OffTrackBetting.com - The biggest race on a huge weekend of action at Santa Anita Park - the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic comes our way this Saturday, November 5. Some of the best horses three years old and upward have been assembled to go 1 1/4 miles on Santa Anita's dirt track as they chase the winner's share of the very nice $6 million purse.
A competitive field of 10 will take to the track in the Main Event on a busy weekend at Santa Anita. Post time for the Classic is 5:35 Saturday. Here is a look into the past performances of all 10 entries for this intriguing, prestigious and lucrative G1 stakes.
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2016 Breeders' Cup Classic Entries at Santa Anita Park
California Chrome 1-1 - two-time Eclipse Award winning Art Sherman trained 2014 Horse of the Year had a terrific six race win streak early that year and looked absolutely untouchable - the Preakness Stakes, a four length win in the Kentucky Derby, the G1 Santa Anita Derby, the G2 San Felipe Stakes and two minor stakes scores. He also had a fourth in the Belmont Stakes that year - a race that could have made him the first Triple Crown winner in decades. He had just one start in 2015 - a runner-up finish in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan. He has been untouchable again in 2016 however - a great win last time out in the G1 Awesome Again Stakes here October 1 followed a win in wire-to-wire fashion in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 (a race he registered a 112 Beyer Speed Figure), a victory in the G2 San Diego Handicap July 23, a dominant win by 3 3/4 lengths in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup in March, a Handicap score also at Meydan February 25 and an impressive win in the G2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita January 9. California Chrome now has 24 career starts with 15 wins, three seconds and a third place finish and has won six straight ahead of this week. He will have regular rider Victor Espinoza aboard looking to make some more noise as the obvious favorite from gate 4.
Arrogate 5-2 - impressive Bob Baffert trained colt has five career starts with four wins. He enters on a very good three race win streak - the G1 Travers last time out in his stakes debut, an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar August 4, another Allowance Optional Claiming June 24 and a maiden score at Santa Anita June 5. Arrogate has looked terrific in his last four starts and is expected to be in the mix again Saturday from the outside gate 10. Mike Smith will be in the saddle of this intriguing second betting choice.
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Frosted 5-1 - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt put his name on the map early in his career with a couple of good runner-up finishes - in the 2014 G2 Remsen Stakes and in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes January 24, 2015. He finished seventh in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic and took his skills to UAE where he won a Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge February 4 of this year and finished fifth in the UAE Derby as second betting choice. He enters off an OK third in the G1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga September 3 which followed a nice two race win streak - the G1 Whitney Stakes by an easy two lengths August 6 and by a record-setting 14 1/4 lengths with a 109 BRIS Speed rating in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park June 11. Other good results include a win in last year's G2 Pennsylvania Derby, a third behind Keen Ice and American Pharoah in the 2015 G1 Travers Stakes August 29 and he had consecutive runner-up finishes last year - in the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes and behind American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes. Frosted has been in there with some of the best in the world and has fared well in those races. He is definitely expected to be in the mix having posted wins in two of his last three races overall. Joel Rosario has been tabbed to ride the third betting choice from gate 2.
Melatonin 12-1 - has 13 career starts for trainer David Hofmans with five wins, three seconds and three third place finishes. He was last seen in June - winning the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. Before that was a respectable second in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap April 16 in his first start outside California, a terrific, career defining win by 4 1/4 lengths at 16-1 odds in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap on this track in March (a race he posted an impressive 107 Beyer Speed Figure) and an Allowance Optional Claiming score here February 5. He also had a second in the G3 Eddie D Stakes in October, 2015. He has been very good so far, is 4-for-4 at Santa Anita and will be looking for his second stakes score in a row with Joe Talamo in the saddle from gate 6.
Hoppertunity 15-1 - Bob Baffert trainee was one of the favorites for the 2014 Kentucky Derby but missed that race. He won the 2015 San Pasqual Stakes January 10 and the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28, 2014. He enters off a terrific win in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park October 8 after consecutive fourths - the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 and the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25. Those results followed a respectable third place finish behind California Chrome and Mubtaahij in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan March 24, a good win in the G2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita February 6, an OK third behind California Chrome in the G2 San Pasqual Stakes January 9 and three straight runner-up finishes - the 2015 Clark Handicap November 27 at Churchill Downs, the G2 Haygard Fayette Stakes October 30 at Keeneland and the G1 Awesome Again Stakes last September. Hoppertunity has six wins, six seconds and four third place finishes in 22 starts overall, has finished no worse than fourth in 14 graded tries and has placed in seven of his last nine graded/group stakes races ahead of this weekend - competitive every time out. John Velazquez has been tabbed with making it two straight G1 wins from post 9.
