The Breeders' Cup Classic is perhaps a bit frustrating for horse racing fans this year. All three of the Triple Crown race winners are going to be sitting out the biggest race of the fall, and that leaves a bunch of old-timers to battle it out in the final race of the world championships.
The $6,000,000 Breeders' Cup Classic is the final event of the Breeders' Cup and shouldn't be missed by bettors on Saturday, November 4, 2017. Post-time from Del Mar Racetrack is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. ET, and all of the action can be seen live on NBC Sports Network.
Breeders' Cup Classic Opening Odds
#5 Gun Runner +180
#1 Arrogate +200
#8 West Coast +600
#11 Collected +600
#6 Mubtaahij +1200
#7 Churchill +1500
#10 Pavel +2000
#2 War Decree +3000
#3 Win the Space +3000
#4 War Story +3000
#9 Gunnevera +3000
The discussion at the Breeders' Cup Classic starts and ends with Gun Runner and Arrogate. These two horses are 9-5 and 2-1 respectively on the Breeders' Cup Classic morning line odds, and it would be a rather large shock if one or the other wasn't ultimately in the winner's circle at the end of the night.
Still, there are flaws in both horses.
Arrogate, a late-blooming three-year old, won seven straight races from his second maiden effort in 2016 through the Dubai World Cup in March. Since coming back to the United States, though, he was fourth-best as a ridiculous odds-on favorite at the San Diego Handicap and just second to Collected at the Pacific Classic.
Gun Runner might have 10 wins in his career and is coming off of three very impressive victories, but he has also never won a race at a mile and a quarter.
The one time these two met up against each other was at the Dubai World Cup, a race that Arrogate won handily over the horse that is now his top rival.
Collected, who has won four races in a row including beating Arrogate at the Pacific Classic, is the co-third choice at 6-1, while Travers Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby winner, West Coast is also set at 6-1.
Breeders' Cup Classic Pick
The field at the Breeders' Cup Classic is going to be tough to handicap. There's a lot of speed in this race, starting with West Coast, Gun Runner and Collected. These three should all be off to the lead in the early going while Arrogate sits in behind the pack.
The mere fact that the three biggest rivals to Arrogate are going to be vying for early position is a good sign for the second-favorite and an even better sign for the rest of this field.
We think there could be some huge value here in the two horses that trainer Aidan O'Brien is bringing with him from Europe. Churchill is a big closer by nature. We're not sure that he has the 10 furlongs in him, but if he ultimately does, he could be a factor in the closing stages.
Even five-year old Mubtaahij has been a factor in recent races that he has run, including winning the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita in September. His style could play well against a fast-starting field.
In the end, though, we think this is Arrogate's race. It's going to be really hard for any of the three frontrunners to ultimately fend off his two top competitors in the early going and a hard-charging field in the late going as well. Gun Runner's 114 Beyer in his last start at the Woodward Stakes has to be troubling to bet against, but Arrogate is due to get back in better form after two straight suspect starts.
Had Arrogate just simply not run in the San Diego Handicap and the Pacific Classic, he would have been odds-on here by a country mile. As it is, we think we're getting a steal with him lined at a price of +200.
Breeders' Cup Classic Pick: #1 Arrogate
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