Breeders' Cup Turf (Keeneland) Predictions, Odds & Picks

Breeders Cup Turf 2020

If you're playing only to win, go with my top two picks Magical (5/2) and Tarnawa (6/1)

Post Position and Odds – Breeders’ Cup Turf

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 ARKLOW 5/1
F Geroux B Cox
R Moore A O’Brien
C Soumillon D Weld
J Rosario J Gosden
5 DONJAH 30/1
C Lecoeuvre H Grewe
L Dettori J Gosden
7 UNITED 8/1
F Prat R Mandella
8 RED KING 20/1
U Rispoli P D’Amato
M Franco W Mott
10 MOGUL 4/1
P C Boudot A O’Brien

Best Bets for the Breeders’ Cup Turf

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$5 Trifecta part wheel – Magical, Mogul, Tarnawa with Magical, Mogul, Tarnawa with United, Arklow = $60

Top Picks:

Magical (5/2)

Tarnawa (6/1)

A near winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf two years ago when she came up just a little bit short to the great Enable, Magical returns to America for the first time since, and this time is the one to beat in the $4 million race Saturday at Keeneland.

Contested at 1 ½-miles on the Keeneland turf course, this race could in fact be dominated by the Europeans, as Magical leads a brigade that includes six of the ten runners in the Grade 1 affair.

Based on her excellent run two years ago, and her top-notch European form since that effort, the 5-year-old daughter of Galileo looms the one to beat on Saturday for trainer Aiden O’Brien, but she could find serious competition from her own stablemate.

Mogul, at 3, is the youngest horse in the field but has major strides of late. The son of Galileo has won two of his last three, including a decisive score in the Grand Prix de Paris (G1) last time at Longchamp.

Of the rest, United, who is the top turf horse in California, and was second in this race last year at Santa Anita, and Tarnawa, who has won three straight overseas, including a pair of Group 1 races in France loom the biggest threats.

How to Watch the Breeders’ Cup Turf

Breeders’ Cup Turf Information
What Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1)
Where Keeneland
When Saturday, November 7 — 4:33pm Eastern time
How to Watch NBC
Purse $4,000,000

Race Analysis


When she finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2018, she was more of an afterthought to the darling of turf racing, Enable. Still, taking it right to that great champion for much of the Churchill Downs stretch was a huge effort. Now she returns and is the one they all have to contend with after two more years of extremely solid racing. All five of her races this year are excellent and she should appreciate the firmer turf conditions she will find on Saturday as opposed to what she saw in her last start at Ascot. We know she travels well and that she can handle the 12-furlong distance. Extremely consistent, she may not be unbeatable, but she clearly is the class of the race and the one to beat.


While he was not quite good enough earlier this year when 6th of 16 in the English Derby (G1), things are beginning to change for this young Aiden O’Brien-trainee. He seems to be getting better by the start, and his last race, on firm turf at Longchamp, was his best effort yet. He’ll get firm turf again at Keeneland and the 12-furlong trip seems to be right up his alley. Clearly, un an upswing in the late stages of his sophomore season, any further improvement on Saturday could push him over the top to his biggest victory yet. I do like Magical and Tarnawa a little bit better, but you have to respect the quickly improving 3-year-old male.


Last time the Breeders’ Cup Turf was in Kentucky, this one ran on well to finish fourth behind Enable and Magical. He continues to be a threat in all of America’s distance turf races, as evidenced by his impressive win in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) last time at Kentucky Downs. With a little bit more racing luck, he easily could have bettered his 7-for-24 lifetime mark on the turf, but that is also part of the problem in a race like this. He often comes up a little short, or finds some trouble along the way. If you are looking for the bottom places in the exotics, a third or a fourth is a good bet, but as far as the win, it does not seem likely.

Channel Maker

The Bill Mott-trained veteran looks like a different horse in his last two, but both of that easy Grade 1 victories in New York came when he was loose on the lead setting pedestrian fractions while facing very suspect competition. In those circumstances, he has proven very tough, but none of that will be true on Saturday. Because of this, he will probably be overbet in a race which will likely prove too tough for the son of English Channel, as it has in each of the past two editions.


She is certainly not as well known as Magical in American racing circles, but this 4-year-old daughter of Sharmadal has developed into one of the top turf mares in the world in her own right. A three-time group stakes winner last year at 3, she has proven even better in 2020 for veteran trainer Dermot Weld. Three for three since her return to the races in August, she is a big threat to end her season perfect and a Breeders’ Cup winner. She is right at home on any turf condition and has proven herself at multiple distances including the 12 furlongs she will find on Saturday. Best yet, she has never been better than she is right now. She is the biggest threat to a Magical victory.


It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to call this California-based son of Giant’s Causeway America’s best turf male. Last year he ran a bang-up race to just miss in the Breeders’ Cup, and this year he is a narrow defeat shy of being perfect in four starts. He’s also got good tactical speed which helps in these long turf races. Unfortunately, considering the European invasion of Keeneland, all this still might not be enough to get the job done on Saturday. I do like him best of the home team, but he will also need to prove he can bring his best outside of Southern California.

Lord North

Looking back a few races this gelding turned a topnotch performance in winning the Prince of Wales Stakes (G1) during the Royal Ascot meet. The big win came on good turf, and his last effort, which was poor, came on soft turf at Ascot. If you draw a line through the off turf race, his record looks quite good, including a solid third behind Magical in between the two Ascot races. He’s never been this far though, as all his wins have come at 10 furlongs or less. One of several Europeans with a shot in here, but I like a few others better.

Red King

The only horse to beat United this year, when he ended that one’s winning streak in the Del Mar Handicap, comes in on a three-race winning streak of his own. Like United, all his form is in California, so it remains to be seen how well that form will translate coming to Keeneland and facing by far the toughest test of his career. The 6-year-old son of English Channel is clearly in the career-best form of his career, so he may be worth a shot as a longshot, but I remain dubious of his chances in this spot.


She was a very good 3-year-old filly in Europe for trainer John Gosden last year, but has only started twice so far in 2020 and has failed to seriously threaten. She has kept the top company in those two, so it’s possible that with a little improvement in her American debut she could be competitive, but it’s hard to get too excited about her chances in a tough spot, all things considered.


The final of four European females in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, this one has been a consistent performer while running primarily in Germany in her three seasons at the races. In her native land, she has competed well in top races, including a win against the boys two starts back in Group 1 company. That came in Cologne on yielding turf at odds of 15-1. In an even tougher test last time, she again performed admirably, but could only manage a fourth-place finish. Several of the other overseas shippers come in with bigger names, but as longshots go, you could do worse.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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