2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic Preview

2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic Preview - Bodog Raceook

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Bob Baffert may not have this year's Breeders' Cup Classic favourite, but neither did he last year. In addition to re-entering the 2016 winner, Arrogate, he’s entering three other horses that are all within striking distance according to the Breeders’ Cup horse racing odds. The Hall of Fame trainer’s entries consists of Arrogate (2/1), Collected (5/1), West Coast (6/1), and Mubtaahij (25/1).

Arrogate will attempt to become the second horse in history to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic in back-to-back years – and he’ll have to do it from the inside post. After upsetting California Chrome in last year’s Classic, Arrogate went on to win the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes and the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup. But a lackluster fourth-place finish in the San Diego Handicap and a close loss at the Pacific Classic Stakes have some people doubting Arrogate’s ability. Baffert’s not too concerned. He likens it to American Pharoah’s loss right before the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic – a race American Pharoah won by a record 6 ½ lengths.

Mike Smith, Arrogate’s jockey, will have to find a way to solve Gun Runner at a time when the Steve Asmussen trainee is heating up. The four-year-old son of undefeated Candy Ride has won five of his last six races, and placed second in one – the Dubai World Cup that Arrogate won. After that race, both horses went in different directions, with Gun Runner winning three, and Arrogate losing two.

The Classic isn’t a lock for either of the two horses. Stiff competition will come from Baffert’s Collected and West Coast. Collected has already competed against Arrogate, and won; he’s currently enjoying a four-race winning streak. As for West Coast, he’s won six of eight career starts and finished second in the other two.

Perhaps War Story will shock the frontrunners and pull an upset. The 100/1 long shot will depart from the post that has produced the most Breeders’ Cup Classic winners: Post No. 4. He finished eighth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic and is still searching for his first grade 1 win. Upsets aren’t common in the Classic, but they do happen; in 1993, Arcangues beat the favourite as a 133-1 long shot. It was his first race in America.

The 11-horse field is below, in order of post position. Be sure to place your wagers before the action starts at 8:35 PM ET on Saturday. NBCSN has the coverage.


Breeders’ Cup Classic Field with Post Positions


Post Position Horse Odds
1 Arrogate 2/1
2 War Decree 50/1
3 Win the Space 100/1
4 War Story 100/1
5 Gun Runner 7/4
6 Mubtaahij 25/1
7 Churchill 16/1
8 West Coast 6/1
9 Gunnevera 25/1
10 Pavel 50/1
11 Collected 5/1



*Odds as of November 2, 2017