Breeders' Cup Friday Free Picks, Predictions and Preview
According to numberFire Racing's analysis, these are the best bets and plays to make on FDR on Friday, November 4th.
Juvenile Turf Sprint
Lady Hollywood - A first Breeders’ Cup runner for her up-and-coming trainer. Landed a hat-trick within the space of a month mid-summer, culminating in a listed stakes success in Ireland. Found out in better company over 6f next time, she quickly bounced back to land a Group 3 in France at 5f. No margin for error from inside gate.
Love Reign - Very quick filly whose only defeat in three starts came in the Group 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot in June when fourth. Hasn’t been seen since winning a listed contest at Saratoga in August, form which looks good, and whilst her recent homework hasn’t been exceptional, she’s undoubtedly had this race on her radar for some time and is a major player for a barn that’s won last three renewals.
Private Cree - Has won three of his four starts, including two listed races, one here last month. Has already beaten some of these rivals but has a bit to find on speedfigures. However, he should get a good pace to aim at.
Dramatise - Made a very good impression when winning the first two starts, including the Group 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot in June. Seemingly failed to stay 6f when next seen in the Group 2 Lowther at York in August. A career best will be required but it wouldn’t be a surprise should she bounce back.
Mischief Magic - Has progressed into a useful colt. After finishing placed on debut, he then landed a hat-trick with two wins on turf and one on the all-weather in the Group 3 Sirenia at Kempton Park. Wasn’t disgraced in the Group 1 Middle Park at Newmarket last time and can’t be discounted representing powerful barn.
Persian Force - On the go since the opening day of the British Flat season in March. Has won three times from seven starts, notably the Group 2 July at Newmarket, and has never been out of the first three. Finished one place ahead of Mischief Magic when third in the Group 1 Middle Park at the aforementioned track last time.
Oxymore - Winner of a maiden special weight over 6f on debut at Belmont Park by 6½ lengths for Adam Rice before joining Chad Brown. Followed up in a non-graded stakes before a narrow defeat in a similar contest when stretching out in distance at Monmouth Park in September. Returns to sprinting and could have more to offer still.
American Apple - Earned her diploma at the fourth time of asking at Kentucky Downs in September. Caused a surprise when doubling up in the Grade 3 Matron at Belmont at the Big A last month. Significant improvement is required.
Sharp Aza Tack - Has an apt name as he’s shown plenty of zip on each of his three starts, winning on debut at Santa Anita before romping home in a non-graded stakes at Monmouth Park in July. Finished runner-up to Private Creed at Kentucky Downs last time. Faces plenty of competition for the lead here.
Tyler’s Tribe - Has been a credit to connections and arrives with a perfect five from five on the dirt, bolting up on each occasion at Prairie Meadows. This is a different test, not just the strength of opposition, but will he handle turf? Dam was placed routing on turf, so some hope. If his form translates, he’s one to take seriously.
Speed Boat Beach - Ran to a huge speedfigure when winning on the dirt on debut at Del Mar. Followed up in a listed turf race at Santa Anita last month and confirmed his wellbeing by producing some bullet workouts since. Rates as the dark horse in this field for an interesting Baffert/Prat combination.
The Platinum Queen - Has really taken off in the second half of the season, especially in open-age European Group 1s. A winner of four of her seven starts, notably landing the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp by a neck from White Lavender last time. Ran a 2½ lengths second to crack sprinter Highfield Princess in the Nunthorpe at York in August. Has the extended distance and widest draw to contend with but sets the standard.
Bushido - Has show plenty of speed to land both starts at Woodbine, taking charge from the off both times. Is also consistent on the worktab. Reserve.
No Nay Hudson - Failed to really kick on after winning on debut here. Caught late in stakes races the last twice. Only a player for minor money if getting a run. Reserve.
Monsieur Coco - Clear-cut winner of a maiden special weight and non-graded stakes at Gulfstream Park in August. Finished unplaced behind a few of these in a listed contest last time. Too much too soon here. Reserve.
The Platinum Queen just about sets the standard on her recent exploits in Europe. She’ll have to overcome a wide draw but can add a second success at the top level to her tally. Love Reigns hasn’t stood much racing but arrives fresh and is a big danger to the selection. Tyler’s Tribe can’t be ignored despite the hike in class/switch to turf.
