10/26/2001 12:00AM

Brad Free's Breeders' Cup analysis



Include has upset written all over him. He needed his last, has proven his Grade 1 class, and will rally wide at a price. Aptitude always had it in him, it just took a long time to come out. He blew away his rivals in his last two, including a 10-length romp last time out. He is the current class, and the fastest dirt horse in the race. Unfortuntely, his odds are too short to make a serious wager on him. Tiznow's workout last week indicated he has plenty of run left in him. With an aggressive, front-running strategy, he could be long gone. The top-class Europeans are compromised by surface.


The U.S. turf division has been muddled all year, so if Fantastic Light reproduces his Group 1 European form, he can crush. The 5-year-old is a better horse this year than last year, when he finished fifth in the Turf. Having raced only five times this season, he enters as a fresh horse. With Anticipation has crossed the wire first in all five turf starts this year, and will be cruising on modest pace. Milan ran better-than-looked in the Arc, and trainer Aidan O'Brien has been nearly as hot in Europe as Timboroa's trainer Bobby Frankel has been in the U.S. Slew The Red has longshot connections.


Lightly raced Siphonic drilled a potential star (Janadel) first out, then romped in a Grade 2. He is improving, bred to go long, and versatile enough to overcome the rail. Officer is untested, has never felt the whip, and has never been in a fight. He might be unprepared for battle. Undefeated Came Home will have the jump on the favorite. Recent works suggest missing a start did not set him back. Johannesburg is at the end of a long campaign. Ibn Al Haitham ran super in the Norfolk and merits longshot consideration.

F/M Turf:

England's Legend left a lasting impression with an impressive N2X win in March, and has done everything right since. Runaway winner of the Beverly D., she figured to regress in the Flower Bowl, but the race served its purpose as a prep. She hits this in top form, will set or press a modest pace, and she will get first run. Euro-shipper Banks Hill is better than shown. She chased a gate-to-wire winner last time, had trouble the time before. There is no reason she cannot stay another quarter-mile considering she has been running uphill. Starine will motor late; Lailani has Euro-bounce written all over her.


Until the Oct. 6 Beldame, it had been months since Flute had been hooked and forced to fight. She dug in and finished second in an effort that sets her up for the race of her career. Toughened from battle, the brilliant filly (she won the Kentucky Oaks in only her fourth start) can kick off a banner day for Bobby Frankel. Critical Eye loves Belmont, and her latest showed improving form. She consistently outruns her odds, and her speed figures are appropriate if Saratoga is overlooked. Spinster winner Miss Linda hits autumn at the top of her game. The only knock on Exogenous, improved with blinkers, is depressed odds.

Juvenile Fillies:

You may start as the shortest price of the day, and for good reason. She is by far the fastest in the race, handles Belmont, and is tractable enough to make her own trip. On paper, she towers over the field. Two for two and the class of California, Habibti came down with an untimely illness that knocked her from the Oak Leaf. But her recent works have been terrific, and in her Monday drill she looked as good as ever. The likelihood of a hot pace plays to her strength. Bella Bellucci ran down a loose-on-the-lead speedster to win impressively. She's getting good. Tempera has trained well for her return.


Squirtle Squirt presents one of the best gambling opportunities on the card. He returns to his preferred distance after a series of sharp efforts at seven furlongs, he has repeatedly proven he can deal with wicked fractions, and he is the most likely front-runner to survive what should be a severe pace. Kona Gold struggled in his comeback, but the race was his first in 2 1/2 months, and he has trained well since. Swept Overboard has found his calling as a deep closer under Eddie Delahoussaye. His Ancient Title win was legitimate, he is a six-furlong specialist and the most dangerous of the closers.


This is the most difficult race on the card and did not draw a particularly strong field. Affirmed Success has been pointed all year for this, loves Belmont, and will always get a good trip because of his up-front style. Val Royal looked super winning the Oak Tree Mile, which has produced the last two BC Mile winners. He benefited, however, from a perfect trip vs. suspect foes. Sarafan is greatly improved since being gelded before his June 14 effort. He will roll late at a price. Brahms had legitimate trouble last out at Keeneland. He and longshot 3-year-old Navesink are deep threats.