Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile this Saturday, November 3. The world's best grass milers compete in this race around two turns of the Santa Anita turf course for horses 3-years-old and older. A purse of $2 million will be on the line.

The Breeders' Cup Mile has attracted a field of nine for race 11 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 4:40 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all nine entries and what should play out in this most important Grade 1 race.

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2012 Breeders' Cup Mile Race Favorites

Excelebration - Irish bred colt brings some intrigue to the Mile - in the money in every career start expect for his debut. He has finished first or second in his last eight starts including two Grade 1 scores overseas and three Weight For Age Stakes. He is the most accomplished European entry and should offer a challenge to the field. He is the morning line favorite for Saturday's race.

Wise Dan - Wise Dan ended his 2011 campaign with two wins and has won four of five this year with a second in his other start this year - the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland in April. He holds an impressive win by five lengths in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga on August 11 a win in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile September 16 and the Grade 3 Shadwell Turf Mile last time out at Keeneland October 6. That makes eight wins in his last 10 starts for perhaps the best American entry in this race - he is definitely one everyone will have their eyed fixed upon Saturday.

Breeders' Cup Mile 2012 | Remaining Field Entries

Moonlight Cloud - A British bred filly that has won a Group 3 Stakes and two Group 1 Stakes races in Europe in her last five starts. She finished an uncharacteristic fourth two back and lost to Excelebration in a Group 1 Stakes but bounced back with a win last time out.

Obviously - has eight starts this year with four wins, three seconds and a third place finish with three straight wins including the Grade 2 Arroyo Seco Mile last time out here October 6 and the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile before that. He has placed in nine of 10 starts but enters the Breeders' in the best form of his career despite not racing against the absolute best just yet.

Animal Kingdom - was one of the top horses on the planet in 2011 - a win in the Kentucky Derby, a second in the Preakness and a sixth in the Belmont certainly put the H. Graham Motion trainee on the map. He endured an eight month layoff after the Triple Crown and returned in February to a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming in his only start in the last 16 months. To win the Mile, a horse has to be in peak form - Animal Kingdom appears a ways away from that.

Breeders' Cup Mile betting at Santa Anita with OffTrackBetting.com

Mr. Commons - Mr. Commons won the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes on February 4 at Santa Anita to follow a win at the Sir Beaufort Stakes on that same track, on December 26 but hasn't tasted victory since. Last time out was a third in the Grade 2 Arroyo Seco Mile here last month to follow a good second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile. He also finished second in two straight races - the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes and the Grade 2 American Handicap and was fourth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park on June 30. Mr. Commons hasn't won since February - something that trainer John Sherreffs hopes to change Saturday on the biggest stage.

Suggestive Boy - made his US debut with a very good second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on June 30 and followed that with a win in the Wickerr Stakes on July 25 after a very successful career in South America. He has raced to a pair of fifth in his last two starts however - the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on August 26 and the Grade 1 Awesome Again last time out here September 29. Suggestive Boy won three straight races before shipping to North America but has struggled as of late.

Jeranimo - Jeranimo returned to prominence most recently with a win in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile after a decent second in the race before - the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate. He was third last time out in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile - the third straight race in which he has placed. His other results in 2012 include a fourth in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe and a second at the Grade 2 San Gabriel on January 16. Despite flying under the radar a tad this year, he has finished in the money in four of five races - he could contend Saturday and be a handful for the rest of the field.

Willcox Inn - Won the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last October but hasn't been the same since - eighth place finishes in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby and the Grade 1 Arlington Millions along with an Allowance score on July 22. Last time out was a good second in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf October 6 to breed a little optimism into Willcox Inn's chances in the Breeders' Cup.

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