FALCON POINTS

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

Analysis and plays for Saturday's Breeders' Cup races at Keeneland
Photo by Getty Images

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.

RACE 4 - BC FILLY/MARE SPRINT

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.

RACE 5 - BC TURF SPRINT

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.

RACE 6 - BC DIRT MILE

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).

RACE 7 - BC FILLY/MARE TURF

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.

RACE 8 - BC SPRINT

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.

RACE 9 - BC MILE

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.

RACE 10 - BC DISTAFF

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.

RACE 11 - BC TURF

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.

RACE 12 - BC CLASSIC

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.


Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Astros defeat the Rangers, 9-2. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

Kyle Tucker doubled twice and had three RBIs and Jose Altuve added three hits and drove in two runs as the Houston Astros used a seven-run seventh inning to break a tie and coast to a 9-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

The Astros snapped a four-game skid and bounced back after allowing the Rangers to score their season high in a 12-8 win in the series opener.

Altuve said he hopes this game can help get the Astros on a roll after their early struggles.

“We as a team are very confident... this is the kind of team we are, we have done it before,” Altuve said. “I don't see why we can't start doing it again.”

It was tied at 2 and the bases were loaded with one out in the seventh when pinch-hitter Victor Caratini’s RBI single to right field off José Ureña (0-1) put the Astros on top.

Altuve followed with a double to the corner of left field to send two more home and push the lead to 5-2. Austin Pruitt took over and intentionally walked Yordan Alvarez before Tucker doubled to center field to score two more.

Houston made it 9-2 when Alvarez scored on a sacrifice fly by Yainer Diaz.

“That was great,” manager Joe Espada said. “That’s the offense that I’m used to seeing. When we get pitchers against the ropes, we've got to put them away and that’s exactly what we did today.”

Ronel Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut and pitched six scoreless innings Sunday, gave the Astros another solid start Saturday. He gave up two runs in the first inning before settling down to pitch five scoreless frames. He allowed five singles with three walks and five strikeouts.

It was a much-needed performance after Houston’s starters had allowed 31 earned runs with a 20.93 ERA across 13 1/3 innings in the last five games.

“It started with Blanco,” Espada said. “He set the stage and then our offense got some big hits.”

Texas starter Andrew Heaney yielded four hits and two runs while walking four in 3 2/3 innings.

“I’m fighting myself a little bit right now, mechanically, mentally, just having a hard time getting some traction, getting going,” he said. "So I’m just going to keep working.”

The Rangers loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Bryan Abreu (1-1) struck out Evan Carter to escape the jam before Houston took the lead in the bottom of the inning.

Rookie Wyatt Langford had two hits and an RBI for Texas and Adolis García added two hits.

Houston’s José Abreu, who is hitting just .122 this season, had two hits with a double for his first multi-hit game this season and his first extra base hit of the year.

Blanco walked Evan Carter and García with two outs in the first before giving up his first run of the season on an RBI single by Josh Smith. Langford followed with a run-scoring single to push the lead to 2-0.

Abreu opened the fourth with a double and moved to third on a groundout by Jake Meyers before scoring on a groundout by Mauricio Dubón to cut the lead to 2-1.

Heaney then hit Altuve and Alvarez with pitches and was lifted for Jacob Latz. Tucker lined a double into center field to score Altuve and tie it at 2-2.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: LHP Brock Burke was placed on the 15-day injured list Saturday after breaking his right hand punching a wall after a poor outing Friday night. … Pruitt had his contract selected from Triple-A Round Rock to take his spot on the roster. … INF Justin Foscue (left oblique strain) was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day list.

Astros: 3B Alex Bregman missed a second straight game with flu-like symptoms. … RHP Shawn Dubin (forearm strain) was reinstated from the 15-day injured list Saturday to take the spot of RHP Joel Kuhnel, who was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land.

UP NEXT

Texas RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 1.45 ERA) opposes RHP Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.10) in the series finale Sunday.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome