Breeders' Cup, as easy as 1-2-3

Union Rags , ridden by assistant trainer Peter Brette, leaves track, after workout yesterday.
Union Rags , ridden by assistant trainer Peter Brette, leaves track, after workout yesterday. (DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: November 04, 2011

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Final exams have arrived. If you start to study today, you have no chance. Understanding the 15 Breeders' Cup races today and tomorrow require yearlong dedication - watching races, seeing how horses develop, following trainer plans. And then it is time to get involved.


Juvenile Sprint

1. Secret Circle. 2. Sum of the Parts. 3. Vexor.

Secret Circle may be the shortest price over 2 days and the most likely winner. On tape, this colt was as smooth as he was fast.

Juvenile Fillies Turf

1. Pure Gossip. 2. Somali Lemonade. 3. Dear Lavinia.

Pure Gossip ran like a wild horse in her grass debut on a soft course. After a daylong rain yesterday, Somali Lemonade has an amazing kick. The horse that beat Dear Lavinia two back came back to win a Group I.

Filly and Mare Sprint

1. Golden Mystery. 2. Turbulent Descent. 3. Pomeroys Pistol.

Can Parx stars Carlos Guerrero and Kendrick Carmouche win a BC race with Golden Mystery? Absolutely. Turbulent Descent is really talented, but will get overbet and has not been out in 90 days. Pomeroys Pistol has the right style and an advantageous outside post.

Juvenile Fillies

1. My Miss Aurelia. 2. Grace Hall. 3. Weemissfrankie.

The top three choices are all 3-for-3 so something has to give. My Miss Aurelia has the best speed figures. Grace Hall looks like a natural two-turn horse.

Filly and Mare Turf

1. Misty For Me. 2. Stacelita. 3. Nahrain.

Misty For Me has won four Group I stakes and it appears as if they gave her most of the summer off to get ready for this spot. Stacelita was terrific in France and has been dominant against her sex in the USA. No telling how good Nahrain might be, as she has not lost in four starts.

Ladies Classic

1. Plum Pretty. 2. Royal Delta. 3. Miss Match.

Plum Pretty appears to be repeating the pattern she showed in the spring when she won the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill. She got her career top figure in the race before she won. She just got a new career top in the Cotillion. Also, the pace scenario looks very favorable, similar to the Oaks. Royal Delta has been brilliant in training and should be rolling late. Miss Match has been running in Grade I stakes against males.



1. A.U. Miner. 2. Birdrun. 3. Cease.

A.U. Miner is not fast, but never gets tired. When this group hits the wall, he will still be running. Birdrun could be very dangerous if he gets a clear lead.

Juvenile Turf

1. Finale. 2. Lucky Chappy. 3. State of Play.

Each one of Finale's grass races have been visually dazzling. Lucky Chappy was very unlucky in his American debut. State of Play is really talented, but got a dreadful post.


1. Big Drama. 2. Jackson Bend. 3. Euroears.

Big Drama has had a strange year after winning this race in 2010. Clearly best if near top form. This is an inspired move by Nick Zito to pass on the Dirt Mile with Jackson Bend, a little colt with a huge turn move. Euroears is very dangerous if he can clear the field in the first 100 yards.

Turf Sprint

1. Caracortado. 2. Perfect Officer. 3. Chamberlain Bridge.

Caracortado has amazing acceleration and, without a ton of early speed in here, he should be close enough to run them all down. Kendrick Carmouche is going to win one of these and it might be with the hard-trying Perfect Officer. This is not an easy race to start the Pick 6.

Dirt Mile

1. Wilburn. 2. The Factor. 3. Jersey Town.

Wilburn was awesome when he won the Smarty Jones on Labor Day at Parx. He then came back to blow away Preakness winner Shackleford in the Indiana Derby. The second and third finishers from the Smarty also came back to win stakes. The Factor is very dangerous because of his high-end speed.


1. Sarafina. 2. St. Nicholas Abbey. 3. Sea Moon.

It is just a question of which Euro will win. The American grass horses are overmatched and these aren't even close to best Euro turfers.


1. Union Rags. 2. Hansen. 3. Creative Cause.

Not a homer pick, Union Rags' Champagne win was one of the best performances I have ever seen by a 2-year-old. If this colt gets a clean trip, I don't think this is going to be close. Hansen is a mystery, having won his two starts by a combined 25 1/2 lengths. Creative Cause comes from the West Coast with impressive credentials.


1. Goldikova. 2. Turallure. 3. Gio Ponti.

Goldikova's last 20 starts have been in Group I or Grade I races. She won 14 of them, including the last three Miles. This will be the 6-year-old mare's final race. Horses simply don't hold their form like she has. She is a Pick 6 single for me - again. Turallure has had a terrific fall. He is my exacta horse. This may also be the final race for the $6 million horse, Gio Ponti. He has seven American Grade I wins.


1. Flat Out. 2. Havre de Grace. 3. To Honor and Serve.

Flat Out has been brilliantly consistent since July. When some of the others start to hit the wall in the stretch, this horse is going to be relentless. His final prerace work was off the charts. Havre de Grace has never run a poor race. If it weren't for Blind Luck, she would have won 10 of her last 11 last races. No Blind Luck here, but a solid group of males. To Honor and Serve got a dream trip in his Pennsylvania Derby win. Should get another decent trip here. Uncle Mo definitely is talented enough to win. No horse is faster. The pace is not going to be hot so he could get a great trip. If he is an absolute superstar, he can win. But if he is going to be favored, I feel obligated to take a stand against him. If you are looking for a longshot with a chance to hit the board, try Ruler On Ice. He was the only horse to make up any ground on the Pa. Derby card.

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