Horse racing’s future will be on display at Santa Anita Park on November 1.
On a day billed as “Future Stars Friday,” the best two-year-old Thoroughbreds of both genders will take the spotlight in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
There’s a strong chance the young runners vying for victory in these championship events will wind up competing at Churchill Downs six months from now in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), so you definitely won’t want to miss the action at Santa Anita.
Want to play these high-class races, but not sure which horses to bet? Never fear! BetAmerica has you covered with two spot plays on a $100 budget:
Race 7: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1)
#1 Donna Veloce is the 3-1 favorite and filly handicappers are buzzing about her. The enthusiasm is understandable — she won her debut sprinting 6 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita by 9 ¼ effortless lengths. But it’s important to note she was aided by a speed-favoring track and is taking a huge step up in class and distance for the Juvenile Fillies.
I’m much more confident in #7 Wicked Whisper, a decisive gate-to-wire winner of the one-mile Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont. Wicked Whisper had no difficulty turning back the Grade 1-placed Frank’s Rockette to win by 2 ¾ lengths with a solid 97 Brisnet speed figure, higher than the 91 Donna Veloce posted on debut.
The Frizette has produced five of the last dozen winners of the Juvenile Fillies, and Wicked Whisper’s tactical speed should help her work out a clean trip setting or stalking the pace. If her enticing 7-2 morning line odds hold up, let’s bet her to win and play her on top in the exacta and trifecta while using Donna Veloce, #4 British Idiom, and #6 Bast underneath:
- $25 to win on #7 Wicked Whisper
- $5 exacta: 7 with 4,6 ($10)
- $2.50 trifecta: 7 with 1,4,6 with 1,4,6 ($15)
Race 9: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)
With the scratch of #9 Maxfield, the Juvenile is being billed as a two-horse race between #1 Dennis’ Moment and #6 Eight Rings. It’s easy to see why — Dennis’ Moment fired off a 98 Brisnet speed figure while cruising to an easy victory in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, while Eight Rings posted a 100 on debut and a 95 when dominating the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) by six lengths in gate-to-wire fashion.
But here’s the thing — Dennis’ Moment and Eight Rings both have early speed and figure to be eyeing each other from the moment the gates open. I expect them to be running 1-2 around the first turn, and since they stand out as the key players on paper, there’s a chance the pace could heat up down the backstretch and around the far turn as their personal dual becomes a match-race-within-the-race.
Such a scenario could give an upset chance to the late-running #5 Scabbard. This son of More Than Ready was unleashing a big rally in the Iroquois Stakes when forced to steady sharply on the far turn, causing him to lose three or four lengths of ground and all of his momentum. This was a huge setback, yet Scabbard shrugged off the incident and re-rallied to finish second, 1 ¾ lengths behind Dennis’ Moment and 5 ¼ lengths clear of the rest.
At worst, Scabbard looms as a must-use contender for exotic wagers like the trifecta. At best, he might run down the dueling favorites and spring an 8-1 upset.
Let’s box Dennis’ Moment, Eight Rings, and Scabbard in the trifecta, spending a bit more on the lower-paying combinations with the favorites on top. If they run 1-2-3 in any order, we’ll cash a nice ticket:
- $6 trifecta box: 1,5,6 ($36)
- $3.50 trifecta: 1,6 with 1,5,6 with 1,5,6 ($14)