10/22/2015 9:01PM

Giwner: Breeders Crown Analysis


This is not your everyday analysis where I just provide my top selections. I felt it would be more interesting and helpful to discuss each race from the viewpoint of potential value and with an eye on standout elimination performances. After each race you will also find my top four selections, plus I'll finish off with tickets for all the big exotic wagers.

Race 1 – Open Mare Trot

There were no eliminations for this group last week. The quest for value comes down to beating one horse--D’One. On paper she projects as a legitimate 3-5 shot. If you beat her with any horse, the return will be healthy. Classic Martine could be the sneakiest play in the field. She was able to beat Intimidate last week and it seems that the Steve Elliott barn is starting to heat up once again. There are also a host of others who have gone fast enough in the past, including Handover Belle, Daylon Miracle and Shake It Cerry.

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(3) Classic Martine, (6) D’One,
(10) Handover Belle, (7) Shake It Cerry

Race 2 – 2YO Filly Pace

Pure Country is the big name in here as she is undefeated in nine career starts. She will be a heavy favorite and raced well in her elimination. Runner-up to her a week ago was Darlinonthebeach, who almost seemed content to be second that night. Yankee Moonshine was visually impressive with a strong late rally, though she was clearly drifting in late. Call Me Queen Be flashed some pace at both ends of her elimination.

I believe Pure Country is faster than her foes on Saturday but the conditions will be far from perfect, with temperatures in the low 50s and a 50% chance of rain. That should narrow the approximate one second advantage of the favorite and make this race ripe for an upset.

(1) Darlinonthebeach, (3) Pure Country,
(5) Yankee Moonshine, (7) Blue Moon Stride

Race 3 – 2YO Colt Trot

There is not much to write about as Southwind Frank jumps off the page, so much so that trainer Jimmy Takter didn’t even enter Bar Hopping because he didn’t want to race for second money with one of his top Hambletonian prospects for next year. Anything can happen in a race, but Southwind Frank is a reasonable play at any price.

(5) Southwind Frank, (9) Milligan’s School,
(8) Dupree, (3) Marion Marauder

Race 4 – 3YO Filly Pace

This division has been a crapshoot all year long so there is no reason to believe it won’t continue in the Breeders Crown. Divine Caroline earned the role of favorite by winning her third straight in last week’s eliminations, but she did have a smooth trip in that race. Do you want to back her at even money? I don’t. Bedroomconfessions was a willing second behind Divine Caroline last week and Stacia Hanover had no shot from fourth over in that same elim. Solar Sister was certainly strong in her elim win and newcomer Frost Damage Blues raced very well in her stakes debut. Even The Show Returns showed some signs of life and Sassa Hanover did well considering the layoff.

Solar Sister could be a reasonable play if you can get 3-1 or better. Frost Damage Blues, The Show Returns, Stacia Hanover and Sassa Hanover are all on my radar at 15-1 or higher.

(9) Stacia Hanover, (1) Divine Caroline,
(3) Solar Sister, (7) Frost Damage Blues

Race 5 – 2YO Filly Trot

Trainer Jimmy Takter will send out the two most likely favorites in All The Time and Haughty. All The Time bottomed out the field in her elimination last Friday and I could see her getting the Yannick Gingras nod as favorite. Haughty probably would have lost for the first time in her career if not for the break by Broadway Donna. She was driven conservatively though and I’m not holding that slow winning mile against her. Caprice Hill is the other logical winner. She chased All The Time and didn’t seem quite as sharp in her elimination.

I see Haughty as the most interesting play because I figure her to fall around the 5-2 range, which is a pretty good price on an undefeated horse. It is also worth noting that Womans Will was very steppy late in her elim mile.

(5) Haughty, (4) All The Time,
(10) Caprice Hill, (8) Black Broadway

Race 6 – 3YO Filly Trot

There were no eliminations required last week and this certainly seems like a match race between Wild Honey and Mission Brief. There is no value in horses that can’t win and the rest of the field seems to be in that boat.

(7) Mission Brief, (3) Wild Honey,
(4) Speak To Me, (1) Elegant Serenity

Race 7 – 2YO Colt Pace

Control The Moment remains undefeated, so he’ll be the favorite at about 4-5. He deserves some kudos for a game elimination win despite missing five weeks of action. American Passport and Big Top Hanover both loomed large last week only to come up a bit flat in the lane. I wouldn’t be shocked if either raced better in their second starts north of the border. Racing Hill was very sharp in victory and races like a mature older horse. Betting Line looked done while uncovered but came on again late.

If Control The Moment drifts up to even money or higher I could see him as a play. Racing Hill at 2-1 or better is very interesting. Spider Man Hanover, American Passport, Betting Line and Big Top Hanover would be double-digit plays.

