The Breeders’ Cup World Championships are finally here and Santa Anita is once again the home for the global phenomenon. The Mile runs for a purse of $2 million on turf and is another race on a fully stacked card. Previous winners of the race include Wise Dan (2-time defending champion), Goldikova (Three times), Court Vision, War Chant, Lure and Miesque (Twice).
Race: Mile (G1)
Location: Santa Anita Park
Distance: 1 Mile
Date: Saturday, November 1, 2014
Post Time: 4:40 PT
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network 3:30 Pm EST, NBC 8 PM EST
|1||20-1||Grand Arch||Velazquez||Second to Wise Dan last out in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and Seek Again in the Fourstardave Handicap (G2) three back. A dud in between in the Woodbine Mile. An impressive run from a stalking trip last out. More impressive than given credit for. Could be live.|
|2||8-1||Obviously||Talamo||It all comes down to the gate here. When he gets out he wins races like the Shoemaker Mile (G1) and the American Stakes (G2). Loves the SA track with three graded stakes wins here. Appears to be the controlling speed and just might get away with it if he can handle the class.|
|3||12-1||Veda||Soumillion||US soil for the first time and has the makings of one of the bottom tier of invaders due to lack of a graded stakes win. Class will be an issue but a quality result is not impossible assuming a step up.|
|4||6-1||Mustajeeb||Smullen||Comes over with a lot of run in him. While not as touted as Toronado he can get it done. Coming off a 2nd in the Solonaway Clipper Boomerang Mile (G2) and won the Jersey Stakes (G3) at Ascot in June. If you believe you will get a good value here.|
|5||5-2||Toronado||Hughes||Waited until Wise Dan was removed before committing. Interesting timing. Last three starts include two G1 2nds and a win in the Queen Anna Stakes (G1). On form and ready to roll before retiring to stud. Watch out.|
|6||15-1||Tom's Tribute||Smith||Enter the Mile off a 2 month break. Last out, he won the Del Mar Handicap (G2) and captured the Eddie Read handicap two back. Southern California will be represented by him in the Mile. Can he go three in a row? It's possible.|
|7||20-1||Kaigun||Husbands||Two wins in 9 starts in 2014. Spent a lot of time racing the top US competition. Raced at multiple distances in 2014 once placed on turf but… in his 4 mile starts this year he has two 2nds and a 4th against G1 talent. This class just might be to tough.|
|8||12-1||Trade Storm||Spencer||Coming in off a Wise Danless Woodbine Mile (G1) victory. Finished 3rd there last year. Runner-up in previous two. Will the wins continue after snapping 12 race losing streak? Or does the cycle begin again? I will go with the latter.|
|9||6-1||Anodin||Peslier||The plus side is the jockey knows the mile and knows how to win it. Also, when you are the full brother to Goldikova then the mile genes have to be in there. The minus…hasn't won since June 2013 which is a span of eight races. It is not changing in the BC Mile this year but there future might still be bright.|
|10||30-1||Summer Front||Castellano||Like the jockey and the fact that he will give ti all each time he busts through the gate. But, when talking about US Milers you have to wonder why he tends to be in a different starting gate then the best. Did run well in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) but his best is probably middle of the road here. Not likely at all.|
|11||30-1||Sayaad||Leparoux||Never better than 3rd in any career graded stakes race. Did run a close, nice third to Wise Dan and Grand Arch in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) but when considering the trip Wise Dan fought through and his return it could just appear better than ti was. Overall, the class is not there and now you add the invaders.|
|12||6-1||Seek Again||Rosario||Did not light it up when finishing 6th in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last out but it was an odd trip to say the least. But… even with all the trouble he still set the track record in the Fourstardave (G2). The top US hope on paper and a contender if he can find the room to kick.|
|13||12-1||Tourist||Napravnik||Well rested and set to make only the second graded stakes start. Crazy pace torched him in the Secretariat Stakes (G1) but still finished 2nd. Keeps maturing which bodes well for 2015. Question is whether it can pay off big in the Mile this year. There is a chance at a price.|
|14||10-1||Karakontie||Pasquier||Another invader in off a poor trip in his last start. Impressive win earlier this year in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (G1).Like almost every invader there is a chance if trouble can be avoided. It can happen.|
|AE||30-1||Mr. Commons||Nakatani||Only hit the board three times since the end of 2012. Seems happy to be a runner-up. Even if he gets in the field, the hope is just not there.|
Breakdown and Betting
Welcome to the race the invaders from across the pond are calling home with six entrants in the 14 horse field that makes up the Breeders’ Cup Mile. As we all are aware, the two-time defending champion, Wise Dan, will not be here to defend his crown. This opens up the field to a group of horses all battling for a Breeders’ Cup title.
The M/L favorite is Toronado and he has been on form. Interesting note is that he waited until Wise Dan was officially gone before being entered in the race. That means two things. First, he did not think he could handle Wise Dan and secondly, there are comfortable with every other horse in the field. When your last three starts include runner-up finishes in two Grade 1s and a win in the Queen Anna Stakes, also a Grade 1, then there is reason to believe he can win this.
Don’t be fooled by the “experts” telling you that this race has defaulted to Toronado’s to lose. He can run great and still fall short to a few in this field. Some horses might require a bit of racing luck while others can just take him down. Another invader, Obviously, should not be overlooked. If he can handle the break, which is a must, then he can get to the front. From the front he can set a pace that many will sit off in hopes of a final run down the stretch. If he can keep the fractions reasonable then he might be able to take them gate-to-wire in the BC Mile. You should see a decent price here as well in the neighborhood of 5-1 or 9-1.
Seek Again is regarded by many as the top United States hope to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He showed off while finding room on the rail under the cool hands of Rosario en route to a record setting run in the Fourstardave. The challenge with Seek Again is not uncommon on turf. He comes late and needs running room. It is possible that against this class, it might be too late when he finally gets clear. I am actually more drawn to a different US contender. I take a lot of flak for it but I believe that Grand Arch is the best hope for a home turf victory in the BC Mile. He ran an impressive second to Wise Dan in the Shadwell Turf and lost by the slimmest of margins to Seek Again. He covered more ground than the rail riding Rosario and if you can look past the dud in the Woodbine there is a real chance for him at 16-1 or better come post time. We all know I like value.
Clearly, the Mile favors the invaders but there is a bit of US hope here. Many in this field can take this if everything breaks right. While conventional wisdom screams invaders it is just not that clear cut. Will many of them be the favorites at post-time? Of course, but the chalk does not always take the title. I am expecting a more competitive race than many in the Mile.
Below is how I would play $20 and $50 at the 2014 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 2 with 5|
|$1 Trifecta Box||1 with 2 with 5|
|$4 Win/ Place||2|
|$2 Exacta Box||1 with 2 with 5|
|$ 1 Trifecta||1,2,5 with 1,2,5,12|
|$.10 Superfecta||1,2 with 1,2,5,12,13|
|$2 Win/ Place||1|
|$2 Win/ Place||2|
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|