As the Betting Event of the Year, the HRI staff and contributors will provide their thinking on the day’s featured BREEDERS’ CUP event; Friday’s Juvenile and Saturday’s Classic, as well as one Play of the Day for each afternoon.

You will note there are many different styles and approaches to wagering. Choose to follow; choose to ignore; choose to add or subject, culling what you think makes sense. That’s the game, right? Zero-Sum.

You are encouraged to add to the discussion, should you choose.

Breeders’ Cup XXXV

Churchill Downs: FRI, November 2


The Juvenile

1. Game Winner--Still unbeaten and his two stakes wins could not have been more impressive. Baffert knows how to win BC races.
2. Code of Honor—Solid second to an unchallenged speedball in Champagne (same circumstance as Good Magic). He’s become the wise guy horse; how often do wise guy horses win big stakes?
3. Gunmetal Gray—He’ll be coming late but he couldn’t close gap on Game Winner in last.
4. Complexity—Two turns a different game than Champagne.
5. Standard Deviation—Chad colt at a big price could be ticket-maker.

The Play: Key Game Winner on top of Code of Honor and Gunmetal Gray and save with lesser exactas with the latter two on top. Use the other two to fill out Tri's and Super's.

Play of the Day Juvenile Turf

1. The Black Album—Highly regarded in France, he skipped a lot of races back home to be specifically pointed to this. Why not go for 30-1 in a wide open race?
2. Line of Duty—He’s turning back against many stretching out; trainer is 2-3 at Breeders’ Cup.
3. Forty Under—Both distance tries on turf have been eye-catching.
4. Anthony Van Dyke—Post is a killer.
5. Current—Huge close in Keeneland stakes but also draws poorly.

At the price, The Black Album has to be bet win and place. Box in exactas with Line of Duty and Forty Under.


The Juvenile

1- Well Defined earned top figures in Florida and gets Smith.
2- Complexity is undefeated and makes two-turn bow.
3- Game Winner has a strong win at the distance.
4- Code of Honor had rough-trip placing in Champagne.
5- Gunmetal Grey figures closely with an alert start.

Play of the Day Juvenile Turf

1- Line of Duty is 2-2 at route this year under higher weights.

The Plays: Exacta - Line of Duty on top of Somelikeithotbrown and Anthony Van Dyck
Trifecta - Line of Duty / Somelikeithotbrown & Anthony Van Dyck / all
Superfecta - Line of Duty / Somelikeithotbrown & Anthony Van Dyck / all / all


The Juvenile

1. Complexity – Unbeaten, unchallenged Champagne Winner
2. Code of Honor – Troubled, closing Champagne runnerup
3. Game Winner – Unbeaten American Pharoah/DMR Futurity Winner
4. Knicks Go – Dominant Breeders’ Futurity Winner
5. Tight Ten – Troubled, narrow Iroquois runnerup over course

The Play [edited change made 110118 at 11:39 am]:

Box top three (Complexity, Code of Honor, Game Winner) in first 2 slots in Supers over All five in bottom 2 slots.

SPR: Top 3 // Top 3 // All 5 // All 5

SPR: Complexity // Code of Honor, Game Winner // Code of Honor, Game Winner, Knicks Go, Tight Ten // Code of Honor, Game Winner, Knicks Go, Tight Ten

Play of the Day Juvenile Turf

1. Forty Under – Pilgrim winner
2. Somelikeithotbrown – Narrow Pilgrim runnerup
3. Current – Bourbon winner
4. Henley’s Joy – Narrow Bourbon runnerup
5. War of Will – Narrow Bourbon third, close G1 Summer runnerup

[King of Speed & Anthony Van Dyke]

The Play: With ML favorite stuck outside, a Dime Super 5-horse box using top hard-to-separate contenders reasonably could pay more than expected. For added vertical coverage, King of Speed and Anthony Van Dyke could be used as underneath fillers.


The Juvenile

1. Game Winner: SoCal juveniles have poor ship-in record to CD, but it’s Baffert. Very professional, long striding colt fits speedy dynamic and well-drawn.
2. Code of Honor: The handicapping world knows all about the Champagne trip. Buoyed by Shug’s commitment, Johnny’s genius and favorable race shape.
3. Complexity: Do believe this is a very special speed horse that should go at least this far. My problem is the very speedy drawn directly inside him with Smith.
4. Standard Deviation: The rest of the handicapping world has seen this boy’s Breeders’ Futurity. Don’t understand blinkers on but 26% blinkered Chad does.
5. Derby Date: Yet another tough-tripper nicely drawn inside and like the switch to Contreras. “The Coach” at 30-1 will fill out the boom of my tickets.

Win Play: Strictly about price. Really don’t want less than 5-2 on Game Winner (8-5 ML). At early line odds, would consider Code of Honor at ML odds of 5-1 or higher.
Exotic Play: Exacta box of Top Three. Keying all three first in Tri’s and Super’s with the four horses named, extra ticket with Game Winner on top.

Play of the Day Juvenile Fillies Turf

1. Newspaperofrecord showed extraordinary brilliance winning her first two starts but is no run-off, as the Chad Turf Machine goes for its fifth JFT title. Need only repeat last.
2. La Pelosa impressed very favorably winning WO’s Natalma with change-of-pace from wide post with first-Lasix, reunites with Buick, great spacing, tactical speed and cozy post.
3. The Mackem Bullet has improved as the competition got tougher this season, never taking a step backward, plenty of bottom-wide for stretchout, inside draw and a budding young Euro in the boot.
4. My Gal Betty was a good second behind La Pelosa at WO with first Lasix at added distance, has excellent spacing, very smart drills and attracts Javier.
5. Concrete Rose did have ground saving uneventful trip winning the Jessamine in two turn debut and roared home when tipped outside; pole sitting and undefeated lifetime beneath Lezcano.

The Play: Keying Newspaperofrecord on top in Exactas and Tri’s with remaining four fillies, adding Lily’s Candle, Just Wonderful, Varenka and East 3rd and 4th in Super’s.
Exacta box of top three fillies.
Will consider win bets on either La Pelosa or The Mackem Bullet, or both, if anything close to posted 15-1 ML odds.