Breeders Cup 2016: Results

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

$2 Win: 1- Lancaster Bomber
$1 Exacta Box: 1- Lancaster Bomber / 2- Keep Quiet / 11- Good Samaritan
$2 W/P/S: 2- Keep Quiet

Results:
1st: 10- Oscar Performance
2nd: 1- Lancaster Bomber
3rd: 11- Good Samaritan
Payoff: $0

Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

$2 Win: 1- Vyjack
$1 Exacta Box: 1- Vyjack / 3- Dortmund / 8- Tamarkuz
$2 W/P/S: 8- Tamarkuz

Results:
1st – 8- Tamarkuz
2nd – 9- Gun Runner
3rd – 5- Accelerate
Payoff: $43.20

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

$2 Win: 14- La Coronel
$1 Exacta Box: 4- Spain Burg / 13- Roly Poly / 14- La Coronel
$2 W/P/S: 2- Lull
Results:
1st: 3- New Money Honey
2nd: 6- Coasted
3rd: 9- Cavale Doree
Payoff: $0

Breeders’ Cup Distaff

$2 Win: 8- Beholder
$1 Exacta Box: 1- Songbird / 5- Stellar Wind / 8- Beholder
$2 W/P/S: 6- Forever Unbridled
Results:
1st: 8- Beholder
2nd: 1- Songbird
3rd: 6- Forever Unbridled
Payoff: $25.60

Breeders Cup Friday Total Investment: $56
Breeders Cup Friday Total Payoff: $68.80
Breeders Cup Friday ROI: +22.8%

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

$2 Win: 2- With Honors
$1 Exacta Box: 9- Union Strike / 10- Noted And Quoted / 11- Daddys Lil Darling
$2 W/P/S: 11- Daddys Lil Darling

Results:
1st: 6- Champagne Room
2nd: 3- Valdorna
3rd: 12- American Gal
Payoff: $0

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf

$2 Win: 8- Lady Eli
$1 Exacta Box: 3- Seventh Heaven / 7- Sentiero Italia / 8- Lady Eli
$2 W/P/S: 7- Sentiero Italia

Results:
1st: 11- Queen’s Trust
2nd: 8- Lady Eli
3rd: 4- Avenge
Payoff: $0

Breeders Cup Sprint

$2 Win: 5- A.P. Indian
$1 Exacta Box: 5- A.P. Indian / 7- Masochistic / 9- Limousine Liberal
$2 W/P/S: 9- Limousine Liberal

Results:
1st: 2- Drefong
2nd: 7- Masochistic
3rd: 1- Mind Your Biscuits
Payoff: $0

Breeders Cup Turf Sprint

$2 Win: 12- Om
$1 Exacta Box: 2- Obviously / 12- Om / 13- Holy Lute
$2 W/P/S: 16- Green Mask

Results:
1st: 2- Obviously
2nd: 12- Om
3rd: 1- Pure Sensation
Payoff: $29.10

Breeders Cup Juvenile

$2 Win: 5- Classic Empire
$1 Exacta Box: 5- Classic Empire / 10- Not This Time / 11- Looking at Lee
$2 W/P/S: 11- Looking at Lee

Results:
1st: 5- Classic Empire
2nd: 10- Not This Time
3rd: 9- Practical Joke
Payoff: $30.70

Breeders Cup Turf

$2 Win: 4- Flintshire
$1 Exacta Box: 4- Flintshire / 10- Found / 12- Highland Reel
$2 W/P/S: 2- Da Big Hoss

Results:
1st: 12- Highland Reel
2nd: 4- Flintshire
3rd: 10- Found
Payoff: $14.40

Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

$2 Win: 2- Haveyougoneaway
$1 Exacta Box: 2- Haveyougoneaway / 7- Gloryzapper / 8- Carina Mia
$2 W/P/S: 7- Gloryzapper

Results:
1st: 12- Finest City
2nd: 10- Wavell Avenue
3rd: 9- Paulassilverlining
Payoff: $0

Breeders Cup Mile

$2 Win: 8- Tepin
$1 Exacta Box: 2- Alice Springs / 8- Tepin / 9- Ironicus
$2 W/P/S: 4- Miss Temple City

Results:
1st: 5- Tourist
2nd: 8- Tepin
3rd: 13- Midnight Storm
Payoff: $0

Breeders Cup Classic

$2 Win: 4- California Chrome
$1 Exacta Box: 4- California Chrome / 9- Hoppertunity / 10- Arrogate
$2 W/P/S: 6- Melatonin

Results:
1st: 10- Arrogate
2nd: 4- California Chrome
3rd: 3- Keen Ice
Payoff: $5.00

Breeders Cup Saturday Total Investment: $126
Breeders Cup Saturday Total Payoff: $79.2
Breeders Cup Saturday ROI: – 37%

Breeders Cup Total Investment: $182
Breeders Cup Total Payoff: $148
Breeders Cup ROI: – 18.6%

Breeders Cup 2016: Saturday Selections

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

$2 Win: 2- With Honors
$1 Exacta Box: 9- Union Strike / 10- Noted And Quoted / 11- Daddys Lil Darling
$2 W/P/S: 11- Daddys Lil Darling

This might seem a bit odd, but hear me out – I think Daddys Lil Darling is the most likely winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies this year. She will have a reasonable pace to run at and was, in my opinion, the best horse in the Alcibiades. She passed the winner Dancing Rags with ease after the wire and continued to gallop out strongly, and I think her proven ability to overcome trouble, as she did in her maiden victory, will prove useful here. That said, Noted and Quoted is a deserving morning line favorite. She was game in defeating With Honors in her first try routing in the Chandelier. But if you like Noted and Quoted, you have to like With Honors as well, as she ran equally well in what was her first start on a dirt track. The difference in prices will likely be significant, and I can’t let With Honors beat me, so the $2 win pick on her is a bit of a saver just in case. I think Union Strike, being by Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, will relish the extra distance, and will improve off of an impressive score in the Del Mar Debutante. This race is highly competitive, and I honestly could make a case for ten of the twelve entrants in here, but I do feel very good about Daddys Lil Darling running big at a very fair price.

