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Lo Duca: My Card for The 2018 Breeders’ Cup

Lo Duca: My Card for The 2018 Breeders’ Cup article feature image

Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports.

  • The 2018 Breeders' Cup features the best horses from around the world competing in nine stakes races.
  • The headliner is Race No. 11, the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic, which serves as the year-end championship for horse racing.
  • Below is my card for the nine stakes races on Saturday.

Even though the Triple Crown races get most of the attention, the Breeders’ Cup is where the money is at.

We have nine stakes races on Saturday starting at 12 p.m. ET and going through the Breeders’ Cup Classic at 5:44 p.m. ET. Coverage starts on NBCSN for the first race and moves over to NBC at 3:30 p.m. ET.

This year, the Breeders’ Cup is being held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Race No. 3

Bob Baffert’s No. 13 Marley’s Freedom (8-5) is the horse to beat in this one and I’ll be building around the favorite with No. 1 Selcourt (4-1), No. 5 Golden Mischief (10-1) and my favorite longshot No. 14 Shamrock Rose (20-1).

Picks: 13, 1, 5, 4

Race No. 4

I’m starting my card for the $1 million Turf Sprint with the No. 11 World of Trouble (6-1). Joel Rosario is riding the favorite No. 5 Disco Partner (7-2), and I never have a problem backing Rosario. No. 8 Chanteline (15-1) and No. 13 Will Call (20-1) are both longshots worthy of a look in this 5.5-furlong sprint.

Picks: 11, 5, 8, 13

Race No. 5

I’ll be playing it pretty straight forward in the Dirt Mile. I like the two favorites, No. 1 City of Light (8-5) and No. 10 Catalina Cruiser (8-5) at the top of my ticket. I’ll add two Kentucky Derby horses — No. 7 Firenze Fire (6-1) and No. 8 Bravazo (20-1) — in exactas, trifectas and superfectas.

Picks: 1, 10, 7, 8

Race No. 6

No. 3 Wild Illusion (7-2) comes over from Great Britain and is the class of the Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf. No. 10 Magic Wand (5-1), No. 9 A Raving Beauty (10-1) and No. 6 Sistercharlie (3-1) all make for good pieces in an exotic with the favorite.

Picks: 3, 10, 9, 6

Race No. 7

The $2 million TwinSpires Sprint seems like a two-horse race between No. 5 Imperial Hint (9-5) and No. 9 Roy H (5-2) according to the odds, and I tend to agree. I’ll use No. 8 Limousine Liberal (6-1) and No. 2 Promises Fulfilled (6-1) to finish off my card for this one.

Picks: 5, 9, 8, 2

Race No. 8

The Breeders’ Cup Mile features some of the world’s best grass milers and I’m starting this race with a longshot from the UK, No. 14 Mustashry (15-1). The price is also great on Irish horse No. 13 Gustav Klimt (10-1). I’m also going to play the No. 2 Next Shares (10-1) in what should be a wide-open race. No horse was shorter than 6-1 on the morning line, so play some longer odds and hope you get lucky.

Picks: 14, 13, 2

Race No. 9

The Longines Distaff brings together the best female dirt horses for a championship showdown at 1 1/8 miles on the main track and there are some big names in this one. I’ve long been an admirer of No. 11 Monomoy Girl (2-1) and will kick this race off with her at the top. No. 7 Midnight Bisou (6-1) should be near the top for this one and I like two Argentinian horses No. 8 Vale Dori (12-1) and No. 10 Blue Prize (6-1) as pieces in exotics.

Picks: 11, 7, 8, 10

Race 10

The Longines Turf attracts some of the best grass talent from the U.S. and Europe, and this year’s field is headlined by even-money favorite No. 2 Enable (1-1) from Great Britain. I’m using the favorite on my card but I’m looking for better value with No. 5 Magical (10-1) out of Ireland. I’m also eyeing another longshot, No. 11 Sadler’s Joy (30-1). I’ll finish off this card with No. 12 Waldgeist (9-2).

Picks: 5, 2, 11, 12

Race No. 11

OK, time for the reason we’re all here — the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Every sport has a year-ending event to crown its champions, and this is it in horse racing. The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, run at 1 1/4 miles, draws the top international Thoroughbreds year after year. I’m starting my Classic card off with the No. 3 Catholic Boy (8-1). Bob Baffert’s No. 7 West Coast (5-1) is my pick for second. It’s hard to keep a Baffert horse off your card in a race of this magnitude. I’ll also be using Japanese horse No. 10 Yoshida (10-1) and No. 11 Mind Your Biscuits (6-1) in exotics.

Picks: 3, 7, 10, 11

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