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2009 Breeders' Cup Friday - Live Blog

Okay, there wasn't nearly enough time this year to run through all the races before hand so I'm just going to live blog the day from the comfort of my living room while watching TVG, HRTV, and ESPN's coverage of BC Friday.

3:55 PM: That's it for Day 1. Time to grab a beer a peruse the Form for tomorrow's races.

3:48 PM: Wow, Careless Jewel simply got out of control and took herself out of the race by running like a cheap speed horse in a $10,000 claimer. Life is Sweet just pounced on the pack in the stretch to win easily. GoGo wins his first of the weekend.

Payouts will be large.

3:33 PM: Just took a quick look at the P3 and P4 will pays:

The Pick 3 lowest payout is $55 and $56 to Music Note and Careless Jewel, respectively. Over on the Pick 4, you'll get a minimum of $583.60 if you hit it (to Music Note).

The top will pays? Well, if you have Letal Heat and she wins you'll get about $460 in the P3 and almost $5,400 in the P4.

3:25 PM: Oh, and I love seeing Leparoux on Rainbow View.

3:22 PM: Last one of the day as we roll toward the Ladies' Classic...Distaff...race for older filly and mares...whatever you want to call it.

Speed has done very, very well today on the Santa Anita ProRide surface which could help Careless Jewel, an early speed filly that will start on the rail. I've liked Cocoa Beach (CHI) all week so I'll stay with her although the more I look at Rainbow View, the more I like her.

I wonder if Proviso (GB) will get the pace scenario she's going to need to win in this spot? He last effort was at Keeneland, where an off-the-pace style is generally a must. But today, on this surface, the speed has held up and she's looking at a race that doesn't figure to be hot up front.

Careless Jewel is 2/1 on the current board. Given her form and this track, that looks about right. Both Cocoa Beach and Rainbow View are 7/1, so I'll dutch them in a win bet and throw a top/bottom exacta together with the favorite.

3:07 PM: Or he could just stalk the cheap speed and get a jump on the rest of the field.

Spectacular ride and race by Leparoux and Informed Decision as they slay the odds-on favorite and defending champion, Ventura. The cheap speed didn't set brutal fractions which allowed the winner to get a picture perfect trip in the garden spot. Ventura ran a good race but Informed Decision had plenty in the tank to hold her off.

I'll take that, even if she was only a soft 3/1 when the gates opened. The Pick 3 and 4s should look a little better.

Leparoux is in the zone today which really shouldn't be surprising as he's always been a good turf and synthetic jockey.

2:56 PM: If I'm Leparoux in this race, I go to the front as soon as the gates open and hope that no one comes with me. If he can clear and control, then Informed Decision might have a fighting chance...but he can't expend a lot of energy getting to the lead. It will probably be all for naught as Ventura looks just too fast on paper, but it really seems like his best strategy.

2:44 PM: Just two races left on Breeders' Cup Friday and the first, the Filly and Mare Sprint, is going to have a brutally heavy favorite, Venture (GB). I mentioned this earlier but I really don't like this race at all as it shapes up to be a major chalk fest.

If this race was on dirt I would try to find a way to play Seventh Street...but it's not, so I won't. Sara Louise is an excellent filly but she's never tried the plastic and this is a tough spot to score that first synthetic win. I guess what I'm saying is that I want to find a way to play against Ventura but I just can't seem to find anything that looks like a good play other than Informed Decision and Julien Leparoux. However, she is going to have to run back to her very best form to come out on top today.

Ventura is getting beat down on the board, sitting at a lovely 1/2. If she wins, the Pick 3s and Pick 4s become a lot weaker.

2:30 PM: Nice ride by the jockey of Midday as he stayed close enough to the lead to stalk and pounce when they entered the lane. Forever Together was denied a repeat performance as the pace just wasn't hot enough to give her a big run in the lane. A big finish from Pure Clan nets her the Place spot.

My pick, Dynaforce, had a great stalking trip but the close proximity of Midday was going to spell doom for her under any scenario. She finished well back.

2:12 PM: ESPN just showed a commercial for Discreet Cat that used the phrase "He's the cat's meow". That ad has nothing on the Empire Maker ones from a couple years ago.

Midday and Forever Together are, rightfully, taking all the money at this point. Looks like most of the money is going towards Midday, which makes a lot of sense as I just don't know if Forever Together is going to get the pace to run at that she needs to kick free in the stretch. I am very interested in seeing how Leparoux rides Forever Together..I gotta believe that he will try to keep her pretty close to the lead. Similarly, can Kent Desormeaux give Dynaforce a winning ride up front? (Good lord, I hate betting Desormeaux horses...we'll see if I pay the price.)

