TVG Analyst: Britney Eurton
It may be the opening act for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but the Longines Turf in its own right is one of the most prestigious races in the country.
All eyes will be on #9 BRICKS AND MORTAR as he attempts to keep his perfect record intact and build on what’s already been a sensational year. The biggest question with him, of course, is the distance. Purely because of the price and the lack of confidence that he can get 1 1/2 against distance specialists, I’m going to try and beat him.
#10 OLD PERSIAN ships in for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby as a horse with zero question marks about distance. He’s 5 for 8 at 1 1/2 which includes impressive victories in the G1 Northern Dancer (most recently) and his flashy performance in Dubai to take the $6 Million G1 Sheema Classic. The only real recent blemish on his resume would be his effort at Epsom which I forgive for a few reasons. 1) the Epsom course can be very quirky. Some horses love it. Some hate it. Clearly Old Persian didn't fancy it that day. I also forgive the effort as he was given three months off after the race to freshen up, indicating that perhaps the connections didn't feel he was in his best form and gave him the due time off. He’s come back in a big way, and at a fairly decent price in comparison to bricks and mortar, I expect another big effort.
The lack of speed in the race pushes me toward a complete longshot with a chance to steal it on the front end… #2 ACCLIMATE. He’s not nearly as classy as his foes, but he has one thing that many don’t: Speed. Add in the fact that he’s 4 for 10 over the course and you can make a case for this 20/1 morning line shot. He’s not proven at a 1 1/12, but the fact that he’s won at Del Mar going 1 3/8 on the flat encourages the thought that he could get a mile and a half with the help of the downhill turf course to start. This horse has really hit his stride this summer in long distance turf races and at his home track could cause a splash with the right ride and front running trip.
Lastly, #9 BRICKS AND MORTAR. What to say about the best turf horse in America? He’s been unbelievable this year and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if he won. However, he’s not the value in the race. The fact that Chad Brown initially was keen to run him in the Mile over the turf could emphasize that he’s not ultra-confident he can get the distance either. However, he’s stated he’s been training great and showing all indications that he can relax early and come with that same powerful closing kick late. If he were to win, there’s no doubt that he’s made a strong case for himself to be named Horse of the Year. We’ll have to wait ’til Saturday to find out!
Best of luck with all your wagers on Breeders’ Cup Friday and Saturday!
#10 OLD PERSIAN
#9 BRICKS AND MORTAR
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