Dan’s Double: Eye on Breeders’ Cup

Breeders’ Cup action at Santa Anita Park. (Eclipse Sportswire)

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Dan Tordjman, America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent, is one of the brightest young minds in the game.

Each Week, Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup.

Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Friday, Nov. 4

Santa Anita Park, Race 6 , Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

#1 Lancaster Bomber (6-1): While it’s generally hard to be overconfident when trying to select a winner from a group of 14 two-year-old horses (many of whom have raced over completely different surfaces, distances, and even countries), this a race in which you can proceed with a fair amount certainty regarding the variables that may affect the outcome.

For starters, the previous five winners of this race ran their race prior to the Juvenile Turf in Europe. In total, six of the eight all-time winners in the race were Euros, and trainer Aidan O’Brien has won it three times. Both Outstrip (2013) and George Vancouver (2012) won the race after finishing third and second, respectively, in the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. This year, Lancaster Bomber comes into the Juvenile Turf off of a very strong second-place finish in that race — beaten only by a very highly regarded horse named Churchill.

Additionally, Lancaster Bomber’s two poor efforts prior to his Dewhurst were run on soft ground. It’s fairly certain that he’ll get the firm ground he likes at Santa Anita on Friday. He also has plenty of pedigree to build a case upon. He’s a half-brother to $2.6-million earner Excelebration, who finished fourth in this race in 2012.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$5 win-place on #1 Lancaster Bomber ($10)

Strategy on $25 Budget

$.50 trifecta: 1,9 with 1,9 with ALL ($12)

$6 win-place on #1 Lancaster Bomber ($12)

Strategy on $50 Budget

$.50 trifecta: 1,9 with 1,9 with ALL ($12)

$1 exacta box: 1,5,6,9 ($12)

$12 win-place on #1 Lancaster Bomber ($24)

Saturday, Nov. 5

Santa Anita Park, Race 8, Grade 1, $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

#2 Syndergaard (6-1): I’ve been high on this horse since before his debut at Saratoga this summer. His owners paid $450,000 to get him and then doubled down by naming him after star New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The colt was absolutely dominant in his first career starts and just missed by a nose in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes last out.

Even in defeat, Syndergaard showed a ton of grit. He set blazing fractions while being pressed the whole way. While most horses would’ve packed it in after going as fast he did early (especially in a first attempt routing), Syndergaard dug in and nearly fended off the charge of returning rival Practical Joke. The good news is that it doesn’t appear that there’s anyone nearly fast enough to go with Syndergaard early in the Juvenile. If he can settle in on an uncontested lead, he’ll be extremely tough to catch.

Trainer Todd Pletcher is notable for many things, perhaps none moreso than his prowess with 2-year olds. Pletcher won this race in 2010 with Uncle Mo and then again in 2012 with Shanghai Bobby. I like his chances of adding a third Juvenile win to his collection.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$5 win-place on #2 Syndergaard ($10)

Strategy on $25 Budget

$1 exacta key box: 2 over 1,4,5,7,9,11 ($12)

$6 win-place on #2 Syndergaard ($12)

Strategy on $50 Budget

$1 exacta key box: 2 with all ($20)

$15 win-place on #2 Syndergaard ($30)

ROI Year to date: $6,457.10 wagered/$7.054.60 returned (+$597.50YTD)

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