There are Breeders Cup Turf picks for the big race on grass at Del Mar. This 1m 4f contest in California sees some of Europe’s top thoroughbreds heading across the Atlantic to run on Saturday, November 6 (7:40 EDT). Tarnawa make a defense of her World Championship crown in the race.
Using expert handicappers, SportsLens looks at the all the Longines Breeders Cup Turf odds and forecasts. There is a typically strong British and Irish contingent challenging the American horses on home turf here. Get the lowdown on who to bet with detailed race analysis below.
Tarnawa tries to defend crown
Master Irish trainer Dermot Weld is no stranger to sending his horses overseas. TARNAWA triumphed in this race when the World Championships were at Keeneland last year. A daughter of Shamardal, she is now a five-year-old and has been an unlucky loser on her last two starts in Europe.
Tarnawa was intimidated and carried off a true line in the Irish Champions Stakes at Leopardstown earlier this fall. The stewards had a look but St Mark’s Basilica kept the race. Tarnawa then got blindsided by rank outsider Torquator Tasso with a late swoop down the outside in Europe’s richest race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Last year’s Breeders Cup Turf win remains top form, however. A versatile mare who handles any ground, Tarnawa still gets a sex allowance from the colts and geldings. Three of the last six Breeders Cup Turf winners have been females, so that recent record bodes well.
A repeat bid is what online betting sites and sportsbooks expect from Tarnawa. Her Breeders Cup Turf odds would probably be a lot shorter had she managed to win the Arc. Gate 13 and a wide post position is not ideal. Tarnawa has every right to be favorite here and bettors can rely on her to run her race.
Yibir among Breeders Cup Turf picks to show
Godolphin supremo Sheikh Mohammed has won this four times before, twice in his personal silks and as many in the all-blue colors of his global thoroughbreds operation. While Walton Street landed the Canadian International at Woodbine last time out, YIBIR absolutely loves firm ground.
Both horses are based in the UK with Charlie Appleby in the horse racing hub of Newmarket. Yibir, a three-year-old Dubawi gelding, progressed over the summer. His third in the Sandown Classic Trial when just a neck behind subsequent Epsom Derby winner Adayar is good form.
Yibir has built on that with victories in the Bahrain Trophy and Great Voltigeur Stakes at summertime festivals. Like Walton Street, he has proven he can handle a transatlantic raid. Yibir went from last to first in style in the Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park.
Soldier Rising, who chased him home, previously filled the same spot behind State Of Rest in the Saratoga Derby. That Irish raider has since plundered the Cox Plate out in Australia, so there is a real international flavor to the form. Yibir looks great value for the show at his current Breeders Cup Turf price with oddsmakers.
Terms of race favor Teona
Only one runner receives weight all-round, and that is Roger Varian’s three-year-old filly TEONA. A daughter of British Flat turf legend and now prolific sire Sea The Stars, she comes to Del Mar looking for the trifecta.
Teona has clearly progressed throughout her campaign and cruised to a Listed win over Canadian International second Desert Encounter at Windsor. She stepped up on that with a Group 1 success in France in the Prix Vermeille.
The fact that Teona reversed Epsom Oaks form with Snowfall proves she is getting better. Unlike Tarnawa, her connections decided to skip the Arc and keep her fresh for this. With race terms in her favor, Teona checks plenty of boxes here.
With only six races on the track under her belt, there may be even more to come. This is her toughest mission to date, but Teona has Breeders Cup Turf odds that suggest she is a big danger. Handicappers also come to the same conclusion, so she should be involved in the finish.
Domestic Spending flies flag for home team
In the build-up to this race, some offshore sportsbooks have had big fixed odds prices bar one US runner, DOMESTIC SPENDING. That reflects the quality of the European raiders. Chad Brown isn’t scared of the Irish, Brits and German Derby winner Sisfahan, though, after sending Bricks And Mortar out from his barn to win this two years ago.
Domestic Spending, a four-year-old Kingman gelding, has finished off his races in a way which suggests he could get this trip. It is an unknown stamina wise, but he sees out his assignments on the track so strongly that it’s worth a try. Domestic Spending needed every meter of the Hollywood Derby distance to win here at Del Mar last fall.
Since then, he has landed two more Grade 1 events. Following a dead-heat in the Bourbon Turf Classic, Domestic Spending won the Manhattan Stakes outright. He was then beaten just a neck by Two Emmys at Arlington Park. In another few strides, Domestic Spending probably would have hit the front.
Everything points to trying him over even further being suitable. Domestic Spending is the clear pick of the home team after beating Sword Dancer scorer Gufo earlier in his career. Brown also saddles Rockemperor, who enjoyed a breakthrough success at the highest level in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic last month.
Neither of those remain unexposed over the distance, though. If one of the home team is to cause an upset and wrestle this crown away from Europe, then it may be Domestic Spending. He is on the shortlist of Breeders Cup Turf picks with stamina taken on visual impression rather than breeding.
2021 Breeders Cup Turf Picks
- Yibir to show
- Teona to show
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