By: Eric DeCoster
Race #8: The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile (Mile – 1 Mile) 3 YO+
Purse: $2 Million
Is this year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile Godolphin’s to take again? #4 Modern Games (7/2 ML) will give them every chance to make it happen. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner will look to become the first horse to win that race and return to win a future Breeders’ Cup race on Saturday. Based off his form, which features two Group 1 wins and three other placings behind some of Europe’s best in Baaeed and Bayside Boy, he is the horse to beat.
His chief opponent may be the horse with the longest winning streak leading into the Mile, #13 Kinross (9/2 ML). He’s rattled off back-to-back Group 1 wins, and although he has never been further than 7/8ths, he should easily be able to handle the sharp, American two turn mile he’ll face in here. The winner of this race in 2021, Space Blues, was making this same exact progression with a very similar build, and as we know he relished those conditions. My biggest issue is the draw in post 13 given he’ll likely want to be forwardly placed and may be forced wide throughout. Another Euro with a chance is #3 Dreamloper (6-1 ML). She’s another dual Group 1 winner and most recently won the G1 Prix du Moulin in early September. Her turn of foot was electric on the day, expected as she was cutting back from some longer races, and her kick going 8 furlongs is one to note.
Of the Americans, I think the only real players are from the Chad Brown barn. #8 Regal Glory (6-1 ML) has been the runner-up in two straight Grade 1’s, but last time out it was a bit mitigated by a lone speed leader. Her talent is there though, and with a much better set up anticipated she’ll be gaining ground late. #14 Domestic Spending (8-1 ML) is one of the most interesting runners across the Breeders’ Cup races having not made a start since August of 2021. He is a special horse though, and he has been prepped extremely well by Chad Brown targeting this race. Plus, Chad Brown wouldn’t be putting such a good horse in this race under these circumstances if he didn’t believe he had a big chance. Finally, I think a mile over the Keeneland green plays very well into his closing kick.
There’s really only two others who I think play in this race. #10 Order of Australia (12-1 ML) took the Mile out in 2020 at gigantic odds. He’s remained consistent since then but has always been a cut below the very best of this division. He ran well enough to be 3rd in the G1 Coolmore Turf Mile last time out. The winner of that race, #11 Annapolis (10-1 ML), looked very sharp facing elders for the first time and might factor if the top runners falter. I will say, he worked out THE dream trip in his most recent start and it’s very unlikely he can replicate that Saturday.
The Choice – #14 Domestic Spending
On pure talent, Domestic Spending can play with the best of them. He seems primed to fire off the bench and Chad Brown hits at incredible numbers off the layoff in Graded Stakes on the grass. If Flavien Prat can save ground heading into the first bend he should have enough to come running.