11/02/2013 11:45AM

Breeders' Cup Day 2: November 2, 2013

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12:45 pm: More than two hours until the first of today's nine Breeders' Cup races, but just 30 minutes until the start of the biggest pick-5 pool in the bet's history, with just over $891k carried over afternobody hit the wager amid the longshot parade in yesterday's early races.

Guesses on the new-money pool range anywhere from $2 million to $4 million, and either way it's a rare "positive expectation" parimutuel pool: Between the low 14 percent takeout and the carryover, there will probably be more money paid out than bet in today.

Of course I'm playing, to the tune of $721 (all 50-cent tickets, including an all-A's-and-B's, with an all-A for another 50 cents), as follows:

Three scratches in addition to the previously announced defections of Cleburne from the Juvenile and Ron The Greek from the Classic: Ultrasonic and A Time to Love from the G3 Maddy (race 3) and Caracortado from the BC Turf Sprint (race 7).

I'm playing the pick-6 along with Capital OTB again this year. Capital will mirror my $5k play and give 1 percent of any proceeds to 100 customers, and I'll be putting in the same play for myself. I'll be posting it here around 4:30 pm ET, with the pick-6 set to kick off with the dreaded Turf Sprint at 5:05 pm ET.

1:10 pm: Wow: With 5 minutes to post, the pick-5 pool is already over $5 million. That's more than the Pick-6 will handle today.

1:25 pm: Richies Party Girl, 5-2 ML but 6-1 at post time, wired the field and held off 5-2 Toowindytohaulrox to win the opener, the $100k Juvenile Turf Sprint. Note that while the name of the race sounds like it's a Breeders' Cup race, it isn't. Yet.

The winner, who contested the pace in the G3 Jessamine last time out before fading late, is an Any Given Saturday filly owned and trained by Wesley Ward. After a maiden win at Belmont, Ward sent her to France for a G3 race at Deauville, where she finished a decent 4th of 12. Today she ran the 6.5f on the downhill course in 1:12.36 off fractions of 21.52, 43.28 and 1:06.17.

The pick-5 pool was $6.4 million.

 

2:00 pm: A lot of that $6.4 million just went up in smoke as 5-1 Zeewat held off 1-to-5 Flashback by a head to win the $100k Damascus. Zeewat got a perfect ride from Rafael Bejarano, finding an opening at the rail and riding it to victory. Flashback, making his first start since running second to Goldencents in the Santa Anita Derby, laid opver the field on paper but was off slowly, wide into the turn, and unable to outfinish the winner.

Today's remaining guaranteed pools (the pick-5 had an obviously unnecessary $500k guarantee) are $1 million for the early pick-4, which begins in race 4 with the Juvenile Fillies; $2.5 million for the Pick-6, which starts in race 7, and $3 million for the late pick-4 which starts in race 9 and consists of the Turf, Sprint, Mile and Classic.

2:35 pm: Phew. Pontchatrain ($6.60), bet to 2-1 from 6-1 ML, up late to catch 6-1 Winding Way and win the G3 Maddy. The winner, a 3-year-old War Front filly owned by Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor, ran the 6.5f on the downhill turf in 1:12.52 under Gary Stevens. Pretty impressive that the 2-year-old filly Richies Party Girl went a length faster (1:12.36) winning the opener.

Early pick-4 and the nine Cup races start with the upcoming 4th, the Juvenile Fillies. Here's my pick-4 play, which a more sensible person might pass since I'm already invested in the 4th and 5th via the pick-5 and will be starting the Pick-6 in the 7th, but hey, it's Breeders' Cup Day.

3:30 pm: Ria Antonia fell a head short of catching She's a Tiger in the Juvenile Fillies but was awarded the victory on the disqualification of the first-place finisher for bearing out nearing the wire. Moving Ria Antonia at 32-1 into the winner's spot killed many of the remaing live tickets in the huge pick-5 pool, swetting up huge willpays into the F&M Turf.

She's a Tiger may have been best, running a brave race on the lead through fast fractions and hanging in gamely. However, the stewards ruled she impeded Ria Antonia nearing the wire, costing her momentum. Rosalind finished third and Sweet Reason was 4th as the 5-2 favorite, fading late after making a huge middle move.