(1) Racing Hill, (3) Control The Moment,
(5) American Passport, (2) Spider Man Hanover

Race 8 – 3YO Colt Trot

While he gets little respect, it is hard to see Pinkman losing this race. Which horse would you back to defeat him? I can’t find a horse that is as fast or consistent. Not in this field.

(1) Pinkman, (4) Muscle Diamond,
(6) French Laundry, (11) Infiniti AS

Race 9 – 3YO Colt Pace

Artspeak and Freaky Feet Pete were both very impressive elimination winners. I thought Lost For Words raced very well and seemed like he had something left in the tank late in the mile. I’m also not holding the second-place finish by Wakizashi Hanover against him since his best efforts have not been on the lead. Artistic Major raced well for second behind ‘Freaky’ and Reverend Hanover was a bit disappointing on the engine.

This is one of the best races on the card. I’m assuming Freaky Feet Pete will be the favorite, which is why he is a play against. I’m also concerned that the price won’t be high enough to warrant a bet on Wakizashi Hanover, who seems at his best in the pocket and may look to get that trip.

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(5) Artspeak, (7) Lost For Words,
(4) Freaky Feet Pete, (3) Wakizashi Hanover

Race 10 – Open Mare Pace

Most of the field has been off two to three weeks since no eliminations were required. Color’s A Virgin didn’t beat much in her start at Lexington and might wind up a shorter price than deserved. Anndrovette is impossible to figure out but seems worth a play at 5-1 or higher. [Editor's note: Anndrovette was a late scratch due to sickness.] Yagonnakissmeornot always seems to be overbet. If somehow she offers fair value (about 5-1), jump on board. Lady Shadow is as talented as any but also is typically overbet. Venus Delight is interesting because she is rarely a heavy favorite and seems to race well in Canada. Basically taking under 3-1 on any horse in this race is a bad idea.

(5) Katie Said, (9) Venus Delight,
(6) Yagonnakissmeornot, (1) COLOR'S A VIRGIN

Race 11 – Open Trot

Here is another race without eliminations to handicap. There is no horse in the field that can’t win this race, though Gural Hanover and Master Of Law seem like outsiders and Intimidate hasn’t been the same horse this year. I’ll be taking the best price between Resolve, Bee A Magician and Creatine.

(6) Creatine, (4) Bee A Magician,
(2) Resolve, (1) Flanagan Memory

Race 12 - Open Pace

Always B Miki presents a bit of a conundrum. Do you bet a horse at 3-5 with only two starts this year and facing a solid group of hard-knocking older pacers? I’m of the opinion the answer is yes, but if the track comes up anything but fast my mind will change in a hurry. JK Endofanera deserves some respect but seems likely to be overbet after charging home like a freight train in his elimination. Amazingly State Treasurer could turn into a value play despite leading the division all year. And don’t ignore Mach It So at what could be 10-1.

What do we do with Foiled Again? I loved him last week, but I’m not sure his price will be quite as enticing this time around. I’d say he is a pass unless you get 8-1 again.

(3) Always B Miki, (2) Mach It So,
(8) JK Endofanera, (4) Foiled Again

Let’s get exotic!

There are two $100,000 guaranteed Pick Fours on the card and a mandatory payout $557,274 Jackpot Hi-Five. Below are my tickets for these enticing wagers as well as a complimentary Pick Five play. For the multi-race exotics, I’ve listed a main ticket for .20 cents and a secondary ticket for $1 keying my top choices.

Race 1 - Pick Five

.20 cent Ticket:

3,6,7,8,10 / 1,3 / 5 / 1,3,7,8,9,10 / 4,5,10 = $36

$1 Ticket:

3,6 / 1,3 / 5 / 1,3,7,9,10 / 4,5,10 = $60

Race 4 - $100K Pick Four

.20 cent Ticket:

1,3,7,8,9,10 / 4,5,10 / 3,7 / 1,3,5 = $21.60

$1 Ticket:

1,3,7,9,10 / 4,5 / 3,7 / 1,3,5 = $60

Race 9 - $100K Pick Four

.20 cent Ticket:

3,4,5,7 / 5,6,9 / 2,4,6 / 3 = $7.20

$1 Ticket:

4,5,7 / 5,6,9 / 4,6 / 3 = $18

Race 13 - $557,274 Jackpot Hi-5

.20 cent Tickets:

8 / 1,2,4,9,11 / 1,2,4,9,11 / 1-6,8,9,11 / ALL = $192

2 / 8 / 1,2,4,9,11 / 1-6,8,9,11 / ALL = $38.40

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