It’s that time again.. The ‘Breeders’ Cup invocation’. These 2 days offer 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 weekend’s waning moments. 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.

For the 11th year in a row, it’s been a pleasure bringing 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 Hammer & Santa Anita, Breeders’ Cup, ATR sponsors, everyone who contributed so generously to the shows and most importantly, the listeners.. Best of luck this weekend!



1st: OC/N1X, 3+, 7f (P5, P3, DD)

Most Likely: #8 Distinctive B 7-2 2nd
Best Value: #6 Ten Blessings 6-1 WON ($8.40)
Next Best: #5 Blameitonthelaw 5-1 4th
Exotics Use: #9 Westbrook 12-1 9th

2nd: OC/N1X, 3+, 6.5f-T (P3, DD)

Most Likely: #3 Watch This Cat 5-2 WON ($3.60)
Best Value: #10 Sturdy One 12-1 6th
Next Best: #2 Mysterious Miracle 10-1 11th
Exotics Use: #7 My Palmilla 6-1 12th

3rd: 9th Marathon S. (G2), 3+, 14f (P4, P3, DD)

Walsh came here with Cary Street and won and Scuba looks a lot like him though I’ll use 5 (including Blue Tone) of them to be safe..

Most Likely: #1 Scuba 5-2 WON ($6.00)
Next Best: #4 Melmich 2-1 4th
Best Value: #5 Tale of Verve 12-1 7th
Exotics Use: #8 Hard Aces 4-1 2nd

4th: 6th Damascus, 3+, 7f (P6, P3, DD)

$40k P6 C/O starts here..

Great to see Prospect Park back..

Most Likely: #8 Prospect Park 5-2 5th
Next Best: #3 Jazzy Times 6-5 2nd
Best Value: #5 Silent Bird 8-1 WON ($9.40)
Exotics Use: #9 Navy Hymm 6-1 3rd

5th: 4th Golden State Juvenile Fillies-R, 2yo-F, 7f (P3, DD)

Most Likely: #8 Vai 7-2 7th
Best Value: #9 My Pi Romancer 10-1 4th
Next Best: #11 Ms Wakaya 8-1 2nd
Exotics Use: #10 How About Zero 8-1 WON ($22.60)

P5 Grid:

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

Simple (A+B): 1x5x5x3x2 = 150 x .50 = $75
All A’s: 1x2x5x1x2 = $20 ($10 for .50)

6th: 10th BC Juvenile Turf (G1), 2yo, 1m-T (P4, P3, DD)

Good Samaritan & Oscar Performance (full brother Oscar Nominated runs in the Twilight Derby) are the horses to beat but out-postings and favoritism open the door for a sharp local in Yakteen’s Big Score. O’Brien & Ryan Moore offer Intelligence Cross and Chad Brown is to be feared moving Favorable Outcome to the lawn. “C” types include Channel Maker from Toronto’s Danny Vella, O’Brien’s other player Lancaster Bomber and Rivelli’s Wellabled who has been fast on synthetic..

Best Value: #6 Big Score 8-1 5th
Next Best: #11 Good Samaritan 9-2 3rd
Exotics Use: #13 Oscar Performance 4-1 WON ($15.20)
Super Add: #8 Intelligence Cross 6-1 9th
Must Include: #4 Favorable Outcome 15-1 9th

P4 Grid:

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

Simple (A+B): 5x3x2x5 = 150 x .50 = $75
All A’s: 2x2x2x3 = $24 ($12 for .50)

7th: 10th BC Dirt Mile (G1), 3+, 1m (P4, P3, DD)

Came to California expecting to lean heavily on Dortmund, but improved look of Runhappy and presence of high quality Vyjack and Gun Runner have me casting a wider net. This will end up being a better race than anyone expected..