Vegas Magic - Unbeaten first three starts, including Grade 2 Sorrento at Del Mar in August. Found out at the highest level last time. Stretches out in distance again, makes little appeal.
You’re My Girl - Won a maiden speical weight over 6f by 14½ lengths at Santa Anita on debut. Stepped straight into Grade 1 company and chased home Chocolate Gelato in the Frizette at Belmont at the Big A in the slop next time. Remains with potential.
And Tell Me Nolies - Succesful in her last three outings, including the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and Grade 2 Chandelier. Looks versatile with regards to run style and she could well be picking up the pieces at the end. No issue with the trip and could be the value play.
Sabra Tuff - A debut winner at Churchill Downs. Sent off at big prices at this level the last twice and finished fifth on both occasions behind several of these. Would be a surprise winner.
Wonder Wheel - Sole defeat in four starts came in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga when not fully cranked up. Made all over this distance in the Alcibiades over course and distance last time, hanging on by a nose. Continues to step up bit by bit on the figures and should make another bold bid.
Alma Rosa - Has won twice, including a non-graded stakes at Delaware Park latest. Hasn’t done enough to suggest she’ll be in the mix at this level just yet.
Chop Chop - Began her career with a perfect start, winning both times on the turf. Quick to switch to the dirt in the Grade 1 Alcibiades over course and distance last time, she was slowly away and had plenty to do but ran on to be beaten a nose by the pace-setting Wonder Wheel. Represents a powerful barn and is a major player.
Atomically - Made a serious impression on her final two starts for Jose Pinchin, running out an easy winner in both a maiden special weight and non-graded stakes at Gulfstream Park. Sold to Todd Pletcher and subsequently given the green light for this contest. Can’t be discounted at her rate of progression.
Grand Love - Ran out a cosy winner of a maiden special weight at Saratoga on debut before disappointing stretching out in distance when held in third in the Grade 3 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs, despite setting the fractions. Bred for the trip but needs to step up on that debut promise.
Chocolate Gelato - A $475,000 purchase. Made amends second time out with an 8½ lengths success in a maiden special weight at Saratoga in August. Landed the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont at the Big A next time, seeing her race out well on the sloppy track and winning with more in hand than a single length implies. She’s an exciting prospect.
American Rockette - Won on debut at Saratoga before being found out in Grade 1s the next twice. Her tardy starts temper enthusiasm.
Shoplifter - A winner of a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs in the summer. Has struggled to make much of a significant impact both starts since.
Leave No Trace - Won her first two starts at Saratoga, including the Grade 1 Spinaway from Wonder Wheel. Could only manage third in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont at the Big A in the slop behind Chocolate Gelato. Has a tricky post to overcome but has been working well and could well make her presence felt under better track conditions.
Raging Sea - Made a winning start at Saratoga and was then pitched straight into the deep end in the Grade 1 Alcibiades here. Beaten a neck third before she was demoted to fourth for bumping her rival. Remains with potential but hasn’t been helped by the draw.
A number have a shout but West Coast shipper And Tell Me Nolies looks perfectly drawn for a stalk and pounce trip. Chocolate Gelato should be on the premises after a smooth success last time, whilst Wonder Wheel has to be taken seriously.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Comanche Country - Made first two starts in Ireland, placed once. Turned a significant corner since joining Philip D’Amato winning all three starts, including the Grade 3 Surfer Girl at Santa Anita latest. More is needed but has to be considered.
Cairo Consort - Done all her racing at Woodbine, winning twice over sprinting distances. Unlucky not to finish closer in the Grade 1 Natalma when splitting a pair of reopposing foes last time. Easy to look elsewhere.
Last Call - Hit the boards in her first two starts before causing a surprise in the Grade 1 Natalma at Woodbine when the blinkers were discarded. She came from off the pace and sustained a wide move, no reason to believe it was a fluke. Another step forward will be required to be involved. Interesting jockey booking.
Free Look - Gained her diploma at the second attempt at Saratoga in September, before finishing second in the Grade 2. Took on Pleasant Passage throughout in rain-softened ground, nonetheless a sound effort. The barn has a good record in this and is their sole representative this year.
Pleasant Passage - Hasn’t won both her starts by much but has shown plenty of determination. Kept Free Look and a couple of others reopposing at bay in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont at the Big A last time. Has worked well since and is open to further improvement.