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf

$2 Win: 8- Lady Eli
$1 Exacta Box: 3- Seventh Heaven / 7- Sentiero Italia / 8- Lady Eli
$2 W/P/S: 7- Sentiero Italia

I feel odd picking Lady Eli on top, as she is by and far the sentimental choice of the year for me in this spot and I pride myself on being able to handicap objectively, especially when the horse in question is likely to be favored. However, I really couldn’t get past her. On Beyer figures, she is better than ever, and she will be ready to roll in this third race off the layoff. I’ve always been a huge believer that this horse is very special, and between her natural talent, her versatility, and the fact that she seems to be on the improve at age four, I couldn’t pick against her.

I do think that Seventh Heaven is the obvious European threat. A multiple G1 winner overseas, she’s a daughter of Galileo cutting back to 1 1/4, which will be the first time since her maiden win that she went shorter than 1 1/2 miles. This is her second race off of a two-month break, and Aiden O’Brien will have her ready for her best race here. She is the biggest threat to Lady Eli.

Sentiero Italia is one of the most consistent horses in the race, and she always brings her game. She has chased Lady Eli home in her last two races, and was fourth in this race last year as a three-year-old. She will be in a great stalking position behind Catch a Glimpse and Avenge, and I would be very surprised if she didn’t hit the board here.

Breeders Cup Sprint

$2 Win: 5- A.P. Indian
$1 Exacta Box: 5- A.P. Indian / 7- Masochistic / 9- Limousine Liberal
$2 W/P/S: 9- Limousine Liberal

I was devastated at the scratch of Joking in this race, who I was really looking forward to seeing in a race chock-full of speed. Alas, without the likes of him and Lord Nelson, it looks to be a match race between A.P. Indian and Masochistic, with the intriguing 3yo Drefong looking to upset them. I’m going with A.P. Indian on top. He’s done nothing wrong all year, he is capable of sitting off of any horses dead set on going for the lead, which Masochistic will likely be.

Looking at Masochistic’s form, I am tempted to think that he may be a bit better going seven furlongs. He is, of course, very fast, but looking at races like the 2015 Santa Anita Sprint Championship and this very race last year, I’m not sure that he has the kind of speed necessary to excel at six furlongs. That said, this race may be a short enough field that he could win even if he is better going just a bit farther, and he may just be too good, but I am inclined to look elsewhere for a straight win bet.

My longshot here is Limousine Liberal. If the likes of Drefong and Masochistic and even Delta Bluesman go too fast up front, this could be the horse that is capable of pouncing from just off the pace. He ran huge in his first start with blinkers against A.P. Indian last time out – it looked as if A.P. Indian would be winning handily, but Limousine Liberal was incredibly game and even came back on his rival to just miss in a head-bob.

I see Drefong as the Arrogate of this race. Unlike Arrogate, however, Drefong’s debut loss was not an impressive display of him overcoming trouble, but rather a race that I think he should have won, though to be fair he was not persevered with after shifting in at the 16th pole. Since then, he has not been challenged and I am going to let him beat me – which he very well may do.

Breeders Cup Turf Sprint

$2 Win: 12- Om
$1 Exacta Box: 2- Obviously / 12- Om / 13- Holy Lute
$2 W/P/S: 16- Green Mask

Obviously and Om are both milers cutting back to go down the hill, and I think the trip will fit both of them, but I prefer Om because he has shown the ability to rate in the past and I like that in a horse cutting back to tackle the 6 1/2 furlong course at Santa Anita more than a straight speedster like Obviously. I expect Om to enjoy the quick pace up front and be able to pounce more effectively than he could at a mile. I included Holy Lute because of his proven ability over the downhill turf course. Green Mask is my longshot here, drawing into the field after a pair of defections. He has been solid throughout the year without any breakout performances, was third in this race in 2015, and will be a good price. He will require a pace meltdown up front to be effective, but I think that is a possibility and in a wide-open race, he has as good of a chance as any of them.

Breeders Cup Juvenile

$2 Win: 5- Classic Empire
$1 Exacta Box: 5- Classic Empire / 10- Not This Time / 11- Looking at Lee
$2 W/P/S: 11- Looking at Lee

I don’t have anything interesting or unique to say in this race, I just think Classic Empire is the best horse. Mark Casse got his issues sorted out with the addition of blinkers, and aside from the Hopeful Stakes debacle, he has done nothing wrong. I expect Syndergaard to go wild on the front along with Gormley, with Three Rules sitting behind the two of them. Theory is the big unknown here for Todd Pletcher, and while I like him moving forward I’m not sure that he’s ready for this kind of field just yet. Not This Time was very impressive in the Iroquois, and I don’t think that was due solely to the wet track. Looking at Lee has been steadily improving while chasing my top two choices in his last two starts, and I think continued improvement will keep him right behind them here.

Breeders Cup Turf

$2 Win: 4- Flintshire
$1 Exacta Box: 4- Flintshire / 10- Found / 12- Highland Reel
$2 W/P/S: 2- Da Big Hoss

This race goes through the two Aiden O’Brien horses and Flintshire. Found won this race last year off of the same two preps in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the QIPCO Champion Stakes, and I think she has a very good chance to be the first horse to pull off the Arc-BC Turf double. Highland Reel was just behind her in the Arc and proved his affinity for the American firm turf in last year’s Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park. Flintshire was the undisputed champion of the U.S. Turf this year until his loss in the Turf Classic at Belmont in his last start, but it has been well-documented that this horse loves a firm turf course, and the yielding going at Belmont was not to his liking but they needed a prep. I think he’ll rebound just fine in the Breeders’ Cup.