2:04 PM: The Filly and Mare Turf is up next and this year's edition looks, to me, very, very paceless. Dynaforce wants to be up front and that looks to be about it. Visit (GB) showed speed in her last prep (over this same course) but I don't know if that is her best running style. Midday (GB) has been close to the lead in all of her races but those all took place in Europe where the pace is usually slower and the courses a lot softer.

Dynaforce is at 10/1 on the current board, which I think could be great value. I don't think she's the best horse or the most likely winner, but I think she represents the best value. Dyanforce it is.

1:53 PM: SHE BE WILD!!!...thank you for a Hank non-jinx! And another big price comes in today as She Be Wild goes off at 7/1.

A fantastic ride by one of my favorite jockeys, Julien Leparoux.

Nice work.

1:48 PM: Oh GOOD GOD!!! Hammerin' Hank kills me again...Hank: find a different horse...please!!!

1:43 PM: We've now got three co-favorites: Blind Luck, Negligee, and Connie And Michael, all sit at 4/1 on the board. She Be Wild looks to be going off at around 8/1.

1:35 PM: Traditionally, the winner of the Juvenile Fillies is the in-form, top of the rankings, filly. We've seen a lot of chalk in this race over the years so I always have to remind myself not to get too carried away with trying to find a price in this spot (even though I hate playing low priced horses on BC day). This year, however, is a little different because we have a very tepid favorite with Negligee now sitting at 7/2. We might finally see a nice big price winner in this race. Maybe.

1:29 PM: You gotta love the Breeders' Cup as the first Pick 4 pays a whopping $3,450 for $1. The Daily Double kicked back a nice $170.00 for $2.

Now we come to what looks to be another wide open race, the Juvenile Fillies. Current luke warm favorite is Negligee, winner of the Alcibiades last time out at Keeneland. I like the runner-up from that race, She Be Wild, who sits at 8/1 on the current odds board. She Be Wild is a Wayne Catalano trainee that spent her first three races at Arlington Park. She possess a nice stalking style that should fit this race perfectly.

1:20 PM: Tapitsfly the daughter of...Tapit, stays close to the pace and powers past Rose Catherine to take the Juvenile Filly Turf. Very nice performance and to echo what was said on ESPN, the turf looks firm and fast. The Euros never threatened at all.

And if you're keeping track, that's another nice priced winner. Payouts look like they are going to be big today.

1:12 PM: I just got the Kiss of Death as Hammerin' Hank likes my pick, Junia Tepzia. Oh well.

1:05 PM: Well, the on-air talent hasn't said word one about my pick in this one....don't know if that's good or bad.

Oh, and one other thing....Memo to ESPN: when the gates open, give us a freaking wide shot of the whole field and quit with the annoying camera angles. It's not rocket science.

12:53 PM: One of my favorites of the new races, the Juvenile Filly Turf, is up next, along with one of my favorite entries of the day, Junia Tepiza (IRE), and Italian-raced filly that has looked very strong in her only two career starts. She also gets controversial, yet very successful, jockey Kieren Fallon to come over from England to ride her for the first time. That's a big time jockey switch.

The best part of Junia Tepiza is, like Man of War, her value. She sits at a nice 6/1 on the current board, mainly due to the other Euro, Lillie Langtry (IRE), taking a lot of the money at 9/5.

The Euros will be tough in this spot...very tough. I'll take Junia Tepiza with a win bet.

12:44 PM: Man of Iron, who went off at a nice 6/1, takes the Marathon by a nose. A big race run by Cloudy's Knight, who comes up just short at 7/1. Exacta payouts will be well as your early Pick 3

The key to Man of Iron, in my opinion, is that he's had good form over synthetics in Europe...very similar to Muhannak last year.

Aiden O'Brien picks up an early win.

12:34 PM: Okay, who had "two minutes into the broadcast" for when I would want to punch Joe Tessatore?

Randy Moss talks about the synthetic issue right off the bat and the absence of Rachel Alexendra. I hope that's the last we have to hear of it but I know I'll be wrong.

Looks like Mastery will go off at about 6/5.

12:25 PM: Heavy hail is now outside my house. Good day to be indoors watching horse racing.

12:22 PM: Over on TVG, Ken Rudolph tries to make a case (although it's a half-hearted one) for Muhannak (IRE), the defending champ. If he does win he'll pay a truck load as he sits at 25/1 on the board.

