Sportswriter Steve Day offers his picks for iconic Breeders’ Cup Championships

The 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held at Churchill Downs Friday and Saturday. It will feature five races Friday and nine on Saturday at the historic racing facility in Louisville, Ky.

The historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. – home of the Kentucky Derby – will play host to the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday and Saturday.

For the first time, Friday will feature all 2-year-old races and is being billed as Future Stars Friday. A new race on the Breeders’ Cup card will kick off the two-day event. The Juvenile Turf Sprint is scheduled to run at 3:21 p.m.

There will be more than $30 million in purses offered over the two days and NBC Sports will televise both days of racing.

Steve Day predicts a favorable outcome for Marley’s Freedom in the Filly & Mare Breeders’ Cup Sprint race Saturday.

Some unique wagering opportunities are being offered. The head-to-head wager is a $10 minimum bet and is offered with only a 10 percent takeout. And there will be few daily doubles that encompass races from both days’ cards.

Because Justify, the only Triple Crown winner to retire undefeated, is no longer running, the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic was overdrawn. It seems everybody wanted a shot at the big purse without having to run against a huge standout.

The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic was overdrawn because Justify, the only Triple Crown winner to retire undefeated, is no longer running. The field for the race, which is slated to run at 5:44 p.m., is limited to 14 horses.

The field is limited to 14 runners and drew 16. That necessitated the need for two runners being placed on the also-eligible list.

The Classic is slated to run at 5:44 p.m. The first Breeders’ Cup race on Saturday is the Filly & Mare Sprint, with a scheduled post time of noon.

Steve Day is a fan of Wild Illusion in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf race.

Coolmore has 20 horses entered in the 14 races. The European horses should perform well, as the weather forecast in Louisville for Friday is cool and partly cloudy with a high of only 57 degrees and just a 20 percent chance of rain.

For Saturday, it is expected to be partly cloudy with the same 20 percent chance of precipitation.

STEVE DAY’S PICKS
Friday
Juvenile Turf Sprint – Shang Shang Shang, Sergei Prokofiev, Strike Silver. Longshot: Bulletin.
Juvenile Fillies Turf – Newspaperofrecord, Just Wonderful, La Pelosa. Longshot: Concrete Rose.
Juvenile Fillies – Bellafina, Restless Rider, Vibrance. Longshot: Reflect.
Juvenile Turf – Anthony Van Dyck, Current, Line of Duty. Longshot: Much Better.
Juvenile – Game Winner, Complexity, Standard Deviation. Longshot: Tight Ten.

Saturday
Filly & Mare Sprint – Marley’s Freedom, Golden Mischief, Selcourt. Longshot: Finley’sluckycharm.
Turf Sprint – Disco Partner, Strong Liberal, Lost Treasure. Longshot: Vision Perfect.
Dirt Mile – Seeking the Soul, City of Light, Awesome Slew. Longshot: Bravazo.
Filly & Mare Turf – Wild Illusion, Sistercharlie, Fourstar Crook. Longshot: Magic Wand.
Sprint – Limousine Liberal, Roy H, Imperial Hint. Longshot: Whitmore.
Mile – Analyze It, Polydream, Expert Eye. Longshot: I Can Fly.
Distaff – Midnight Bisou, Monomoy Girl, Abel Tasman. Longshot: Wow Cat.
Turf – Enable, Robert Bruce, Waldgeist. Longshot: Channel Marker.
Classic – Yoshida, Thunder Snow, Mendelssohn. Longshot: Roaring Lion.