Santa Anita, 1st & 2nd November 2019

Ante-Post

Glenn Toner has nominated his best ante-post bets for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Up to £30 in free bets

Published 24/10

Live on Sky Sports Racing, 2019 sees the return of the Breeders’ Cup to the “Great Race Place” Santa Anita for a record 10th time. It’s also the 10th anniversary from when the legendary Zenyatta became the only mare in history to win the Classic. Now it’s time for another....

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

KIMARI is one that I’ve liked for this since she won on her debut at Keeneland in April and nothing she has done since has changed my mind. There was no disgrace in finishing second to Raffle Prize in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and she then recorded an easy win in the Bolton Landing at Saratoga from subsequent Grade 1 winner Abscond.

She showed she can come from off the pace too on her most recent win at Keeneland and looks an ideal type for this.

Watch the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

Klaravich Stables & Chad Brown took this last year with Newspaperofrecord and look to have a live contender in Miss Grillo winner SELFLESSLY. This Maryland bred filly looked unfortunate to finish second on her debut and Saratoga but scored at the second time of asking in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo, a race also won by Newspaperofrecord.

She reversed debut form with stable companion Jazzique last time and although the runner-up that day Crystalle would be dangerous if lining up, the selection appears to have more pace and should be better suited by the tight Santa Anita turf track.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies

Arrogate’s half-sister Immediate Impact was one I pencilled in for this, but she’s not been seen since winning her maiden.  Her stable companion Bast is a worthy favourite but I’m leaning towards the Steve Asmussen-trained WICKED WHISPER who is 2-2 so far.

Being a $500K half-sister to the Alabama Stakes second Point Of Honor it was no surprise to see her fancied on her debut at Saratoga. The confidence was justified as she ran out a very easy 6 ½ lengths winner.

One had to be impressed with her performance when taking the Grade 1 Frizette last time, she won without being asked for maximum effort. She looks the value option at this stage.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf

One that appears to have been underestimated by bookmakers is Florida-based GRACEFUL KITTEN. This son of Kitten’s Joy cost only $8,500 in April but has since won all three starts including a couple of minor stakes races at Gulfstream.

He does have to improve further but there’s nothing to suggest he can’t and looks a live longshot.

TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile

DENNIS MOMENT was talked of as a possible Kentucky Derby horse before even making his debut. Unfortunately, he unseated his rider on then but returned to break his maiden by 19 1/4 lengths at Ellis Park Last time he won Churchill’s Iroquois Stakes very easily despite being geared down by Irad Ortiz Jr.

I have taken much bigger odds than are currently available, but he still looks value as I think he should be much shorter, at this stage he’s my most confident BC selection.

However, I do have a chequered history in this race, I had 33/1 for Bolt D’Oro who was third in 2017 and last year I had 40/1 for Instagrand who despite being 6/4 favourite missed the race as connections wanted to focus on his three-year-old career, that didn’t end well…


Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

I thought this was at the mercy of World Of Trouble but sadly for some of my ante-post bets he’s recently been retired. In his absence however, I like to the look of the ex-Richard Hannon-trained BELVOIR BAY.

This mare hasn’t looked back since joining Peter Miller and absolutely loves the Santa Anita turf track. She has shown she can mix it with the best when runner-up to Blue Point in Dubai earlier in the year and I can see her running a big race.

Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

This has been unquestionably the most difficult race to fathom as the majority of those prominent in the market have other possible targets, Omaha Beach (Sprint/Classic), Catalina Cruiser (Sprint), Mitole (Sprint) McKinzie (Classic) & Firenze Fire (Sprint).

If he were to line-up then the 9/2 available for Omaha Beach would look massive, but you cannot be confident at this stage he will.

So, by default I’ve landed with MR MONEY who despite slightly disappointing in the Pennsylvania Derby last time where he may have been at a slight disadvantage given the track bias looks certain to line up and run his race. He looks a solid each way option.

Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf

I see no reason whatsoever to desert last year’s winner, the best turf mare in the US, SISTERCHARLIE. She would be a Grade One-winning mare anywhere in the world and she looks sure to take this if running to form.

I can see her going off odds on, on the day so her current albeit quite skinny odds could look big.

Breeders' Cup Sprint

MITOLE appears to get better and better with each start and is a confident selection here. He does have the option of the Dirt Mile, but this should be the race for him. He was brilliant in the Forego last time and whilst on paper he has to reverse Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap form with Imperial Hint, he can do so. The winner is a much better horse at Saratoga than anywhere else and Mitole can be forgiven that run.

Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff

Midnight Bisou is by far the most likely winner of this, she’s having a wonderful season, winning all seven starts and if she takes this then has to be a Horse Of The Year contender. It’s worth remembering though that she was only third, albeit behind the brilliant Monomoy Girl in this last year.

Looking for a bit of value I’ve landed on the 2017 Distaff third PARADISE WOODS. Much like Mia Mischief, Paradise Woods can be very in and out but as she showed last time in the Zenyatta she can be very good on her day.

If she can repeat that run, then she can be there or thereabouts.

Longines Breeders' Cup Classic

Sadly, there’s no Gunnevera this year and to be honest it doesn’t look the greatest Classic we’ve ever seen. That said, there’s plenty strength in depth here. McKinzie, Code Of Honor and Vino Rosso will have their fans but I think it’s time for another mare to take this for only the second time in history.

The great Zenyatta took this in 2009 and 2019 can be the year of ELATE.

The selection has been running well all season though too often behind Midnight Bisou. You have to be disappointed with her second to Blue Prize last time but perhaps she wasn’t 100% that day?

She does look a different mare over ten furlongs, she’s been a hugely impressive winner of the Delaware Handicap over this trip for the past two years and her outstanding win in the Alabama again over this trip is probably her best ever performance.

Connections appear to be leaning this way rather than the Distaff and I cannot feasibly see how she can be out of the first three.

Ante-Post