Horse racing’s two-day event of the season takes place this Friday and Saturday with the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Join in for horse racing picks.
Making this year’s Classic all the more special is the fact that 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is in the field in what will likely be the last race of his historical career. A full field of 10 of the top thoroughbreds in the world are entered in this year’s race, which is contested on dirt over a distance of 1¼ miles. Post time is set for 2:35 p.m. (PT) this Saturday, Oct. 31 and the race will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Top Favorite
There is definitely a shadow of doubt that American Pharoah will end his career on a winning note after a stunning second-place finish his last time out in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 29, but he remains the clear 6/5 favorite to win Saturday’s Classic on Horse Racing Nation’s morning line.
Given his amazing career under the guidance of trainer Bob Baffert, that included a victory in Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita as a juvenile on his way to winning the first Triple Crown title since 1978, this three-year old colt has become the Gold Standard in modern day horse racing. With jockey Victor Espinoza along for the ride, I really like his chances to ride off into the sunset a winner on Saturday afternoon.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Top Contender
The list of quality horses that are top sports picks to send the Triple Crown Champ out on a losing note runs deep, but I am going with his biggest nemesis as my top contender to pull off the upset. Keen Ice already did it once in the Travers and this three-year old colt had American Pharoah in his sites with a second-place finish behind the champ in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in early September.
Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., Keen Ice has made 11 lifetime starts in his two-year career and in six runs finishing in the money he has earned close to $1.5 million. While his biggest victory to date was in the Travers, he also finished third in the Belmont Stakes. He has been opened at 12/1 odds to win this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Breeders’ Cup Top Longshot
This three-year old colt may not have the longest odds on the board at 15/1, but he does have a legitimate shot at winning this year’s Classic if everything falls in his favor. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Joel Rosario, Frosted has been one of my favorite horses all season long and I believe he brings some solid value into this race at his current betting odds.
His current form is excellent with a victory in this year’s Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 19 at Philadelphia Park, and he has not finished out of the money in his last four races since placing fourth in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Frosted was also in position to make history this year with a second-place finish to American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes. He was also in the mix with the first two horses on my list with a third-place finish in the Travers in late August.
The morning line odds for a few of the other top horses in this year’s Classic start with Beholder at 3/1. Both Honor Code and Tonalist are listed as 6/1 third-favorites and after Keen Ice at 12/1, Smooth Roller joins Frosted at 15/1 odds to win. Don't forget to place your bets at the sportsbook of your choice this weekend.