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2024 Kentucky Oaks & Derby Central

Breeders' Cup weekend is upon us, and LBB Stables is providing our Partners and everyday racing fans race analysis to help with handicapping the BC races, and a Partner Pool to hopefully cash some tickets! While we're not participating as owners at this year's Breeders' Cup, it's a very important day for the the horse racing industry to showcase its top talent - both four-legged and two-legged. We're here to support it!

Breeders' Cup Friday Analysis

BC Juvenile Turf Sprint

Handicapper: Bill H.

Favorite BC Winner:  Spain

 

Selections: 11-9-3-1

What a race. Both American horses and horses from across the pond. It appears that the 1 and 2 both trained by George Weaver look great. With that said they both have to break or they could be in serious trouble  Johnny V on the 1 I’ll put into the mix but Irad on the 2 is a toss. Irad’s quick out of the gate abilities is average at best. Full disclosure I’d love to see Kelsey Danner and (#7) Shards win this race. She a good person. I love her as a trainer especially with 2YO horses who have a great sales work rating. Kelsey is happy to be here. Use in 3rd and 4th as a bomb. Not sure this one can get up at 5 furlongs. 

 

The (#11) Slider, Hector Berrios up has the gate speed to either go or just sit off the inside speed and get the first jump to the wire.  Another 2YO who had an impressive sales work. 

#(9) Amidst Waves gets Flavin up and who knows the Santa Anita turf better than Flavin. George Weaver is on  with turf horses. Flavin will have this one in good position for the run to the wire. 

(#3) Tiger Belle Christian Demuro up. I feel this Euro filly has the speed to to be in this race. The other Euro’s would benefit if this was 6 Furlongs but it isn’t. Look for this filly to be in the mix though our the race. 

(#1) Crimson Advocate, Johnny V up, G. Weaver . If Johnny V can’t out break the #3 then he sits the rail trip and waits for it to open up. Ascot winner with Johnny V up has to be on the ticket. 

(#4) Big Evs I’m hearing spiked a temperature. If that’s the case you know what to do. 

 

$10 Win:  1

$10 Exacta Box: 1/7

$5 Exactas:  1 with 2/3/7/12

$50 Wager

BC Juvenile Fillies Dirt

Handicapper: Mike C. aka Mr. C.

Favorite BC Winner:  Songbird (2015)

 

Selections: 1-7-12-2-3

(#7) Tamara.  Tamara. Tamara. Everyone is talking about her. Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella.  Hall of Famer Mike Smith, the winningest jockey in BC history, rides her.  Her Dam is the great Hall of Famer Beholder, who won two BC races, including this one in 2012;  Tamara is undefeated in two starts.  And she was visually impressive in both of those races. In her last start she earned the highest Beyer Speed Figure in the field,  But both of her races were one turn sprints while many of her opponents have successfully raced around two turns.  She will be a very short price at post time.  My selection is (#1) Candied.  This Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez filly is also undefeated.  Her win in the 1 1/16 mile Alcibiades at Keeneland was visually impressive too.  She raced mid pack, seemed to pause briefly while in traffic, and then made a strong 4 or 5 wide move on the far turn to gain the lead at the top of the stretch. Granted she failed to change to the proper lead in the stretch but was very game all the way to the wire.  And that effort gave her the second highest Beyer in today’s race.  And that was at two turns.  Others to consider are Bill Mott’s daughter of Justify (#12) Just F Y I, stretch-out (#2) Jody’s Pride and strong closer, but still a maiden, (#3) Scalable.

 

$10 Win:  1

$10 Exacta Box: 1/7

$5 Exactas:  1 with 2/3/7/12

$50 Wager

BC Juvenile Fillies Turf

Handicapper: Rob V.

