Falcon Points

Analysis and plays for Friday's Breeders' Cup races at Keeneland

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Here is your betting guide for Friday's Breeders' Cup races at Keeneland. I don't recommend playing them all, but we do provide potential plays for each race. We also provide a "confidence level" for each race, with 10 being the most confident and 1 the least. Ideally you save your biggest bankroll plays for the ones 5 and up. You can play these exactas for as little as a $1 increment, but play to your bankroll. (Stay tuned for Saturday's plays coming soon. I like that card MUCH better).

Good luck.


This is an absolute crapshoot, but that is also where you can make some money. With 2-year-olds, inconsistency is a big part of their games. The 14 horse, Golden Pal, will be the favorite, but speed is his game and he will have tons of company battling for the early lead. We will take a flyer with No. 5 Cowan, a closer who has a second at this distance over this surface.

Possible plays: 5-all, all-5 exactas, weighted show/place/win on the 5. I will also play small win/place/show bets on a couple European-based long shots, the 3 and the 6.

Confidence level: 2.


European-based runners tend to dominate most of the turf races, and this should be no exception. There are several Euro runners who could win this, but we will focus on No. 2 New Mandate at 12-1. He has won three in a row, has a nice stretch kick and will be rolling late. We will key him in exactas with the other Euros and two North American horses.

Possible plays: Exactas 2 with 1-5-6-7-9-11-12-13-14 and 1-5-6-7-9-11-12-13-14 with 2.

Confidence level: 4.


Will likely be passing on this one, as it is a short field and will be hard to get past the Bob Baffert favorite Princess Noor, who will probably fail a postface drug test, and the second choice Simply Ravishing. But we will also throw in a couple prices and hope for the best.

Possible plays: Exacta box 1-2-5-7, Trifecta box 1-2-5-7.

Confidence level: 3.


This might be a spot where the North American horses have an advantage; this is not the strongest group of Euros. Plum Ali has been dominant in all three starts and we will try to catch her in an exacta with a long shot.

Possible plays: Exactas 4 with 2-3-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-14 and 2-3-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-14 with 4.

Confidence level: 5.


Our first look at potential 2021 Derby horses (IF there is a 2021) and Jackie's Warrior will be a heavy favorite. But he has never been this far, will need the lead to win and will be pushed early by several others. All of that adds up to using long shot closers, which leads us to the 1, 6 and 9.

Possible plays: Exacta box 1-6-9. Exacta box 1-6-7-9. Exacts 1-6-9 with 1-2-5-6-7-9-13; 1-2-5-6-7-9-13 with 1-6-9.

Confidence level: 4.

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The Coogs play Miami on Friday night. Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images.

Number one seed University of Houston is favored by 7.5 points over No. 5 Miami, and No. 2 University of Texas is favored by 4 over No. 3 Xavier Friday night in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Kansas City.

Talk about opening acts. If both UH and UT win, they’ll meet Sunday in a good ol’ WWE-style Texas death match for a berth in the Final Four at NRG Stadium in Houston. Thank you, Mr. Schedule Maker.

How much do you think Cougar fans would love for UH to get their hands on the Longhorns with so much at stake?

For one example, let’s go back to the future, Oct. 21, 2023, when Big 12 rivals UH and UT meet in football at TDECU Stadium on the Houston campus. The game already is a lock sellout with tickets in the upper deck commanding $141 per ticket on the secondary market. It will be UH’s first year in the big boy Big 12 and UT’s last go-around before heading to the SEC.

One last opportunity for lasting bragging rights.

That’s for a UH football game. At home. Where the Cougars typically have trouble packing half the house. For example, the Cougars will be hosting the Sam Houston Bearkats at TDECU Stadium a month earlier. Tickets for that game, the same exact seat going for $141 against UT, can be had right now … $17.

Yeah, there’s something special about UH getting the opportunity to face UT. In anything. Anywhere. And it’s been a long time since the two teams, once co-members of the Southwest Conference together, have met on the basketball court. A full decade, in fact. The last time they played was March 20, 2013 with the Cougars prevailing 73-72 in something called the College Basketball Invitational. The UH coach was James Dickey. UT was coached by Rick Barnes. Joe Young led the Cougars with 18 points. The Horns’ leading scorer was Julien Lewis with 28. UH finished that season with a 20-13 record. UT limped home at 16-18.

That was then, this is now. The UH-Miami game will air at 6:10 p.m. Friday on CBS with UH grad Jim Nantz calling the play-by-play. The game will alsO stream on Hulu +++. ESPN’s BPI (basketball power index) gives the Cougars a 90 percent chance of winning. We’ll take it.

The UT-Xavier game will follow at 8:45 p.m. on CBS. The Horns have a 70 percent chance of beating the Musketeers. If both chalks come through, they’ll meet Sunday afternoon with the game on CBS.

The Cougars have made six Final Four appearances: 1967, 1968, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2021. The Horns have made three Final Fours, the last time two decades ago.

Here’s the only sure bet if UH and UT meet Sunday - get to your sports bar early if you want a seat. This could be memorable.

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