2008 Breeders’ Cup Marathon Picks – Preview

2008 Breeders’ Cup Marathon Entries, Odds, Preview and Picks
by Kenneth Strong of Predictem.com

Race 1, Oak Tree at Santa Anita, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008
3-and-Up, 1 1/2 Miles, Pro-Ride, Purse $500,000

2008 Breeders’ Cup Marathon Picks and Preview

The classiest true route horse in the Marathon field is Sixties Icon, and he looks like the horse to beat off three Group 3 wins overseas (two of them at the marathon distance of 1 1/2 miles) but he’s never raced on dirt, er… Pro-Ride. His trainer Jeremy Noseda says he’ll have no problem with the surface switch, but here’s one thing you have to understand about most trainers – 90 percent of them say their horse will handle a new surface – without really knowing. Why? Because they haven’t given their horses Whittingham-style company works to see if they can really lay it down when it counts.

If Sixties Icon handles the surface he probably wins this, but it’s a pure gamble. There are no true front runners in here with regards to setting a decently fast pace, so if someone decides to send early they could steal it.

Zappa won the Cougar II at Del Mar at the distance in wire-to-wire fashion after setting a slow pace and the winning rider that day, Gomez is back aboard for the Marathon, so similar tactics could be employed. Zappa’s last two races have also come in better company. In his last start, the Grade 1 Goodwood at Santa Anita, he apparently didn’t like being pinned down on the inside, yet he was only beaten 4 3/4 lengths.

Booyah has some speed, although he may not be as classy as some in here. Add Heat could add to the pace scenario if he wanted too, but he’s never run this far. Horses that have won at the distance include Church Service, Delightful Kiss, Muhannak, Zappa, Sixties Icon and Cedar Mountain.

On our exotic tickets we’ll be using Sixties Icon on class and stamina, Zappa as a speed threat with Gomez, and Delightful Kiss off his sharp current form and a win at the distance. Be aware however, that if one of the jockeys on any of these horses are smart enough to open up early and set a slow pace they could steal it at a price.

2008 Breeders’ Cup Marathon Entries with Post Position, Morning Line Odds and Jockey

Post, Horse, M/L Odds, Jockey

1 Church Service 10-1 Prado
2 Add Heat 20-1 Solis
3 Delightful Kiss 8-1 Borel
4 Sixties Icon 2-1 Dettori
5 Muhannak 20-1 Smullen
6 Zappa 5-2 Gomez
7 Big Booster 9/2 Bejarano
8 Cedar Mountain 6-1 Castellano
9 Booyah 30-1 Talamo