Will Take Charge won the Travers Stakes and the Pennsylvania Derby (above) and has a strong chance at a nice price in the Breeders' Cup Classic. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)
Selections by Bob Ehalt and Shawn Rychling
1st race – (4) Jedi Mind Trick flopped on Santa Anita’s main track but ran well enough on Polytrack to be an interesting play in this spot. (8) Love in the Desert ran well enough in Europe to win this, but her ability on firm turf is a question mark. (2) Richies Party Girl tired in a graded stakes and should thrive at a sprint distance. (9) Toowindytohaulrox is a mouthful but ran well enough in a maiden win at these conditions to deserve attention.
2nd race – (1) Flashback hasn’t raced since April but the Santa Anita Derby runner-up has too much class for this bunch. (3) Zeewat has enough late kick to complete the exacta. (4) Show Some Magic could be a factor if his last start at Zia Park wasn’t a fluke. (2) Tour Guide hasn’t done much lately but a quick recent workout indicates he might rebound today.
3rd race – (7) Ultrasonic is a European import debuting for Baffert, who should have her ready for a top effort. (1) Purim’s Dancer comes off a win at the distance and looks like the main competition. (10) Unusual Hottie has not been worse than third in her last five tries and belongs in your exotic wagers. (13) Pontchatrain is a threat against these despite the outside post.
4th race – The Breeders’ Cup portion of the day starts here with the Juvenile Fillies and it should begin on a formful note with a victory by (9) Sweet Reason, who finished a game second in the Frizette despite an awful break. With a clean trip, she should turn the tables on (1) Artemis Agrotera, who used her speed to take the Frizette and looms the main threat here from the rail. (7) Untapable has won both of her career starts, including a stakes at Churchill Downs, and will be a major factor. (5) Ria Antonia adds blinkers and has trained brilliantly for today’s start. Worth a long look at 30-to-1 odds.
5th race – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mart Turf, 1 ¼ miles, turf - (1) Dank is hard to look past after a dominant performance in the Beverly D. A similar effort will make her an easy winner here. (4) Alterite is a talented and improving 3-year-old who is experienced at the distance and can complete the exacta. (10) Kitten’s Dumplings beat Alterite last time out, but has to overcome the outside post. (3) Tiz Flirtatious beat (6) Marketing Mix by only a head when they met in the Rodeo Drive, but since then she has trained sharply and looks the best of the rest.
DANK WINNING BEVERLY D.
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
6th race – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, 7 furlongs, dirt – (2) Book Review took late money and then lost by a head in Saratoga’s Ballerina at this distance. Hasn’t raced since then but Baffert should have her on edge for this start and she offers value at 6-to-1 odds. (8) Dance to Bristol beat Book Review then ran second on a good track in the Gallant Bloom; figures to like today’s surface. (11) Groupie Doll won this race last year and while she has not been as dominant as a year ago, she can’t be overlooked. (4) Dance Card gets a little more distance and that could help her move forward off a third in the Gallant Bloom.
7th race – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, 6 ½ furlongs, turf – (12) Mizdirection may not have raced since June, but she overcame a longer break to win this race last year and a recent 57 4/5 work indicates she’s razor sharp and ready to run on a turf course she loves. (14) Unbridled’s Note only lost by a half-length as the beaten favorite in a prep for this spot. That was his first race since May so look for improvement here. (4) Reneesgotzip was third in this race last year and her last two races at Del Mar say she’s ready for another peak effort. (7) Tightend Touchdown has a strong burst of early speed and may last for a share of the purse.
8th race – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, 1 1/16 miles, dirt – (13) Havana took late money in the Champagne and used his speed to post a gate-to-wire triumph. That speed will come in handy from post 13, and as long as he doesn’t get carried wide on the first turn he should be able to post a front-running victory. (6) Tap It Rich was a highly impressive maiden winner at Santa Anita and just might be good enough to be a major factor here. (14) Strong Mandate ran surprisingly poor in the Champagne. Should rebound here, but post 14 doesn’t help his chances. (3) Mexikoma won by a pole in his first start on dirt and could register a surprise.
9th race – Breeders’ Cup Turf, 1 ½ miles, turf – (1) Vagabond Shoes was a good second in the John Henry here at Santa Anita but is being overlooked in the morning line at 12-to-1. With most of the major contenders in the race drawing outside posts, he could work out a ground-saving trip and spring an upset. (7) The Fugue will be tough to beat if she can duplicate her European form. (8) Point of Entry might have been the top choice with a race under his belt after surgery, but he’s still classy enough to be a major factor here. (4) Little Mike won this race in 2012 and a win in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic indicates he’s rounding into top form again.
VAGABOND SHOES WINNING DEL MAR HANDICAP
Photo by Benoit & Associates
10th race – Breeders’ Cup Sprint, 6 furlongs, dirt – (1) Justin Phillip was the recipient of late money and turned in a strong effort to finish second in the Vosburgh. Like his chances of working out a winning race from the rail. (9) Secret Circle notched a powerful win off a year-and-a-half layoff. If he doesn’t bounce off that effort, he can play a prominent role in the outcome. (8) Fast Bullet hasn’t been seen since a poor showing in the Forego back in August. A top effort, though, makes him a major player. (7) Private Zone looked great in winning the Vosburgh, but faces a major test on the front end.
11th race – Breeders’ Cup Mile, 1 mile, turf - (8) Wise Dan saw his winning streak end in a stakes switched to Keeneland’s synthetic main track. He’s back on turf here and should resume his winning ways. (5) Obviously won easily in a Group 1 stakes in England last time out, but running on two weeks rest may come back to haunt him. (2) Silentio lost by a nose in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile at today’s conditions and seems to be under appreciated at 20-to-1 in the morning line. (10) Za Approval also seems much better than the 15-to-1 odds he’s listed at. Was second to both Wise Dan and Obviously this year.
WISE DAN WINNING THE 2012 BREEDERS' CUP MILE
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
12th race – Breeders’ Cup Classic, 1 ¼ miles, dirt - (10) Will Take Charge has the look of an improving 3-year-old who is sitting on a big race for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. He should get a favorable pace to chase and the prospect of 12-to-1 odds is very inviting for a horse coming off wins in a pair of million-dollar races. (9) Game On Dude is very much the one to beat here and a very deserving favorite, but he figures to be severely tested on the front end and might be vulnerable in the final yards. (6) Mucho Macho Man posted an eye-opening win in the Awesome Again at Santa Anita last time out. He was second in this race last year and his fondness for the racetrack makes him hard to ignore. (8) Palace Malice was bet down to 5-to-2 odds while finishing second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The distance should pose no problem for him and he deserves inclusion in the exotics at 10-1 odds. (2) Paynter is an understandable sentimental favorite, but he has some other things going for him. He should relish the distance and an improved effort in the Awesome Again indicates he may be on the verge of a top effort at a highly opportune time.
Bob Ehalt founded The Hot List in July of 2011. Each day he and Shawn Rychling offer selections for New York and Kentucky races for a variety of wagering outlets. For more information, email email@example.com.