As Saturday’s huge 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic G1 race approaches, the hype around the season’s biggest event has casual and hardcore fans alike ready to witness 1.25 miles of the most intense horse racing action imaginable.
The field is stacked with talented horses, trainers and jockeys looking to take home a richer prize than the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes combined, and this will be a bitter battle that features huge winners and disappointing losers.
Here is all the vital race information fans need, and the safest bets of Saturday’s Classic G1 race.
When: Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2
Where: Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Watch: NBC (Breeders' Cup Classic) and NBC Sports Network (all other races)
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
|Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) Information and Odds|
|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|
|*Odds via Bovada.lv.|
**Ron The Greek scratched from Breeders' Cup Classic, via Bill Dwyre and Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times.
Game On Dude (8-5 Odds)
The Bob Baffert-trained Game On Dude comes into Saturday’s main event as the favorite to win, and a recent streak of success has no horse in the field carrying the same momentum.
While bettors are always looking for a long shot that has a chance to steal the show, Game On Dude is a lock to come in the top three. If you are placing money on a trifecta, make sure this talented horse is in the winning position or No. 2.
Game On Dude has six straight wins coming into the G1 Classic, and with a lackluster performance at this event in 2012 (seventh), this is the perfect opportunity for him to redeem himself with another victory.
Mucho Macho Man (5-1 Odds)
Mucho Macho Man has become a fan favorite over the years, but he and trainer Kathy Ritvo will have to prove they worked on his consistency if the team wants to capture a Breeders’ Cup win.
The 5-year-old horse won the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) to close out September and will look to carry that momentum into Saturday’s Classic event. With a chance to run out to an early lead from the No. 6 post position, expect Mucho Macho Man to shine once again.
At 5-1 odds, this is a horse worth a hefty investment. While his inconsistency in big moments (finished second in 2012 Breeders’ Cup, but has only won once in his last six races) will scare some bettors off, Mucho Macho Man is worth a wager.
Fort Larned (6-1 Odds)
If you are looking for a safe bet to round out your trifecta, the 2012 Breeders’ Cup winner Fort Larned is a good addition at 6-1 odds. For a defending champion, you can’t get a better wager.
Fort Larned is coming off a huge win at the Homecoming Classic at Churchill Downs and has two wins in his last three races. Add in the victory at Santa Anita Park last November, and it’s clear that this horse is still a legitimate contender.
There have been questions about whether jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. can live up to the expectations, and whether trainer Ian Wilkes can follow up on last year’s success, but a top-three finish is almost guaranteed.