It’s Post time by Jon White: A Hypothetical Race: The Last 11 Breeders’ Cup Classic Winners


What if the last 11 winners of the Breeders’ Cup Classic were to meet in a race? Who would win it?

That was the interesting subject for a recent podcast conducted by Jared Welch and Aaron Halterman of

According to Welch, this hypothetical race was to be based on each horse’s winning BC Classic performance.

Yours truly was asked to craft a morning line for this hypothetical race. In doing so, I did indeed focus on each horse’s performance when he or she won the BC Classic. And as when doing any morning line, I assigned odds based on how I thought these horses might be bet, not on how I felt the race would turn out.

These are the last 11 winners of the BC Classic:

2017 Gun Runner

2016 Arrogate

2015 American Pharoah

2014 Bayern

2013 Mucho Macho Man

2012 Fort Larned

2011 Drosselmeyer

2010 Blame

2009 Zenyatta

2008 Raven’s Pass

2007 Curlin

The first step for me in this exercise was to try and determine who to make the morning-line favorite. I decided it would be Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

But what price should American Pharoah be? Because of the size of the field and the fact there are a number of other strong contenders in this hypothetical race, I thought 5-2 would be the right price for American Phaorah.

It was much more difficult for me to determine which horse or horses to make the second favorite. I felt that it came down to Arrogate, Zenyatta and/or Curlin.

My initial instinct was to make Arrogate the second favorite on the strength of his stellar BC Classic. The 120 Beyer Speed Figure for his BC Classic win actually matched American Pharoah’s BC Classic figure.

But then I remembered just what a fantastic race Zenyatta ran to win her BC Classic. Her Beyer Speed Figure was 112, but that particular Classic was decided on a synthetic surface rather than on dirt. Beyers for races on synthetic, in the vast majority of cases, are lower than for races on dirt. I think Zenyatta’s 112 should be viewed in that context. It also should be remembered that Zenyatta beat no less than eight Grade/Group I winners when she won the BC Classic.

Something else to keep in mind vis-a-vis Zenyatta was her immense popularity. It seemed to me this also should be taken into consideration when trying to decide what morning-line price to make her in this hypothetical race.

All things considered, I felt Zenyatta, like Arrogate, should be 4-1.

But what about Curlin? His 119 Beyer for his BC Classic was just a single point behind the figures for American Pharoah and Arrogate in their BC Classic victories. Curlin proved to be the best of one of the best 3-year-old crops ever.

I just could not bring myself to make Curlin a bigger price than Arrogate and Zenyatta. Thus, I decided to make Arrogate, Curlin and Zenyatta co-second choices at 4-1.

Here is the morning line I came up with for a hypothetical race consisting of the last 11 BC Classic winners:

5-2 American Pharoah

4-1 Arrogate

4-1 Curlin

4-1 Zenyatta

6-1 Blame

10-1 Gun Runner

20-1 Bayern

20-1 Fort Larned

30-1 Drosselmeyer

30-1 Mucho Macho Man

30-1 Raven’s Pass


A record 221 horses have been pre-entered in this year’s 35th edition of the Breeders’ Cup to be held at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2-3.

As this year’s Breeders’ Cup approaches, it seems a good time to take a look back at the Beyer Speed Figures for all of the winners at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar.

From highest to lowest, here are the Beyers for the winners of last year’s Breeders’ Cup races:

117 Gun Runner (Classic)

111 Roy H (Sprint)

108 Battle of Midway (Dirt Mile)

108 Talismanic (Turf)

107 World Approval (Mile)

104 Wuheida (Filly & Mare Turf)

103 Stormy Liberal (Turf Sprint)

100 Good Magic (Juvenile)

99 Forever Unbridled (Distaff)

94 Bar of Gold (Filly & Mare Sprint)
86 Mendelssohn (Juvenile Turf)

85 Rushing Fall (Juvenile Fillies Turf)

82 Caledonia Road (Juvenile Fillies)


The last time Churchill Downs hosted the Breeders’ Cup was 2011. From highest to lowest, here are the Beyers for all of the winners of those races:

111 Caleb’s Posse (Dirt Mile)

108 St Nicholas Abbey (Turf)

107 Amazombie (Sprint)

104 Drosselmeyer (Classic)

104 Royal Delta (Ladies’ Classic)

103 Court Vision (Mile)

102 Regally Ready (Turf Sprint)

99 Perfect Shirl (Filly & Mare Turf)

98 Musical Romance (Filly & Mare Sprint)

95 Afleet Again (Marathon)

95 Secret Circle (Juvenile Sprint)

94 Hansen (Juvenile)

88 Wrote (Juvenile Turf)

87 Stephanie’s Kitten (Juvenile Fillies Turf)

86 My Miss Aurelia (Juvenile Fillies)


The Breeders’ Cup also was held at Churchill Downs in 2010. From highest to lowest, here are the Beyers for all of the winners of those races:

