Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will break from the four post in a field of 10 in Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and remains the solid wagering choice at [custom:bovada-link] at betting odds of 5/4.
The Bob Baffert trainee will be making his first start since running second in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga behind Keen Ice, who is at early Classic betting odds of 12/1 at [custom:bovada-link].
The colt will be making his first start against older foes and will be returning off a 63-day break. The last Classic winner to win off a longer layoff was Invasor in 2006, who returned off a 92-day freshening. Jockey Victor Espinoza will be in the irons.
Beholder will take on the boys and is the second choice in Classic wagering at 4/1. The mare won the Zenyatta (G1) at Santa Anita in her last outing and beat the boys in her previous start, trouncing the field in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar by 8¼ lengths. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has the call.
The mare drew the far outside post in the field of 10, but there is a long run to the first turn at Keeneland, and she has enough tactical speed to overcome the outside draw.
Honor Code is the third choice in Classic betting at [custom:bovada-link] at odds of 6/1. The Shug McGaughey trainee has been working sharply since running third in the slop in the Kelso Handicap (G2) in his last start.
His two previous starts produced victories in the Grade 1 Met Mile and Whitney. He will break from the nine post with regular jockey Javier Castellano aboard.
Post time for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday is 5:35 and will be broadcast live on NBC.
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah remains the solid betting favorite for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) coming up on Oct. 31 at Keeneland.
The colt is currently listed at Classic betting odds of +160 at BetOnline, despite losing his last race, a runner up finish in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 29. The loss snapped an eight-race winning streak. His lone other loss was a fifth place finish in his debut last summer at Del Mar.
After sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, the colt ran big winning the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2.
The colt will come into the Breeders’ Cup Classic off a 62-day layoff. The previous seven Classic wins had breaks of 42 days or less. The last Classic winner with more time off than the Triple Crown winner was Invasor, who returned off a 92-day layoff to win the 2006 running of the Classic at Churchill Downs, returning $15.40 for a $2 win wager.
The mare Beholder remains the second choice in the early Classic wagering at BetOnline at +300. Her final prep for the Classic came in the Zenyatta (G1) at Santa Anita where she won by 3 ¼ lengths. She beat the boys in the Pacific Classic (G1) in her previous outing, trouncing the field by 8 ¼ lengths.
Tonalist has moved up to third in early Classic betting at +650 at BetOnline thanks to his repeat victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 3. The colt won the 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1).
Honor Code is the fourth choice at +750 and comes into the Classic off a loss in the Kelso Handicap (G2) on Oct. 3. The late running four-year-old did not get much pace to run at in that race and caught a sloppy surface. His previous two starts, wins in the Whitney (G1) and Met Mile (G1) earned speed figures good enough to win the Classic.
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, despite tasting defeat in his last outing for the first time since last August, is the solid +250 betting choice in early Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) wagering at BetOnline.
The Bob Baffert trainee was upset as the betting favorite in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 25, beaten three-quarters of a length by Keen Ice, who is currently at +1400 in early Breeders’ Cup Classic betting.
American Pharoah will train up to the Classic and will make his final career start off a nine-week layoff.
The second choice in early Classic wagering at BetOnline is the mare Beholder at +400. The Richard Mandella trainee beat the boys in the Pacific Classic (G1) in her last outing and will be in action on Saturday. She is the betting favorite for the $300,000 Zenyatta (G1) at Santa Anita.
She already has a pair of Breeders’ Cup wins, taking the 2012 Juvenile Fillies (G1) and the 2013 Distaff (G1).
Honor Code third on Breeders' Cup Odds
Honor Code is getting plenty of respect in early Classic betting at BetOnline, the third choice at +450. The four-year-old won the Met Mile (G1) and the Whitney (G1) in his last two starts. He will make his final prep for the Classic in the Kelso Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park on Oct. 3.
Hard Aces (+5500) and Hoppertunity (+4000) will both be in action Saturday as they take on defending Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Bayern in the $300,000 Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita.
Liam’s Map is currently at betting odds of +600. The Bill Mott trainee has won five of his seven career starts, taking the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga in his last start on Sept. 9. His connections have not ruled out a run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) instead of the Classic.
There are seven Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on tap on Saturday, Sept. 26, five on the opening day card at Santa Anita and two at Belmont Park. Michael Dempsey of turfnsport.com will be providing selections and analysis for all of the races.
Fresh off his historic Triple Crown run, American Pharoah has dropped to 17/10 in early betting odds at [custom:bovada-link] for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), which will be contested at Keeneland on October 31.
Heading into the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) American Pharoah was listed at odds of 3/1 at [custom:bovada-link] for the Classic, but that price plummeted after a dominating performance where the colt won the third jewel of the Triple Crown in gate to wire fashion by 5½ lengths in the fastest time since Point Given in 2001.
The victory was his seventh in a row in eight career starts, and he has earned $4,530,300. The colt shipped back to Churchill Downs in good order after the Belmont and will likely show up next in the Haskell invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park on August 2 and/or the Travers (G1) at Saratoga on August 29.
His final prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic will likely come in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita or the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), both in September.
Last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome is 9/1 in early Classic betting at [custom:bovada-link]. The colt will make his next start on turf in the Prince of Wales (G1) at Royal Ascot. The colt will have a new rider in William Buick for that race. His previous jockey was Victor Espinoza, this year’s Triple Crown winning jockey.
California Chrome has won just once in six starts since winning the Preakness Stakes, taking the Hollywood Derby (G1) on turf on November 29. He ran second in the San Antonio (G2) in his 2015 debut and then ran second in the Dubai World Cup (G1) in his last outing on March 28.
Last year’s Met Mile (G1) winner Palace Malice is the co-second choice at 9/1. The colt made his 2015 debut on May 10 in the Diablo Stakes and was a disappointing third, but it was off a nine-month layoff.
Last year’s Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist is 11/1; the colt ran a good second in the Met Mile on June 6. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern is at odds of 16/1 at [custom:bovada-link]. The colt has been disappointing in two starts this year, with a sixth place finish in the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) and a 10th place finish in the Met Mile.