Three interesting Breeders’ Cup Trends for the Saturday at Keeneland

Wrote Breeders Cup

The biggest two days of flat racing in America, the Breeders’ Cup is a slice of history. The best from around the globe are converging on Keeneland for the 2020 edition, including a strong European challenge.

The Saturday of the meeting has nine Grade 1 races, including the feature contest, the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Regarded as the biggest race of the US flat calendar, the winner will likely be crowned the horse of the year.

As with all the big meetings across the world, statistics and trends can help us hone in on the winner. From trainers with superb records, to intricate details that the last ten race winners have shared, trends are a fascinating weapon to use.

We’ve taken a look through the Saturday card, and found three must-read trends! You can find them below. You can also take advantage of Virgin Bet’s sign-up offer and streaming service to get the most out of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup.

Go wide!

Although it’s not a statistic many will not give much weight too, it’s fascinating to note that three of the last four winners of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff have been drawn in the widest stall. None of those winners have been the favourite either, as you can see below:

  • 2016 – Beholder (8 of 8) 4/1
  • 2018 – Monomoy Girl (11 of 11) 9/4
  • 2019 – Blue Prize (11 of 11) 9/1 

Brad Cox will be hoping Monomoy Girl can replicate her 2018 performance, by winning the Distaff from the widest stall. She missed all of 2019 but has made up for lost time with an unbeaten 2020 campaign, including a victory in the Grade 1 La Troienne.

If she does claim victory, she’ll be just the fourth horse to win the Distaff on two occasions, and just the second to recapture the prize.

O’Brien is the turf powerhouse

The Breeders’ Cup turf has been an extremely happy hunting ground for Aidan O’Brien. The master of Ballydoyle has won the race a remarkable six times, all in the colours of Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. Recent victors including Found in 2015 and Highland Reel in 2016. He has a pair of chances in 2020, both at the top of the market.

Many will fancy Magical, who only found Enable too strong when second in this contest in 2018. She’s weaved her magic in 2020 with three Group 1 successes and she’s likely to right favourite on that basis.

That being said, Mogul also gets allowances as a three-year-old and this race should be set up to suit. He’s drawn widest of all, which is no help, but he’s really found his feet in recent starts after a disappointing start to his campaign.

His Grand Prix de Paris success was a superb performance and a repeat of that form would make him a difficult horse to beat.

All the threes!

The Breeders’ Cup Classic has been a very happy hunting ground for Bob Baffert. He’s the winning most trainer in the contest, landing it on three occasions. They were all landed consecutively too from 2014 to 2016 with Bayern, American Pharaoh and Arrogate.

Ironically, he runs three in the Classic in 2020, and they’re drawn in the widest three post positions! Drawn in stall eight, Improbable is the horse they all have to beat under Irad Ortiz Jr. He’s been devastating in his last three starts, winning a trio of Grade 1 races.

His success in the Awesome Again Stakes was something special and he holds stable-mate Maximum Security on that running. It’s been an incredible year for both Baffert and Improbable, and it would be a fitting way to end the campaign with a Classic win.

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