10/31/2014 2:40PM

BC Friday Live Blog


3:40 pm ET: Happy Halloween and Happy Breeders' Cup Friday. Not sure what's going to happen sooner: The first trick-or-treater at the door here on Long Island or the first of four Breeders' Cup Friday races, with the BC Juvenile Turf scheduled for 5:25 pm. I'm betting on a kid in a Frozen costume.

Three in the books so far at Santa Anita. The pick-6 starts with the upcoming 4th, the G2 Twilight Derby for 3-year-olds on the grass. I think I'm passing, despite a $147k carryover and a $750k guarantee, because I'm not too crazy about the first two non-BC legs, the Twilight and the $100k Damascus at seven furlongs.

I find the Damascus and the two juvey grass races so wide open that I'd have to single both Ring Weekend in the Twilight and Goldencents in the Dirt Mile. If I do throw in a last-minute caveman ticket, that's what I'll do, but I think I'd rather focus on a spready all-BC pick-4 on races 6-9. It's got a $1.5 million guaranteed pool of its own and a lower degree of difficulty with just four legs and a 50-cent minimum.

Here's the cheat sheet for those four races, updated to include the five previously announced scratches from the sequence: Aktabantay and Papacoolpapacool from the Juvenile Turf, Handsome Mike from the Dirt Mile, and Flying Tapit and War Alert from the Juvenile Fillies Turf. 


The G2 Breeders' Cup Marathon was discontinued but still lives on as the rechristened G2 Las Vegas Marathon, and was run as a non-Cup event as today's second race. One of the complaints about the race had been that the 14-furlong distance is so rare in American racing that the jockeys don't know how to ride it, a point some of them seemed keen to prove today: The pace for the 1 3/4-mile race was an insanely fast 23.41, 46.51 and 1:10.20.

Since the final time was 2:58.29, I think that means the final mile was run in 1:48.09. Not shockingly, Cary Street ($7.80) rallied strongly from dead last to win going away.

You can read my picks and rationale for them in this column ( http://www.drf.com/news/crist-playable-pick-four-spices-friday-bc-card ) and I'll be back with my pick-4 play well before it starts. Here's hoping we all get some good candy today.

4:05 pm: First trick-or treater won easily, arriving at 3:50 pm.

Okay, okay, I put in the two-single caveman ticket:


Just in case I'm walking around lucky today.

4:25 pm: Oops. Ring Weekend couldn't have been much worse, settling nicely into a stalking third in perfect position but then coming up empty in the stretch. The winner was Long on Value, a cool and well-travelled horse who sold for $3,000 as a yearling and was coming out of a victory in the Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury. 6-1 on the morning line, he floated to 11-1 at post time. The Value Plus 3-year-old races for Wachtel Stable, is trained by Bill Mott, and ran the 9f in 1:46.82 under Rosie Napravnik.

4:55 pm: Here's the pick-4 play:

5:10 pm: There was a $45k double carryover into the Aqueduct pick-6 today -- lowest NYRA double-carryover ever? -- and going into the last leg, there are live tickets to the three favorites in a field of eight. Otherwise, a triple-carry into BC Saturday.

The pick-5 ending with Chitu's victory in the Damasus paid a robust $30,991.40, or $7,747.85 for 50 cents.

With 15 minutes to post for the BC Juvenile Turf, War Envoy is the 7-2 favorite.

5:35 pm: The 2014 Breeders' Cup began with an all-Wesley Ward exacta as Hootenanny ran down Luck of the Kitten to win the Juvenile Turf. The winner, a son of Quality Road amd the Hennessy mare More Hennessy, races for a Coolmore partnership.

Hootenanny is a Kentucky-bred but sort of qualified as a European invader since he made his last two starts on the continent, winning the Windsor Castle at Ascot in June and then running a close second in the G1 Prix Morny at Deauville in August. He was installed as the 7-2 ML favorite off those lines, but it seemed like every wiseguy on the planet was tryng to beat him because he had not won beyond five furlongs. So Hootenanny ended up paying $14 as the third choice behind War Envoy (12th at 7-2) and Imperia (10th at 9-2).

