Peter Fornatale's Breeders' Cup Diary

In his Tuesday update from the Lexington track, Peter Fornatale considers the impact of the draw on the leading Breeders’ Cup candidates.

  • Tuesday 03 November
  • Blog
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The weather was a little better out at Keeneland on Tuesday morning and the atmosphere in the breakfast area was far more lively. Humans and equines are filtering in from all over the country, and indeed, all over the world.

The draw was last night and there were a few takeaways worth sharing.

Watch the 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November.

Let’s start with the Classic:

I don’t love the two gate for Tiz the Law. Feels like he’s more comfortable when he can run outside of horses and there is a possibility he could get buried down on the inside. It’s not that big of a deal. He could easily work out a trip, with one scenario being to let the speed from his outside go and to get to an attacking position outside. I suppose they could also consider sending. I will raise the price I am willing to take on him a little bit now, but I still want him on side.

Also in the Classic, it’s interesting to see the three Baffert runners drawn in a row on the outside. This should be ideal for all three.

Tiz The Law
Tiz The Law has an inside draw in the $6 million Classic..

In the Distaff, the draw did no favors for our ante-post fancy Ce Ce. She might have to be a little hard used from the rail. But the good news is that it’s only a field of 10, not 14, and I’m hoping she can break away from there, get position and come running. At the price we have, she’s still great value (12-1 on the USA morning line).

In the Sprint, the far outside draw likely helps Vekoma, who can get a good position and let the race unfold before him, with the option of going on with it in the unlikely event that the pace does not develop. I liken the outside draw in a one-turn sprint to sitting on the button in poker – you’ve got great position and you can see how others act before you commit.

In the Dirt Mile, I like the five draw for Knicks Go, who I think will try to wire them, and I am slightly less interested in Art Collector in the one.

In the FM Sprint, it’s interesting that Gamine drew inside of Serengeti Empress. I have to imagine they’ll both go hammer and tongs for the lead and Gamine, who has slower pace figures, will definitely benefit from being inside. For me, the draw increases the chance of a pace meltdown and should help the chances of the deep closers of getting a piece. As for our tip, Speech, the rail draw isn’t ideal but at least it’s Gamine to her outside, who will surely go forward, meaning she can hopefully get some position and make her attacking run (very similar to Ce Ce in the Distaff).

Looking back to Friday, I love the seven for Jackie’s Warrior, who figures to be one of the shorter prices of the weekend in the Juvenile. He should be able to dictate terms. Reinvestment Risk is drawn inside and it will be interested to see if connections choose to take the race to their old rival – stalking hasn’t worked out so maybe they go on with it? I’m sticking with Jackie, but a meltdown is not out of the question. I might start thinking about a longshot to bet each way in addition to the previously advised play.

In the Juvenile Fillies, I am still against Princess Noor but the outside draw likely suits her. Off topic, last night at a Lexington restaurant, Mr. Baffert was asked about her chances and expressed confidence that the “numbers guys,” of which I am one, might have some egg on our faces Friday night. I look forward to the challenge!

In the Juvenile Turf Sprint, I would have picked a different draw for Golden Pal – he’ll have to be used a little more early to clear in a big field of 14. But with his speed, the far outside should not be an issue and it does come with the benefit of having no horse to jostle him at the break in a start that could be roughly run. He’ll be fine. He has the speed to just on with his business and is also in contention to be the shortest price of the two days, though the draw might just mean that distinction goes to Jackie’s Warrior.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more thoughts from the grounds here at Keeneland.

Watch the 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November.

Peter Fornatale's Breeders' Cup Diary
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