The Breeders' Cup 2013 may not be a Triple Crown race, but it's the closest thing, and it's here this weekend.
There's a stellar field of horses, including the year's hottest horse in Game On Dude.
The purse is an epic $5 million, which is more than the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes combined.
Which horses have the best shot at winning? We'll break down the favorites to win what should be a fantastic race.
|2013 Breeders' Cup Classic|
|1||Last Gunfighter||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown||20-1|
|2||Paynter||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||12-1|
|3||Planteur||Ryan Moore||Marco Botti||20-1|
|4||Moreno||Joseph Talamo||Eric Guillot||15-1|
|5||Declaration of War||Joseph O'Brien||Aidan O'Brien||10-1|
|6||Mucho Macho Man||Gary Stevens||Kathy Ritvo||5-1|
|7||Fort Larned||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Ian Wilkes||6-1|
|8||Palace Malice||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||10-1|
|9||Game On Dude||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert||8-5|
|10||Will Take Charge||Luis Saez||D. Wayne Lukas||12-1|
|11||Ron the Greek*||Jose Lezcano||William Mott||8-1|
|12||Flat Out||Joel Rosario||William Mott||12-1|
*Ron the Greek has been scratched due to a quarter crack, according to the official Twitter page of the Breeders' Cup:
Game On Dude
Game On Dude has been the best horse all year. He's won his last six starts since December and has dominated at Santa Anita, where he has three wins at 1 1/4 miles.
He has the experience necessary with trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith and has the most momentum of any horse.
He did finish seventh in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, and that is a cause for concern. But that seems like ages ago. He's on fire.
Game On Dude is the favorite for a reason, and I think it's a safe choice to pick him to win. His combination of speed, power and endurance makes him the logical choice to take home the big purse.
Will Take Charge
Will Take Charge has a big win under his belt, and that experience could come in handy at the Breeders' Cup.
He won the Travers Stakes in August, beating Kentucky Derby Winner Orb and Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice.
It's true that he struggled in the Triple Crown races, finishing eighth in the Derby, seventh at the Preakness and 10th at Belmont. But his win at Travers shows his potential. He beat the best of the best.
Will Take Charge is a stalker, and he's going to have to make sure he doesn't fall too far behind. Horses like Moreno will set the pace. Luckily for Will Take Charge, he edged out Moreno to win the Travers.
He doesn't have the highest odds, but I really like his chances. Will Take Charge has a great shot of winning and would be a fine bet to make.
Mucho Macho Man
Mucho Macho Man is probably best known for finishing third in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, but the horse does have a good shot at winning the Breeders' Cup.
He just won at Santa Anita Park, beating a contender in Paynter at the Awesome Again Stakes in September.
Mucho Macho Man finished second at this event a year ago, so he knows the track well. He will also be led by Gary Stevens, a veteran jockey who won the Preakness with Oxbow.
He knows the track, and he has a great jockey. Mucho Macho Man probably has the best chance outside of Game On Dude to win. Like Will Take Charge, he'll stalk the field, but he has enough closing speed to get the job done.
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