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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2023 Breeders Cup Classic Analysis

Race 9 - Saturday, November 4, 2023 10f Dirt


The connections of Arcangelo should be highly commended for scratching and retiring the best horse in the gate in favor of his health. To pass on a 6 million dollar purse and the inevitable Horse of the Year award for the good of the horse is exactly what other trainers and owners could learn from. Because of the highly souped-up and dangerous conditions of this track this year, there is no better place for Arcangelo than standing comfortably in his stall. Had to leave him on the list!

ZANDON Upstart - Memories Prevail (Creative Cause) Chad Brown - Frankie Dettori

DP = 2-3-9-0-0 (14) DI = 2.11 CD = 0.50 ANZ = 2.56

Mares = 13-0-1-5-9 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.13 Triads = 14-6-15

The entire race has completely changed gears, so we'll roll with the punches. This guy has hit that superfecta in 10 out of 10 races. Only one time did he hit the lowest spot, 4th, and that was on the sloppy track at Aqueduct in the Cigar Mile. All three points of that race were against him - breeding not good for sloppy track - one mile distance too short, he's not a sprinter - and the Aqueduct track is not right. He thrives on tracks like Parx, which means he will do the same at Santa Anita. His best beyer figure came out of Parx and the king of racing is on his back. This is a pace race, speed vs. stamina, and this is my top rear-running guy.

WHITE ABARRIO Race Day - Catching Diamonds (Into Mischief) Richard Dutrow - Irad Ortiz

DP = 2-5-5-0-0 (12) DI = 3.80 CD = 0.75 ANZ = 5.40

Mares = 9-5-2-7-8 Speed = 14 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.00 Triads = 16-14-17 (Tapit)

I have a love/hate relationship with this horse. Loved him during the Derby preps and thought he was a major player until he drew Post 15. Smartly, we backed off. Then, he went to the PA Derby, where he should have gotten his stride back. But he didn't. That was a Grade One race. Back down to Gulfstream for another shot at the right bias. He did well, he won - but it was an Optional Claiming race. Then he goes and fires off two back to back very fast and successful Grade one wins. They just so happen to be contradicting biases and only at the 8f and 9f distances. Now, we are back on an extremely fast track at 10f. I don't like it, but what I do like is what I saw back before the Derby - the 3.80 with Tapit. The 5.40 ANZ. Talk about being conflicted. My gut is telling me to toss this horse, but my dedication to Dr. Roman is telling me to spend the extra money.

MISSED THE CUT Quality Road - Beauly (Sea the Stars) John Sadler - Luis Saez

DP = 1-2-9-0-0 (12) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.33 ANZ = 1.67

Mares = 7-3-2-8-10 Speed = 10 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.63 Triads = 12-13-20

See Dreamlike's paragraph. A ton of inbred stamina just like him. Same thoughts on how he fares with this race.

DERMA SOTOGAKE Mind Your Biscuits - Amour Poesie (Neo Universe) Otonashi - Christophe Lemaire

DP = 1-1-2-0-0 (4) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75 ANZ = 1.67

Mares = 8-2-5-9-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.88 Triads = 15-16-20

I saw a video of this guy and did he look fantastic. Looked better than Ushba to be honest. The Japanese connections have eyed this race since Kentucky and all the discipline, training and work has been dedicated directly towards this race. In the Derby, he was actually positioned approx 4 lengths in front of Mage through the early stages when they both started their late bids - at the 8f mark, Mage was 1/2 length off and then flying on by. The rest is history. Derma ended up in 6th place, 9.25 lengths behind Mage at the wire. It was away from his normal running style but he saved energy behind a grueling pace and was no match for our runners. The horse broke bad and was thrown way off his normal style. Derma is a front tier runner and surely he has been schooled over these months to get out of that gate properly and into his preferred stride up front. He's got 10f with his eyes closed. Lethal if he gets his spot. I feared him then, I fear him now. I'll spend the extra again. All I see is Mandarin Hero in the Santa Anita Derby last year. Mandarin isn't in Derma's league. That's why I fear him.

SAUDI CROWN Always Dreaming - New Narration (Tapit) Brad Cox - Florent Geroux

DP = 2-5-3-0-0 (10) DI = 5.67 CD = 0.90 ANZ = 9.67

Mares = 6-7-2-7-6 Speed = 13 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.00 Triads = 15-16-15 (Tapit)

Now that my absolute single on top, Arcangelo, is getting ready to hang with the ladies, and Saudi Crown is loading into this gate instead of the Dirt Mile, I had to dive back into him. As stated in Zandon's paragraph, this is a pace race now. Speed vs. Stamina. The huge redeeming factor here with Saudi is the presence of Tapit. Both Saudi and Zandon will gain extra lengths on this track. Both thrived at Parx. Both are an advantaged product of the pace, one way or the other.

