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Las Vegas, NV - The main event of the always scintillating Breeders' Cup, the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic comes our way this Saturday, November 2 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia California. Some of the best horses three years old and upward in the world will saddle up and go 1 1/4 miles on Santa Anita's dirt track chasing the winner's share of the impressive $5 million purse.
A stellar, wide open field of 12 has been confirmed for the Classic - race 12 on Santa Anita's packed Saturday card. Post time is 5: 35 PM PT. Let's take a look into the credentials of all 12 combatants for the richest race on North American soil and the culmination of a superb week of racing in California.
Game on Dude Bob Baffert trained gelding is a multiple Grade 1 winner will be looking to avenge a seventh place finish in this race last year (he finished second in 2011). He has nine graded stakes scores in his last 12 starts - and has won all five of his starts this year including the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic over Clubhouse Ride back in April, the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup and last time out the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 25 in the second fastest time recorded in that race in the last 10 years. He enters having won seven of his last eight starts - the only blemish coming in the 2012 Classic. Game On Dude was a consideration for last year's Eclipse Award for older male and if not for Wise Dan, he may have been in the running this year again. He has been the most impressive horse on the planet this year and goes off as the 8-5 favorite on his home track for the Classic. Mike Smith will get the mount from post 9.
Mucho Macho Man - has been terrific in his last 11 starts overall - five wins, two second, three thirds and 1 unfortunate DNF at the Sunshine Million Classic at Gulfstream in January. Last time out was an impressive win in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here September 28 after a good third in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational at Saratoga August 3 and a third in the minor Criminal Type Stakes at Belmont Park in June. He had a good second to Fort Larned in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic and will be looking to better that this year. Also in 2012 he had a second in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga September 1 and a win at the Grade 2 Suburban by an easy two and a half lengths July 7. Mucho Macho Man has seven wins, five seconds and six third place finishes in 22 career starts and has been at or near the top in every race the last two years. He departs from post 6 with the legendary Gary Stevens in the saddle. He is currently listed as the 5-1 second choice.
Fort Larned - Ian Wilkes trainee is the defending champion in this race during a streak of three wins in four starts including the 2012 Grade 1 Whitney and last year's Grade 3 Cornhusker. He has been OK this year - a sixth in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap was followed by a fifth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in April. He returned to the winner's circle June 15 at the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap by an impressive 6 1/4 lengths but followed that with an unflattering fifth in the 2013 Whitney Invitational August 3. Last time out he won the minor Homecoming Classic at Churchill Downs September 28. Fort Larned has five starts this year with just two wins to show for it and enters this week in so-so form. He lines up from post 7 at 6-1 odds and will have Brian Hernandez in the reins.
Ron the Greek - defending fourth place finisher in this race looked very good in 2012 but has been just OK in 2013. He recorded a repeat win by 11 1/4 lengths in the Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes January 19 at Gulfstream but was fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 2. He went on to a pair of OK thirds - in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster behind Fort Larned June 15 and before that in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 20. He has since raced to a pair of fourths - in the competitive Grade 1 Whitney and the Grade 1 Woodward but is coming off a terrific win in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup September 28 at Belmont Park. He has two wins in seven starts this year but his score last time out has Ron the Greek looking good ahead of this weekend. He will have Jose Lezcano aboard from post 11 at 8-1 odds.
Declaration of War - Declaration of War launched his career last year in France with two consecutive victories for breeder Joe Allen at Porni-chet la Baule and Deauville racecourses in France. Following his two-year-old season the colt was transferred from trainer Jean Claude-Roget to Aidan O'Brien. In his three-year-old debut he finished fourth in a graded stakes at the Curragh in Ireland on September 9. Three weeks later he won at the Curragh and then won the Diamond Stakes (Ire-G3) on Oct. 5 at Ireland's Dundalk for his fourth win in five career starts. He is 10-1 on the morning line and leaved from post 5.
Palace Malice - Todd Pletcher trained colt parlayed his enormous 3 1/4 length win in the Belmont Stakes June 8 with a win ahead over Will Take Charge and Moreno by 9 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy July 27. This after a disappointing twelfth in the Kentucky Derby. He was a disappointing fourth in the Grade 1 Travers but bounced back most recently with a good second behind Ron the Greek in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. He has been a bit "hit or miss" in his short career and has two wins, three seconds and a third place finish in nine career starts. He has placed in two of his last three graded stakes starts and goes off at 10-1 odds from post 8 with John Velazquez aboard.
