10/25/2001 11:00PM

Steve Klein's Breeders' Cup analysis



Sakhee dominated Group 1 competition on the turf in the Arc and the Juddmonte. No one can say for sure whether or not he'll transfer that form to the main track, but bettors brave enough to give him the benefit of the doubt will receive an overlaid payoff if they are right. The same theory applies to Galileo. He is only one photo finish shy of a perfect record with six wins and a narrow loss to Fantastic Light. You won't find odds in the neighborhood of 9-2 on him very often. Aptitude was ultra-impressive in his 10-length win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup here, but regression is possible, and 2-1 is an unexciting price.


Fantastic Light just edged the previously undefeated Galileo in the Irish Champion Stakes. He has been very reliable while winning four Group 1 races, with no finish worse than third, during his last seven starts. Key him on top. Milan was no match for Sakhee when he finished fifth of 17 in the Arc, but he was a convincing winner of the St. Leger in his previous start, and might be set to rebound today. Hap is sharp with four wins from his last five races, and two triumphs from four starts on this course. A good trip may yield a board finish.


Came Home is a perfect 3 for 3. His Beyers have improved steadily with each extra furlong he has been asked to run, so 1 1/16 miles may be within his scope. He has trained smartly for his return. Is Officer a budding superstar? Quite possibly. But his low odds will leave bettors with precious little room for error. This field is much tougher than the ones he has been beating in California. Johannesburg is unbeaten with six sprint wins over six different turf courses. I'll have a few dollars on him at overlaid odds as he tries routing on dirt. Siphonic should continue to improve.

F/M Turf:

England's Legend set a faster pace than she needed to, then was tagged late by Lailani. If England's Legend rates a little more kindly today, she can post the mild upset. Lailani has won seven straight. But she beat the top pick by less than a length last time, and the move out to post 12 will probably cost her more ground than that. Starine finished a contending third behind Lailani and England's Legend in the Flower Bowl, and can contend again at a square price. Banks Hill has been consistent, and shouldn't be overlooked.


Miss Linda has won three straight races, including a $45.60 upset in the Spinster at Keeneland. Her 109 Beyer from that triumph gives her a look here at an attractive price. Exogenous is 8-4-1-1 at Belmont. She added blinkers, then won the Gazelle and the Beldame here at this same distance in her last two starts. Flute just traded decisions with Exogenous, and will be tough right back at modest odds. Starrer is on the upswing, and is capable of scoring at a large price. Tranquility Lake can handle the dirt, but will face pace pressure.

Juvenile Fillies:

Bella Bellucci won the Astarita in her second career start, and her pace figure from that race indicates that she might be even better routing. Odds of 4-1 or higher would make her an overlay. You is one of only two fillies in this field who have won a graded stakes at this distance. She cruised in the Frizette and will be the one to beat at low odds. Habibti looked good winning her first two races, and can take it all if she's ready for her best in her return. Take Charge Lady won the Grade 2 Alcibiades at this distance at Keeneland and deserves consideration.


With a red-hot pace likely, I'm looking for a horse who can avoid dueling, while staying within easy striking distance. Left Bank fits that style. He loves Belmont with four wins from five local starts. He's also in top form after a swift win in the Vosburgh. Double-digit odds would offer good value. El Corredor will also have a good style for this while cutting back from a mile. He has won 7 of his last 8. Kona Gold wins with his best, but he'll be an underlaid price in a contentious field. Swept Overboard and Delaware Township will need racing luck when they launch their bids


A large field makes trouble likely for those who fall too far back early at this distance. I'll take a chance on longshot Numerous Times, who has the tactical speed necessary to get good position. He just won the Grade 1 Atto Mile, he's unbeaten in six starts, and might be this good. Irish Prize had a tough trip from a disadvantageous post when he finished a length behind the top pick, and is stuck outside again. He's talented, but will need racing luck. Val Royal won impressively at Oak Tree, but his deep-closing style makes a difficult trip a distinct possibility.