2006 Breeders Cup Results and Recap
by Kenneth Strong of Predictem.com
Churchill Downs rail bias produces longshot winners on racing’s biggest day
The 2006 Breeders’ Cup results were predictable to a point - if you caught on to the rail bias early enough on Saturday, November 4 at Churchill Downs. But then you had to be smart enough to adjust your Pick 6 Ticket with no time left on the clock. Apparently not too many handicappers were quick enough. The Breeders’ Cup Ultra Pick 6 paid $1,450,707.20 for a $2 ticket.
We thought maybe something was up when Maryfield wired the field from the inside under Patrick Valenzuela in the first race on the card, the Very Subtle Stakes. Maybe it was just P. Val, who we consider the best rider in the country, especially on a speed horse. But more evidence of a rail bias came to light in the second race when favorite Magna Graduate tracked 5-wide and faded while 20-1 shot Irene’s Mon and 57-1 shot Southern Africa used rail trips to finish second and fifth respectively.
The pro trip handicappers saw enough in the first two races to make inside speed Dreaming of Anna the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the first Breeders’ Cup race on the card. Dreaming of Anna came through for both the bias players and the trainer pattern players. Jumping to the lead early and taking the inside shortly afterwards, Dreaming of Anna had enough left in the drive to easily turn back Octave (who was also on the inside for much of the race) and win by 1 1/2 lengths at $2.60-1. But Dreaming of Anna had some talent and was also a great turf-to-dirt angle play with trainer Wayne Catalano operating at a 40 percent win clip in that category.
The rail bias was still mildly in question - until the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
When Street Sense took advantage of a ground saving trip to draw away in the stretch at 15-1 in the Juvenile and win by 10 lengths over favorite Circular Quay, the bias players knew for sure something was up. No matter how good you thought the improving Street Sense was, he was NOT that good on Breeders’ Cup Day. Circular Quay, who had trouble at the start and came 5-wide into the stretch to finish second, was not 10 lengths inferior to the winner. And if the fact that Street Sense drew away along the rail in the stretch wasn’t good enough to cement the rail bias in your ahead, watch the trip that Scat Daddy got at $3.70-1. Stalking a pace battle while 4-5 wide to the stretch, he looked ready to surge by the tiring speed in early stretch. Instead, he bogged down to finish fourth.
The first leg of the Pick 6, the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, made everybody happy when the most logical horse on the entire card won. Despite a mildly tight trip inside, Ouija Board got clear in the stretch and quickly showed her class, accelerating to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Film Maker. As we predicted in our selections and analysis, Wait A While was overmatched and finished fourth. Ouija Board paid only $4.80 to win, but everybody was alive on their Pick-6 tickets - for at least one race!
Next came the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. We loved second choice Bordonaro with P. Val aboard to get the lead and the inside. Bordonaro got the lead and the inside as expected and put away fellow speed Attila’s Storm and Pomeroy, but he had nothing left in the stretch for 15-1 shot Thor’s Echo. The latter stalked the pace battle from the rail before surging to the lead outside in early stretch and drawing off to win by four lengths over 58-1 Friendly Island (58-1) who came from - you guessed it - the rail.
Anyone worth two bucks as a handicapper now knew for sure there was an unequivocal rail bias. Great. At least we knew something for sure after the Sprint. Now we just had to wait for the next dirt race.
The results of next race, the Breeder’s Cup Mile on the turf, were not a total surprise despite the winner’s odds of 24-1. In what was thought to be a relatively weak field, none of the Europeans, including favorite Araafa, ran anything close to a winning race. Winner Miesque’s Approval simply ran the same race he’d run in his two starts previous to his final prep (in which he was too close to the pace.) In hindsight, the winner was an overlay at 24-1. He should have been at most 8-1. Third choice Aragorn rallied to finish second, 2 3/4 lengths behind the winner.
Add Mile fifth place-finisher Rob Roy to your Horses To Watch list. This European shipper rallied from last at the top of the stretch to finish in a close photo for second. He should improve if he runs back in a suitable spot in his next race.
Now it was back to the dirt for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff - and chance for a biased-aided score - or so we thought.
In the Breeders’ Cup Distaff we used the two most logical horses on our tickets, Fleet Indian and Pine Island, the first and second favorites respectively. Pine Island broke down on the backstretch and was humanely destroyed. Fleet Indian pulled up lame. A double tragedy for sure and what are the odds of the two heavy favorites in one Breeders’ Cup race breaking down?
In the absence of the favorites, longshot Round Pond took advantage of a rail trip to win the Distaff by 4 1/4 lengths over Asi Siempra, who was later disqualified and placed fourth for interference in the stretch. Happy Ticket and Balletto were moved into the second and third positions respectively. Round Pond paid $29.80 to win. Taking nothing away from the winner, who was set for a big race in her third start off the layoff, we still can’t help thinking she would not have won without the favorite’s breaking down and the rail bias.
In the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Hurricane Run was sent off as the favorite despite being totally off form. In top racing shape he would have annihilated the Turf field, but there were chinks in his armor. Knowing that, we went with Red Rocks, a European who had three starts earlier been beaten only two lengths by Arc de Triomphe winner Rail Link. Red Rocks was also getting first time Lasix and a rider switch back to Dettori. Red Rocks came through for us at the amazing price of 11-1, rallying to win by a 1/2 length over 18-1 shot Better Talk Now. Hurricane Run finished an even sixth. On to the Classic!
We loved Invasor to beat heavy chalk Bernardini in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, thinking that the latter had been beating up on inferior opposition. Of course, before the race, Bernardini still appeared to have a shot at becoming another Spectacular Bid. But the great ones are rare and Bernardini couldn’t quite make it. We thought he would press the pace in the Classic, but that this time the speed wouldn’t wilt so easily. We also wondered whether the rail bias would affect the outcome.
