Learn more about 2012 Breeders Cup Picks.
Kentucky Derby winner ANIMAL KINGDOM (Leroidesanimauxx Dalicia by Acatenango) has not raced since February 18 and has been to the track just three times since winning taking the Roses in 2011. Asking him to contest this spot is quite courageous of the connections. However, he appears to be in over his head given the circumstances. Avoid him at all costs.
DOUBLES PARTNER (Rock Hard Ten x Serena’s Sister by Rahy) has not fared well against top competition this year. Look for him late, if at all. He might be worth using on the bottom of superfecta tickets.
EXCELEBRATION (Exceed and Excel x Sun Shower by Indian Ridge) is the vaunted European heavyweight for 2012. If not for his bouts with Frankel, he would be undefeated this season. Among his wins are the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes as well as the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois. If he likes the track at Santa Anita then it will take a heck of a horse to beat him.
JERANIMO (Congaree x Jera by Jeblar) is a capable of running a huge race when he feels up to it and that alone makes him dangerous. His form has been spotty this year, but he is a Grade 1 winner at the distance. I like his chances to score at a price.
The filly MOONLIGHT CLOUD (Invincible Spirit x Ventura by Spectrum) nearly beat the undefeated Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The multiple Group 1 winning filly had a tough trip when beaten by Excelebration two back and the result might have been different if she had clear sailing. Trainer Freddie Head has won three of the last four editions of the Mile with Goldikova.
MR COMMONS (Artie Schiller x Joustabout by Apalachee) has been in the exacta in five of six starts on the Santa Anita grass. He should be sitting on a career best effort as he will race third off the shelf after running two really big races. The question then becomes, is his best good enough?
OBVIOUSLY (Choisir x Leala by Montjeau) will put the pedal to the medal from the word go and take them as far as he can. With little other speed in this race, it just might work. I’m a bit concerned about his classiness. He has yet to have to hold off a truly classy racehorse like Moonlight Cloud or Excelebration.
Ron McAnnaly is one of the best trainers in the history of the game and the old timer brings SUGGESTIVE BOY (Easing Along x Suffrage by Horse Chestnut) to the Mile. The Argintinean bred has won three times at the distance and was quite formidable when second in the Shoemaker Mile earlier this year. This is a good horse to use for the trifecta.
I didn’t think WILLCOX INN (Harlan’s Holiday x De Aar by Gone West) had much of a chance last out in the Shadwell Mile, but he surprised me by finishing second. It was the best race of his life by a wide margin. Is he ready to take another huge step forward? I don’t think anyone can be confident in that. He’s got a shot to make the superfecta though.
WISE DAN (Wiseman’s Ferry x Lisa Danielle by Wolf Power) is a freak of nature. The gelding has won stakes races on turf, dirt and synthetic tracks while sprinting and routing. He has found his niche as a turf miler and could be the best American miler since Lure in the 1990s. This horse will run on glass, so taking to Santa Anita is no problem. It will be very exciting to see him go neck and neck down the stretch with a thoroughbred like Excelebration. May the best horse win.