Cougar II Stakes & Wickerr Stakes Odds, Field and Picks

Can Kiss Today Goodbye take advantage of the class drop after posting solid efforts at the Grade 1 & 2 level in his most recent starts? Here the Cougar II Stakes & Wickerr Stakes betting preview!

Breeders Cup Odds

Cougar II Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $125,000 – 1 1/2 miles – Dirt – 3-Year-Olds and Up

The early morning line chalk for the Cougar II Stakes is Kiss Today Goodbye 5/2 who comes in here off a board finish in the Grade 1 Gold Cup Stakes at Santa Anita back in May, and before that was a decent fourth in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes where he met traffic problems at the top of the stretch and rallied late to take fourth spot.

He will appreciate stretching out in distance and add that to the class drop and she deserves to be the chalk in this short field.

His main rival looks to be the gate one runner Azul Coast 3/1 who has already beaten the chalk when they met in the Native Diver Stakes back in 2021. There was half a length between them that day but that was over a much shorter distance, and it could be a different story today, especially as Azul Coast is heading back from a nearly eight-month lay.

Bye Bye Bobby 6/1 is a colt on the up, having won three of his last four starts and he now holds a 13-5-3-1 career record. He won a minor stakes race two back over six and a half furlongs but his most impressive win came last time. Again at minor stakes level but this time he went gate to wire over a mile and an eighth, and he looks sure to be on the speed here.

This will take another big jolt of improvement to deal with both the stretch-out in distance and the big step up the class ladder.

The interesting one outside the top two on the boards is Rimprotector 5/1 who is totally proven over the distance and has run well the last two times. He was third in the Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano Stakes last time and filled the fifth position two back over today’s distance when beaten just over four lengths in the Grade 3 San Luis Rey Stakes. He is one-paced and will need a strong pace up top, but could get that with a couple here likely to try and go gate-to-wire.

Two of the least exposed runners are Ghazaly 6/1 and Kitten Mischief 4/1. Of the two, Kitten Mischief looks to hold the stronger claims after two fine efforts over a mile and a half on recent runs. He won a $35k OC two back when leading most of the way, and last time was only beaten two lengths into fourth when stepping up to Allowance class. This requires more but the potential is there.

Cougar II Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

Bye Bye Bobby is an improver and is likely to get an easy time on the speed here. That should set him up for a board finish.

In this small field, the vote has to go to KISS TODAY GOODBYE. He is the classiest runner in this field, holds the best recent Beyer number, and will relish the stretch-out in distance.

Rimprotector and Kitten Mischief are the others to focus on for exotics players.

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Azul CoastJuan J. Hernandez+300
Bye Bye BobbyMike E. Smith+600
RimprotectorKyle Frey+500
Kiss Today GoodbyeHector Isaac Berrios+250
GhazaalyArmando Aguilar+600
Order and LawKent J. Desormeaux+800
Kitten MischiefJoe Bravo+400

Wickerr Stakes

Stakes – Purse $100,000 – 1 mile – Turf– 3-Year-Old and Up

Can the defending champ Irideo go back to back and win the Wickerr for the second year in succession from what looks like a very tough draw?

A competitive race and Irideo 7/2 is our early morning line chalk. He has been campaigned at a much higher level than this but although this is rated as a minor stakes race in name, it is not that in nature with lots here having run in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on their last runs.

Irideo did come out on top from the horse that ran in that race but there has to be a question mark. He is a strong closer in his races and that was the run style he adopted when winning this last year. He has been running well in defeat but can he get a good enough position from his outside post?

Cathkin Peak 4/1 finished behind Irideo in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile last year but was badly positioned out the back of the field that day but closed very late to take third on the wire, a length and a quarter behind Irideo who was second.

Cathkin Peak has continued to run well in graded stakes company this season and last time was beaten just three-quarters of a length in the Grade 2 City Of Hope Mile at Santa Anita. His Beyers are ultra-consistent and he could be a bit closer to the speed from this inside gate.

So many in with chances in a tight field, and Evening Sun 6/1 who has won his last two and is now 7-4-1-0 stateside, has to be a danger. He is another who loves to close late and won the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields last time from a very tough race position.

The recent UK import and well-named I’m A Gambler 6/1 put up a nice stateside debut when fourth in the Grade 2 Santa Anita Mathis Mile in December. He comes back in off a lay but the trainer has a 19% strike rate off 180+ day lays and the horse has form when running fresh.

The one longshot to consider is the eight-year-old Restrainedvengence 30/1 who has some very solid back form and showed he is no back number when being beaten just over two lengths in last year’s Grade 3 American Stakes at Santa Anita.

Wickerr Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

Irideo is going to be the pick for a lot of handicappers and players here but he has not won since taking this race last year and that may continue here. He looks sure to run a big race, and another board finish looks likely.

The vote here goes to CATHKIN PEAK who was unlucky behind Irideo in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile last year and has been in solid form. He can strike late close to the wire.

Evening Sun, I’m A Gambler and Restrainedvengence can be fighting for a spot underneath.

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Cathkin Peak (IRE)Umberto Rispoli+400
Evening Sun (GB)Hector Isaac Berrios+600
Lamplighter JackMike E. Smith+2000
RestrainedvengenceEdwin A. Maldonado+3000
FlaviusJose Valdivia, Jr.+2000
Du JourJuan J. Hernandez+500
Time to PartyJoe Bravo+2000
Salesman (IRE)Ramon A. Vazquez+800
Cash Equity (FR)Kent J. Desormeaux+800
Irideo (ARG)Abel Cedillo+350
I’m A Gambler (IRE)Antonio Fresu+600
Hit the RoadVictor Espinoza+1200
Count of Amazonia (IRE)Tiago Josue Pereira+2000

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