Las Vegas, NV - The Main Event of the Breeders' Cup - the Breeders' Cup Classic concludes a riveting weekend of racing at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The best horses on the planet three years olds and upward will line up November 3 to race 1 1/4 miles for their portion of the incredible $5 million purse.
The Classic has attracted a field of 12 for race 12 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:30 PM. Here is a look into the contenders in the Classic and what should transpire in the Main Event of this year's Breeders' Cup.
2012 Breeders' Cup Classic Race Favorites
Game on Dude is a multiple Grade 1 winner that is in the thick of the Horse of the Year conversation. He rebounded very nicely from a disappointing twelfth in the Dubai World Cup with a terrific win in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes on June 2 over Kettle Corn and then followed it up with another impressive score in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup. He was a decent second in the Grade 1 Pacific Stakes and again proved his worth with a win last time out in the Grade 1 Awesome Again here September 29. That makes four wins in six starts this year with one second. He nearly did enough to capture the Eclipse Award for Outstanding older males in 2011 with three graded stakes wins- the Goodwood Stakes and the Santa Anita Handicap and he finished second in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs prior to Dubai. Bob Baffert trained Game On Dude has placed in 11 of his last 13 starts, is five for five at Santa Anita and is unquestionably the horse to beat Saturday.
Flat Out - won last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup and repeated that score last time out September 29. Prior to his win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup he was a very good second in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup July 7 and an OK third two back in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap August 4. He was last year's Breeders' Cup Classic favourite finished fifth in that race - he will be looking for some redemption Saturday.
Breeders' Cup Classic 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Fort Larned - looked very good at the start of 2012 with wins in the Challenger Stakes and the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream. Fort Larned had a disappointing eighth at the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 16 for his worst result this year but has looked better since. He won the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap and followed that with another terrific result - a win in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational. Last time out was a decent third in the Grade 3 Jockey Club Gold Cup - he looks very much like a contender Saturday for trainer Ian Wilkes after two wins and a third in his last three starts.
Ron the Greek - had looked very good this year with two wins and three second place finishes in five starts before a sixth last time out in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The wins include the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap here and the Grade 1 Steven Foster Handicap and the seconds came in the Florida Sunshine Millions, the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational. Trainer Bill Mott hopes for a bounce back Saturday.
Mucho Macho Man - has three wins in five starts this year - the Florida Sunshine Millions Stakes over Ron the Greek and Turbo Compressor January 28 preceded a very good win in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Handicap on March 10. A respectable third in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 4 was followed by his latest triumph at the Grade 2 Suburban by an easy two and a half lengths on July 7 and a very good second last time out in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga September 1. Last year's third place finisher in the Kentucky Derby is a multiple stakes winner who is certainly peaking as evidenced by his four wins in his last six starts. Katherine Ritvo has an impressive colt on her hands for certain.
To Honor and Serve - will make his sixth start of 2012. He has two wins and a third place finish. He had a very good win two back in the Grade 1 Woodward but sandwiched around that is a pair of fourths - the Grade 2 Suburban three back and the Grade 2 Kelso last time out. To Honor and Serve has eight wins a second and three third place finishes in 16 career starts and looks to get back to the form that saw him enter the year as one of the three year olds to watch.
Breeders' Cup Classic betting at Santa Anita with OffTrackBetting.com
Richard's Kid - He is coming off an OK third last time out in the Grade 1 Awesome Again behind Game on Dude after another third in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic right behind Game on Dude again. He had a win before that in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap on July 27 to follow another second to Game On Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup and a win in the minor Prove It Stakes. Richard's Kid has placed in five straight races including two wins and appears in good form ahead of this latest showdown with Game on Dude.
Nonios - has raced in five straight graded stakes races - he debuted in the Grade 3 Affirmed and impressively defeated the likes of Liaison and followed it up with another impressive result - a second in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes on July 4. He posted another good second in the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth on July 29 before a somewhat disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Travers. Last time out was a very good second behind Game On Dude - sound familiar?
Brilliant Speed - has placed in and won multiple graded stakes races in the last year but has failed to win in 2012 recording just three third place finishes in six starts. He had a decent third two back to Point of Entry in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga on August 18 and followed that with a third last time out in the Grade 2 Bowling Green. He is in so-so form at present but so-so likely won't get it done Saturday.
Alpha - finished second to Gemologist in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial in April after two straight wins - the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on February 4 and the Count Fleet Stakes in January. Alpha had a disappointing Kentucky Derby finishing twelfth but bounced back with an impressive win in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes on July 28 and a win in a dead heat in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Last time out was a disappointing sixth in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. He has been great at times this year - not so great at others.
Handsome Mike - has two wins in 10 career starts - a Maiden Special Weight score at Santa Anita in October and last time out - out of nowhere in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. Handsome Mike had a string of three fourth place finishes before her latest score - the Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway back in March, the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth and the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes August 18 at Arlington Park. He is tough to figure out but his win last time out has opened a few eyes.
Pool Play - is a multiple graded stakes winner who finished third in the Washington Park Handicap September 1 and followed that up with an impressive score in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup October 6. He placed fourth in his other two starts this year. He is the longest shot in what should be a most intriguing race.