2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic Day Picks, Bets and Exotics Preview: Which Favorites Are Vulnerable at Santa Anita?
Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA Today Sports.
Starting strong at the Breeders’ Cup on Friday was something we wanted to do and delivered.
Three wins in five races have set us up nicely going into Saturday’s nine-race card, highlighted by the $6 million Classic.
Coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN, with the Classic being aired at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.
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Race No. 4: Filly and Mare Sprint
Post time: 2:55 p.m. ET
We have a vulnerable favorite in No. 1 Covfefe (2-1), who drew the rail and faces older horses for only the second time in her career. That said, I am looking to beat her with No. 9 Spiced Perfection at 4-1 odds.
Love the jockey (John Velazquez) and trainer (Peter Miller) joining forces on this horse, who can sit right off the pace and track down the leaders late. I am playing Spiced Perfection across the board and using her with Covfefe, No. 4 Come Dancing (5-2) and No. 5 Lady Ninja (10-1) in my exotics.
Race No. 5: The Turf Sprint
Post Time: 3:33 p.m. ET, NBCSN
I am going with No. 9 Final Frontier (6-1) to spring the minor upset. Hook him up in your exotic plays with No. 1 Totally Boss (5-1), No. 2 Pure Sensation (5-1), No. 3 Imprimis (8-1), No. 10 Eddie Haskell (9-2) and No. 12 Belvoir Bay at 12-1 odds.
Race No. 6: The Dirt Mile
4:10 p.m. ET, NBCSN
This is such a tough race to handicap, but I am going with No. 5 Omaha Beach (8-5) on top. Jockey Mike Smith is aboard for Hall of Famer trainer Richard Mandella and I think Omaha Beach, who missed the Triple Crown races with a breathing issue, is primed for the best performance of his career.
I am playing Omaha Beach on top, with No. 1 Giant Expectations (12-1), No. 2 Improbable (3-1), No. 7 Coal Front (6-1) and No. 9 Diamond Oops (15-1) in my exacta and trifecta wagers.
Race No. 7: The Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf
4:54 p.m. ET, NBCSN
I am going with the favorite No. 2 Sistercharlie (8-5), who is the race’s defending champion. She is 3-for-3 on the year and trainer Chad Brown has won this race four times.
I will play her across the board, as well in exactas with No. 1 Iridessa (8-1), No. 3 Fleeting (6-1), No. 7 Vasilika (8-1) and No. 12 Fanny Logan at 15-1 odds.
Race No. 8: Sprint
5:36 p.m. ET, NBCSN
This is the most talent-loaded race on the Breeders’ Cup card. Another shaky favorite leads the way in No. 4 Mitole (9-5) and I think he is going to struggle to get the distance. I am taking a shot with No. 6 Shancelot (4-1) in a minor upset.
I am playing him across the board in win, place and show wagering. I will also use Shancelot in my boxed exacta and trifecta plays with Mitole, No. 1 Catalina Cruiser (4-1), No. 5 Engage (15-1) and No. 9 Imperial Hint at 4-1 odds.
Race No. 9: The TVG Mile
6:20 p.m. ET, NBCSN
I said the American turf horses were better than their European counterparts before the Breeders’ Cup started and that held true during Friday’s grass races.
I am sticking with that angle here and going with No. 11 Uni (7-2) for my win-place-show wagers. Use Uni and No. 6 Got Stormy (7-2) on top of your exotic plays, with No. 2 Lucullan (12-1), No. 9 Circus Maximus (3-1) and No. 13 Hey Gaman (12-1) underneath.
Race No. 10: The Longines Distaff
7 p.m. ET, NBCSN
I am going with No. 4 Midnight Bisou (6-5), who would likely lock up Horse of the Year honors with a victory. Jockey Mike Smith and trainer Steve Asmussen guide the favorite, who boasts a perfect 7-for-7 record this year and has won 3 of 4 tries at Santa Anita. Not bad for an $80,000 purchase.
I am playing her across the board, then in boxed exactas and trifectas with No. 1 Paradise Woods (5-1), No. 5 Dunbar Road (6-1) and No. 12 Serengeti Empress at 12-1 odds.
Race No. 11: The Longines Turf
7:40 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Another candidate for Horse of the Year is favorite No. 9 Bricks and Mortar (9-5), who we like to bring home the win in this very tough race.
I am boxing Bricks and Mortar with No. 5 Anthony Van Dyck (3-1), No. 10 Old Persian (4-1), No. 11 Arklow (12-1) and No. 12 Channel Maker (10-1) in my exotic wagers.
Race No. 12: The Breeders’ Cup Classic
8:44 p.m. ET, NBC
Unlike past editions of this $6 million showcase, this year’s Classic is loaded with very good – but not great – talent and that makes it a wide-open affair in my opinion.
Knowing that, I am going with No. 11 Code of Honor (4-1) to win the premier event. He has been one of my favorite horses this season and I love his chances in the Classic.
Play Code of Honor across the board, then use him in your exotics with No. 6 Elate (6-1), No. 8 McKinzie (3-1), No. 9 Mongolian Groom (12-1) and No. 10 Vino Rosso at 4-1 odds.