Favorite BC Winner:  Bayern

 

Selections: 9-11-12-6

This is a fascinating encounter with some high profile American connections and some interesting European contenders from maybe not the most high profile groups you would expect. My top selection in this race will be #9 Carla’s Way who comes into this race with a very nice prep on the back of an impressive Timeform rating. She also seems to have a very nice fluid stride which seems to indicate to me that the distance should not be a challenge. I take a more negative opinion of the shortest Euro on the money line in #6 Porta Fortuna who looks much more like a 6 furlong runner than anything else. Distance seems a real question mark in my opinion so will be leaving her completely off the ticket. Of the American contingent, I have differing opinions on the Devaux/Brown runners. #12 Hard to Justify comes off a perfect trip Miss Grillo with #11 She Feels Pretty really showing a nice turn of foot in the Natalma.

 

$7 exacta box 9-11 ($14)

$1 triple 9.11 with 9.11 with all ($24)

$.50 triple 9.11 with all with 9.11 ($12)

$50 Wager

BC Juvenile 

Handicapper: Bill R.

Favorite BC Winner:  Squirtle Squirt

 

Selections: 6-10-1-4

 

The Breeders Cup Juvenile on Friday race 8 is no easy task. Longshots have won as these are babies. But I keyed in on #6 Locked. Reason why I like him is he came out of a key race at Keenland showing grit in getting up over The Wine Steward. There is enough pace to run at in Prince of Monaco, Muth, General Partner and Timberlake. Baffert has three in as well as Pletcher. Muth is 2 for 2 at Santa Anita and could easily win. But I like Lockeds pedigree and can get the distance just sitting off the pace. 

 

$20.00 win 6

$.50 tri key 6/1,2,3,4,8,10. 15.00

$.50 tri 1,2,3,4,8,10/6/1,2,3,4,8,10. 15.00

$ 50.00 Wager

BC Juvenile Turf

Handicapper: Rob W.

Favorite BC Winner:  Arrogate

 

Selections: 9-7-10

The key to betting success in the juvenile turf has been not to overthink it.  Nine of the ten last winners have been top three betting choices (only two favorites, however, and we are including Modern Games in spite of the California stewards' screw up that had the 2021 winner and heavy post-time betting favorite run as a non-wagering interest). Euro invaders have won six of the last ten--three each for Aidan O’Brien and Charlie Appleby. The four US-based winners have been spread among Chad Brown, Brian Lynch, Mike Maker and Wesley Ward.

 

We’ll go with Endlessly (#9) and Michael McCarthy to pull off a minor upset over the O’Brien contingent. Three wins from three starts (all at 2 1/4 lengths), and the last win was at today's distance at Santa Anita. Sire Oscar Performance, trained by Lynch, won this race at Santa Anita in 2016 (for Amerman Racing, who bred and own Endlessly).

 

Agate Road (#7) has won his last two on the turf, including G2 Pilgrim. He’s very much in the mix here for Pletcher and Irad (for Repole and St. Elias). Worthy play at 8-1 or higher.

 

Fulmineo (#10) has run well in two turf routes and can give a little heft to the superfecta payout. 

 

$25 win 9

$5 exacta 9-2

$5 exacta key box 9/2,7

$ 50.00 Wager

Breeders' Cup Saturday Analysis

BC Dirt Mile

Handicapper: John S.

Favorite BC Winner:  Cigar

 

Selections: 5-3-8

 

It will be no secret that the 2022 winner of this event Cody's wish will get all the attention by the TV talking heads and the betting public. Last year in Keenland she was coming off a short rest but not this year. Defending one's title on Breeders' Cup Day is very difficult so let's get some value. 

 

There is a ton of early speed in this nine-horse field so the pace should be honest up front. Johnny V should have #5 CHARGE IT in good position going into the first turn by using his good early tactical speed. Charge It IS a major threat with some race luck, a good final kick and Cody's Wish just me be a bit too far back as they turn for Home. Charge It will most likely be a nice price providing good value. My pick to win. 

 

There is nothing I can say here that hasn't already been said about #3 Cody's Wish. Godolphin bred, owned and Mott trained entry is the favorite to win and defend his title today as he should be. I say is a vulnerable favorite. 

 

#8 Shirl's Bee is a 2nd race since a layoff entry today (I love this angle) and gets major jock improvement with Saez. It is not unusual to see huge moves forward on Breeders Cup day and I can see this 3 year old with big move forward and major jump up in Beyer fig today. The works since last race indicate he is sitting on a big effort and is ready for the big time. 

