Joe Hirsch Turf Classic 2017 Predictions
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic 2017
With 11 runners set to contest the Joe Hirsch, this race has all the makings of a stellar betting event. Three of the contenders claim a grade one victory in their last start and the European-shipper, The Grey Gatsby adds some intriguing international flavor. The Joe Hirsch is the last of four graded stakes races on the Belmont card, capping an all-stakes pick 4.
On speed figures, Sadler's Joy and Money Multiplier have a slight edge against this field. They ran 1-2 in the Sword Dancer with Sadler's Joy claiming a half length victory.
Assuming the race comes down to these two, however, would be foolhardy. Neither runner has shown the ability to string big wins together and Money Multiplier is just 4 for 17 in his career with an eye-opening 7 second-place finishes. The numbers reveal what he is: a talented runner who often settles for minor awards. Sadler's Joy is a more respectable 5 for 12 lifetime, but has shown an affinity for close finishes - he's never beaten much in defeat and never wins by open margins.
I'm looking for both runners to be in the hunt once again, but I just can't pull the trigger by fully endorsing either. In cases like these I'll often look for betting value elsewhere.
Despite winning the Grade 1 Arlington Million last out, Beach Patrol is another horse in the Sadler's Joy/Money Multiplier mold. He's a solid, but unspectacular runner as his 4/15 lifetime record suggests. Beach Patrol's Beyer Speed Figures are consistently a few points below those of Sadler's Joy and Money Multiplier, so it's difficult to envision him getting over on those two. I'll also swing against Beach Patrol even though a lot of money figures to settle here.
Oscar Performance is a proven winner (6/9 career) and brings plenty of early speed to this contest. This three-year old runner will need marked improvement to factor here as his best lifetime Beyer is just 96, but it's not a stretch to think he will step forward against better competition. The 3/1 morning line seems like a short price, but i wouldn't be surprised to see this guy available at twice those odds when the gates open. The Grey Gatsby is a classy horse, but his recent form has been poor. If the trip across the pond and Lasix are the wake-up call here, it might be worth taking a stab.
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Entries
- Money Multiplier (7/2)
- Converge (50/1)
- Oscar Performance (3/1)
- Sadler's Joy (4/1)
- Beach Patrol (5/1)
- Ascend (12/1)
- Channel Maker (20/1)
- Mekhtaal (15/1)
- Fanciful Angel (10/1)
- The Grey Gatsby (8/1)
- Tricked Up (50/1)
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Picks
- #4 Sadler's Joy
- #3 Oscar Performance
- #9 Fanciful Angel
- #1 Money Multiplier
Breeders' Cup Qualifiers Update
Being completely honest, I'm not expecting the Breeders' Cup Turf winner to emerge from this year's Joe Hirsch Classic. European shippers have historically dominated this event and that won't change in 2017 with horses like Ulysses, Decorated Knight and reigning champion Highland Reel expected to ship to Del Mar. Still, horses like Money Multiplier and Sadler's Joy are consistent types and could land a minor share.
In BC Classic news, Arrogate is reportedly working extremely well at Santa Anita following the big horse's puzzling defeats at Del Mar and is training up to the Breeders' Cup. The Awesome Again Stakes September 30 at Del Mar is a BC Classic "Win and You're In" event that will feature some of the west coast's top older runners.
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