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Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Betting – Twilight Eclipse Heads To The Breeders' Cup

Posted by on 9/25/2015 12:09:52 AM

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic is a Grade-1 race for horses three years old and up, and the winner will go straight to the Breeders' Cup Turf race. It is run at Belmont Park and like the Triple Crown race that is run there, it is run over 1 1/2 miles, but it is obviously run on turf instead of dirt. There is also a purse of $600,000 up for grabs, but the big prize is really the trip to the Breeders' Cup.

Even though this race is for three years olds and up, there are four five-year-old horses, and two at seven years. The winner is a six-year-old that has been around the block, especially in this race as he has been in it twice. The third time will be a charm for Twilight Eclipse, who will win and book his ticket to the Breeders' Cup next month at Keeneland.

What: Horse Betting

When: Saturday, September 26th, 2015; post time 6:01 PM ET

Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY

Pick: Twilight Eclipse

Big Blue Kitten is well versed in graded-stakes events as this will be his 19th start in such a race, and he has finished first (twice) or second (four times) in each of his last six starts, four of which were Grade-1 races. He finished second to Little Mike in 2013 here, then fourth last year, and this could be his last shot to get back to the Breeders' Cup Turf, where the seven-year-old finished eighth two years ago.

Perfect Title, on the other hand, has made just one graded-stakes start and that was a seventh at the Grade-2 Jim Dandy in July 2013. His other 15 starts were either maiden (he needed four tries to break it), allowance or claiming races, so this should be the best field he has ever faced. Don't expect much from this five-year-old.

Quiet Force is coming off a 10th at the Grade-1 Arlington Million last month, which took some of the shine off his win at the Grade-1 Arlington Handicap in July. In four graded-stakes starts, that was his first in the money, so this five-year-old should be considered a longshot, but he might be worth putting a little something on to finish in the top three, which would be a huge win for Quiet Force.

Red Rifle has two wins and a second in his last three starts, all of which were graded-stakes races, and the second came at the Grade-1 Sword Dancer Invitational last month, so he is on a bit of a roll now and this five-year-old gelding could be a value bet to finish in the money, at least.

Shining Copper finished third at the Arlington Million, and he also came in fourth at the Grade-1 United Nations, which was his first graded-stakes event since June 2013. He also has never run the distance of 1 1/2 miles, so that is a strike against this five-year-old gelding; however, in a smaller field such as this, Shining Copper has a shot at the winner's circle.

Slumber hails from Great Britain and he returns after finishing fourth in this race in 2013, and since then, it has been a mixed bag. He has won once at the Grade-1 Manhattan Handicap in June, and seven of his finishes were in the money, but he also has a few poor results, such as an eighth at the Arlington Million, and a seventh at the Grade-3 W.L. McKnight Handicap in December 2014. It all depends on which version of this seven-year-old shows up on Saturday.

Twilight Eclipse finished third at the United Nations and the Sword Dancer Invitational, and he also won the Grade-1 Man O' War in May. He finished second in this race last year to Main Sequence, he was fifth in 2013 and he always seems to be around the front of the pack, finishing in the money in nine of his last ten starts. He might only have one win in that time, but you would think that after a while, the chips would fall right for him.

How It Will Play Out

Twilight Eclipse puts himself in position to win enough and even though he hasn't during this stretch, this field is small enough that he can end up in the winner's circle on Saturday and return to the Breeders' Cup just ahead of Big Blue Kitten.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Betting Pick: Twilight Eclipse



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