The crazy longshot here is Da Big Hoss, who has been having a quietly good season. He loves this distance and always runs his race. He wasn’t embarrassed when splitting the field to run 6th in this race last year, and has been doing better this year if you look at his speed figures. I doubt he can win, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Florent Geroux managed to get him up for third at a major price.

Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

$2 Win: 2- Haveyougoneaway
$1 Exacta Box: 2- Haveyougoneaway / 7- Gloryzapper / 8- Carina Mia
$2 W/P/S: 7- Gloryzapper

Tom Morley has done a fantastic job with Haveyougoneaway this year, running her through a season that culminated last time out with a G1 win in the Ballerina at Saratoga. For a sprint, this race doesn’t have a ton of dedicated speed. Carina Mia is likely the fastest horse in the race, and one turn is her game, without a doubt. Gloryzapper also has a fair bit of early speed, but has proven that she can sit and pass horses in the past, and if you toss her turf try last time out – where she was only beaten three lengths, despite finishing eighth, in the John C Mabee, by Avenge – she has never run a bad race. This is a major class test for her, without a doubt, but her speed figures are competitive enough that with a little improvement she could be right in the mix late.

Breeders Cup Mile

$2 Win: 8- Tepin
$1 Exacta Box: 2- Alice Springs / 8- Tepin / 9- Ironicus
$2 W/P/S: 4- Miss Temple City

Everyone seems to be against Tepin after her loss in the First Lady, but I think she is just as good as ever this year. The First Lady was a bizarrely run race where Photo Call got loose on a crazy lead. Nobody was catching her that day. Tepin is the reigning champion in this race and I have no reason to suspect she will bring her A game. The one horse that I think may be able to beat Tepin’s A game is Ironicus, who was huge in the Shadwell Turf Mile off of a 4-month layoff to just be defeated by Miss Temple City (who I would LOVE if this race was at Keeneland again, but still believe will hold her own here based on her form at Ascot). There will be a lot more speed in this race than there was in that one, with What A View, Photo Call, and Midnight Storm all contesting this race. Alice Springs is my pick among the Europeans, as a 3-time G1 winner at a mile. She was second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf in last year’s Breeders’ Cup, so we know she can handle the trip to the United States just fine.

Breeders Cup Classic

$2 Win: 4- California Chrome
$1 Exacta Box: 4- California Chrome / 9- Hoppertunity / 10- Arrogate
$2 W/P/S: 6- Melatonin

I can’t say much about California Chrome that hasn’t already been said, so I won’t. When it comes to Arrogate, I wanted to find a way to exclude him but after watching his first four races, I can’t do it. His debut effort, his lone loss, was actually what sold me on him in the end. He overcame significant trouble, breaking slow and having to angle out around horses to just miss in a race where he was much the best. Between this race and his race two back, where he sat behind two others on a dawdling pace in a three-horse race, I am convinced that he is not a runaway speedster type of horse that needs the lead. Because of this, I am thinking that Melatonin has a chance to hit the board at a huge price. He loves this racetrack and I think that he could be left alone on the lead, with Victor Espinoza and Mike Smith choosing to sit just off of him and watch each other. And when this horse gets loose on the lead, he can get brave. I don’t think he’s good enough to hold off the likes of California Chrome and Arrogate, but I think he could run a big race if things set up in that way. Hoppertunity may be a better WPS bet, as one of the most consistent horses in the country, but I’ll take a shot with Melatonin, while still including the ever-present Hoppertunity in the exacta.

2016 Breeders Cup Friday Selections

As I have in years past, I will be posting my 2016 Breeders’ Cup selections in the format of a $2 win bet, a $1 3-horse exacta box, and a $2 W/P/S bet. As I’m not much of a gambler, this isn’t exactly how I will be playing the races (my actual bets will likely be on Twitter), but I’ve found it’s a useful way to gauge my own handicapping success in the Breeders’ Cup.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
$2 Win: 1- Lancaster Bomber
$1 Exacta Box: 1- Lancaster Bomber / 2- Keep Quiet / 11- Good Samaritan
$2 W/P/S: 2- Keep Quiet
I don’t have a very strong opinion in this race, but I do think that Lancaster Bomber, who has been the rabbit for Europe’s best two-year-old in Churchill, will get a nice trip sitting behind Wellabled and Oscar Performance and will be in the best position turning for home. I think the most likely winners are him and Good Samaritan, who will likely be favored. A big-moving Bill Mott runner who is undefeated in two starts, he was very impressive in his G2 Summer Stakes victory and was a complete professional in his debut victory over Ticonderoga, who has since flattered that form with an impressive maiden score and runner-up finish in the G3 Bourbon to Keep Quiet. I went with Lancaster Bomber over him for the win bet because of the likely price difference, and because it’s well-acknowledged that European turf form is often better than American turf form, especially in two-year-olds, as turf is usually more of an afterthought in American racing.