Effinex 15-1 - last year's Eclipse Award finalist for Older Male and defending runner-up behind American Pharoah in this race had eight starts in 2015 for trainer James Jerkins - four wins - the G1 Clark Handicap November 11, the G1 Suburban Handicap, the G3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct in April and an Allowance Optional Claiming in March. He also had a third in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup October 3 - with a DNF in the G2 Brooklyn Invitational and a fourth in the G1 Woodward Stakes sprinkled in there. He enters off an OK second in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park October 8 which followed a slightly disappointing fourth in the G1 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga August 6, a win in the G1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park July 9, his worst result in a while - a sixth as favorite in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 18, a victory in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap in April and a third in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap in March. Effinex now has nine wins, three seconds and four third place finishes in 26 career and has won three of his last seven starts overall (all graded stakes). He tries for his biggest win to date with Flavien Prat in the saddle from the rail.
Shaman Ghost 20-1 - Canada's Sovereign Award winner for 2015 Champion 3 Year Old Colt won his country's biggest race last year - the Queen's Plate and also posted a nice win in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes at Woodbine last May. His last race of 2015 was second in the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown - the Prince of Wales Stakes in July before being sent to the sidelines for 10 months. He returned to action May 21 and finished an OK third in an Allowance Optional Claiming and followed that with an easy win in the G2 Brooklyn Invitational June 11. Last time out was another good win in the G1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga September 3 after a bit of a step back - a fifth in the G2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park July 9. Shaman Ghost now has six wins, a second and a third place finish in 11 career starts and has six wins, a second and a third in his last nine overall. Javier Castellano rides from gate 8.
Keen Ice 20-1 - broke maiden in his second career start for trainer Dale Romans and has placed in six of 16 starts since - the best of which coming seven starts back - a win over American Pharoah (the only horse to beat Pharoah so far) in the G1 Travers Stakes at 16-1 August 29. Before that was a good second behind American Pharoah in the G1 Haskell Invitational August 2 and a respectable third in the Belmont Stakes June 6. He also had a seventh in the Kentucky Derby and a fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. Keen Ice hasn't been great lately - a third last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park October 7 followed an eighth in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup March 26, a seventh in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 March 5, a sixth in the G1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream February 6 and consecutive fourth place finishes - the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 27 and last year's Breeders' Cup Classic. He tries to snap a six race losing streak and enters in less-than-spectacular form. Javier Castellano has been tabbed with changing Keen Ice's fortunes around from post 3.
Win the Space 30-1 - has three wins, a second and four third place finishes in 14 career starts for trainer George Papaprodromou. He enters off an OK third in the G1 Awesome Again Stakes here October 1 which followed a disappointing DNF after being pulled up in the G1 Pacific Classic August 20, a respectable third in the G2 Cougar II Handicap July 23, a very nice second at 24-1 odds in the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 15. He enters in decent form and will have Gary Stevens in the irons from post 5.
War Story 30-1 - has placed in his eight of 15 career starts - three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes and enters off an OK second in the minor Pa Derby Champion Stakes at Parx September 24. Before that was a seventh in the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20, his best result in some time - an Allowance score at Thistletown July 30 and consecutive eighths - the minor Tropical Park Derby in December and the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. War Story has quietly placed in two of his last three starts but still has yet to produce a graded stakes score. Scott Spieth will try to change all of that from post 7 Saturday.
2016 Breeders' Cup Classic Odds & Entries
Race 12 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 8:35 PM.
|1||Effinex||15-1||Flavien Prat||James Jerkens|
|2||Frosted||5-1||Joel Rosario||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|3||Keen Ice||20-1||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher|
|4||California Chrome||1-1||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman|
|5||Win the Space||30-1||Gary Stevens||George Papaprodromou|
|6||Melatonin||12-1||Joseph Talamo||David Hofmans|
|7||War Story||30-1||Scott Spieth||Mario Serey, Jr.|
|8||Shaman Ghost||20-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||James Jerkens|
|9||Hoppertunity||15-1||John Velazquez||Bob Baffert|
|10||Arrogate||5-2||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|