The Stars Are Out at the 2019 Breeders' Cup
The Saturday action starts in race 4 with the $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). All eyes will be on #1 Covfefe (2-1), a smashing eight-length winner at Churchill Downs last out in quick time. She has won five of seven lifetime for trainer Brad Cox. Hoping to upset her are the likes of #5 Lady Ninja (10-1), who won the local prep here by a nose, and #9 Spiced Perfection (4-1), a grade 1 winner here 10 months ago. #4 Come Dancing (5-2) completes the logical contenders; she has won four of five this year while racing exclusively in New York.
The $1 million Turf Sprint (G1) is contentious, with two-time defending champion #6 Stormy Liberal (8-1) considered an outsider for this. #9 Final Frontier (6-1) won New York’s most recent prep and is a full brother to a filly who missed winning the Breeders’ Cup by a head here at Santa Anita. #10 Eddie Haskell (9-2) is a Santa Anita turf sprint specialist.
The $1 million Big Ass Fan Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) could be a coronation for #5 Omaha Beach (8-5), who wowed in his comeback sprinting over this course after being the scratched Kentucky Derby favorite in May. If that effort took too much out of him, #2 Improbable (3-1) has been training strongly for Bob Baffert, and Korean star runner #8 Blue Chipper (20-1) will be looking to make history with an upset.
The $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) has seven international shippers from 11 runners after the scratch of #6 Thais. The overwhelming choice will be #2 Sistercharlie (8-5), but #8 Castle Lady (15-1) has been training very forwardly at Santa Anita, running hard every morning leading up to the race. #3 Fleeting (6-1) is the best of the females brought over by Aidan O’Brien, and #7 Vasilika (8-1) is a course specialist.
The $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) is the race of the day with a loaded field of talent. #6 Shancelot (4-1) has been unlucky to lose his last two and could have been undefeated in different circumstances. #4 Mitole (9-5) is a giant presence with three grade 1 wins this year. #1 Catalina Cruiser (4-1) is the forgotten horse despite being seven for eight lifetime and unbeaten on this track. #2 Hog Creek Hustle (20-1) will try to upset them all at a price, just as he did in the grade 1 Woody Stephens in June at 18-1.
The $2 million TVG Mile pits Europe’s Circus Maximus (3-1) against the North American-trained fillies #11 Uni (7-2) and #6 Got Stormy (7-2). The other runners bring plenty of value, with no one less than 12-1 morning line.
The $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff could be a coronation for #4 Midnight Bisou (6-5), unbeaten this year with seven straight wins. If she is defeated, it could be by multiple Santa Anita grade 1 winner #1 Paradise Woods (5-1), who is rounding back into form, or 2019 Kentucky Oaks winner #9 Serengeti Empress (12-1).
The $4 million Longinges Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) has a field of 12, with 2019 Epsom Derby (G1) winner #5 Anthony Van Dyck (3-1) a looming European presence. But leading Eclipse Horse of the Year contender #9 Bricks and Mortar (9-5) will be looking to extend his winning streak. #10 Old Persian (4-1) offers some value after a brilliant win at Woodbine last out in September; he has since been pointed directly for this race.
The action concludes with the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). #10 Vino Rosso (4-1) is already a grade 1 winner over this track and distance back in May. He won the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park last out, but was disqualified while #11 Code of Honor (4-1), the Travers Stakes (G1) winner, was put up. #8 McKinzie (3-1) is the favorite; the hometown runner is a grade 1 winner over this track. #4 War of Will (20-1) won the Preakness Stakes (G1) earlier this year.
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