Here’s Why: International Horses to Watch
By Candice Hare
In our last edition of “Here’s Why,” we discussed several international runners who may run at the Breeders’ Cup and I wanted to give updates on a few of those listed.
Rich Tapestry won the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship over Goldencents and is pointed to the BC Sprint. Peace and War won the G1 Alcibiades, which was a “Win and You’re In” for the BC Juvenile Fillies. Aktabantay finished sixth in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, but At The Races reports the BC Juvenile Turf is still an option. Found won the Prix Marcel Boussac Criterium des Pouliches, a “Win and You’re In” for the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. Euro Charline was injured and will likely miss the Breeders’ Cup.
Earlier this week, there was a discussion on Twitter about who people think may be their single while betting the upcoming Breeders’ Cup races. Of course, we’re still over two weeks away from America’s championship meet, but it was via this discussion I realized how wide open most of this year’s races appear, at least at this early stage. As a result, this week, I’ve decided to list an under the radar alternative to three of the most widely viewed “locks of the meet.”
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile alternative: Texas Red
American Pharoah may have finished fifth on debut in the much talked about maiden special weight win by Om at Del Mar, but Zayat Stables’ son of Pioneerof the Nile has done nothing wrong since. He was last seen winning two straight G1s, the most recent of which was over the BC Juvenile course and distance. It is interesting that I’ve probably seen more talk about him as being a sure-fire winner than any other BC runner given the impressive performances we’ve seen from other potential runners such as Carpe Diem and Daredevil. Our alternative to keep an eye on, however, is Texas Red, a son of Afleet Alex who most recently finished third behind the aforementioned American Pharoah in the G1 Frontrunner. Texas Red impressed when finishing second on debut after spotting the field several lengths at the start and closing furiously late to just miss at Arlington. He won nicely at his third start over a mile on the all-weather at Del Mar before his most recent performance in the Frontrunner, in which he showed some greenness while putting in a long sustained drive on the outside. He clocked a final segment time that was second only to the winner and he galloped out very well afterwards. Perhaps he wasn’t a standout from the start, but Texas Red appears to be improving with each race and a 93 Beyer for the Frontrunner further shows that he’s competitive at this level. A slight improvement could see him in the winner’s circle at a nice price.
Highest odds for Texas Red in a race: 12.50 (G1 Frontrunner)
Lowest odds for Texas Red in a race: 3.00 (MSW)
Texas Red’s average odds: 7.8
Breeders’ Cup Mile alternative: Anodin
Wise Dan is deservingly going to be a very short price favorite in the race he’s owned in recent years, which he’ll enter with another undefeated campaign to this point. This is the race in which he receives the most competition each year, however, and while it’d be amazing to see him cap off another undefeated season, it’s logical to look for other options in this field. If Toronado makes the trip over, he’ll be a major player, but a slightly more under the radar candidate is Anodin, a full brother to three-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Goldikova. It’s worth noting that Anodin hasn’t won this year, but he has twice finished second and when you consider he’s placed behind Kingman, Toronado, and Cirrus Des Aigles, his year looks much better. He’s the type to relish the firmer turf of Santa Anita and while he was an also-ran last time out in the Foret at Longchamp, watch the replay — troubled trip is an understatement.
Anodin’s price for BC Mile overseas (as a reference): 10/1
Breeders’ Cup Turf alternative: Telescope
Main Sequence has taken America by storm since his arrival and his three wins in as many US starts is a testament to Graham Motion’s excellent training of the quirky son of Aldebaran. While he’s won each of his US starts, they’ve all been by the slimmest of margins and, for that reason, he’s tough to confidently endorse over a stronger field here at what will likely be a short price. While I have queries over how his style will be suited by the tighter turns of Santa Anita, Telescope enters here in fine form having not finished worse than third in five starts this season. He had a win over Hillstar and Pether’s Moon, who’ve since gone on to win a Group 3 and Group 2 respectively, and the form of his most recent third behind Australia and The Grey Gatsby at York has held up since. This race has been the plan for this four-year-old son of Galileo for quite some time and his regular rider Ryan Moore has had plenty of success at this meet in recent years.
Telescope’s price for the BC Turf overseas (as a reference): 9/2 – 5/1
She handicaps races on her website ‘Capping with Candice and is the co-host of a weekly YouTube race preview show entitled “Down to the Wire.”
You can follow Candice on Twitter @Chare889.