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Breeders’ Cup Saturday: Live Long Shots

Breeders' Cup Churchill Downs Saturday live long shots Mike Dempsey expert picks

The toteboard lit up at Santa Anita on Friday, with Storm the Court paying $93.80 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Sharing winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf returning $29.60.

Could we see more longshots score on day two of the Breeders’ Cup? We have nine more championship races on tap including the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

There are some imposing favorites for Saturday’s races including Omaha Beach (+130) in the Dirt Mile, Sistercharlie (-110) in the Filly & Mare Turf and Midnight Bisou (+110) in the Distaff.

However, with big fields and competitive races we should be able to find some value on the card. Let’s take a look at a few contenders on Saturday’s card that can be in the hunt at generous prices.

All odds courteous of Bovada

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

Om (+2000) makes his first start since June where he held on to win by a nose over non-conditioned allowance foes. The runner up in that race was Totally Boss who came back to win a couple of stakes in his next two starts and is in the field here. Two back he was a good second behind World of Trouble in the Jaipur (G) at six furlongs at Belmont Park earning a career top speed fig. Disco Partner exited that race to run second in the Troy (G2) next out and fifth-place finisher Diamond Oops came back to win the Smile Sprint (G3) and then was second in the Vanderbilt (G1) and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

Miller has the two-time defending champ in here with Stormy Liberal, but this guy is going to be a generous price. The barn is 18% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff and he has been working sharply for his return.

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

Villa Marina (+1000) stalked the early pace got to the lead inside the final furlong and held on to win by a neck in the Prix de l'Opera Longines (G1) at Longchamp going 1 1/4 miles on soft ground. Two back on firm footing she checked in fourth beaten two lengths in the Prix Vermeille (G1) over firm footing. The winner Star Catcher came back to win the British Champions Filly & Mare Stakes (G1) on Oct. 19.

She has been consistent, her fourth the lone start in eight where she did not land in the money. Three-year-old fillies won this race in 2016 and 2017, both Euro invaders. Peslier keeps the mount and has won four BC races, three with Goldikova and he won this race with Banks Hill in 2001. She is between +900 and +1000 overseas and may end up around that price here.

Breeders’ Cup Mile

Space Traveller (+1000) gets the call and I am leaning on the Euro invaders here. The colt was a game winner of the Solonaway Stakes (G2) last out at Leopardstown on Champions Day. His lone go in Group 1 company came in the Middle Park Stake last year where he ran eighth. His other win this year came in the Jersey Stakes (G3) at Royal Ascot in June in a field of 18.

Three-year-olds have fared well in this race, winning it 10 times including last year with Expert Eye who snapped a three-race winning streak for the home team in this race. He is in good hands with Richard Fahey who has only shipped over three for the BC, the best finish a third with Birchwood in the 2015 Juvenile Turf. The Euros have won 5 of 9 here at Santa Anita.

Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Street Band (+1000) ran a career top last out winning the Cotillion (G1) at Philly, paying $17.40. She did not get a stellar ride two back in a third in the Alabama (G1) where she was third behind Dunbar Road. She has some trouble in her previous starts as well. Last out the pace was hot, she settled in last and made a strong move on the backstretch and finished full of run.

Over the past eight years, we have seen three-year-olds win this race four times including last year. The pace will likely not be as fast here, so Sophie needs to keep her a bit closer while letting her relax. It looks as if she is going to get overlooked on the toteboard.

Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Breeders’ Cup for OddsShark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at turfnsport.com.