111 Blame (Classic)

108 Big Drama (Sprint)

108 Uncle Mo (Juvenile)

106 Goldikova (Mile)

104 Dakota Phone (Dirt Mile)

104 Dangerous Midge (Turf)

104 Unrivaled Belle (Ladies’ Classic)

103 Dubai Majesty (Filly & Mare Sprint)

100 Chamberlain Bridge (Turf Sprint)

96 Shared Account (Filly & Mare Turf)

95 Eldaafer (Marathon)

89 More Than Ready (Juvenile Fillies Turf)

86 Awesome Feather (Juvenile Fillies)

86 Pluck (Juvenile Turf)


As noted earlier, Gun Runner’s 117 in the BC Classic was the highest Beyer Speed Figure registered at last year’s Breeders’ Cup. Gun Runner won by 2 1/4 lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

Just where does the 117 by Gun Runner rank among all of the Breeders’ Cup winners? These are all the Beyers of 115 or higher in the history of the Breeders’ Cup:

125 Precisionist in the 1985 Sprint at Aqueduct

124 Sunday Silence in the 1989 Classic at Gulfstream Park

124 Artax in the 1999 Sprint at Gulfstream Park

124 Ghostzapper in the 2004 Classic at Churchill Downs

122 Alysheba in the 1988 Classic at Churchill Downs

121 Very Subtle* in the 1987 Sprint at Hollywood Park

120 Princess Rooney* in the 1984 Distaff at Hollywood Park

120 Proud Truth in the 1985 Classic at Aqueduct

120 Black Tie Affair in the 1991 Classic at Churchill Downs

120 Skip Away in the 1997 Classic at Hollywood Park

120 Cajun Beat in the 2003 Sprint at Santa Anita Park

120 American Pharoah in the 2015 Classic at Keeneland

120 Arrogate in the 2017 Classic at Santa Anita

119 Miesque* in the 1987 Mile at Hollywood Park

119 Inside Information* in the 1995 Distaff at Belmont Park

119 Squirtle Squirt in the 2001 Sprint at Belmont Park

119 Pleasantly Perfect in the 2003 Classic at Santa Anita Park

119 Corinthian in the 2007 Dirt Mile at Monmouth Park

119 Curlin in the 2007 Classic at Monmouth Park

118 Smile in the 1986 Sprint at Santa Anita Park

118 Skywalker in the 1986 Classic at Santa Anita Park

118 Daylami in the 1999 Turf at Gulfstream Park

118 Cat Thief in the 1999 Classic at Gulfstream Park

117 Miesque* in the 1988 Mile at Churchill Downs

117 Ferdinand in the 1987 Classic at Hollywood Park

117 Cigar in the 1995 Classic at Belmont Park

117 Fantastic Light in the 2001 Turf at Belmont Park

117 Tiznow in the 2001 Classic at Belmont Park

117 Fort Larned in the 2012 Classic at Santa Anita Park

117 Gun Runner in the 2017 Classic at Del Mar

116 Gulch in the 1988 Sprint at Churchill Downs

116 Safely Kept* in the 1990 Sprint at Belmont Park

116 Unbridled in the 1990 Classic at Belmont Park

116 Tiznow in the 2000 Classic at Churchill Downs

116 Volponi in the 2002 Classic at Arlington Park

116 Thor’s Echo in the 2006 Sprint at Churchill Downs

116 Invasor in the 2006 Classic at Churchill Downs

116 Conduit in the 2008 Turf at Santa Anita

115 Theatrical in the 1987 Turf at Hollywood Park

115 Personal Ensign* in the 1988 Distaff at Churchill Downs

115 Bayakoa* in the 1989 Distaff at Gulfstream Park

115 Dancing Spree in the 1989 Sprint at Gulfstream Park

115 Concern in the 1994 Classic at Churchill Downs

115 Pilsudski in the 1996 Turf at Woodbine

*Filly or mare


Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)

  1. 292 Accelerate (7)
  2. 276 Justify (24)
  3. 158 Mind Your Biscuits
  4. 155 Monomoy Girl
  5. 132 Catholic Boy
  6. 131 Imperial Hint (1)
  7. 118 Yoshida
  8. 114 West Coast
  9. 73 Catalina Cruiser
  10. 50 Sistercharlie

It’s Post time by Jon White: A Hypothetical Race: The Last 11 Breeders’ Cup Classic Winners

It’s Post Time by Jon White |