This weekend the Breeders’ Cup will be held at Keeneland for the very first time and some of the top race horses from around the world will converge on Lexington, Kentucky to find out who is the best of the best.
The Breeders’ Cup consists of thirteen races including the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a $5,000,000 purse. Below we will provide a brief description of each race along with our selections and a longshot that we think has potential to win.
The first four races will take place on Friday afternoon.
Race 6 Juvenile Turf -1 mile on the turf for two-year-olds with a post time of 3:30PM EST.
This European imports have dominated this race in the past taking six of the past eight races.
The morning line favorite at 7-2 is a Kentucky bred colt who has been racing in Europe, #13 Cymric.
Our selection is #8 Airoforce (4-1 ML) who has won his only two starts including his last over the Keeneland turf. Julian Leparoux will ride for trainer Mark Casse and he is very familiar with the Keeneland surface which should be an advantage.
Our longshot selection is #12 Camelot Kitten (12-1 ML) who has the pedigree to win this race. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride for Chad Brown and was gaining on Airoforce down the stretch in the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (Gr. 3) earlier this month.
Keep an eye out for Irish import #4 Shogun (12-1 ML). Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won this race twice in recent years and is adding blinkers to this one which should help him focus.
Race 7 Las Vegas Dirt Mile -1 mile on the dirt for three-year-olds and upward with a post time of 4:10PM EST.
Favorites have not normally fared well in this race, but that should change this year.
The morning line favorite at 1-1 is a four-year-old colt named #3 Liam’s Map who is trained by Todd Pletcher, and may horse racing fans were hoping to see him entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to take on Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The connections chose instead to enter him here where his speed should get him out to a fast start and he could go wire to wire.
Our selection here is the aforementioned Liam’s Map, no other runner appears to be able to maintain the early pace expected from the colt.
Our longshot selection here is five-year-old #1 Red Vine (6-1 ML) who seems to enjoy the change in surfaces from the turf where he spent most of his early career. He outran Breeder’s Cup Classic participant Honor Code in the Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park back in August.
We believe this is Liam’s Map race to lose and if he does Red Vine would be the most likely winner.
Race 8 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf -1 mile on the turf for two-year-old fillies with a post time of 4:50PM EST.
The morning line favorite here is #8 Harmonize at 7-2. The Bill Mott trainee broke her maiden in a stakes race at Saratoga in September and then followed that up with a win in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (Gr. 3) over the Keeneland turf earlier this month.
Our selection is Irish import #3 Alice Springs (6-1 ML). Another Aidan O’Brien trainee and the European runners historically do well in the turf races at the Breeders’ Cup.
Our longshot selection(s) are two Chad Brown trainees as recent history shows he performs well in this race. Both #14 Last Waltz (20-1 ML) and #11 Pricedtoperfection (20-1 ML) are trained by Brown. If we were forced to pick one we would lean to Last Waltz.
Race 9 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff – one and an eight miles on the dirt for three-year-old and upward fillies and mares with a post time of 5:35PM EST.
The morning line favorite is Kentucky bred #7 Wedding Toast a five-year-old mare who is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and will be ridden by Jose Lezcano. She has won her past three graded stakes races at Belmont Park, but finished fourth here in the Madison Stakes (Gr. 1) here at Keeneland in April.
Our selection, #1 I’m a Chatterbox (6-1 ML) is also our longshot selection. While we do not like the inside post position, this three-year-old filly has missed the board only once in her career and has shown the versatility necessary to find a way to win. Florent Geroux will be in the irons for trainer Larry Jones on Friday.
Keep an eye out for the defending champ of this race, #11 Untapable (5-1 ML). This Steve Asmussen trainee has only one win during the 2015 campaign, but was dominant last year as a three-year-old. She appears to have lost a step, or just the desire to win this year, but she hasn’t missed the board yet during 2015.