Breeders' Cup Contenders: Breaking Down 2012's Biggest Threats

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2012

ARCADIA, CA - NOVEMBER 02:  Garrett Gomez reacts to his win above Beholder during the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park on November 2, 2012 in Arcadia, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The 2012 Breeders’ Cup is one of the biggest races of the calendar year for the horse racing community, and there are clear contenders that are looking to come out on top.

The beautiful track at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. is the perfect backdrop for what could be the most exciting race of the entire season: the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

With some of the biggest names in the sport—from trainers to horses—adorning this spectacle, there is little doubt that this event is one of the most highly anticipated races of the year.

These are the top horses to watch in the main event of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup.


Ron the Greek

Legendary trainer Bill Mott brings Ron the Greek—a five-year-old horse looking for a momentous victory—to Santa Anita Park with plenty of fanfare. As one of the early favorites, gamblers have made Ron the Greek a very popular play.

Despite coming off a disappointing finish in his last race, the horse will be looking to build off the nine straight first or second place finishes before his sixth place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

At 5-1 odds coming into Saturday, Ron the Greek has the training, pedigree and history to be a viable contender for the win. If you’re looking for the safest bet at the 2012 Breeders’ Cup, place a wager on this horse.


Game On Dude

Whenever you see the term “Bob Baffert trained” in the betting books, you can be sure that the horse next to that name will be one of the favorites coming into the event. With Game on Dude, Baffert has yet another serious contender.

Not only does Game On Dude have the Baffert advantage (it’s real), the favorite has remained undefeated in his career at the track (4-0) hosting this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Santa Anita Park.

At 5-2 odds, the book makers have made Game on Dude the favorite for this event and rightly so. While there isn’t a huge upside to placing this bet, this horse is as close to a guarantee for finishing in the money as you will find this year.


Mucho Macho Man

The third place finisher at the 2011 Kentucky Derby and Kathy Ritvo trained colt Mucho Macho Man hasn’t lived up to all the hype that has surrounded him over the last two years. Even with the lack of elite success, Mucho Macho Man is still a legitimate threat.

While there are concerns about the horse’s stamina at the distance of 10 furlongs, Mucho Macho Man’s last run at this distance was his amazing performance at the Derby in 2011; that proves he has what it takes to run this race, too.

There is no doubt that his five races in 2012 will play into the stamina of the four-year-old colt, but at 8-1 betting odds on Saturday, Mucho Macho Man is too much of a threat to ignore.


Check back for more on horse racing as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s Horse Racing page to get your fill of all things from the ponies.