Despite that, I decided to go with Keep Quiet in the exacta instead of Intelligence Cross. By many accounts, Keep Quiet seems to be very highly regarded in the Mark Casse barn, and for good reason. He was very game in his Bourbon Stakes win, engaging with a stubborn Ticonderoga before turning him away and eventually winning by 1 1/4 lengths. His Beyer speed figures have not been as high as some of the other Americans in this group, but I expect him, like Lancaster Bomber, to be in a good position to strike when the real running starts. It was a tough call between him and the other Aiden O’Brien entry, Intelligence Cross, in the exacta, but at the end of the day I decided to side with Keep Quiet’s proven form around two turns. Were I playing horizontally, I would definitely include Intelligence Cross if at all possible.
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
$2 Win: 1- Vyjack
$1 Exacta Box: 1- Vyjack / 3- Dortmund / 8- Tamarkuz
$2 W/P/S: 8- Tamarkuz
Dortmund is the most likely winner of this year’s Dirt Mile, without a doubt, and you don’t need me to tell you why. However, he will be odds-on, and I think Vyjack will prove to be the value in this spot. He is a G1 winner on dirt, and his connections said after his City Of Hope Mile win that they were planning on using the race as a prep for this one, so it’s not as if this was a last-minute change of heart. This race has been his target for a while, and this horse seems to be in career-best form now at the age of six. His last four races have all been very good – he was game in his comeback victory off a six-month layoff in April at Keeneland, and has steadily improved his Beyers ever since. In the G2 Pat O’Brien, he was a well-clear second best to Masochistic, who was at a major pace advantage that day. Vyjack went on to a very impressive score over two extremely talented turf milers in Om and Obviously, and I think even a repeat of that effort without improvement would place him in the running here, and a step up could be enough to get the better of Dortmund.

Tamarkuz is another horse that seems to be in the form of his life at the age of six, and I expect that we’ll see another good effort from him in this race. He needed the Met Mile off the winter layoff, and has finished second in his two most recent efforts since that race. He chased loose leader Anchor Down around the track in the Kelso, posting a career-top 104 Beyer in the process, in his last start. Prior to that, he ran very well when rallying to be second in the Forego behind A.P. Indian. He worked four furlongs in :48.4, well within himself, over the Santa Anita track, and seems to be on the muscle and ready for another big effort.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
$2 Win: 14- La Coronel
$1 Exacta Box: 4- Spain Burg / 13- Roly Poly / 14- La Coronel
$2 W/P/S: 2- Lull
Again, I don’t have a very strong opinion in this race. Roly Poly is the horse to beat, as she has been competitive against top company in Europe, and her run in the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes was ultra-impressive. She looked to be beaten, but when the eventual winner Brave Anna came alongside her, she re-broke a bit to pass Lady Aurelia and even got her nose in front for a stride or two before eventually succumbing. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of speed in this spot, and I think she will be in a good position, coming out of sprint races.
That said, I’m going with La Coronel on top. My opinion on her is similar to my opinion on the Casse/Geroux entrant in the Juvenile Turf – Florent called her the next coming of Catch a Glimpse, winner of this race last year, after her win in the G3 Jessamine, which she won convincingly. She handily defeated eventual G3 Miss Grillo winner New Money Honey in her first try on the turf, and it’s hard to argue with the kind of commanding victories she has had going two turns on the grass.
I had a hard time separating Intricately and Hydrangea, and eventually chose to go with Spain Burg over both of them. Spain Burg showed an impressive turn of foot in her G2 Shadwell Rockfel stakes win, and has since been transferred to trainer Kathy Ritvo. The Shadwell Rockfel was her first try stretching from 6f to 7f, and I think she will improve further with another furlong to work with.
My longshot to hit the board is Lull, who was well beaten by La Coronel last time out, but could be the pace of the race. She tried hard to run with the other filly in the Jessamine but was simply second best. I don’t expect her to win, but she will be a price horse and I think she could hang on for a piece of it.
Breeders’ Cup Distaff
$2 Win: 8- Beholder
$1 Exacta Box: 1- Songbird / 5- Stellar Wind / 8- Beholder
$2 W/P/S: 6- Forever Unbridled
I’m going with Beholder here for a simple reason – she will be outside of Stellar Wind and Songbird this time, and will be running at a target instead of being the one targeted. I don’t have much in the way of clever opinions on this race, but my longshot is Forever Unbridled, as she will be the one running at the end if there is some kind of pace meltdown.

2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic – The Influence of La Troienne

