By Bob Hill
Tracksideview Columnist —-
Tracksideview’s “View From the Grandstand” columnist offers up his Friday Breeders’ Cup selections.
Race 6 – BC Juvenile Filly Turf – G1
Rushing Fall (11) has been perfect for Chad Brown and relatively untested. She’ll close from deep off the pace, but her late turn of foot should carry her to the winner’s circle.
September (10) was beaten by another O’Brien entry (Happily), but that was on soft ground at Curragh. This one has been better on firmer ground, and thus I’m picking her to nose out her stablemate for the second spot.
Happily (2) is a Group 1 winner in France, that alone makes her the most accomplished filly in this field. It would be no surprise to see one with these connections and pedigree to win the race. She will be the top or second betting choice at post time.
Orbolution (6) would benefit from a cleaner start than she’s had in her last two races. If she gets away without being banged around she has the tools to threaten the best in this field.
Race 7 – BC Dirt Mile – G1
Mor Spirit (6) is perfect at the distance and seems to be getting better late in his four-year-old campaign. He’ll stalk the pace close-up, and I just don’t think there’s one in this field to out-finish him.
Practical Joke (10) has proven to a very good and versatile three-year-old, competing strongly at distances from seven to ten furlongs. He’ll make a late run at the leaders, and I expect a big effort out of the Chad Brown trainee on Friday.
Sharp Azteca (3) is great at this distance, but Mor Spirit handled him in their one face-to-face meeting. He certainly will play a big role in setting the pace. If he goes too fast on the lead he could fall all the way off the board.
Accelerate (8) is another very talented four-year-old that shows versatility and talent. If he were a bit more of a price I would be tempted to play him on top. Although I’m picking him fourth, I will not be surprised by a better finish than that – including the win.
Race 8 – BC Juvenile Turf – G1
Encumbered (9) is a perfect two-for-two on the Del Mar lawn. His one bad race was off the turf, and he clearly will face the toughest field he’s seen. He’s my shot of the day.
Masar (6) is a Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed in Europe. Owned by Godolphin, this son of New Approach is a definite top contender if he handles the trip over from his home base. He’ll take some money, with good cause.
Untamed Domain (2) is a son of Animal Kingdom trained by Graham Motion. He gets top jock Jose Ortiz as well. I’m looking for big things from him.
My Boy Jack (13) is based on the West Coast where he has competed well against the best at Del Mar and Santa Anita. He is a late closer so the outside draw should not hinder his chances.
Race 9 – BC Distaff – G1
Forever Unbridled (6) beat Songbird last time out in the Personal Ensign. She will need some pace up front ahead of her, but this is one tough race mare as evidenced by her third place finish last year in this race. A win by Dallas Stewart is only fun.
Stellar Wind (2) is the morning line favorite in this race despite having never won at the 1-1/8 – mile distance. Her only loss since June of last year was in this race when she finished fourth.
Elate (5) is one of several very talented three-year-old fillies entered in the Distaff. She dominated her competition in New York this summer, so a good showing here is likely and expected.
Abel Tasman (4) is another of those talented three-year-olds. She is undefeated at this distance, and owns wins in several top distaff races this year. Baffert and Smith are always a dangerous combination in big races.