Native Dancer: The Nearly Perfect Grey Ghost of Sagamore
The FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile Presented by the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund is one of those races in which the “world” in Breeders’ Cup World Championships is emphasized.
Breeders’ Cup Mile
An outstanding collection of turf milers will be on hand on Nov. 5 for one of the most interesting races on the Breeders’ Cup card. Europeans have dominated the last four editions, winning three of them, and this year’s field surely includes an array of impressive stars from overseas.
1. Pogo (20-1): He comes off a Group 2 win at Newmarket and seems to be on an upswing. He’s winless in graded or group stakes company, but with 36 starts and eight wins, the 6-year-old certainly has experience on his side.
JOCKEY: James Doyle; TRAINER: Charles Hills
2. Shirl’s Speight (30-1): He won the Maker’s Mark Mile to open the year but has struggled since then, going winless in in four subsequent starts. He’s been no closer to the winner than 4 1/2 lengths in those losses and seems overmatched here.
JOCKEY: Luis Saez; TRAINER: Roger Attfield
3. Dreamloper (6-1): European mare turned in a couple of weak efforts early in the summer in Group 1 company, then regained her top form and registered a powerful 5 1/2-length victory over males in the prestigious Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. An encore of that effort on these shores will make her very hard to beat.
JOCKEY: Kieran Shoemark; TRAINER: Ed Walker
4. Modern Games (7-2): You might remember him as the 2-year-old who was scratched, then not scratched, and ultimately was a winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last year. He was an impressive winner of the Ricoh Woodbine Mile in September then last month traveled back to England and finished second in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. Given his trainer’s record of success in the United States, expect a bounce-back effort from him.
JOCKEY: William Buick; TRAINER: Charles Appleby
5. Smooth Like Strait (10-1): He’s a gem of consistency with a record of seven wins, nine seconds, and three thirds in 22 starts. His speed could be dangerous in this field and he’s definitely a threat to land in the superfecta.
JOCKEY: John Velazquez; TRAINER: Michael McCarthy
6. Ivar (15-1): He was second in the Grade 1 Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland and was third and fourth in the last two editions of the Mile. He has a nice late kick and, if he gets a smooth trip, can be dangerous.
JOCKEY: Javier Castellano; TRAINER: Paulo Lobo
7. Beyond Brilliant (20-1): Has enough speed to be a threat here but has been facing weaker company and this seems a tall task for him.
JOCKEY: Victor Espinoza; TRAINER: John Shirreffs
8. Regal Glory (6-1): Talented mare should get the pace she needs to enhance her late speed. Distaff milers have fared quite well in this race and she could add to that list.
JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz; TRAINER: Chad Brown
9. Malavath (15-1): Definitely worth a look after closing for second in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret in France. The mile might be a tad long for this 3-year-old filly but she deserves some attention.
JOCKEY: Tyler Gaffalione; TRAINER: Francis-Henri Graffard
10. Order of Australia (12-1): Won the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland in a 73.20-1 shocker. Was 5 1/2 lengths behind Dreamloper two starts back and then third in the Coomore Turf Mile at Keeneland. He’ll be a longshot here. He won’t be 73-1 … but he’ll be a longshot nonetheless.
JOCKEY: Ryan Moore; TRAINER: Aidan O’Brien
11. Annapolis (10-1): It was smooth sailing for this 3-year-old in his sharp victory over his elders in the Coolmore Turf Mile. He keeps getting better and can make his presence felt here.
JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz Jr.; TRAINER: Todd Pletcher
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12. King Cause (30-1): Seven-year-old gelding has been racing in stakes company since 2018 but has yet to post a Grade 1 win. Unlikely that he’ll do that here.
JOCKEY: Juan Hernandez; TRAINER: Mike Maker
13. Kinross (9-2): He’s won four in a row in Europe, the last two in Group 1 company. The big concern is the post position with a short run to the first turn. If he can overcome that, he will be hard to handle.
JOCKEY: Frankie Dettori; TRAINER: Ralph Beckett
14. Domestic Spending (8-1): He’s a top-notch distance runner so a mile may be too short for him. Not racing in more than a year and post-position 14 add to the challenges he will have to overcome.
JOCKEY: Flavien Prat; TRAINER: Chad Brown
15. Front Run the Fed (Also eligible): Fourth in a sprint stakes last time, he will need a scratch in order to run.
JOCKEY: Francisco Arrieta; TRAINER: Caio Caramori
16. Gear Jockey (Also eligible): Another sprinter who will need a couple of scratches to run.
JOCKEY: Luis Saez; TRAINER: Rusty Arnold
THE PICK: Modern Games
LIVE LONGSHOT: Annapolis