The race was marred by the breakdown of Secret Compass, who was reported to have suffered a condular fracture and dislocated left front ankle. Jockey John Velazquez was taken to the hospital across the street from the track but so far has only given up one mount, on Alterite in the upcoming F&M Turf.

Ria Antonia, who added blinkers today, was tough to like. She had been off the board in her three previous stakes tries and was most recently fifth, well behind Artemis agrotera and Sweet Reason, in the Frizette.The 2-yeqar-old daughter of Rockport Harbor is trained by Jeremian Englehart.

She's a Tiger could still be voted the champion 2-year-old filly, given Ria Antonia's weak overall record. She's a Tiger won the G1 Del Mar Debutante and was second in the G1 Chandelier.

Here are those willpays:

4:35 pm: Kind of distracted finalizing the pick-6 play during the two F&M races, so look elsewhere for close coverage. F&M Turf was highly formful with dank and the only filly who could run at her level running 1-2, and while I was disappointed dance to Bristol didn't show more in the F&M Sprint, it's hard not to like Groupie Doll and see her return to top form.

So what do we think the pick-5 would have paid if She's a Tiger hadn't been taken down? Maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better, but I think it pays less than the one-sixth suggested by the difference between a 32-1 and a 5-1. Ria Antonia really could have been 66-1 if people let horses go off at prices that big on big racedays. She was the co-9th choice on the morning line in a field of 10.

Anyway, here's the $5k pick-6 play:

 

That comes out to $4,960 (including an all-A's-and-B's) so I spent another $36 on a wacky ticket with a bunch of singles into the three I didn't use somewhere in the Classic, just so we could theoretically have an "all" if everything else broke perfectly. Here are the individual tickets:

3,4,6,7,9,10,12,14/6,13/7,8/1,7,8,9/5,8/6,8,9,10 = $2048

1,2,8,11,13/6,13/7,8/1,9/5,8/6,8,9 = $480

6,9,12,14/12,14/7,8/1,9/5,8/6,8,9=$384

6,9,12,14/6,13/4,10,11/1,9/5,8/6,8,9=$576

6,9,12,14/6,13/7,8/6,11/5,8/6,8,9=$384

6,9,12,14/6,13/7,8/1,9/3,4,9/6,8,9=$576

6,9,12,14/6,13/7,8/1,9/5,8/3,5,7,12=$512

6,12,14/6/7/9/5,8/1,2,4=$36

5:20 pm: Half an hour after Groupie Doll won the F&M Sprint for the second year in a row, Mizdirection defended her title in the Turf Sprint, rallying to nail ealr leaeders Reneesgotzip and Tightend Touchdown, who finished in a dead-heat for second. Mizdirection, now 6 for 6 going the 6.5f on teh Santa anita turf, ran the distance in 1:12.35 under Mike Smith. Mike Puype trains the steel-gray 5-year-old mare by Mizzen Mast.

See, sometimes I'm not stubborn: Last year she was a C and virtually knocked me out when she won the first leg of the Pick-6. This year, an A.

Mizdirection and Reneesgotzip were the only two fillies in the field of 13.

5:55 pm: Oh well, alive for five. Thought we were home with Havana, but he got the staggers late after a wide surge to the lead on the stretch turn and along came New Year's Day ($23.00), Baffert's "other" horse, to win the Juvenile. The winner's time of 1:43.52 was a half-second slower than the Juvenile Fillies went earlier in the day.

Wouldn't be surprised if Tap It Rich still turns out to be Baffert's better prospect. Just as in his debut, Tap It Rich was off slowly, green and wide throughout. He was still beaten only 3 1/2 lengths and has lots of room for improvement.

New Year's Day, a $425k yearling purchase by Gary and Mary West, is a Street Cry colt who was making his stakes debut after two maiden races at Del Mar.

Havana was ridden by Gary Stevens in place of Velazquez. One could argue that having a rider who hadn't been on him before was a disadvantage, and some will speculate that Stevens moved him too soon, but given how the track has been playing it's hard to fault him. Also, for all the commentary about the fast pace, She's a Tiger actually set a faster one (6f in 1:09.30 vs. 1:09.70) in the filly race.

