11/03/2016 2:19PM

Illman: 'Hit It or Split It' Breeders' Cup analysis


The key to the "Hit It or Split It" challenge is to identify winners. Prices be darned!

On the face of it, the goal should be to smoke out the logical "horses to beat" in each race and bet the $10 minimum to win on those horses. A runner like Dortmund seems like the perfect example.

For me, the problem is that there doesn't seem to be any short-priced locks. Songbird? She must to deal with Stellar Wind and Beholder. California Chrome? Meet Arrogate. Even the so-called "easy" races don't look so easy. I didn't pick one morning-line favorite in my top four selections in the paper editions of DRF.

:: Beer: DRF Bets 'Hit It or Split It' Breeders' Cup analysis

I guess my strategy for the "Hit It or Split It" is to identify my best plays of the weekend and couple them with shorter-priced favorites who could easily win ... even if I didn't select them on top.

Here are three longer-priced opinions I fancy:

Turf Sprint: A Lot (9)
I love the turnback in distance for this guy, and he overcame a slow pace to run a gallant second in his most recent start.

Filly and Mare Sprint: By the Moon (6)
Tactical filly can sit a good trip just off an expected moderate pace. Shows up every time.

Mile: Alice Springs (2)
Has won Group 1 races in three of her last four starts. Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien make an amazing combination.

Three shorter-priced, logical runners include:

Dirt Mile: Dortmund (3)
Perhaps a bit susceptible to a bounce after that hard California Chrome race, but he looks very tough in the Dirt Mile with his usual performance.

Filly and Mare Turf: Seventh Heaven (3)
O’Brien and Moore again. This one beat Found earlier this year.

Turf: Flintshire (4)
Stymied by yielding ground last time at Belmont. Won’t have that issue in Southern California.

Good luck!

Win part of a $2,500 or $5,000 pool on Friday and Saturday with the DRF Bets Breeders’ Cup win bet “Hit It or Split It” $7,500 Challenge. Players who cash on five $10 minimum win bets are eligible. Find out the details at www.drf.com/promos.