As glamour dates on the racing calendar go, it doesn’t get much bigger for thoroughbred horses than the Breeders’ Cup and the 2023 edition takes place this weekend in the shadows of Los Angeles at Santa Anita.
With the best field from around the globe descending on the Golden State, the chance for the rest of the world to take on the North American set on their own patch remains hugely inviting.
No less than 18 races take place over the two-day event across Friday and Saturday, with 14 Grade 1 contests on the slate on both Dirt and Turf.
The best horses, jockeys and trainers are in town, with the likes of Auguste Rodin, Mawj and Elite Power on show, but the Breeders’ Cup is also a chance for stars to emerge.
With that in mind, here at BestofBets we’ve studied the form, going, track and playbook from Santa Anita and picked out THREE big price e/w punts.
*All race times GMT/PT
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf (Friday, 22:20/3:30PM)
Giv’ Frankie a punt – 66/1 BoyleSports
First up, we turn to the Juvenile Fillies’ Turf over 1m on Friday and look to an old favourite.
Frankie Dettori may have ridden his final race on European turf, but a first Breeders Cup at Santa Anita in four years presents further chances for a gold-tinged twilight of his career.
With a total of nines rides across the weekend in Arcadia, by far, the veteran’s longest price hope is on Leonard Powell’s rank outsider, Mo Fox Givin.
But despite his huge antepost, punters should give this youngster a shot.
Over the mile, the 2yo won on debut at Colonial Downs in Virginia, and though runner-up last out at Churchill Downs, that contest was over this trip, pointing to a preference for a longer trip.
With the ground suitably firm, the quicker turf will suit the sprinters and in Mo Fox Givin, not only is there a quick filly, but one who will push late on.
Dettori has not ridden a Breeders’ Cup winner since 2018 on Enable, and never won this race before.
However, after Ryan Moore’s heroics on Meditate last year, could Frankie pull one out of the bag here in his new adopted home?
This race is also worthy of backing two other names in the field, Buttercream Babe and Danny Eplin’s unbeaten Dreamfyre.
The two finished 1-2 in the Surfer Girl Stakes on the same course last time out, with the latter a winner by a neck.
Though this is plainly a more elite field, both are in excellent form and both fetching long odds of 20s+.
FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (Friday 23:00/4:00PM)
A nice tipple – 18/1 William Hill
We go with back-to-back races for number two, and to a colt who can put on a show for Bob Baffert in the Juvenile Alliance.
Wine Me Up, like many this weekend, comes to Cali with little experience, but after winning on debut two months ago, made the trip to Santa Anita last time out, finishing a 9/1 runner-up behind Muth – a 7/2 shot here.
On the dirt, Wine Me Up, the son of Vino Rosso – a Breeders’ Cup Classic victor in 2019 – has the pedigree to make a statement with Ramon Vazquez on board.
In the American Pharoah Stakes, the colt was beaten by almost 4L and will need to really turn it on, but could leave the Pegram, Watson and Weitman ownership team with the bubbly flowing come Friday.
FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (Saturday, 20:30/1:30PM)
In Exaultation – 25/1 Betfred
As Saturday rolls into view, our final big punt of the weekend goes on the Turf Mile, and to a horse who, frankly, we are stunned to see so far down the markets.
Yes, Mawj is expected to bring a third win on the bounce for Godolphin, but Exaulted could spring a surprise.
Exaulted comes into the contest from a Del Mar runners-up spot at the beginning of September, but before that, had won four on the spin.
All four came at Santa Anita, for a horse who remains unbeaten on turf.
🔥 EXAULTED remains unbeaten on the Turf!
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) May 29, 2023
Having made the step-up in trip from 7f without success, Peter Eurton’s progressive 6yo Bay has proved a liking for not only the trip but is very much at home in Arcadia.
Indeed, with the ground firm and fast this weekend, the bay is yet to taste defeat Santa Anita, most recently winning the Shoemaker Stakes back in May – a first Grade 1 win.
That win was further evidence of a growing reputation, and though by far and away a toughest field to date, punters could do a lot worse than with an e/w flutter.
The 2023 Breeders’ Cup begins on Friday at Santa Anita Park, with the Qatar Golden Mile Stakes at 18:30/11:30AM.