Preview and Picks for the 36th Annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships

by Terri Bey

On November 1-2, 2019, Santa Anita Racetrack will be hosting the 36th annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The Breeders’ Cup World Championships are the equivalent of the Super Bowl, or the just completed World Series for horse racing, where thoroughbreds come from all over the world to compete for championships in all different categories. Races will be run on turf and on dirt surfaces, and will be run in sprint races and in races up to a mile and a half. NBCSN and NBC will be showing the races live with over 10 hours of live coverage. Viewers can catch coverage on TVG as well. Racing fans like myself wait all year for this event and come from all over to attend. Next year, the event comes to Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, KY where I live and I can’t wait to attend. I went in 2015, when Keeneland first hosted the event, when 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah just obliterated that field in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and had so much fun.

In this blog, I will be giving a preview of each race and giving my top three horses and a long shot special, along with the horse I think will win. I am also going to add a little twist to this. I am also going to add which horse I WANT to win. If I don’t have a preference as to who wins, I will say so. I hope that you will enjoy this blog. This is one of my favorite blogs to do, as horse racing is my favorite sport. Feedback is welcome and encouraged.

Day 1 of the 36th Annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships:

  • Date: November 1, 2019
  • Track: Santa Anita Racetrack
  • Network: NBCSN
  • Time: 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT

Post Time: 4:12 PM EDT

Image: Breeders Cup Twitter @BreedersCup

We are starting with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. I am not familiar with a lot of these horses, so this will be a guess. It is going to be hard to go against the Wesley Ward horses, Kimari and Four Wheel Drive. Chimney Rock looked like he had won the Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland, but Kimari came from last to first to run him and the rest of the horses down. The Ward trained Cambria has won all three of her races, but they have been at Presque Isle Downs and Kentucky Downs.

  • PICKS:
  • Top Three: Four Wheel Drive, Kimari, Chimney Rock
  • Long Shot Special: Cambria
  • Who I want to win: No favorite.
  • Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf: Kimari

The next race will be the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America.

Post Time: 4:52 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

Again, I am going to make a couple of guesses here. There are a few horses I like, just on instinct. I know Chad Brown has Structor, and I should know better than to try to beat Mr. Brown, especially on turf, but Christophe Clement is no slouch on the turf, and I think he is due for his first Breeders’ Cup victory with , Decorated Invader, a son of Declaration of War, who also has another son running named Peace Achieved, who Mark Casse trains. Aidan O’Brien trains the favorite, Arizona. Mr. O’Brien won this race in 2017 with Mendelssohn, who now stands stud at Ashford Stud in Versailles, KY. If you are looking for a long shot, and are a fan of the film, “Goodfellas,” the horse for you is the Peter Miller trained Billy Batts. I wonder if he will tell the other horses to “go home and get their bleeping shineboxes.” if he wins.

  • PICKS:
  • Top Three: Peace Achieved, Structor, Decorated Invador
  • Long Shot Special: Billy Batts
  • Who I want to win: Billy Batts or either of the two horses sired by Declaration of War.
  • Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America: Peace Achieved

The next race will be the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filles.

Post Time: 5:32 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

There are a few horses that could win this race, but the ones I like are Bast, trained by Bob Baffert, the Doug O’Neill trained Lazy Daisy, who is sired by miracle horse Paynter, and Wicked Whisper, trained by Steven Asmussen. Bast has been training well, and has been sensational in her preps for the Juvenile Fillies. I thought Lazy Daisy was very impressive in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs, and I think she moves forward. Wicked Whisper is undefeated in two starts, including the Frizette Stakes. I really like the daughter of Liam’s Map here.

