It is going to be a long time before we see the excitement like last year where Triple Crown winner American Pharoah completed the so-called Grand Slam of racing with his win in the Classic, right?
Paging California Chrome.
The 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner had a rough 2015 but has come back this year perfect in six starts including three Grade 1 victories highlighted by a score in the Dubai World Cup (G1). He blitzed Beholder two back in the Pacific Classic (G1), beating her by five lengths, which seemed to end any talk of her going to the Classic this year.
He is going to be a short price and is going to face a couple of runners that have run huge figures this year. He is currently the early betting favorite in Classic at 8/11.
Frosted ran huge winning the Met Mile (G1) and only an overconfident ride got him beat in the Woodward (G1) in his last outing. His connections are making the right choice by going here instead of the $1-million Breeders' Cup Dirt (G1).
Arrogate was still a maiden when Nyquist won the Kentucky Derby (G1) but he now may be the most dangerous of his crop. He ran big winning the Travers (G1), earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 122, the highest number we have seen from a three-year-old in a decade.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has won the last two editions of the race and will also send out Hoppertunity, who shipped east to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park in his last outing.
Remember Keen Ice? He beat American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers. He comes into the Classic off an uninspiring third-place finish against second-level optional claimers.
Melatonin is a very talented gelding and winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1), but issues have kept him in the barn since June 25.
Effinex ran second in last year's Classic at 33-1 and comes into this year's race off a solid runner-up finish to Hoppertunity in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
The $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Saturday has drawn a stellar field led by the 2014 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner California Chrome, who is the solid early betting favorite at 10-11.
The colt was incredibly popular during his Triple Crown bid in 2014 and was only beaten a neck when third in the Classic that year at betting odds of 9-2.
He capped off that campaign by winning the Hollywood Derby (G1) on turf but had a rough 2015 campaign, making just two starts and fighting minor injuries that kept him out of action for 10 months.
His 2016 campaign has been brilliant, perfect in six starts that includes winning the $10-million Dubai World Cup (G1), the world’s richest race, and bankrolling $7.1 million so far this year.
He disposed of Beholder rather early in the Pacific Classic (G1) and Dortmund in the Awesome Again (G1).
The Art Sherman trainee figures to be somewhere between 4-5 and 7-5 when they load the field into the gate on Saturday, so who has the best shot of beating him?
Here are his main foes:
Arrogate (currently 3-1)
When this colt broke his maiden in June, Nyquist had already won the Kentucky Derby and Exaggerator had won the Preakness Stakes (G1). Now after earning the biggest Beyer Speed Figure of any three-year-old in recent memory in his win in the Travers (G1), he now looks like the best of his crop.
His stock has skyrocketed while Nyquist and Exaggerator are now retired. His trainer Bob Baffert has won the last two editions of the Classic, and both were three-year-olds — Bayern in 2014 and American Pharoah last year.
His connections were toying around with the idea of going to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) but have decided to go longer in the Classic and will be facing tougher competition. His 123 Beyer Speed Figure winning the Met Mile (G1) was the highest number we have seen in nearly a decade.
However, that was a one-turn mile, and after winning the Whitney (G1) in his next start he was beaten a neck when third in the Woodward (G1) in his last outing. His trainer Kiaran McLaughlin won the 2006 Classic with Invasor.
The fact that the defending Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner is trying dirt for the first time in her career shows us just how bad her trainer Aiden O’Brien wants to win the Classic, one of the few international races he has not won. She regularly takes on the boys, winning the de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Chantilly and then running second to the highly regarded Almanzor in the Champion Stakes (G1) in her last two starts.
O’Brien is 0-for-14 in the Classic but some of his Euro shippers have run quite well including Giant’s Causeway (2000) and Henrythenavigator (2008), who both ran second, and Declaration of War, who ran a game third in 2013.
Odds as of November 1 at [custom:bodog-link]
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will be looking for a three-peat in this year’s $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and will likely be sending out a trio of contenders to take on early betting favorite California Chrome.
Baffert has won the last two editions of the Classic with Bayern in 2014 and American Pharoah last year.
Last Saturday, Baffert shipped Hoppertunity east for the $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park, the final Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race for the Classic.
