Breeders' Cup Turf Picks: Weld's Tarnawa Defends ...

Trainer Dermot Weld's Tarnawa is back to defend her BC Turf (G1) title ... is she the one? Find out below ...
Trainer Dermot Weld's Tarnawa is back to defend her BC Turf (G1) title ... is she the one? Find out below ...

The $4,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf is another wide-open race full of both domestic and Euro invaders. A real tough one to handicap but if the 9-5 favorite Tarnawa doesn't get it done - a whole slew of contenders suddenly emerge...

Breeders' Cup Turf 2021 Racecard

PP 13


  • Weight: 123 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Colin Keane /
  • Trainer: Dermot Weld /
Morning Line Odds
PP 3

Domestic Spending

  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 4 /
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat /
  • Trainer: Chad Brown /
Morning Line Odds
PP 12


  • Weight: 119 /
  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: David Egan /
  • Trainer: Roger Varian /
Morning Line Odds
PP 11


  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 4 /
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario /
  • Trainer: Christophe Clement /
Morning Line Odds
PP 7

Walton Street

  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 7 /
  • Jockey: James Doyle /
  • Trainer: Charlie Appleby /
Morning Line Odds
PP 10


  • Weight: 122 /
  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: William Buick /
  • Trainer: Charlie Appleby /
PP 9


  • Weight: 122 /
  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Cristian Demuro /
  • Trainer: Henk Grewe /
PP 1


  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano /
  • Trainer: Chad Brown /
PP 14


  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Ryan Moore /
  • Trainer: Aidan O'Brien /
PP 2


  • Weight: 126 /
  • Age: 6 /
  • Jockey: John Velazquez /
  • Trainer: Richard Mandella /
Show All Runners

Neil's Take...

The defection of top contender Domestic Spending on Thursday meant that Tarnawa (#13) is now very the horse to beat in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. 12 months removed from victory in the 2020 edition of the event at Keeneland, this Dermot Weld trained five-year-old may not have hit the heights of her four-year-old campaign but still looks a class above the rest of the field.

Her five-race win streak was halted in September when she failed to emerge victorious in the Irish Champion Stakes and this multiple Group I winner also finished second in the Prix De l’Arce de Triomphe last month.

If you are looking for value then the first port of call should be to back the Godolphin horse Yibir (#10). It would be fair to say this isn’t the cream of the crop in that yard but he’s a very talented three-year-old who has already won on US soil when taking out the Jockey Club Derby at Belmont. At 12-1, you could do an awful lot worse when it comes to betting on this race.

My other value play would be Chad Brown’s Tribhuvan (#5) who was not up to par last time out but before that, it was two wins and a second place in three big Graded Stakes races. 20-1 is a huge price for this horse.

Main: 13

Backup: 5, 10

Order of Preference: 13-10-5-12

J.N's Take...

One of the many highlights on the BC docket, the Turf is a challenge to handicap even when there is an overwhelming favorite. This is the ultimate test in North America of stamina and speed. Jockeys must reserve enough energy for the final push down the lane. If they can do that … the grass prize is theirs. Even with a few scratches in this race already, we should have a full field.

Over the course of Dermot Weld’s career, he has had hundreds of strong distance runners. Trained as a veterinarian, but also a jockey, Weld spent time in both New York and Kentucky. The only European-based trainer to win a Triple Crown race, he is still working as hard as ever. He has a really impressive runner in Tarnawa #13, who is looking to defend her title in the BC Turf (G1). That is a very tough prospect to realize, and I will use her, just not as a “Single.” Don’t get me wrong, I think she can win against this group, especially since Domestic Spending #3 is a scratch.

My top selection is actually Chad Brown’s Rockemperor #1, who I picked in the Turf Classic (G1) last month at Belmont. This 5-yr-old by Holy Roman Emperor was sound has could be in that race. The horse showed much promise in notching that G1 victory. With Javier Castellano riding once again, he should be able to navigate traffic, and possibly weave his way to victory. The Madaket/Dubb Team is savvy when it comes to selecting their investments, and I like the price of this one at 15/1. What a bet, and a nice score this one would be!

Top Selection: 1

Backup: 13

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Breeders Cup 2021
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