  • PICKS:
  • Top Three: Bast, Lazy Daisy, Wicked Whisper
  • Long Shot Special: Two Sixty
  • Who I want to win: Lazy Daisy or Bast
  • Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filles: Bast

The next race will be the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Post Time: 6:12 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

Well, this is another race that I am going to try to analyze. The race favorite appears to be Albigna (IRE), trained by Mrs. John Harrington. Albigna has won 3 out of 4 starts. Her last win was the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches at Longchamp. Another favorite is Sweet Melania, trained by Todd Pletcher. Sweet Melania has been in the money in all 5 of her starts and she won the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland, last time out. It is tough to overlook another Chad Brown entry in Selflessly, who won the Miss Grillo Stakes back in late September, last time out. Both Selflessly and Sweet Melania drew poorly for their running styles. My picks here are going to be guesses. One of the other Euros, such as Daahyeh or the Aidan O’Brien trained Tango could put the upset, if the favorites fail to fire.

  • PICKS
  • Top Three: Sweet Melania, Tango, Selflessly
  • Long Shot Special: Etoile
  • Who I want to win: Don’t care.
  • Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf: Selflessly

The next race will be the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Post Time: 7:03 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

I should start by saying that unfortunately, #9 Maxfield has been scratched due to some injury to his right front leg. It is NOT SERIOUS. I am glad to see that the connections put the horse first. I do hope that Maxfield gets better soon. I feel badly for the horse and his connections as this is a big moment and I thought that he had a huge shot at this race, but as we racing fans know, the horse’s health comes first, and even though we are disappointed when they can’t perform due to health reasons, we fans understand and are supportive. I just wish fans of HUMAN athletes were as understanding when their HUMAN athletes or celebrities can’t perform due to health reasons.

Alright, I will get off the soapbox, and continue the analysis. This is a race where a couple of horses could win this. Let’s start with the beautifully bred, but quirky favorite Eight Rings. He is trained by Bob Baffert, and recently won the American Pharoah Stakes by six lengths. Eight Rings is sired by 2003 Belmont Winner Empire Maker out of an Arch mare named Purely Hot. Eight Rings is also very quirky, as he threw his then jockey Drayden Van Dyke in the Del Mar Futurity. Eight Rings has a new jockey in John Velasquez, who rode the horse to victory in the American Phoroah, and wears blinkers. I expect him to be in the mix for this race. The Dale Romans trained Dennis’ Moment is another horse that I like to win this race. Dennis’ Moment made a very nice move in a stalking position in the Iriquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, last time. He held off a late charging Scabbard in that race, who had some trouble trying to get through on the rail. If a fast pace develops in the race and falls apart, I think Scabbard could possibly make some noise. I would definitely use him in your exotic wager. Storm the Court has already tangled with Eight Rings. However, he has a good record at Santa Anita and could surprise.

  • PICKS”
  • Top Three: Eight Rings, Dennis’ Moment, Scabbard
  • Who I want to win: Eight Rings or Dennis’ Moment
  • Winner of the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: Eight Rings

Day 2 of the 36th Annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships:

  • Date: November 2, 2019
  • Track: Santa Anita Racetrack
  • Network (First 8 BC Races): NBCSN
  • Network (BC Classic): NBC
  • Time (First 8 BC Races): 3:30 – 8:00 p.m. EDT
  • Time (BC Classic) : 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. EDT

Post Time: 2:55 PM EDT Note: Per Breederscup.com, it says coverage starts at 3:30pm EST on NBCSN. I would advise if you have that channel to turn it on early or check TVG, or if you have a Twinspires account like I do, go to that.

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

Breeders’ Cup Saturday kicks off with the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. This field is jammed pack with some excellent filly sprinters. Even though she drew poorly, I still like the favorite, Covfefe. The daughter of Into Mischief has been sensational both at Keeneland and at Churchill Downs. I have been fortunate to have seen her race at Keeneland. She is something special. The one hole is not exactly where I’d want her to be, but I think Joel Rosario will be able to ration out her speed. Come Dancing, Bellafina and Spiced Perfection will be Covfefe’s main challengers, and I like any of them to hit the board.

The next race will be the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Post Time:  3:33 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

Can Stormy Liberal find his form? How about Om, one of only two horses to ever defeat American Pharoah? The horse that I like is Pure Sensation, trained by Christophe Clement. Other than that, I really don’t have much of an opinion on this race.