The five-year-old had proved to be no match for California Chrome in two starts this year, but handled the trip east in fine fashion, winning the race by a half-length over Effenex, last year’s Classic runner-up.
The Baffert trainee can be had at a generous 25/1 in early Breeders' Cup Classic wagering at Bovada.
Baffert will also saddle the talented three-year-old Arrogate, who went from a relatively unknown runner to a top contender by virtue of his big win in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 27.
The colt was making his stakes debut in the Travers and earned a 122 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest number earned by a three-year-old in nearly a decade.
Baffert’s third runner is Dortmund, who has been beaten by California Chrome in each of his last three starts. The colt was beaten by a half-length in the San Diego Handicap (G2) in July, 7 ¼ lengths in the Pacific Classic (G1) in August and by 2 ¼ lengths most recently in the Awesome Again (G1).
With the strong performance by Hoppertunity, it is possible Baffert could end up sending Dortmund to the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
Baffert has won a dozen Breeders’ Cup races overall with purse earnings of $20 million. The only trainer he trails is the great D. Wayne Lukas, who has won 22 Breeders’ Cup races and has $22.5 million in purses earned.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Odds
The 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome remains the solid betting favorite for the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at +140 in the latest betting odds released by Bet Online.
The five-year-old is perfect in five starts this year and makes his final start before the Classic this Saturday in the $300,000 Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita, one of five Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races to be decided on a great betting card.
The Art Sherman trainee disposed of the brilliant mare Beholder rather easily in his last start in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar, taking the field gate to wire and winning by five lengths.
Beholder, a three-time Eclipse Award winner, was being pointed to the Classic and is listed at +1600 at BetOnline, but after two straight defeats (she lost to Stellar Wind in the Clement L. Hirsch in July), she is likely to go in the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) instead, a race she won in 2013.
Arrogate is the solid second choice in future Classic betting at BetOnline at +250 despite having just one stakes victory under his belt.
The Bob Baffert trainee ran to a huge win in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga in August in his stakes debut, taking the field gate to wire and winning by 13 ½ lengths, earning easily the highest Beyer Speed Figure of any three-year-old this year.
Frosted is the third choice in early betting for the Classic at Bet Online at +1200. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee won the Met Mile (G1) in one of the most impressive performances we have seen in years, and backed it up with a victory in the Whitney (G1).
However, he was the beaten favorite in his last outing in the Woodward (G1) where he was third, beaten by a couple of heads for the win. Many have criticized the overconfident ride by jockey Joel Rosario.
This year’s Classic is Saturday, November 5 and will be televised live on NBC.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Odds
Odds as of September 26 at BetOnline
The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is now less than two months away, with one final prep race remaining for most of the top contenders.
With a $6-million purse and Horse of the Year honors up for grabs, expect to see a full and competitive field line up at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.
Here is a look at the top five wagering favorites for the Classic with current odds via BetOnline.
California Chrome +140
The 2014 Horse of the Year was all but forgotten last year when he made just two starts, both seconds, and took the rest of the year off with minor injuries.
The 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) champion is back and better than ever, winning the Pacific Classic (G1) over Beholder at Del Mar in his last start. He is now perfect in five starts this year.
The Art Sherman trainee will make his final start before the Classic in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita on Oct. 1.
The Bob Baffert trainee was pretty much unknown outside of Southern California leading into the Travers (G1) at Saratoga where he was sent off at nearly 12-1.
The colt had won three races in a row by a combined 11 ½ lengths but was stepping into much deeper waters in his stakes debut at the Spa.
All he did was take the field gate to wire, draw away to win by 13 ½ lengths and earned a 122 Beyer Speed Figure, the top number produced by a three-year-old in a decade.
Instantly he became a major contender for the Classic at odds of +250 at BetOnline and could leapfrog the Triple Crown race winners Nyquist, Exaggerator and Creator by winning the Classic and ending up with the Eclipse Award.
He is going straight to the Classic off his Travers win and figures to be one of the top three betting choices. Three-year-olds have fared well in the Classic including winning the past two years.
Frosted was a highly regarded three-year-old last year, running fourth in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Belmont Stakes, but he has taken it to a new level this year.
