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The excitement is building for the 2016 Breeders' Cup, which takes place November 4 and 5 at Anita Park. The Classic headlines the 13-race bill and offers a staggering $6 million in prize money. Last year, American Pharoah capped off his Triple Crown year by winning the Classic, making him the first horse to win the Grand Slam (all three Triple Crown races and the Classic). Who will follow him into the winner's circle at Santa Anita Park?



California Chrome is coming off six back-to-back wins and is the +105 favourite to win the Classic. Despite his vast experience, he hasn’t won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, finishing third in 2014 and skipping the race the following year. Chrome is undefeated this year and looks healthy again after an injury-riddled 2015.

If California Chrome wants to add a Breeders’ Cup to his trophy shelf, he’ll have to hold off Arrogate, who’s a +300 second favourite on the Cup futures market. This Bob Baffert-trainee is coming off an impressive win at the Travers Stakes (G1). He crushed the field by 13 ½ lengths and is now on a four-race winning streak. The win surprised spectators because prior to the Travers, Arrogate hadn’t competed in a graded race. The lack of experience is a concern, but his highly accomplished trainer boosts his odds. Bob Baffert trained the last two Classic winners: American Pharoah and Bayern.

Frosted is in the mix at +800, but he hasn’t run this distance since a fifth-place finish at the Dubai World Cup (G1) in March. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic saw the four-year-old finish seventh, behind Hard Aces. Shorter distances may be Frosted’s preference, as he won a 1 1/8-mile race and a 1 mile race – both of which were Grade 1 events – in the middle of the year, and finished third at the 1 1/8 mile Woodward (G1) in September.



Next in line, we have a couple of high-value sleepers in Melatonin (+2000) and Hoppertunity (+2500). Melatonin, a five-year-old gelding, won the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) in March and the Gold Cup (G1) in June. Both races were held at Santa Anita and were 1 1/4 miles. That’s a good sign for Melatonin supporters. Hoppertunity is also five years old and is coming off two straight fourth-place finishes, including the Santa Anita Gold Cup. He did; however, win the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park in October and has competed in a lot of prestigious races. In 19 starts, which were all Grade 1 or Grade 2 events, Hoppertunity has never finished beyond fourth.

An intriguing new contender is Found – a four-year-old Irish filly trained by Aidan O'Brien, who has trained four Breeders’ Cup winners. O’Brien listed the Classic as his top choice for Found when entries were published on Wednesday, which is interesting because only one filly or mare has ever won the Classic: the great Zenyatta in 2009. Still, Found is used to running 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 mile races, so the distance shouldn't bother her. She’s never finished worse than third in her 20 starts – 19 of which were graded races. If she competes, take a long look at her Breeders' Cup Classic odds.


*Odds as of October 28, 2016