Welcome to a special Friday edition of “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” as we have 5 Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland on “Futures Stars Friday” with another 9 on Saturday (a separate column with those plays will be posted on Friday).
We’re proud to be joined each day by DraftKings’ head oddsmaker John Avello with some of his top selections. We also have plays from regular contributors Duane Colucci of the Rampart Las Vegas and my longtime handicapping friend John Lauro. Conspicuous by his absence in these column is Ed Sehon, but he’s on assignment in person at the Breeders’ Cup and his plays on every BC race this weekend can be found in his “Mr. Ed” columns at VSiN.com/horses starting with his Friday picks HERE
We love the Breeders’ Cup as we’ve had a lot of success with our longshots over the years. We believe it comes down to the fact that these are all high-quality horses and it’s inevitable that some will get ignored by the public and go off at higher than their true odds. It’s just a matter of handicapping the most likely longshots to peak on the right day.
For those wondering how I personally wager on my 1-2-3-Longshot selections, I always bet my top pick to Win and Place. I’ll also bet my Longshot if they’re going off at more than double-digit odds and usually box all 4 in Exactas and Trifectas. Regular readers here at VSiN will remember that in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, I didn’t have any winners on top on either Friday or Saturday, but our 4-horse boxes in the BC Juvenile paid $976.40 in the Exacta and $3,930.50 in the Trifecta.
Without further ado, here are my team’s top plays for the 5 BC races on Friday, which used to be Ladies Day, but is now being billed as “Futures Stars Friday” with all juvenile races.
Keeneland Race 6 — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (3 p.m. ET)
John Avello likes three contenders in the opening BC race. “I have three, in no particular order, worth considering: #2 Love Reigns (4-1) has a win over the Keeneland turf for excellent team of Wesley Ward and Irad Ortiz Jr. #7 Oxymore (8-1) has run three solid races for Chad Brown and Jose Ortiz. Turning back from good post. For a price, look for #10 Tyler’s Tribe (15-1) to outrun his odds. He’s a proven winner at 5-for-5.”
Duane Colucci likes #12 The Platinum Queen (7-2 morning line). “This overseas runner is ultra sharp right now. Note that this colt has faced and beaten several older horses twice as a 2-year-old, which is pretty much unheard of. Should handle this field. Bet 12 to Win and key 12 over 3,5,11 in Exactas, Trifecta and reverse.”
Dave Tuley likes #9 Sharp Aza Tack (15-1 morning line). “This 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint is obviously full of speed, but we’ll go with Sharp Aza Tack as our value play. She won her maiden race, romped in a minor stakes at Monmouth and then gave up the lead late at 6 1/2 furlongs at Kentucky Downs, so the cutback in distance should help. She also lost that last race as the favorite, which is why we’re getting such a generous price here. I always list my plays in 1-2-3-Longshot form for those betting vertically (Exactas, Trifectas, etc. within a race) or horizontally (Doubles, Pick 3s, etc. across multiple races). 1. #9 Sharp Aza Tack (15-1), 2. #11 Speed Boat Beach (6-1), 3. #12 The Platinum Queen (7-2), Longshot #10 Tyler’s Tribe (15-1).”
Keeneland Race 7 — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (3:40 p.m. ET)
John Avello likes #7 Chop Chop (4-1 morning line). “Chop Chop has top trainer Brad Cox and will be under jockey Joel Rosario. She’s won 2-of-3 with only blemish a nose loss at Keeneland. #8 Atomically (12-1) has captured two consecutive stakes. Two works, good post both positives. My long shot is #3 Sabra Tuff (30-1). If she can get out of the gate for Dallas Stewart, look for her deep in the stretch at big odds.”
Dave Tuley likes #2 You’re My Girl (10-1 morning line). “This is a tough call as I see this race as wide-open (but, heck, I see most races as more wide-open than other people see them as that’s why I feel justified in trying to beat the chalk). Anyway, I also really like #14 Raging Sea (8-1), but she drew the far outside post, so I give the edge to You’re My Girl to grab the early lead and hold off Chocolate Gelato (who beat her in the Gazette) and the other late challengers. 1. You’re My Girl (10-1), 2. #10 Chocolate Gelato (7-2), 3. Chop Chop (4-1), Longshot #14 Raging Sea (8-1).”
