished an uninspired and irrelevant 15th in the Arc de Triomphe (G1) three back. Win chance should fade as soon as the gate opens.|
|12||6-1||Main Sequence||Velazquez||What can you say. He has been a fan of the photo finish as of late as he won his last three in the United Nations (G1), Sword Dancer Invitational (G1) and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1). Already beaten many in the field and will need runnning room late. In my opinion, regardless of odds, if he gets it he is the one to beat.|
|13||20-1||Big John B||Smith||Love the name and the form after the claim as he really stepped forward. But…ran against much less here last time at SA in the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) and only managed a 3rd. Although I love the name that is where it ends for this one.|
Breakdown and Betting
As with any Breeders’ Cup race anything is possible once they enter the starting gate. The defending champion is in the field along with many other viable candidates. To me this comes down to three horses with a real shot to take the crown.
Flintshire is coming over to challenge the field and will find the surface to his liking. He excels on firm turf and there is no question that he will get that come the BC Turf. When he finally got that ground, or something close, in the Arc he showed what he is capable of. Breaking seventh will not hurt him at all. But he is not alone as the only viable win candidate in this race.
Enter Main Sequence. The 12 post should not hurt him or his running style one bit. In fact, letting the world clear inside him could be a blessing in disguise. Yes I know he has an unholy love of the photo finish but hey it is turf racing so it should not be a knock against him. The fact that the M/L is giving 6-1 should make any believer smile.
At a slightly bigger price is the horse I have been watching while waiting for this race and this setup. Enter Hardest Core. I can hear folks spouting off about how the Arlington Million was a fluke. The reality is the defending BC Turf champion, Magician, was watching Hardest Core pull away as they crossed the line. That alone tells me there is still run in him that should be able to carry the 1 1/2 mile trek. I am not saying it will be easy but this could be a horse coming into his own at just the right time. At a price, it would be hard to pass him up.
Below is how I would play $20 and $50 at the 2014 Turf. Keep in mind there is an eye to value here. As always, if you have to scrounge up to find $5 or $10 for the race I would pass and just watch. Pay the bills and enjoy the day. Don’t forget, this is supposed to be fun.
|$1 Exacta Box||7 with 9 with 12|
|$1 Trifecta Box||7 with 9 with 12|
|$4 Win/ Place||12|
|$2 Exacta Box||7 with 9 with 12|
|$ 1 Trifecta||9,12 with 4,7,9,12|
|$.10 Superfecta||9,12 with 1,4,7,9,12|
|$5 Win/ Place||12|
|$2 Win/ Place||9|
Breeders’ Cup Race Predictions
|Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff||Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile|
|Breeders’ Cup Classic||DraftKings Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint|
|Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint||Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf|
|Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf||Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile|
|Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint||The 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies|
|Breeders’ Cup Mile|