 

$15.00 Win #5 CHARGE IT      $15.00

$ 2.00 Box exacta 3-5-7-8        $24.00

$  .50 Tri 3,5,7/3,5,7/2,3,5,7,8   $  9.00

$ 1.00 Daily Double 5,7/1     $  2.00

$50.00 Wager

BC F&M Turf

Handicapper: Chris T.

Favorite BC Winner:  Cigar

 

Selections: 11-1-5-2

 

If you’re trying to beat likely favorite #6 Inspiral, best not watch her last race, because you’ll struggle building a case against her. Can’t look much better as she flew home at odds on crushing that field. She’s a deserving favorite, but based on some of her other replays, I’m willing to bet she may lack some of that finishing kick with the extra two furlongs. My initial pick in here was loose on the lead #1 In Italian, and although I still see her getting a big piece, I’m looking elsewhere on top after the rail draw. #11 Lumiere Rock (Ire) with an outside stalking post should get the opportunity to play the hunter as opposed to the hunted. If you go back and watch her race against probable second choice #2 Warm Heart, she had a hard time getting out, but kicked on nicely with no shot to catch WH who got the jump that day.  Last time out LR was hunted and buried inside, but hung on gamely to finish 3rd behind French star Blue Rose Cen. She’s my top pick at ML of 20-1. I could go a lot of ways to round out tri’s and super’s, Lindy, Moira, Didia & McCullick, one I’ll use for sure is #5 Win Marilyn who gets away from the boys for the first time in a year, and will be coming fast if she can replicate that kick from the Hong Kong Vase.

 

$20 win #11

$5 EXB 1/11 ($10)

$1 Tri 11/2,4,5,7,9,10/1 ($6)

.20 cent  Super 11/1/2,4,5,7/all ($7.20)

.40 cent Super 11/1/5,7/5,7 (.80)

$50.00 Wager

BC F&M Sprint

Handicapper: Rob H. 

Favorite BC Winner:  Little Mike

 

Selections: 5-1-9-4

 

A very solid group of nine set to go to post for the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, with defending champion Goodnight Olive set to try and defend her crown from last year. The projected pace scenario looks to have #3 Eda, adding blinkers today for Bob Baffert, and #7 Society, fresh off two wire to wire romps at Charlestown and Ellis Park over the summer dueling for the lead with #9 Yuugiri, #4 Matareya and #1 Goodnight Olive not too far off the pace. The pace should be honest enough to allow for any horse to win if she is good enough. The obvious horse to beat is the defending champion, the aforementioned Goodnight Olive. While it did look like earlier in the summer she was tailing off slightly from her stellar form she had maintained throughout 2022, she ran a career best beyer last out in the Ballerina, in which she was kept closer to the pace but was no match for the eventual winner Echo Zulu, who unfortunately could not make this race due to injury. My concern with Goodnight Olive is the fact that she ran such a big race in defeat, during a meet which trainer Chad Brown wants his horses to obviously peak at. This has me looking for potential upsetters at 6-5, but she is squarely the horse to beat in here. The horse who I want no part of at a short number is the aforementioned Society. She is coming in off two easy wins in which she produced a 105 and 106 beyer, but I am a bit dubious of those numbers due to the fact that Ellis was incredibly speed favoring during it’s summer meet and Charlestown is a hard track to analyze due to the configuration of the racetrack. She might win, but I will not be using her in here. Finally, let’s get to my top selection, #5 Kirstenbosch. She was knocking heads with one of the leaders in the Distaff division, Adare Manor, going longer all summer before trainer John Sadler decided to cut her back as a sprinting closer earlier this late summer/early fall. While she will need to improve to win, she has won and run well over the Sanita Anita strip (2 wins, 7 ITM finishes lifetime) and I do think the extra half a furlong will only benefit her. Comes in with a scintillating work last Saturday, and looks to be ready to roll.