Daddy DT was up for third with Conquest Typhoon fourth. Hootenanny ran the mile in 1:34.79 under Frankie Dettori.

6:20 pm: Goldencents successfully defended his Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile title in a game and gritty effort, shaking off challenges from Vicar's in Trouble early and from Tapiture late.

Vicar's in Trouble outbroke Goldencents from post 3, and the two of them hooked up early, opening seven lengths on the rest of the field as they blazed 22.06 and 44.80. Goldencents finally shrugged off the challenge in upper stretch but Tapiture was coming after him. Goldencents was understandably tired and needed 13.24 for his final furlong, but was clear under Rafael Bejarano stopping the timer in 1:35.16. (His winning time a year ago was 1:35.12 after very similar fractions.)

Tapiture was well clear for second with Pants on Fire third. Goldencents was making his final start before heading off to stud.

Goldencents, a 4-year-old Into Mischief colt, races for W C Racing and is trained by Doug O'Neill, though he officially ran in the name of O'Neill's assistant, Leandro Mora, today. This was his seventh victory in 18 career starts and put him pover the $3 million mark in earnings.

No carryover at Aqueduct. Favorite won the finale to complete a $12k sequence.

6:53 pm: Lady Zuzu, half-sister to Optimizer, scratched from the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf after a minor gate mishap. Field being reloaded.

7:05 pm: Lady Eli, hammered from 6-1 on the morning line to 2-1 favoritism, patiently waited for an opening at the rail and then came through it with a flourish to win the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf by 2 3/4 lengths. Sunset Glow was second with Osaila third and 71-1 Prize Exhibit flying home for 4th at 71-1.

Her time of 1:33.41 was more than a full second faster than Hootenanny's 1:34.79 in the Juvenile Turf. 

The Divine Park filly, one of four in the field trained by Chad Brown, races for Sheep Pond Partrners and is now unbeaten in three starts.

"She's the best 2-year-old filly in the country, bar none," Brown said after the race.

The 2-year-old championship has always been awarded to a dirt runner, but Lady Eli could become a contender depending on how tomorrow's Juvenile Fillies turns out.

Everyone is covered in the pick-6 that ends with the upcoming Distaff, at payoffs ranging from $16k on Untapable and $26k on Close Hatches up to $722k on longshots Unbridled Forever and Stanwyck:

7:55 pm: Untapable wore down Iotapa and held off Don't Tell Sophia to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff and wrap up a 3-year-old filly championship she had probably already clinched.

The daughter of Tapit was winning for the sixth time in seven years and paid $5.20 as the favorite. Her only loss this year came against colts in the Haskell after victories in the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose. Bred and owned by Ron Winchell and trained by Steve Asmussen, Untapable ran the nine furlongs in 1:48.68 under Rosie Napravnik.

Close Hatches, the 3-1 second choice, ran her second straight dull race, finishing dead lst after finishing 4th at 1-5 in the Spinster last time out. She does, however, appear to be the leading contender for the older-filly Eclipse Award after her earlier victories in the Apple Blossom, Phipps and Personal Ensign. Her cause was certainly helped by Untapable defeating the other older fillies with a claim to the title.

Don't Tell Sophia, a $1,000 purchase, finished with good energy to nose out Iotapa for second.

Untapable completed a $315.40 pick-4 (three favorites and a morning-line favorite) and a pick-6 that returned $16,162.

The forecast for Arcadia calls for up to three-quarters of an inch of rain tonight between midnight and 8 am, with some more showers possible around noon tomorrow. So I wouldn't spend much time trying to figure out how today's courses played, since they're going to be different by tomorrow.

First post is 1:15 ET, with the first of nine Cup races (the Juvenile Fillies) at 3:05. The Classic goes as the last of 12 at 8:35 pm. Get some sleep.