Breeders Cup Mile Trends
The Mile is a great race. Always. It has seen some of the outstanding racehorses of the modern era in competition, and has created legends, none more so than that of Goldikova, the only three-time winner in Breeders Cup history.
And that is an important profile pointer in the Mile, with no fewer than ten winners returning to the race for a second – or third – time. This year, Wise Dan will bid for a repeat, but Jeranimo and Obviously (3rd in 2012) might also feature.
This race, as Goldikova’s hat-trick suggests, has been a good one for Europe, and the score is USA 17-12 Europe. Of minor interest is that John Gosden won the inaugural running in 1984, when training in California, and another Brit – Michael Dickinson – won it twice with Da Hoss, again when training Stateside.
As with most non-juvenile Breeders Cup races, the Mile doesn’t favour those which have been lightly-raced during the campaign. In fact, just two of the 29 Mile winners to date had run less than three times that season.
The ‘Crushing The Cup’ sharp last race angle is again prominent here. If a horse wasn’t placed or within four lengths of the winner last time, they’re unlikely to be good enough to bag a Breeders Cup bouquet. Even 64/1 ‘impossible’ horse, Court Vision, ran within three lengths of the winner on his prior start back in 2011.
Court Vision had been good enough to win the Woodbine Mile the previous year, and was clearly an autumn horse. That’s clearly, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight of course. And that touch of class is a theme which links most Mile winners. Group 1 class in European Mile winners, and Graded Stakes class in North American Mile winners. But class is key.
Distance form is crucial. Although there will be just a handful of entries without it, every winner since 1996 had won at a mile on turf. The vast majority were multiple mile winners. Ignore any horse that hasn’t shown a propensity for a flat mile.
Breeders Cup Mile Key Prep Races
This is a bit of a messy one, with so many Euro winners. The key European races have been the Moulin, Jacques le Marois and Foret in France; and, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in Britain. This year, Flotilla was down the field in the Moulin, beaten almost seven lengths; Mshawish was beaten four lengths in seventh on possibly too soft ground in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein; and Olympic Glory was an impressive three length winner of the QE II Stakes on soft.
Across the pond, and the main rehearsals are the Oak Tree and Keeneland Breeders Cups, and the Woodbine Mile. Wise Dan won the Woodbine Mile before running second in a Turf Mile (that was run over nine furlongs on polytrack!) in his most recent start. And No Jet Lag beat He Be Fire N Ice and Obviously in the City Of Hope (formerly the Arroyo Seco, and the Oak Tree) Stakes.