The Turf Sprint is the most wide-open betting race during the entire Breeders’ Cup. There are many directions you can go, but make sure you demand value. Below is my analysis and betting strategies for the turf grab bag.
1. Stubbins (#5, 12-1): He has found his niche as a turf sprinter and continues to improve every race. He has two wins at Santa Anita, a versatile style, picks up Flavien Prat and is peaking at the right time.
2. Imprimis (#3, 8-1): This gelding makes his third start off a layoff and has been hindered by trouble in his last two starts. His form prior to Ascot would make him 8/5 in here and it seems like he is rounding back into form. It does not hurt that he picks up Dettori to ride.
3. Eddie Haskell (#10, 9-2): He is the model of consistency and adores 5 furlongs. He may not be fast enough to win, but seems like the safest bet to finish in the money in this field.
4. Om (#11, 15-1): He nearly won this race down the hill in 2016 and has a legitimate chance to pull off that feat this year. He ran a good second to World of Trouble who would be a big favorite in here and appears to be working well off a slight freshening.
5. Shekky Shebaz (#4, 12-1): Speed is so dangerous going 5 furlongs and he may be the quickest horse in the bunch. He will try to take them as far as he can for Servis, who has done a remarkable job with this horse.
6. Totally Boss (#1, 5-1): He is in the form of his life and has very few negatives other than drawing the dreaded rail. The draw could cost him early positioning and in a blanket finish that could be the difference between 1st and 6th.
7. Leinstar (#7, 8-1): This colt broke a track record at Saratoga, but has failed to build on that momentum in his last two. His best may be good enough to win, but I’m not certain that he is going to bring that on Saturday.
8. Final Frontier (#9, 6-1) He is another horse that has done very little wrong, but this is a step up in class for a runner who has never faced graded competition.
9. Belvoir Bay (#12, 12-1): She loves 5 furlongs and Santa Anita, but must deal with a layoff and facing males. Her form seems to have tailed off since her big Dubai effort.
10. Pure Sensation (#2, 5-1): He is very fast, but prefers Parx and soft ground. He will get neither on Saturday and will have Shekky Shebaz to deal with early on.
11. Stormy Liberal (#6, 8-1): It feels disrespectful to put the two-time defending champ this low, but he is clearly out of form and is facing a tough group of horses in here.
12. Legends of War (#8, 20-1) He got away with an easy lead last time and may need the lead to be most effective. He will not get the lead in this spot, which could spell trouble.
$20 Betting Strategy
$ 1 Exacta Box (3,5)
$ 1 Exacta Box (5, 10)
$ 1 Exacta Box (5,11)
$ 1 Exacta Box (4,5)
$0.50 Trifecta 3,4,5 11 – 10 – 3,4,5,11
$0.50 Trifecta 3,4,5,11 – 3,4,5,11 – 10