After upsetting California Chrome in the stretch, Arrogate is back to defend his title as the Breeders’ Cup Classic champion. After his performance at Santa Anita, the four-year-old Bob Baffert-trained horse went on to claim two more grade I competitions, including the Dubai World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes. No horse earned more money than Arrogate in 2016. He earned the title of World’s Best Race Horse, and his performance at the Classic earned the title of World’s Best Horse Race.

But with a new year, plenty of worthy competitors are vying for their time in the spotlight. Just as Arrogate started to cool down, Gun Runner, a Steve Asmussen-trained horse, started to heat up. He and jockey Florent Geroux won five of their last six races and placed second in one – the Dubai World Cup that Arrogate won.

The two horses have competed against each other one other time: at the 2016 Grade I Travers Stakes. Arrogate won the race by an astounding 13 ½ lengths. Gun Runner finished third. That makes you think, with Arrogate beating Gun Runner in their two competitions, why isn’t he favoured for a repeat performance at this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic? 

The issue is, Gun Runner is coming off three Grade I victories, whereas Arrogate is coming off two losses. To make matters worse for Arrogate, his losses came at the Del Mar Racetrack, which is where the Breeders’ Cup is happening. This has cued oddsmakers to place Gun Runner at the top of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic odds at 7/4, and Arrogate second at 13/4.


Breeders’ Cup Turf

Out of the 13 races on the Breeders’ Cup card, the Classic offers the biggest purse ($6 million), and the Turf offers the second-biggest purse ($4 million). Like the Classic, the Turf is also for three-year-olds and older, but the Turf generally brings in an international crowd; European horses are more accustomed to racing on turf than dirt. Last year’s winner, Irish-bred Highland Reel and jockey Ryan Moore, won the race as second-favourites (3/1), and they won with such dominance that the race made it into 2016’s Top Ten Horse Races rankings by Longines. Highland Reel is returning to defend his title and is a 13/5 favourite to pull it off.


Breeders’ Cup Sprint

Another horse returning to the Breeders’ Cup to defend his title is California-bred Drefong – the 2016 winner of the Sprint. Drefong, a Bob Baffert-trained horse, battled back and forth with Masochistic at last year’s Sprint before securing the victory. He was later awarded 2016 Champion Sprinter by Eclipse. You’ll find him at 8/5 in the Breeders’ Cup futures odds section of the racebook.

As we near November 3-4, the Breeders’ Cup Classic futures odds will continue to shift, so check back often. Post positions will be drawn on October 30.

*Odds as of October 6, 2017