Breeders’ Cup Saturday at Keeneland features nine championship events, including the $6 million Classic. We’ll preview a couple of the races that precede that signature event and try to uncover some winners.
Keeneland Race 8 (Post time: 2:36 p.m. ET)
The Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint
Six furlongs on dirt
A pair of win machines in #2 C Z ROCKET (7-2) and #10 YAUPON (7-2) will square off in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint – the latter gets a tepid nod.
YAUPON is a perfect 4-for-4 lifetime, all in six-furlong races. He won with authority in the Grade III Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico when last seen. YAUPON gets tested for class here, but so does the majority of the field. His speed figures are certainly good enough to win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and there’s room for improvement for this lightly-raced son of Uncle Mo. Joel Rosario gets a leg-up from Steve Asmussen.
C Z ROCKET has won five consecutive races since being claimed by Peter Miller. That includes two straight Grade II triumphs in the Pat O’Brien and Santa Anita Sprint Championship, respectively. C Z ROCKET has two prior starts under his belt at Keeneland and won them both. Luis Saez will be in the irons.
#6 FRANK’S ROCKETTE (10-1) intrigues underneath, as does #8 FIRENZE FIRE (8-1). The former is a three-year-old filly trying the boys after beating her equals five times in six tries in 2020. That includes three straight graded stakes scores. FRANK’S ROCKETTE is fast enough to land a share here under Junior Alvarado.
FIRENZE FIRE is 0-for-3 lifetime in the Breeders’ Cup but 6-for-11 in his career going six furlongs. He was last seen dominating the Grade II Vosburgh at the distance. Jose Lezcano sees fit to fly in for the assignment.
The play: $5 exacta box 2/10, $3 exacta 2,10/6, $2 exacta 2,10/8 ($20)
Keeneland Race 9 (Post time: 3:15 p.m. ET)
The Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile
One mile on turf
#5 DIGITAL AGE is finally living up to his promise after some disappointing efforts at the tail-end of his three-year-old season. He closed fast to take the Grade I Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Derby day at 1 1/8-miles. DIGITAL AGE will have one less furlong to work with in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, but he’s a perfect 2-for-2 lifetime at this trip. Javier Castellano has the call for Chad Brown.
The play: $10 win/place 5
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