The 2023 Breeders’ Cup Classic Tipsheet

November 4th, 2023

A top-notch field of 13 will travel 1 1/4 miles on the Santa Anita main oval in Saturday’s lucrative, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic S. (G1). The feature of the sensational two-day extravaganza attracted top sophomores and elders, as well as a pair of international contenders, in what will undoubtedly be a thrilling event.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Selections

  • #6 Saudi Crown
  • #1 Arcangelo
  • #2 Zandon
  • #8 Ushba Tesoro

Breeders’ Cup Classic Wagers

  • $30 exacta: 6 with 1,2
  • $30 exacta box: 1,6
  • $.50-cent superfecta: 1,6 with 1,2,6,8 with 1,2,6,8 with all 

Breeders’ Cup Classic Contenders

#1 ARCANGELO (7-2): Belmont S. (G1) and Travers S. (G1) star has reeled off a quartet of tallies in succession and will look to lock up potential Horse of the Year honors with a victory in the event. The Jena Antonucci trainee is well placed on the rail for his local bow, and the son of Arrogate is a must-use with regular pilot Javier Castellano in the silks

#2 ZANDON (12-1): The Chad Brown trainee is one of the more consistent horses in training since his unveiling, and the Upstart four-year-old has done so while facing top competition in virtually every lifetime outing. The Grade 1 winner has displayed improved tactical speed this campaign, and the post slot near the rail seems ideal for the win contender, as well. The recent Woodward S. (G2) romper picks up Frankie Dettori. 

#3 WHITE ABARRIO (4-1): Multiple Grade 1 victor aired in the Whitney S. (G1) at Saratoga last time out and will be a formidable foe with anything resembling that performance. The Richard Dutrow trainee has surely never been better and will be well acclimated to Santa Anita as he’s been here since September. Irad Ortiz Jr. retains the ride atop the Race Day colt. 

#4 MISSED THE CUT (30-1): Outsider from the John Sadler shedrow romped in the Tokyo City (G3) at 1 1/2 miles on the strip in his most recent showing, but the son of Quality Road faces an infinitely more difficult assignment on Saturday. The four-year-old colt will have Luis Saez in the stirrups.

#5 DERMA SOTOGAKE (20-1): Group 2 victor finished evenly while sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and makes his second U.S. start in the Classic. The Mind Your Biscuits chestnut is a tough read being off for so long, and I have a feeling that he is biting off more than he can chew off the shelf. I do like the presence of Christophe Lemaire in the irons, however.

#6 SAUDI CROWN (12-1): Upset pick is a pair of noses from being unblemished from five career outings to date for Brad Cox. The Always Dreaming sophomore has blazing early speed that he has proven to be capable of carrying a route of ground, and I expect him to love the Santa Anita surface in his first local appearance, too. Florent Geroux will send the Kentucky-bred from the opening bell.

#7 CLAPTON (20-1): The peaking four-year-old rallied to take the Lukas Classic S. (G2) in his latest venture for Chad Summers. The Brethren colt lacks the early speed to keep touch in the early going, but the Florida-bred has a big turn of foot and will benefit from an expected swift pace in the early going. Tyler Gaffalione riding adds to his appeal.

#8 USHBA TESORO (4-1): The Takagi trainee has run off to six wins in succession, led by a superb tally in the Dubai World Cup (G1) in March. The six-year-old son of Orfevre was a cozy winner in his final prep for the Classic on Sept. 27, and I consider him to be a top-four must-use on Saturday with Yuga Kawada in the silks once again.

#9 SENOR BUSCADOR (30-1): The San Diego H. (G2) hero was a fast-closing third in the Awesome Again S. (G1) on the oval most recently, which followed his solid fourth-place result in the Pacific Classic S. (G1). The Mineshaft five-year-old has never been better, and he could find his way onto the board if not left with too much to do inside the final furlong.

#10 DREAMLIKE (30-1): The Todd Pletcher pupil is a very talented maiden winner last seen closing for a clear second in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1). The Gun Runner colt responded to the removal of blinkers in his latest offering, and I would not be shocked to see him fill some lower rungs of the exotics with Jose Ortiz taking the reins.

#11 BRIGHT FUTURE (10-1): Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) hero has never been better and has a sure exotics chance with a move forward for Pletcher. The chestnut son of Curlin has not been ultra-consistent to this stage of his development, but he possesses speed and class and could be dangerous at a price beneath John Velazquez.

#12 ARABIAN KNIGHT (3-1): Fleet Bob Baffert charge led throughout in posting a game victory in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar in his latest venture. The $2.3 million purchase is 3-for-4 in his lifetime with obvious room for improvement being lightly raced, and the son of Uncle Mo has trained well over the local oval in advance of his first run at Santa Anita. Flavien Prat retains the mount.

#13 PROXY (12-1): The Godolphin homebred drew widest of all in the feature but has appeal from off the pace for conditioner Michael Stidham. The well-bred five-year-old owns a considerable turn of foot, and the son of Tapit was a neck second in the Santa Anita H. (G1) here in March, as well. Regular rider Joel Rosario has the call.