The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is the marquee event of the two-day championship event and will be run at Santa Anita for a record 10th time.
There is no Triple Crown winner, the race is missing this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) winners, and even Maximum Security, who was disqualified from his Derby win will not be in the starting gate.
The race still has plenty of intrigue, with McKinzie likely to be the favorite and looking to improve off his disappointing 12th place finish in last year’s edition. The Bob Baffert trainee is the current 3-1 early betting favorite at US Racing.
Code of Honor appears the best of the three-year-olds, the Shug McGaughey trainee coming off a victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) thanks to a disqualification of Vino Rosso for interference in the stretch.
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The colt was elevated to second in the Kentucky Derby and won the Travers (G1) at Saratoga in July. The colt is the current second choice in early Breeders’ Cup wagering at US Racing at 4-1.
|Classic by the Digits: (last nine years)
Avg. Win payoff: $12.44
Avg. Exacta payoff: $116.29
Avg. Beyer Speed Figure: 113.1
Betting Favorites All time: 10 for 35
Winner: Accelerate ($7.40)
Winner final prep: won Awesome Again (G1)
Runner up: Gunnevera
Runner up final prep: 2nd in Woodward (G1)
- The betting favorite has won this race in three of the last four years, the lone exception being Gun Runner ($6.80) in 2017 who was the second choice.
- The betting favorite has won just once in the nine editions at Santa Anita, Arrogate getting the job done in 2016 ($5.40).
- Trainer Bob Baffert won the Classic three years in a row from 2014-2017, each with three0year-olds. The sophomores have won 12 times, four-year-olds have won the Classic 14 times while five-year-olds have accounted for nine Classic wins including Accelerate last year.
- The key preps for the Classic continue to be the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park and the Awesome Again at Santa Anita, each with seven.
- Pleasantly Perfect (2003) was the last Classic winner to win without having a previous Grade 1 victory…Only three other Classic winners had not won a Grade 1—Concern, Alphabet Soup and Volponi.
- 13 Classic winners have tried to repeat with only Tiznow getting the job done.
- Arcangues was the biggest price of all of the Classic winners at 133-1, but the exacta with Cat Thief (20-1) and Budroyale (26-1) actually paid more, returning $1,209.60.
- The smallest exacta of all time in the Classic was in 2016 when Arrogate topped a payoff of just $10.00.
- Of the nine Classics run at Santa Anita (two were on Pro-Ride), only Bayern took the field gate to wire.
- Zenyatta is the lone female to beat the boys, winning the 2009 Classic over a synthetic surface. Elate attempts to become the second this year.
- Post positions two and five have fared best, each producing five Classic winners. Outside posts have fared well with the 12-post winning four times and the 14-post producing two winners with just six starters.