One of the great things about the Breeders' Cup the inflated prices you can get on high quality horses in every race; simple pari-mutuel realities require some horses to go off at big odds. The key to cashing a big trifecta or superfecta on Breeders' Cup weekend is including big priced horses on your tickets. With that in mind, here's a race-by-race rundown of horses with morning line odds of 10/1 or higher that I'm considering using as a price play in some of my exotic wagers.
Marathon: 9 - Bright Horizon (GB) (10/1)
He "prepped" for the Marathon by running a leisurely two miles in the Irish Cesarewitch Handicap so I'm guessing the 1 ¾ miles isn't going to pose much of an issue. Bright Horizon's run decently enough over standard tracks in Ireland and also won over Good-to-Firm ground when on the turf; I see him handling the dirt just fine and he should have the stamina to be a player in the stretch.
Juvenile Fillies Turf: 4 - Kathmanblu (10/1)
This daughter of Bluegrass Cat got absolutely nothing to run at in terms of pace in the Jessamine at Keeneland but he simply powered by the field after coming six wide off the far turn. She should get a much better pace to run at on Friday; a patient ride by Leparoux should put her right in the mix.
Filly & Mare Sprint: 2 - Sara Louise (15/1)
The 2-hole probably isn't the greatest spot to be in for this Malibu Moon filly but I like that it's the second race off an extended lay-off and that she's been successful at Churchill and seven furlongs would appear to suit her just fine. She doesn't need the lead and I think Frankie should be able to get her into a decent position by the time the field hits the turn.
Juvenile Fillies: 2 - Theyskens' Theory (10/1)
Sired by Preakness winner Bernardini and a half-sister to Juvenile winner Stevie Wonderboy, this European invader will take to the dirt quite nicely in her first try. She's got some tactical speed at her disposal which should only help her adapt to dirt.
Filly & Mare Turf: 8 - Hot Cha Cha (30/1)
This isn't a race where I think a bomb is going to win - there's just too much Grade/Group 1 talent to pick at 30/1 horse on top - but I do believe that Hot Cha Cha could make her way into the tri or the super. This filly always seems to run a credible race and has performed really well over turf courses with a bit of give to them; if Churchill gets some rain on Friday she could really take to the surface.
Ladies' Classic: 6 - Persistently (12/1)
Persistently is one of the few pure closers in the Ladies' Classic and there should be plenty of pace in the early stages to soften up many of the early runners. I don't think she's got the class to win in this spot but I like her to hit the board.
Juvenile Turf: 2 - Deciphering Dreams (20/1)
This colt was right with Air Support (8/1) and Soldat (8/1) in their last at Belmont (G3 Pilgrim Stakes), just missing the place spot by a head. In terms of value, 20/1 seems like a decent price on a colt that looks to have a shot to hit the board.
Sprint: 8 - Cash Refund (20/1) and 11 - Atta Boy Roy (12/1)
I've got two sleepers that I like in the Sprint, the first of which is Cash Refund, who is perfectly capable of uncorking a big race now and then. He's coming off a long lay-off but he's dynamite at the distance and he's shown that he likes the surface at Churchill Downs.
The draw didn't do him a lot of favors, but there's no way I can ignore the Washington-bred Atta Boy Roy in this spot.
Turf Sprint: 3 - Stradivinsky (10/1)
This horse was running in claiming races as recently as late May when he was claimed by Richard Dutrow who immediately put him into a Grade 3 race at Belmont (which he promptly won). Dutrow obviously saw something in this gelding that he liked.
Stradivinsky is 8-5-0-2 at the specialty distance of five furlongs and he owns a win over the Churchill Downs course.
Juvenile: 9 - Rouge Romance (30/1)
His siblings have all run decently on dirt so I don't think the switch from the turf will be too big of an obstacle to overcome. There are lots of quality speed horses in this field but not a lot of horses proven at two-turns. If things fall just right, this Smarty Jones colt could be picking up the pieces in the lane.
Mile: 2 - Society's Chairman (20/1)
In his final prep race, Society's Chairman finished just a length behind Gio Ponti in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. Gio is 4/1 on the ML while this guy is 20/1. He could add some decent value to the tri or the super.
Dirt Mile: 12 - Vineyard Haven (10/1)
This Godolphin colt hasn't seen much action in 2010 (just two races) He got a big of a breather after that last effort at Saratoga and should be ready to fire fresh. His outside draw should keep him out of trouble in the early going and allow Alan Garcia to decide where he wants to place him prior to heading into the far turn. The field for the Dirt Mile is big, and the contenders are pretty evenly matched, but I could see this colt coming up with a big effort.
Turf: 8 - Dangerous Midge (12/1)
Of the European entries in the Turf, Dangerous Midge is probably the least heralded among North American players. It's tough to get noticed when the field contains the Arc winner (Workforce (GB)) and the betting favorite prior to the Arc (Behkabad (FR)). Dangerous Midge, however, runs well on firmer ground and possesses a bit of tactical speed. In a small field without a ton of pace, he could be well positioned for a big run in the lane.
Classic: 7 - Musket Man (20/1)
I wouldn't call Musket Man a "sleeper" by any means, but I think it's clear that of the horses at 15/1 or higher in the Classic, he would seem to have the best shot of hitting the board since he always runs a credible race. I'm curious to see how his odds change when the wagering opens.