Cup Day 1 waded everyone into the action Friday, with typical mix of surprises and excitement. It also importantly offered close examination of the turf course for clues to how it will play into Saturday. Liam’s Map, despite anxious moments, ultimately prevailed easily in the Dirt Mile and got the Viola Family the Cup victory they targeted. Stopchargingmaria, drummed into ATR listeners heads by Mike Welsch and Jay Privman, provided a big end of day boost to bankrolls edging a stubborn Stellar Wind in an exciting Distaff. The two Juvy Turf races proved agonizing personally and wins from either of my two keys were the difference between a solid enough first day and a spectacular one. In the boy’s heat, Airoforce could not withstand the remarkable Ryan Moore and gate-marooned Hit It a Bomb who overcame all obstacles while perhaps offering a road map for today’s outposted grass runners. An hour later, $30 Nemoralia proved out the right price miss to embrace, charging into the shockingly slow Juvy Fillies Turf pace to fell a length short of Catch a Glimpse and Alice Springs. Overall, with a few other pops, the prequel to Saturday’s main event was adequate. Hope everyone did well.

The most important factors out of Friday were the fact that the main track played more and more fair as the afternoon wore on (was slick early) and that the yielding turf was likely more on the good side and should offer perfect footing for any kind of lawn ranger today. If front runners couldn’t stay on over that course Friday, (softer turf going favors leaders), they certainly won’t today. Take shots liberally today. Let’s get lucky!



1st: 12th Perryville, 3yo, 6f (P5, P3, DD)

Most Likely: #8 Bayerd 5-1 2nd
Best Value: #1 Hebbronville 6-1 WON ($18.00)
Next Best: #3 Lord Commander 4-1 7th
Exotics Use: #9 Majestic Affair 4-1 5th

2nd: 3rd Juvenile Dirt Sprint, 2yo, 6f (P3, DD)

Most Likely: #4 Sheikh of Sheikhs 3-1 WON ($5.40)
Next Best: #10 Richie the Bull 9-2 3rd
Best Value: #3 Noholdingback Bear 15-1 2nd
Super Add: #5 Dan the Go to Man 5-1 6th

3rd: 32th Juvenile Fillies (G3), 2yo-F, 8.5f (P4, P3, DD)

Songbird comes into this spot 2-3 lengths ahead off the others, but 2yo improvement can be volatile and Nickname, an imposing physical type, appears to have that potential. And while Nemoralia moved back to the turf for run yesterday, her performance only enhances the opinion of Nickname after their encounter in the Frizette. McPeek’s Dothraki Queen, and male barnmate Rated R Superstar later, ha quality efforts over the strip..

Most Likely: #7 Nickname 4-1 4th
Next Best: #10 Songbird 7-5 WON ($3.20)
Best Value: #8 Dothraki Queen 10-1 3rd
Exotics Use: #9 Rachel’s Valentine 7-2 2nd
Super Add: #1 Land Over Sea 8-1 7th

$0.50 Pick-3 (1/4/10) Paid $29.75

4th: 8th Breeders’ Cup (G1), 3+, 5.5f-T (P3, DD)

Ridiculous assembly of sodhoppers and your 5 are undoubtedly as viable as the 5 below. Am mixing and matching running styles here with a speed (Mongolian/Geroux), an upclose presser (The Great War/Moore), stalker (Green Mask/Rosario), mid-packer (Undrafted/Dettori) and deep closer (Bobby/Castellano)..

Most Likely: #3 Undrafted 4-1 5th
Best Value: #14 Mongolian Saturday 15-1 WON ($33.80)
Next Best: #10 The Great War 12-1 12th
Exotics Use: #2 Bobby’s Kitten 15-1 4th
Super Add: #7 Green Mask 15-1 3rd

$0.50 Pick-3 (4/10/14) Paid $59.20

5th: 9th Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), F&M-3+, 7f (P3, DD)

Race was being handed to Cavorting a month ago with foes seemingly hard to round up and here we are with a full gate and the favorite a play-against, at least for me. As brought out on ATR this week, 3yo’s don’t do as well in this race as they do in the 6f sprint, so while I like that Hollendorfer got aggressive with her coming here, I’m siding with Super Majesty with trepidation. Not a lot to say about the race except that you need to spread liberally with a variety of these capable..

