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Gamine & Serengeti Empress Could Set Up Closer in BC Filly & Mare Sprint
2020 Breeders’ Cup
- When: Friday, Nov. 6 – Saturday, Nov. 7
- Where: Keeneland Racecourse, Lexington, KY
- Weather: Sunny
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Friday, Nov. 6
- When: Race 10 at 5:15 pm ET
Jackie’s Warrior is no lock in the BC Juvenile
At 7/5 on the morning line, Jackie’s Warrior should romp in the BC Juvenile. The 7/5 morning line absolutely seems warranted. Jockey Joel Rosario is riding lights out right now while trainer Steve Asmussen is one of the best in the world. Also, Warrior is undefeated with 4 straight victories and won the two biggest Grade 1 summer 2-year-old races, the Hopeful and the Champagne.
But one thing Jackie’s Warrior doesn’t have is the breeding to suggest he’ll enjoy 1 1/16 miles. Jackie has sprinter blood in both of his family lines. That could get him beat in a race that will be determined by either which speed horse can carry the legs in the stretch, or which closer or presser can run down Jackie and the other front runners.
There are a couple of horses to consider. The first is last out maiden winner Classier. Trained by Bob Baffert, Classier had a 6 length lead at the quarter-pole and cruised to an easy win in his maiden debut. No doubt, the Baffert trainee could have won by 10 lengths if that was the goal. Why is that impressive? Classier broke his maiden at 6 ½. His mom calls Preakness winner Bernardini her father while his sire, Empire Maker, won the Belmont Stakes. Classier is that aforementioned speed horse that should have no trouble carrying his speed in the stretch.
The other horse to consider is the Brad Cox trained Essential Quality. Delightful Quality, this guy’s mother, was a sprinter, but Tapit, his dad, has already produced two Belmont Stakes winners.
He should get the distance and he appears to be improving. Either Essential Quality or Classier are good plays to take down likely 2-year-old of the year Jackie’s Warrior.
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint – Saturday, Nov. 7
- When: Race 4 at 12:02 pm ET
Expect closer to go by both Gamine and Serengeti Empress
Two of the fastest fillies on the planet knock heads in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Saturday. That’s exactly why it’s important for horseplayers to at least consider backing a pony that could beat both.
Let’s talk about the chalk, first. Like Jackie’s Warrior in the BC Juvenile, Gamine has won 3-of-4 with her lone loss in the Kentucky Oaks. She looks like a solid play to take these gate-to-wire but both Serengeti Empress and Venetian Harbor will pressure the chalk as soon as they break from the gate.
Empress has sprinter’s speed while Venetian Harbor is an underrated straight printer that has been headed on the first two calls in just 2-of-7 races. The three should go after each other early.
That could set things up for a late-closing underdog. Come Dancing, a 6-year-old mare, went off at around 2-to-1 to win the 2019 BC Filly & Mare Sprint. She failed miserably because she had peaked 6 weeks before this race.
She’ll have gotten eight weeks between her win in the Honorable Miss and the BC Filly & Mare Sprint. No doubt, Come Dancing’s backers must hope for the speed duel between Harbor, Gamine, and Empress to develop, but if it does happen, rest assured that jockey Irad Oritz Jr. will have Come Dancing in a position to motor by.
It’s also important to note that she should go off at higher odds than the 8-to-1 morning line. Come Dancing is worth a look in a race where the two top choices are both front runners.
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