 

1$ Tri 5/1,9/ALL- $14

1$ Tri 1,9/5/ALL- $14

1$-Tri 5/ALL/1,9- $14

.50 Tri 1,9/ALL/5- $7

$50.00 Wager

BC Turf Mile

Handicapper: Mike H. 

Favorite BC Winner:  Pebbles, 1985 Breeders Cup Turf: “She’ll need racing room”

 

Selections: 14-3-20

 

I like to start by looking at the characteristics of horses that win these races. Out of 46 Graded
Stakes going 8f on the grass, the favorite wins 43% with a -0.02 ROI, with 72% of the winners
going off at under 5/1, so this isn’t the race to look for a price. There has been a negative rail
bias for posts 1-3. Further, winners tend to be able to run a relatively high middle-pace number
with no dropoff in late pace compared to early pace. In post-position order, my contenders in
this race are #3 Casa Creed, #10 Songline, and #14 Master of The Seas. I see a scenario with Casa Creed taking over at the top of the stretch, Master of The Seas coming mid-stretch, and Songline trying to get those two in the shadow of the wire. [Full transparency: I have Master of The Seas at 5/1 fixed odds.]


$40 DD 14 / 4
$10 DD 3 / 4

$50.00 Wager

BC Distaff

Handicapper: Joe T. 

Favorite BC Winner:  Beholder

 

Selections: 6-11-3-4

 

On paper, this might be one of the best betting races of the weekend. With the likes of Idiomatic, Randomized, and Adare Manor in the race there looks to be a good amount of early pace in the race. With Irad Ortiz aboard (#6) Search Results, we can expect him to try to sit more of a stalking trip behind the pace and should get first or second run on the early leaders. She already has a win at the distance (with Irad aboard) and a 2nd to Clariere - not too shabby. She'll show up on Saturday.  (#11) Le Da Vida is one that I've been looking forward to playing on BC day. Wish she drew a better post, but with her running style, she shouldn't lose too much ground heading into the first turn, especially with the long run into it. Her two best races are at this distance, and her jockey, Vincent Cheminaud, will be patient and make one late run. She's competitive in all of her races, and against most of these. she'll be running late and hopefully into the exotics at a big price. (#3) Pretty Mischievous is one that should get a great trip, saving ground behind the pace. She's going to have to improve a bit to win this race, but she might be the one to make the very first run on the leaders, and one to catch late. 

$.50 Triple - 3,4,6,7,8/11/ALL

$.50 Triple - 11/3,4,6,7,8,/ALL

$45 Wager

BC Turf

Handicapper: Mike F. 

Favorite BC Winner:  Malathaat

 

Selections: 13-2-4-8

 

When you look at this race the international horses look like a very strong group and very well could run 1-2-3 BUT I do think 2 American horses have a chance of winning this race. My top pick is going to be (13)War Like Goddess. I absolutely loved her last race in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Oct 7. She was able to close from sixth in a field of eight to win by an eye-catching 4 1/2 lengths. Junior Alvarado stays on board for this race which I believe is a huge upgrade for War Like Goddess, 3rd in this race last year with a troubled trip. I believe the outside post this year will help her trip against this tough group. (2)Onesto comes in with good form and was 3rd in the Arc, which has been a key prep for this BC race. He should be able to sit 7th or 8th and be able to use his French style kick down the center of the track at a nice price. 

(4) Bolshoi Ballet is coming off of a career best 107 Beyer. In his rail trip last out he got to the outside and put the competition away to win by 4 1/2. Turf course was yielding and it should be firm on Saturday but I believe this horse will improve in his second start in the U.S. Jonny V should be able to position this horse on the lead or sit back and see how the race plays out. (8)Up to the Mark ran well first off his lay off at Keeneland. He was able to deal with some traffic trouble last out but was able to get up in time for the win. Pletcher chose this 1 1/2 race over the Mile where UTTM would be the favorite. If he can improve 2nd off the layoff I think he very well could hit the board for the Pletcher barn.

 

Wager:

$15 Win/Place #13 War Like Goddess

$0.50 Trifecta Box 2-4-8-13

BC Classic

Handicapper: Nik L.

