November 3, 2018 Post Time: 5:44 pm The Breeders Cup Classic held at one race track is quite a different race held at another. In many cases, those 4 horses who crossed the finish line first in a past edition, may have easily been those who crossed last if it was held at another facility. One can not look at the past of each and every Classic race to make a determination as to who has an advantage. One must look ONLY at the specific track because Bias dictates. Many have asked why the Derby would produce a different type of advantage going the same distance at the same track as the Classic. One main reason is that the track surface is more conducive to speed in the spring and summer when humidity and temperatures are higher. The track is more likely to play slower when the weather is cooler. In the spring, after the April showers, the Derby will give advantage to high chef speed numbers coupled with mare stamina. In the cooler months, the Classic will give advantage to lower chef stamina numbers coupled with speed coming from top and bottom. The following is a list of the winners of the Breeders Cup Classic held at Churchill Downs going back to 2000. It is not prudent to go back any further than that. Both breeding and track conditions are not the same and those numbers will be skewed. Prior to 2000, the winners were low to mid average and lower speed. The trend now is stamina. 2000 - TIZNOW Chef Index = 1.86 CD = .65 Mare Speed = 9 Stamina = 11 Mare Index = 1.05 Triads = 14-14-16 2006 - INVASOR (ARG) Chef Index = 1.17 CD = .56 Mare Speed = 6 Stamina = 15 Mare Index = .52 Triads = 9-16-18 2010 - BLAME Chef Index = 1.46 CD = .36 Mare Speed = 11 Stamina = 17 Mare Index = .63 Triads = 15-19-21 2011 - Drosselmeyer Chef Index = 1.75 CD = .55 Mare Speed = 16 Stamina = 17 Mare Index = 1.04 Triads = 17-20-18 A very important fact concerning the Classic race is extremely relevant this year. Only two horses from overseas have ever won the Breeders Cup Classic at any track in its history. The first was Black Tie Affair from Ireland in 1991. The second was Invasor from Argentina in 2006. Both of these wins came on the Churchill Downs Track. This is due to the bias. No other track catered to their type of breeding. This will be good news to the connections of a handful of invaders this year. The numbers and breeding only present an advantage. This does not mean that the winner will 100% be one of the stamina guys. If one of the speed guys happens to take this race and cross that finish line first, it will mean that in spite of his disadvantage , he was able to overcome and beat the stamina on that field. The speed guys tend to hit that board underneath and they have a very hard time defeating stamina. It is hard to run with a disadvantage, but it is not impossible. If in fact a speed guy does prevail here over the talented stamina guys, he will be in an incredibly advantaged position to prevail in the upcoming Pegasus. This is where he will find his advantage. The Superfecta in the Classic at Churchill Downs is generally made up of the usual characters that show up in most all Graded Stakes races. The very best of the speed, the very best of the stamina and once in awhile a middle average guy who is holding a serious set of past performances can crack into it. Stamina has the advantage at this distance on this track in this particular race. Good luck everyone! SPEED Discreet Lover DP = 3-3-2-0-0 (8) DI = 7.00 CD = 1.13 Mare Profile = 8-2-5-8-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.92 Triads = 15-15-19 Seven times more speed inheritance in his chefs numbers coupled with the 4 point spread from his mares leave him with an optimum that is under 10f. The fact that he capitalized on the performance of Diversify last out and was able to stretch to the 10f late is impressive. The mares gave it to him. In that race he seemed a natural for an underneath board hit being that his optimum is shy the 10f and there is no reason to discount that in this race as well. The triads are good, the point spread is good and he is packing the highest amount of speed on the field. That can not be overlooked underneath. Collected DP = 10-5-7-0-0 (22) DI = 5.29 CD = 1.14 Mare Profile = 5-9-2-11-3 Speed = 14 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.11 Triads = 16-22-16 Excuse my bluntness with both Collected and West Coast but I only write what I see. I could easily combine the two into one analysis but West Coast has a little something more to add. Collected's numbers are abysmal for the Classic at Churchill Downs. With 5x more inherited speed over stamina, the high 5.29 chef index with the high 1.14 CD, coupled with the even point spread from the mares along with their higher 1.11 index - it is not too hard to see that these configurations are completely wrong at 10f outside of California. That being said, this a Baffert horse and the rules never apply. And that is all I have to say about that. West Coast DP = 10-5-11-0-0 (26) DI = 3.73 CD = 0.96 Mare Profile = 8-4-1-6-9 