One of the best sponsors ever to sponsor anything, the third Breeders’ Cup race of the day is the $1 million Grade 1 Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, a one mile race for 3-year-olds and up. The field of 10 is slated as race 6 with an approximate post time of 4:10 p.m. ET.
#2, Improbable, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1
Having attended the Pennsylvania Derby in person back in September, if there is anyone that needs a big ass effort for his fans and backers, its Improbable. Listed as the morning-line second choice, Improbable will be making his 10th career start (4-2-0) and his seventh this year, with a so-so record of 1-2-0. In his last at Parx, he one again broke poorly from the gate, made up ground and had an opening in the stretch run to take advantage but couldn’t. He is looking for just his second win in seven starts with the last being a 2 ¾ length win in the four-horse field of the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar on Aug 25. Trainer Bob Baffert goes with Rafael Bejarano for the first time to see if he can take a better approach as Mike Smith is aboard today’s entrant and morning-line favorite Omaha Beach. I’m taking another shot, but please have a clean break. The pick.
#5, Omaha Beach, Mike Smith, 8-5
Omaha Beach is the one to beat, as he is 4-1-0 in five starts this year and 4-3-1 in eight career starts. He never misses the board and is currently riding a four-race win streak, including two straight G1 wins in the Arkansas Derby by a length over my top pick on April 13 and after almost close to a six-month break, a head win over Shancelot in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5. He is in a groove right now for trainer Richard Mandella and having Mike Smith just enhances the chances. We will try to beat him though with an Improbable effort. Major contender.
#4, Mr. Money, Gabriel Saez, 6-1
After four straight Grade 3 wins on three different tracks, Mr. Money finished a neck shy to 31-1 longshot Math Wizard in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Sept. 21 in his last (see Improbable above). He is 4-1-0 in seven starts this year and 5-3-0 in 11 lifetime starts. Trainer Bret Calhoun and jockey Gabriel Saez seem to have this horse in a great spot right now and this horse has been talked about all week during works. We will see if he can meet up to the expectations and finally win a G1 in his third try. Contender.
#7, Coal Front, Javier Castellano, 6-1
Does anyone talk about Coal Front? This will be his ninth graded stakes race in his career (5-0-1). After winning the Godolphin Mile at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai back on March 30, the trip there and back might have gotten him out of whack a bit, as he came back and finished a disappointing seven in the G1 Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on June 8. He returns on July 20 to finish third as the morning-line favorite in the G3 Monmouth Cup Stakes to War Story and Bal Harbour. In his last race, two months and a day later, he takes the Parx Dirt Mile Stakes with Mike Smith aboard as the favorite by ¾ of a length over Diamond King on Sept. 21. I think he could be back to his old form finally and with trainer Todd Pletcher and Javier Castellano at excellent odds, I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts in a big ass effort. In the mix.
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