Be Your Bes - Clear-cut winner on her first two starts before finding tougher opposition and a rain-eased track a bit too much when third in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont at the Big A last time, though went off favorite. Needs a step forward.
Spirit Gal - Taken steady steps so far, winning a maiden at Naas on third start in her native Ireland. Then won a listed contest on the polytrack at Dundalk by 2¼ lengths from a subsequent Group 3 winner of Aidan O’Brien’s. A prominent racer who hasn’t done improving yet, and with plenty of stamina in the distaff side of the pedigree, could be the dark horse.
Manhattan Jungle - Precocious sort who won first three starts in France for her British trainer. Ran just creditably since in deeper contests. Stretch out in distance not sure to suit, neither has she shown the class to land a blow. Reportedly set to stay in US.
Delight - Has improved with racing, getting off the mark at the third attempt at Delaware Park. Went on to win the Grade 2 Jessamine here last month by 5 lengths, very much impressing with her turn of foot after setting steady fractions. Unlikely to get her own way out in front this time but is a serious player.
Meditate - Won her first four starts, including three Group races, before running into a special one in the Group 1 Moyglare at the Curragh. Did well despite the drop back in distance when again finding one too good in the Group 1 Cheveley Park at Newmarket last time. Represents major connections and should see out this new distance.
G Laurie - Forged to clear to land a maiden special weight at Colonial Downs. An encouraging third in the Grade 1 Natalma at Woodbine last time but has turn the tables on the pair who beat her.
Midnight Mile - Well-bred sort who has made a perfect start to her career. Landed a maiden at Doncaster and, after a 3-month absence, won the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket, getting up late after meeting some trouble. Looks sure to be suited by 1m and can make her presence felt despite the wide draw.
Xigera - First two starts came on turf at Saratoga in August, opening her account at the second time of asking with some ease. Switched to the dirt for the Grade 1 Alcibiades here last time and was fourth past the post before being promoted to third after receiving a bump. Enters calculations despite the draw.
Basil Martini - Had shown some fairly useful form before earning her diploma in the Group 3 Weld Park at the Curragh. That doesn’t look a strong race for the grade and significant improvement required in this.
Bling - Earned her diploma at second time of asking over 5.5f at Ellis Park. Wasn’t disgraced when stretching out in distance in the Grade 2 Jessamine here last time but has over 5 lengths to find on Delight if getting a run.
Alluring Angel - Won on debut before a close second in a non-graded stakes at Kentucky Downs. Hit the boards in Grade 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont at the Big A last time, would have to reverse form with several rivals from a wide draw.
Meditate sets the standard on her European form and will be a tough nut to crack with a first try at the distance expected to suit. Delight could hardly have been more impressive last time and represents the best of the home team. Xigera can put in a good performance back on turf.
Hurricane J - Arrives with an unbeaten record after winning at Ellis Park on debut and following up in an allowance optional claimer here last time. Stretches out in distance and a step up is required, though is clearly on the right track.
Congruent - A two-time winner, most recently in the non-graded Laurel Futurity by 2½ lengths on a sloppy track. Would be a surprise on the bare figures if he figures.
Cave Rock - Has won each of his three starts by wide margins, demolishing his rivals with a swagger. Two of those already came at the top level in the Del Mar Futurity and American Pharoah at Santa Anita. For all this is his toughest test to date, he’s sure to take all the beating.
Forte - Has one more race under his belt than Cave Rock, though isn’t unbeaten. However, he’s also scored twice in Grade 1s in the Hopeful at Saratoga and Breeders Futurity over this course and distance. Isn’t an unsurmountable distance behind that rival on the figures and is to be taken seriously for Todd Pletcher.
Verifying - Shaped like a good prospect when winning at Saratoga on debut. Looked to have made the winning move when stepping up in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont at the Big A in the slop next time, before being overhauled late on. Not ruled out.
Blazing Seven - Got off to a flying start when bolting up by 6¼ lengths in a maiden special weight at Saratoga before underperforming in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga on a sloppy track next time. Something else must have ailed him that day rather than the conditions as he won the Champagne at Belmont at the Big A last time in similar conditions. Should be in the mix again.
Wound Up - Just held on to land a debut success in a maiden special weight at Del Mar. Found out up in class next two starts. They were all on turf and lands a tough spot on dirt debut. Sire won UAE Derby.
