A total of 169 horses entered 14 championship races this afternoon for Friday and Saturday's 38th edition of the Breeders’ Cup. The two-day soiree at Del Mar culminates with the $6 million Classic that stars Pegasus World Cup winner Knicks Go as the 5-2 morning line favorite vs. seven rivals. Del Mar’s second go as Breeders’ Cup host, having presented the event also in 2017, should be under ideal conditions with partly cloudy skies and temps just above 70 degrees forecasted both days.
Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET and Xpressbet platforms can take advantage of up to a $10 money-back guarantee on win bets on every Del Mar race held Friday and Saturday. If your win bet finishes second or third in any race, you’ll get a $10 refunded wagering credit for each.
Future Stars Friday opens the event with five races for the 2-year-olds. Unbeaten Echo Zulu (4-5) tops the Juvenile Fillies, which attracted just 6 starters, while the Juvenile matches an east-west showdown between far-inside Jack Christopher (9-5) and far-outside Corniche (5-2) among a field of 12. Friday’s trio of turf races include the Juvenile Turf Sprint (12 entered, Averly Jane 5-2 ML favorite), the Juvenile Fillies Turf (14 entered, Pizza Bianca 5-1 ML favorite) and the Juvenile Turf (14 entered, Dubawi Legend 4-1 ML favorite).
Friday’s most intriguing post-draw element has to be extremes for the favorites in the Juvenile and Juvenile Turf. With front-runners Corniche (12) and Jack Christopher (1) book-ending the Juvenile field, that should turn up a potentially hot pace even more. The Juvenile Turf extemes won’t be as impactful on pace, but potentially trip with European rising stars Dubawi Legend (14) and Modern Games (1) having to negotiate tricky starting points.
The nine-stakes Saturday lineup features big fields in the grass tests: 12 in the Turf Sprint (Golden Pal 7-2 ML favorite), 12 in the Filly and Mare Turf (War Like Goddess 3-1 ML favorite, defending champ Audarya 5 -1 ML from post 12), 14 in the Mile (Space Blues 3-1 ML favorite) and 14 in the Turf (defending champ Tarnawa 9-5 ML favorite from post 13). A new, all-turf pick four will be offered on Saturday’s quartet of grass races.
Saturday’s five dirt stakes include the aforementioned Classic, in addition to the Filly & Mare Sprint (6 entered, Gamine 3-5 ML favorite), Dirt Mile (8 entered, Life Is Good 4-5 ML favorite), Sprint (9 entered, Jackie’s Warrior 6-5 ML favorite) and Distaff (11 entered, Letruska 8-5 ML favorite).
Notable among the Saturday post draws are the potential speed clash between Gamine and Bella Sofia breaking side-by-side in the Filly and Mare Sprint; defending champion Glass Slippers starting from the rail in the Turf Sprint; and the speedy Private Mission luring the rail in the Distaff and potentially locking up with heavily favored front-runner Letruska.
Be sure to download the free 1/ST Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide update, available Thursday, that will include new content from our Oct. 29 initial release. Fresh analysis includes Eddie Olcyzk’s Hat Trick of best bets, a Classic look by legendary sportscaster Brent Musburger of VSIN, the historical Betmix ‘Angler’ best-fit contenders in each division and the full-card Del Mar artificial intelligence picks from the 1/ST BET app for both days.