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2018 Breeders’ Cup
||S. bin Suror
||I. Ortiz, Jr.
||Md. Y. Biscuits
||U. St. Lewis
This year’s Breeders’ Cup looks really wide open without Justify in the race. Accelerate is the morning line favorite and the horse has done nothing wrong, winning his last four Grade 1 starts, but the outside post is a concern. There is also Thunder Snow who won the Dubai World Cup but he starts on the rail. There are five horses who should go off at single-digit odds.
"Bettors love a large, wide-open field that offers value in their selections," said Lone Sailor trainer Tom Amoss to the media, "I don't have any question that that'll be the case. Justify not being part of the Classic, a Triple Crown winner, tends to take a little bit away from the Classic itself as far as the viewer wanting to see the best of the best. But don't sell this group short. These are really, really good, talented horses and whoever emerges the victor is going to probably garner older-horse divisional championships."
Accelerate is the 5-2 morning line favorite. He finished ninth and third in the Dirt Mile the past two years but he is in fine form this year, winning five of his six starts. "He's a year older, and this distance is his best distance now," trainer John Sadler said to the media, "He's had a great year and he looks great, so we're really looking forward to this weekend."
History is against Accelerate, as no horse has ever won the Pacific Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the same year. No Gold Cup race winner has won the Breeders’ Cup Classic since 1995. Horses coming from the West Coast are simply at a disadvantage racing at Churchill Downs. Perhaps Accelerate is good enough to justify the low morning line odds of 5-2, but I am looking elsewhere for value in this year’s Breeders’ Cup.
I like Catholic Boy at odds of 8-1. The horse has won three straight graded stakes races including the Travers at Saratoga. The horse is trained by Jonathan Thomas who is winning at about 25% this year. Catholic Boy has not raced since winning the Travers, but he has been training really well. Keep in mind that the 2015 winner and 2016 winner of the Classic took the same route and had workouts instead of prep races leading up to the Classic. American Pharoah won this race in 2015 and Arrogate won it in 2016. Another factor that helps Catholic Boy is that he has been excellent since Javier Castellano took over as his jockey. I think Catholic Boy has a lot of value at odds of 8-1 and is worth a win bet and a play in exotic wagers.
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