Preview: Four down and nine to go as the Breeders’ Cup action continues today at Del Mar. One thing we learned Friday is that the Euro jockeys better learn how to ride the Del Mar turf course or they could get embarrassed like Ryan Moore, who had no clue on Happily in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. Bad ride, man. But he learned and won the BC Juvenile Turf.
FIRST RACE: 1, Goldy Espony, 2. Hillhouse High, 3. On Leave, 4. Aljazzi. LONG SHOT: Sassy Little Lila.
FOURTH RACE (BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES)
1. Gio Game, 2. Heavenly Love, 3. Moonshine Memories, 4. Separationofpowers. Long shot: Wonder Gadot.
The 2-year-old fillies start the BC action and trainer Mark Casse has this race surrounded with three entries. I’ll go with the longer price here with GIO GAME. She just broke her maiden at Keeneland like a good thing and has been working well at Churchill Downs.
FIFTH RACE: (BC TURF SPRINT)
1. Pure Sensation, 2. Disco Partner, 3. Richard’s Boy, 4. Lady Aurelia. Long shot: Holding Gold.
A lot of people think a closer is the way to go on this turf course as the speed kills itself off, so I’m hoping PURE SENSATION runs the same kind of race he did last time at Parx where he came from off the pace. LADY AURELIA will be tough to beat, but I’m taking a shot.
SIXTH RACE (BC FILLY AND MARE SPRINT)
1. Finley’sluckycharm, 2. Skye Diamonds, 3. Unique Bella, 4. Highway Star. Long shot: Ami’s Mesa.
Once again I hope press box friends Jon Lindo and Jeff Bloom get all the money here on SKYE DIAMONDS, but I like FINLEY’SLUCKYCHARM, who is coming in from Kentucky off a big win, and she is 8-for-10 on the dirt. UNIQUE BELLA will be a single on a lot of exotic tickets, but I think she is beatable.
SEVENTH RACE: (BC FILLY AND MARE TURF)
1. Wuheida, 2. Lady Eli, 3. Queen’s Trust, 4. Cambodia. Long shot: Zipessa.
LADY ELI is a feel-good story and a worthy favorite, but I’m going with the Euro on top. WUHEIDA is from the Charles Appleby barn and he isn’t here for the weather. In her one race in Europe on a firm turf course, she won. Good sign. William Buick has ridden her before and let’s hope he knows how to ride this turf course.
EIGHTH RACE (BC SPRINT)
1. DREFONG (best bet), 2. Imperial Hint, 3. Roy H, 4. American Pastime. Long shot: Calculator.
There’s nothing like California speed, and Drefong is the defending champ of this race. After that disaster in the Bing Crosby, he went back East to beat them all at Saratoga in the Forego. Don’t be afraid to play a Peter Miller exacta box (ROY H and CALCULATOR). Calculator will be closing and might be a good one to back wheel underneath.
NINTH RACE (BC MILE)
1. Zelzal, 2. Ballagh Rocks, 3. Suedois, 4. Midnight Storm. Long shot: Lancaster Bomber
This race is on the turf and anyone from post 10 and out will have a tough task. ZELZAL has done well on firm courses in France and he’s adding Lasix for the first time. Looking for a big upset here.
10TH RACE (BC JUVENILE)
1. The Tabulator, 2. Bolt d’Oro, 3. Solimini, 4. U S Navy Flag. Long shot: Firenze Fire.
Yes, I am going against the likely biggest favorite of the day in BOLT D’ORO, the really local horse owned and trained by Mick Ruis. He is the most probable winner of the day, but THE TABULATOR is also a perfect 3-for-3 in the Midwest for trainer Larry Rivelli. Again looking for a big upset. I suggest exactas with Bolt d’Oro on top of The Tabulaor, SOLIMINI and U S NAVY FLAG might pay well.
11TH RACE: (BC TURF)
1. Highland Reel, 2. Talismanic, 3. Beach Patrol. 4. Decorated Knight. Long shot: Hunt.
This race is usually owned by the Europeans and I don’t see a reason to change that thinking. ULYSSES was scratched late Friday night. HIGHLAND REEL won this race a year ago at Santa Anita. TALISMANIC is trained by the great Andre Fabre. HUNT is an interesting long shot after winning two stakes races on the Del Mar green this summer.
12TH RACE: (BC CLASSIC)
1. Arrogate, 2. Mubtaahij, 3. Gunnevera, 4. Gun Runner. Long shot: West Coast.
The final race, and it’s only worth $6 million. I agonized over this selection after ARROGATE’s two losses at Del Mar this summer because I believe those who said he doesn’t have the same action over the surface as he does others. However, I think the Dubai trip took more out of him than Bob Baffert knew and now the trainer has him ready to go out a winner in his final race before going off to stud duty. MUBTAAHIJ finished fourth to Arrogate in Dubai and his recent win at Santa Anita was impressive. WEST COAST is Baffert’s 3-year-old upsetter and if COLLECTED wins from the No. 11 post, he deserves Horse of the Year.