After running fifth behind California Chrome in the Dubai World Cup (G1) back in March he ran huge winning the Met Mile (G1) with a 123 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest number we have seen since 2007.
He returned to win the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga, and then ran second in the Woodward (G1) with a ride by Joel Rosario that has been called “overconfident” and described by some other horseplayers with perhaps a little profanity mixed in.
The loss has made his price drift up to +1200 at BetOnline in early Classic betting. His trainer Kiaran McLaughlin likely will train him up to the Classic, but the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park has not been completely ruled out as a final prep.
Melatonin only won one race as a three- and four-year-old but has made himself known in the handicap division this year with three wins in four starts.
He started his 2016 campaign with a win against second-level optional claimers and then went into the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) as a 16-1 outsider for trainer David Hoffmans.
He pulled off the upset, and showed it was not a fluke by running a good second in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) behind last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Effinex.
He then won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) in his last outing to put him among the top of his division.
He likely makes his final tune-up for the Classic in the Awesome Again on Oct. 1 at Santa Anita.
The brilliant mare Beholder is now six years old and has already won three Eclipse Awards. She seemed pointed toward the Classic against the boys, but she has lost her last two starts and her trainer Richard Mandella could opt to run her in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), a race she won in 2013.
While she has lost her last two starts after winning eight in a row, she was beaten by two very talented runners.
Stellar Wind got the best of her in the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) and she was last year’s champion three-year-old filly. Last out, Beholder was beaten by California Chrome trying to defend her title against the boys in the Pacific Classic.
There is no real shame in losing to those two runners, but we have seen her price drift up to +1600 at BetOnline for the Classic and she may be better suited for the Distaff.
In the space of just under two minutes last Saturday, the Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate went from an 11-1 outsider in the $1.25 million Travers (G1) at Saratoga to one of the leading contenders for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
The colt rolled to a 13 ½ length win and earned the top Beyer Speed Figure for a three-year-old in over a decade with a 122. The only number we have seen higher this year was the 123 earned by Frosted in the Met Mile (G1) on June 23.
Arrogate is now the second choice in early Breeders’ Cup Classic wagering at [custom:bodog-link] at odds of 4-1. The colt has won four of his five career starts with the Travers his first start in a stakes race. Baffert has said he may train the talented colt up to the Classic.
California Chrome remains the early wagering favorite at [custom:bodog-link] for the Classic at odds of 7-4. The 2014 Kentucky Derby champion won the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on August 20 in his last outing and is perfect in five starts this year.
The Art Sherman trainee has now amassed a record $13,252,650 in purses in his career, which includes 14 victories in 23 starts.
Frosted is now the third choice in early Classic betting at 11-2. He came out of his dazzling Met Mile win with a victory in the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga in gate to wire fashion.
The undefeated filly Songbird is the fourth choice in Classic betting at 12-1, but her connections seem more likely to enter her against the ladies in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). She has won all 10 of her career starts, winning the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 20 in her last outing.
Beholder has drifted up to 16-1 in early Classic wagering at [custom:bodog-link] after back-to-back losses. She was second to Stellar Wind in the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) and then was the runner-up in the Pacific Classic (G1) against the boys, beaten five lengths by California Chrome.
She won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in 2012 and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 2013. After her two losses this year she may end up passing the Classic for the Distaff this year.
The 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist is currently at betting odds of 18-1. The Doug O’Neill trainee is being pointed toward the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2) on September 24.
This year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic will be held at Santa Anita on Nov. 5,
Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Odds
Odds as of August 31 at [custom:bodog-link]
California Chrome remains the early wagering favorite for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in betting odds released this week, but the surging Frosted is cutting into that margin.
[custom:bodog-link] has the 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner as the 11-4 betting favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be held this year on November 5 at Santa Anita. The Art Sherman trainee missed last year’s Classic after running third while beaten just a neck in the 2014 edition.
He won the San Diego Handicap (G2) in his last start and is pointing toward the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on Aug. 20.
Meanwhile Frosted continues to get bet down in early Classic wagering at [custom:bodog-link], the current second choice in the betting at 4-1.
