This year's Breeders' Cup Classic lacks the marque names, but it offers a wide-open field with fantastic betting opportunities. Below is my analysis and betting strategy for the Classic.
1. Higher Power: (#7, 6-1): He is proven at the distance with a powerful win in the Pacific Classic and has the tactical speed to sit a perfect trip. He had anything but a great trip last out after stumbling at the start and trying to close on a biased track, but look for him to flee the gates running and spring a minor upset in the Classic.
2. Elate (#6, 6-1) She adores this distance and is another runner who should draft into a nice stalking position. She has been facing fillies and mares, but Midnight Bisou may be as good as anyone in this race and she ran her to a nose two starts back.
3. McKinzie (#8, 3-1) There is no question that he is the most talented horse in this field, but there has always been a question about his ability to get the mile and a quarter distance. He should be in the mix, but he may get weary in the lane.
4. Code of Honor: (#11, 4-1) Unlike McKinzie, there are no distance concerns with this improving runner. He is coming off of an extremely hard race however; and may regress a bit off his last performance.
5. Vino Rosso: (#10, 4-1) He is in the same boat as Code of Honor as the talent and pedigree are there to win this race, but regression is likely off such a hard race.
6. War of Will: (#4, 20-1) He has been inconsistent throughout his career and his best races are not quite good enough to get the job done against older. The addition of blinkers may help as he has been working well.
7. Yoshida (#5, 7-1) The late fused runner enters off a bit of a layoff for Bill Mott and could be a factor in the bottom of trifecta or superfecta wagers. I do not think there is enough speed signed on for him to be a major player in here.
8. Owendale: (#3, 15-1) He has steadily improved throughout the year, but picks a tough time to face older foes for the first time.
9. Mongolian Groom: (#9, 12-1) This gelding looked great beating McKinzie last time out, but where did that race come from? His prior form would make him a huge longshot in here and he likely took advantage of a speed biased track last time out.
10. Math Wizard: (#1, 30-1) His Pennsylvania Derby win at 31-1 looks like a bit of a fluke and I am not expecting the necessary move forward off of that race.
11. Seeking the Soul: (#11, 20-1) He occasionally pops up with a top performance in a big race, but his form really seems to have tailed off at six-years-old.
$20 Betting Strategy
$1 Exacta: 6,7 - 6,7,8,10,11
$1 Trifecta 6,7 - 6,7,8,11 - 6,7,8,11