The second part of the Breeders Cup will take place on Saturday, and Soldat will begin the festivities by winning the Juvenile Turf in a race that is as even as the odds.
Three European horses all appear to be dangerous, especially Manitoba, who has won his last two in convincing fashion.
Speed in this race should come from Typhoon Slew and Madman Diaries, while Humble and Hungry and Deciphering Dreams will lurk from just off the pace.
However, I still like Soldat, with Alan Garcia to pass everyone in the deep stretch to win this race. Soldat was very ordinary in his last race but the turf was very yielding and I look at Soldat's dominant race on the firm turf at Saratoga as evidence of his ability.
Big Drama seems to be the trendy pick in the Breeders' Cup Sprint but I will be passing on this wonderful four year old.
I think Riley Tucker is clearly the horse to beat in this speed packed race. Riley Tucker has two wins at Churchill Downs in three starts and was spectacular in May, when he won the in 1:08.1 with ease.
In order to get to the finish line first, Riley Tucker will probably have to pass Girolamo, who is coming into this race off an incredible win at Belmont in early October.
It will take me longer to write this analysis than the length of the next big race: The Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
Chamberlain Bridge is a very respectable three for four over the turf at Churchill and Stradivinsky is one for two but both seem to be secondary choices next to Silver Timber.
Chad Brown trains Silver Timber and this seven year old soared home in April in 55.2 in winning the Grade III Turf Sport. I think Julian Leparoux will keep this horse slightly off the pace and in front when it matters.
I like long shot Quick Enough to be a major threat and like Great Adventure and Rose Catherine to possibly make the triple very profitable.
The 1 1/16 mile Juvenile appears to be a battle between two potential superstars. I like Uncle Mo to win this race for Todd Pletcher.
Boys at Tosconova appears to be a very talented horse but I worry whether this horse is ready to stretch out from running seven furlongs in his last. Having Ramon Dominguez in the saddle is a huge plus but I'm not sure this lightly raced two year is ready for this race.
Jaycito appears to be a real dark horse in this race and at 10:1, this horse offers plenty of value. The two recent bullet works at Hollywood have been absolutely dazzling.
Uncle Mo appears to a legitmate 7:5 favorite. Winning the Champagne at Belmont in 1:34:2 by over four lengths for a mile was the performance of the year for two year olds. I don't see any reason not to think this horse can't wire this field.
Goldikova and Gio Ponti are getting all the publicity in the One Mile Breeders' Cup Turf race but I'm 100% behind Sidney's Candy.
Goldikova is the two time defending champion and has won 14 of 20 on the turf, including last year's race in 1:32:1.
Gio Ponti has won 10 of 18 on the turf and glided home at Keenland five weeks ago to win another Grade One race.
How can anyone pick against those horses?
Sidney's Candy is just one for one on the turf but I feel this horse is the one that has to be beat. I think the morning line of 10:1 could end up being 15:1 when the horses reach the post.
In his lone start on turf, Sidney's Candy romped home by almost six lengths in 1:39:2 for 1 1/16 miles.
Cutting back in distance should only help this horse in the stretch hold off the heavy favorites.
My long shot in this race to make the trifecta worth playing is Proviso. This five year will be flying from the back of the field in the stretch and will be at least 25:1.
Tizway appears to be the horse to catch and beat in the Dirt Mile.
This horse is two for three this year with the lone defeat coming to Quality Road and only by three lengths.
The added 10 pounds does put a little fear into me but Tizway is my choice.
Here Comes Ben has three wins in five starts at Churchill and is one for one at 8 furlongs but I think Tizway to hold him off.
Morning Line and Gayego appear to offer nice betting value but I don't think either can beat the top two horses in this race.
I know the European horses in the 1 1/2 mile Turf appear better but I love Winchester.
Behkabad and Workforce are a combined 5 for 9 this year but both seem to come from way off the pace to win.
This race doesn't have much speed, so I'm not sure how either can close into a pace that might be beyond slow.
Champ Pegasus has shown some speed in his career but if nobody runs with this Richard Mandella horse, I can't see this race being run in under 2:32.
Winchester is currently 8:1 but I think this horse can sit right behind the front runner and hold off the field.
Telling is winless at Churchill Downs in two races but was fantastic in winning the Sword Dancer at Saratoga in August.
Haynesfield ran away from Blame in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont last month. This four year old will be the pace setter in this championship race.
Not far behind will be Quality Road. Although he's winless in two starts at 10 furlongs, I think Quality Road will be a factor-not just with the pace but in the stretch.
Blame is three for four at Churchill Downs and will have the red hot Garret Gomez aboard for this race. Blame will be a major threat in the stretch.
Looking at Lucky will probably be the favorite when all is said and done and if this three year old can break well, he should be involved despite the outside post.
That leaves us with the winner: Zenyatta.
Aside from Haynesfield and Quality Road at the front, I think First Dude will also be a pace factor. This only sets the race up for the undefeated Zenyatta.
I know her beyer numbers are very ordinary and I know she only has two wins on conventional dirt but how can anyone argue with a horse that just wins?
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