Breeders' Cup Classic betting at Santa Anita Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Paynter - Bob Baffert trained Paynter had a very impressive second in the Belmont Stakes in 2012 and went on to a terrific win in the Grade 1 Haskell last July. He then was forced to the sidelines for close to 11 months with an illness that almost claimed his life. Paynter recently returned in story book fashion with an Allowance score at Hollywood Park by 4 1/2 lengths as 2-5 favorite June 14 and then finished a respectable second behind Kettle Corn in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap July 27. Last time out was another encouraging result - a second behind Mucho Macho man in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here September 28 after a disappointing last of five finish as favorite in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga August 31. He now has three wins and four seconds in his last eight starts. Paynter will have Martin Garcia in the saddle from post2 at 12-1 odds Saturday.
Will Take Charge - was one of the only colts to race all three legs of the Triple Crown finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby, seventh in the Preakness and tenth in the Belmont. This after an impressive win in the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park in March. A lot was expected of this colt for trainer D. Wayne Lukas but he had fallen flat on the biggest stages before his current two race win streak - a great win last time out in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx September 21 and a tremendous win in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga August 24 - this after a good second ahead of Moreno and behind Palace Malice in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes July 27. Will Take Charge two wins and a second in his last three starts and is an intriguing 12-1 on the morning line. He will have Louis Saez aboard from post 10.
Flat Out - is the defending third place finisher in this race but had two off the board finishes in his next two starts - a fourth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap and a fifth in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds March 30. He bounced back in a big way with a terrific score in the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes April 27 beating Cross Traffic and earning a Beyer Speed Figure over 115 and followed that with a third in the competitive Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap May 27. Last time out was a decent third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup after a good second in the Grade 1 Woodward behind Alpha August 31 and a nice score in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap July 6 at Belmont Park. Flat Out has placed in nine of his last 11 starts and five straight with two wins for legendary trainer Bill Mott. Joel Rosario gets the call from the far outside post at 12-1 odds.
Moreno - improving Eric Guillot pupil raced to a seventh in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes in August 2012 in his second career start and concentrated on MSW races in his next eight starts. His only win in those races came by 6 1/4 lengths at Belmont Park June 8. Recently he stepped back into graded stakes company and he won the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes in impressive fashion by seven lengths July 6 and followed that with a respectable third behind Palace Malice and Will Take Charge in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes July 27. He enters off a pair of a good seconds - in the Grade 1 Travers behind Will Take Charge and last time out in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx September 21. Moreno will have Joe Talamo in the saddle from post 4 at 15-1 odds Saturday.
Last Gunfighter - Chad Brown trained colt had a six race win streak snapped three back with a respectable second in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap behind Flat Out at Belmont Park July 7 with a career best 103 Beyer Speed Figure. He returned to the winner's circle in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park August 18 but fell back to a fifth last time out in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup - his worst career result. The other wins include two minor stakes scores and the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 17 by an impressive 4 1/2 lengths after a win in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct March 23. He has placed in 12 of 13 career starts - those seven wins, three seconds and two third place finishes but is still one of the longest shots in the field at 20-1 odds. He leaves from the rail with Javier Castellano in the reins
Planteur - Has 23 career starts - all but two in Europe. He finished third in both the 2012 and 2013 Dubai World Cups and he began the year by winning the Winter Derby Stakes at Lingfield in England, then was third to Animal Kingdom in Dubai before a half-length loss in the Prix d' Ispahan at Longchamp in France, the closest he's come to winning a Group 1. Although Planteur has yet to capture a major stakes, he has been knocking on the door. Despite his participation in huge races Planteur is the longest shot in the field at 20-1 odds and leaves from post 3 with Ryan Moore in the saddle.
Race 12 on Santa Anita Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:35 PM.
|1||Last Gunfighter||J. Castellano||C. Brown|
|2||Paynter||M. Garcia||B. Baffert|
|3||Planteur (IRE)||R. Moore||M. Botti|
|4||Moreno||J. Talamo||E. Guillot|
|5||Declaration of War||J. O'Brien||A. O'Brien|
|6||Mucho Macho Man||G. Stevens||K. Ritvo|
|7||Fort Larned||B. Hernandez, Jr.||I. Wilkes|
|8||Palace Malice||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher|
|9||Game On Dude||M. Smith||B. Baffert|
|10||Will Take Charge||L. Saez||D. Lukas|
|11||Ron the Greek||J. Lezcano||W. Mott|
|12||Flat Out||J. Rosario||W. Mott|
|Breeders' Cup Race||Grade||Purse||Date|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint||II||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||I||$2,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||I||$2,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile||I||$1,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf||I||$2,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint||I||$2,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Mile||I||$2,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Distaff||I||$2,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Turf||I||$4,000,000||November 7|
|Breeders' Cup Classic||I||$6,000,000||November 7|
|Race Tracks||Time (EST)|