Breeders’ Cup – Saturday Pick 6 Analysis – Nick Tammaro

Race 7, Filly and Mare Turf:

This incredibly challenging sequence kicks off with a tremendous running of the Filly and Mare Turf.  Regardless of budget, you are going to have to go deep here and look to trim in other legs.  Beginning with the international runners, I would advise using each of Peaceful, Terebellum, Audarya and Cayenne Pepper.  Peaceful and Terebellum have valid excuses for what look like weaker than expected efforts in their most recent outings.  The bottomless ground over which the Sun Chariot was run does not suit either one, and the distance was short of their preferred trip.  Audarya and Cayenne Pepper are the types of European runners I love to bet when they ship over.  Both are on the upswing and exit strong efforts.  Cayenne Pepper has tactical speed and can use it to overcome the outside draw.

Amongst the domestic contingent, I am most interested in Mean Mary.  She is going to be put on the lead today by Luis Saez and speed often holds very well in the fall at Keeneland.  While I wouldn’t scream “bias” regarding yesterday’s turf racing given two of the winners were favored, it was not a course over which you wanted to be tasked with making up significant ground.  I will include the main two Chad Brown-trained runners as back-ups given that it’ll hardly surprise if Rushing Fall performs well over her favorite turf course.  Sistercharlie has had legitimate excuses in both prior starts this year as well.

Race 8, Sprint:

This is a spot where I will take a small stand and use only Yaupon and Diamond Oops.  C Z Rocket is a weak favorite in my opinion given the soft trips he’s had recently against lesser.  While I fear Peter Miller given his record in this race, and sprints in general, this is the kind of horse you’re supposed to bet at 8-1 and he’ll be roughly one-third of that price. Yaupon is the main speed and comes in unblemished through four starts.  He is undoubtedly facing tougher than he ever has before, but the easiest way to overcome that would be to use his ample early speed and wrest control of this race from the outset.  Diamond Oops was an incredibly impressive winner of the Phoenix and has done nothing but run well in dirt sprint races going back to the Smile Sprint in June of 2019.  He figures to get a great trip and setup from just off the pace.

Race 9, Mile:

After watching numerous replays of foreign races and looking up form lines on a variety of horses, the international runner I fancy most is Kameko.  In his last three races at a mile, including the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, he has two wins and a cadre of excuses in the lone defeat.  He was a game winner most recently, albeit against lesser, but has now drawn an ideal inside post from which he can save ground and he’ll be every bit of his 6-1 morning line.  The only other international I would use is Siskin, though I find myself feeling very foolish for giving him a pass on his most recent effort.  As far as the local horses go, I want to use Digital Age, Ivar, Uni and Factor This.  If the course looks to be playing to speed, then upgrade the chances of Factor This as he has been tremendously good in his last five starts and we all had front row seats to the “Brad Cox show” that started roughly 18 hours ago.

Race 10, Distaff:

This is a spot where you can reliably use two horses and move onward.  Swiss Skydiver and Monomoy Girl are so clearly the best two horses in the race and I’d be willing to lose if they are defeated.  If your budget allows, and you have an opinion on which runner, then offer them some help.  I don’t have that opinion and expect one of them to win.  Monomoy Girl drew ideally on the outside and can stalk the pace and move when ready.  While Swiss Skydiver may be slightly quicker early, she will always have the big chestnut mare close to her flank.

Race 11, Turf:

While his stablemate, Magical, has understandably gotten the top billing in this race, I think Mogul is a very interesting runner for Aidan O’Brien.  He exits a smashing win in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris where he enjoyed a perfect trip under the hot-riding Pierre Charles Boudot, who is back aboard today.  He won that race going away and in doing so showed that he had taken a major step forward in this latter part of his 3YO season.  The 2nd and 3rd place finishers that day promptly returned to run 2nd and 4th in the Arc de Triomphe, a race that Mogul skipped because Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard had issues with contaminated feed.  Skipping that race and coming in here fresh may be the perfect recipe to earn O’Brien a record 7th Breeders’ Cup Turf win. 

If Mogul is incapable of handling the jump in class, Magical is the next likeliest winner.  She has to be used based on her illustrious record and the company she has kept.  Tarnawa suffered a setback when regular rider Christophe Soumillon tested positive for COVID-19 as she will now be ridden by Colin Keane.  She is in top form and ran a dynamite race in the Prix de l’Opera last time out, making the only off the pace move in a race run on very heavy turf.  She is impervious to negative pace setups and is actually better at today’s 12 furlong trip.  Lord North is a wildcard here and a horse to include if you can afford to do so.  He can be given a pass for his poor effort in the QIPCO Champion last time on soft ground, but he has not stepped up against tougher competition in the 2nd half of 2020.  The distance is a quarter-mile farther than he’s ever gone and this is a tough spot to test the waters of a 12 furlong trip.  If an American wins this race, I will be surprised.  The only viable candidate would seem to be Channel Maker, who has a clear running style and just may have found a turf course to his liking.  If Manny Franco gets him clear and can relax on the front end, he is capable of pulling off a slight upset.

Race 12, Classic:

I am not particularly surprised that Tom’s D’Etat is the favorite in the daily double wagers linking yesterday’s races to the Classic.  He was receiving the most attention in this field and comes in with not only a strong record but a major excuse for his last outing.  The expected pace scenario works in his favor as he can sit a few lengths off the pace before making a move around the far turn.  He is a must-use, and I will also use Improbable and Tiz the Law.  The former has blossomed into the best older horse in training, even if he benefited from Tom’s d’Etat’s bad trip in the Whitney.  While Tiz the Law did not make out that great at the post position draw, he is capable of winning this race on his best day and has not needed perfect pace setups or anything of the like to run his best races. 

Maximum Security is a horse I would allow to beat me given the race he ran last time out.  I also don’t think he’ll be as effective chasing the pace likely to be set by his stablemate Authentic.

Pick 6 Matrix

Race 7



Race 8


Race 9



Race 10


Race 11



Race 12


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