Cashing On The Classic – Breeders’ Cup 2019 RECAP! – Super Screener
Super Screener

Cashing On The Classic – Breeders’ Cup 2019 RECAP!

Photo By: Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire

Breeders’ Cup 2019 is now in the history books, and there were plenty of thrills across the 14 races that we’ll be talking about for some time. For example, Bricks and Mortar, with his dominating win in the Turf, stamped his way to the likely Horse of the Year award remaining undefeated in 2019. Todd Pletcher finally captured that elusive Classic victory via Vino Rosso’s scintillating performance, running by the favorite, McKinzie, as if he were standing still. And, how will we ever forget this year’s Juvenile which featured 3 long shot bombers ranging in odds of 28-1 to 45-1 comprising the Trifecta?  That was the craziest result for sure.

Unfortunately, despite all the precautions taken by Santa Anita and Breeders’ Cup management, the tragic breakdowns that have plagued this track since last winter were nearly evaded until Mongolian Groom pulled up during the stretch drive of the Classic. There was a lot of hesitation by many connections to send their horses to Santa Anita for this year’s Breeders’ Cup and veterinarians preemptively scratched a bunch of horses with even the slightest question mark. However, the Classic and Vino Rosso’s amazing victory were marred by this tragic conclusion on the day.

To aid in preventing breakdowns, track maintenance had turned what has historically been a surface with a very shallow cushion into one that was super deep. It was clear that there was no in-between for horses, either they got over it or really struggled on it.
Notable horses that were in the struggling category included:

Bast – Juvenile Fillies

K P Dreamin – Juvenile Fillies

Improbable – Dirt Mile

Mr. Money – Dirt Mile

Code of Honor – Classic

We provide this list as most of these horses will be strong play backs in their next race assuming it takes place outside of Santa Anita. In addition, if you loved a closer on the turf that failed to impact, then assuming a different venue and the right pace set up, they could come back big in their next race. 

What follows is a list of the winners from each Breeders’ Cup race.  What stood out this year was the success of pace types and the lack of closers, which goes against the historical Energy Distribution Profiles for these races. In fact, we didn’t see a closer win until late in the day on Saturday when Uni did so in the fast-paced Mile. The only closer to win on the dirt track was Blue Prize, so give extra credit to that mare for overcoming the speed-favoring conditions that were present on both the dirt and turf courses.

Were the Santa Anita dirt and turf surfaces biased? There were 7 races run on both the dirt and turf courses. For each race, we looked at the energy distribution profile of the horses that finished 1-2-3-4. We then compared the results to what we observed coming out of the 2018 Breeder’s Cup run at Churchill Downs, as the running style results from that venue mirrored what is typical for Breeders’ Cup races in general.

Wow!  The chart comparison above tells the story. Where as closers filled 24 of the Superfecta slots when these races were run at Churchill Downs last year, they only occupied 10 slots this year at Santa Anita.

This is one of those rare times when running style results at the host venue ran contrary to historical Breeders’ Cup screening criteria. Given the changes to the Santa Anita dirt surface in particular, when these races are run back at Santa Anita, we’ll have to potentially calibrate the Super Screener screening criteria to accommodate this aberration if in the days preceding the Breeder’s Cup, these surfaces are playing in the same way.

Here were the top Super Screener highlights:


A key Super Screener “A” horse and Top Board Hitter selection, Four Wheel Drive, easily won the the 2nd renewal of the Juvenile Turf Sprint, and Chimney Rock, our 4th ranked horse, finished 2nd at 12-1.

#9 Four Wheel Drive – TOP BOARD HITTER/PRESSER – Stablemate to Kimari has dominated in his two starts for Wesley Ward. Only gets better from here. Has desired early speed and the cut back from 6 furlongs will only serve to add more late foot here. Easily won both career starts.

#1 Chimney Rock – DEEP CLOSER – Was 2nd best to Kimari in the Indian Summer. Big trouble in the 2 races prior which he could have easily won with clean trips. Looks like he is begging for more ground and deep closers struggle on this 5F trip at SA.  Bottom of Exotics player.


Our lone Top Long Shot pick in the race was Dawn the Destroyer, who was ranked 3rd overall. She took advantage of the hot pace and got up into the Trifecta at a better price than expected, coming home at generous odds of 22-1.

#8 Dawn The Destroyer – TOP LONG SHOT – DEEP CLOSER – Will sit in last in the early going and will pass a lot of tired horses late with the only question being…how many? As the lone deep closer in the race, benefits most from the pressured pace set up and should be used as an “under” single in wagers. Other than the last race with the strong 2nd place finish in the TCA, her prior races were slow-paced, compact fields which played against her decidedly late energy distribution profile.


