- Saturday’s Breeders Cup card at Keeneland goes way beyond the featured Classic
- The Grade 1 Breeders Cup Distaff is the female equivalent of the Classic
- Where is the best betting value on one the biggest days of horse racing this year?
Though it takes place every year, essentially the Breeders Cup is horse racing’s Olympics. Regardless of the surface or distance you like to run, the best of the best are matched up and a winner in each division is crowned.
The Breeders Cup Classic is a terrific race led by Improbable, Tiz the Law, and Maximum Security. Breeders Cup Classic odds are very much worth examining. That said, the Distaff has attracted Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver, and the nearly unbeatable Monomoy Girl.
The Classic and Distaff are top races that merit attention, but so too are the other championship competitions in Kentucky on Saturday. Let’s go deep on the Distaff and then see what value we can find on the rest of the card.
2020 Breeders Cup Distaff Odds
|Point of Honor||+3300|
Odds taken November 3rd at Bet365
The Breeders Cup Distaff is a-mile-and-an-eighth on the main track. Post time is scheduled for 3:54 pm EST. It will be televised by NBC. All Breeders Cup races Friday and Saturday are on either NBC or NBC Sports Network.
The odds suggest this is a two-horse race. The brilliant Monomoy Girl won the event in 2018 and then missed all of 2019 with an injury. She has returned to the track and gone three-for-three this year though her level of competition has not been incredible.
Monomoy Girl has won 10 straight races and is 12 for 14 in her career with earnings of $3.4 million. She is three-for-three at the distance and one-for-one at Keeneland.
Swiss Skydiver is facing older horses for the first time but beat boys last time out in the Preakness Stakes.
This will be Swiss Skydiver’s 10th race of 2020. She has won five of them and pocketed $1.7 million. While she has failed to win two races at this distance and finished second in her only race at Keeneland, it took a century-old Kentucky Oaks record time to beat her in September, and that’s her only loss to a female since February.
Anybody besides Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver will produce a significant price. At the same time, nobody either has the credentials of the top two, or is running as well as them, or both.
You can’t knock Harvest Moon’s form. She will be facing older horses for the first time and was not running against the Gamine, Swiss Skydiver, Speech class either. That said, she has won four straight including a pair of stakes races in California.
It is a leap for Harvest Moon to beat the top choices here, but her form is strong and the price is right.
Dunbar Road was the favorite having won two straight races when she faced Horologist and Point of Honor last time out. Horologist won easily at +710, and all three will take their shot here.
The Beldame was oddly run with a horse loose on the lead going way too fast early on. Horologist was third behind Monomoy Girl on Derby Day. Point of Honor has gone more than a year without a victory.
Valiance is an interesting candidate for trainer Todd Pletcher. A four-year-old, she has six wins in eight career starts. Five of her first six races were on turf. Her last two races, both on dirt, have been impressive.
She held off Ollie’s Candy, who will get some support in this race. It is possible she has improved because the dirt is to her liking. That doesn’t mean she’s good enough to beat these two favorites.
An upset could certainly take place, it did in this race last year when Blue Prize scored at +890 in a field that Midnight Bisou looked like she was going to be hard to beat. That said, Monomoy Girl has been nearly perfect and Swiss Skydiver has had an amazing 2020. We prefer the older horse who has had a less demanding year.
Pick: Monomoy Girl (+150)
Saturday’s Breeders Cup Card
Filly and Mare Sprint
Gamine looked like a super horse before finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks. She retreats to a one turf race which should be very helpful in this one, but faces older horses for the first time.
Gamine cost $1.8 million and has four wins in five starts.
Speech got off to a poor start when finishing fourth in the Oaks. Gamine beat her by a neck in May.
Serengeti Empress finished third in the Distaff last year. She has looked her best in sprints. The four-year-old may be in a speed duel early on with Gamine, and they could duke it out for all seven furlongs.
Pick: Serengeti Empress
There isn’t a ton to separate the top choices in this short event. Imprimis has won two straight grade threes, the same as Got Stormy. Leinster has taken a pair of recent grade twos.
It is possible the lone European option in this group is better than the Americans. Glass Slippers has just one victory this year, but has been facing top competition, and could be a nice price.
Pick: Glass Slippers
This is a somewhat uninspiring group and that’s what makes Complexity look so good. The favorite is three-for-three at a mile and is coming off of a very impressive victory.
Art Collector has won five of his last six but is facing older horses for the first time. Knicks Go is running well but stepping way up in class. Mr. Freeze, War of Will, and Owendale all seem capable but are not exciting.
Filly and Mare Turf
The best of the American girls going a-mile-and-three-sixteenths on the turf is probably Rushing Fall. She’s three-for-three this year and five-for-six all-time at Keeneland.
Rushing Fall has won a grade one race in four straight years and earned a Breeders Cup victory in 2017. Last time out she just held off Mean Mary who is very viable here. Her loss to Rushing Fall in August snapped a four-race win streak.
The invaders include Irish breds Peaceful and Cayenne Pepper, who are both three years old, and four-year-old French filly Audarya. Peaceful has top connections but only two career victories in seven starts. Cayenne Pepper has been first or second in seven of eight career races. Audarya has won twice in three races since the start of August but rarely gets bet strongly.
Pick: Rushing Fall
Some horses who rarely lose face-off going six furlongs on the dirt. Yaupon is four-for-four in his career but is facing the toughest field he has ever gone against. CZ Rocket has won five straight going from a claiming race to graded stakes winner. Vekoma has taken three straight including back-to-back grade one victories.
At a price, Frank’s Rockette has won four straight and has never finished worse than second in 10 career starts.
Last year Uni beat the boys in this race.
She’s back this year though has just one win in three starts in 2020.
Ivar has been running in the US. The Brazilian bred won at Keeneland in October.
Turf routes are where Europeans often thrive. Circus Maximus finished fourth behind Uni last year and then returned to Europe where he has just one victory in five starts against top competition this year. Kameko is coming off of a very impressive victory in Great Britain. Siskin has five wins in seven-lifetime starts. One Master has earned over $1 million and always gets bet against top horses. Safe Voyage has run tight against One Master routinely.
The two top American options in this marathon are Arklow and United. Arklow was eighth in this race last year while United finished second. Arklow is coming off his only win of 2020. United has four victories this year though has probably faced lesser competition.
Magical, Tarnawa, Lord North and Mogul lead the imports. Magical has top connections, always gets bet, and has won six of his last eight. Tarnawa has won three straight and five out of six. Lord North won two big races in June, but was beaten by Magical in August and October. Mogul has two wins in his last three races and the three-year-old has a very strong owner and trainer.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.