2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic Cheat Sheet
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic Replay
So you want to watch the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday but you have no idea who’s running. Not to worry!
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of this year’s field by post position including the morning line odds.
1. Effinex (15-1) – The Suburban winner has had an inconsistent year with two wins in six starts and a close 2nd last out. In his only career start at Santa Anita he ran 3rd behind Melatonin in the Santa Anita Handicap with the perfect pace set-up. He did have a case of hives for that effort, but trainer Jimmy Jerkens was unsure what kind of effect it had on his performance. He’s made a great impression in the morning at Santa Anita and gets one of Santa Anita’s leading money riders in Flavien Prat. If you think this is one of those times when he’ll put in a good effort, he’s worth considering for your exotics.
2. Frosted (5-1) – The Whitney winner has experienced highs and lows this year including a monster performance in the Met Mile and an over-confident ride that cost him the Woodward last out. No doubt some will dismiss him as being a better miler, but he’s won at the distance and could get a similar pace set-up to the one that produced his career best effort in the Met Mile. At the very least you should consider him for your exotics.
3. Keen Ice (20-1) – SHOW (3rd) – Last year’s upset Travers winner does not have the look of a wise guy horse, but he’s proof that sometimes something crazy can happen (he’s the only horse to beat American Pharoah in 2015). Earlier in the year he ran two clunkers in Dubai and made his first start back at Belmont in early October where he ran an unassuming third in allowance company. The longer distance and likely brisk pace should give him every chance to improve, and at the price he’s worth considering for your exotics.
4. California Chrome (1-1) – PLACE (2nd) – The 2014 Kentucky Derby winner has had his best year yet, remaining undefeated in six starts including the Dubai World Cup and Pacific Classic. He would certainly cement his status as a contemporary iron horse with a win here, something that seems more likely than not.
5. Win the Space (30-1) – This allowance winner has run 3rd behind California Chrome twice and 2nd behind Melatonin once this year, playing the “best of the rest” role quite well. On the bright side he should get a decent pace set-up, but barring a pace meltdown and several non-efforts he seems unlikely to turn the tables on the first string.
6. Melatonin (12-1) – The Santa Anita Gold Cup winner has had a great year winning the races California Chrome skipped in favor of the Dubai World Cup. After successfully duking it out with Effinex, Win the Space, and Hoppertunity, it’s time to see what he’s really got. No doubt he’ll be a part of the pace scenario and last out he proved that he can stalk and duel successfully, two things that will come in handy here.
7. War Story (30-1) – This allowance winner appears to be the most overmatched entrant in the field. His best efforts were a string of 2nd and 3rds in the 2015 Kentucky Derby preps at Fair Grounds but he has yet to move forward from those efforts. Last out he ran a closing 2nd in a non-graded stakes at Parx and while his owner did pull off a Breeders’ Cup shocker with 2013 Juvenile Fillies winner Ria Antonia at 32-1, he seems unlikely to achieve something similar in this spot.
Shaman Ghost (20-1) – SCRATCHED – A lot of things went just right for the winner of the Woodward, including a perfect set-up, an over-confident ride on favored Frosted, and first time Lasix. While it seems as though he could potentially improve off of that effort, he’s unlikely to get that lucky again.
9. Hoopertunity (15-1) – FOURTH – The good, but not quite good enough, Baffert trainee shipped to New York last out to snag the Jockey Club Gold Cup over Effinex. Given his trip to Dubai for a 3rd place finish behind California Chrome, the confidence builder could be just what he needs to ensure a good effort. According to Baffert he’s “as ready as he’s going to be,” which is not exactly a ringing endorsement for an upset, but it may be enough of an endorsement for inclusion in your exotics.
10. Arrogate (5-2) – WINNER – The lightly raced 3-year-old crushed the Travers by 13+ lengths, which included the winners of all three Triple Crown races. Can he do it again? Trainer Bob Baffert thinks he’s got the best shot to beat California Chrome. At the very least he seems poised to give a good account of himself and would not be a surprise in the mix, or even on top.