Duane Colucci likes #11 American Rockette (20-1 morning line). “If trainer Bill Mott teaches this horse to run straight (and you know he can), she will be a major player. She has had trouble bolting wide in her last two starts. Mott and jockey Junior Alvarado have had great success this year and she should have pace to run at. Bet 11 to Win and key 11 over 2,7,10 in Exactas, Trifecta and reverse.”
Duane Colucci also likes a Pick 4 starting with Race No. 7 (costs $80)
Race 7: 2,3,7,10,11
Race 8: 5,9,10,11
Race 9: 3,4
Race 10: 1,2,4,8
Keeneland Race 8 — Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (4:20 p.m. PT)
John Avello likes #5 Free Look (5-1). “She should be close to the pace and able to score late. I saw her impressive win at Saratoga. Aidan O’Brian import #10 Meditate (4-1) has proven ability with 4 wins over European grass. Finally, don’t write off #12 Midnight Mile (10-1), who is 2-for-2 for low-profile connections. Serious player at price.”
John Lauro likes #5 Pleasant Passage (12-1 morning line). “My Best Bet on Friday is Pleasant Passage in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. She is training incredible. She is 12-1 on the morning line and I suspect she’ll be half that.”
Dave Tuley also likes #5 Pleasant Passage (12-1 morning line). “I love that Lauro and I landed on this 2-year-old filly separately. She wired the field in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo, one of the key prep for this race, which our North American horses usually dominate (as opposed to a lot of the turf races where we look for live foreign invaders). I’m looking for Pleasant Passage to lead this wire-to-wire and stamp herself as the best in the 2-year-old turf division. As it turns out, we’re pretty much boxing our team’s top plays (see above, plus Mr. Ed’s column): 1. #5 Pleasant Passage (12-1), 2. #5 Free Look (5-1), 3. #13 Xigera (13-1), Longshot #2 Cairo Consort.”
Keeneland Race 9 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (5 p.m. ET)
Dave Tuley likes #4 Forte (4-1 morning line). “Bob Baffert’s undefeated Cave Rock (4-5 morning-line favorite) is getting most of the attention, but we can’t take an odds-on favorite on BC Weekend (or any day for that matter!). If he wires this field, we’ll take our lumps as he will have earned it with plenty of other early speed demons to compromise his chances. We see the speed duel setting up a closer like Forte, who has come from behind to win the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland, or Blazing Sevens, who rallied to win the Grade 1 Champagne. 1. #4 Forte (4-1), 2. #6 Blazing Sevens (6-1), 3. #3 Cave Rock (4-5), Longshot #10 National Treasure (8-1).”
Keeneland Race 10 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (5:40 p.m. ET)
Duane Colucci likes #2 Packs a Wahlop (6-1 morning line). “This Jeff Mullins runner closed out the Del Mar meet in awesome fashion and continued his winning ways at Santa Anita. Solid Ragozin speed figures and money Mike Smith is in the saddle to ensure a good trip. Mullins has a $2.42 ROI in stakes races. Bet 2 to Win and key 2 over 1,4,8 in Exactas, Trifecta and reverse.”
Dave Tuley likes #9 Nagirroc (20-1 morning line). “Trainer Graham Motion (who certainly knows what he’s doing) stretches out this sprint for this 1-mile turf race. Nagirroc can steal this like he did in his debut or sit just off the pace like he did in his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Futurity at Aqueduct. Motion wheeled him back in two weeks after the maiden win because he felt he had something special and wanted to earn a BC berth. He should be there the whole way at a juicy price. 1. Nagirroc (20-1), 2. #4 Silver Knott (3-1), 3. #2 Packs a Wahlop, Longshot #14 Gaslight Dancer (30-1).”