Previewing the Breeders’ Cup Classic

Even though it doesn’t have the largest purse in the world, the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic to be held November 2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, is arguably the biggest race in the world. It’s also among the biggest betting races in the world, as punters from all over the globe will be searching for the best horse racing bookmakers so they can get a few bucks down on the 1 1/14-mile race. Sure, the Dubai World Cup, Pegasus World Cup and the new Saudi Cup will offer more money, but it’s hard to match the prestige of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

So let’s look at some of the contenders for this year’s renewal.

The most intriguing contender just might be Midnight Bisou. It’s certainly rare for a filly or mare to challenge the boys in the Classic, but it’s not unheard of and of course the great Zenyatta won the 2009 edition of the race, which just happened to be at Santa Anita as well. So could it happen again? It might, because Midnight Bisou has looked unstoppable this year with seven wins in as many starts. Whether her connections decide to test her against male horses remains to be seen, and it will be a tough decision because she would likely win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff with ease and the Classic will be much more challenging.

Code of Honor is another major contender, even though he crossed the wire second in his final prep race in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. In that race, it was determined that Vino Rosso interfered with Code of Honor, so the latter was elevated to victory by the stewards. Code of Honor also benefited from a similar scenario in the Kentucky Derby when he moved from third to second after Maximum Security was disqualified. Even though he’s certainly been helped by the stewards, he’s also a very talented horse and has a big change to win.

The final horse we’ll look at is McKinzie, who has been a solid runner all year while racing in New York, Kentucky and California. The Bob Baffert trainee ran a disappointing 12th in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, but that was held at Churchill Downs. McKinzie’s home track is Santa Anita and he always seems to run well there, so that improves his chances.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is always a challenging race to handicap, but it can also produce some big payoffs so it’s well worth the effort!