The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) will be held at Del Mar on November 4 and Gun Runner possesses the top last-out BRIS Speed rating in the prospective field, registering a 114 for his 10-length romp in the September 2 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga.

Let’s examine the last three BRIS Speed ratings for Classic probables:

Arrogate:

 

109

 

 

93

 

 

*115

 

 

 

Collected:

 

110

 

 

111

 

 

106

 

 

 

Diversify:

 

110

 

 

110

 

 

97

 

 

 

Gunnevera:

 

109

 

 

85

 

 

97

 

 

 

Gun Runner:

 

114

 

 

107

 

 

107

 

 

 

Keen Ice:

 

109

 

 

101

 

 

112

 

 

 

Mubtaahij:

 

102

 

 

*94

 

 

*101

 

 

 

Pavel:

 

108

 

 

100

 

 

96

 

 

 

West Coast:

 

108

 

 

112

 

 

96

 

 

 

*Arrogate’s BRIS Speed rating for the Pegasus World Cup (G1) four starts ago is listed, no numbers for Dubai World Cup (G1) victory three back
*Mubtaahij raced twice in Dubai over the winter/spring & last year’s Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and Woodward (G1) were used

BRIS Speed numbers for last five Classic winners:

Arrogate:

 

124

 

 

97

 

 

100

 

 

 

American Pharoah:

 

100

 

 

104

 

 

109

 

 

 

Bayern:

 

109

 

 

80

 

 

106

 

 

 

Mucho Macho Man:

 

113

 

 

100

 

 

100

 

 

 

Fort Larned:

 

111

 

 

109

 

 

106

 

 

 

My observations:

Gun Runner recorded sensational performances sweeping the Stephen Foster (G1)-Whitney (G1)-Woodward this summer and aims to be the fourth Classic winner in six years with the highest last-out BRIS Speed rating, joining Arrogate, Bayern and Mucho Macho Man (Fort Larned had the second-best figure in 2012).

Collected registered a whopping 110 number when stretching out to the 1 ¼-mile Classic distance in the Pacific Classic (G1), notching his fourth straight win from as many starts this season, and the confirmed front-runner has really come on at age 4 for Bob Baffert. He must be considered a serious contender based upon BRIS Speed ratings but supporters have to be disappointed to see Diversify under serious consideration.

Diversify hasn’t been confirmed yet (decision expected October 23) but trainer Richard Violette Jr. appears ready to go if the New York-bred gelding breezes well in his next workout. His BRIS Speed ratings immediately catch the eye, posting a 110 in the last two starts, and the 4-year-old is tied with Collected for the second-highest last-out figure. But the need-the-lead type got clear early in the last two starts and has never raced outside of New York.

West Coast will bring peaking form into the Classic for Baffert, stepping up to post huge BRIS Speed Ratings in the last two starts, and 3-year-olds have accounted for the last three editions and five of the last 10 runnings of the Classic. Baffert has trained the last three and similar to Arrogate last year, West Coast missed the Triple Crown earlier and established himself as a Classic contender with a convincing win in the Travers (G1).

Keen Ice won’t bring a winning attitude to the oceanfront venue, losing 21-of-24 starts, but his recent BRIS Speed ratings (109 and 112) are good enough to challenge for a minor award against a deep cast of challengers.