I would estimate that 90 percent of the horses who’ll be competing in the Breeders’ Cup have had their final prep races. That makes this an interesting time to look through the ante-post markets to see if we might find some value.
Let’s start with the Classic and work our way back. I’ll address Omaha Beach’s incredible return to the races throughout the piece, but let’s just say for now that this division looks even more open than it did when I wrote about last weekend. We’ve also learned since then that Code of Honor will be pointing here and that McKinzie will have a new rider. All in all, my favorite bet on the board right now is the same as last week – an each-way shot at SEEKING THE SOUL at 50-1. The race should be run to suit and that’s too big a number on a horse with his finishing ability.
It’s very tricky to talk about the turf races this far out as we have so little idea about the composition of the fields but I will say this: the 13/2 on Sottsass available in one spot for the Turf is at least intriguing. Of course, it’s not certain he’s running and if something unexpected happens and Enable decides to turn up it won’t look that great but there’s a world in which Sistercharlie’s brother ends up a heavy favorite for this in the end.
The Turf Mile might be a good place to take two Chad Brown runners against the field. It sounds like it’s going to be the target for both Bricks and Mortar and Uni. The former might find the mile a bit sharp, but he’ll certainly still take a lot of money (and beating) should he appear here. The outlier price on him of 13/2 right now is surely too big and the 5-1 is still interesting. Uni looked terrific at Keeneland last weekend and I think the owners will supplement her for this race. She might be half the 12-1 on offer on the day. I don’t blame those wanting to tread lightly until we know what the foreign contingent will look like but those prices represent value.
Watch the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November.
OMAHA BEACH was absolutely amazing at Santa Anita over the weekend, making his return to the races a winning one at a seemingly inadequate six furlongs against a serious foe in Shancelot. There’s risk involved here but if he ends up in the Dirt Mile, I think he’ll be odds on, making the current 9/2 available in one prominent book very appealing. For now, that’s the one of the three places he’s priced up where I’m interested, though the 12-1 for the Classic would be fantastic if we knew that was the target.
Since Ascot, I’ve been viewing the new Juvenile Turf Sprint as a potential showdown between Kimari and A’ali. One book right now has Kimari at an outlier 4-1 and A’ali is available as long as 6-1. I don’t mind either of those at all. I love how they’ve both been pointed to this for at least the whole summer.
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is a race where there might be some opportunity still with Eight Rings at 7-2. He’s been brilliant in his two victories and I’m not holding the Del Mar Futurity, where he dumped his rider, against him. It won’t be an easy assignment – Dennis Moment has run very fast too, and last weekend’s Grade 1 winners in this division were visually impressive, but I think Eight Rings will be a lot shorter on the day than he is right now.
The best bet on the board right now might be MITOLE at 7-2 in the Sprint. He’s such a talented horse, with big excuses for his dull-ish performance two back. I think he ends up here and that the market may be being influenced by the thought that Omaha Beach will run here and I don’t think he will in the end.
Peter FORNATALE's Best Ante-Post Bets
BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
SEEKING THE SOUL each-way (50-1 bet365, 40-1 William Hill)
BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE
OMAHA BEACH (5-1 Coral, 9-2 Ladbrokes, 4-1 bet365, BetVictor)
BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT
MITOLE (3-1 bet365, BetVictor, 11-4 William Hill)