In 1931, a small, nondescript bay mare arrived at Colonel Edward Riley Bradley’s Idle Hour Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, one of two purchases from the Newmarket December Sale of the prior year. The filly had failed to win in her 7 starts in France and England, but had nonetheless been purchased, in foal to the mighty Gainsborough, by Dick Thompson on behalf of Bradley. The name of this mare was La Troienne, and she would become one of the most important broodmares of the 20th century as the foundation mare of Bruce Lowe’s family 1x – and her influence is still apparent today.
Of the ten horses entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, four of them have a direct tail-female descendant of La Troienne within the first 5 generations of their pedigree, and only two are without any trace of her in their lineage.
The overwhelming favorite in the race is California Chrome, whose modest breeding has often been highlighted by the media. Personally, however, I believe that his success could be due, in part, to the influence of La Troienne in his dam, Love The Chase. Though an unsuccessful racehorse, Love The Chase’s sire, Not For Love, and damsire, Polish Numbers, both hail from family 1-x – and both from 1971 Champion 2yo Filly Numbered Account, who is the dam of Polish Numbers and the second dam of Not For Love. Interestingly, Numbered Account herself is bred on the same pattern, being by Buckpasser (a great-grandson of La Troienne).
California Chrome is by the stallion Lucky Pulpit, grandson of 1991 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy. While A.P. Indy is not a direct descendant of La Troienne, she does appear three times in his bloodlines. His sire, Seattle Slew, whose dam My Charmer is inbred 6×6 to La Troienne – her sire, Poker, and damsire, Jet Action, both trace tail-female to the great matriarch (sound familiar?). A.P. Indy’s second dam is a daughter of Buckpasser.
Win The Space, by contrast, is a longshot in this year’s event. He is out of a mare by Mutakddim, a stakes winner in England and sire of multiple champions. Mutakddim is a fascinating example of linebreeding to La Troienne. He is by Seeking the Gold, whose damsire Buckpasser is one of La Troienne’s nine direct tail-female descendants in the North American Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. Buckpasser is also the sire of Mutakddim’s third dam, the aforementioned Numbered Account, whose 5th dam is La Troienne. The dam of Mutakddim, Oscillate, is by Seattle Slew. Mutakddim, therefore, contains five crosses of La Troienne (6x8x8x6x8 ).
The ever-consistent Hoppertunity introduces another example of Numbered Account’s role in carrying on the legacy of her family. He is out of a mare by Unnacounted For, a G1-winning son of Numbered Account’s son Private Account. Additionally, Hoppertunity’s sire Any Given Saturday is out of an A.P. Indy mare, which gives Hoppertunity five total crosses of La Troienne.
Effinex is by Mineshaft, one of the exemplaries of family 1-x. Champion Older Male and Horse of the Year in 2003, and is inbred 8x8x8 to La Troienne. Perhaps also worth noting is that Effinex’s 5th dam, Stolen Hour, is by Mr. Busher, himself a grandson of La Troienne.
The horse that most proclaim to be California Chrome’s biggest threat is the three-year-old Arrogate, winner of the Travers in track and stakes record time. While most of his pedigree is free of La Troienne, he is a grandson of Unbridled, whose pedigree is intriguing on a few levels. Unbridled, as we all know, won both the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1990. A quick glance at his pedigree immediately shows a doubling-up of the great broodmare Aspidistra, who produced two Hall of Fame champions in Dr. Fager and Ta Wee. Aspidistra is a daughter of Better Self, winner of the Saratoga Special, Carter Handicap, and Discovery Handicap, among many others. Better Self is by La Troienne’s Hall of Fame son Bimelech, champion at both two and three and winner of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes of 1940. Aspidistra is the 4th dam of Unbridled, via her daughter Magic, who was by Buckpasser. Magic is a slightly different take on the prolific sire x damsire cross demonstrated by the likes of Numbered Account and Love The Chase demonstrate, as she is by a stallion from family 1-x, but her damsire is instead a paternal grandson of La Troienne.
Santa Anita Handicap winner Melatonin does not have an excessive influence of La Troienne, but he is inbred 6×4 to the great broodmare Ballade, whose broodmare sire Cohoes was a direct grandson of La Troienne. Similarly, War Story has distant influences of La Troienne via his damsire Pulpit (a son of A.P. Indy), and also via Quadrangle, who appears in the 5th generation of his pedigree and is a son of Cohoes.
Dominant Met Mile winner Frosted is by Tapit, a grandson of A.P. Indy who is out of a mare by Unbridled. Seattle Slew appears again in his pedigree via Avenue of Flags, the sire of Frosted’s 2nd dam. While the influence is distant, this does mean that La Troienne appears eight times in his pedigree.
With the Breeders’ Cup on the horizon, we are likely to see the legacy of La Troienne continue to grow. While there are no direct representatives of family 1-x in this year’s Classic, her presence will certainly be felt in the bloodlines of some of the breed’s greatest, as it has and inevitably will be for generations to come.

2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale

The sales ring is a place where horsemen and -women try to predict the future of racing, trying to find the next great champion or champion producer. They look at pedigree, conformation, and any other information they can in order to divine which horses have the potential they’re looking for.

Some of the top competitors in our sport have sold at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale in the past, including recent graded stakes winners such as Dortmund, Materiality, Kaigun, and Tiz Shea D. On May 23rd and 24th, 337 two-year-old Thoroughbreds sold for a record total of $23,136,400 at Fasig-Tipton’s annual Timonium sale.

I have my eye on a few horses that went through the ring at the sale this year; some of them sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, while others went unsold as RNAs. It will be interesting to see which, if any, of these young Thoroughbreds mature into top caliber racehorses.

I only attended the first day of the breeze sale, and as a result all of my selections will be from hip numbers 1-200.

Hip #196 – Bay Colt by Majesticperfection, out of Score Four (by Grand Slam)

I really liked the way this colt breezed, he reaches out well and almost leaps with every stride he takes. He breezed a furlong in 10.1 seconds, one of the quicker times of the day (the fastest time of 10 seconds was achieved by two horses on the day, while twelve of the first 200 hips breezed in 10.1 seconds). He has a very sprint-oriented pedigree, being a son of the brilliantly quick Majesticperfection and out of a Grand Slam mare. His second dam is a half-sister to multiple G1 winner Affirmed Success, whose 17 lifetime victories included the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) and Cigar Mile (G1). This colt sold for $175,000 to HND Bloodstock.

Hip #187 – Chestnut Filly by Drosselmeyer, out of Sandi’s Ready (by More Than Ready)

This rangy daughter of Drosselmeyer breezed in 10.2 seconds with very mild urging, and galloped out full of energy. As a daughter of Drosselmeyer, you wouldn’t expect her to be at her best breezing an eighth of a mile anyway, and despite that she breezed fairly quickly and I think it’s fair to assume she had more to give. She comes from a solid, if not spectacular, female family; her dam is stakes placed, and her granddam has produced an additional stakes placed runner as well as a multiple G3 placed runner. This filly was purchased by Dennis O’Neill for $45,000.

Hip #179 – Chestnut Filly by Caleb’s Posse, out of Royal Embassy (by Royal Anthem)

This filly sold privately for only $10,000, but I think she could have a bit of potential. She breezed in 11 seconds, but galloped out to a full mile with good energy before pulling up. She comes from a very interesting family – her second dam is Denmark-bred Swedish Horse of the Year Rossard. This makes the dam of this filly a half-sister to Unusual Heat. I’m very interested in Caleb’s Posse as a sire – he was a game miler and a good-looking stallion that has already had his first winner on April 28th at Gulfstream Park.

