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

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Here is your betting guide for Saturday'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.

Good luck.


Oft-drugged Gamine will be the heavy favorite here, and if she is on her game, she will be tough to beat. The distance suits her perfectly and she should be in front early. But we won't eat 7-5 on a horse that has a drug history. We will use her, but if she beats us, oh well. I like the rail horse turning back in distance, Speech, who came within a neck of beating Gamine at Oaklawn earlier this year and was a troubled fourth finishing just behind her in the Kentucky Oaks. A clean trip might do it.

Potential plays: Exactas 1 with 2-5-7-8-9; 2-5-7-8-9 with 1. Exacta box 1-2-8-9.

Confidence level: 3.


Historically, we kill it in turf sprints, but this race has eluded us most years. We will keep this simple, with plays on No. 1 Big Runner, who might be on the lead early and will be tough to catch, and a Euro shipper, No. 6 Glass Slippers.

Potential plays: Win/place/show on 1 and 6.

Confidence level: 4.


This is a nice, competitive race. I hate the post, but No. 12 Owendale is 1 for 1 on the track, 2 for 2 at the distance and has been chasing some of the best horses in America.

Potential plays: 12 with 1-4-5-6-7-9-10-11; 1-4-5-6-7-9-10-11 with 12.

Confidence level: 5. (Would be much higher if he was not stuck outside).


Not getting cute here; I like a Euro at 20-1 in Terebellum, who has bee right there with some monsters in Europe. While most of her races have been shorter, her best came at a similar distance. There are a lot of solid contenders in here but hopefully we can get her home at a price.

Potential plays: Win/place/show on No. 7.

Confidence level: 5.


Historically one of our best races, and with the favorite Vekoma scratching earlier in the week, I like a price horse in No. 11 Diamond Ops, who won the prep for this over the surface, is 3-for-5 at the distance with one second, and rarely runs a bad race. The price is square at 8-1 and should be rolling late in this big field.

Potential plays: Win/place/show on No. 11. Exactas 11 with 1-2-3-6-7-8-9-10; 1-2-3-6-7-8-9-10 with 11.

Confidence level: 7.


Admittedly do not have a great feel for this race, which should be dominated by Europeans. We will land on the consistent Kameko, who does her best running at this distance, but almost nothing would be a surprise in this one.

Potential plays: Win/place/show on No. 2; Exactas 2-all, all-2.

Confidence level: 3.


Going to be hard to get around Momomoy Girl, who has won 10 in a row, 12 of 14 overall and returned from a two-year layoff to go 3-0 this year. According to DRF, she has not finished behind a horse in three years and has beaten 100 of the 101 horses she has faced. Stranger things have happened, but hard to play against her. Will try to toss second choice Swiss Skydiver and find long shot value behind her in the exactas.

Potential plays: Exactas 10 with 4-7-8.

Confidence level: 5.


This one is almost a lock for a European winner, and the two favorites look especially tough. Of the two, Magical is much more accomplished, a consistent Group I winner with 12 wins in 26 starts, all against top competition. You won't get much of a price, though. The other horse we will use in exotics as a long shot is Lord North, whose last race was a disaster but the prior effort was right behind Magical.

Potential plays: Weighted Win/place/show bet with more to show, the second most to place and the least amount to win on No. 6. Exactas 2 with 3-4-6-10, 3-4-6-10 with 2. Exacta box 2-6-10.

Confidence level: 6.


Bob Baffert appears to have a stranglehold on this race, with contenders Improbable, Maximum Security and Authentic. But my play in here is Tom's D'Etat, who has been one of the best in the country for a long time. Why are we getting 6-1? His last race he stumbled badly at the start and lost all chance, as Improbable went on to win that day. But he never gave up, was beaten less than three lengths and has been freshened since. In his last seven starts, his only two losses have come at Saratoga. He is 1 for 1 at Keeneland and should be in the hunt. Three-year-old sensation Tiz The Law should be a contender as well, but the 3-year-old crop is questionable, which makes him and Authentic question marks. Should be a hell of a race.

Potential plays: Exactas 4 with 2-3-6-8-9-10; 2-3-6-8-9-10 with 4. Trifectas 4-8 with 2-3-4-6-8-9-10 with 1-2-3-4-6-8-9-10.

Confidence level: 7.

Bonus pick 4 play: All with 10 with 2-6-10 with 4-8.

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Houston drops the opener

Angels use big sixth inning to take opener from Astros

Houston's offense started hot, then went cold Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a 2-1 series win under their belt to start this ten-game homestand, the Astros turned the page to a three-game set with the Angels on Monday night. Things started strong for Houston, building an early lead, but it would erode in the middle innings as the Angels would respond with a big sixth inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 18-17, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-2)

Houston Builds an early lead

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Houston would start the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks set things off, setting up an RBI ground-rule double by Alex Bregman, giving them the 1-0 lead. Kyle Tucker lead the bottom of the second off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Myles Straw, then Michael Brantley made it 3-0 with an RBI double later in the inning.

Los Angeles roars back to take the lead

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, but Houston was able to get that run back on another RBI by Straw in the bottom of the fifth. Things fell apart for Garcia in the top of the sixth, with back-to-back one-out solo homers trimming the lead to one run and ending his night there: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 92 P.

The Angels didn't stop there, getting two more runs to take the lead off of Brandon Bielak, who managed just one out while blowing the lead. Brooks Raley would enter to get the final out of the inning, then tried to keep the deficit at one run when he returned in the top of the seventh. It looked like things might unravel for him, allowing the first two batters to reach base on a walk and single, but he would battle back to strike out the next three straight to strand both.

Angels take the opener

Joe Smith took over in the top of the eighth, still 5-4, but would get two outs while allowing a double in his three batters before Houston moved on to Kent Emanuel, who finished the inning off. After another scoreless inning for Houston's offense, Emanuel remained in the game in the top of the ninth to keep a walk-off chance alive, and he would do so by erasing a walk to send the one-run game to the bottom half. The Astros wouldn't pull off a comeback, though, dropping the opener to Los Angeles.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday night. It shapes up to be an exciting pitching matchup, with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.58 ERA) for Houston going up against the two-way star Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.41 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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