Breeders’ Cup 2023 odds: Turf rivals to meet again
The countdown is on until the big meeting across the Atlantic at Santa Anita between November 3-4 as we take a look at the latest Breeders’ Cup 2023 odds.
Auguste Rodin and his old rival King Of Steel could lock horns once again as both feature among the pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt came on top when they clashed at Epsom in the summer, wearing down Roger Varian’s charge deep inside the final furlong and was then much the best when claiming the Irish Champion Stakes in September.
“That’s been the plan for him all the time,” said O’Brien on Auguste Rodin’s trip to Santa Anita. “He’s done great, too. He’s had a nice break from Leopardstown and that’s probably a break like he’s never had and he’s got strong. All the team are delighted with him and we’re really looking forward to it.
“He’s really grown up and he’s another horse that didn’t get a chance to mature, as we trained him for the Guineas and then on to the Derby, the next Derby and the King George, so it’s tough for those baby three-year-olds.
“But we’re very happy with him. He’s had a nice little run into this and we’re looking forward to it.”
King Of Steel finished well to be fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes, and would head to California with confidence sky high having carried Frankie Dettori to a fairytale success on British Champions Day.
Auguste Rodin is second in the betting at 3/1 ahead of King Of Steel at 5/1, while plenty of familiar names could line up against them. Royal Ascot and Juddmonte International champion Mostahdaf is set to represent John and Thady Gosden, with Donnacha O’Brien’s Piz Badile joining Ballydoyle’s Bolshoi Ballet and Broome.
The five-year-old was well fancied to complete his Group One hat-trick on Champions Day – but his team had warned his participation was ground dependent.
And while Gosden and owners Shadwell initially gave the go-ahead after walking the track before racing, the attritional nature of the curtain-raising Long Distance Cup prompted a rethink.
Shadwell’s racing manager Angus Gold said: “With the option of the Breeders’ Cup still to come, there didn’t seem any point in bowing out on a low note when we can go to California with a chance of running him on fast ground in a couple of weeks’ time if he’s still well.”
John Gosden was pleased to be able to get Inspiral and Mostahdaf out on to the Santa Anita track on Tuesday.
Two of the best turf horses in Europe will represent Gosden and his son Thady in the Filly & Mare Turf and the 12-furlong Turf respectively.
Inspiral has won her last two outings in Group One company while Mostahdaf has been rerouted after the ground turned testing at Ascot on Champions Day.
His victories in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and Juddmonte International were unquestionably two of the best displays of the season by any horse.
“The horses have been in a dark room with no natural light since they arrived and both Inspiral and Mostahdaf were very pleased to be out,” said Gosden.
“Mostahdaf fancied his pony and thought it was good fun, he will love being a stallion next year.
“He has a good turn of foot and is a good-looking son of Frankel.”
Mostahdaf will be reunited with Jim Crowley due to his retainer with owners Shadwell but Frankie Dettori stepped in for him at York while he was banned. Dettori will be on Inspiral, however.
The Italian recently announced his career will be extending much longer than first anticipated but Gosden is fully behind the switch in plans and raised the idea of the pair teaming up at the Dubai Carnival.
“Frankie learned a lot from the US jockeys in the 1980s when he was here for two or three winters. He was very keen and hungry to learn,” said Gosden.
“I think he’s doing it exactly right. He can ride here four days a week but he will ride for me again, for sure.
“In fact, I’m getting Lord North ready for Dubai, where he has won three Dubai Turfs. Why not a fourth?”
The Amo Racing-owned King Of Steel also has the Breeders’ Cup Classic as a second preference, a race won last year by the all-conquering Flightline.
But ante-post favourite Arcangelo will miss out after suffering a setback.
Jena Antonucci’s charge landed the Belmont Stakes in June before doubling his Grade One tally in the Travers at Saratoga two months later.
He has since been kept fresh or this weekend’s showpiece event in California, with connections having hoped he would emulate his sire, Arrogate, who won the Classic in 2016.
However, Arcangelo pulled off a shoe a few days ago and while Antonucci had initially hoped he would recover in time, she has now made the difficult decision to withdraw her stable star.
