Scully: Breeders’ Cup Classic Fair Odds
The 40th running of the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) will be offered at Santa Anita on Nov. 4, and a large, competitive field appears to be shaping up for the 1 1/4-mile race.
I’ve put together a fair odds line for Classic probables, and the final field will be drawn on Monday, Oct. 31.
Scully’s Classic fair odds
One of four main win contenders, Arcangelo leads the way off sharp wins in the Belmont S. (G1) and Travers (G1). Stalker projects to receive a favorable set-up with Saudi Crown applying pressure to Arabian Knight. Big effort expected if he takes to Santa Anita.
Arabian Knight, 4-1
Pacific Classic (G1) hero will look to make all the running. Arabian Knight is still lightly raced; a candidate to keep progressing for four-time Classic winner Bob Baffert, and the speedster showed his resolve turning back multiple challengers in his final prep.
Ushba Tesoro, 5-1
Easily Japan’s most accomplished dirt representative to try the Breeders’ Cup, Ushba Tesoro has reeled off seven wins from eight starts since switching from dirt to turf, and the six-year-old elevated his worldwide profile when closing powerfully to win the Dubai World Cup (G1). Rates as major player from off the pace.
Geaux Rocket Ride, 5-1
Late-starting colt was forced to miss the Triple Crown, but Geaux Rocket Ride regrouped this summer, recording an impressive win in the Haskell (G1). His final Classic prep, a neck second in the Pacific Classic (G1), may set up the Richard Mandella pupil for a top showing.
Rates as sleeper win candidate off convincing victory in the Woodward (G2), his Brisnet Speed ratings have been strong in the last three starts, but Zandon defeated suspect competition last time and has shown an affinity for minor awards at higher levels, recording five seconds and a pair of thirds in eight consecutive stakes starts prior to the Woodward.
Exits pair of encouraging efforts, displaying improved positional speed, and shipped west to finish a neck second in the Santa Anita H. (G1) in March. His Brisnet Speed numbers are on the low side, but Proxy remains a candidate for a placing.
Saudi Crown, 15-1
His increasing Brisnet Speed ratings (104-106-108) merit respect, Saudi Crown appears very promising for Brad Cox, but fair to question whether the Classic will be too much too soon for the up-and-coming colt. Faces daunting class check and must carry speed 10 furlongs.
White Abarrio, 15-1
May be underselling his chances following 6 1/4-length romp in Whitney (G1), but White Abarrio had dropped five consecutive two-turn starts prior to last. Respect the gray colt’s form under Rick Dutrow, but not keen on his chances at the Classic distance.
Kentucky Derby winner must rebound from disheartening last-place performance in the Travers (G1). Mage didn’t break well last time, but he got away slowly when delivering big efforts in the Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby (G1). Difficult to have much faith.
Bright Future, 30-1
Turned things around in last two starts, recording frontrunning wins in an allowance and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga, but Bright Future probably will have to revert to rating tactics in the Classic. Imposing task.
Purchased prior to a fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), Clapton moved forward with an upset win in the Lukas Classic (G2) and will bring a late kick to Santa Anita. Has something going for him, but probably needs easier company to be effective.
Derma Sotogake, 30-1
Japanese colt earned a Kentucky Derby bid recording a dominant win in the UAE Derby (G2), but Derma Sotogake experienced a rough trip rallying belatedly for sixth and hasn’t been seen under silks since the first Saturday in May. Appears unlikely.
Senor Buscador, 30-1
A middle-distance specialist, Senor Buscador is going good presently, winning the 1 1/16-mile San Diego (G2) prior to a fourth in the Pacific Classic (G1) and a third in the Awesome Again (G1), but the Dirt Mile (G1) looks like a better fit.