10/29/2015 1:20PM

Some Breeders' Cup price plays


Last week, I mentioned some price horses to consider for your exotic and multiple-race Breeders' Cup wagers

 Here are a few more:


Of the European entrants, I prefer HIT IT A BOMB, but he is mired in an extremely difficult post position for this mile distance. If the post proves too much for the undefeated Hit It a Bomb, then Shogun deserves some consideration at nice odds. A full brother to Epsom Oaks winner Qualify, Shogun has moved forward in his last three races with blinkers and can continue his ascent with the addition of Lasix. Although Shogun finished behind CYMRIC in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere earlier in the month, Cymric might also be compromised by post position in the rematch.



I don't believe that Alice Springs is a superstar, but she needn't be to make a strong impression on the Juvenile Fillies Turf. A full sister to multiple Group 2-placed Criteria and Group 3-placed Kingston Jamaica, Alice Springs received a confidence boost in her most recent start, the rich Tattersalls Millions at Newmarket on October 3. She seems like a tactical and professional sort that probably won't be outpaced in the early going.

Last Waltz is stuck in an extremely tough post position, but she was purchased privately following a third-place finish in a Group 3 at the Curragh. She raced in cheek pieces two and three starts back and started in a hood last time, but Chad Brown will remove the headgear for this assignment. She has a little bit of speed and shouldn't be discounted at a big price.



Although no match for SONGBIRD in both the Del Mar Debutante and Chandelier Stakes, Land Over Sea attempted to rally over speed-friendly tracks on both occasions. She showed no quit when second behind loose-on-the-lead Songbird in the latter race, boasts improving Beyer Speed Figures and would benefit if someone pushes Songbird early in the Juvenile Fillies. Land Over Sea should save valuable ground after breaking from the rail. The five-furlong work in 59 and change on October 16 indicates she's coming into this race in good form.



LEGATISSIMO is way the horse to beat in the Filly and Mare Turf, but Miss France and Bawina both have their merits. The former hasn't won since grabbing the English 1000 Guineas last year, but she was sidelined for most of 2015 with a splint injury and could be cycling back to a big effort in her third start of the year. There isn't much speed in this race and Miss France should be forwardly-placed. Note that the distance and possible soft going could work against her.

The distance and a wet turf course could help Bawina, who seems a cut below the major contenders from a class perspective. If the ground stays wet, however, Bawina should run well. Let's look at her last record over wet tracks:

3/8/14 - Prix Calandria (soft) - 1st by 1 1/4 lengths
5/11/14 - French 1000 Guineas - G1 (good to soft) - 4th, beaten 3 3/4 lengths
8/15/14 - Prix de Lierey (soft)- G3 - 1st by 1 3/4 lengths
5/1/15 - Prix du Muguet (soft) - G2 - 1st by 1 1/4 lengths (beat the good Esoterique)
8/23/15 - Prix Jean Romanet (soft) - G1 - 2nd by neck

She also has some decent races over firmer ground. In the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes on July 10, she was buried behind horses, couldn't extricate herself until inside the final furlong and finished a decent fourth. Oh, and she's 3 for 3 on left-handed courses.



I have great respect for GREENPOINTCRUSADER, who overcame an awkward start to win the Grade 1 Champagne, but I'll go with the consistent Exaggerator in the Juvenile. A professional sort that doesn't mind racing in and among horses, Exaggerator gave a good effort when second to BRODY'S CAUSE in the Breeders' Futurity. That race looks like a strong prep and Exaggerator's tactical speed could allow him to get the jump on that main rival once again.


This is a spread race as it will likely come down to who receives the best trip. Undrafted might find the distance a bit short and he'll need some racing luck rallying from the back of the pack, but he certainly has the credentials to win a race like this. His most recent race at a mile looks like a rock-solid prep.

Stacked Deck is more of a reach, to be sure, but he has good races on all three surfaces and has been working swiftly at Woodbine. He earned a 97 Beyer on synthetic two back and on turf four starts ago. Wouldn't those races make him tough here?


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 10/20/15 - 10/26/15:

