Breeders' Cup 2013: Breaking Down Favorites to Win Epic Purse

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIINovember 2, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 03:  Breeders' Cup Classic hopeful Game On Dude gallops over the track during morning workouts for the upcoming Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs on November 3, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

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
1Last GunfighterJavier CastellanoChad Brown20-1
2PaynterMartin GarciaBob Baffert12-1
3PlanteurRyan MooreMarco Botti20-1
4MorenoJoseph TalamoEric Guillot15-1
5Declaration of WarJoseph O'BrienAidan O'Brien10-1
6Mucho Macho ManGary StevensKathy Ritvo5-1
7Fort LarnedBrian Hernandez Jr.Ian Wilkes6-1
8Palace MaliceJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher10-1
9Game On DudeMike SmithBob Baffert8-5
10Will Take ChargeLuis SaezD. Wayne Lukas12-1
11Ron the Greek*Jose LezcanoWilliam Mott8-1
12Flat OutJoel RosarioWilliam Mott12-1

*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.