Defections Shake Up Breeders’ Cup Early Betting Odds

Beholder was ruled out of the Breeders' Cup Distaff after spiking a fever on Sunday. (Photo credit: Breeders' Cup Ltd.)

Two-time reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan is out of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and now Beholder will miss a chance of winning her third Breeders’ Cup race, out of the Distaff, leaving both races looking for new betting favorites.

Wise Dan was the early betting favorite at +125 for the Mile at Bovada, but will not get a chance for a three-peat after the gelding developed a non-displaced fracture at the bottom of the cannon bone of his right front fetlock.

“He was scheduled to breeze in a few days, and [trainer Charles LoPresti] checked him over to be sure he was 100 percent,” owner-breeder Mort Fink said in a press release. “Unfortunately, Charlie noticed some swelling in his ankle and quickly decided to X-ray him to be sure everything was all right. The X-rays identified a non-displaced ‘half-moon-shaped’ fracture of the bottom of the cannon bone.”

“As a result, we have decided to withdraw him from the Breeders’ Cup to allow the fracture to heal. Wise Dan has accomplished a lot in his career so far, and given us endless joy. We would never want to race him unless he is 100%.”

Fink said it would be at least month before a decision is made on whether to bring him back for another year of racing.

The defection has left European invader Toronado as the early betting favorite for the Mile. The colt was listed at +175 at Bovada. The colt was second last out in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) on Sept. 14 where he is was beaten by a head by Charm Spirit as the 4-5 betting favorite.

His lone win in three starts this year came at Royal Ascot in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) where he beat Verrazano by a ¾ of a length.

Beholder spiked a fever on Sunday and has been ruled out of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff by trainer Richard Mandella. She was seeking to join Goldikova as the only three-time winner of a Breeders’ Cup race. The filly won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2012 and the Distaff last year. She was the early betting favorite at Bovada for this year’s Distaff at +250.

She only made three starts this year, winning the Santa Lucia at Santa Anita, a fourth in the Ogden Phipps (G1) and then won the Zenyatta (G1) at Santa Anita in her last outing on Sept. 27.

She is scheduled to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Favoritism for the Distaff appears likely to land with Untapable or Close Hatches. On Oct. 16 at Bovada, Untapable was listed at +300 and Close Hatches was +500. Those prices will likely come down when Bovada releases new odds this week.

Check out for the latest odds for the Breeders’ Cup, which takes place at Santa Anita on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.


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