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Bernier's Best

Breeders' Cup 2021: Saturday Late Pick Four Ticket

by Matt Bernier
Updated On: November 5, 2021, 4:18 pm ET

The Breeders’ Cup annually offers some of the best wagering opportunities in all of sports, and this Saturday’s card at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is no exception.

Typically, year-making – and occasionally life-changing – scores are available on Breeders’ Cup weekend, with the multi-race wagers playing a key role.

Below you will find a small ticket for Saturday’s Late Pick Four from Del Mar.

It is not meant to be the be-all-end-all, but merely a guide for handicappers to use as a base.

If there are other horses you want to add – go right ahead.

If there are horses on the ticket below that you have no interest in using – throw them out entirely.

This is simply something for casual horseplayers to work off, utilizing a combination of logical horses and prices throughout the final four races of the 2021 Breeders’ Cup.



Trainer Paulo Lobo has two live chances in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile in In Love and Ivar.

In Love has been a revelation, taking a massive step forward with the addition of blinkers in each of his two most recent starts.

Ivar, on the other hand, has experimented with the blinkers coming on and off, running effectively under each scenario.
Either of these horses can win on their best day, and they are both likely to go off at overlaid prices.

The lone European entrant that catches my eye is Space Blues, whose wicked late kick is something that should not go overlooked against a group like this.



While Letruska will garner most of the attention in Saturday’s Distaff (and rightfully so), there is a case to be made that she is going to face the toughest test of her career in this event at Del Mar.

With other pace present, two other fillies offer appeal along with the heavy favorite.

Both Malathaat and Clairiere are three-year-old fillies who still have a forward move in them at this time of year, making them intrigue at more appetizing prices.

All three runners will be included, acknowledging that Letruska is clearly the horse to beat in this race.



The defection of Domestic Spending from the field on Thursday morning removes one of the favorites from this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, making the defending champion Tarnawa that much more imposing.

While she is the most likely winner of this year’s race, other horses to consider using are the lightly raced Teona, as well as one of the other Chad Brown entrants in Tribhuvan.

Teona feels like a prime candidate to either win the Turf or finish off-the-board given her overall profile, and Tribhuvan was a horse who looked brilliant earlier this year despite there still being questions about his class.

Look for Tribhuvan to sit off the early pacesetters, Acclimate and Channel Maker, before making his run rounding the far turn.



There are so many ways to approach this year’s Classic, however I believe the pace will be fast and horses sitting mid-pack will be the ones to take advantage.

Accordingly, the two horses I am most interested in using are Max Player and Essential Quality, with Essential Quality being the more likely winner of the two.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, Essential Quality has done little wrong in his career, winning 8-of-9 lifetime starts.

Max Player, meanwhile, has blossomed into a quality older horse by way of an altered running style.

Earlier in his career, the Steve Asmussen trainee would lag behind the field before commencing his run.

Now, as an older horse, he has been able to position himself closer to the lead at an earlier stage, enabling him to utilize his stamina to its full effect down the lane.




R9 – 3,7,14
R10 – 3,5,6
R11 – 5,12,13
R12 – 4,9


Matt Bernier

Matt Bernier is a betting analyst for NBC Sports and host of "The Matt Bernier Show" podcast. His work has been showcased in the Daily Racing Form, on ESPN, as well as on TVG. Matt can be followed on Twitter @bernier_matt.