By the time we get to the Breeders' Cup Mile, the anticipation really starts to set in for the Breeders' Cup Classic, the biggest race of all of the big ones at the world championships. The Breeders' Cup Mile has its own merit for sure, though, and for our money, this is the toughest of all of the really hard races to handicap, particularly amongst the nine Saturday races.
The $2,000,000 Breeders' Cup Mile is the second event on Saturday, November 4 at the Breeders' Cup and shouldn't be missed by bettors. Post-time from Del Mar Racetrack is scheduled for 6:19 p.m. ET, and all of the action can be seen live on NBC Sports Network.
Breeders' Cup Mile Opening Odds
#10 Ribchester +350
#5 World Approval +450
#2 Heart to Heart +600
#8 Sudeois +600
#12 Roly Poly +600
#11 Ballagh Rocks +1200
#1 Midnight Storm +1500
#13 Blackjackcat +1500
#14 Karar +1500
#4 Lancaster Bomber +2000
#6 Zelzal +2000
#7 Om +2000
#9 Home of The Brave +2000
#3 Mr. Roary +3000
It's really hard to define what a "top contender" is in the Breeders' Cup Mile this year. There isn't a horse who has ever had any real experience at this high of a level of racing, and the fields, even in the Grade 1 milelong races in recent months haven't been considered all that special.
If you just watch the film, your eyes will tell you that Ribchester is the best horse of this bunch. He's got some really good speed, and when he sees nothing but green grass in front of him, you know he isn't going to lose. Still, he's only a 7 to 2 favorite instead of one that is a lot bigger due to the fact that he just looks kind of dopey on the track. He's bad in between horses, he tends to drift a lot, and he sometimes falls off a bit towards the middle of the track.
That's all fine and dandy at times in England, but in the United States against the other top milers on the planet, small mistakes can turn into big problems, particularly for horses who don't do well in traffic.
You could just as easily see Ribchester finish first by six lengths or last by 60.
The only two horses in this field who put up 100+ Beyer Speed Ratings in their last races out were Midnight Storm and Sudeois, and both were only just right at 100. Midnight Storm is going to flash some really early speed from the rail, while Sudeois came over from Britain a race early to get acclimated with the conditions in America, winning the Shadwell Turf Mile in the process.
World Approval is the top American horse in this field by a wide margin at 9 to 2, but that doesn't mean he's truly good enough to race with Ribchester if both are at their best.
Breeders' Cup Mile Pick
Off the board we go for a winner at the Breeders' Cup Mile.
There's a lot of talk about both Ribchester and Roly Poly as the top international thoroughbreds coming over from Great Britain, but the horse that has the best breeding of the bunch and seems most capable of winning this race is Zelzal.
We know that Zelzal is a 20 to 1 longshot, and we know that his form hasn't been all that great of late. That said, he had a great three-year old season and would have probably been a fine entry into this race last season. He stayed at home, sort of fell apart at the age of four, and now is at the Breeders' Cup Mile anyway. Considering the fact that he's going to come from off the pace in a race that is chock full of speed, it's possible we could see a loner ultimately pulling off the upset.
Breeders' Cup Mile Pick: #6 Zelzal
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