Most Likely: #6 Super Majesty 10-1 12th
Best Value: #7 Wavell Avenue 12-1 WON ($22.00)
Next Best: #11 Judy the Beauty 6-1 5th
Exotics Use: #2 Dame Dorothy 10-1 11th
Super Add: #10 Kiss to Remember 30-1 9th

$0.50 Pick-3 (10/14/7) Paid $205.90

P5 Grid:

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

Simple (A+B): 3x3x2x5x3 = 270 x .50 = $135

NOTE: Trim to suit your budget.. i.e., if you prefer Songbird (#10) as a single in the Filly race (3rd), etc.

$0.50 Pick-5 (1/2,4,6/10/14/7) Paid $33.25 (4OF5) x 11 = $365.75

$0.50 Pick-5 (1/2,4,6/10/14/7) Paid $3,637.45

Total $4,003.20

6th: 17th Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), F&M-3+, 9.5f-T (P6, P3, DD)

Secret Gesture gets Geroux and avenges the Beverly D disqualification. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Euros all nice — Legatissmo, Miss France, Queen’s Jewel, Talmada — but Beckett charge has come to U.S. twice and run well and should enjoy drafting voyage under increasingly brilliant jock. Bypass the amazing Stephanie’s Kitten at your own risk. Hard Not to Like wasn’t coming here unless she impressed Clement preparing. Talmada drew in and will be forgotten, but repeat of late run in E.P. Taylor will juice exotics at boxcar number..

Most Likely: #12 Secret Gesture 8-1 7th
Best Value: #11 Stephanie’s Kitten 10-1 WON ($17.60)
Next Best: #3 Legatissimo 8-5 2nd
Exotics Use: #9 Miss France 6-1 8th
Super Add: #5 Photo Call 12-1 5th

$0.50 Pick-3 (14/7/11) Paid $975.50

P4 Grid:

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

Simple (A+B): 2x5x5x3 = 150 x .50 = $75

$0.50 Pick-4 (10/14/7/11) Paid $1,564.55

7th: 32nd Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), 3+, 6f (P3, DD)

As discussed, there are 2 schools of thought into this fun edition.. One says that even with his delayed stutter-starting, Runhappy gets his sea legs quickly, gets past whoever is sharp early and runs them off their feet thereafter. (Note that Limousine Liberal and Ivan Fallonovalot are to either side of Runhappy and will likely outbreak him. If Velazquez and Borel draft together off the break, Prado will find himself with no where to go early.) The other suggests that no matter how Runhappy and Private Zone get out of the box, the other lead-interested parties (Favorite Tale, Masochistic, etc.) will keep the pressure on throughout. The pressers (Alsvid, Limousine, Ivan) stalkers (Stallwalkin’ Dude, Holy Boss, Barbados) and closers (Kobe’s Back, Salutos Amigos, Wild Dude) all seem to have opportunity to put in their runs. Expecting that just as in the King’s Bishop, it comes down to Limousine Liberal and Runhappy..

Most Likely: #4 Limousine Liberal 15-1 11th
Next Best: #5 Runhappy 3-1 WON ($5.20)
Best Value: #6 Ivan Fallunovalot 30-1 9th
Exotics Use: #7 Holy Boss 15-1 4th
Super Add: #10 Salutos Amigos 12-1 5th

$0.50 Pick-3 (7/11/5) Paid $288.10

8th: 32nd Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), 3+, 1m-T (P4, P3, DD)

Admit I don’t have a strong feel for this group, but certainly expect that it’s run at a pretty serious clip. Strong Euro presence over and above the defending winner and legitimate North American concerns including Shadwell exiters Tourist and Grand Arch. Another spot to spread starting late P4..

Most Likely: #9 Esoterique 7-2 7th
Next Best: #11 Karakontie 12-1 11th
Best Value: #10 Mshawish 15-1 4th
Exotics Use: #12 Time Test 6-1 10th
Super Add: #3 Make Believe 3-1 5th

9th: 32nd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), 2yo, 8.5f (P4, P3, DD)

Unlike the filly counterpart, there is no division leader among the baby boys and today’s proceedings will establish a pecking order. I’m taking the Chinese Menu approach in terms of regional strength, with players from the East (Greenpoint), Midwest (Brody/Superstar), Canada (Riker) and West (Exaggerator). The Casses (#1 Conquest Big E, #15 Siding Spring) as well as the ‘other’ Romans (#4 Unbridled Outlaw) and ‘other’ Desormeaux (#12 Swipe), all have merit and have gained backers going into this. Intriguing, deep field and I’ve sided with the Greenpoint off the terrific work over the track, the ones exiting the local prep over the track (Superstar/Brody/Exaggerator) and the ‘first dirt’ upside candidate (Riker) who appeared to be a gleeful sort when noted the last several mornings..

