How to Play It at Churchill Today

Breeders Cup Friday Selections

Juvenile Sprint – 2011 marks the first running of the Juvenile Sprint, and Bob Baffert will send out heavily favored Secret Circle.  He is 2-2 lifetime, and in both wins he completely dominated his competition.  The play:  Secret Circle to win.

Juvenile Fillies Turf – There are several interesting angles in this race.  Somali Lemonade has two starts, and has gone from last to first in each of them.  But she is hung way out in the 14th post position, and with the sharp corners of the turf course, she will assuredly lose quite a bit of ground.  European invader Elusive Kate has won 4 in a row, but she will have to turn left in a race for the first time.  Stopshoppingmaria has a lot of natural speed and loads of talent but makes her first start on the turf.  Stephanie’s Kitten comes off a Grade 1 score at this distance and has never run a bad race.  In her last race which was her first start around two turns and her first start on the turf, Pure Gossip won a Grade 3 stakes race by over six lengths.  The play:  Exacta with Somali Lemonade and Elusive Kate first, with the rest of the horses above second.

Filly and Mare Sprint – Turbulent Descent has 8 starts, and has won 6 of them while finishing second in the other two.  In her last start she won the Grade 1 Test Stakes at this distance quite easily.   Switch ran second in this race last year and returns to the dirt, her best surface.  Pomeroys Pistol has tactical speed and always runs her race.  Great Hot comes off an impressive score at Keeneland and is working  very well in the mornings.  The play:  Exacta using Turbulent Descent first with Switch, Pomeroys Pistol, and Great Hot second.

Juvenile Fillies – The most important stakes race leading to the Juvenile Fillies was probably the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park.  You can watch that race here.  In the race you will see a very impressive win by My Miss Aurelia, but pay close attention to Miss Netta at the start.  She misses the start and falls to last, then tosses her head around as she is uncomfortable having dirt hit her in the face for the first time.  After falling 17 lengths behind in last place, she rallies well to be third.  The play:  Exacta box My Miss Aurelia and Miss Netta.

Filly and Mare Turf – Several of the best fillies and mares from Europe invade for this race, including Nahrain, Announce, and Misty for Me.  The three best looking horses based in America all started their careers in Europe: Stacelita, Aruna, and Dubawi Heights.  Shared Account won this race last year at 46-1.  The play: Pass the race.

Ladies Classic – The two best older fillies to run this year will miss this race.  Havre de Grace will run in the Breeders Cup Classic on Saturday, and Blind Luck is slated to go through the auction ring.  That leaves the best of the three year old fillies as the logical contenders in this race.  Royal Delta, Plum Pretty, and It’s Tricky have taken turns beating each other this year.  Of the three, Royal Delta seems to have improved the most as the season has worn on.  The play:  Royal Delta to win.

Best of luck to all on Friday, more selections to come for Saturday.

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