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.84 Triads = 13-11-16 West Coast has a split Chef profile which would indicate that his stamina SHOULD get watered down. He has a .96 index which is geared closer to 9f. He has a fairly half descent point spread from his mares and his mare profile is nicely balanced giving him a bit more stamina to take his speed further. His triads, for lack of a better word, are disastrous. His resume is spectacular to say the least. As stated above with Collected, this is a Baffert horse where the rules of numbers pitted against past performances rarely coincide. The rules simply do not hold a grain of salt when it comes to Baffert's horses. With that in mind, I refuse to analyze any of his horses against their numbers with any degree of seriousness any more. To me, it has become a ridiculous notion to even try. Personally, I will work only with the past performances when it comes to his horses and in West Coast's case, his performances are fantastic enough to be considered a part of the superfecta. The numbers barely jive with that statement. Past performances prevail. Accelerate DP = 5-10-13-0-0 (28) DI = 3.31 CD = 0.71 Mare Profile = 7-4-1-11-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.73 Triads = 12-16-19 The number one standout piece of these numbers is the point spread between the speed and the stamina gained from his mares. 7 huge points leaning to stamina coupled with his higher speed chef index makes him completely stand out in this group. His configurations for 10f are fantastic for the Classic at Churchill Downs. He will be running against the advantage of those in the bottom tier, however his mares give him the stamina that is required and that stamina rivals those in the coveted group. He was given much more speed to go with it which makes him the only guy in this group going into the gate with an advantage over his speedy peers (the Baffert factor aside). His past performance sheet demands respect as a major player to win this race over the advantaged stamina group. The 7 point spread can not be overlooked. Those numbers are what got him here in the first place. There is a very strong possibility that his performance at Churchill in the Classic will far outweigh his spectacular wins on the West Coast. The mare stamina inheritance is much more conducive for the Churchill track. This could in fact be the best he has shown us to date. Major win contender. MIDDLE Bravazo DP = 6-8-16-0-0 (30) DI = 2.75 CD = 0.67 Mare Profile = 9-3-3-8-5 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.14 Triads = 15-14-16 There isnt anything here that gives this guy a chance to win this race. He is way out of his league with his numbers and breeding to prevail in this race. At the very least, the Churchill track will be kinder to him but the class and talent around him coupled with his sub-par numbers leave him as a huge under dog who has his work cut out for him. His disadvantage is staggering. Lone Sailor DP = 5-7-14-0-0 (26) DI = 2.71 CD = 0.65 Mare Profile = 10-2-4-3-11 Speed = 12 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.90 Triads = 16-9-18 Not a chance. Roaring Lion DP = 6-5-7-2-0 (20) DI = 2.64 CD = 0.75 Mare Profile = 5-6-2-9-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.72 Triads = 13-17-18 Just like Yoshida, there is a huge question mark with how these numbers translate for this particular race. Although Lion is proven at this distance (and beyond) the huge question is why this guy is here and not the Turf race. His mare profile rivals the stamina guys down at the bottom of this list and his "higher than normal" chef index bodes well for dirt running but the proof of a successful transition is nowhere to be found. If moved to the Turf race, he is an obvious player and could actually be an easy single on top there. But here, the configurations of the numbers coupled with the uncertainty of the surface leaves alot to be desired. The fact that the distance is there on turf but nothing shows that the speed would be there on dirt leads me to tentatively save his name from the cross out this early. If a speed dual ensues up front, his 4 point spread with the mares numbers are saying he could be there in the mix at the end. His chef numbers are saying that they aren't there for the win though. A bottom board hit is not out of the question with extreme speed on the lead. Axelrod DP = 5-4-8-1-0 (18) DI = 2.60 CD = 0.72 Mare Profile = 8-5-4-5-9 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.93 Triads = 17-14-18 The numbers are completely wrong for a win in this race. Yoshida DP = 6-4-11-1-0 (22) DI = 2.38 CD = 0.68 Mare Profile = 8-3-3-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.05 Triads = 14-14-16 This guys numbers are very much aligned with McKinzie as far as the speed/stamina balance. The big difference is that he likes the turf as well which leads me to believe that the 11 in his classic distance has a bit more influence on him as far as stamina is concerned. This guy is a shot in the dark as far as 10f at Churchill. He