Every year we arrive at this juncture and I dust off the ‘Breeders’ Cup invocation’. The Cup offers unique opportunities with chances to be rewarded for creative thinking and audacious risk-taking. Some will come away delighted and some maddeningly frustrated, but all should approach these races as the curious and challenging puzzles they’ve become. No matter how well you ‘handicap’ the races, fields this deep and mysterious will produce several nearly unforeseeable results. Remember that you could be taking an ‘0-fer’ going into Saturday’s finale and get it all back, and more, in the 2:01.0 it takes to run Saturday’s Classic. But no matter how the ledger looks when it’s over, appreciate that your ability as a horseplayer won’t be defined over the course of 2 days. Spend as freely as you can afford, get a little lucky, and here’s hoping that everyone nets something that fills their account and makes them proud.

As always, now for the 10th year in a row, it’s been a pleasure trying to bring this particularly unique edition of the Cup to everyone listening. I hope the 15 hours here and the time leading up offered each of you something you can convert into winning tickets. Thanks to Keeneland, Breeders’ Cup, ATR’s sponsors and everyone who contributed so generously to the shows and the listeners for taking the time.. Best of luck this weekend!



1st: OC/N3X, 3+, 6f (P5, P3, DD)

Most Likely: #7 Candip 7-2: Mixed it up with Ivan in OK.. 4th
Best Value: #3 Bump Start 10-1: Doesn’t need lead to succeed.. 6th
Next Best: #2 Officer Griffin 3-1: Superb at MNR; Faced BC T-SPR’s.. 3rd
Exotics Use: #6 Helooksthepart 8-1: Looks like ideal clunk-up player.. 5th

2nd: ALW/N1X, F&M-3+, 6f (P3, DD)

Most Likely: #7 Chanteline 7-2 WON ($8.60)
Best Value: #1 Street Blush 5-1 7th
Next Best: #6 Mercer Mill Mae 4-1 6th
Exotics Use: #5 Titanium 3-1 4th

3rd: OC/N2X, 3+, 7f (P4, P3, DD)

For $75k, they could have put a name on this race given stakes participant level of group like MGSP (multiple graded stakes placed) Allied Air Raid. As discussed on ATR, Commute impressed Welsch and righted ship after ambitious Kings’ Bishop try. Texas Two Step back in action and back with Larry Jones who excels with this kind off layoff. The Truth Or Else turns back which McPeek does well..

Best Value: #4 Commute 5-1 7th
Next Best: #7 Allied Air Raid 7-2 4th
Exotics Use: #6 Texas Two Step 7-2 3rd
Super Add: #9 The Truth Or Else 3-1 2nd

4th: 15th Bryan Station, 3yo, 9f-T (P3, DD)

First chance to gauge the turf course and get a feel for what it will mean for the juveniles 1.5 and 2.5 hours later. Yet ANOTHER distinctly good group of sophomore turfers lined up here. Utilizing company lines, Commonwealth Derby and Secretariat appear key, while Attfield runner that met Lucky Lindy moves to Rosario and merits upset look..

Most Likely: #3 Fundamental 4-1 5th
Best Value: #10 Billy’s Star 8-1 6th
Next Best: #9 Closing Bell 5-2 2nd
Exotics Use: #2 Tale of Life 9-2 7th
Super Add: #8 One Go All Go 6-1 4th

5th: 58th Fayette (G2), 9f (P6, P3, DD)

Cup events haven’t started and you likely have a headache at this point. Crazy group here with eye-crossing array of in and out form on display. Race Day never had authentic sprint speed, so return to what he was doing well this spring mighty appealing at starting price of 10-1. Board may offer clues. Doubt you could build a triple or super ticket that anyone would question..

Best Value: #3 Race Day 10-1 WON ($10.60)
Next Best: #6 Protonico 3-1 5th
Exotics Use: #5 Hoppertunity 7-2 2nd
Super Add: #10 Encryption 12-1 3rd

P5 Grid:

1: 7 (A), 2-3 (B), 1-4-5-6 (C)
2: 1-7 (A), 5-6 (B), 4-9 (C)
3: 4-7 (A), 6-9 (B), 2-3 (C)
4: 3 (A), – (B), 9-10 (C)
5: 3 (A), 5-6 (B), 1-10 (C)

Simple (A+B): 3x4x4x1x3 = 144 x .50 = $72

6th: 9th Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), 2yo, 1m-T (P4, P3, DD)

Happenstance at draw that badly compromised the top Euro invaders (Cymric; Hit It a Bomb), as well as Brown’s Camelot Kitten, expand the possibilities for tote excitement in the Cup kickoff. Birchwood Road and Shogun — both 12-1 — are the invaders that benefited from the draw, while obscured Dressed in Hermes (20-1), Highland Sky (30-1) and Ray’s the Bar (20-1) will save ground utilizing a running style that this course rewards. Having won the Bourbon with a heads up ride by Leparoux on the yielding KEE lawn, Airforce is horse to beat..