Belvoir Bay, a Super Screener value play with the warning that “she was capable of a shocker” in the Turf Sprint delivered on that alert by winning easily at nearly 15-1. And, our Top Long Shot play, Sheckky Shebaz, who was bet down to 5-1, completed the Trifecta.

#12 Belvoir Bay – TOP VALUE/PRESSER – Another Peter Miller charge that hasn’t been seen since June but regularly pops big efforts off these long layoffs. No question about her affinity for this turf course. Did finish 2nd to the top European sprinter, Blue Point, in Dubai.… capable of a shocker!

#4 Sheckky Shebaz – TOP LONG SHOT/PACE – This 4-year-old gelding recently found his home on turf finishing in the Exacta each time. Is pure speed and will appreciate shortening up to 5F. The only horse to pair 100+ BRIS Speed Rating figures. Only misses on “top last out” criterion. Owns dominant pace figures. Use!


The three Super Screener “A” horses finished 1st, 2nd and 4th in this race and our Top Win and Top Board Hitter, Uni, came flying home to grab the win.

#11 Uni – TOP BOARD HITTER/CLOSER – The one to beat here off that stellar victory in the G1 First Lady. Improves off that effort in just her 4th start of the year. Gets plenty of pace pressure to close into and owns a strong turn of foot. Needs the trip.

#9 Circus Maximus – PRESSER – Strong European contender after winning the key G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. Is the desired multiple Group 1 winning miler coming in fresh that plays so well into the winning profile of European shippers. Solid player.

#6 Get Stormy – OFF PACE – The filly did not like the good turf at WO narrowly missing the win. Easily beat the boys in the G1 Fourstardave, setting a new track record. Gets back to the ultra firm/tighter turn configuration she relishes. Pace a plus.

Something to keep in mind coming out of this race: Our Top Long Shot pick, True Valor was flying home late and then got completely shut off when a hole closed on him approaching the wire, losing all momentum and all chance. This is a horse to definitely play back the next time he runs… and value is still likely.


Coming into this race, Blue Prize was one of the strongest win conviction horses across all 14 Breeders’ Cup races. She was the only horse in the race to earn a perfect Super Screener score of 100.  Here’s what we had to say about this mare prior to the race:

#11 Blue Prize, on the other hand, does secure the perfect Super Screener score and will offer relative value here. This 6-year-old mare has no quit in her and always brings that “A” game, rarely missing the Superfecta and it was an up-close 4th place finish in last year’s Distaff against a tough bunch after a troubled start that demonstrated her gameness. Could be coming into this race even stronger than last year. With a clean start, she has an excellent shot at the upset. This off-the-pace type is advantaged by the pace set up and comes with sustained energy to the wire.

Blue Prize beat the heavy favorite, Midnight Bisou, a clear second choice by the Super Screener, resulting in the cold Exacta hit. Even our Top Long Shot pick, Ollie’s Candy got into the Superfecta mix at odds of 12-1.


The grand finale featured another Super Screener cold Exacta hit as our Top Value and Top Win pick, Vino Rosso, just crushed this field putting to rest, once and for all, the question about whether or not this horse was an elite player. He just rolled by McKinzie, a horse we had questions about when it came to this 1 ¼ miles distance. Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about our top play, Vino Rosso, before the race:

#10 Vino Rosso – TOP VALUE/PRESSER – Is finally living up to his earlier hype. Huge effort last out resulting in a lifetime top, which is his only Super Screener knock. Been working sensationally up to this. Offers plenty of upside in just his third start since May. Is advantaged by the modest pace set up and race flow here. Offers value. Gets the 1 1/4 miles distance. Strong player.

While the primary purpose of the Super Screener is to provide detailed race and horse-by-horse analysis isolating the top long shots and favorites to fade, we also offer suggested wagers to select from to provide ideas on how to structure wagering strategies and potential tickets.  These suggestions combined with your own convictions and betting preferences provide additional useful information to make for a successful experience at the races.

Below is a summary of the return of suggested wagers across the Breeder’s Cup races.  This year, the Super Screener finished strong with most success coming in the second half of the day on Saturday which included taking down the Pick 5, once and about half of the Pick 4 suggested tickets.

That’s a wrap on this year’s Breeder’s Cup. We hope you enjoyed a successful weekend of racing. Please join us now each week as we analyze the top stakes racing action across the nation. This month we have Del Mar and Churchill Downs offering top graded stakes racing action and other key stakes races from around the US to sink our teeth into.

Thanks again for your patronage and loyalty to our Super Screener product.  Look for new innovations and improvements in our product in the year ahead.

Until next weekend… go fast and win!