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Live Long Shots for Breeders’ Cup Saturday

We whet our appetite with four Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and now we have nine more on Saturday, including the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) which pits Gun Runner against a quartet of Bob Baffert trainees.

Gun Runner was the slight favorite over Arrogate in futures betting at Bovada over the past month, but a look this morning and they are both listed at odds of 2-1.

In addition to Arrogate, Baffert will saddle West Coast (11-2), Collected (6-1) and Mubtaahij (22-1).

On Friday I gave out three value plays with Significant Form checking in fourth at 7-1, Practical Joke running fourth at 7-1 and then Mendelssohn getting the victory, bet down from his 8-1 morning line and paying $11.60.

Let’s find a few more value plays for Saturday:

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint

Finley’sluckycharm (6-1) overcame getting bumped at the start to win the TCA (G2) last out at Keeneland from off the pace in her first start off a 2 1/2-month break. She wired the field in her four previous starts and has won nine of her 12 starts with a couple of seconds. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and the TCA has produced five winners of this race. She looks primed for a top effort here and the 6-1 morning line looks fair enough.

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

Wuheida (20-1) is coming off a close-up fourth in the Prix de l’Opera (G1). The runner-up Hydrangea came back to win the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (G1) at Ascot in her next outing on Oct. 21. Wuheida won the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) over firm ground at a mile last fall and was a good second to Roly Poly in the Fallmouth Stakes (G1) in July off the bench. Don’t forget this race is at 1 1/8 miles and not 1 1/4 miles and that should suit this filly. She has made a very good impression in the mornings since arriving at Del Mar and may end up a bit of a buzz horse today, but we still should get a generous price on her in this spot. Charles Appleby has started just one runner in a BC race, winning with Outstrip in the ’13 Juvenile Turf (G1).

Breeders’ Cup Mile

Home of the Brave (20-1) was not a threat last year in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and may show more here on the stretch out to a mile. Last out the five-year-old was third in the Park Stakes (G2), beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Aclaim, who came back to win the Prix de la Foret (G1) at Chantilly next out on Oct. 1 at Chantilly. The Palmer trainee appears to go well over firmer ground, a close-up second two back in the Lennox (G2) over good ground and a Group 3 winner last year. He steps into a tougher spot here but picks up Mike Smith and his price is going to be generous. He is usually forwardly placed and that will suit him well here.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

I thought U S Navy Flag (8-1) would be tough in the Juvenile Turf (G1) but his trainer Aiden O’Brien elects to try him on dirt in his 11th start of the year. He has won back-to-back Group 1 races on turf, last out beating Mendelssohn in the Dewhurst Stakes, and that runner won the Juvenile Turf on Friday as my top pick. The colt is by War Front out of the stakes winner Misty for Me ($1.1 million) who has dropped two other stakes winners, including Roly Poly ($939,537), who goes in today’s Mile (G1). O’Brien has started 15 runners in the Juvenile, winning with Johannesburg in ’01, and he has a third and a couple of fourths. Ryan Moore rides and on the stretch out appears to have enough speed to get a good spot by the time they head into the first turn.

The Breeders’ Cup will be televised today on the NBC Sports Network with the $6-million Classic broadcast on NBC.

Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Breeders’ Cup for OddsShark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at turfnsport.com.

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