Mastery has around at 7/5 or 3/2 (depending on when you glance at the board) with Father Time around 3/1. Seems about right since Mastery has beaten Father Time in each of their last two races. Meanwhile, Aiden O'Brien's Man of Iron, a horse that is clearly at a lower class level than the two favorites but has been racing frequently over a synthetic surface, remains at 7/1.

11:54 AM: Two races on the ProRide and two races won by horses on the lead. Speed is playing well early...whether that will stay that way, who knows.

Check out the exoctics for the second...huge prices coming in.

12:05 PM: Thirty minutes before they go to the gate in the Marathon and Mastery (GB) has been pounded to near even money status. Man of Iron, however, sits at a nice 7/1. He might warrant a play above and below Mastery in a little exacta action.

11:26 AM: And the Santa Anita card is off and running with a 1 1/16 mile Allowance event taken on the front end by Deal Breaker (GB) and Rafael Bajarano.

I'll be keeping a running tally of the day's results at the top of the blog.

11:00 AM: I am trying out TwinspiresTV at the website. Gotta say, this is a very nice interface and is something that every track in America should be providing free of charge to any and all handicappers. You want people to bet more money into your track? Make it easy for them to get information. Make it easy for them to become immersed in your races. Make them want to not miss out betting on a race that you've brought to them through the click of a mouse. It's not rocket science.

The Magna/Churchill partnership gets blasted a lot by horseplayers (and I mean A LOT), but they've done an excellent job with this website. Well done, Twin Spires.

10:45 AM: A quick re-cap of the race order and times for today:

12:35 - Marathon
1:08 - Juvenile Fillies Turf
1:45 - Juvenile Fillies
2:23 - Filly and Mare Turf
3:02 - Filly and Mare Sprint
3:45 - Distaff

Am I the only one that doesn't like the F&M Sprint this year? It looks like a serious chalk fest with the brilliant Venture (8/5 ML), followed by Sara Louise (9/2) and Informed Decision (5/2). The exactas and tris will likely be abysmal regardless if you're able to beat the fav. Additionally, unless you get a price in the Distaff it really doesn't make sense to play a Daily Double or Pick 3.

I would have liked to see the F&M Sprint earlier in the card with something like the Juvenile Fillies or the Juvenile Fillies Turf right before the Distaff; that would have really spiced up the multi-race wagers going in to the last race.

10:30 AM: BC Marathon AE's Dad's Crazy and In the Slips do not draw-in. Neither appeared to be legitimate contenders had they made the field.

As of now, there are now other changes to any of the Breeders' Cup events.

9:04 AM: Taking a quick look at the Marathon again - Mastery (GB) sits as the 9/5 ML in this spot, and he looks like he deserves it based on his win in the Group 1 St. Leger. I don’t, however, think you can get through this with a single if you’re playing the P3, P4 or P6. I’d include both Father Time (GB) and Man of Iron as I think any of the Euros can win.

8:49 AM: Awkward TV Moment #1 happened just a few minutes ago to Carruthers and Watchmaker on TVG. As they were discussing the Juvenile Fillies, the National Anthem started playing in the background, starting the day at Santa Anita. After some initial uncertainty as to what to do, Matt and Mike ended up pausing the program to stand and listen. Of course, now they have less time to handicap the Juvenile Fillies race.

8:36 AM: Watching Blinkers Off on TVG right now, right after watching Pursuit of the Cup on HRTV. Seems to be significant differences in opinion on Cocoa Beach (CHI) for the Distaff. The HRTV guys noted that she ran her best race in this spot last year, while over on TVG Mad Matt and Watchmaker think she's over the top.

My take: Music Note is probably the likely winner but at 9/5 she represents little value. Cocoa Beach, even if she's not her best, is better than her 8/1 ML odds.

8:00 AM: So, to start the day, here's a list of off-the-wall questions and/or predictions:

1. How many races will Garrett Gomez win over the next two days? What about Godolphin?
2. How long into ESPN's broadcast until we see Mutton Chops for the first time? I'm guessing before the first turf race on ESPN.

3. How many times will track announcer Trevor Denman say that a horse is A) "Scintillating", or B) "Stylish". How about "he/she could not be going any slower/faster"?

4. How long into the ESPN telecast will it be before I want to physically beat-up Joe Tessatore? I'm guessing twenty-two.

5. How many winners will Hammerin' Hank actually pick over two days? Over/under is 1.5.

6. 8/1 morning line on Cocoa Beach in the Distaff? I'll take that all day long.

7. Which race is going to produce the biggest exotic payouts? My bet is the Turf Sprint, which on paper looks like a 14-horse orgy of sprinting.