proved at Saratoga that he is not afraid of dirt and the fact the he is a turf runner adds the thought that his stamina could be there for the 10f. Yoshida and Roaring Lion are the only 2 with a huge question mark concerning how their numbers fit within this field. His performance in the Woodward on dirt traveling 1 1/8th was unforeseen based on his resume which means his performance in this race at 10f is a roll of the dice as well. He must be saved for now based on the unknown and his ability to smash that Saratoga dirt track. There is something here but I will refrain from specific determination. His numbers are saying no chance, but his heart on that dirt track at Saratoga is saying something else. McKinzie DP = 4-0-6-0-0 (10) DI = 2.33 CD = 0.80 Mare Profile = 8-5-1-8-7 Speed = 13 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.96 Triads = 14-14-16 This guys optimum is 9.3f on a speed favoring track. Talented horse for the Dirt Mile on Churchill track. <<< After writing this 3 days ago, I must make an addition and update. As I stated above with West Coast and Collected, please take the assessment of McKinzie's numbers lightly. Adding to what these numbers truly say, that 5 digit chef profile realistically sits at 9f to 9.3f optimum. The 8 in the intermediate slot of the mares gives him that special speed and the point spread gets him to a possible 9.7 optimum. This is what those numbers really say. But again, being a Baffert horse these numbers mean absolutely nothing. Any other colt holding these numbers would be nowhere near that finish line in the Classic but the barn holds much more weight for reasons that are elusive to us handicappers. This guy is very tough and he has a great resume. Can he get that additional 1/8 at Churchill? His numbers say no but the barn he sits in gives it to him. Tough call on how to handle this guy if you play superfectas. I think it would be smart to erase that cross out on the PP's and hold onto him. The rules apply to all but 3 on this field - Collected, West Coast and McKinzie. On a personal note, as a handicapper who takes this stuff seriously - I find it all very disheartening to say the least. Past performances can only be consulted and since this guy has never performed at the distance, the use of numbers and breeding is unfortunately a ridiculous proposition. MIND YOUR BISCUITS DP = 2-2-8-0-0 (12) DI = 2.00 CD = 0.50 Mare Profile = 11-2-4-10-6 Speed = 13 Stamina = 16 Index = 1.08 Triads = 17-16-20 There is a lot to talk about here. This guy's numbers vs his resume is just plain odd. With all of his performances set aside as if they never happened my initial thought on those chefs numbers is that this is a guy who is dominate in the classic distance with barely any inherited sprinters speed from them. Conversely, the mare profile leans heavily to sprinters speed and the placement of the 11 in that first slot (Brilliant 4 to 6f) drags the stamina down. His mare index is high next to the 3 point stamina spread. That is very odd. And then lastly, the triads appear very nicely balanced. The individual sections alone of each set of numbers do not coincide with each other at all. It goes fast, then it goes back to stamina, then it goes fast again, and then back to stamina. The chefs in his chart balance a great deal to stamina. The mares split in the profile and the sprinter speed dominates but they also gave him a nice set of triads. It appears that this guy favors his mares very very much. Yes, a momma's boy without a doubt BUT the most important aspect that I take away from these numbers is that his chefs profile, index and CD coupled with the Mare triads (only) say he gets 10f easily. The fact that his connections never bothered to test him at 10f prior to this race is not the horses fault. He's here now. Since this horse appears to favor the over the top speed from his mares coupled with the fact that he has been basically geared to using that crazy speed going "shorter" throughout his entire career, leads me to believe that he may have a difficult time now with trying to reign in that speed early in trying to spread it out over a 10f run. Sometimes it is hard to teach a "dog" new tricks and trying to do that in one of the biggest races of the year is a tall order. The breeding on top from his chefs gives him the 10f+. Realistically his chefs only gave him 2x more speed than stamina. Contrast that next to Discreet Lover's 7x more speed. It is all about Biscuits mares. The conditioning of the horse and the way that he has shown how he prefers to do his running does not jive at Churchill going 10f. This is a very tough horse to wrap your mind around as far as breeding vs his career. He has the 10f from his chefs without a shadow of a doubt, however, with the appearance that he favors those mares so much (again, only because his trainers made it that way to this point) - do you take the shot that he can somehow forget everything and just run to his breeding for this particular race. Quite frankly, it would be much easier to place