SPORTS BY DANNY BREWER
The Breeders’ Cup is the greatest two days in Thoroughbred racing…period. As far as competition is concerned, it is like a heavyweight title tournament. Dempsey, Marciano, Louis, Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Holmes, Tyson, Lewis, Holyfield, and then some. The best of the best from all over the world come together to decide who is tops in their respective division. With $31 million in total purse money the top-flight athletes are plentiful and often times the payouts are as well. Keeneland Race Course in the heart of horse country will host this 37th running. Considering that, let’s provide a brief examination of each race and throw out a bomb or two.
JUVENILE TURF SPRINT… With a 14 horse field of geeked up two year olds, this could be a quick one over that Kentucky Bluegrass. Perennial turf titan Wesley Ward has the morning line favorite in Golden Pal (8-5), but the far outside post might present a challenge. Our horse that might muddy the water here is the Mark Casse trained Dirty Dangle at a tidy 20-1
JUVENILE TURF… Run at one mile, this may be as wide open as any race in the entire event. The morning line favorite is Mutasaabeq at 5-1 and this 14 horse field is very balanced. That means the exotics in this one could pay HUGE! A couple to watch could be Ebeko (20-1) and Abarta (12-1)…Cha-Ching!!!
JUVENILE FILLIES… Considered a setup for the road that leads to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks, this field is small comparatively speaking (7 entrants) but is uber talented. Bob Baffert trained Princess Noor (9-5 morning line) is the early favorite but this is certainly not a gimme. The Dale Romans trained Girl Daddy is one fast filly that might just upset the apple cart at 6-1.
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF… Another 14 horse field means another potential huge payout. Brad Cox saddles the morning line favorite in Aunt Pearl (3-1) but how about a Chad Brown trained filly, Editor At Large that’s 12-1 on the morning line? Irish import Mother Earth is 20-1 for trainer Aidan O’Brien….hmmmmm.
JUVENILE… Only twice has the winner of this race went on to win the Kentucky Derby (Street Sense 2006, Nyquist 2015) but we stil look at it as an important piece to the Derby puzzle. With 14 freshman lining up it will be a chance to see who is measuring up early. Jackie’s Warrior is a strong 7-5 morning line favorite, but last year Storm the Court shook up the world at odds of 45-1. Some potential earth movers here are King Fury (15-1) and Classier (15-1)
FILLY AND MARE SPRINT… In what could be a real speed duel the youth of Gamine (7-5) is matched against the courage of Serengeti Empress (3-1). Either could lead every step of the 7 furlongs. If the pace is too hot, Sally’s Curlin could come from the clouds at early odds of 20-1.
DIRT MILE… A super loaded 12 horse field sees Complexity as the 2-1 morning line favorite, but Art Collector (6-1), Mr. Freeze (6-1) and Knicks Go (7-2) all have nice wins over this track. Mr. Money (20-1) and Rushie (20-1) are bombers that could easily drop one here. Might be a close your eyes and point race.
MILE… A turf race extraordinaire, this one usually attracts some of the best from across the pond. Ivar is coming in off a win over this turf course and is 4-1 on the morning line but Chad Brown trained female Uni should deservedly vie for favoritism. Irish import Circus Maximus may be worth a look at 12-1.
FILLY AND MARE TURF… With 14 females lining up, this could be a real cat fight. Rushing Fall has been magnificent at Keeneland and is 5-2 on the morning line. Trainer Chad Brown has her along with prime timers Sistercharlie and Nay Lady Nay. Harvey’s Little Goil (20-1) and Lady Prancelot (30-1) are some long shots that could certainly provide a day-making ticket.
TURF… A race that has featured some of the best European horses, this one is no different. Six of the ten entrants are from the old world with Magical as the 5-2 morning line favorite. Any one of the American entrants, Arklow (5-1), United (8-1), Red King (20-1), or Channel Maker (5-1) could slip in and steal the cheese.
TURF SPRINT… These 5 ½ furlong races are some of the most exciting in the sport. This mad dash over the Keeneland grass is packed with 14 speedsters. Fantastic female Got Stormy (7-2) is the morning line favorite, but this one could set up for a shocker. Three time defending champ trainer Peter Miller has Texas Wedge at 30-1 and California based Wildman Jack is 15-1.
SPRINT… This race could feature another photo finish with fourteen runners and plenty of talent. Vekoma is the morning line favorite at 3-1 but CZ Rocket is at 7-2 and coming in with a five race win streak. Old man Whitmore (15-1) might be worth a play and Collusion Illusion (20-1) is another that could be there.
DISTAFF… A race that usually features the top dirt females, Swiss Skydiver (2-1) and Monomoy Girl (8-5) have both earned some major accolades in their careers. This could be a match race but horses like Ollie’s Candy (10-1) and Ce Ce (12-1) may have something to say about that.
CLASSIC… A mile and a quarter over the main track with $6 million on the line.. Bob Baffert has his three amigos poised to strike as Improbable (5-2), Maximum Security (7-2) and Authentic (6-1) are imposing. But don’t forget about Tiz The Law, By My Standards (10-1) and Tom’s d’Etat (6-1). This is a VERY competitive nine horse field.