Breeders Cup: A look at the Mile

By The Rex Factor

A look at the Mile

One of the more diverse fields of the day will hit the Keeneland lawn to kick off the late big guaranteed Pick-4. Defending Mile champion Karakontie (11) has ran just twice since winning the race last season, failing to fire in his first start and being forced to make the lead in his second when running third in France. The Japanese bred will find a pace more to his liking in this spot.

A field of 12 will meet, many for the first time. That’s because they were all busy winning races all over the globe before meeting for the world championship. Of the 11 horses outside Karakontie, eight of them won their final preps. The other three were vanquished by rivals in here. Grand Arch (1) beat Tourist (6) in the Shadwell Turf Mile last out; two back he won the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga, as Mshawish (10) ran fifth. Obviously (8) ran third in the Woodbine Mile, as Mondialiste (4) vanquished him. While I’ve mentioned half the field, I’ve hardly gotten to the contenders.

Five entries were Kentucky-breds, four more were Irish-bred and two more were from Great Britain (then there’s Karakontie). Age ranges in here from 3-to-7, with the two youngsters rating real chances. Make Believe (3) is the morning line 3-to-1 favorite by Keeneland oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. Andre Fabre trains the British horse, winning the same prep that the filly Goldikova used on her way to winning this race three times. He’s made just six starts so the upside is there, and the last three 3-year olds to win this race were European. The other 3-year old is Time Test (12), another British invader.

Speaking of fillies, Irish-bred Esoterique (9) comes off an impressive win in a Group 1 at Newmarket, winning despite the jockey dropping the whip. She’s already beaten the boys (including Karakontie two back) and can run on any sort of lawn. Another filly, Tepin (7) is Kentucky-bred and goes after the boys after a 7-length win in a G-I last out on soft footing, which is what the turf could come up today. She’s probably the best US hope, according to the early lines.

 

Please read our latest article, Breeders’ Cup Preview – Thirteen of the Best Annual Horse Races on the Planet.

What to know: Race 8 on the card; it’s the sixth of the nine Saturday Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland

Post time: 3:30 p.m. EDT

Purse: $2 million

Distance: 1 mile

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