2010 Breeders Cup Ladies Classic Odds, Picks, Analysis Handicapping Churchill Downs
by Kenneth Strong, Breeder’s Cup Handicapper, Predictem.com
Race 10, Churchill Downs, Friday, November 5, 2010
Age: 3-and-up, Fillies & Mares, Distance: 1 1/8-miles, Purse: $2,000,000 Surface: Dirt
The 2010 Breeders Cup Classic goes favorite through Blind Luck. The problem is she rallies from far back and her finishes are too close for comfort. Shes as willing as game as they come though and if she runs her normal race she will come flying late to be in the photo.
Blind Luck didnt get much of her last name at the draw, ending up in post position 10 of 11. But while wide posts have not done well in this race historically, Blind Luck will be dropping back early regardless so it shouldnt matter. The same cannot be said for Havre de Grace, the a tactical speed horse who held on to defeat Blind Luck by neck in the Cotillion at Philadelphia Park in their prep for the Ladies Classic. Havre de Grace will have to be usedmore than she might like to gain her preferred pressing position from Post 11 while also carrying 10 more pounds than she did when she defeated Blind Luck in the Cotillion. Both factors could cost her late. Havre de Graces has never run at Churchill Downs, but she still has to be respected based on her record of 3-3-1 from seven starts at three different race tracks.
The second choice on the morning-line, Life at Ten looked good winning the 1 1/8-mile Beldame at Belmont in her last by two lengths, leaving fellow Ladies Classic rivals Unrivaled Belle and Persistently in her wake. She has speed and breaks from Post 1, which could prove an advantage, especially if the track is favoring the inside path. While Persistently defeated Life at Ten in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga two starts ago, that was only after the latter had forced a good pace for a mile outside Rachel Alexandra. Life at Ten is 3-for-3 at the distance, but has never run at Churchill Downs.
Acoma comes into this race off a -length victory over Ladies Classic rival Milwaukee Appeal in the Spinster going 1 1/8-miles at Keeneland, but she certainly wasnt running away from that rival late. More interesting is the fact that Milwaukee Appeal finished third in her start previous to the Spinster, beaten two lengths for second money by Ladies Classic speed horse Malibu Prayer in the 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher at Monmouth on August 29.
Malibu Prayer looked a little tired at the end of the Molly Pitcher and hasnt run since, but she has come up with big wins twice off similar layoffs. Shes also 1-for-1 at Churchill Downs and has a Grade 1 win at the Ladies Classic distance in the Ruffian Handicap at Saratoga on August 1. Malibu Prayer has some appealing angles.
Unrivaled Belle finished was an even second beaten 1 -lengths in Malibu Prayers Ruffian as the heavy favorite, and finished the same way to be two lengths behind Life at Ten in her last start, the Beldame, also as the favorite. Proven at the Ladies Classic distance of 1 1/8-miles with a record of 1-3-0 in five starts, Unrivalled Belle is also a perfect 1-for-1 at Churchill Downs, but she seems to lack either the desire or the ability to dig in late when it counts. One major plus for Unrivalled Belle however, is her trainer Bill Mott. The all-time leading trainer at Churchill Downs, Mott is widely regarded as one of the best conditioners in the game. More importantly, he has five Breeders Cup wins including two wins and a second in the Ladies Classic, which makes her at least a trainer-angle play.
This race sets up with Malibu Prayer trying to open up early on blinkers-on Acting Happy with Havre De Grace pressing from the outside. Beware if one of these three gets loose and slows down the pace. Logically, they should set a pressured pace just in front of Life at Ten, Milwaukee Appeal and Unrivalled Belle. The ralliers include Its Tea Time, Persistently, Seeking the Title, Acoma and Blind Luck.
The best of the speed horses in our opinion is Malibu Prayer. Life at Ten looks best among the pressers and Blind Luck should outfinish the ralliers, although Acoma could finish well for a piece. Were going to key Blind Luck first and second in the superfecta with numerous horses, knowing full well that if there is an inside speed bias she could get beat.
2010 Breeders Cup Ladies Classic Entries, Odds, Post Positions and Jockeys
Post, Horse, Odds, Jockey
1.Life At Ten (7/2) Velazquez
2.It’s Tea Time (15-1) Leparoux
3.Malibu Prayer (8-1) Gome
4. Milwaukee Appeal (30-1) Bejarano
5.Acting Happy (20-1) Lezcano
6.Persistently (12-1) Garcia
7.Seeking the Title (30-1) Borel
8.Unrivaled Belle (8-1) Desormeaux
9.Acoma (20-1) Albarado
10. Blind Luck (9/5) Rosario
11. Havre de Grace (4-1) Rose