California Chrome, perfect in six starts this year with earnings of $7.1 million in purses is looking to cap off his year by winning the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and locking up the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.
The Art Sherman trainee is the even money betting favorite to do just that, facing a field of nine in the last of nine Breeders’ Cup races on the 12-race card at Santa Anita on Saturday.
California Chrome won Horse of the Year honors in 2014, and was all but forgotten last year, racing just twice in 2015 while American Pharoah was winning the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
While American Pharoah is in the breeding shed, California Chrome has reeled off six straight wins including the Dubai World Cup (G1) and the Pacific Classic (G1) where he trounced defending champion Beholder by five lengths.
The Classic is a very intriguing betting race. Two runners in the race have earned Beyer Speed Figures that tower over the best California Chrome has earned this year, which is a 113 for his Pacific Classic victory.
Frosted rolled to a 14 ¼ length win taking the Met Mile (G1) at Belmont Park back in June, earning a 123 Beyer. He came back with a 107 in his Whitney (G1) win and a 105 in his close third in the Woodward (G1) in his last outing.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is 5-1 on the morning line with Joel Rosario aboard again after many criticized his over confident ride in the Woodward.
Arrogate made his stakes debut in the Travers (G1), still a maiden when Nyquist was adorned with roses on the first Saturday of May. All he did was trounce the field by 13 ½ lengths and earn a 122 Beyer Speed Figure.
His trainer Bob Baffert is looking for his third consecutive win in the Classic, taking the 2014 edition with Bayern and last year with American Pharoah, both three-year-olds.
Toss in last year’s Classic runner up Effinex, 2015 Travers winner Keen Ice, who beat American Pharoah, Gold Cup (G1) winner Melatonin, Woodward (G1) winner Shaman Ghost, and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) victor Hoppertunity, and Chromies are going to have to decide whether even money is a bargain.
The Classic will be televised on NBC at 7:00 ET. The earlier races will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.
Let’s head out to Santa Anita for the first of nine Breeders’ Cup races on Saturday:
Santa Anita Race 4 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies G1 (Post time 12:05 PT)
#10 Noted and Quoted 9-2
#8 Dancing Rags 12-1
#5 Sweet Loretta 6-1
#2 With Honors 10-1
Analysis: Noted and Quoted was fourth in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) two back in her first start against winners and then was an impressive winner of the Chandelier (G1) in her first trip around two turns. Songbird used the Chandelier last year on her way to winning this race as the favorite, the 18th favorite in the 32 previous running of this race. She showed an ability to rate in her maiden score and looks like she has enough tactical speed to overcome the tricky post. Baffert has won this race twice, most recently with Indian Blessing in 2007.
Dancing Rags scored in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland last out as our top pick at 12-1. She was making her stakes debut and first trip around two turns. She broke her maiden going a one turn mile at Laurel Park two back. her trainer Graham Motion has won three BC races, all on turf. She has shown a good improvement in each of her three starts as the distance increases and will need to move forward again to be in the mix against this group. She is by Union Rags out of a stakes placed Storm Cat mare that has dropped six other winners including stakes winner Coup de Grace ($494,160).
Sweet Loretta is perfect in three starts, landing in a deadheat last out in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga going seven furlongs. She tries two turns or the first time here for the Todd Pletcher barn that is 26% winners (with +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. The last winner of this race not to have a route under her belt was Beholder in 2012.
WIN: #10 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 8,10 / 2,5,8,10
TRI: 8,10 / 2,5,8,10 / 2,3,5,8,10
Michael’s Breeders’ Cup Report for Saturday includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the 12-race card from Santa Anita.
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