Favorite BC Winner:  Concern

 

Selections: 2-13-8-10

The complexion of the race has certainly changed with the unfortunate scratch of Arcangelo. In my mind, that scratch opens up the race big time! Overall, I'm expecting there to be a very good amount of early pace in here with Arabian Knight and Saudi Crown throwing down, with some potential company from a couple of others. That leads me to look for a runner, in form, that might get first run on them into the stretch which leads to my top pick of #2 Zandon. He's in great form after a solid win in the Woodward. Frankie should be able to save good ground and make one run at them. The #13 Proxy will certainly be coming late. With his outside post, and Rosario aboard, you'd expect this one to just take back at the start and use the long stretch to get some good early position. If there's one thing we know Rosario does well, it's close strongly, so this one suits him well. By all accounts, #8 Ushba Tesoro has settled into California nicely and will have a good showing of himself. I can't see him winning, but think he'll make a respectable showing. The two Pletcher runners will be good odds, and worth using in exotics, but I'll focus more on the #10 Dreamlike as an improving 3yo to show up late. 

 

Wager:

$5 Exacta Box 2/8,10,11,12,13

$50 Wager

BC Turf Sprint

Handicapper: Sean & Rocky G. 

Favorite BC Winner:  Zenyatta & Arazi

 

Selections: 10-5-1

 

In a race as wide open as this year’s Turf Sprint, we tried to find ways to narrow down the field. We looked at a few trends to help make our selections. Since 2008, there have been 7 Breeders Cups held at Santa Anita. In 6 of those 7 editions, the winner of the Turf Sprint was a California-based horse. Second, we thought the pace would be hotly contested between #5 Live in the Dream, #7 Nobals, and #3 Caravel – opening the door for a closer. In the current Santa Anita meet, deep closers have won 4 of the last 7 turf sprints at Santa Anita at 5 furlongs with the rails down. So let’s summarize: we want a California-based, deep closer. That lands us on the #10 Motorious as our top selection. Motorious should close with a fury, and if anyone can navigate a trip on a California track, it’s Flavien Prat who spent much of his American career in Southern California. We see #5 Live in the Dream setting the pace and being able to hang on to 2nd place on the cut back to 5 furlongs. 

$13 Win: 10

$1 Exacta Box: 1,5,10

$2 Exacta: 10 / 1,5

$2 Exacta 1,5 / 10

$0.50 TRI: 1,5,10 / 1,5,10 / 1,2,3,5,6,10,12

$50 Wager

BC Sprint

Handicapper: Jess T.

Favorite BC Winner:  Better Talk Now

 

Selections: 9-8-2-7

 

This is a wide open race to close out the Breeders' Cup, and while (#8) Elite Power deserves to be favored, but 9-5 is just a bit too short for me on a horse who lost his last prep and might be better second off the layoff. Though he's beaten (#9) Gunite both times they met at this distance, I wouldn't be surprised if the younger Gunite is coming into his own at the end of his four-year-old season, and will try to key some plays around him at a more attractive 4-1 morning line price. The mile was probably too far for this horse, who will have the luxury of sitting just off (#7) Speed Boat Beach from his outside draw. Though lightly raced, Speed Boat Beach has been excellent in every start except last year's Juvenile Turf Sprint, and Baffert knows how to win this race. For a sprint race, there doesn't look to be any other need-the-lead types, so I think he'll get the trip he wants on the front, though he'll face some pressure (as he has in most of his races). You have to respect (#6) The Chosen Vron, who's put together an 8-race win streak, but most of those were against Cal-breds, and his best Beyer figures have come while going a bit longer than this. (#2) Dr. Schivel won this race in 2021, but seems to be as good as ever at age five if that victory in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship is anything to go on. 

$10 Win - 9

$1 Exacta - 9/2-6-7-8 ($4)

$1 Exacta - 2-6-7-8/9 ($4)

$.50 Tri - 9/2-6-7-8/ALL ($14)

$.50 Tri - 2-6-7-8/9/ALL ($14)

$46 Wager

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