Hip #170 – Bay Colt by Ice Box, out of Rey Lake (by Meadowlake)

This powerful-looking colt breezed a quarter in 21.3, and was a handful to pull up afterwards. He cornered very well, even with a few hits left-handed, and switched leads beautifully. He is a half brother to three foals to race, all winners, including Tremont Stakes winner Bessie’s Boy. He sold for $200,000 to Hillwood Stables LLC.

Hip #84 – Primal; Bay Colt by Flatter, out of Molly (by Coronado’s Quest)

Despite going unsold with a reserve of $80,000, this colt was probably my top pick of the sale. He caught my eye coming onto the track, very much on his toes and looking excited to be out there. Interestingly, he was the only horse I saw at the sale that breezed without blinkers. Despite that and how excitable he seemed when coming onto the track, he was exceptionally focused when he was set down to breeze. He got a couple of taps on the shoulder, but aside from that his rider gave him very little urging, just letting him do things under his own power. He is a little on the small side, but was born in late May. His second dam is Canadian Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Primaly. In addition to that filly, his 3rd dam Primarily, a listed stakes winner at Woodbine, also produced Canadian Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Poetically, by Silver Deputy; G1 Gamely Stakes winner Citronnade, by Lemon Drop Kid; Fayette Stakes(G3) winner Whiskey Wisdom, by Wild Again; as well as the dams of New Zealand Trophy(G2) winner Sunrise Prince and multiple G3 winner Twilight Meteor.

Hip #58 – United Del Coco; Dk Bay/Brown colt by United States, out of Macho La Papa (by Macho Uno)

I have to give this colt a lot of credit for the amount of professionalism he showed in what could have been a very dangerous situation. His martingale strap broke before he began his breeze, leading to the entire thing ending up flapping around underneath of him a few strides from the wire. Despite that distraction, he kept to task very nicely, and has quite a smooth, long stride on him. His breeze time was relatively slow, covering a furlong in 11.1 seconds, but I think that could be forgiven considering the circumstances, and the fact that by a stallion that isn’t likely to draw any attention at the sales. That stallion, United States, sold for $2 million at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling sale, which likely reflected not only his good looks but also his pedigree, being a son of A.P. Indy out of a half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. United States ended up disappointing on the racetrack, winning only once in nine lifetime starts (all at age four) before retiring to stud in Florida. The female family of this colt has some interesting connections if you go back far enough – his fourth dam is Lyphard’s Dancer, dam of 5 winners from 5 foals to race and half-sister to the immortal Storm Cat. United Del Coco ended up selling privately for $20,000, which I think is a very reasonable price for a colt that may be better than “son of a NW2L” might suggest.

Hip #35 – Dk Bay/Brown Filly by Aikenite, out of Lajitana (by Tiznow)

I think this filly could end up being another bargain missed out on from this sale. She was an RNA at $14,000, and I think that could be due at least in part to her slow breeze time of 11.1 seconds. Despite that, I think there are some positives here for the future. First off, her pedigree is very interesting. Her third dam is Sweet Damsel, the dam of 10 winners from 10 starters, including multiple G1 winner Colonel John and G1-placed/G1 steeplechaser Mr. Hot Stuff. Both of those foals were by Tiznow, the dam of Lajitana. In addition to that, I don’t think this filly’s breeze was as bad as it may have seemed at first glance. She had a very fluid, long stride until losing her action around the 16th pole, a few strides after changing leads. I’m not certain what caused the few goofy strides she took there, though I wonder if it may have been the whip, but I’m willing to chalk it up to greenness in a filly that otherwise looks to be fairly athletic.

Hip #32 – Bay Filly by Into Mischief, out of Lady in Ermine (by Honour and Glory)

I really liked the way this filly breezed, and apparently I wasn’t the only one, since she sold for $150,000. She’s a very nice mover, breezing a quarter in 21.4 and galloping out strongly. She had a lot of energy in her gallop and appears to cover a lot of ground with each stride. Her female family is solid, if not particularly flashy, with a stakes winner and producer under her second dam. Into Mischief has already proven to be a very good sire, with the likes of Goldencents, Vicar’s in Trouble, and Vyjack all graded stakes winners, and I think this filly has the potential to add on to her sire’s count of 13 black type winners.

Breeders’ Cup 2014 – Final Results

Now that the Breeders’ Cup behind us, I’ve totaled up my hypothetical winnings across the two days (ROI rounded to the nearest whole percentage).

Breeders’ Cup Friday

Investment: $46 (due to the late scratch of Lady Zuzu, the total is lower than it’d be otherwise)

Return: $35.30

ROI: -23%

Breeders’ Cup Saturday

Investment: $112

Return:$186.70

ROI: 66%

Breeders’ Cup Totals

Investment: $158

Return: $222

ROI: 40%

Overall, I am pretty pleased with my handicapping over the weekend – and unbelievably frustrated that I failed to make any kind of profit off of it in real life. Clearly, the Classic was the one race where I was just completely wrong. Despite the controversial break (which I believe certainly cost Moreno – the horse expected to go with Bayern early – all chance), Bayern really proved himself to me in his Classic victory. I hadn’t had much respect for him until this victory, where he managed to dig in and hold off Toast of New York and California Chrome late. He strikes me as a very similar horse to the recently retired Baffert trainee Game on Dude – if he gets the lead, he’s going to be nearly impossible to run down, but I think it’s pretty apparent that getting an early lead is vital to Bayern. It would be interesting to see what may have transpired had Moreno been able to get a clean trip, but regardless, I didn’t think Bayern had the quality or stamina to win the Classic, and he proved me wrong. It was nice to see California Chrome get back to the form he’d shown in the spring, with a very impressive third-place effort. He proved he really is the real deal, even if he didn’t win.

