One of the things that makes the Breeders' Cup such a wonderful wagering event is big, deep fields where horses priced at odds of 10/1, 15/1 or even higher possess some pretty good credentials. Not all long shots have a legit chance for success but many years you can make a case for so many horses at box car odds; it's very tough to completely toss a horse in a particular race.
Year after year at the Breeders' Cup we'll watch horses like George Vancouver (IRE) in last year's Juvenile Turf or Tapizar in the Dirt Mile roll home to win paying $20 or $30 to win. Heck, Little Mike, the Arlington Million winner, rolled home in the Turf at odds of 17/1 (I think I just made myself sick typing that. Curse you, Little Mike!) Point being, these races are so deep and so competitive that invariably we'll see big priced winners at least some point during the two-day extravaganza.
With that in mind, I've been trying to look at some of the field for this weekend with an eye towards horses that are likely to go to post at big odds in the hopes I can find at least one that might help key a big payout. Typically, I'm not much of a long shot player; if I'm playing a horse at 15/1 or higher I tend to not see great results and I'm usually looking for horses in the 5/1 to 10/1 range, at most. But for the Breeders' Cup I try to be a bit more open to bomb plays given the sheer number of good, accomplished horses at big odds.
Here are a few of the horses at 10/1 or higher on the morning line that caught my eye so far:
Shamshon (IRE) (12/1) - Juvenile Turf
This colt has yet to stretch out past six panels but I love the win at Deauville in mid-August over what was listed as a Good or Good to Firm turf course. Deauville was pretty dry this summer so that ground was probably a firmer side of Good. I'll toss that race at Newbury over soft ground cause I think this horse may be aching for much harder footing. He's shown speed in Europe which will probably allow him to at least sit in towards the front of the pack in the early stages.
Taptowne (15/1) - Dirt Mile
With Verrazano to his outside things look pretty difficult for a speed horse like Taptowne in the Dirt Mile but I think this guy has a chance, especially if Santa Anita plays to the speed like it did a year ago. If I'm jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr., I'm putting the pedal to the metal right out of the gate in order to make the favorite come get me. And while I think Taptown will be hard pressed to take this thing gate-to-wire and I do think he's got the speed to clear this field early, and that could be a big advantage on the Santa Anita main track. Could be. At a minimum, perhaps he can hold on to the place or show after setting the early fractions.
Kitten Kaboodle (12/1) & Granny Mc's Kitten (20/1) - Juvenile Fillies Turf
I'm a big fan of Vorda (FR) in this race but I'm sure as hell not going to sleep on the Ramsey/Brown/Kitten's Joy pair in this race. With My Conquestadory and Vorda most likely taking a lot of the action at the windows, these two fillies might be great plays on the bottom half of some exotics.
Alterite (FR) (10/1) - Filly & Mare Turf
Really, 10/1 on Alterite? I mean, this is a very tough iteration of the F&M Turf with a field loaded with such talent at Dank (GB), Laughing (IRE), Tiz Flirtatious, Romantica (GB) and Marketing Mix (to name just half) - so I can see why she's that price as it makes sense from an odds maker's perspective. But I'd love to play Alterite at a big price and this is exactly why the Breeders' Cup is so great: a Grade 1 winner and Group 1 runner-up will likely go to post at better than 10/1 because of the quality of the field that surrounds her. And I think she might drift up to 15/1 or better by post time given the strong field.
Mexikoma (12/1) - Juvenile
He probably wasn't facing much in his debut at Delaware Park back on Sept 12, but he sure looked good in blowing apart that Maiden Special Weight field. Sometimes these juveniles can be freakishly good at this age and, despite the fact he's facing a really tough favorite in Havana, this Birdstone colt could be worth a look at double-digit odds.
Palace Malice (10/1) and Will Take Charge (12/1) - Classic
If you get by Game On Dude, this Classic is a wide, wide open affair. I could see so many of these having a legit chance to pull an upset, including the Belmont and Travers winners. Again, this really demonstrates the depth of a lot of these fields especially when Palace Malice has been at the top of my list of winners for this race for the last couple of months. Double-digit odds on both of those horses seems really fair to me.
So who are some of the long shot plays you're looking at this year?