This week in horse racing: Breeders’ Cup preps span the globe

By Jeremy Plonk  ( 


We’re just five weeks from the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland, and final rehearsals are taking place around the world. Santa Anita’s fall meet opens Friday with a welcome sign for prospects across as many as 10 divisions, while Belmont-at-Aqueduct hosts superstar Life Is Good for Saturday’s Woodward Stakes.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Derby 80-1 upsetter Rich Strike races Saturday in the Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs in search of a second-half encore. And, if that’s not enough, the most prestigious international race in the world, France’s Arc de Triomphe, will be renewed Sunday and features star Irish turfer Luxembourg.

For those betting Santa Anita this weekend, here are the key local autumn meet stakes stats over the past five years.

Percentage of winning stakes favorites: 43.1%

Average win odds: 4.66-1

Hot trainers: Peter Miller (16-62, 26%), Richard Mandella (6-24, 25%), Bob Baffert (13-56, 23%), Mark Glatt (5-22, 23%), Simon Callaghan (6-29, 21%)

Hot jockeys: Flavien Prat (24-89, 27%), Umberto Rispoli (7-26, 27%), Juan Hernandez (7-37, 19%)

What To Watch For This Week

Gulfstream Park offers a mandatory payout in its Rainbow 6 bet Saturday, joining the $400,000 series finales in the Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colts and fillies. The estimated pool is more than $1.5 million. … Friday will be opening day at Laurel Park for the fall meeting, and the track boasts five stakes races on its Saturday card. … Sunday’s full Arc de Triomphe card from Longchamp will be available for wagering at Xpressbet and 1/ST BET. … The final leg in the Canadian Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes, caps the weekend at Woodbine on Sunday.

Friday Weekend Firestarter

When the Maryland Jockey Club opens the Laurel Park fall meet Friday, look for trainer Brittany Russell to come out blazing. Her horses have won nearly 33% of their September-October starts at Laurel Park over the past five years. Russell’s lone starter Friday comes in Race 4 with No. 5 Bosserati. This one exits a fast debut win at the Timonium State Fair meeting.

1/ST BET App Top Handicapping Tracks of the Week

The free 1/ST BET app allows you to apply millions of data points across dozens of handicapping factors in mere seconds and immediately place your wagers. Here’s where the artificial intelligence was most dialed-in last week by win percentage:

— 45% Belterra Park

— 35% Los Alamitos

— 35% Remington Park

— 34% Charles Town

— 34% Thistledown

Tracks with most reliable favorites last week (by win pct.)

— 69% Belterra Park

— 55% Gulfstream Park

— 46% Golden Gate Fields

— 46% Belmont-at-Aqueduct

— 46% Thistledown

Tracks that were long-shot havens last week (most winners 10-1 or higher)

— 9 Churchill

— 8 Presque Isle Downs

— 7 Belmont-at-Aqueduct

— 7 Indianapolis

— 7 Louisiana Downs

America’s hot jockeys last week

— Angel Rodriguez (10-17, 59%) / Parx, Penn National, Delaware, Meadowlands

— Ramon Vasquez (9-21, 43%) / Los Alamitos

— Jamie Rodriguez (10-25, 40%) / Delaware, Pimlico

— Rafael Hernandez (8-21, 38%) / Woodbine

— Jose Alvarez (7-20, 35%) / Remington

America’s hot trainers last week

— C.R. Trout (5-6, 83%) / Remington

— Jamie Ness (13-36, 37%) / Pimlico, Delaware, Parx

— Karl Broberg (12-37, 32%) / Remington, Hawthorne, Louisiana Downs

— Mark Casse (6-20, 30%) / Gulfstream, Woodbine, Churchill, Belmont-at-Aqueduct

— Genaro Garcia (5-19, 26%) / Churchill, Indianapolis

Mo Money

Horseplayers who bet on 1/ST BET and Xpressbet in September can take advantage of a $5,000 Hit & Split promotion on Saturday’s Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park. Take down the wager and not only collect your pari-mutuel winnings but also your share of $5,000 with other winners who bet on the two platforms. The same promo will be extended to the late Pick 4 at Santa Anita on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during opening weekend. Tournament players have the $4,000 Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge on Saturday-Sunday at on tap.

— Statistics courtesy Betmix

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