The Classic ran exactly as we expected despite the presumed rail bias. Favorite Bernardini stalked the pacesetters from the outside, and when he went to go by them it took a little more effort this time. Bernardini did eventually wrestle the lead away from the pacesetters into the stretch but Invasor was already rolling. The courageous 8-for-9 future champ showed his true class with a workmanlike drive to take over in mid stretch and draw away late from Bernardini to win by a length. The most surprising part of the Breeders’ Cup Classic race was the fact that Invasor paid $15.40 to win when he should have been 3-1 at best.
Actually, both Bernardini and Invasor ran huge races after being 4-5 wide throughout. They outclassed their opposition even more than it appeared, with the rail bias taken into account. Both ran like champions which was only fitting on the biggest racing day of the year. Millions of fans got a true show of class and courage in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and that’s what thoroughbred horse racing is supposed to be about.
We hit three of eight winners in our Predictem Selections - Ouija Board ($4.80), Red Rocks ($23.60) and Invasor ($15.40). We also picked the Exacta ($33.20), Trifecta ($121.20) and Superfecta ($262) straight in the Filly and Mare Turf, the Exacta in the Classic ($39.60), and the late Daily Double ($191.80). At the windows we also collected the late Pick 3 ($2,721.4) by playing all in the Distaff with Red Rocks and Invasor. But our profit was all but evaporated by a losing Pick 6 ticket.
Still, it was a great day! And there were all kinds of horses that were compromised by their trips on Breeders’ Cup Day 2006. Study the charts closely and you’ll have a mitt full of horses to watch - good, class, horses the kind that come back to win.
Until next year, good luck!
Breeders Cup Payoffs - November 4, 2006 - Churchill Downs
Race 3 - Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
1 Dreaming of Anna 7.20 4.60 3.40
4 Octave 5.80 4.40
7 Cotton Blossom 9.00
12 Appealing Zophie
$2 Pick 3 5-7-1 (3 correct) paid 215.20
$2 Exacta 1-4 paid 50.80
$2 Trifecta 1-4-7 paid 597.60
$2 Superfecta 1-4-7-12 paid 9,380.20
Race 4 - Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
1 Street Sense 32.40 12.60 8.00
9 Circular Quay 5.00 3.20
7 Great Hunter 4.40
3 Scat Daddy
$2 Pick 3 7-1-1 (3 correct) paid 631.20
$2 Daily Double 1-1 paid 137.80
$2 Exacta 1-9 paid 181.20
$2 Trifecta 1-9-7 paid 996.00
$2 Superfecta 1-9-7-3 paid 3,915.80
Race 5 - Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf
2 Ouija Board (GB) 4.80 3.40 2.60
4 Film Maker 5.80 4.40
5 Honey Ryder 4.40
7 Wait a While
$2 Pick 3 1-1-2 (3 correct) paid 384.00
$2 Exacta 2-4 paid 33.20
$2 Trifecta 2-4-5 paid 121.20
$2 Superfecta 2-4-5-7 paid 262.00
Race 6 - Breeders’ Cup Sprint
1 Thor’s Echo 33.20 15.80 10.20
2 Friendly Island 50.00 32.80
7 Nightmare Affair 15.20
$2 Pick 3 1-2-1 (3 correct) paid 1,269.80
$2 Pick 4 1-1-2-1 (4 correct) paid 6,845.40
$2 Exacta 1-2 paid 955.40
$2 Trifecta 1-2-7 paid 10,611.80
$2 Superfecta 1-2-7-6 paid 113,911.80
Race 7 - Breeders’ Cup Mile
10 Miesque’s Approval 50.60 17.20 10.40
7 Aragorn (IRE) 5.80 4.40
8 Badge of Silver 9.80
4 Sleeping Indian (GB)
$2 Pick 3 2-1-10 (3 correct) paid 2,594.80
$2 Exacta 10-7 paid 246.00
$2 Trifecta 10-7-8 paid 4,781.60
$2 Superfecta 10-7-8-4 paid 98,585.40
Race 8 - Breeders’ Cup Distaff
1 Round Pond 29.80 14.00 9.00
13 Happy Ticket 14.20 9.20
14 Balletto (UAE) 5.60
12 Asi Siempre
$2 Pick 3 1-10-1 (3 correct) paid 9,933.80
$2 Exacta 1-13 paid 446.00
$2 Trifecta 1-13-14 paid 4,355.40
$2 Superfecta 1-13-14-12 paid 38,595.20
Race 9 - Breeders’ Cup Turf
9 Red Rocks (IRE) 23.60 11.20 6.20
8 Better Talk Now 17.40 10.00
10 English Channel 4.20
5 Rush Bay
$2 Pick 3 10-1-9 (3 correct) paid 9,371.60
$2 Exacta 9-8 paid 450.80
$2 Superfecta 9-8-10-5 paid 32,038.00
$2 Trifecta 9-8-10 paid 2,501.80
Race 10 - Breeders’ Cup Classic
11 Invasor (ARG) 15.40 5.80 4.60
3 Bernardini 3.40 3.00
2 Premium Tap 8.80
$2 Pick 3 1-9-11 (3 correct) paid 2,721.40
$2 Pick 4 10-1-9-11 (4 correct) paid 96,907.20
$2 Pick 6 2-1-10-1-9-11 (5 correct) paid 11,318.80
$2 Pick 6 2-1-10-1-9-11 (6 correct) paid 1,450,707.20
$2 Daily Double 9-11 paid 191.80
$2 Exacta 11-3 paid 39.60
$2 Trifecta 11-3-2 paid 695.20
$2 Superfecta 11-3-2-9 paid 8,786.20
That’s it for Breders Cup 2006!