For many racing events, races are drawn two or three days beforehand, with past performances coming out within hours.
However, for the Breeders’ Cup, with 14 races within two weeks, handicappers need slightly more time to think about their weekend wagers, and with this in mind, the Breeders’ Cup races were attracted Monday afternoon in Louisville, KY.. This season’s event will be held on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 2, at Churchill Downs.The centerpiece of the event is the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will take place Saturday evening, with an declared post time of 5:44 pm ET. The early retirement of Triple Crown winner Justify leaves a field of contenders that aren’t exactly household names, but with 14 horses entered and no clear favorite, the Classic will be a hell of a betting race.
Check out betting guides for Friday’s races here, and Saturday’s races and head to Hi Race Fans for more information on wagering in general and this year’s Breeders’ Cup, including a look at the Distaff and Mile. In 2017 he made a trip to the Kentucky Derby with a nose win in the Grade 1 UAE Derby, just to freak out soon after the gate opened, bucking like a bronco and taking himself out of this race off the break. Until a couple of weeks before, that was his only race at the United States; he moved on to a powerful career running in Europe and Dubai, winning this year’s Dubai World Cup by 5??3/4 spans along with the Grade 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly. He seemed like a winner in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in late September, only to be nipped at the wire by longshot Discreet Lover, a horse he faces here again. He’s finished in the top three at 15 of his 20 races for earnings of $8.5 million; he is owned and bred by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.
2) Roaring Lion
Owner: Qatar Racing Limited
Trainer: John Gosden
Jockey: Oison Murphy
Morning line odds: 20-1
This three-year-old Kentucky-bred is based in England, and he makes his first visit to the U.S. to run in the Classic. He eked out a neck win in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on October 20, and he’s never run on dirt, though he did catch a six-length win on the synthetic track at Kempton in September of 2017. So: he will be running on brief rest; he’s run on grass; and he travelled across a sea. He’s won $3.5 million, therefore his gift is nothing to miss…but what a stunner it would be if he can pull this off.
3) Catholic Boy
Owner: Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm, and Twin Creeks Racing Stables
Trainer: Jonathan Thomas
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Morning line odds: 8-1
That is a horse which more people should be familiar with. His coach was a helper to Todd Pletcher, who dominated the sport before Chad Brown came along; an accomplished rider, Thomas suffered a catastrophic harm before turning to training, leaving Pletcher’s use to strike out on his own. Catholic Boy started his career on bud, was switched to grime and won the Grade 2 Remsen, then bled in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, sidelining him on the Kentucky Derby trail. Switched back to grass, he won the Grade 1 Belmont Derby, then cruised to victory in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes back on grime. Versatile and talented, a win here would cap an unbelievable year which may involve some voters putting him on their ballot for winner 3-year-old.
Trainer: Antonio Sano
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr..
Morning line odds: 20-1
At once considered among the leaders of the cohort, this four-year-old was a promising runner around the Kentucky Derby course this past year before tailing away when the big races came along. He was second at the Grade 1 Travers last year supporting fellow rival West Coast; he had been third in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic behind the previous year’s Vintage winner Gun Runner and West Coast. He returned in a eighth-place ending from the Group 1 Dubai World Cup in March into a five-month layoff, winning his first start back at a modest race at Gulfstream Park, then conducting secon
D to Yoshida (additionally entered here) in the Grade 1 Woodward in Saratoga. He has a high jockey in Ortiz, and as this horse bought for $16,000 has earned $3 million, he doesn’t have a lot to prove, but Grade 1 triumph has so far eluded him.
5) Lone Sailor
Owner: G M B Racing
Trainer: Tom Amoss
Jockey: James Graham
Morning line odds: 30-1
Last March, a runner-up ending by a neck at the Grade two Louisiana Derby stamped him as a contender for the spring/summer classics, but running in top notch races saw him on the outside looking in the winner’s circle. He has won just twice at a 14-race career: in Saratoga over a sloppy track in September 2017, also in late September when he won the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby. Founded by G M B Racing, the Thoroughbred operation of Gayle Benson and her late husband Tom, owners of the NBA Pelicans and NFL Saints, he has accumulated earnings of $870,000 by conducting in big races and often hitting the board.
Owner: Michael Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Mike Smith
Morning line odds: 6-1
Five races, four wins, one second. Back in the winter, he was led towards Kentucky Derby favoritism before he got hurt and Justify appeared. Following six months away from the races, he came back to win the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby by 1??3/4 lengths, his first trip outside of California. He faces a far larger evaluation here than he did at the Keystone State, but it would be foolish to miss him, given what he’s accomplished. A decent finish here makes him a millionaire, since he has already earned $900,000.
7) West Coast
Owner: Gary and Mary West
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: John Velazquez
Morning line odds: 5-1
Following a 2017 campaign that culminated with an Eclipse Award for champion three-year-old, this bay colt has conducted only three races this year, finishing second in all three of these, all Grade 1 races. He was third in this race last year, and also the talent of the $425,000 yearling purchase is incontrovertible. He receives Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the saddle for the first time, his prior jockeys having chosen to ride elsewhere here.
Owner: Reddam Racing
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
Morning line odds: 20-1
His owner has a proclivity for seeing his horses following hockey players, specifically Red Wings; Pavel [Datsyuk] joins equines Zetterberg and Nyquist, all owned by Paul Reddam. This one doesn’t really live up to his namesake; he has three wins in 11 starts, but he has managed to bank $1.3 million, and in June he won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Most recently he completed second–by 12??1/2 spans –to fellow rival here Accelerate at the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. Probably outclassed here, however, possible to strike the board.
Owner: Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, and Michael Tabor
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Morning line odds: 12-1
He had been Aidan O’Brien’s Derby horse, sending to the US following a breathtaking 18??1/2-length win in the UAE Derby at Dubai. He ran for the first time in Louisville on the first Saturday in May, finishing continue a sloppy track, but nonetheless, O’Brien persisted, shipping Mendelssohn back into the U.S. three times: to run next in the Grade 3 Dwyer in Belmont Park; next at the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga; and also third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup back at Belmont. Known for his incessant vocalizing during instruction and before the races, this $1 million buy is a half-brother to the multiple champion Beholder, and has earned $2.3 million in his 11 life races.
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