this guy in the Dirt Mile or the Sprint and keep him doing his normal thing. He will be out of his comfort zone in the Classic and he will be asked to call on his male inheritance to succeed. I can not see how, against the odds, that he could be able to overcome all of that to beat the most seasoned Classic distance runners of the year. His mare sprinters speed coupled with the triads and the Chefs CD do in fact give him a nice shot underneath over many others on this field. The trick to handicapping this guy is not against the 3 or 4 hotshots for a win, the trick lies in handicapping him against the second tier for an underneath spot. Can he beat guys like Bravazo, Axelrod, Pavel to the finish line to grab a piece under the others? I do think the answer is yes. Can he go further than a guy like McKinzie? His chef numbers say absolutely when pitted against each other. Can he beat Accelerate, Catholic Boy, Thunder Snow for a win? At 7f he would be an easy single on top, but at 10f, doubtful. This guy is a threat underneath because the stamina is there to lug in under but the career is at odds with a win. STAMINA Catholic Boy DP = 6-2-11-1-0 (20) DI = 2.08 CD = 0.65 Mare Profile = 7-5-5-5-10 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.80 Triads = 17-15-20 Even though Catholic Boy has a 2.08 index, he deserves to be dropped into this stamina category based on his mare triads and his affinity for turf. It would have been easier to keep him up in that Middle/Average group, as he would have been the absolute standout in that category without a shadow of a doubt. But this is the Classic and his peers realistically sit in this group. His speed/stamina balance sits on the cusp. His chefs CD is spot on. His mare profile is balanced extremely well. His optimum is 10f. He will be running with an advantage that is slightly under the few hotshots below him but what he has above a couple of them is the determination and the advantage on the Churchill track. He also makes his home here which holds even greater importance. Major player among this field because of the added speed over those listed below him. Everything he has is screaming that he is the one to beat. It is the added speed combined with his stamina that makes him 100% perfect for this showdown. Gunnevera DP = 7-8-10-2-3 (30) DI = 2.00 CD = 0.47 Mare Profile = 7-4-2-7-9 Speed = 11 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.74 Triads = 13-13-18 His chefs 5 digit profile has always stood out in any given race he has ever been entered in and this race is no exception. It is perfectly spread completely across the spectrum which gives this guy the ability to have some ease at a variety of distances. Sometimes this is good but sometimes with no real optimum to sink his teeth into, it leaves him running at an "average" pace across each distance. His mare triads say that 10f is better for him but his chefs numbers do not enhance his speed side or his stamina side. This leaves him below par with most all others in this coveted stamina category. Can he hit the board? Yes. Can he DEFINITELY hit the board? Yes, with a ton of luck poured all over him. Mendelssohn DP = 5-0-8-1-0 (14) DI = 1.80 CD = 0.64 Mare Profile = 7-6-4-8-5 Speed = 13 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.09 Triads = 17-18-17 The number one set of numbers, top and bottom, on this field belong to Mendelssohn. His Chef index and CD is spot on, the even balance from the mares is perfect. The mare index, although slightly higher than ideal is offset by the balanced triads. Perfection in numbers for the 10f. Proven to run at crazy fast numbers on the lead with the ability to sustain and also proven to run at a normal pace with the ability to sustain. This is because his numbers give him a great balance between his speed and stamina at the 10f distance. In other words, his speed ability rates with his stamina ability throughout a 10f run. No other on this field has that. He has the breeding to run 10f on the lead. This guy has serious talent with the ability to crush it on 3 different surfaces running slow or fast. He outran Diversify and put that talent to shame. That last race showed the heart of Mendelssohn who had no plans of giving up. He ran a spectacular race yet again. His trainer has been on a mission since the Derby to get this guy to peak condition for the Classic and that last performance shows that horse is on track to be right there. Unfortunately, he will also have McKinzie (who looks to be a rabbit targeting him for West Coast) and the talent of Catholic Boy pushing him every step of the way. For a win here, one should not be a major threat and will most likely buckle before the stretch, but the other has already proven that on dirt, he is superior. Mendelssohn's numbers give him the advantage down the stretch, but Catholic Boy's toughness may prevail. 