It’s an all new class in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pick Sixty’s capper runs the top contenders with racing notes, a look at recent form and some betting strategies to consider.
This year’s edition of the Classic lacks the luster of previous years with all of the top older horses having been retired. I was looking forward to Palace Malice and Mucho Macho Man going against the three-year-olds. Even Game On Dude didn’t stick around and make this his retirement race. Not a single entrant in this year’s Classic has ever been in this race before. Also, for the first time in as long I can remember there isn’t a top notch European trying dirt for the first time although I guess Toast of New York sort of fits the bill even though he’s been racing on synthetic and he’s already had a couple of starts in the States.
The obvious favourite is going to be Shared Belief who puts his perfect seven for seven race record on the line and comes off an impressive victory in the Awesome Again stakes. He was forced to race four-wide throughout that race and when Fed Biz got away at the top of the lane it took everything Shared Belief had to run him down at the wire. He really hasn’t beaten much in his two races against older horses but there isn’t really much in here either. He’s the only horse in the field to have run the Beyer par and assuming he moves forward off that tough race I think he has a great shot at being crowned ‘Horse of the Year’.
From a race shape perspective I see a big duel between Moreno and Bayern and I don’t think either one of these two horses could get the 1 1/4 distance even if they were loose on the lead. One of the stalkers in the race should be #2 Cigar Street who is lightly raced and looks to be coming into this race in good form although this will be a definite class test for him. Tonalist will likely outkick him around the turn along with Shared Belief. Tonalist is certain to take some serious money in this race with expected odds of 5-1. His win out in the Jockey Club Gold Cup was impressive because he overcame trouble but it was a subpar field. He has a small shot to win here but his best races have all come at Belmont and his one for five record at all other tracks brings up questions about his ability to get home in front at Santa Anita. He’s in good form though and the race shape should complement him so I’ll use him underneath Shared Belief for sure.
California Chrome is the other big horse that everyone will be supporting at the wickets. I’m not prepared to buy into the hype because CC hasn’t run a good race since May and even then he had a near perfect trip in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. The horses that finished second to him in those races have gone on to do absolutely nothing since then and are a combined 0 for 15 in stakes races this year. In other words, Chrome didn’t beat anyone impressive in either of his Triple Crown victories. I’m throwing him out altogether especially after the clunker he ran in the Pennsylvania Derby.
My longshot for the triactors is #14 Majestic Harbor. A repeat of his race in the Gold Cup this past June at Santa Anita puts him in the picture today and he’s coming into the race with the third start off his form cycle. I think he could make a surprise appearance in the triactor at odds of 25-1. I’ll also throw in the “Euro” #9 Toast of New York trying dirt for the first time because this colt obviously has talent. At generous odds of 12-1 or better I think he’s worth including your exactor and triactors beneath Shared Belief.
Looks like a potentially chalky BC this year with favourites likely to win the Turf, Mile and the Classic. It’s a matter of partnering them with the bombers that are likely to run home in the other legs of the pick 3’s and picks 4’s. Good luck to everyone and enjoy an incredible day of racing!