Most Likely: #3 Dortmund 6-5 4th
Next Best: #9 Gun Runner 9-2 2nd
Best Value: #1 Vyjack 10-1 7th
Exotics Use: #7 Runhappy 3-1 8th

8th: 10 BC Juvenile Filly Turf (G1), 2yo-F, 1m-T (P3, DD)

This group appears deep and contentious, yet I want to try to tiptoe through it with a narrow focus. La Coronel has been impressive as a young horse can be and a cozier draw would have her in bold type for many. Think you have to be confident in Geroux doing what Moore did last year with Hit It a Bomb which will leave you open to more possibilities in races others are going narrow. I’ll add Rymska (20-1) who will be a rare Chad Brown bonus mutuel and has looked terrific preparing for this..

Most Likely: #14 La Coronel 9-2 6th
Best Value: #11 Rymska 20-1 5th
Next Best: #3 New Money Honey 10-1 WON ($15.00)
Exotics Use: #9 Cavale Doree 15-1 3rd
Super Add: #13 Roly Poly 4-1 9th

9th: 33rd BC Distaff (G1) F&M-3+, 9f (DD, DIS-CLS DBL, Hi-5)

Have found it difficult to warm to a specific scenario for this titanic tilt given so many plausible, and a couple implausible, results. Songbird may simply break sharp and prove out as a unique brand of horse, but she’ll need to turn back a series of bona fide fillies and mares to do so. Beholder has not ‘lost a step’ based on performance figures and perhaps getting back to a stalking trip makes the difference. With Spendthrift losing Lord Nelson as a Cup participant, a win by Beholder in her final appearance would fit a charming script. But in the final analysis, both Songbird and Beholder appear vulnerable late to the carefully orchestrated Stellar Wind who wins this with a repeat of her Zenyatta effort last month. Using the top trio in multi race wagers probably gets everyone through, but alternate endings with I’m a Chatterbox, Forever Unbridled and Curalina (all 12-1 on ML) are far from impossible upsetters. I’m a Chatterbox has quietly been running at the same level as the Big 3 and looks spectacular coming in to the feature, while Pletcher takes the same tact with Curalina as he did with ’15 Distaff winner Stopchargingmaria. Forever Unbridled needs a career best here, but a breakneck pace is a distinct possibility and she can pick up the pieces of a meltdown. Hard to see this edition failing to live to the hype no matter what the outcome..

Best Value #5 Stellar Wind 5-2 4th
Next Best: #1 Songbird 6-5 2nd
Exotics Use: #8 Beholder 5-2 WON ($8.60)
Super Add: #6 Forever Unbridled 12-1 3rd
Hi-5 Play: #7 I’m a Chatterbox 12-1 5th

P6 Grid:

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

Simple (A+B): 3x1x3x2x1x4 = 72 x $2 = $144
All A’s: 2x1x3x2x1x1 = 12 x $2 = $24

P4 Grid:

6: 6-11-13 (A), – (B), 1-3-4-8-9 (C)
7: 3-9 (A), 1-7 (B), 4-8 (C)
8: 11-14 (A), – (B), 2-3-4-9-13-16 (C)
9: 1-5-8 (A), 3-6-7 (B), – (C)

Simple (A+B): 3x4x2x6 = 144 x .50 = $72
All A’s: 3x2x2x3 = $36 ($18 for .50)

10th: 5th Twilight Derby (G2), 3yo, 9f-T

Best Value: #5 Monster Bea 8-1 6th
Next Best: #6 Blackjackcat 6-1 3rd
Exotics Use: #4 Oscar Nominated 7-2 4th
Super Add: #1 Free Rose 3-1 2nd

P4 Grid:

7: 3-9 (A), 1-7 (B), 4-8 (C)
8: 11-14 (A), – (B), 2-3-4-13-16 (C)
9: 1-5-8 (A), 3-6-7 (B), – (C)
10: 4-5-6 (A), – (B), 1-9-12 (C)

Simple (A+B): 4x2x6x3 = 144 x .50 = $72
All A’s: 2x2x3x3 = $36 ($18 for .50)