Some consider the Dirt Mile the drunk cousin of the Classic, but there is a talented group heading to the gate this year even without Frosted, who is now headed toward the Classic.
Last year many thought Liam’s Map should have gone to the Classic, and instead he won the Dirt Mile returning a paltry $3.00, the shortest price in the nine-year history of the race.
The Bob Baffert-trained Dortmund, who was beaten by California Chrome in his last three starts, figures to be the betting favorite. He is 5/6 in early Dirt Mile betting. He has won five of his six starts at Santa Anita and the cut back to a mile should suit.
One of the biggest puzzles for handicappers is what to do with Runhappy. Last year’s Sprint champion was on the bench for nine months and returned with a fourth-place finish in the Ack Ack (G2) at Churchill Downs.
The Cinderella story off his win last year for trainer Maria Borell has since gone downhill fast, and he is back in the care of trainer Laura Wohlers. The colt has only gone two turns once in his career, a ninth-place finish in the Lecomte (G3) in his stakes debut, beaten 21 ½ lengths.
Tamarkuz is coming off a pair of solid runner-up finishes in the Forego (G1) and Kelso Handicap (G1) and Texas Chrome will take on older for the first time after wins in the Super Derby (G3) and Oklahoma Derby (G3) in his last two starts.
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Breeders’ Cup for Odds Shark and his full card reports with final selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for both days of action will be available at turfnsport.com where you can also pick up the Turf ‘n’ Sport 2016 Breeders’ Cup Wagering Guide, a 38-page look at the early contenders and betting trends for each race.