Betting trifectas in the Breeders' Cup Classic and Distaff

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

November 5th, 2020

Picks and plays on a $75 budget for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland.

Race 10: Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1, 3:54 p.m. ET)

Who have you got — #5 Swiss Skydiver (2-1) or #10 Monomoy Girl (8-5)?

In terms of accomplishments, the two favorites tower over their opposition. Monomoy Girl won the 2018 Distaff and has crossed the wire first in 13 of her 14 starts, while Swiss Skydiver recently beat males in the Preakness (G1).

I’ll give a narrow edge to Swiss Skydiver. I was impressed by the resilience she displayed in the Preakness, when she boldly rallied up the rail to seize command on the backstretch, then turned back Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic in a prolonged stretch battle.

She fits well against Monomoy Girl in terms of Brisnet Speed ratings and has drawn perfectly in post 5, which gives her plenty of options for a clean trip.

I’ll play Swiss Skydiver on top in the trifecta. Underneath, I’ll key Monomoy Girl and add  #1 Ce Ce (12-1), #2 Harvest Moon (12-1), #7 Point of Honor (30-1), #8 Valiance (12-1), and #9 Ollie’s Candy (10-1) for the final slot.

I’m particularly intrigued by Ce Ce, who rallied gamely to finish fourth in the Derby City Distaff (G1). I’m optimistic she’ll take a step forward at Keeneland.

$4 trifecta: 2 with 10 with 1,2,7,8,9 ($20)
$2 trifecta: 2 with 1,2,7,8,9 with 10 ($10)
Total: $30

Race 12: Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1, 5:18 p.m. ET)

#8 Improbable (5-2) will receive plenty of support, and rightfully so. The son of City Zip has blossomed as a 4-year-old and enters the Classic off consecutive victories in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1), Whitney (G1), and Awesome Again (G1).

But Improbable has enjoyed perfect trips against small fields, so tackling nine elite rivals in the Classic will be a tougher task. He also isn’t the fastest horse in terms of Brisnet Speed ratings. Six of his rivals have equaled or surpassed Improbable’s career-best 108 rating, including 2019 Clark (G1) winner #4 Tom’s d’Etat (6-1).

Victorious against Improbable in the April 11 Oaklawn Mile S., Tom’s d’Etat delivered an eye-catching performance at Churchill Downs during the summer, when he dominated the Stephen Foster (G2) by 4 1/4 lengths over #3 By My Standards (10-1). Tom’s d’Etat was a rocket down the homestretch, where he sprinted the final furlong in :12 to post Brisnet Speed and Late Pace ratings of 112.

Tom’s d’Etat subsequently finished behind Improbable and By My Standards in the Whitney, but his was a deceptively strong performance. A bad stumble at the start left Tom’s d’Etat in last, while Improbable and By My Standards tracked very slow fractions of :25.12, :49.74, and 1:13.36. Tom’s d’Etat never had a realistic chance to win, but he nevertheless charged hard down the straight to finish third, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner, with a massive 120 Brisnet Late Pace rating.

Tom’s d’Etat has been freshened since the Whitney and is working sharply for trainer Al Stall, who won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Blame.

At 6-1, I’ll bet Tom’s d’Etat to win and key him on top in the trifecta. Underneath, I’ll emphasize Improbable, alongside Belmont Stakes (G1) winner #2 Tiz the Law (3-1) and reigning champion 3-year-old male #10 Maximum Security (7-2).

$21 to win on #4 Tom’s d’Etat
$1 trifecta: 4 with 2,8,10 with 1,2,8,9,10 ($12)
$1 trifecta: 4 with 1,2,8,9,10 with 2,8,10 ($12)
Total: $45

Good luck!