The 34th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held Friday and Saturday from Del Mar Racetrack for the first time, with the crown jewel of the 12-race event the $6 million 1¼-mile Classic on Saturday. Here's an overview of all the key races.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships will race on Friday and Saturday from historic Del Mar Racetrack (Dirt) near San Diego for the first time, and the card for this 34th edition is a strong one for the four races set for Friday and the nine more on Saturday, climaxing of course with the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1, $6m purse) where Arrogate, will reportedly retire after the race, and jockey Mike Smith will try to make it two straight Wins in the race, this time on 1¼ miles of Dirt at Del Mar.
But Arrogate (+225 to Win BC Classic, 5Dimes) will have some really stiff competition with favorite Gun Runner (+160 to Win BC Classic, 5Dimes), Collected (+500 to Win BC Classic, 5Dimes) and West Coast (+500 to Win BC Classic, 5Dimes) all contenders. On Friday, NBCSN will be airing the first four Breeders’ Cup Classic weekend races (5 pm ET) as well as the first 7 races on Saturday’s card (1:30 pm ET) with NBC picking up the coverage for the big ole cherry on top of the equestrian sundae, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the 12th and last race on the card in the event (8 pm ET).
Mile Turf (Race 9)
Ballagh Rocks +2800 (Field wins -7,000)
Blackjackcat +2800 (Field wins -7,050)
Heart to Heart +1800 (Field wins -4,500)
Home of the Brave +1800 (Field wins -4,500)
Karar +2000 (Field wins -5,000)
Lancaster Bomber +1500 (Field wins -1,750)
Midnight Storm +2300 (Field wins -5,750)
Mr. Roary +2300, Field wins -5,750)
OM +2500 (Field wins -6,250)
Ribchester +280 (Field wins -370)
Roly Poly +550 (Field wins -925)
Suedois +750 (Field wins -1,370)
World Approval +250 (Field wins -325)
Zelzal +1000 (Field wins -1,750)
Turf (Race 11)
Beach Patrol +700 (Field wins -1,300)
Bigger Picture +2750 (Field wins -6,750)
Bullards Alley +2050 (Field wins -5,000)
Cliffs of Moher +1500 (Field wins -3,750)
Decorated Knight +850 (Field wins -1,050)
Fanciful Angel +3,300 (Field wins -9,000)
Highland Reel +210 (Field wins -270)
Hunt +4000 (Field wins -12,500)
Itsinthepost +3,750 (Field wins -11,000)
Oscar Performance +1,750 (Field wins -4,375)
Saddle’s Joy +2000 (Field wins -5,000)
Seventh Heaven +1200 (Field wins -2,250)
Talismanic +1500 (Field wins -3,750)
Ulysses +250 (Field wins -325)
Classic (Race 12)
Arrogate +225 (Field wins -285)
Churchill +2000 (Field wins -5000)
Collected +500 (Field wins -800)
Gun Runner +160 (Field wins -195)
Gunnevera +3000 (Field wins -7500)
Mubtaahij +2300 (Field wins -5,750)
Pavel +4000 (Field wins -12,500)
War Decree +4000 (Field wins -12,500)
War Story +4000 (Field wins -12,500)
West Coast +500 (Field wins -800)
Win the Space +4000 (Field wins -12,500)Happily, Mor Spirit, Encumbered and Elate the Chalky Picks on Friday
The four races on the Breeders’ Cup card for Friday are the Juvenile Fillies Turf ($1m), the Las Vegas Dirt Mile ($1m), the Juvenile Turf ($1m) and the Longines Distaff ($2m). Four pretty solid picks for these races are Happily (+275, Bet365, pictured below) who should be battling Rushing Fall (+300, Bet365) and September (+500, Bet365) in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (Race 6); Mor Spirit (2/1, Bet365) in the BC Dirt Mile (Race 7), the race’s chalk for now over Accelerate (4/1, Bet365), Sharp Azteca (5/1, Bet365) and Practical Joke (6/1, Bet365); Encumbered (12/1, Bet365) in the Juvenile Turf (Race 8), 2-0 at Del Mar who will have to beat current co-favorites Masar (+450, Bet365) and Mendelssohn (12/1, Bet365) as well as James Garfield (5/1, Bet365), Voting Control (9/1, Bet365), Beckford (10/1,Bet365), Catholic Boy (10/1, Bet365) and Untamed Domain (10/1, Bet365); and Elate (+333, Bet365) in the BC Distaff (Race 9), who should be fighting in that last race on Friday from Southern California with heavy chalk Stellar Wind (+200, Sky Bet), Forever Unbridled (7/2, Sky Bet), Paradise Woods (8/1, Sky Bet) and Abel Tasman (8/1, Sky Bet). Live odds for the Del Mar card can be found here.
Friday Breeders’ Cup World Championships Race Schedule, Post Times, TVHorse Racing’s Super Bowl Wide Open
After all these years, the the Breeders’ Cup Classic will finally be run on the sacred dirt of the beautiful, oceanside Del Mar Racetrack with the 1¼-mile race seeing the winner of this race last year at Santa Anita, Arrogate (+225 to win BC Classic, 5Dimes, pictured below) back for a hopeful repeat win before he retires, but with the 4-year-old colt Gun Runner the odds favorite (+160, 5Dimes). Jockeyed 14 straight races by 31-year-old Frenchman Florent Geroux, Gun Runner is an impressive 8-3-2 (W-P-S) with the lone off-the-board finish coming in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in sloppy conditions, and should be the chalk here, while the Bob Baffert-trained gray colt Arrogate suffered his first career Loss at the G2 San Diego Handicap, finishing 4th in the 5-horse race (as a 1/20 Favorite) at Del Mar and heads into the Breeders' Cup Classic not as confidently as wanted after a 2nd-place finish in his last outing, the Pacific Classic also here at scenic Del Mar Racetrack.
Some horses who can win this race include the Bob Baffert-trained Collected (5/1, 5Dimes), a 4-year-old colt who heads into Del Mar on a 4-race Win Streak, the last one coming against Arrogate in the Pacific Classic here at Del Mar, long shot Mubtaahij (23/1, 5Dimes), and another Baffert-trained entrant, West Coast (5/1, 5Dimes, pictured below), a 3-year-old colt who comes in on a 5-race Win Streak, including in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and the Travers Stakes (G1). These are the best horses in the world running in the biggest racing event of the year on one of the best tracks in North America. This event should be loads of fun and the Weather in San Diego looks like it will be perfect with a Mostly Sunny forecast (TWC) for the afternoon with a High temperature around 68° with West Winds at 10 to 15 mph.
Should Arrogate, Gun Runner, Collected or maybe even West Coast end up winning this Classic, there’s also pretty solid chance that talented animal will be named the 2017 Horse of the Year, so this crescendo race will have it all.
Saturday Breeders’ Cup World Championships Race Schedule, Post Times, TV
SPRINT PICK (Race 8): Drefong +150 (Betfair)
MILE TURF PICK (Race 9): Ribchester +260 (5Dimes)
JUVENILE PICK (Race 10): Bolt d’Oro +137 (Sky Bet)
TURF PICK (Race 11): Ulysses +250 (5Dimes)
CLASSIC PICK (Race 12): West Coast +500 (5Dimes)