10/10/2007 12:23PM

17 Shopping Days


With 17 days until the main events, the European bookmakers have the BC Classic as a four-way pick 'em among Any Given Saturday, Curlin, Lawyer Ron and Street Sense; Dylan Thomas a heavy favorite in the BC Turf; and Euros George Washington, Ramonti and Excellent Art the three favorites in the BC Mile.

Here are the Wednesday-morning antepost odds from William Hill for the six non-juvenile races on Oct. 27:

Breeders Cup Classic:
5-1 Any Given Saturday, Curlin, Lawyer Ron, Street Sense
10-1 Hard Spun
14-1 George Washington
16-1 Asiatic Boy, Student Council, Tiago
20-1 Magna, Graduate, Master Command
25-1 Awesome Gem, Diamond Stripes, Lewis Michael, Political Force, Spring At Last
33-1 Circular Quay, Corinthian, Grasshopper, Sun King, Timer Reserve, Xchanger
50-1 AP Arrow, Dominican

Breeders Cup Mile:
7-2 George Washington, Ramonti
5-1 Excellent Art
6-1 After Market
7-1 Shakespeare
8-1 Duke of Marmalade, Kip Deville
10-1 Out Of Control
12-1 Remarkable News
14-1 Becrux, Shakis, Trippis Storm
20-1 Art Master, Galantas

Breeders Cup Turf:
7-4 Dylan Thomas
5-1 English Channel
6-1 Red Rocks
8-1 After Market, Better Talk Now, Sunriver
12-1 Grand Couturier
16-1 The Tin Man
20-1 Shamdinan

Breeders Cup Filly And Mare:
7-2 Nashoba's Key
7-1 Citronnade, Royal Highness, Wait A While
8-1 Passage Of Time
10-1 Honey Ryder, Lahudood, Precious Kitten
12-1 Lady Of Venice
14-1 Argentina, Vacare
20-1 My Typhoon

Breeders Cup Distaff:
11-2 Ginger Punch
6-1 Lears Princess
13-2 Hysterical Lady, Panty Raid
7-1 Lady Joanne, Tough Tiz's Sister, Unbridled Belle
8-1 Indian Vale
10-1 Teammate
11-1 Octave
14-1 Bear Now, Miss Shop
16-1 Balance
33-1 Talkin About Love

Breeders Cup Sprint:
9-2 Fabulous Strike, Midnight Lute
7-1 Smokey Stover
8-1 Idiot Proof, La Traviata
11-1 Benny The Bull, Greg's Gold, Kelly's Landing
14-1 High Finance, In Summation
16-1 Mach Ride, Talent Search, Attila's Storm
25-1 First Defence

It's unusual for no one in the three dirt races listed above to be shorter than 9-2. The race that is really out of character that way is the Distaff. Last year, when Fleet Indian was the 2.70-1 favorite, she was the longest-priced favorite in the 23-year history of the event. Unless there are a few defections, it seems unlikely anyone will be less than 4-1 this year, given that right now 10 different fillies and mares are listed between 11-2 and 11-1. Of course had Rags to Riches not been injured in the Gazelle, she would have been a strong favorite even off her defeat in that race.

--One of the things I was doing the last couple of days during my blogging hiatus was watching the final installments of the ESPN telecasts of this summer's World Series of Poker. The event took a hit this year thanks to the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, which cut off many Americans from playing (and qualifying for the WSOP) online, and first place was worth $8.25 million as opposed to $12 million in 2006.

The biggest difference I noticed, though, was a massive shift in what constitutes acceptable behavior at the tables. While most of the oldtimers and the seasoned professionals continue to be polite and low-key, many of the younger players and amateurs behave like agitated baboons, screeching and running around the tables at each turn of a key card and taunting their opponents. If nothing else, they make horseplayers, even the ones who scream the loudest at television monitors, look like the restrained gentlemen of the gambling world.

--[Update]: William Hill released odds for the Oct. 27 juvenile races Wednesday afternoon:

Breeders' Cup Juvenile:
3-1 War Pass
11-2 Wicked Style
13-2 Dixie Chatter
10-1 Majestic Warrior, Pyro
11-1 Tale of Ekati
12-1 Cherokee Triangle, Salute the Sarge
14-1 Big City Man, Kodiac Kowboy, Slew's Tiznow, Texas Fever
16-1 Chitoz, Globetrotter, J Be K, Old Man Buck, Z Humor
25-1 Gold Coyote

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies:
5-2 Indian Blessing
13-2 Cry and Catch Me
8-1 Country Star, Izarra, Proud Spell
10-1 Irish Smoke
12-1 A To The Croft, Grace Anatomy, Smarty Deb, Spirit Awakening
14-1 Tasha's Miracle, Silk Ridge
16-1 Set Play
25-1 Backseat Ryhthm, Dreaming of Liz, Sunday Holiday
33-1 A Little Gem

It's surprising that Hill and other oddsmakers are still quoting odds on several horses who have been declared out of the Cup in widely-disseminated news stories, including Grasshopper in the Classic and Country Star and Irish Smoke in the Juvenile Fillies. [Update: According to Jim Covello, one of Irish Smoke's owners, she now "is going to run. The group changed its mind after Patrick[Biancone] made his comments [that she was 'out' of the BC.] After another one of our horses that had been training well ran up the track on the Keeneland poly on Sunday, the group decided that the poly was off because of the heat and it wasn't a true test of whether she could get two turns." ]