Breeders' Cup 2023 Friday Analysis

Breeders' Cup Future Stars Friday Preview

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) 5f

1. Crimson Advocate  George Weaver  John Velazquez  4-1
2. No Nay Mets  George Weaver  Irad Ortiz Jr.  4-1
3. Tiger Belle  Ado McGuinness  Cristian Demuro  15-1
4. Big Evs  Michael Appleby  Tom Marquand  3-1
5. Givemethebeatboys  Jessica Harrington  Shane Foley  15-1
6. Starlust  Ralph Beckett  Frankie Dettori  20-1
7. Shards  Kelsey Danner  Adam Beschizza  15-1
8. Cherry Blossom  Aidan’O’Brien  Ryan Moore  12-1
9. Amidst Waves  George Weaver  Flavien Prat  8-1
10. Valiant Force  Adrian Murray  William Buick  12-1
11. Slider  John Sadler  Hector Berrios  8-1
12. Committee of One  Steve Asmussen  Cristian Torres  8-1


This year, Euro raiders arguably have the best chance of bagging the prize in any year and making it back-to-back wins in the race since its inception. The charge is led by Big Evs (IRE) - a ‘small town hero’ horse not coming through the traditionally massive systems that churn out top class winners for the game’s biggest owners – who will provide Mick Appleby not only his first Breeders’ Cup run, but his first North American starter. Often characterised as a rocket, his tremendous gate speed for a UK horse should measure up to that of the quickest in the race and the #4 spot will give him a perfect platform for attack, having now trained with the distinctive bell associated with starts in the US.

He will, however, have to contend with America’s own rocket in Crimson Advocate (USA) who sits 3lb superior on his best speed figure (113) – though Big Evs is more consistent in producing his best of 110 than the George Weaver trainee. Drawn in #1, Crimson Advocate (USA) will have to zip out and grab the rail to have more control over the race than the English raider; something which will no doubt be discussed in the Weaver camp with his other contender No Nay Mets and Irad Ortiz Jr. On the other hand, Big Evs is partnered by Tom Marquand; he is in the best of hands.

Aidan O’Brien’s #8 Cherry Blossom (IRE) loves jumping out fast, which will give her a great deal of options in terms of run style. She also appears to be crying out for a slightly shorter trip after fading in the closing stages of the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) to finish fourth, but in doing so she also produced her best performance figures to date with a speed rating of 105 and a performance rating of 101. She offers more of a stamina option than most of her competitors and will have the edge if a serious pace is on. Lining up two down from her in #10 is Valiant Force, who ranks third on speed figures with 108 to his name and he will love the ground. The two to use in exactas and trifectas (both 12-1 ML) with the top pair whichever way you lean.

Given the want to avoid the opportunity for trouble with Crimson Advocate out of #1, the 3lb uplift on best speed figure is not enough to take that risk. Lean towards Big Evs, uncomplicated consistency.

Big Evs win @ 11/4

Box Exacta: Big Evs (IRE), Crimson Advocate (USA), Cherry Blossom (IRE).


Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) 1m 1/16th

1. Candied  Todd Pletcher  Luis Saez  4-1
2. Jody’s Pride  Jorge Abreu  Flavien Prat  15-1
3. Scalable  Todd Pletcher  Jose Ortiz  20-1
4. Where’s My Ring  Val Brinkerhoff  Victor Espinoza  30-1
5. Omaha Girl  Jorge Delgado  Umberto Rispoli  30-1
6. Chatalas  Mark Glatt  Antonio Fresu  8-1
7. Tamara  Richard Mandella  Mike Smith  4-5
8. Esprit Enchante  Peter Miller  Juan Hernandez  20-1
9. Brightwork  John Ortiz  Ricardo Santana Jr.  12-1
10. Accommodate Eva  Dallas Stewart  John Velazquez  30-1
11. Life Talk  Todd Pletcher  Irad Ortiz Jr.  20-1
12. Just F Y I  Bill Mott  Junior Alvarado  8-1
13. Alys Beach  Tom Amoss  Tyler Gaffalione  30-1


Two class horses in this race stand head and shoulders above the rest and, to no one’s surprise, they are top of the market. Interesting the top speed figure at 115 was posted by Candied (USA) in her Darley Alcibiades (Grade 1) win, who had to do a lot to run wide around the field and still dominate down the home stretch. She put away favourite of that race, Brightwork (who had previously lowered the colours of the much-touted Ways And Means (USA), by a wide margin and clearly possesses enough versatility to be fine drawn in #1.

This is in no way an open-and-shut case; Tamara (USA) posted a speed figure of 113 in the Del Mar Debutante (Grade 1) over 7f while cruising like an absolute machine. She clearly possesses a lot of talent and if she can stretch out to a mile and one sixteenth then 4/5 is more than fair for the Richard Mandella trainee.

It is as close to a two horse race as you can get in a field of 13 – serious improvement is needed from the likes of Brightwork (USA), Just F Y I (USA), Chatalas (USA), and Life Talk (USA) to spring an upset here. It is a must watch battle and less of a betting prospect with very little offered by the rest of the field.

