73°F
weather icon Clear

Breeders’ Cup bets should stress value

If you like the favorites in the 11 Breeders’ Cup races, I’m sorry to disappoint you. My top three picks in each BC race focus on value. Budget your bankroll so if things don’t pan out early, you’re still in play late. Remember, hitting one 10-cent superfecta or a $1 pick 3 can instantly turn a losing BC into a winning one.

FILLY AND MARE SPRINT — Oprah Winney (6-1) can see a dream trip, as the two favorites are need-the-lead-type horses. Dream Rush (2-1) has taken the heat and keeps on winning. Facing older horses for the first time. Baroness Thatcher (12-1) has progressed nicely as a late-closing sprinter.

JUVENILE TURF — Gio Ponti (8-1) beat an experienced, talented field last time at Keeneland. Poised to keep improving. Strike the Deal (9-2) will be overlooked despite having all-world jockey Frankie Dettori. The Leopard (8-1) appears to be a much better runner on grass. Cost $2.5 million.

MILE — Lewis Michael (6-1) should have won the Goodwood but was moved prematurely. Patient ride by Joe Talamo pays off. Corinthian (7-2) is facing an easier task than in the Woodward. Xchanger (6-1) has developed into a dangerous stalker type. Reunited with jockey Ramon Dominguez.

JUVENILE FILLIES — Izarra (6-1) has the best route pedigree in the field. She will be finishing fast. Indian Blessing (3-1) is a solid favorite. Only fear is her distance ability. A to the Croft (10-1) is a grinder who must save some ground from a parking-lot post.

JUVENILE — Z Humor (12-1) adds blinkers and draws the advantageous rail. Bred to get better as the races get longer. Tale of Ekati (7-2) has a nice stalking style and strong stamina bloodlines. Slew’s Tiznow (15-1) is another run-all-day kind of colt.

FILLY AND MARE TURF — Passage of Time (7-2) will relish the soft ground, as it has been raining at Monmouth. Honey Rider (9-2) is for forgiving handicappers. Her race two back in the United Nations against males was excellent. Danzon (12-1) is capable of exploding late.

SPRINT — Benny the Bull (6-1) is a closer who will rally into a fast pace. Will need a clean trip. Greg’s Gold (9-2) was much the best in the Ancient Title. Sitting on a big try. If Idiot Proof (10-1) can repeat his one race at Monmouth, he could be long gone.

MILE — Jeremy (5-1) is Group 1 placed and gets the great Dettori to ride. Primed for best shot. Nobiz Like Shobiz (8-1) is facing older for the first time. He loves to win the close ones. My Typhoon (30-1) has stumbled in her last two starts. A mare facing males.

DISTAFF — Lady Joanne (6-1) will find the rail under Calvin Borel. Can start a big day for Carl Nafzger. Lear’s Princess (6-1) just beat Rags to Riches. Faces no one that tough today. Hystericalady (8-1) would be my top choice if she had drawn a better post.

TURF — Dylan Thomas (7-5) is the lone chalk I favor today. Arc winner is facing a weak U.S. grass contingent. Better Talk Now (9-2) won the 2004 Turf and was second last year. Grand Couturier (10-1) gets no credit for beating English Channel in the Sword Dancer.

CLASSIC — Street Sense (3-1) has been managed perfectly by Nafzger to win the big target races, the BC Juvenile, Kentucky Derby, Travers and now the Classic. Curlin (3-1) does not get the credit due him as an unraced 2-year-old. Has accomplished so much in a short period. Any Given Saturday (4-1) was my Kentucky Derby pick. Better late than never.

Richard Eng’s horse racing column is published Friday. He can be reached at rich_eng@hotmail.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Irish War Cry due for good race, pick to win Belmont

With Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Preakness champion Cloud Computing skipping the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, the Triple Crown races will produce three different winners for the second consecutive year.

This weekend is filled with festival-style horse racing

Today the trend is for racetracks to cluster their stakes in a festival-style program. Thus, the Met Mile will be among nine graded stakes on the Belmont Stakes card June 10.

Always Dreaming’s Preakness run proves ‘horses are human’

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming by various accounts came bouncing out of Churchill Downs in good order. His Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher felt good about his preparation.

Kentucky Derby offers clues for Preakness winner

Always Dreaming is the horse the racing industry will be rooting for. A win in the Preakness sets up another Triple Crown chance in the Belmont Stakes on June 10.

Preakness questions immediately face Always Dreaming

After Always Dreaming crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby, the first question was, “Is he good enough to win the Triple Crown.”

McCraken gets nod to win Kentucky Derby

Many experts are calling this the most wide-open Kentucky Derby in years. When I hear that, I get cynical. Wide open was in 2009 when Mine That Bird destroyed the field at 50-1 odds.

Kentucky Derby week means betting seminars in Las Vegas

The Kentucky Derby attracts the most novice and casual bettors of any race in our sport. With that in mind, there are all kinds of free Derby seminars next week.

Patience is necessary for future bets in horse racing

I love making future bets, not only in horse racing but also other sports. That’s because horseplayers learn a basic tenet early on. Our goal is to bet a little to win a lot.

‘Super Saturday’ should solidify Kentucky Derby field for many horses

When the folks at Churchill Downs dreamed up the Kentucky Derby points system, I was skeptical at first. Not anymore. It has worked by producing fields of in-form horses that, for the most part, are also bred to race two turns.