Breeders' Cup Turf Future Book Prediction

There are a dozen runners in the impossibly high-class G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Saturday, and 11 of them are G1 winners. The Europeans obviously have a sleeveful of aces with the likes of Derby one-two Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel, ten-furlong specialist Mostahdaf and G1 Arc de Triomphe third Onesto, but local stars Up To The Mark and War Like Goddess have a fighting chance of keeping the huge purse at home. Check out the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Turf Future Book and our Betting Prediction here!

Breeders Cup Odds

Breeders’ Cup Turf Future Book

G1, $4m, 1m 4f turf, 3yo+, Santa Anita, November 4

Pound-for-pound, as the boxing writers say, the Turf is the best race of the entire Breeders’ Cup weekend. The European challenge is one of the strongest there has ever been, the home team has two proper big-hitters where frequently it has none, and there is even a live longshot from Japan. This is a crackerjack contest and no mistake.

This is not often a race for sophomores but that is the place to start, with Auguste Rodin (3-1) and King Of Steel (4-1), the one-two from the 2023 G1 Derby at Epsom over a mile and a half in June when separated by just a half-length, renewing rivalry after a very successful year for both.

Auguste Rodin, by turns scintillating and shockingly poor, added the 2023 G1 Irish Derby at the Curragh to his resume before cutting back to ten furlongs to win the 2023 G1 Irish Champion at Leopardstown in determined fashion, prevailing by a half-length with King Of Steel another half-length back in fourth. King Of Steel then rebounded to win the ten-furlong 2023 G1 Champion in the mud at Ascot, coming through late to get the job done by three-quarters of a length.

It is fair to say that Auguste Rodin is slightly the better of the pair, his barn has won this race a record six times (though not since 2016), and the fast ground will suit him well. King Of Steel comes back off a tough race on a two-week turnaround; not ideal.

Not ideal – that describes the distance for Mostahdaf (5-2), who is a ten-furlong specialist with G1 wins on his last two starts, in the 2023 Prince of Wales’s at Royal Ascot and the 2023 Juddmonte International at York in August.

He goes best fresh on fast ground, so that is two boxes ticked, and he can also go well over a mile and a half, as he showed when fourth behind world champion Equinox in the 2023 G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March when Japanese hope Shahryar (15-1) was a length back in fifth.

If Mostahdaf can reproduce his best form while stretching out he is the most likely winner, but there has to be a doubt about that. Shahryar ran extremely badly on his sole start since then, but on the best of his form at home – runner-up in the 2022 G1 Japan Cup – he would have every chance of hitting the board, and the fast ground suits him too.

The Frenchman Onesto (8-1) is riding a six-race losing streak stretching back to last summer, but he may be peaking again judged on his last-time-out career-best in the 2023 G1 Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp over a mile and a half, when he was a rallying third behind superstar Ace Impact, beaten a length and three-quarters. That is seriously hot form, this distance is ideal, and he rates a slight overlay.

Auguste Rodin’s barnmates Bolshoi Ballet (15-1) and Broome (30-1) have US stamps on their passports already. Bolshoi Ballet snapped a two-year losing streak when romping by four and a half lengths in the 2023 G1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga on soft turf, and is a worthy second-string although a long way behind his more illustrious stablemate. The veteran Broome is nowhere near the force he was when runner-up in this race two years ago and first-time blinkers will not change that.

Is Mark up to the challenge?

Normally, that would be all she wrote. The Euros come packing all kinds of heat and shoot it out amongst themselves. But hold on just a minute, as for the first time in a long time the home team has a star player of their own.

The switch to the weeds has transformed Up To The Mark (5-1), who is three-for-three in G1s on the lawn at a variety of distances – a stroll by two and three-quarter lengths in the 2023 Manhattan at Belmont Park over ten furlongs, and a punchy nose success in the 2023 Coolmore Turf Mile at Keeneland.

Up To The Mark is comfortably the best on turf in the US, but the obvious, $64,000 question is – can he stretch out a mile and a half against rock-solid European stayers? He was also pre-entered for the Mile, illustrating the doubts surrounding him. If he can go longer, he has the speed to really mix it with the tourists. If ten furlongs is his limit, he will not be in the first six home.

There are no such doubts for the marvelous War Like Goddess (12-1), who positively thrives at a mile and a half, as she showed when third in this race last year, beaten three lengths when finishing off her race best of all. Broome was sixth and Gold Phoenix (30-1) was a no-show tenth.

She will need to do better because this is a stronger race than last year’s edition, but her cruising score in the 2023 G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Aqueduct last time provides hope that she may be able to move up.

Balladeer (30-1) made a splash on his stakes debut when going gate-to-wire to win the 2023 G2 John Henry Turf Championship here over ten furlongs, fending off the posse by a half-length with Gold Phoenix fourth, three and a half lengths further back.

He should ensure a decent gallop, but it is stretching the imagination too far to suggest that he can wire this incredibly strong field, while Adhamo (30-1) makes little appeal after being beaten nine and a half lengths into third in the 2023 G1 Canadian International at Woodbine last time.

2023 Breeders’ Cup Turf Prediction

A strong case can be made for each of the big four European runners, and ONESTO is preferred after producing a career-best against Europe’s finest in the G1 Arc de Triomphe last time. He looks to be peaking at exactly the right moment.

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