Note: The above image does NOT include #s 13 and 14, so here is a link to the entire field. https://www.breederscup.com/races/turf-sprint

  • PICKS:
  • Top Three: Pure Sensation, Om, Stormy Liberal
  • Long Shot Special: Girls Know Best
  • Who I want to win: Pure Sensation
  • Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint: Pure Sensation

The next race will be the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Post Time: 4:10 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

There are a few horses that I like in this race. The favorite is obviously the Richard Mandella trained Omaha Beach, who has had a very up and down year, to say the least. He was scratched from the Kentucky Derby as the favorite, because of a trapped epiglottis. He took a longer than usual time to recover. He returned to the races with a victory in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes and is entered in this race. Another horse that I like is Improbable, the Baffert trainee. Mr. Money last finished second in the Pennsylvania Derby, cuts back to a mile. I like his chances here.

  • PICKS:
  • Top Three: Omaha Beach, Mr. Money, Improbable
  • Long Shot Special: Giant Expectations
  • Who I want to win: Omaha Beach
  • Winner of the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile: Omaha Beach

The next race will be the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Post Time: 4:54 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

First of all, THAIS has been scratched from this race, per Breederscup.com. I feel badly for the connections, and hope she is going to be okay.

Now, to the race, the horse to beat in this race is trained by, you guessed it, Chad Brown. Her name is Sistercharlie (IRE) and she has been sensational. She has won all three of her starts this year, albeit on the East Coast. Chad Brown has done a great job with her. The only other challengers I see are Vasilika and the Aidan O’Brien horse, Fleeting. I recommend Mirth as your long shot special.

  • PICKS:
  • Top Three: Fleeting, Vasilika, Sistercharlie
  • Long Shot Special: Mirth
  • Who I want to win: Sistercharlie
  • Winner of the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf: Sistercharlie

5:36 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

This race is Mitole’s to lose. He is no doubt the best sprinter in the field. Unless he has a bad start, I think he is the winner. Other horses who might have a shot are Shancelot, Imperial Hint and Catalina Cruiser. I do think Catalina Cruiser and Shancelot have the best chances to put the upset, as they have experience over the Santa Anita track. Imperial Hint did beat Mitole in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap this year as well. My long shots are either Firenze Fire or Whitmore, if either can return to previous form.

  • PICKS:
  • Top Three: Mitole, Imperial Hint, Catalina Cruiser
  • Long Shot Special: Whitmore
  • Who I want to win: Mitole
  • Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint: Mitole

The next race will be the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Post Time: 6:20 PM EDT

Image: Breeders Cup Twitter

Again, we have Uni (GB), another favorite trained by Chad Brown. What else is new? The next thing we will know that water is wet. Seriously though, I think this race will come down between Uni and the filly Got Stormy, who is facing males in this race. Other than another favorite named Circus Maximus (IRE), trained by Aidan O’Brien, I see mostly long shots, including Bolo who finished 10th in the City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita last time out. This race should be interesting, to say the least.

  • PICKS:
  • Top Three: Get Stormy, Uni, Circus Maximus
  • Long Shot Special: Without Parole
  • Who I want to win: Get Stormy
  • Winner of the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile: Uni

The next race will be the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Post Time: 7:00 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

Just like the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, this is another race where you can make a case for a few horses. I want to add that in my opinion, this race has the best field as far as talent from top to bottom. With the exception of maybe a couple of horses, it wouldn’t surprise me if any of them won it, given their talent. If you want some value and want to try to beat the heavy favorite Midnight Bisou, I would go with Ollie’s Candy as your long shot special. She has run well at Santa Anita, and she has a great backstory ( https://www.drf.com/news/ollies-candy-breeders-cup-distaff-surprise-package-plain-brown-wrapper?type= ) . Dunbar Road is also high on my list of possible winners, being that she won the Alabama and Mother Goose Stakes. Can she win coming to the West Coast? Paradise Woods runs well at Santa Anita and was last seen winning the Zenatta Stakes last time out. I would include her in your exotics. Street Band won the Cotillion at Parx Racing last time out. If there is a fast pace up front, I think she may come flying at the end.

