The Breeders’ Cup World Championships are finally here and Santa Anita is once again the home for the global phenomenon. The Dirt Mile runs for a purse of $1 million and is another race on a fully stacked card. Previous winners of the race include Goldencents, Caleb’s Posse, Furthest Land and Corinthian.
Race: Dirt Mile (G1)
Location: Santa Anita Park
Distance: 1 Mile
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014
Post Time: 3:03 PM PT
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network 5 PM EST
|1||6-5||Goldencents||Bejarano||Carefully picked their spots for him this year. 2nd last out in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) but 6 furlongs is probably a bit to short for him. No worse than second in 2014 with a win in the Pat O'Brien Handicap (G2). Defending BC Dirt Mile champion appears ready to fire on all cylinders. Second the half-way mark record in last years but carried to the win. Can he do it again? One of the favorites.|
|2||15-1||Carve||Smith||Two summertime stakes wins on a Midwest run that prove impressive on paper. Returned to Churchill with a second in the Ack Ack (G2) but then 5th in the Homecoming Classic. Numbers are not bad but class will be an obvious issue. Will really need to step up but not impossible.|
|3||12-1||Vicar's In Trouble||Velazquez||Has not missed the board in four starts since the egg that was laid in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Winner of the Super Derby (g2) two back. While many do not agree I think VIT found a way to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory last out in the Indiana Derby (G2). He should have won. But... he is stepping back to a mile so he will definitely have enough in the tank. You will get a price and that price could just pay you very well.|
|4||6-1||Pants On Fire||Lopez||In a tough spot from the post in last years edition of the Dirt Mile. He finished 7th and unimpressive. Hasn't missed the board since returning in 2014. Winner last out in the Wild and Wonderful Stakes. Solid horse but just not a huge fan against this competition.|
|5||30-1||Handsome Mike||Gutierrez||Has not won since Keenland in April 13. Last 5 SA starts include a 2nd and 3rd against lesser rivals. Ran a decent 3rd at Del Mar Mile last out but that was on turf. The grass should be his home and would be a complete shocker if he found a way onto the board let alone winners share.|
|6||15-1||Golden Ticket||Rosario||Will be making his ninth start of 2014 when he steps in the gate for the Mile. Sixth last out in the Kelso Handicap (G2) but victorious in the Left Bank two back. Last two trips to the West Coast include a 4th in last year's Awesome Again (G1) and a 2nd to GC at last years Dirt Mile. Will get a nice price on the five-year old.|
|7||12-1||Bronzo||Torres||Won a "Win and Your In" race earlier in the year I Chile. Horse has come in early to train. Training OK at Santa Anita already. Hard to say but looking at the previous competition I am no fan. I will let him beat me.|
|8||7-2||Fed Biz||Garcia||A very solid horse who has won the San Diego Handicap (G2) .Extremely talented but seems to just miss. Take nothing away from his performance in the Awesome Again (G1) where he gave SB everything he could ask for until SB nudged a head in front at the wire. Issue here is the last two Dirt Miles where he finished 6th and 8th. Last years should have set up for him but there was nothing in the tank. Hard to hate him but hard to love him. A contender to win at his best but will it be there this time?|
|9||6-1||Tapiture||Napravnik||Winner of the Matt Winn (G3) three back and West Virginia Derby (G2) two back. Ran an impressive second to Bayern in the Penn Derby (G2) last out on a track that was not playing nicely with closers. His style could be beneficial against the expected pace. I like him at a price but not quite in love. Watch out.|
|10||15-1||Big Bane Theory||Talamo||Has two wins her at Santa Anita but both of those wins are on turf. Never raced on dirt but the connections are giving it a shot. Looking at data there is no real reason to expect an improvement with the move. Never won above allowance level. Appears like he does not belong but I do love the name.|
Breakdown and Betting
Let’s face it. This race is all about whether or not Goldencents, the defending Dirt Mile champion, is on form or not. If he is ready to fire than he should be able to take them gate to wire. The rail post is actually a benefit in my opinion. He is going to break to the front regardless so why not cover less distance. There is no horse than should squeeze him before the first turn. He broke from the outside last year and set insane fractions all while still winning in impressive fashion.
But what if Goldencents is off his game? That is where it gets a bit interesting. I desperately want to back Fed Biz, because I like him but I just can’t. Regardless of form this race just seems to be his unicorn. In his last two trips to the Dirt Mile, he came home sixth and eighth. So who?
Tapiture is a horse than can factor in this race. He has been on form as of late and do not discount his second place finish to Bayern in the Pennsylvania Derby. PARX has a bias to speed and Tapiture managed a second to a horse that was able to set comfortable early fractions. Bayern was much the best that day but I took a little something from Tapiture as well.
Golden Ticket is another to look at in this race. He is M/L 15-1 but do not let the sixth place in the Kelso fool you. If you can look past that you find quality in the Left Bank. He will be making his ninth start of 2014 but he likes Santa Anita as evident by his fourth place finish in last year’s Awesome Again and the second to Goldencents here in the BC Dirt Mile last year. He is not a slouch and tends to step up in opportune times.
This race is still Goldencents to lose but there is hope if you want to go against conventional wisdom.
Below is how I would play $20 and $50 at the 2014 Dirt Mile. 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||1 with 6 with 9|
|$1 Trifecta Box||1 with 6 with 9|
|$4 Win/ Place||9|
|$2 Exacta Box||1 with 6 with 9|
|$ 1 Trifecta||1,9 with 1,3,6,9|
|$.10 Superfecta||1,9 with 1,2,3,6,9|
|$5 Win/ Place||9|
|$2 Win/ Place||6|
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|