Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, November 4, 2006
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes
by Seth Merrow

Here we go -- the epicenter of the US racing calendar: Breeders' Cup. Eight races with plenty of action.

Plus a couple of turfy appetizers from Aqueduct.

Turf wagers are turf only

Best Bets

Aqueduct, Race 5, Latice.
Churchill, Race 3, Octave.
Churchill, Race 7, Gorella.
Churchill, Race 9, Hurricane Run.
Churchill, Race 10, WPS Giacomo.

Aqueduct: Long Island Hcp G2 $150K

Latice...She was the winner of the 2004 G1 French Oaks. Has flashed some talent but just hasn't seemed to have been able to put it altogether since arriving stateside. Still, we've always fancied her and she's capable in here on her best effort.
Royal Highness...This gal is a recent invader from Europe and was an OK third in her US debut against the boys in the G1 Turf Classic.
Safari Queen...Has some early speed and that can be dangerous in these turf marathons.
Reform Act.

Wager: $5 WP on Latice.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Aqueduct: Knickerbocker Hcp G3 $100K

Drum Major...Second start off of a layoff. Fired a nice Beyer last time and should be tough if able to move forward.
Bastille...Got up late to win a nice Laurel stake last time and is working well for this.
Fishy Advice...Could be the one to catch.
Giant Wrecker.

Wager: $5 WP on Drum Major.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four, sub next if scratch.
...$1 tri box top four, sub next if scratch.

Churchill: BC Juvie Fillies G1 $2 mil

Octave...Solid 4-2-2-0 record -- three of those races begin stakes. Should be able to stalk just off the early pace and get first jump.
Sutra...Sure to be overlooked off of the low-Beyer Frizette -- but when compared to her Chicago races that last looks like an aberration. We'll take the solid price on a G1 winner.
Dreaming of Anna...Three daylight wins in three starts and her last was against the boys. Dangerous.
Cash Included.

Wager: $5 WP on Octave.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Churchill: BC Juvie G1 $2 mil

Circular Quay...Impressed in two starts over this track to begin career. Then moved on to win the G1 Hopeful at Saratoga. Ran well to be second in latest over the Poly at Keeneland in his first try around two turns. Should benefit from that experience.
Scat Daddy...Only loss was to top pick in the Hopeful. Followed by winning the G1 Champagne.
King of the Roxy...Team Valor bought this guy after his maiden win in SoCal. Since moving to Pletcher barn he's had a near-miss second and a win in a couple of nice G2s.
Got The Last Laugh.

Wager: $5 WP on Circular Quay.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Churchill: BC F/M Turf G1 $2 mil

Ouija Board...Coming to the end of a spectacular career. She won this race in 2004. A good second last year. This season she's been a globe-trotter and has put together a nice record. Notably she has only faced her own sex once in 2006 -- and won. She's back in with the ladies today.
Wait a While...Has looked incredible in her last three starts on turf. Clearly the one to beat.
Film Maker...As game as they come. 6YO has only three starts this season but they've all been good.

Wager: $5 WP on Ouija Board.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Churchill: BC Sprint G1 $2 mil

Bordonaro...Would be undefeated this year except for the whip incident at Del Mar. The G1 Ancient Title win was eye-poppingly fast. And he's done it on the road -- winning earlier this year in Florida and Arkansas.
Siren Lure...If the front-runners come back to the field this guy could be the most likely candidate to pick up the pieces late.
Henny Hughes...3YO has been rock-solid in three starts since early July.
Nightmare Affair.

Wager: $5 WP on Bordonaro.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Churchill: BC Mile G1 $2 mil

Gorella...We liked her as a value play in this race last year and she probably should have won if not for traffic trouble. Comes in razor-sharp out of a Keeneland stake. Went from Keeneland to this race last year -- and she looks even better this time around.
Librettist...Undefeated in 2006 before encountering some traffic in controversial QEII at Ascot. Euro-invaders are always dangerous in these races.
Aragorn...Solid since summer and comes out of a win in the G1 Oak Tree Mile.

Wager: $5 WP on Gorella.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Churchill: BC Distaff G1 $2 mil

Pine Island...Lightly raced 3YO is improving but still has some upside potential. Seems to have really turned the corner in the G1 Alabama. Will be rolling late.
Fleet Indian...Showed a new dimension in latest that makes her dangerous -- well, more dangerous, because she was pretty dangerous before!
Balletto...A couple of near-misses in her two 9F races.
Asi Siempre.

Wager: $5 WP on Pine Island.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Churchill: BC Turf G1 $3 mil

Hurricane Run...The 2005 G1 Arc winner might have an edge on these. Might get slightly overlooked after a fourth in this year's Arc and a third last time in the G1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket -- but those were hardly the kind of races that signal definitively that a horse is going the wrong way. Can make amends here.
Cacique...Beautifully bred as dam has produced tow other BC winners -- Banks Hill and Intercontinental. Seems to have rounded into top form this summer and comes out of a victory in the G1 Man O War.
English Channel...Big win in the G1 Turf Classic signals he should be ready for this.
Go Deputy.

Wager: $5 WP on Hurricane Run.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Churchill: BC Classic G1 $5 mil

Lava Man...If there were any justice in the Eclipse voting this guy would have already wrapped up HOTY honors. Undefeated in seven 2006 starts including fours G1s, with one of those on the grass. He's our sentimental choice just on the fact that he's put together the kind of campaign we should all applaud. But you don't bet with your heart -- so the head had to pick a winner and we still ended up here. There's a good chance the pace might meltdown with plenty of early speed in here -- but frankly, none of the closers jumped off the page. Therefore, the choice is to go with the best horse. We think that's Lava Man. The numbers boys have said he's not fast enough -- but he's undefeated this year, so how do we know what his figure-ceiling is? In other words, if a horse wins a race with a 109 Beyer, how do we know he wouldn't have run a 114 if he had to? And if you go back to last year's G1 Hollywood Gold Cup you'll see this guy is capable -- he fired a 120 Beyer that day.
Bernardini...Very impressive so far -- but, in our eyes, still untested. Delving deeper into his PPs you'll find that he has only faced four G1 winners in his career [Bluegrass Cat, Dylan Thomas, Barbaro, Brother Derek] and two of those hardly ranked as legit competition due to circumstances [Barbaro, Dylan Thomas]. So this will be this guy's first test against classy, older G1 types. We'll know more by the end of the day just how well he can handle the competition.
Giacomo...He was our "value" play in the 2005 G1 Ky Derby. Not sure if lightning can strike twice for us -- and him, but there is the real possibility of a pace meltdown and this guy has benefitted from that scenario before -- on this track and at this trip.

Wager: $5 WP on Lava Man.
...$4 WPS on Giacomo ...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Coast-to-coast Archives...Picks, plays and results from previous weeks


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