Of course, there is Horse of the Year candidate and the heavily favored Midnight Bisou. I admit I am a huge fan of this mare. She will be sold after this race at the November Fasig-Tipton Sales in Lexington, KY. She is undefeated in 7 starts this year. Should she win on Saturday, she will be in the running for Horse of the Year.

  • PICKS
  • Top Three: Midnight Bisou, Dunbar Road, Paradise Woods
  • Long Shot Special: Ollie’s Candy
  • Who I want to win: Midnight Bisou
  • Winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff: Midnight Bisou

The next race will be the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Post Time: 7:40 PM EDT

Image: Breeders’ Cup Twitter

I don’t know how anyone can go against the favorite Bricks and Mortar. This will be his last race before he starts stud duty in Japan. It has been a pleasure to watch this horse run, and he will be missed. Running him at 1 1/2 miles after a layoff will be a challenge, but Chad Brown will have him ready. The other two horses that I like in here are the other favorite, Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) and Old Persian (GB). Should Bricks and Mortar win this race, I think he would be named Horse of the Year, should Midnight Bisou lose the Distaff. It is kind of sad that for one horse to have a better chance of winning an end of the year award, another has to lose, but that is how it goes sometimes. Good luck to all and safe trip, regardless.

  • PICKS
  • Top Three: Bricks and Morter, Anthony Van Dyck, Old Persian
  • Long Shot Special: Acclimate
  • Who I want to win: Bricks and Mortar
  • Winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf: Bricks and Mortar

Finally, we will discuss the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Post Time: 8:44 PM EDT on NBC. This is the ONLY Breeders” Cup that will be on NBC.

Image: Breeders Cup’ Twitter

Finally, we are at the grand finale of the 36th annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the Breeders’ Cup Classic. In years past, this race has decided the coveted title of the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. However, in recent past, winners of this race have not won Horse of the Year for various reasons such as last year’s winner, Accelerate (Justify‘s Triple Crown win), the 2008 winner Raven’s Pass (Curlin had a better overall year), and most notably the 2010 winner Blame (a makeup HOY award for Zenyatta). I don’t think this year’s race will determine Horse of the Year either, unless the top candidates (Bricks and Mortar and Midnight Bisou) both lose their races. However, should one of the 3YOs win it, I think this race could help determine the Outstanding 3YO contest.

There are a few horses in in here, who I think have a real shot to win this race. Code of Honor, who was placed second in the 2019 Kentucky Derby and won the Travers Stakes has a real shot to win this. He also was placed first in the Jockey Gold Cup as Vino Rosso was disqualified from first. Vino Rosso also has a great shot in here, and has won the Gold Cup at this very track. Should he run his race, even with that #10 position, I think he may be the horse to beat. Higher Power could be one to watch. He finished third in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita, despite starting poorly. I love McKenzie, who is trained by Bob Baffert. As much as I love him, I would advise bettors to put him in their exotics, but I don’t think he is a mile and a quarter horse. I think he might hit the board, but that is all. Elate has a chance to become the second female horse to win the Classic since Zenyatta. I love this filly, and outside of Vino Rosso and Code of Honor, this field is just so so. I think she has a shot.

  • PICKS
  • Top Three: Vino Rosso, Elate, Code of Honor
  • Long Shot Special: Mongolian Groom
  • Who I want to win: Elate and Vino Rosso
  • Winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic: Vino Rosso

Well, that wraps up my blog. I hope you enjoyed it. I want to emphasized that these picks are just my opinion. I am not a racing or betting expert by any means. If you are going to bet, please bet WITH your head and NOT OVER it. Good luck betting.

I also want to wish all the horses and their connections good luck, and I wish all the horses and jockeys a safe trip, no matter the results. Come back safely. I wish a safe and successful Breeders’ Cup for all involved.

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