Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Marathon, the longest of the Breeders' Cup races comes our way this Friday, November 2 from Santa Anita Park. Horses three years old and upward will go 1 3/4 miles around three turns on Santa Anita's main track as they chase their share of the $500,000 purse.
A full field of 14 has been assembled for the Marathon which is race 5 on Santa Anita's Friday card. Post time is 1:48 PM. Let's take a look at all 14 contenders and what brought them to this important Grade 2 race.
2012 Breeders' Cup Marathon Race Favorites
Atigun - has won a couple of Allowance Optional Claiming races in 2012 but also has an eleventh in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes and a fifth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. His last two starts have resulted in fourth place finishes - the competitive Grade 1 Travers August 25 and the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Stakes last time out September 29 at Belmont Park. A third place finish in the Belmont Stakes in June certainly puts Atigun on the radar but he enters in so-so form for the Breeders' Cup. He is the morning line favorite.
Worth Repeating - returned after a long layoff to a fifth in the Santana Mile Stakes at Santa Anita on March 18 and followed that up with another disappointment - a seventh in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile. Since then he has looked better - a fourth and a third in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming were followed by a very impressive second to Richard's Kid in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap on July 27. He followed that with a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap and a win last time out in the minor Ralph M. Hinds Handicap by five lengths at Fairplex Park September 23. He is the second choice on the morning line largely based on his win last time out.
Breeders' Cup Marathon 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Fame and Glory - British bred European champion will be racing for the first time on American soil Friday. In four starts this year Fame and Glory has just one win back in May and has failed to finish in the money in the last three starts.
Not Abroad - has placed in his last four starts - all minor stakes and a second four back in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup. The minor stakes include a win last time out in the Maryland Million Classic Stakes at Laurel Park October 6 and a second before that in the Carl Hanford Memorial at Delaware Park September 8. He has two wins, two seconds and a third place finish in six starts this year and enters in pretty good form.
Jaycito - Bob Baffert trained Jaycito endured a long layoff prior to a decent second place finish in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes on March 4. He went on to finish a distant sixth in the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap but did win an Allowance Optional Claiming on July 22. Jaycito raced to a seventh in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic two back and was third most recently in the Big Bear Handicap here a couple weeks ago.
Eldaafer - last tasted victory in an Allowance a year ago before a win in the Carl Hanford Memorial at Delaware Park September 8. In 2012 Eldaafer has seven starts with that win, a decent second in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap and a third last time out in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap October 6 as his only really good results. He finished seventh in this race in 2009; he won it in 2010 and finished sixth in last year's edition of the Breeders' Cup Marathon. If experience means anything, Eldaafer is an intriguing 8-1.
Calidoscopio - Argentinean entry hasn`t raced since a nice win in the Grade 2 General Belgrano in Argentina. Before that was a ninth in a Grade 1 race in his native land and a win in February also in Argentina.
Breeders' Cup Marathon betting at Santa Anita with OffTrackBetting.com
Commander - has won six straight races leading up to the Breeders' Cup - the most impressive coming last time out in the Grade 3 BC Premier`s Handicap at Hastings October 8. He has had quite a year in Canada winning all six of his starts but the Breeders' Cup is certainly a step up in competition.
Sense of Purpose - Irish bred mare that has raced just three times this year - a fourth two back being the best result.
Juniper Pass - returned from a lengthy layoff in May to finish fourth in an Allowance on May 19 and followed it up with an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap on June 9 behind the likes of Acclamation. It was just over a year ago that Juniper Pass was one to keep your eyes on - two straight wins in the Grade 2 San Luis Stakes and the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap. His last three starts have yielded a fourth, a third and a second place finish - the latter two coming in minor stakes races.
Balladry - finished second in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita on January 14 prior to a fifth in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes also on this track. He won an Allowance at Hollywood Park on April 29 and followed it up with a pair of thirds - in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap July 27 and before that at the Prove It Stakes at Hollywood Park on June 8. Last time out was Balladry`s worst performance in a 17 race career - a ninth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here September 29.
Romp - Eight year old gelding has a whopping 53 career starts with just four wins. Since an Allowance score in October 2010, Romp has yet to find the winner's circle. His best result in quite some time came three back - a second in the Grade 3 Sunset Handicap. But he followed that with a sixth in the Grade 3 Cougar II and a third last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track October 7.
Grassy - is a multiple graded stakes winner that returned to a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar August 30 after nearly 10 months away. He won the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap a year ago to prove that he has what it takes to be competitive on Sunday. In his Breeders' Cup tune-up Grassy was fourth in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf here September 30.
Almudena - Brazilian bred filly brings some Latin flare to the race.