Lost Ark - Another for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. Won cozily on the first two starts, stretching out in distance on the second occasion. Had little luck at this level in the Breeders’ Futurity here last time but has interestingly been given another chance.
Curly Jack - Won twice from four starts. Came from off the pace to win the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs on latest outing. Sire won this in 2017.
National Treasure - Showed plenty of speed when successful in a Del Mar maiden special weight on debut. Took on stablemate Cave Rock in the American Pharoah at Santa Anita last time and chased that one home with a 5¼ length deficit between the pair. Blinkers go back on and can’t be confidently ruled out.
Unsurprisingly for a field full of juveniles that sold for six-figure dollar sums, this is chock-full of potential. However, it’s hard to ignore the obvious claims of Bob Baffert’s Cave Rock who’s done little wrong so far. Forte can give the selection most to think about, whilst Blazing Sevens should be thereabouts.
Victoria Road - Has gradually improved throughout the course of the season, winning his last three starts. Made notable strides when winning a listed and Group 3 race in France the last twice, beating subsequent Group 1 scorer Blue Rose Cen in the former. He may not yet be done progressing.
Packs A Wahlop - Has markedly improved since shipping to the West Coast, successful in all three of his California starts, including a pair of Grade 3 events on last two outings, both at this trip. Can be in the mix.
Curly Larry and Mo - Earned his diploma at the fourth time of asking last time in a course and distance maiden special weight when setting the tempo. Unlikely to get away with those tactics in this company. Easy to look elsewhere.
Silver Knott - Has won three of five starts. After winning on the polytrack he landed the Group 3 Solario at Sandown before possibly finding soft ground his undoing next time. Quickly back on track with a narrow success in the Group 3 Autumn at Newmarket last month, giving 3 Ibs to the field. Barn have won this three times, including with Modern Games last year. Sets the standard.
Battle of Normandy - A debut winner at Saratoga, ran close in the Grade 3 With Anticipation there next time. Wasn’t seen to best effect last time but still looks up against it.
Andthewinneris - Won both starts at this track. Has looked suited stretching out in distance the last twice, adding the Grade 2 Bourbon when he came from off a strong pace. Sire won this in 2016.
Really Good - Successful on debut in a maiden special weight at Saratoga. Stepped up on that with third-placed finishes in a listed race and Grade 2. Has work to do to reverse form with the winners of those.
I’m Very Busy - Came in for money on debut and didn’t disappoint when going clear by 3¾ lengths at Saratoga. Was a warm order in the Grade 2 Pilgrim at Belmont at the Big A next time but was caught out deep on the track and possibly had his finishing effort blunted on the rain-softened track. Likely he has more to offer yet for Brown/Prat combination.
Nagirroc - Finished second on debut for Jim Corrigan and hasn’t looked back since in the care of Graham Motion, winning both starts over 6f at Belmont at the Big A, the latter the Grade 3 Futurity. There was little to separate the first five at the line in that and others boast stronger overall profiles.
Webslinger - Hit the boards sprinting on first two starts on turf and dirt. Stepped up to stakes level third time out, was suited by every yard of the 1m trip when reeling in Oxymore (goes in the Juvenile Turf Sprint) in the stretch. Another step forward required.
Reckoning Force - Began with Joseph O’Brien and earned his diploma in a listed race at Kentucky Downs. That wasn’t a deep contest and he was put in his place in the Grade 2 Bourbon at Keeneland last time.
Mo Stash - Narrowly got the verdict at Ellis Park on debut. Not discredited both starts since but this is tough and he’s stretching out in distance, too.
Major Dude - Began his career racing on dirt, winning on debut at Monmouth Park. After a couple of underwhelming efforts, he was switched to the turf and won the Grade 2 Pilgrim at Belmont at the Big A, showing a good attitude. Draw hasn’t been kind.
Gaslight Dancer - Led from gate to wire when landing a maiden special weight by 5 lengths at Kentucky Downs over 7f on second start. Wasn’t beaten far when second in the Grade 3 Futurity at Belmont at the Big A last time, but neither were the first five. Tough ask to pull off front-running tactics from this wide post.
Silver Knott looks up to keeping his trainer’s good record at this meeting. He’s achieved more to date than the rest of his rivals and he can repeat Modern Games’ success for connections twelve months earlier. Andthewinneris can’t be discounted given his course record, I’m Very Busy gets the nod for third.