Horse of the Year award has been seriously muddled by the Classic. I still believe Shared Belief is probably the most talented horse in the country, but I also believe Horse of the Year is about the campaign a horse had through the year, and as much as I don’t want to admit it, Bayern deserves that honor. In my mind, Shared Belief needed to win the Classic in order to warrant Horse of the Year honors, despite his two impressive victories over older horses. California Chrome is also in the discussion, having won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes earlier in the year. With such a top-heavy campaign, though, I’m inclined to look elsewhere. The wild card for Horse of the Year has become Main Sequence, who has yet to be defeated since coming to the United States. His 4-race win streak consists solely of G1 races, including a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. To compare, California Chrome has three G1 wins this year, while Bayern and Shared Belief have only two G1 wins each. Honestly, I don’t have a strong enough opinion to give a selection or personal vote for the title. I believe any of those four horses would be completely deserving of the award, and I’m intrigued to see what the voters end up doing.

2014 Breeders’ Cup Saturday – Analysis/Selections

Race 5 – Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf

#3 Dank looks tough to beat. She is the best horse in the race and reportedly looks great in the flesh. Provided the long layoff hasn’t affected her, she should win. If she gets beat, however, #2 Just the Judge could be the horse to do it. The Irish G1 winner won the G1 EP Taylor in her last race and proved she fits with the Americans when she was beaten only a neck by Stephanie’s Kitten in the Beverly D (G1). #6 Fiesolana showed an impressive turn of foot in her Matron Stakes (G1) win two races back, and is another potential upsetter.

Selections

$2 Win: #3 Dank

$1 Exacta Box: #2 Just The Judge / #3 Dank / #6 Fiesolana

$2 WPS: #2 Just The Judge

Race 6 – Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

#6 Leigh Court is in career form, and while she’s quick, she proved that she can rate in her TCA (G2) win last time out over #10 Southern Honey and #3 Stonetastic. She’s undefeated in three starts at the distance and her versatility will make her tough. #5 Artemis Agrotera has won all three of her races since a disappointing 3yo debut in the Acorn (G1) . This distance seems to be ideal for her, and she may simply be the most talented horse in the race. #3 Stonetastic was brilliant in winning the Prioress Stakes (G2) and looked well in her Santa Anita work on the 25th. She seems to be the probable pacesetter in the race, and could simply wire the field.

Selections

$2 Win: #6 Leigh Court

$1 Exacta Box: #3 Stonetastic / #5 Artemis Agrotera / #6 Leigh Court

$2 WPS: #3 Stonetastic

Race 7- Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

I believe this race is all about #1 Reneesgotzip, who was 3rd in this race in 2012 and dead-heated for second in last year’s running. She appears to be the most talented horse in the field and seems to be the quickest in a race surprisingly low on early speed. #14 No Nay Never is probably her main competition. A G1 winner in France, he was impressive when winning the Woodward in his last start and has been highly regarded throughout his brief career. #6 Bobby’s Kitten has shown some speed and ability running at a mile and I believe he’ll appreciate the downhill turf course. His best races are his shortest ones, and he could be a live mid-priced horse to spice up exotics.

Selections

$2 Win: #1 Reneesgotzip

$1 Exacta Box: #1 Reneesgotzip / #6 Bobby’s Kitten / #14 No Nay Never

$2 WPS: #6 Bobby’s Kitten

Race 8 – Breeders Cup Juvenile

With the defection of American Pharoah, #12 Daredevil appears to be the horse to beat. He was brilliant in both career starts, but has yet to run on a fast racetrack. While that shouldn’t be an issue, it is nonetheless a question he has to answer in this race. #9 Carpe Diem is the “other Pletcher” here and has nothing wrong in his 2-for-2 career that includes a dazzling win in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity in his last start. His Beyer numbers are slower than his stablemates, but 2yos progress rapidly and he could prove to be better. #10 Mr Z has made his last four starts in stakes races, and has held his own in all of them except a disappointing 5th in the Iroquois Stakes (G3). He has not proven to be better than the best of the group, and needs a career-best effort to win, but he adds blinkers and has consistently proven to be all heart when it comes to competition. He could certainly come out with a check today. #7 Texas Red is probably the best west coast colt after American Pharoah and Calculator scratched, and if a few horses mix it up on the front end, he could be the one to pick up the pieces and post a significant upset. He improved dramatically when trying conventional dirt for the first time in the G1 Frontrunner, and further improvement makes him a live longshot in this spot.

Selections

$2 Win: #12 Daredevil

$1 Exacta Box: #12 Daredevil / #9 Carpe Diem / #10 Mr Z

$2 WPS: #7 Texas Red

Race 9 – Breeders’ Cup Turf

As usual, the Euro imports look best in the Turf. #7 Flintshire  was second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) and has been consistently competitive with the best horses in Europe. He looks like the best horse and is hard to look past in this spot. #1 Telescope is another contender from overseas, he adds Lasix for this race and comes in off a tough race behind Australia and The Grey Gatsby. He’s a multiple G2 winner and his last three Racing Post Ratings have been over 120. #3 Imagining is the one longshot I could see making some noise here. This consistent turf runner is in the best form of his career, and he appears to be the lone speed in this race. If Joel Rosario takes advantage of that, he could end up stealing the race on the front end. #12 Main Sequence is probably the best American runner, with three straight wins since coming to the States. He will need to run big here to win, but there’s no reason to doubt he is capable of doing just that.

