Downthestretchs’ brings you our 2016 early GI Breeders’ Cup Classic Stakes – Probables and Preview posting to help get you started on your early Breeders’ Cup Classic handicapping.
Early PP’s will be posted here as soon as they’re released!
California Chrome, looks to be a probable big favorite at odds at what this old handicapper would make at something like even money, 6/5 or maybe even 7/5 on a probable M/L.
Chrome’s done very little wrong since his lackluster 6th performance way back in the 2014 P.A Derby. A 1st and a 2nd in the past two $10 Million Dubai World Cups and a whole host of big graded titles here in Southern Cali over the past 2 season including a last out “win and you’re in” victory in the GI Awesome Again Stakes where he looked as if he was just toying with that top flight field.
Chrome, will also draw some home court advantage come Saturday, Nov 5th, as like with Zenyatta in 2009, he will not have move an inch from his regular daily routine to compete in this 2016 Classic edition.
P.S. We always love Home Cooking horses here at this site on big race days at their home tracks!
So unless something dramatically unfortunate happens to this top North American money winner of all time between now and race day, it’s “Chrome or Bust” for us come Saturday Nov 5th, well as of this posting, anyway!
But let’s eye up the Rest of this Probable 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic field!
Arrogate, winner of the GI Travers Stakes last out by 13 lengths and ran the first every sub – 2:00 min 1 1/4 mile in over nearly 150 years of main track racing at Saratoga with a 1:59.36 winning time besting the old record by nearly 3/4 of a second.
This late-blooming 3yo, son of Unbrided Song is another Bob Baffert trainee and is lightly raced so there’s no long 3yo season battle scares or fatigue here.
He too gets a bit of that home cooking advantage here as he is another of the So/Cal based thoroughbreds ready to roll in this year’s edition of the B/C Classic!
A repeat of his Traver effort could take the shine off the Chrome here on Santa Anita biggest race of the year, but only a repeat effort!
Could be a one-off and bust with this one or the birth of a real horse racing superstar for 2017!
Frosted, gets into this year’s edition on the back of a superb winning effort in the GI Met Mile followed up by another superlative victorious effort in the “Win and You’re In” GI Whitney at Saratoga earlier this past Summer. But in his last out effort in the Saratoga season ending GI Woodward finished a late running 3rd coming up about a 1/2 length short to fellow B/C Classic probable in Shaman Ghost!
Frosted, did finish a well back 5th to Chrome in this year’s $10 Million Dubai World Cup and with a 1:32.3 finish in the GI Met Mile we’d have to think that the B/C Mile – (Dirt) might also be on the minds of the his handlers!
Speaking of Shaman Ghost, winner of that same GI Woodward last out also sports a 2016 GII win at Belmont in the Brooklyn Hcp on Belmont Stakes day winning by open lengths in that 1 1/2 mile dust-up showing his ability to go long too.
Shaman Ghost, is also the 2015 Million dollar Queensplate winner (AKA the Canadian version of our 1 1/4 mile GI Kentucky Derby race) and did come up a nose bobbing 2nd in their Preakness style contest in the 2015 Prince of Wales Stakes.
Shaman Ghost, will be our sneaky good but mostly overlooked entry who looks like he could stay on to fill out maybe an exacta, tri or super for you and at a good or maybe even a big price!
After all, he won for us up at Saratoga in the Woodward at 9/1!
Hoppertunity, abandoned his California roots and another probable losing head butt with Chrome in the Awesome Again to travel east and win the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont last out thus giving him an entre in to Santa Anita’s $6,000,000 big dance!
Hoppertunity, too gets a bit of a home cooking edge but it may not help as his pp’s show he had trouble winning on California’s GI stages in the past but does do better in those California handicap div. 2nd tier races!
We would think the Hoppertunity, connections must realistically only be thinking at one of the big money board hitting spots in this meeting with Chrome, as a 2nd here is worth about $1.2 million, a 3rd about $600,000, or a 4th about $300k. But he’ll have to run “the” race of his life to even vie in the stretch here on race day!
