Super Saturday: Awesome Again, FrontRunner and Zenyatta Stakes Previews
This coming Saturday, September 26th, is “Super Saturday” at Santa Anita Park that has five “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup races.
The three really key races Saturday are:
The FrontRunner Stakes (1 1/16 mile) for 2 year-olds that guarantees entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Post Time is 4:32 CST. Remember, last year that American Pharoah won this race–need I say more? Headlining this field is Nyquist, my way too early Kentucky Derby favorite, who has won 3 straight races. I have got to go with the hot horse Nyquist in this one and I forsee another Nyquist-Swipe 1-2 finish like we had in the Del Mar Futurity (shown below). Swipe looked like he could handle the added distance in the Del Mar. But with 2 year-olds, they are unpredictable at this stage.
From the Bob Baffert stable, Mt Veeder, whose sire was Ghostzapper, is undefeated and is ridden by Martin Garcia. He has never raced longer than 6 furlongs but he would be my surprise pick to upset Nyquist.
- Go Long (122) Desormeaux – 20/1
- On Fire (122) Callaghan – 12/1
- Blameitonthelaw (122) Sadler – 5/1
- Nyquist (122) Gutierrez – 6/5
- Hollywood Don (122) Blance – 5/1
- Rare Candy (122) Talamo – 15/1
- Swipe (122) Desormeaux 5/1
- Mt Veeder (122) Garcia 6/1
The Zenyatta Stakes (1 1/16 mile) for 3 year-old fillies and mares that guarantees entry into the Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff. Post Time is 5:40 CST. Highlighting the field is Beholder–who I have ranked #1 in my Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings. Warren’s Veneda is probably the second biggest name horse in this field. I expect My Sweet Addiction’s 8/1 odds to lower come post time. At any rate, Beholder will win this race comfortably.You may want to consider placing a $25 “9 over 6,8” Exacta which would cost $50.
- Oscar Party (119) Graham – 30/1
- Savings Account (119) Van Dyke – 15/1
- My Monet (119) Gonzalez – 15/1
- Big Book (116) Desormeaux -15/1
- Kyriaki (119) Gutierrez – 20/1
- MySweet Addiction (124) Smith – 8/1
- Wild in the Saddle (119) Bejarano -12/1
- Warren’s Veneda (121) Baze – 6/1
- Beholder (124) Stevens – 2/5
The Awesome Again Stakes (1 1/8 mile) for 3 year-olds and up that guarantees entry into the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Post Time is 7:14 CST. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern is entered as well as Hoppertunity and Hard Aces–who are ranked 11th and 13th respectively in my Breeders Cup Classic rankings.
1. Hard Aces (124) Espinoza – 4/1
2. Sammy Mandeville (119) Bejarano – 10/1
3. Point Piper (119) Gutierrez – 8/1
4. Global View (119) Van Dyke 12/1
5. Hoppertunity (121) Smith 3/1
6. Imperative (119) Nakatani 6/1
7. Smooth Roller (119) Baze 6/1
8. Bayern (121) Garcia 5/2
Overall, this is a difficult race to handicap. Bayern has been training well and may be showing signs that he could be getting back on track. Hard Aces had a disappointing 6th place finish in his last start in the TVG Pacific Classic. Hoppertunity is probably the safer pick here with a Place bet. Too many unknowns to make any exotic bets and an 8 horse field probably means that superfectas won’t pay out big unless longshots finish near the top.
In other news, Shared Belief has begun light workouts and will return to racing in 2016 as will California Chrome.