1. DORTMUND - 105 - Big Bear Stakes - 1 Mile - 24Oct15-8SA
2. LOCHTE - 98 - Spider John Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 25Oct15-5GPW
3. BEST BARD - 97 - OC 40k/C - 1 Mile (Turf) - 24Oct15-4WO
3. PULLING G'S - 97 - OC 100k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 25Oct15-3BEL
5. LUBASH - 96 - Mohawk Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 24Oct15-7BEL
6. OM - 95 - Twilight Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 24Oct15-7SA
7. CROWLEY'S LAW (GB) - 94 - River Memories Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 24Oct15-6WO
7. EMPIRE DREAMS - 94 - Empire Classic Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - 24Oct15-5BEL
7. WHERE'S THE WIDGET - 94 - Alw 92794N1X - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - 23Oct15-3WO
10. COPPERPLATE - 93 - Alw 70175N1X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 21Oct15-7WO
10. GLENVILLE GARDENS - 93 - Labeeb Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 25Oct15-9WO
10. PALACE - 93 - Hudson Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 24Oct15-3BEL
13. MOR SPIRIT - 92 - Md Sp Wt 52k - 1 Mile - 23Oct15-4SA
13. PAIN AND MISERY - 92 - OC 25k/C -N - 1 Mile - 25Oct15-8ZIA
13. QUEEQUEG - 92 - Alw 25000s - 6 Furlongs - 24Oct15-7PRX
16. BARUTA (BRZ) - 91 - Senator Ken Maddy Stakes (G3) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 25Oct15-5SA
16. HOBBITS HERO - 91 - Clm 32000(32-28) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 23Oct15-7SA
16. OFFERING PLAN - 91 - English Channel Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 25Oct15-7BEL
16. PROCUREMENT - 91 - OC 80k/C - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 22Oct15-7SA
16. SOUTHERN FREEDOM - 91 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 22Oct15-7SA
21. BOLD CONQUEST - 90 - Alw 57723N1X - 1 1/16 Miles - 23Oct15-8KEE
21. COUGAR RIDGE - 90 - Alw 65886N3Y - 1 1/8 Miles - 24Oct15-7KEE
21. INVADING HUMOR - 90 - Ticonderoga Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 24Oct15-11BEL
21. KITTEN'S DUMPLINGS - 90 - Little Miss Magic Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 24Oct15-5GPW
21. SPRINGBOARD - 90 - OC 80k/N3X - 1 1/16 Miles - 22Oct15-3KEE

*Dortmund's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Video stakes analyses for the Breeders' Cup races can be found later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

I'll be with Mike Beer in the DRF studios at 2pm ET on Friday and at 10:30AM ET this Saturday for all of your Breeders' Cup live coverage (live.drf.com). We'll have guests from on-site at Keeneland as well.


Looking forward to Dan and Mike's Webinar later this morning. Interested to hear Dan's current thoughts on SMOOTH ROLLER with all his inactivity.

Thanks for listening. You can find the archived webinar here:



I keep hearing about your videos, but can't find them. Am I an idiot or is this new page change (which of course I hate) to blame? Why can't IT guys leave well enough alone? They almost had me as a paying subscriber to DRF + and then they took away my classic home page. sigh..................
For what it is worth, in the Juvenile Turf, I like Cymric (a pre-entry) and my crush horse, Isotherm.

Try this link:



Congrats to Ed for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling event.

We'll go with the Breeders' Cup Classic for this week's exercise. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BREEDERS' CUP DISTAFF/BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC DAILY DOUBLE IS ALLOWED.


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.


Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




DORTMUND.pdf652.12 KB
Copy of Formblog MaidofMist 10-24-15.xls.xls17.17 KB
HGCLASSIC.pdf179.86 KB
Sinatra More than 1 year ago
Whacky, Picking horses is entirely unpredictable. Your selections are going to get in front at the end of the race in due time, but unfortunately not today.(: TurfRuler
Mac930My More than 1 year ago
Ok...Back at it..Aqueduct Late pick 4. 50 cent ticket $36 x 10 = $360 1,2,4,5 // 7,10 // 3,7 // 1,7,8,12. All $300 win // $600 place Race 6. #1 Achnaha (Ire) class, inside speed, price Race 7. #10 Towering Man. Price, upset chance here. Race 8. #3. Magna Light. Speed. Upset chance, numbers. Race 9. #1 Starship Pleasant. Inside speed, numbers good.. Good luck Whackymacky Out!
CM Vongole More than 1 year ago
Ed, I said DIRT milers are not an important division in American racing. When you asked whether I thought Wise Dan deserved his HoY honors, I said yes because TURF milers are indeed a different story. Turf milers have carved out a worthy niche in this sport for a long time. Wise Dan won HoY for his grass races, not for winning the Clark Handicap. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, he didn't race on dirt at all during those 2 seasons. So, yes, totally different story, as I was specifically talking about dirt milers, not grass milers. I didn't bet the P6 because I didn't feel it was a particularly good opportunity. There will be others. I'm very patient. I also don't throw money into situations where there's no edge just because it's the Breeders Cup or whatever. I only spent 25% of the cash I went with. Tomorrow is always another day. As for AP, I absolutely thought he was in decline and did not think he would win off the bench against that group. I was wrong. Guess what... I'm often wrong... more often than I'm right. That's why it's important to get value. Have you ever been wrong about a horse before?
Cathy More than 1 year ago
Biggar W., Even the smallest bit of knowledge of pedigree would indicate Take Charge Brandi's worth, not to mention her conformation. Pull up her pedigree page for some education. She is from one of the most current, prolific classy families in the studbook. I could have trained her and she'd be worth multiple seven figures. You say things that show you do very little reading, but conjure up a load of snark. TBTA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed the post Breeders Cup chatter. Thanks. Lots of different, well thought out opinions (and I don't mean that in a patronising way), that seem unlikely to shift. However, given the massive commercial structure of the BC, I would suggest it is unlikely to downsize any time soon. As I said before, roll on 2016.....now just who wins the Arc next year? Best Regards - Bernard Downes
ed More than 1 year ago
C, I definitely got you wrong on a lot of different points. you make points and don't stand behind them. Wise Dan was a miler. Not a sprinter and not a classic distance horse. Don't give me that different story stuff. He was great on dirt and turf. That is what a HOY does. Just being great. Liam's Map was not going to win the Classic. Effinex was not going to pull off the upset. Maybe AP would have to run faster and more than likely could have. I'm sorry you didn't find the race exciting, but welcome to the real world. For all your talk about the pick 6 and searching for a single and how much easier it was with $1 tickets, you didn't bet one dollar. Like I said before, I don't dream that high. I don't expect to win a $3 million pick 6 and it is not my bet.. You backed off because it wasn't going to pay what you wanted. Welcome to the real world. As for AP, you buried him after the the Travers. A regressing horse. I think not. Now for Keen Ice. If he won the Jockey Gold Cup and the Classic, he would in line for HOY. If he grew a sharp horn on his forehead, he would also be a unicorn. Since none of this happened, I concur that all bets are off. This is not a what if world. I agree to disagree with you. Nothing wrong with having a difference of opinion. edb
Biggar W More than 1 year ago
D. Wayne Lukas's handling of Take Charge Brandi didn't seem to bother the buyers.
Horse More than 1 year ago
Fiasco surrounding connections of Runhappy... It is true as they say, the problems of mankind is caused by none other than mankind... 1) Initial word from the racing manager was that Maria Borell was informed prior to the Breeders Cup that Runhappy would be taken from her...this sounds phony given her post race reaction where it was nothing but joy and not one single hint that this was her last time with the horse 2) Wanting to take the horse to the track the following day seems to be one of the contentious points...thing I found funny was Laura Wohlers say that she has checked horses 100,000 times, some with heat but nothing more than any other horse that runs 1:08...hmmm, exactly how many winners does Laura have and better yet, how many horse actually ran 1:08? 3) Now comes word that Maria has hired a lawyer as there is a question about what contract she actually has...supposedly she was given a 10,000 check after the King Bishop win and not the standard 10% trainer win fee...this will be interesting.... LUCKILY for James McIngvale and Laura Wohlers....this story is now only known by horseplayers because the reason the general public paid attention this weekend was to watch American Pharaoh...even the sports network, tv news mentioned AP winning on Saturday but now that he is retired, racing is no longer in the news, until next year's Derby....BUT we live in a world of social media...be interesting if somehow this story gains some interest and spreads around (similar to the dentist who shot the lion in South Africa).... This story simply REEKS at all level... Guess when an underdog trainer who happens to be attractive gets the spotlight for her story....the ugly thing called jealousy rears its head... ...whereas in Australia, Michelle Payne continues the year for the ladies in horse racing with a historical win in the Melbourne Cup. Her reaction, her interview, the great smile and the wonderful story of having her brother who has a disease leading the horse around with a huge smile surely warmed the hearts in Australia.... Prado said the only other horse that reminded him of Runhappy during and after a race was Barbaro....given how he battled but finally succumbed, it makes story of how Lady Eli has survived one of the best stories of the year... why does Laura and McIngvale have to ruin one of the great stories of the year? I love seeing the unrehearsed reaction with Maria but now its ruined because of what happened after....just plain stupid that we can't have stories that are good in nature and staying that way...guess too much to ask for, us humans...
CM Vongole More than 1 year ago
Hi Ed, I wish you nothing but the best too, but I think you have me wrong on a few points: (a) Wise Dan was a turf miler... totally different story. (b) There aren't many open Grade1 1 1/4 dirt races offered (don't forget the triple crown series and Travers are restricted to 3yos), but 1 1/4 is considered the so-called "classic" distance nevertheless for good reason. A good portion of the greatest dirt thoroughbreds in the modern era (male and female) proved themselves at that distance. Aside from the pure sprinters, I can't think of any in the HoF who would strictly be considered fantastic dirt milers. (c) If Liam's Map had been in the race, I don't necessarily think he would've won either. He may have been crushed, he may have been 2nd, I have no idea. American Pharoah may have very well won regardless... or a horse like Effinex could've shocked them all. In any event, American Pharoah's task would certainly have not been easier. It would've been a better, and far more exciting, race overall... regardless of the end-result. (d) American Pharoah was a special horse for me. Trying to beat a horse doesn't mean I don't like the horse. It also doesn't mean I don't think he's great. I can acknowledge those things and still think he's an underlay. My decision not to get involved with the P6 actually had nothing to do with him or the Classic... it was really all the likely chalk in the other 5 races that made me back off. (e) Keen Ice was never my HoY. To be clear, after the Travers, I said IF he were to win BOTH the Jockey Club Gold Cup AND the BC Classic, he would deserve very serious consideration, regardless of American Pharoah (who he would necessarily have had to beat a 2nd time) winning the triple crown. Neither of those things happened, so all bets are off.
Mac930My More than 1 year ago
Annie The super in the Melbourne Cup only paid $307k That's a doozy Whackymacky out!