Melatonin, winner of both the GI Santa Anita Hcp and the GI Gold Cup at Santa Anita this year with the former being his ticket into this $6 million spectacular. He has a pedigree much like Chrome as his sire and dam combo doesn’t exactly knock you off your feet but a 5x pedigree look shows a lot of horse racing’s royal blood in the background.
Melatonin, too is another member of that lofty So/Cal based horse club where he is also getting home cooked meals but alas has not raced since his GI Gold Cup win back at the end of June!
Might be a big ask to come off the bench against this group, but he does have the back class and some 2016 form that says the distance will be no problem for him!
Nyquist, this year’s GI Florida and Kentucky Derby winner who twice this year got himself tangled up in sloppy track, front running duels in the both the GI Preakness and Haskell Stakes in losing efforts. He finished another very disappointing 6th in the GII P.A. Derby last out over a track that was not kind to speed all day! Example – Songbird running a 1:44 and chg, 1 1/16 mile in the GI Cotillion Stakes there on the same card but 1 race earlier!
Nyquist, is another in that small army of Calif. based horses for this year’s B/C Classic dust-up getting all his meals at home right now and will probable get a dry track (the Southern California usual) on race day. He will probably be the early pace setter as he tends to like to go out fast, early, but has had the full GI 3yo tour experience this year and maybe a bit on the tired side right now.
He is an Uncle Mo, so a Dirt Mile start or even a shot in the Sprint might be better place for him, after all he did win the GII San Vicente Stakes here earlier this year going 7f’s in a wicked fast 1:20.4!
Effinex, who made his bones coming up thru the east coast’s older horse ranks to become a major player in all his graded starts over the past 2 seasons. He was a good 2nd finisher at Keeneland last year in this race back 5 lengths to “the Pharoah” in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic at a very nice 33/1 to boot.
Effinex, is the winner of the GII Oaklawn Hcp and the GII Suburban Hcp at Belmont Park this year, but has had trouble finding the winners circle in his GI outings this season with a last out 2nd to Hoppertunity, in the recent run GI Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes!
Effinex, did finish a decent enough 3rd over this strip in the GI Santa Anita Hcp this past winter, so he does have a race over this course under his belt already but he’ll still have to make the long trek out here which will not be a plus for him.
Breeders’ Cup and track experience should count for something after all so we’ll probable find some room for him at the back-end of our exotics thinking come Nov 5th!
Gun Runner – winner of both GII 3yo prep races at the Fairgrounds this past winter, then a good 3rd in the Kentucky Derby where he did have the lead briefly late, won the GIII Matt Wynn at Churchill next, then 5th in that sloppy GI Haskell, a solid 3rd in the GI Travers and coming a heartbreaking 2nd in the GII P.A. Derby last time out!
Gun Runner, too will have to travel far to run here but he has had a very good 3yo season running with top flight 3yo company all year but he is stepping up to his elders here and that maybe to big an ask. On the other hand he is a Steve Asmussen trainee and will probably get another ride from that up and coming Florent Geroux fellow.
Like Shaman Ghost this one seems hungry to prove himself still and if not here maybe a berth in the GI Clark at Churchill the day after Thanksgiving could be a GI winning day for him because he is going to win one someday and 2017 maybe a big year for him!
Win the Space, the last of our probable 2016 California contingent for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic contest who finished a good 2nd in the GI Gold Cup out here earlier this season that a good 3rd effort behind Chrome and Dortmund in the GII San Diego Hcp, then last out 3rd again in that same GI Awesome Again Stakes behind Chrome!
Win the Space, is another of those California horse who is cut below Chrome, Beholder, Dortmund and even the Songbird’s of the world, but he is a Pulpit so he can probably go the 1 1/4 mile distance and if luck holds will get a Hall of Fame ride from Gary Stevens, so all is not lost here!
We think more runners may be coming to fill out this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic roster so we will keep you up as the race draws closer.