Breeders’ Cup Challenge Highlighted by Shadwell Mile, Jockey Club Gold Cup

It is last call for Breeders' Cup hopefuls with 13 Win and You're In races this weekend. (Photo credit: Breeders' Cup Ltd.)

It is last call for Breeders’ Cup hopefuls with 13 Win and You’re In races this weekend. (Photo credit: Breeders’ Cup Ltd.)

With less than a month to the Breeders’ Cup, the next couple of days will be crucial to connections with hopes of making it to Keeneland for the two-day championship event, with 13 Win and You’re In races to be decided over the next two days.

There are five Breeders’ Cup Challenge at Keeneland, four at Belmont Park, and one at Santa Anita with three overseas at Longchamp.

Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders’ Futurity (G1) will be broadcast live on NBC during a one-hour telecast at 5:00 ET.  NBC will televise Sunday’s Spinster (G1) and Bourbon (G3) on Sunday at 5:00 ET, both events Breeders’ Cup Challenge races.

The Shadwell Mile will be missing two-time winner Wise Dan, who has competed in the race in each of the last four years, but was retired recently. That leaves a wide-open field of 13 to battle for an automatic starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

The European invader Dutch Connections is the lukewarm morning line favorite at 4-1. The three-year-old is coming off a runner up finish in the Group 2 Lennon Stakes at Goodwood in his last outing.

The best hopes of the U.S. contingent are Arlington Million (G1) winner The Pizza Man (8-1) and Fourstardave Handicap (G2) winner Grand Arch (8-1).

The Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park drew a field of just six, with the best Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) hopeful Honor Code electing to go earlier on the card in the Kelso Handicap (G2). Honor Code is the third choice in early Classic wagering at Bet Online at +450, behind just American Pharoah (+250) and the mare Beholder (+400).

That leaves Tonalist (6-5) the betting favorite. The 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner is coming off a good effort in a third place finish in the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga in his last outing.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has never won the Jockey Club Gold Cup, will send out the speedy Constitution, a two-time Grade 1 winner. He makes just his second start since winning the Donn Handicap (G1) back in February. His speed and off track pedigree will make him dangerous.

Twelve Reasons to Watch Super Saturday on NBC via America’s Best Racing.

Michael’s Best Plays Report for Saturday will include all of the stakes action from Keeneland and Belmont Park.

Let’s head out to Keeneland for Saturday’s featured race of the day:


Keeneland Race 9 The Shadwell Turf Mile G1 (5:45 ET)

#5 Dutch Connection   4-1

#4 Grand Arch   8-1

#11 Jack Milton   8-1      

#10 The Pizza Man   8-1

Analysis: Dutch Connection invades from overseas for the Charlie Hills barn. The colt is coming off a good seconds in the Lennox (G2) at Goodwood and the Prix Jean Prat (G1) at Chantilly in his last two starts. His last was his first go against older. He handled ground with some give to it well last out and is a two-time Group 3 winner. Without Wise Dan this race is wide open and it did not come up as tough as in previous years.

Grand Arch tracked thee early pace while saving ground and battled on to the wire to win by a neck to take the Fourstardave Handicap (G2) at the Spa. The runner up Ironicus came back to win the Bernard Baruch ‘Cap (G2) in his next start on Sept. 7. The gelding tends to get overlooked in the betting and ran a good second here last year to Wise Dan at 19-1. He has earned triple digit Beyers in five of his last nine starts and beat a good group of allowance foes over soft ground here at the spring meeting.


WIN: #5 to win at 7-2 or better.

EX: 4,5 / 4,5,10,11

TRI: 4,5 / 4,5,10,11 / 4,5,9,10,11


Michael Dempsey’s Breeders’ Cup Report

Michael’s Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the card from Keeneland on Oc. 30-31.

The Breeders’ Cup offers 12 championship races over two days, bringing together the best top horses, trainers, and jockeys from around the world, this year to compete at Keeneland.

In 2013 on Breeders’ Cup Saturday Mike nailed seven recommended exactas, paying $53.20, $19.00, $23.20, $58.00, $66.60, $107.80, and $33.60!


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