Most Likely: #8 Airoforce 4-1 2nd
Best Value: #1 Dressed in Hermes 20-1 5th
Next Best: #4 Shogun 12-1 10th
Exotics Use: #7 Ray’s the Bar 20-1 11th
Super Add: #5 Highland Sky 30-1 6th

P4 Grid:

3: 4-7 (A), 6-9 (B), 2-3 (C)
4: 3 (A), 10 (B), 9 (C)
5: 3 (A), 5-6 (B), 1-10 (C)
6: 1-8 (A), 4-5-7-12 (B), 2-6-13-14 (C)

Simple (A+B): 4x2x3x6 = 144 x .50 = $72

7th: 9th Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), 3+, 1m (P4, P3, DD)

You aren’t obligated to have an all or nothing approach to Liam’s Map. Is he very strong as the likeliest winner on paper? Of course. But he will have company, (Valid, Bradester, Mr. Z), so he may be under pressure at regular intervals and perhaps vulnerable to late probing by Red Vine, Lea, Wicked Strong. For multis, your budget tells you the approach to take because the depth of the Juvy Turfs, (and the Distaff depending on your view), will test your bankroll..

Most Likely: #3 Liam’s Map 1-1 WON ($3.00)
Next Best: #5 Lea 8-1 2nd
Best Value: #2 Bradester 10-1 9th
Exotics Use: #1 Red Vine 6-1 3rd
Super Add: #8 Wicked Strong 5-1 4th

8th: 9th Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), 2yo-F, 1m-T (DD)

Whenever you come to Cup or Derby, a horse jumps at you that you hadn’t considered for a minute previously. Nemoralia did that for me this week, spending an extended period of time out on the track and clearly enjoying every minute. She greeted patrons. Admired the surroundings. Walked, jogged and galloped, and generally gave the appearance of being a very happy horse. She ran credibly in the Frizette and now returns to her preferred surface and will be no higher than 6th choice. Her style suits the race flow and course and I’m not convinced the Jessamine fillies are any better than another half dozen lining up here. Harmonize and Sapphire Kitten deserve respect of course, but don’t let Chad Brown slip past with Pricedtoperfection, the Miss Temple City sister. Gliding By is 30-1 and you get Mott/Lezcano..

Most Likely: #9 Nemoralia 15-1 3rd
Best Value: #11 Pricedtoperfection 20-1 9th
Next Best: #7 Sapphire Kitten 10-1 4th
Exotics Use: #8 Harmonize 7-2 7th
Super Add: #12 Gliding By 30-1 12th

9th: 37th Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), F&M-3+, 9f (DD, Super Hi-5)

If you don’t make a commitment here, you’ll have to spread. Stopchargingmaria gets best case scenario for style she likes most and clearly is coming in to it hot. After her, take your choice of the big group of interchangeable fillies or mares, all with performances good enough to win this under optimal conditions. Hard to talk anyone off any of the contenders..

Most Likely: #4 Stopchargingmaria 5-1 WON ($16.20)
Next Best: #1 I’m a Chatterbox 8-1 8th
Best Value: #10 Yahilwa 20-1 6th
Exotics Use: #8 Curalina 12-1 3rd
Hi-5 Play: #3 Salama 50-1 14th

P4 Grid:

6: 1-4-8 (A), 5-7-12 (B), 2-6-13-14 (C)
7: 3 (A), 2-5 (B), 1-6-8-9 (C)
8: 7-9-11 (A), 3-8-10-12-14 (B), 2-4 (C)
9: 4 (A), – (B), 1-10 (C)

Simple (A+B): 6x3x8x1 = 144 x .50 = $72

10th: 9th Marathon (G2), 3+, 14f

Most Likely: #1 For Greater Glory 6-1 4th
Best Value: #14 Zambian Dream 20-1 7th
Next Best: #13 Bailoutbobby 6-1 WON ($11.40)
Exotics Use: #4 Neck ‘n Neck 3-1 3rd
Super Add: #9 Majestic Harbor 7-2 2nd

P4 Grid:

7: 3 (A), 5 (B), 1-2-6-8-9 (C)
8: 9-11 (A), 7-8-12 (B), – (C)
9: 4 (A), 1-10 (B), – (C)
10: 1-14 (A), 4-9-13 (B), 2-8 (C)

Simple (A+B): 2x5x3x5 = 150 x .50 = $75