Sprint to route fillies have only taken the race twice in it’s history, which is somewhat negative for the impressive and potential filled profile of Tamara (USA). Neither of that pair won it off two starts either - if any, the play would be a small one on Candied (USA) given she has more knowns; she’s danced around two turns over the same distance and has inked the higher speed figure of the pair and is still the bigger price of the two by some margin at 4/1.

Pure value play. Candied @ 4/1

Box Trifecta: Tamara/Candied/Brightwork


Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) 1m

1. Buttercream Babe  Mike Maker  Luis Saez  30-1
2. Flattery  Peter Eurton  Juan Hernandez  20-1
3. Buchu  Phil Bauer  Martin Garcia  6-1
4. Laulne  Phil D’Amato  Manny Franco  15-1
5. Content  Aiden O’Brien  Ryan Moore  15-1
6. Porta Fortuna  Donnacha O’Brien  Oisin Murphy  5-1
7. Gala Brand  Bill Mott  Jose Ortiz  12-1
8. Life’s an Audible  Todd Pletcher  Irad Ortiz Jr.  15-1
9. Carla’s Way  Simon Crisford  James Doyle  6-1
10. Austere  Brendan Walsh  Tyler Gaffalione  12-1
11. She Feels Pretty  Cherie DeVaux  John Velazquz  4-1
12. Hard to Justify  Chad Brown  Flavien Prat  6-1
13. Dreamfrye  O.J. Jauregui  Hector Berrios  15-1
14. Les Pavots  Francis-Henri Graffard  Mickael Barzalona  8-1


Carla’s Way (IRE) sets the standard on both figures and form, boasting the top speed rating in the race – achieved last time out when beating Shuwari (IRE) and Ylang Ylang in the Rockfel (G2) – at 112. Ylang Ylang subsequently reversed the form with Shuwari (IRE) in the Fillies Mile (G1) at Newmarket later in October, further strengthening the case for the Simon & Ed Crisford trainee who lines up as favourite with UK bookmakers at 7/2.

Second favourite with the same firms at 11/2, Porta Fortuna (IRE) comes into this off a career best performance in the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) with a best speed figure of 111 though her collateral form isn’t quite as strong as that of the favourite. That career best came over 6f and she now stretches a further two and therein lies the issue for Donnacha O’Brien’s contender.

Elsewhere in the O’Brien family, Content runs for Aidan O’Brien and simply doesn’t have the performance figures to challenge the top European horses that will line up in this, if the race is truly run. That hasn’t stopped him from producing one from the shadows before, however.

The best of the home representatives comes in the form of Buchu (USA), who posted a 108 speed figure when landing the Jessamine (G2) last time out, having relished a switch from dirt to turf this season. There are question marks over the level of her collateral form, however.

She Feels Pretty (USA) lands close up on the figures; She will pose a real problem for the European raiders in this race with a reproduction of her level last time out, where she inked a 107 speed figure as she romped home by over four lengths at Woodbine.

Neither of which are trained by Chad Brown though, who clearly owns the keys to this race with 5 of the last 14 editions including 4 of the last 8. He is represented by Hard To Justify (USA), who fits the typical winning profile for the race; she comes into this as an unbeaten Chad Brown filly off the back of winning a key domestic prep in the Ms Grillo (G2). The only negative is she is yet to be tested properly, having only chased home pedestrian fractions.

The most interesting of the US horses is Laulne (FR), who is actually more French than American and could be argued a European winner if she is able to spring an upset at 15-1. There is a case for her in that she boasts a speed figure of 108 (posted last time out at Chantilly over 6f) and, while she is untried at the distance, her pedigree suggests she will be well equipped to stretch out to a mile. Untried on anything better than good to soft, the ground will be an unknown but Starspangledbanner (AUS) progeny strike clip at 13% on Good to Firm compared to 13% Good to Soft and 15% Heavy – so she should not be disadvantaged by it.

For the top of the market, the way to play this race really depends on where you will be betting and the accuracy of the money lines.

Carla’s Way at 6/1 in the US market is the play, while Buchu and Hard To Justify each way four places at 9/1 and 11/1 are the bets in the UK.

Box Exacta / Trifecta selections: Carla’s Way, Buchu, Hard To Justify, Laulne


Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) 1m 1/16th

1. The Wine Steward  Mike Maker  Luis Saez  8-1
2. Prince of Monaco  Bob Baffert  Flavien Prat  4-1
3. Wine Me Up  Bob Baffert  Ramon Vazquez  15-1
4. Timberlake  Brad Cox  Florent Geroux  4-1
5. Ecoro Neo  Hideyuki Mori  Yuga Kawada  30-1
6. Locked  Todd Pletcher  Jose Ortiz  7-2
7. Cuban Thunder  Adrian Murray  Tiago Pereira  30-1
8. General Partner  Chad Brown  Manny Franco  8-1
9. Fierceness  Todd Pletcher  John Velazquez  6-1
10. Muth  Bob Baffert  Juan Hernandez  4-1
11. Noted  Todd Pletcher  Irad Ortiz Jr.  20-1


This year’s renewal is arguably the most open to date, with Locked (USA), Timberlake (USA), and Muth (USA) dueling it out at the top of the market just ahead of Prince Of Monaco (USA).

