With the Breeders' Cup Classic just a short time away, bets have been placed, frontrunners are ready to go, and longshots are looking for their chance to pull off a shocker.
There are four horses that have great odds heading into tonight's race: Drosselmeyer, Rattlesnake Bridge, Headache and Ice Box.
Drosselmeyer is proof of the idea that fame in horse racing is fleeting. He won the 2010 Belmont Stakes but has not done much of anything since. Tonight may be the four-year-old's last opportunity in a large scale race.
He is being rode by Mike Smith, who led him to victory in the Belmont. Combine that with the fact that he has gradually improved in races this year, and I would consider him a dark horse contender to win tonight's race.
Rattlesnake Bridge is at great odds thanks to one race against stakes competition. It was a win in Monmouth Park, but he's not a horse who most are familiar with. In an earlier race where he competed against Uncle Mo, he did finish second, so it's not out of the question for Rattlesnake to make some noise.
There is one thing that works in his favor, however. His jockey is Calvin Borel, and anytime he rides a horse, that's always a longshot that is looked at closely.
Headache is the grizzled veteran of this group, with 26 races and eight wins to his credit. Like Rattlesnake Bridge though, he has not faced all that much competition, which offsets his experience. If he could make something happen, I imagine he would have by now in his career.
Ice Box, the biggest longshot, only has five top three appearances in 15 total races. He has been a shocker in the past, winning the 2010 Florida Derby at great odds. Since then, he's done virtually nothing, and with a crowd this tough, I don't see him jumping back into contention.
In short, the only dark horse candidate I see making a run is Drosselmeyer, who could potentially slide into the top three. The others I do not see making much of an impact.