2011 Breeder’s Cup World Championships
Friday, November 4, 2011, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Churchill Downs – Louisville, Kentucky
It is that time of year again as the Breeder’s Cup brings together the best horses, trainers, and jockeys to determine the best of the best. The Breeder’s Cup has grown into a 15 race mega-event stretched over two days. Some even think it is bigger than the Triple Crown races because of the multi-million dollar purses. The Breeder’s Cup is also gaining popularity with bettors because their are so many races to bet on. Sure there are usually around 12 races on the card the day of the Kentucky Derby, but most bettors only care about the big race. With the Breeder’s Cup you have big name horses in almost every race.
Here is a look at the races on Friday. The event concludes Saturday, and culminates with the 2 million dollar Breeder’s Cup Classic. I will preview those races in another article. For a look at the post positions, morning line odds, trainers, and jockeys, click here. The Breeder’s Cup races start with race 5.
Juvenile Sprint – 6 Furlongs, Purse: $500,000
The Breeder’s Cup starts off with Secret Circle a heavy favorite in this event. The Bob Baffert trained horse ridden by Rafael Bejarano is 2-0 in his career but has never raced outside of California. He raced last month at Santa Anita in the Goodman Stakes and won by half a length. He drew a good post position at #7 in a 12 horse field. He will be difficult to beat but Seeker, Vexor, and Holdin’ Bullets will challenge him. Sum of the Parts could be a nice long shot as he is the only horse with a start and a win at Churchill in this race.
Juvenile Fillies Turf – One Mile, Purse $1,000,000
Elusive Kate comes over from Europe and is a slight favorite for this race. The John Gosden trained filly has won four straight races since losing in her debut in June. She has never raced outside England or France so the travel could be an issue. She won her last start, the Grade I Marcel Boussac Stakes last month in dominating fashion winning by 4 lengths. She drew the 10 post in a 16 horse field. Somali Lemonade, Sweet Cat, Stopshoppingmaria, Stephanie’s Kitten, and Pure Gossip are also among the favorites in this race. I like Sweet Cat trained by Todd Pletcher and Stephanie’s Kitten if the travel is too much for Elusive Kate.
Filly & Mare Sprint – 7 furlongs, Purse: $1,000,000
Turbulent Descent is a significant favorite in this race. The horse is trained by Mike Puype and has never finished lower than 2nd in 8 career races with 6 wins. She hasn’t raced since August at Saratoga. This is her first race against older horses but that shouldn’t make that big a difference. Switch is also among the favorites. Switch has finished in the money 15 times in 17 career races. This horse dominated at 7 furlongs in the winter winning 2 times in 3 races. Pomeroy’s Pistol and and Tanda are also among the favorites. Tamarind Hall could pull the upset as she posted very fast times in June and July.
Juvenile Fillies – 1 1/16 Miles, Purse: $2,000,000
Grace Hall and My Miss Aurelia are the co-favorites in this race. Both are 3-0 in their career. Both are unstoppable if they get two turns. This should be quite a duel between these two, but Candrea, Weemissfrankie, and Miss Netta could also contend. Miss Netta is sired by 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense who also won the BC Juvenile in 2006. Rocket Twentyone could also surprise.
Filly & Mare Turf – 1 3/8 Miles, Purse: $2,000,000
Stacelita is the favorite in this race having won 10 of 17 races on grass. She is widely considered the best North American turf mare. She will be challenged by Nahrain, a filly from the UK who is undefeated in four races. She has never raced outside of England or France so travel could be an issue. If the two favorites falter, then Dubawi Heights, Announce, or Misty For Me could step in for the win. Keep an eye on Shared Account who won this race last year as a $94 dollar long shot, and will have similar odds this year. Aruna could also surprise but the distance might be a little long for her.
Ladies’ Classic – 1 1/8 Miles, Purse: $2,000,000
This race is the main event of the first day, and was formerly known as the Distaff. This is expected to be a three horse race between three dominant 3 year olds. Plum Pretty won the Kentucky Oaks in May at this track, and had a 108 on the Beyer Speed Ratings in the fall. She has finished in the money 8 times in 9 career starts with 4 wins, including 3 this year. Royal Delta is the daughter of Empire Maker, and has 4 wins in 7 career starts, including 3 this year. It’s Tricky has 5 wins in 8 starts including 4 this year. Each of the three favorites has beaten the other two in a race this year at least once. This race became wide open when Havre De Grace’s handlers decided to run her in the Classic instead of this race. It would be a surprise if anyone other than the three favorites won but Pachattack and Miss Match could challenge them if the cards fall right.
There we have the Friday races, and we will look at the Saturday races in another article.
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