The last of which tops the lot on our performance figures, having posted a speed figure of 123 with a performance rating of 111 when winning the Best Pal Stakes (G3) and backed it up with a speed figure of 114 when stretching out to seven furlongs in the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1).

Closely followed by Muth (USA), who trailed him home in the Best Pal (G3) with a SR of 114 before improving again with a dominant victory at Santa Anita in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) – in which he posted 115.

Locked (USA) runs third in the speed stakes with 114 to his name from winning the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Santa Anita, while runner up in that race The Wine Steward has 113 to his name and looks to be the best value outside of the top three and should be used to hit the frame at a price.

Of the main protagonists, Timberlake (USA) doesn’t cut it – having achieved just a 107 in his Champagne (G1) prep run and represents poor value in the market with a visually impressive victory over-exaggerating his true performance level relative to his position in the market.

Of the rest – Wine Me Up (USA) provides value having produced a SR of 108 when winning over a favourable prep distance for the race when finishing second in the race and should have a jaunt at the frame at a decent price (15/1). Never mind being one of the three entered by Bob Baffert, who is prolific in this race.

As for the winner – Muth (USA) edges it at 4/1 in the US and even bigger at 9/2 in the UK. The improvement at 8.5f in his prep is a major positive and ill take him with home advantage just over Locked (USA) and Michael Maker’s The Wine Steward (USA).

Muth (USA) win @ 4/1 (M/L) (9-2 UK)

Trifecta horses: Muth (USA) /Locked (USA) /The Wine Steward (USA) /Wine Me Up (USA).


Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) 1m

1. Air Recruit  Arnaud Delacour  Luis Saez  20-1
2. River Tiber  Aidan O’Brien  Ryan Moore  3-1
3. Tok Tok  Graham Motion  John Velazquez  20-1
4. Can Group  Mark Casse  Flavien Prat  12-1
5. My Boy Prince  Mark Casse  Joel Rosario  8-1
6. Stay Hot  Peter Eurton  Antonio Fresu  20-1
7. Agate Road  Todd Pletcher  Irad Ortiz Jr.  8-1
8. Unquestionable  Aidan O’Brien  Frankie Dettori  4-1
9. Endlessly  Michael McCarthy  Juan Hernandez  5-1     
10. Fulmineo  Arnaud Delacour  Tyler Gaffalione  20-1
11. Liam’s Journey  Mike Maker  Manny Franco  30-1
12. Mountain Bear  Aidan O’Brien  Dylan McMongale  12-1
13. Grand Mo The First  Victor Barboza  Hector Berrios  20-1
14. Carson’s Run  Christophe Clement  Dylan Davis  6-1


Europe still hold a 10-6 lead in this race despite losing 2 of the last 4 to domestic horses. That said, the Euro raiders have shown dominant quality in the past two with Modern Games (IRE) and Victoria Road (IRE). The Euros also perform over expectation with 29% of the runners but 63% of the winners.

In theory, River Tiber (IRE) sets the standard (108 SR) for the European contingent as he is able to run outside of the shadow of Vandeek (IRE) for once. Unquestionable (FR) (110 SR) hasn’t had either the pleasure or the distress of that experience but has trailed home his own bogey horse in Bucanero Fuerte twice this season; By no means are these the best Europe has to offer in the division and neither are well acquainted with the distance. In fact, their stable mate and theoretically third stringer for Aidan O’Brien – Mountain Bear (IRE) – has got the closest to tasting success over a mile when winning the 7f Irish Stallion Farms EBF Star Appeal Stakes (Listed) at Dundalk.

This could well be the best chance America has had to take a home race in recent years. Add to that the fact that a home rep has won the past three renewals at Santa Anita, and all roads lead to Endlessly (USA). The Oscar Performance colt comes into the race with a 106 speed figure to his name, achieved last time out over the distance at Santa Anita in the Zuma Beach Stakes (G3).

Agate Road (USA) has loose claims on figures with a speed rating of 104 last time out and the great Irad Ortiz Jr. on board, while Carson’s Run (USA) is given a shot with 103 but the car park draw is a negative.

Class rules all and this race should no doubt be an example of that with River Tiber (IRE) able to flourish out of the Vandeek (IRE) shadow just ahead of stablemate Unquestionable (FR) – with both getting the benefit of stretching out to the mile on a fast track which will allay the anxiety of any stamina doubts. Endlessly (USA) will put up a cracking fight of his own but is too short to have over the class of River Tiber (IRE) at 3/1 ML – though he is worth taking each way in the UK at 11/1.

River Tiber win @ 3/1 (5/2 UK)
Endlessly each way @ 11/1 (UK)

Box Exacta suggestion: River Tiber (IRE), Endlessly (USA), Unquestionable (FR).