The top RTSS play of the day on Friday was Muth in the BC Juvenile. He finished a game second to 16-1 shot Fierceness. In last year’s Kentucky Derby, RTSS subscriber J. Reichart backwheeled Epicenter in exactas as a saver because of our wholehearted endorsement of Epicenter. He hit the multi-thousand-dollar exacta. You’d think we might’ve learned from that! We called Muth as the horse to beat in the BC Juvenile and noted performance similarities to great horses, but we didn’t recommend the exacta backwheel.The $1 exacta in the BC Juvenile paid $101. Next time!
RACE 3. Breeders Cup Dirt Mile.
False Favorite: #3 Cody’s Wish (9-5).
Reason: He won this race last year, but his only losses in the past 10 starts came in two-turn events. The pace scenario appears to be unfavorable too, with Zozos being the likely lone speed.
#4 Zozos (6-1). The scratch of Practical Move leaves this runner as the lone early speedster. If that pace scenario unfolds, he’ll likely capture his first Grade 1 win at a nice price. If the race doesn’t set up that way, Cody’s Wish will likely run him down late. Zozos is 3 for 3 at this distance and enters the race off a win and a strong series of works.
RACE 9. Grade 1 Breeders Cup Classic. 1 Mile and 1/4. Dirt.
False Favorite: #12 Arabian Knight (5-2).
Reason: In researching “The Lazy Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby,” I found that early-speed types with weak final fractions (either final quarter mile or final furlong) often tire badly at a mile and a quarter. After posting a weak final quarter in the Haskell Stakes, Arabian Knight barely held on to win the Pacific Classic at this distance. He prevailed despite a weak final quarter and slow final time.
In the BC Classic, Arabian Knight should get enough pressure from Saudi Crown to set the race up for a deep closer. Although the scratches of Arcangelo, Geaux Rocket Ride and Forte weaken this year’s Classic, we see the race as far more difficult than the Pacific Classic. That should turn the neck victory by Arabian Knight at Delmar into a multi-length loss in the BC Classic at Santa Anita.
You can see from the BRIS speed figures that only a few points separate the 2023 Grade 1 winners (such as Arabian Knight 107) from Grade 3 winners (such as Missed the Cut 105) and allowance winners (such as White Abarrio 105). That means nearly every entrant here has a fighting chance. The race could be decided by who gets the best trip, which jockey gives the best ride or any factor large or small.
This reality makes the All button very attractive in multirace wagers.
If you take the BRIS speed figures at face value, you get double-digit odds on the top-two figure horses, Saudi Crown and Dreamlike. But we question the accuracy of those figures, with both earned in the slop at Parx in a race restricted to 3-year-olds. Instead, we’ll ask the musical question, “Which two horses performed the best against older Grade 1 horses?”
#8 Ushba Tesoro (4-1). He has not only consistently defeated the best horses in Japan, he has totally dominated them. He has racked up 7 wins in his past 8 races, mostly in fields of 14 horses or more. And he isn’t just a local hero. He blasted 14 rivals in the Dubai World Cup.
#11 Bright Future (10-1). The winner of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup offers a double-digit return. In addition to betting on that sparkling recent effort, you’ll also be wagering on a potent trainer-jockey combo. Yesterday’s BC Juvenile was won by Fierceness, with Todd Pletcher switching riders from Irad Ortiz to Johnny V. Bright Future is lightly raced, so he probably hasn’t hit his peak yet. And the workout pattern is one of our favorites: three consecutive improving 5-furlong works.
Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs
#6 Saudi Crown (12-1), 108
#10 Dreamlike (30-1), 108
#3 White Abarrio (4-1), 107