Most Likely: #3 Greenpointcrusader 4-1 7th
Best Value: #6 Rated R Superstar 15-1 11th
Next Best: #7 Brody’s Cause 7-2 3rd
Exotics Use: #9 Exaggerator 6-1 4th
Super Add: #2 Riker 15-1 6th

10th: 32nd Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), 3+, 12f-T (P3, DD)

Not really ‘our’ place to argue where a Golden Horn fits among greats, but suffice to say he’s a VERY serious horse and as high profile a Euro to come to this event as we’ve seen in a long time. Ground should be fine and if he gets beat it will be a surprise. The Pizza Man is wonderful and should take a big slice. Big John B is my ‘reverse tri key’ concept Cup and will give a complete effort. Will play the 1 with 10 and 4-6-7-9-11 all around him (3) and under him too..

Most Likely: #1 Golden Horn 4-5 2nd
Next Best: #10 The Pizza Man 15-1 5th
Best Value: #3 Big John B 30-1 10th
Exotics Use: #9 Found 8-1 WON ($14.80)
Super Add: #7 Big Blue Kitten 8-1 3rd

10th: 32nd Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), 3+, 10f (DD, Super Hi-5)

Drama of titanic Classic took a bruising with Beholder coming out, but perhaps it’s totally right that the focus be on the Triple Crown winner today. It’s hard to be completely dispassionate about some races when you are openly rooting for and endlessly promoting the sport as I do. This is one of the races. When Beholder was part of the picture, you had a scenario where race dynamics made it easier to envision a variety of outcomes from a horseplaying perspective alone. Under that scenario, I selected Tonalist as the appropriate horse to wager through. Now, with no obvious challenger to American Pharoah in the early portion of the race, I’m frankly in Belmont Stakes mode and would like to see the charismatic colt win his final career start. Tonalist, Frosted, Keen Ice and Honor Code are the obvious upset candidates, but I have to say that given the waves of pleasure and positive vibes American Pharoah, Espinoza, Baffert and the Zayat Family have provided the sport, they deserve to go out on top..

Most Likely: #4 American Pharoah 6-5 WON ($3.40)
Next Best: #1 Tonalist 6-1 5th
Best Value: #3 Frosted 15-1 7th
Exotics Use: #9 Honor Code 6-1 3rd
Hi-5 Play: #2 Keen Ice 12-1 4th

P6 Grid:

6: 3-11-12
7: 4-5
8: 3-5-6-7-9-10-11-12
9: 3-6-7-9
10: 1
11: 4

Simple: 3x2x8x4x1x1 = $192

P4 Grid:

8: 9-11 (A), 3-6-10-12 (B), 1-4-5-7 (C)
9: 3-6-7 (A), 2-9-12 (B), 1-4-15 (C)
10: 1 (A), – (B), 3-4-7-9 (C)
11: 1-4 (A), 2-3-9 (B), 5-6-8 (C)

Simple (A+B): 6x6x1x5 = 180 x .50 = $90

12th: 10th Fort Springs, 3yo-F, 6f

Most Likely: #8 Dr. Fager’s Gal 9-2 5th
Best Value: #5 Desert Valley 10-1 8th
Next Best: #7 Coco’s Wildcat 8-1 3rd
Exotics Use: #4 Meshell 12-1 WON ($22.40)
Super Add: #1 Sweet Swingin 7-2 6th

P4 Grid:

9: 3-6-7 (A), 2-9-12 (B), 1-4-15 (C)
10: 1 (A), – (B), 3-4-7-9 (C)
11: 1-4 (A), 2-3-9 (B), 5-6-8 (C)
12: 5-8 (A), 1-4-7 (B), 2-9 (C)

Simple (A+B): 6x1x5x5 = 150 x .50 = $75