Selections

$2 Win: #1 Telescope

$1 Exacta Box: #1 Telescope / #7 Flintshire / #12 Main Sequence

$2 WPS: #3 Imagining

Race 10 – Breeders Cup Sprint

I found this race pretty tough to handicap after #6 Rich Tapestry. The hero of Hong Kong was supremely impressive with his game win over Goldencents in his US debut, and looks to be the most talented horse in the race. After him, though, the race looks wide open. #12 Fast Anna puts blinkers back on after a runner-up finish in the Gallant Bob (G3) without them. Despite the less-than-impressive visual performance, he still posted a career-best Beyer of 97 in that race. With only four career starts, he’s still a bit of an unknown but the brilliance he’s shown so far indicates he could be pretty special. #2 Indianapolis is similar in the sense that we can’t be sure how good he is. He’s undefeated in three starts, but this is a tough spot for the graded stakes debut of the Baffert trainee. #4 Secret Circle won this race last year and will probably take some play, but I don’t foresee him turning the tables on Rich Tapestry, who beat him by 1 3/4 lengths in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1). In addition, #8 Palace has led the division in New York all year, and though he was a bit disappointing in his last race, there’s no reason he can’t get back to his best form here. He’s honest and consistent, and can’t be overlooked. #9 Salutos Amigos returns just six days after his impressive score in the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3). Trainer David Jacobson is plenty capable of the quick turnaround, but never in a spot like this. Salutos Amigos is in the best form of his life, though, and that could make him dangerous. I think the most intriguing longshot in this wide-open race is #14 Bourbon Courage. After a long losing streak while competing primarily in graded stakes races, he finally returned to the winner’s circle in his last race, a 6 1/2 furlong allowance at Keeneland. He is two-for-two at today’s distance and maybe the confidence booster was enough to get the five-year-old back into top form. The 14 post is disadvantageous, but you’re sure to get a price and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit the board.

Selections

$2 Win: #6 Rich Tapestry

$1 Exacta Box: #6 Rich Tapestry / #8 Palace / #9 Salutos Amigos

$2 WPS: #14 Bourbon Courage

Race 11 – Breeders’ Cup Mile

I don’t have a strong opinion in this race, but think that #5 Toronado is the deserving favorite. He adds Lasix for this race and is competitive with the best milers in Europe. I see nothing to fault. #9 Anodin was only beaten two lengths by Toronado in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1), and has not embarrassed himself in two races since, including a runner-up to the talented Kingman. Of the Americans, #2 Obviously seems the most likely. He’ll be the one they all have to catch late, and while I don’t see him holding off the likes of Toronado, he should be able to hang in there for a piece of the purse.

Selections

$2 Win: #5 Toronado

$1 Exacta Box: #2 Obviously / #5 Toronado / #9 Anodin

$2 WPS: #9 Anodin

Race 12 – Breeders’ Cup Classic

#6 Shared Belief is the deserving favorite here, but I can’t take a short price on this horse in this race, so I’m going with #8 Zivo as my top selection. He’s the best closer in the race and has been steadily improving throughout this year. The 1 1/4 mile distance should be right up his alley, and I think he’ll be overlooked in a race where the 3yos are taking the spotlight. The pace looks to be hot in this race, with the likes of #4 Moreno and #7 Bayern both being need-the-lead types of runners. I don’t think Bayern wants 1 1/4, and from the outside I expect him to force Moreno to go early and will sit just off of him. I foresee Bayern folding at the top of the stretch, leaving Moreno to fight off the closers. Moreno has proven that he doesn’t quit once he’s been passed, but I don’t think he’ll have the energy left to fend off horses of this quality. Additionally, #2 Cigar Street has shown speed in most of his races, and while he’s not as fast as the other two front-runners, he will be a part of the early mix and add to that hot pace. #1 Prayer For Relief has been competitive against the best of the best for a long time, and reports are that he’s looking great in the flesh right now. Don’t be surprised if he hits the board at a big price, especially if the pace falls apart. #5 V.E. Day is something of an “X factor” in this race. The upset winner of the Travers (G1) was flat in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), and is tough to get a read on, talent-wise. James Jerkens can’t be counted out, though, making this horse a scary contender that could run big but is hard to back with confidence.Similarly, #9 Toast of New York has a huge question mark when it comes to the surface of this race. He’s never run on conventional dirt, and while he was second to Shared Belief in the Pacific Classic (G1), that was over Del Mar’s synthetic track. I’m choosing to leave him out, but he could prove me wrong and I wouldn’t be shocked. The two horses that would shock me are #3 Imperative, who is a solid and good-looking horse but doesn’t seem to be up to this level of competition, and #10 Footbridge, who was third in the Awesome Again (G1) and should appreciate ten furlongs but just seems to be in over his head against these. #14 Majestic Harbor is intriguing. The Gold Cup (G1) winner hasn’t done a whole lot in his two starts since, but as one was on synthetic he could have an excuse. He looked good in his October 26th work, and a return to the form he showed this spring and summer could make him a player. #12 Candy Boy has been chasing the best of his crop all year, but has been competitive and gets his first chance at running 1 1/4 miles since he was taken out of contention early on in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Three-year-olds are going to be getting most of the attention in here, with Derby and Preakness winner #13 California Chrome in the race. He was disappointing in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2), where he was beaten 7 1/4 lengths by Bayern, but if he returns to his spring form he certainly has a shot, and drawing to the outside should help this colt, who doesn’t like to be inside of other horses. It will be his first time facing #11 Tonalist since the latter defeated him in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Since that race, Tonalist has continued to do well, most recently winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) over a number of horses in this race. He’s done nothing wrong in his career and has to be considered a major threat.

Selections

$2 Win: #8 Zivo

$1 Exacta Box: #6 Shared Belief / #8 Zivo / #11 Tonalist

$2 WPS: #14 Majestic Harbor