09/26/2013 4:29PM

Dave Tuley: Familiar names at top of Breeders' Cup futures


LAS VEGAS – Breeders’ Cup fever – catch it!

No, that’s not the BC’s new marketing slogan, but I’ve caught the bug with racing’s championship weekend just five weeks away, and this is the perfect time to check in on the future-book odds here in Vegas, with most of the last major prep races this weekend from coast to coast. (It also helps that my subpar start to the football season has me looking for other diversions.)

The Wynn Las Vegas has had the BC Classic odds up since last November, when John Avello made Fort Larned, Game On Dude, and supermare Royal Delta the tri-favorites at 12-1. Throughout the spring and summer, Avello has added futures for the Distaff, Turf, Mile, Dirt Mile, Sprint, and Filly and Mare Turf. You can download all the current Wynn sheets on my ViewFromVegas.com website. They’re updated weekly (along with Kentucky Derby futures) on the “Race Book Notes” page.

Game On Dude, who is done prepping off his romp in the Pacific Classic on Aug. 25 at Del Mar, was the 3-1 Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite at the Wynn as of Wednesday, but plenty of others have a chance to state their case this weekend.

Defending Classic champ Fort Larned is prepping in the Homecoming Classic at Churchill, while the biggest group of Classic contenders is going in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont, with Flat Out (currently 7-1 at the Wynn), Palace Malice (8-1), Cross Traffic (9-1), Orb (12-1), and Alpha (40-1). On the left coast, Paynter (14-1) and Mucho Macho Man (24-1) are facing off in the Awesome Again (formerly known as the Goodwood) at Santa Anita.

Will Take Charge (10-1), the Travers winner and victor of the Pennsylvania Derby last Saturday, will be trained up to the Classic. Royal Delta (15-1) is expected to be cross-entered in the Classic and Distaff, but more likely to go for a third straight “Ladies” title or else her odds would be lower.

Speaking of the Distaff, that’s where we find Royal Delta as the very solid 5-2 favorite. She is the 3-5 favorite in Saturday’s Beldame Invitational at Belmont. In the six-horse field, the only other entrants listed on Wynn’s Distaff futures are Princess of Sylmar (8-1) and Centring (30-1). Close Hatches won the Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing last Saturday and is the 8-1 co-second choice with Princess of Sylmar for the Distaff, though there are reports she may not be pointed to the Distaff after all (so probably not wise to bet her until her connections make a final decision). In the Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, a half-dozen other top Distaff contenders are entered: Beholder (10-1), Authenticity (10-1), Joyful Victory (10-1), Include Me Out (11-1), Flashy American (15-1), and More Chocolate (15-1).

If you’re thinking of betting a horse now and think they’re going to win this weekend (and thus have their BC odds plummet), the time to lock in a better price is now. (Real-world betting advice: If you can’t get to Vegas before the races this weekend, you could basically make the same bet thought the parimutuel system at your local betting outlet by betting your horse in their prep race and then taking your proceeds and parlaying it all on your horse on Breeders’ Cup Weekend.)

Here are the top choices in the other BC future books at Wynn with five weeks to go:

◗ Turf: Bright Thought and Flintshire, co-favorites at 10-1; Interaction and Real Solution, both 11-1; Big Blue Kitten, Declaration of War, Forte Dei Marmi, Leading Light, and The Fugue, all at 12-1.

◗ Mile: Wise Dan, the huge favorite at 9-5; Moonlight Cloud at 7-1; Obviously at 8-1; Suggestive Boy at 10-1.

◗ Dirt Mile: Verrazano, favored at 5-1; Fed Biz at 9-1; Cross Traffic (could be cross-entered in Classic) at 10-1; Capo Bastone and Successful Dan, both at 12-1; Forty Tales and Liaison, both at 14-1; and Delegation, Goldencents (also listed in Sprint), Pants On Fire, and Rail Trip, all at 15-1.

◗ Sprint: Goldencents, the favorite at 8-1 if he goes here; Forty Tales at 9-1; Gentlemen’s Bet and Justin Phillip, both 10-1; and Points Offthebench at 11-1.

◗ Filly and Mare Turf: The Fugue, 3-1 favorite as she’s expected to run here instead of the Mile; another European invader Dank at 6-1; Marketing Mix, running in Saturday’s Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita, at 7-1; Tiz Flirtacious (also in the Rodeo Drive) at 8-1; Alterite at 10-1; and Laughing (going in Belmont’s Flower Bowl on Saturday) and Lady of Shamrock (another Rodeo Drive entrant), both at 12-1 along with Ridasiyna and Treve.

Avello said he’s planning to post the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies futures next week.

If these BC odds aren’t “future” enough for you, Avello’s future book for the Kentucky Derby, to be run in just more than seven months, has had Honor Code get bet down to the 22-1 favorite, followed by Strong Mandate at 25-1; Grand Arrival at 45-1; and Cleburne, Commissioner, Diamond Bachelor, Havana, and Mosler, all at 60-1.

Back to the betting board

Last week, I split with my football picks as Tennessee +17 covered. The Vols got in the back door in a 31-17 loss to the Florida, but my NFL play was never close as the Giants +1 got blown out 38-0 by the Panthers. I’ll try to do better this week with two (hopefully) live underdogs.

Arizona +10 vs. Washington

I don’t see that much difference between these 3-0 Pac-12 teams. Washington played a harder non-conference schedule, but these are basically the same teams as last year when the Wildcats won 52-17 (albeit at home in Tucson) and now they’re getting 10 points. Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey led the nation in rushing last year and has 299 yards so far this season, despite missing the opener. The ground game, and an improved defense, should help the Wildcats keep up with the Huskies.

PLAY: Arizona for 1 unit.

Eagles +11 vs. Broncos

We might actually have a team to keep up with Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Yes, the Eagles were held to 16 points by the Chiefs, but I don’t see that happening this week. The key, obviously, will be if the Eagles’ defense can get a stop or two. The over/under on this game is 58, and I’m actually a little surprised it wasn’t posted at 60 (and that still might not be high enough), but none of that matters to me as long as the Eagles can stay within 10 points, and I think they can do that if they get to 27 points (Broncos gave up 21 to the Raiders on Monday night).

PLAY: Eagles for 1 unit.

NCAA record: 3-3 for net loss of 0.3 units (based on risking 1.1 to win 1). NFL record: 1-3 for a net loss of 2.3 units.