Breeders’ Cup weekend is fast approaching, as all eyes will be on Del Mar as the biggest stars in the world of horse racing will be on show.
Horses will be travelling from far and wide to play their part in one of the greatest shows on turf and dirt, but who are some of the contenders that have come under the radar for some of the biggest races of the weekend?
Yibir- Breeders’ Cup Turf
The Breeders’ Cup Turf is very tight at the top of the betting, with three very clear contenders found at short prices. It’s hard to pick too many holes in the form of Mishriff, Tarnawa and Hurricane Lane, but there’s certainly value outside of the top three. The one that we are very high up on is Yibir, who was simply stunning on his American debut for trainer Charlie Appleby.
Appleby has already enjoyed a season to remember, with high profile wins around the world, but few caught the attention as much as Yibir in the Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park in September. His late speed in tough conditions highlights that this three-year-old is one to watch.
Hot Rod Charlie- Breeders’ Cup Classic
All the attention in the Classic is likely to be on the winners of Triple Crown races, with Essential Quality and Medina Spirit taking on Pegasus World Cup winner Knicks Go. However, it would be unwise to rule out a three-year-old that has been so consistent on the dirt throughout the season in Hot Rod Charlie.
The Doug O’Neill-trained horse finally got the Grade 1 that he deserved when coming out on top in the Pennsylvania Derby, which came just a couple of months after the Haskell Stakes, which should have been his first.
The ending stages of the Haskell were controversial, but throughout the season he has shown that he is a classy graded horses, with a second in the Belmont Stakes, third in the Kentucky Derby and a win in the G2 Louisiana Derby. Hot Rod Charlie would be one to stick with at Del Mar.
Clairiere- Breeders’ Cup Distaff
The Distaff betting is currently dominated by Letruska, mainly because she is the only female horse that is certain for the race at Del Mar. However, this could be the perfect time to cash-in on some of the talented fillies and mares behind her in the betting. Clairiere is one that we believe has an excellent chance of going to the Distaff, and has certainly grown into the season after victory in the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes in February.
Her recent win in the Cotillion was her first victory in Grade 1 company, but she has shown throughout the season that the victory was coming after finishing second in the Alabama and third in the Coaching Club American Oaks.
Angel Bleu- Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
The juvenile races on the Friday of the Breeders’ Cup are going to be wide-open affairs, which means there could be value in a number of selections. In the Juvenile Turf, we like the chances of Angel Bleu, who has been showing some impressive form for trainer Ralph Beckett over the past three months.
Victory at Goodwood by three-quarters of a length over Berkshire Shadow in the G2 Vintage Stakes was a very eye-catching display, before he went one better at the Longchamp meet in October, overcoming a talented field of two-year-olds to win the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
On that showing, this colt could be a superstar, and it will be fascinating to see whether he can back it up at Del Mar with Frankie Dettori taking the ride.
Check here a more complete list of contenders for the Breeders Cup at TwinSpires website: twinspires.com/breeders-cup/contenders