It's Breeders' Cup Saturday at Keeneland, and with the high-quality racing comes a plethora of top-tier wagering opportunities. I'll preview the first of two all-Breeders' Cup Pick Fours, which starts in the fourth race and includes the Filly and Mare Sprint, Turf Sprint, Dirt Mile, and Filly and Mare Turf. I think it's a fun sequence, one you can capitalize on to pad your bankroll (possibly in preparation for another Pick Four starting in the ninth). Let's take a look!
RACE #4: I'm starting off by taking a bold stand in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. #2 GAMINE, #6 VENETIAN HARBOR, and #7 SERENGETI EMPRESS are all very talented...but they all want the lead early. I think that leads to a very fast pace and, by extension, a closer-friendly race shape.
I'm going three-deep, using #5 SCONSIN, #8 SALLY'S CURLIN, and #9 BELL'S THE ONE. I readily admit that, if one of the first three horses I mentioned gets an easy lead, I'm probably hosed. However, I think there will be a high-octane speed duel going down the backstretch, and such a scenario would play into the hands of the three late-runners I'm using. If we can get a closer home here, many tickets will go up in smoke, and that'll help us significantly.
RACE #5: The Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint is usually a wide-open race, and this year's renewal is no different. It's tough to guess which runner will go favored, and I'm four-deep.
#8 OLEKSANDRA is a tepid top selection. I understand she hasn't run since June, but she also hasn't run a poor race since February of 2019. She was last seen winning the Grade 1 Jaipur at Belmont Park, where she earned the second of two straight 101 Beyer Speed Figures. She should get the pace setup she wants, and I think she'll be tough to hold off late.
I'll also use #6 GLASS SLIPPERS, #7 LEINSTER, and #14 EXTRAVAGANT KID. Glass Slippers is one of Europe's top sprinters, and she'll get Lasix for the first time, which is always a notable angle. Her best race is absolutely good enough to win this, and a repeat of her two-back Group 1 win at The Curragh would make her a handful.
RACE #6: I'm against the morning line favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. #10 COMPLEXITY was very good in winning the Grade 2 Kelso last time out, but his lone prior two-turn effort was one of the worst races of his career. 2-1 seems way too short, so I'll try to beat him.
#5 KNICKS GO is the 7/2 second choice, and his return from a long layoff last month was sensational. He earned a 107 Beyer Speed Figure in a 10-length romp over this main track, one that moved him to 2-for-2 since being transferred to trainer Brad Cox. Cox won a Breeders' Cup race Friday, and between Knicks Go and Monomoy Girl, I like his chances of adding another one Saturday.
I'm also using #1 ART COLLECTOR and #9 MR FREEZE. The former may have bounced a bit when fourth in the Grade 1 Preakness but dodges Swiss Skydiver and Authentic here, while the latter exits a win in the Grade 2 Fayette and cuts back to what seems like his most effective distance.
RACE #7: We'll finish things off with the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. Chad Brown holds a strong hand in this event, where he'll saddle four of the 14 runners. I'm using one of them, but while she'll likely be favored, she isn't my top selection.
#7 TEREBELLUM invades from across the pond for legendary horseman John Gosden, and she'll make her second start off a layoff here while stretching back out to her preferred route of ground. She's earned a pair of Group 1 placings overseas this season and gets Lasix for the first time here, which should move her up. The presence of Frankie Dettori also cannot be overlooked, and it's safe to say we won't get the 20-1 morning line price. Anything above 10-1 represents a significant overlay to me.
#6 RUSHING FALL is the other runner on my ticket, and her accomplishments speak for themselves. She's won 11 of 14 career starts, has won five of six races at Keeneland, and already has a Breeders' Cup win to her credit. A second trophy will almost certainly ensure a future spot in racing's Hall of Fame, and while I don't think she'll have it easy stretching out to this distance, she's clearly capable of winning, and it would be silly to think otherwise.
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