The 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic

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The 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic

 

Winner: American Pharoah

The 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic was all about American Pharoah. The first Triple Crown winner in 37 years had been a force of nature during the season and had also put forth a previously unattainable achievement in play at the world championships.

 If he could win, American Pharoah would be the first Grand Slam winner in American Thoroughbred history. Along with his wins in the 2015 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, he would need to add a 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic victory as well. Since the Breeders’ Cup was conceived in 1984, and there hadn’t been a Triple Crown champion since 1978, this coveted title had never really been discussed.

 Challenging American Pharoah would be just seven other rivals. Keen Ice, Effinex and Frosted had all finished ahead of American Pharoah at the 2015 Travers Stakes. Honor Code entered with reasonable 5/1 odds after winning the Met Mile and Whitney Handicap over the summer. Tonalist was also given a fighting chance after finishing on the podium in five, well-regarded stakes races through the season.

 Hard Aces and Gleneagles were listed as distant longshots.

 Despite the best efforts of handicappers and pundits to build tension, American Pharoah put concerns to rest as he broke early in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic to take the early lead and set a quarter-mile pace at :23.99. He was followed by Effinex, a 30/1 longshot and the remainder of the field.

 American Pharoah set moderately slow fractions of :47.20 and 1:11.21 but when Victor Espinoza asked him for his best, it was easily provided. The three-year-old colt unleashed an untouchable drive as he opened a massive lead he would never relinquish down a homestretch that brought the house down.

 NBC commentator Bob Costas screamed, “A Triple Crown winner, a Breeders’ Cup Winner, a horse of a lifetime!” as the champion held true to his odds and won the race handedly to race on in to the history books.

 Effinex would hold on the entire way for second place and pay out massive dividends with 30/1 odds with $14.20 and $6.60. Honor Code wrestled his way up to third to deliver $3.40 to show.

 Keen Ice would finish fourth and Tonalist would finish fifth for the second year in a row. Longshots Hard Aces, Frosted and Glenagles would round out the balance of the order.

 With the 2015 Breeders’ Cup victory, Bob Baffert earned back-to-back wins in the richest American horse race and said gleefully of his star that, "He gave everyone what they came to see today. I've never seen anything like him. I've never trained anything like him. I'm just glad Pharoah goes out the champ he is.”

 

2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic Results – Keeneland

FINISH

HORSE

ODDS

1st

American Pharoah

6-5

2nd

Effinex

30-1

3rd

Honor Code

6-1

4th

Keen Ice

12-1

5th

Tonalist

6-1

6th

Hard Aces

50-1

7th

Frosted

15-1

8th

Gleneagles

20-1

 

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