Breeders’ Cup Classic & Dirt Mile Top 5s

by TCI 4 years ago

Jon & Joel recap the Whitney and tweak the TCI Top 5 for the Classic 3-year-olds and Classic Older Males. The guys also launch a new Top 5 list for the Dirt Mile division, and preview champions Wise Dan and Groupie Doll in action this weekend. Watch it. Comment.


  • 1JoeP

    Hi Joel – The BC Classic looks to be a loaded division with no clear leader. Paynter and Game on Dude are both very good, but to me seem to be vulnerable at the #1 spot, but both are legit contenders. I watched the replay of Graydars win at 1 1/8 in Feb. at Gulfstream when winning the Donn Handicap. He was very impressive and pulled away in the stretch. If he can look good in his next start, he could be a serious contender. Kettle Corn could be a live longshot, he always seems to show up and beating Paynter is no easy task. Successful Dan and Will Take Charge could also be 2 very live longshots for the BC Classic. Until Cross Traffic gets a win at 1 1/4, I think he is questionable at that distance vs. proven horses that can get the distance, such as Orb, Fort Larned, Game On Dude, and Paynter. The Travers is shaping up to be a battle of Palace Malice vs. Verrazano. Verrazano was lights out in the Haskell, but at 1 1/4 he will be tested by a quality Palace Malice who we know loves longer distances. Wise Dan is stellar as a BC Mile favorite, I believe that Obviously is peeking now and could give him a challenge. Joel – What do you think of Euro Miler Toronado? If he is in the BC Mile he seems like a real contender, he just got done beating star miler Dawn Approach. The Dirt Mile race is one that has always eluded me on BC Day. I would have hit a pick 3 if Shackelford had won that year, but it wasn’t meant to be. I believe like you that Cross Traffic, Verrazano, and Graydar would be major players here. If Verrazano loses the Travers maybe his connections will point him in that direction. Joel, what do you think of Moreno in the BC Dirt mile as a contender?

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hey Joe!

      Toronado is on the radar for sure, and I’ve always liked Dawn Approach. I’m a big, big fan of European form in the turf breeders’ cup races, however I do believe Americans have an edge on the California turf courses since they’re very firm, it’s typically a warm climate, and the courses in Cali are more like putting greens than what these Euros are used to. So horses as good as Wise Dan and Little Mike that have superior tactical ability over the Euros typically prove to be too tough to real in over those courses. Having said that, I am always intrigued by the top Euros because I really do believe their class on the grass is far better than American turf horses in most years…it’s their niche and they are much much better at it…but in California, it gives the Americans an edge…at Churchill, Arlington, any NY turf course, Woodbine and some places like that — I would bet the Euros in almost every race (sans the Turf Sprint and probably some of the 2yo turf races).

      You are right that the Dirt Mile is a tough race to handicap, and my theory on that is many of the “better” horses that run in it are perhaps there instead of the Classic or Sprint because they may not be 100% or may be tailing off… When I look back at Shackleford, Discreet Cat, Trappe Shot, etc. I see some horses that I felt should have all won this race if they were in their best form…however, we know they were not and it left the door open for upset outcomes (not taking anything away from Caleb’s Posse a couple years ago, there is no question that he was best among that field). You mentioned Moreno, who connections swear is a top-class horse who is just now putting it all together. I would agree with you that he’s more likely to handle a mile rather than 1 1/4 miles, and his quality speed at Santa Anita certainly makes him interesting. If he keeps on improving and taking some forward steps like he has been, then yes I could see him as a player in the Dirt Mile division come November.

Take our site on the go!
Scan with your smart phone.