Breeders Cup Picks: Turf Sprint
The two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park gets underway today with its Future Stars Friday card. The $1 million Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, a five furlong race for 2-year-olds on the turf, kicks off day one in race 5 of the 10-day card with an approximate post time of 4:12 p.m. ET.
#10, A’Ali, Frankie Dettori, 6-1
It seems like Frankie Dettori wins a Breeders’ Cup race every year, so why not kick off this weekend’s festivities with a victorious triumph. A’Ali is 3-1-0 in five career starts, all across the pond, and will be making his first start here in the states. He has won three of his last four races, including his last start, in the G2 Wainwright Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster on Sept. 13. He also took home the G2 Norfolk Stakes, a ‘Win and You’re In’ race at Royal Ascot on June 20. Dettori at 6-1? I’ll take a shot with those odds. The pick.
#7, Kimari, John Velazquez, 7-2
The second-choice morning line favorite is 3-1-0 in four career starts, including two straight wins, highlighted by a half-length win over today’s entrant Chimney Rock in come-from-behind fashion in the $200,000 Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 9. He has raced in only one graded stakes, the G2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, on June 19. One of three entrants in today’s race for trainer Wesley Ward (Four Wheel Drive, Cambria). He has a late kick with a HOFer in John Velazquez aboard and should be right there at the end. Runner-up.
#9, Four Wheel Drive, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 3-1
Morning-line favorite Four Wheel Drive is part of Wesley Ward’s trio in today’s race and sports two straight wins in two career starts, including a three-length victory over Freewheeler in the $150,000 Grade 3 Futurity Stakes at Belmont in her last on Oct. 6. He can lead or come from off the pace as shown in his two starts and can handle anything that comes his way. Irad Ortiz is back his for second straight start in the irons. Contender.
#12, Cambria, Tyler Gaffalione, 12-1
Long shots are always in the mix every year at the Breeders’ Cup and in the first BC race in this year’s edition, this remains true. Probably ranked third in trainer Wesley Ward’s trio in today’s race, Cambria enters with three straight wins, highlighted by a head win over today’s entrant Chimney Rock in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 7. Tyler Gaffalione is in the saddle for his second straight and third of Cambria’s four starts and that’s a good sign as this will be Cambria’s first graded stakes appearance. In the mix.
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