50-50 here which means both are very lethal in this race. Seeking The Soul DP = 7-3-14-4-0 (28) DI = 1.55 CD = 0.46 Mare Profile = 8-4-4-5-8 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.96 Triads = 16-13-17 Stamina guy who likes to save his speed for late in the race. Works well at 1 1/8th, but leaves plenty to be desired at 1 1/4. With Gunnevera and Discreet Lover as his immediate peers in style, his numbers at least offer him a boost, however, no match for many others on this field. Pavel DP = 2-2-13-1-0 (18) DI = 1.40 CD = 0.28 Mare Profile = 7-5-6-4-4 Speed = 12 Stamina = 8 Index = 1.39 Triads = 18-15-14 Pavel inherited the most speed out of this stamina group from his mares. With those mare numbers one would think that the track at Santa Anita would be more advantaged for him but it seems that he favors his chefs a bit more. He runs better at Churchill Downs but he is inconsistent and among this field that is huge negative. Coming back to Churchill after DelMar should give him a little boost and quite possibly the ability to compete late for a minor spot. Worth a second look at the very bottom but with alot of skepticism due to those triad configurations. They do slope in the opposite direction which gives him a bit of ease at 9f but out of his comfort zone at 10f. Could just be a good spot for retaining a small hit underneath with his running style. Toast of New York DP = 7-2-17-6-0 (32) DI = 1.21 CD = 0.31 Mare Profile = 4-10-4-12-3 Speed = 14 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.00 Triads = 18-26-19 There is something to be said about a horse who retires to stud, takes a 3 year lay-off, gets gelded, comes back first out on a speedy Gulfstream track (bad bias for his breeding) with no success, takes another 9 months off and comes back to run a 100 beyer on a track more to his liking. The only 2 times this horse has run poorly in his entire career are backed up with legitimate excuses. The first race on USA soil after winning the UAE Derby and the second after a 3 year layoff. Toast has a set of mare numbers that are exquisite for this race. They are perfectly in line with Thunder Snow's mare profile, with an added bonus of a bit more speed inheritance on both the top and bottom. The 7 in the brilliant category from his chefs dumps alot of speed on him and the 18 in the first slot of the triads backed with higher numbers in its succession is fantastic. This guy has top notch Breeders Classic numbers regardless of the track. He has no excuse from his breeding nor any excuse with the track, but he may have an excuse with his lifestyle over the last few years. Osborne obviously saw something prior to the Pegasus but it seems that whatever it was, it remained overseas at that time. This time, he has been in America since September 25th, which gives him at least a major positive. This guy will most likely offer the best odds on the field, as most will bypass his impeccable breeding and concentrate only on the last 3 years of his life. Maybe its the soft spot for Toast, but because of his breeding coupled with his respectable trainer who has faith in this horse, this guy has a shot at that board over many on this overblown list at this moment. Cross him out on your PP sheet at your own peril, he will remain on mine. This track at this distance at this time of the year is perfect for him and his last race is proof that the old guy still has it in him. The extra 1/8th this time out puts him at his optimum and gives him a shot at that board. This is one tough horse with a resume that rivals many on this field. Thunder Snow DP = 2-1-11-4-0 (18) DI = 0.89 CD = 0.06 Mare Profile = 2-10-3-11-5 Speed = 12 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.71 Triads = 15-24-19 Thunder Snow inherited the most stamina of the field. He also inherited arguably the best chart on the field as well. He is top notch royalty. His breeding for this particular race is in the top 3 of the field. The fact that he was the one to smash his opponents on that speedy UAE track in the Dubai World Cup with a 111 beyer is all the evidence needed to show that a horse who is obviously overloaded in stamina from all angles is a monster who can utilize that 10 in the mares Intermediate Speed slot. This guy has always been a monster and he will remain one in this particular race. His numbers, coupled with his undeniable speed gives him an advantage in this race that is only matched by one other. He is one of the best bred on the field for this race. His CD is a bit low historically speaking, however it will be to his advantage if the gates are loaded to the max. Hopefully for him, there will be no moisture on Nov 3rd as he has proven at the same track that he abhors wetness of any kind. Seems fitting for a horse overloaded in stamina. He thrives on dirt, going long, out front with a record of first or second each time. The combination of his numbers with his desire to be up front at the finish line on this surface is all one needs to know. Barring any crazy weather, all arrows point to a successful run for this guy and the more I work on this field as far as PP's and breeding, the more I see him as one of 3 who must be used on top. He checks off every box perfectly.