CLAPTON Brethren - Alexandra Rylee (Afleet Alex) Chad Summers - Tyler Gaffalione

DP = 4-3-7-0-0 (14) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.79 ANZ = 3.00

Mares = 10-2-3-7-11 Speed = 12 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.78 Triads = 15-12-21

See Dreamlike's paragraph. A ton of inbred stamina just like him. Same thoughts on how he fares with this race.

USHBA TESORO Orfevre - Millefeui Attach (King Kamehameha) Noboru Takagi - Yuga Kawada

DP = 3-0-5-2-2 (12) DI = 0.85 CD = 0.00 ANZ = 1.00

Mares = 6-2-6-8-5 Speed = 8 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.83 Triads = 14-16-19

I have loved Ushba all year and I saw him up against Arcangelo with the way that race would have unfolded with that horse's presence. It's completely different now. Ushba is still a player, but I can only use him BOXED. His whims, his gate training debacles and his whacky workouts were to be expected. I could look passed all that because that is Ushba - always. He turns into a running machine when its time to face his foes. But there is one other thing that I believe could be a very troubling factor for him... It is supposed to be 85 degrees in Arcadia on Saturday. The pampered movie star had a 6 month vacation because he doesn't want to run in the hot summer months. Welcome to California, Ushba. Still love him though.

SENOR BUSCADOR Mineshaft - Rose's Desert (Desert God) Todd Fincher - Geovanni Franco

DP = 9-8-13-0-0 (30) DI = 3.62 CD = 0.87 ANZ = 3.62

Mares = 7-6-2-6-10 Speed = 13 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.79 Triads = 15-14-18

His numbers are very borderline for 10f, but not where they couldn't conceivably be lengths behind but yet still capture a small placement on a super. He grabbed his 4th place trophy in the 10f Pacific Classic, 4-3/4 lengths behind. So, it's not impossible. As a matter of fact, any of these horses on the field can be a late straggler and grab his piece. At least Senor has proven he could do it out west. Other than that, I see nothing else here.

DREAMLIKE Gun Runner - Time to Tapit (Tapit) Todd Pletcher - Jose Ortiz

DP = 1-4-7-0-0 (12) DI = 2.43 CD = 0.50 ANZ = 2.27

Mares = 7-3-5-7-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.92 Triads = 15-15-18 (Tapit)

We have four Tapit runners entered into this race. Out of the four, this guy has the highest amount of stamina out of them all. Just like in the Kentucky Derby on a fast Churchill track, the 2.00 to 3.00 generally suffer because that stamina takes over their speed. The horse needs both to be a player. That said, if there is a complete and total meltdown with speed in this race, Dreamlike will still be cantering along without breaking a sweat. Remember, it's speed vs. stamina. If all the speed guys start to retreat, he'll still be in for the ride. If you see the race unfolding like that, then he would be a player. I don't see it happening. The big difference with Dreamlike and the other two (Missed the Cut and Clapton) is Candy Ride. They do have a tendency to come into their own late in the game. That would be a main cause to consider in a spread out super bet.

BRIGHT FUTURE Curlin - Sophia's Song (Bellamy Road) Todd Pletcher - John Velazquez

DP = 5-5-7-1-0 (18) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.78 ANZ = 3.00

Mares = 7-5-0-9-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.90 Triads = 12-14-15

If Bright Future wants his preferred spot in the front tier, he is going to burn so much early energy that his last beyers will do a complete 180. His last two races, within 1 to 1.5 lengths off of the lead, first two calls at 79/90 and 79/89. Saudi Crown, 97/100 and 102/109. If he tracks that, his late figures deteriorate.

ARABIAN KNIGHT Uncle Mo - Borealis Night (Astrology) Bob Baffert - Flavien Prat

DP = 1-2-3-0-0 (6) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67 ANZ = 4.33

Mares = 8-1-7-4-7 Speed = 9 Stamina = 11 Index = 0.96 Triads = 16-12-18

Post 12 makes him work right out of the gate and he will not get a breather. Energy distribution is off. This guy has never had dirt kicked in his face and he has never traveled so far from the rail. The favorite with those late figures? For me, possibly minor board hit and even that is pushing it.

PROXY Tapit - Panty Raid (Include) Michael Stidham - Joel Rosario

DP = 5-13-15-1-0 (34) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.65 ANZ = 3.00

Mares = 12-3-1-7-9 Speed = 15 Stamina = 16 Index = 1.08 Triads = 16-11-17 (Tapit)

The 4th and final Tapit boy in the gate. Last year was his better shot. He was in the one hole and DID NOT take a forward spot. That was heartbreaking. This year, the 13 gate. Again, any on this list can grab that 4th spot on the super, depends on how deep you want to go.


Boxed Ex, Tri and Super Combos using all 4 - may the highest odds hit first:

Ticket One: Zandon - Saudi Crown - Ushba Tesoro - White Abarrio

Ticket Two: Zandon - Saudi Crown - Ushba Tesoro - Proxy

Ticket Three: Zandon - Saudi Crown - Ushba Tesoro - Derma Sotogake


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