Breeders' Cup Mile Picks: Appleby looks tough, but what about the Japanese?

Trainer Charlie Applby's Space Blues is formidable, but do not count out one of the Japanese runners. See why below ...
Trainer Charlie Applby's Space Blues is formidable, but do not count out one of the Japanese runners. See why below ...
Tvg Breeders Cup 992x300

Charlie Appleby has the favorite for the Mile in Space Blues but this is another wide-open race where betting value is likely to be found.

Can either J.N. or myself find it? Well, we'll give it a good go...

Breeders' Cup Mile 2021 Racecard

3
PP 3

Space Blues

  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: William Buick /
  • Trainer: Charlie Appleby /
Morning Line Odds
6
PP 6

Mo Forza

  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat /
  • Trainer: Peter Miler /
Morning Line Odds
10
PP 10

Blowout

  • Weight: 123 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario /
  • Trainer: Chad Brown /
Morning Line Odds
7
PP 7

In Love

  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Alex Achard /
  • Trainer: Paulo Lobo /
Morning Line Odds
9
PP 9

Mother Earth

  • Weight: 120 /
  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Ryan Moore /
  • Trainer: Aidan O'Brien /
Morning Line Odds
11
PP 11

Got Stormy

  • Weight: 123 /
  • Age: 6 /
  • Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione /
  • Trainer: Mark Casse /
2
PP 2

Smooth Like Strait

  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 4 /
  • Jockey: Umberto Rispoli /
  • Trainer: Michael McCarthy /
1
PP 1

Master of The Seas

  • Weight: 123 /
  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: James Doyle /
  • Trainer: Charlie Appleby /
12
PP 12

Pearls Galore

  • Weight: 123 /
  • Age: 4 /
  • Jockey: B Lee /
  • Trainer: Paddy Twomey /
14
PP 14

Ivar

  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Joseph Talamo /
  • Trainer: Paulo Lobo /
Show All Runners

Neil's Take...

With seven wins from seven starts in the state of California, the Uncle Mo colt Mo Forza (#5) has shown that he’s very comfortable with racing on the turf under the west coast sunshine. One trip to the east coast saw a very lackluster ninth place in the Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream but I’m willing to give one mulligan in those types of situations. I don’t think the competition on the west coast has been outstanding but being confident on a track is nothing to be sniffed at. He is a Grade I winner and has won six Grade II races. He’ll be my top pick.

The reason I’m opposing Morning Line favorite Space Blues (#3) is quite simply his record away from the UK is bang average at best. Five wins from nine starts does not compare well for how this five-year-old has done at home where he’s only lost once since 2019 - and that was after a return from Meydan and we’ve seen many a time that horses struggle after a return home after a long trip to the Middle East. In addition, she’s only one for three when traveling further than France. Her last outing was mightily impressive but I’m by-passing her as a top choice but undoubtedly a play for multi-race tickets.

Pearls Galore (#12) was second behind Space Blues in the Group I Prix de la Foret last time out and will likely be available at five-times the price come Post Time on Saturday. If you are looking for a big-price to hit the board then you could do an awful lot worse.

I have interest in using Blowout (#10) underneath as this Chad Brown trained mare has failed to hit the board only once in her career. That did come this year but either side of that race she took out the win. 8-1 is a price well worth considering.

Main: 3, 5

Backup: 10, 12

Order of Preference: 5-3-12-10

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J.N's Take...

In this edition of the Mile (G1) you have a few directions you can move in. The California contingent is strong with Smooth Like Strait #2, Mo Forza #6, and Hit the Road #8, all alums from the City of Hope Mile (G2). Out of these, Peter Miller’s #6 looks like the “horse for the course,” after 14 starts … 8 of them being wins. If Flavien Prat can get his mount into the proper spot (3-4 path), then it will be interesting to see if that Del Mar leg kick is in full swing.

I was bullish on Miller’s charger last week, but I am less so as a “Single” … Maybe my invader sensibilities have woken up? Whatever the reason, I am now thinking that a major long shot could emerge from outside of North America. That selection falls to a Japanese bred named Vin de Garde #5. This 5-yr-old has talent, even though he is lightly-raced in 2021. That could be an advantage … I am willing to admit that he is going to have to run a stellar race, especially against the likes of Charlie Appleby’s ace, Space Blues #3. That son of Dubawi is a hammer, but can he go a bit further? He is a specialist at 7F, not a Mile. Most will argue that shouldn’t be an issue … I am not so sure. It is high-time a runner won a BC race from across the Pacific. Now is the time …

Let’s use this pair, but also think about tossing in Appleby’s other entry, Master of The Seas #1, and Aidan O’Brien’s Mother Earth #9. Those 2 could be very tough, and will be underestimated by the American betting public. They shouldn’t … Both have the back class to belong in this situation, and they come from essentially the top barns in the UK and Ireland. Plus, they get James Doyle and Ryan Moore, which is a major tick to the positive Why not include them? In a spot like this one, I am inclined to give the nod to the #5. What a score this would be for a country that loves its Thoroughbred racing, and has such passion for the sport! Stay tuned …

Top Selection: 5

Backups: 1/6/9

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Breeders Cup 2021
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