The question now is whether Havana is going to be able to stretch out over the next six months or whether he's this year's version of Uncle Mo, Shanghai Bobby or Verrazano.

 

6:15 pm: Once more into the fray with the lastmultirace exotic of the day:

 

6:40 pm: Magician ($27.00), off since June and trying 12 furlongs for the first time, caught the filly The Fugue in deep stretch to win the BC Turf for Coolmore and continue the unsurprising dominance of Europeans in this year's Cup turf races. The Fugue, beaten half a length, probably moved too soon and had little left to hold off the winner's furious charge. Indy Point was a close third and Point of Entry, making his first start since June and returning from surgery, was a valiant fourth beaten just 1 3/4 lengths.

Magician, a Galileo colt trained by Aidan O'Brien, won the Irish 2000 Guineas in May. He was the lone 3-year-old in the field.

The defeats of Big Blue Kitten and Real Solution completed a 0-for-6 shutout of horses sired by Kitten's Joy in this year's Cup. Galileo is the sire of only two Cup starters this year -- Magician, who won the Turf, and Romantica, the F&M Turf runner-up.

7:15 pm: Secret Circle, making just his second start after an 18-month layoff, ran down the speed and then held off 16-1 Laugh Track to win the BC Sprint and give trainer Bob Baffert his second winner of the day.

Secret Circle, who won the since-discontinued BC Juvenile Sprint as a 2-year-old in 2011, went on to win the Southwest and Rebel on the 2012 Derby Trail, but was sidelined until last month after a second in the Arkansas Derby. The 4-year-old Eddington colt came back better than ever winning a fast allowance race at Santa Anita last month.

8:00 pm: Wise Dan became the third repeat Cup winner of the day with a professional victory over 18-1 Za Approval in the BC Mile. He scored by three-quarters of a length in 1:32.47 and was ridden by Jose Lezcano, filling in for the injured Velazquez. Olympic Glory, the second choice and perceived as the main threat to the favorite, showed nothing and finished next to last.

If Game on Dude fails to win the upcoming Classic, Wise Dan may be in position to win a second straight Horse of the Year title despite some voters' objections to his somewhat narrow specialization in turf miles. Regardless of that perception, he has had a sensational career, with 19 victories in 27 career starts and earnings of over $6 million. He is 11 for 12 on the turf and has won his last 10 grass starts. The 6-year-old Wiseman's Ferry gelding is trained by Charlie LoPresti and bred owned and bred by Morton Fink.

Here are the willpays into the Classic. There will be no pick-6 carryover as all 11 are covered, with payoffs ranging from $20,539 on Game on Dude to $1.8 million on Last Gunfighter. Game on Dude and Mucho Macho Man are the 1-2 favorites in all the multirace pools, with Declaration of War a slightly surprising third choice in all of them.

9:00 pm: Mucho Macho Man ($10.00) avenged his narrow defeat to Fort Larned in last year's Classic by holding off Will Take Charge at the wire to win the $5 million Classic, with Declaration of War third and Fort Larned fourth.

Mucho Macho man, a huge 5-year-old by Macho Uno, has won 8 of 23 career starts for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and trainer Kathy Ritvo, the first woman to train a BC Classic winner.

The question now is whether Horse of the Year voters will again go overwhelmingly for Wise Dan, who won 6 of 7 starts including four Grade 1 races but raced mostly at a mile on the grass, or consider Mucho Macho Man off a 2 for 5 campaign with G1 dirt victories in the Awesome Again and the Classic. There will also be support in both the Horse of the Year and Older Male divisions for Game On Dude, who finished 9th as the favorite but won the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic earlier this year.

Will Take Charge probably earned the 3-year-old title with his strong effort. He was off the board in all three legs of the Triple Crown but then won the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby.

Mucho Macho Man completed a $1,525.80 pick-4, a $47,516.20 pick-6, and a very long two days of racing and wagering. Got dq'ed from the pick-5 and close-but-no-Havanaed in the Pick-6 but hey you 100 Capital OTB shareholders, you're each getting a free $8.12 for 1 percent of my two stinkin' consos. Have yourself a cocktail and I'll join you.