Frosted was fourth in last year’s Kentucky Derby and second in the Belmont Stakes (G1), beaten by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in both outings.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin shipped him to Dubai for a shot at the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) in March but he had to settle for fifth, beaten 5 ¼ lengths by California Chrome.
Since returning from Dubai, Frosted has won two of the most prestigious Grade 1 races in the U.S. He won the Met Mile (G1) on June 11 at Belmont Park by a record margin of 14 ¼ lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 123, the highest number posted by any horse in nearly a decade.
He returned in the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga on August 6 and scored another impressive victory, winning by two lengths in a gate to wire score.
His next start will come in either the Woodward (G1) in September or the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) in October, or McLaughlin said he may just train him up to the Classic.
McLaughlin won the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Invasor, who came into the race off a three-month break having also won the Whitney.
Dortmund is the current third choice in Breeders’ Cup Classic wagering at [custom:bodog-link] at 8-1. The colt ran a game second to California Chrome in the San Diego.
Other top contenders for the Classic include the brilliant mare Beholder (9-1), 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (12-1) and this year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) champ Exaggerator (9-1).
Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Odds
Odds as of August 10 at [custom:bodog-link]
The 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome remains the early wagering favorite for the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 5 at Santa Anita.
MyBookie has the five-year-old listed at betting odds of +350 for the Classic. His last start came in a victory in the Dubai World Cup on March 26. His next start is slated to be the San Diego Handicap, a Grade 2 race at Del Mar on July 23.
The Art Sherman trainee is perfect in three starts this year after having his 2015 campaign shortened by injuries. He made just two starts last year, running second in the San Antonio and the Dubai World Cup.
This year’s Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist is currently the third choice in early betting at +600. It is possible Nyquist and California Chrome could meet in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on August 20 or even earlier, but his trainer Doug O’Neill has not committed to any race and likely will keep him racing three-year-olds until fall.
Nyquist has not raced since getting upset in the Preakness Stakes where he ran third behind the winner Exaggerator.
His next start could come in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park or the Jim Dandy at Saratoga, or he could stay in Southern California for the San Diego, but would have to take on California Chrome.
The buzz horse recently is Frosted, who is now down to +600 in early Classic betting. The Kiaran McLaughlin ran huge winning the Met Mile at Belmont Park on June 11 by 14 ¼ lengths earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 123.
Preakness winner Exaggerator has seen his price drift up to +1200 after his disappointing effort in the Belmont Stakes.
The undefeated filly Songbird is listed at +700, but she seems more likely to point toward the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, but she has shown she has as much ability as any of the males in the three-year-old division.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Odds
Odds as of July 6 at MyBookie
The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is just over four months away, and the winner of Saturday’s $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) earns an automatic starting sport in the year-end championship race.
The Bob Baffert trained Hoppertunity, who is currently listed at betting odds of +2500 in Breeders’ Cup Classic wagering at MyBookie, is the 3-1 morning line favorite for the Gold Cup. However, Baffert stated on Thursday that he could end up scratching the five-year-old.
He would be making his first start since running third in the Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 26 where he checked in third behind California Chrome, the current betting favorite for the Classic at +300.
If he does scratch that would likely make Melatonin the betting favorite for the Gold Cup. The David Hofmans trainee was the upset winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) on March 12, then ran a good second to Effinex in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in his most recent start on April 16.
Effinex ran second in last fall’s Classic and is currently listed at betting odds of +1600. In his most recent outing Effinex ran sixth in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs on June 18.
Others in the Gold Cup that look like major players include Bal a Bali, who is making his first career start on dirt, and defending champion Hard Aces.
There are two females among the top five in early Breeders’ Cup Classic betting. Champion Beholder, who won the Vanity (G1) on June 4 at Santa Anita is currently at odds for the Classic at +450.
The undefeated Songbird won the Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita on June 18 for her eighth consecutive victory. Her current odds for the Classic are +800 but she seems more likely to go in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff this fall.
Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist is the co-third choice in Classic betting at +600 with Frosted, the impressive winner of the Met Mile (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day.
Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Exaggerator is next in Classic wagering at +1200.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Odds
Odds as of June 24 at MyBookie
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