She told TVG: “He’s honestly doing great, he’s bouncing and thriving and happy in his stall.
“Like we’ve talked about all week, the left-hind shoe he pulled off, he’s not fully resolving and we’re running out of time.
“As we’ve talked about from day one, it will be always be horse first no matter what. Sure, there’s big racing coming up, but spreadsheets and timeframes they don’t really care about.
“We have so many amazing options here for being able to diagnose and figure things out. We’re going to take advantage of that and to be able to do so, we’ve run out of time because obviously you have to sedate horses and do those kind of things.
“We need to do right by him and missing a race is what it’s going to be this time.”
Antonucci added: “It’s not about me, I’ve said that from day one. I’m not going to get emotional, it’s about him and it’s his journey.
“He’s tearing the barn down right now but I’m not comfortable and if I’m not comfortable then it’s a ‘no’.”
The Classic field had already had two significant withdrawals over the weekend, with Geaux Rocket Ride suffering a serious leg injury while working at Santa Anita on Saturday and Kentucky Derby winner Mage ruled out due to a fever.
She is one of two for Godolphin alongside Master Of The Seas who will bid to give Charlie Appleby his third straight success in the race.
High-class duo Inspiral (2/1) and Warm Heart (5/2) will lead the raiding contingent in the Filly & Mare Turf with both operating at the peak of their powers this season.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Although she has never run over further than a mile, we share Inspiral’s connections’ confidence that she will relish the longer trip of the Filly & Mare Turf, a race she is now clear favourite for.”
Simon and Ed Crisford’s Dubai World Cup runner-up Algiers is the sole British challenger in the Dirt Mile.
Brad Cox’s Caravel held off the British raiders in the Turf Sprint 12 months ago and has the likes of Adam West’s Nunthorpe hero Live In The Dream and King’s Stand Stakes winner Bradsell to take on this time.
Michael Appleby’s Big Evs will carry British hopes on the opening night of action when he looks to round off a brilliant juvenile campaign in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, for which he is the 11/4 favourite in the Breeders’ Cup 2023 odds.
Big Evs will be up against a three-pronged attack from George Weaver, with Royal Ascot scorer Crimson Advocate leading the way.
Crimson Advocate provided her American handler with a first winner at the Royal meeting when blazing a trail in the hands of John Velazquez before showing real guts to hold off William Haggas’ Relief Rally in a thrilling finish to the Queen Mary Stakes (pictured below).
That form has been boosted by the runner-up who is unbeaten in two starts since and having been freshened up over the summer months, Weaver is confident his daughter of Nyquist can dominate once again when returning to the track in California.
“She is breezing great and hopefully she can get a good trip and show us what she can do,” said the handler.
“I wanted to give her a break when she came back (from Ascot). She had a busy campaign and is not an overly big filly – she’s an April foal. It just seemed like a good time (to take a break) and there wasn’t anything lucrative for her over here in the summer. I just wanted to freshen her up and have her right for the big race.
“She’s doing as good as she ever has, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Crimson Advocate is second favourite at 6/1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint odds but will also face tough competition for the $1,000,000 contest from stablemates No Nay Mets (6/1) and Amidst Waves (10/1).
The former, who is owned by baseball star Alex Bregman, disappointed when the mount of Dettori in the Norfolk Stakes but has since displayed his class on home soil with victories in both the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park and the Rosie’s Stakes at Colonial Downs.
Meanwhile, Amidst Waves has won three of her five career starts and, having secured black-type victories at both Monmouth and Saratoga, earnt her place in the line-up with a fine run to finish a nose second to Committee Of One (16/1) in Keeneland’s Indian Summer Stakes earlier this month.
“All three of them are going for the race,” continued Weaver. “At Ascot, that wasn’t No Nay Mets, that wasn’t him. I don’t know if he needed to be ridden differently or it was the ground – Frankie said he wasn’t in the right part of the turf course – but he is better than that and he has shown it since he has come back here.
“They are all legitimate contenders, it’s not like only one of them is a legitimate contender and the others just hopefuls. All three of them have put together resumes that make them look good in this race.
“I hate to run horses against each other, but I guess I would rather have three for one race than none.”
All odds and market correct at date of publication