Breeders' Cup Saturday--a narrower approachSeveral of Steve Byk's guests this week said that Friday's card looked to be the more "formful" of the two Breeders' Cup days, and while there were two big surprises along the way--those surprises occurred in the races people probably most expected it: the Juvenile Sprint and Marathon.
Sure, Royal Delta was the only favorite to win one of the six championships races, but Flotilla, Beholder, and Zagora hardly shocked the world. If the aforementioned guests are right, then we're in for some big prices today.
I came into the weekend thinking Saturday was less tricky, however. That doesn't mean there won't be prices--of course there will be--but I do think horses like Groupie Doll in the Filly & Mare Sprint, Wise Dan in the Mile, and Game On Dude in the Classic are going to run their races. Sometimes that's not good enough to win against World-Class competition, but they are not favorites I'm going against.
I came into the week really wanting to dislike Game On Dude, but applying my handicapping principles shows he has an edge here. 9-to-5 is tough to get excited about, but I do like Brilliant Speed to run well, and hooking those two up in the exotics would spice things up nicely.
I think the best chance for a price is in the Sprint where legitimate Grade 1-level horses will be going off at 10- or 20-to-1. Unfortunately, everyone else knows that, too, so a 20-to-1 doesn't necessarily play that high in multi-race wagers.
All that said, legitimate surprises are required to really blow up a Pick 4, etc. I already mentioned Brilliant Speed as a horse I'll use. Treasure Beach is an overlay and could get lost in the Point of Entry-St. Nicholas Abbey din, so he's a high-priced "A" for me. I couldn't let Great Mills go at 20-to-1 in the Turf Sprint. He's just consistently fast enough to run with these. In the Juvenile Turf, Gervinho is undefeated, gets Bejarano, and closed like a freight train last out.
Here is my ABC grid for today.