The 2012 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes promises to be an exciting tuneup for the Breeders' Cup race in November.
With one of the biggest non-Triple Crown events of the horse racing calender just around the corner, the Shadwell presents a final opportunity for horses and jockeys to get in sync. For those who enjoy making predictions on the big race, the Shadwell is a final opportunity to get your prognosticating skills calibrated.
With that in mind, here are the biggest favorites to put in a good showing in Lexington. (Lines according to Bovada).
Wise Dan is the overwhelming favorite in Lexington at 3/4 odds.
The five-year-old gelding is on an impressive tear in 2012 and should be a prohibitive favorite when the Breeders' Cup rolls around in California next month. Wise Dan has been run four times this year and claims three victories on the season.
With two weeks off since his victory in the Woodbine mile, fatigue shouldn't be an issue. Wise Dan hasn't been beaten since June, when he took second at Churchill Downs in the Stephen Foster G-1, but that race was 1-1/8 mile rather than the one mile that he will be running today.
Expect Wise Dan to live up to the hype and win this race easily.
Who is the best bet in the Shadwell Turf Mile?
Charged with the task of out-running Wise Dan will be Doubles Partner.
An unfortunate slotting in the No. 2 lane dampers his hopes a bit, but oddsmakers still see him as a horse to keep an eye on as he comes in at 6/1 odds.
Doubles Partner has shown in the past that it is a threat to win any race, but consistency has been the issue. The horse started the year off with a win in March but finished third and fourth the next two times out in April and May.
The Shadwell will be the first time that Doubles Partner has made a start since May, so it's hard to tell if the long rest period will improve the horse's performance in Lexington. Doubles Partner can keep up with Wise Dan on a good day, but is far from a sure thing.
If there's a horse in the field that can upset Wise Dan, it's Dominus.
Dominus comes in with the same odds (6/1) as Doubles Partner and will be starting on the outside in the No. 11 gate. Dominus hasn't had too much run this year but has looked impressive when active.
In two starts, Dominus has won both races, including wins over other horses in the field today such as Data Link. It's tough to tell how the lighter schedule for Dominus will affect the horse in this race, but it's clear that Dominus is a horse to keep an eye on.