Race 1 -- Breeders' Cup Sprint The Sprint in usually one of the most hotly contested Breeders' Cup races. It's the first of the series, there is a bulky 14-horse field going just six furlongs and the jockeys' adrenalin is flowing. Something unique always seems to happen, from Dayjur jumping a shadow and handing the race to Safely Kept (1990) to On The Line getting jumped on and breaking down (1989).
Meafara, the lone filly running against the males, should get the first call, pushed along by Salt Lake and King Corrie. But the track at Gulfstream Park doesn't appear conducive to front-runners.
Rubiano, the favorite, is the best of the closers, but can he get up at 6 furlongs? Furiously just might follow in the footsteps of Dancing Spree, another Shug McGaughey-trained runner that won in 1989, and provide the needed late punch.
Superstrike, the winner of the De Francis Dash, is the sleeper.
Pick: Furiously. Upset threat: Superstrike.
Race 2 -- Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Eliza turned in a high-speed rating when she won the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland in her last start, seems to be going from strength to strength.
Turkoman, the sire of long-shot Turkstand, won one of his biggest races, the Widener Handicap, at Gulfstream Park and, who knows, maybe his daughter will also like this strip. She definitely suits the route.
Booly, the Selima winner, is apparently training like gangbusters for Vinnie Blengs.
Pick: Eliza. Upset threat: Booly.
Race 3 -- Breeders' Cup Distaff Ron McAnally had his owners supplement Bayakoa to this race twice, and won it twice.
Now he tries the same sort of move with Paseana. Owner Sidney Craig put up $200,000 just to get her in the race because she wasn't nominated as a foal.
European invader Marling, however, has a terrific record if you throw out her last try against the top European males. She apparently didn't ship well and doesn't like the heat. But good horses overcome such obstacles.
Saratoga Dew is a fast 3-year old that was a bargain buy at $10,000 at the Timonium sales.
Pick: Marling. Upset threat: Saratoga Dew.
Race 4 -- Breeders' Cup Mile Will Arazi vindicate himself and once again get back in the winner's circle?
He could provide a dramatic subplot to the Breeders' Cup card.
But he worked only average on Thursday (a half mile in 49 1/5 seconds) and didn't beat much in his last start in the Prix de Rond-Point.
Meanwhile, Luthier Enchanteur just missed to a top horse like Twilight Agenda in his last start and might be able to rally in time to nail little Arazi who could be caught up a speed duel with Forty Niner Days.
Cardoun is a long-shot possibility. He is a better miler than sprinter and was outrun from the one-hole in the Laurel Dash.
He's back at his best distance and is capable.
Pick: Luthier Enchanteur. Upset threat: Cardoun.
Race 5 -- Breeders' Cup Juvenile Is Gilded Time, nicknamed "Gator," next year's Kentucky Derby favorite?
We'll see after this race. He certainly looks the part. He is big and handsome with a beautiful shoulder and impressive way of going.
He is the only unbeaten horse on the whole card.
Sea Hero won the Champagne, but it was on an off track and decent colts like Strolling Along did run their best race that day.
Pick: Gilded Time. Upset threat: Strolling Along.
Race 6 -- Breeders' Cup Turf Dr Devious won the English Derby. Subotica won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Sky Classic has just about won everything on the grass in North America and is a huge choice here.
Those are the three favorites. But the Europeans prefer softer going, like Laurel in the fall, rather than the firm course at Gulfstream which is baked by the sun.
The surface here is similar to the grass strips in California where a horse named Navarone has been unbeaten since he switched to turf racing.
Solar Splendor also likes it firm and gets Lasix for the first time.
Pick: Navarone. Upset threat: Solar Splendor.
Race 7 -- Breeders' Cup Classic A.P. Indy, in the words of Steve Haskin of the Daily Racing Form, comes off one of the most impressive losses in recent memory.
He seemed to lose all chance when he stumbled at the gate in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but rebounded and finished third.
He is a gutsy horse and could win this on sheer determination.
Roidrigo De Triano is a question mark because he has raced only on grass.
Pleasant Tap is a big, long-striding horse who might suit the sweeping turns a lot better than the sharper corners at Gulfstream.
Jolypha is a 3-year-old filly running against males, but no trainer is hotter internationally than Andre Fabre
Pick: A.P. Indy. Upset threat: Jolypha.