BC – Classic

Welcome to Stabile’s Breeders’ Cup Preview, an in depth look into each and every Breeders’ Cup race to be held Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. VegasInsider.com handicapper Anthony “the Big A” Stabile will take a look at the contenders in each event, talk about how the race should set-up and provide some strategies on how to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to betting on the race. If you want to know what Anthony will be betting on both Breeders’ Cup days, make sure to check back on Friday and Saturday to purchase Stabile’s Breeders’ Cup Picks and Plays of the Day, a look at how he’ll wager on each and every race, available EXCLUSIVELY at VegasInsider.com. To purchase Anthony Stabile Pick Packs, Click to win!

Distance: 1 ¼ miles
Purse: $6 million
Age: 3up
Date: Saturday, November 3rd
Time: 5:44 p.m. ET

The History

You knew this race was aptly named after the stretch run of the inaugural running when eventual winner Wild Again played bumper cars along with Slew o’ Gold and Gate Dancer. Ferdinand won the battle of the Kentucky Derby winners over Alysheba in 1987 before Alysheba claimed his own classic victory the following year.

In the final chapter of their brief, yet intense rivalry, Sunday Silence held off the desperate surge of Easy Goer to win in 1989. Jerry Bailey won three in a row, starting in 1993 with Arcangues, the longest priced winner in Breeders’ Cup history and ending with the great Cigar in 1995 who capped a perfect 10-for-10 season with a fantastic score. Awesome Again split rivals in deep stretch to win a wild one in 1998 over Silver Charm and Swain.

Tiznow gutted out two of the greatest wins over a pair of tough Europeans, Giant’s Causeway and Sakhee, in 2000 and 2001 respectively, making his trainer Jay Robbins and the great Charlie Whittingham the only two-time winners of the race.

Volponi blew up the tote board, then the Pick 6 scandal, in 2002 with his win at 43-1. Ghostzapper set the stakes record with a gate-to-wire, tour de force victory in 2004. Curlin capped his Horse of the Year campaign in 2007 with a win before finishing fourth the following year on the synthetic surface at Santa Anita.

The great Zenyatta kept the undefeated dream alive with a remarkable last-to-first run in 2009 before falling a head short of Blame in the 2010 renewal and finishing her career with 19 wins from 20 starts. In 2014, Bayern made a left turn coming out of the gate before going gate-to-wire, holding off Toast of New York and California Chrome in another whale of a photo.

In 2015, American Pharoah capped off a historic, legendary season by winning the Triple Crown in the spring and Classic in the fall with a brilliant, gate-to-wire score. Arrogate gave his trainer Bob Baffert a record three in a row when he ran past California Chrome in the final strides.

It’s the Classic indeed!!!!

Favorites: 9 for 34 (26%)
Shortest: $3.40 (Cigar, 1995 & American Pharoah, 2015)
Highest: $269.20 (Arcangues, 1993) *Highest price in history of the Breeders’ Cup*
The champ is here? Gun Runner retired after winning the Pegasus World Cup Invitational earlier this year.

The Best

Accelerate has done little wrong in 2018, winning five of his six starts this year, including four G1 races for his trainer John Sadler who is winless in the Breeders’ Cup coming into this year’s event having run 41 horses.

After taking the G2 San Pasqual to start the season, Accelerate went on to win races like the Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup at Santa Anita, and Pacific Classic at Del Mar, all at this distance, as well as the Awesome Again last out.

Joel Rosario, who took over for the injured Victor Espinoza before the Pacific Classic, rides.

West Coast and McKinzie will be looking to give their trainer Bob Baffert his record fourth win in this event, all in the last five years.

The 2017 G1 Travers and G1 Pennsylvania Derby winner, West Coast finished third in this to wrap last season before finishing second in three straight G1 races that have made up his 2018 season – the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream, Dubai World Cup at Meydan and the Awesome Again. John Velazquez has the mount.

McKinzie was considered Baffert’s best Derby hopeful before Triple Crown winner Justify came along and this guy went to the sidelines for the spring and summer. Earlier this year he won the G3 Sham and was disqualified from the win in the G2 San Felipe before he returned from a six-month layoff to capture the Pennsylvania Derby under Mike Smith, who chose to ride him over West Coast.

Mind Your Biscuits, widely considered one of the top sprinters in the world after back-to-back scores in the Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup night, has gradually been stretched out in distance over the course of the season by his trainer Chad Summers.

Since his title defense in the desert, Mind Your Biscuits finished second by just a nose in the G1 Met Mile on Belmont Stakes day, a good second in the G1 Whitney at Saratoga going nine furlongs in what was his first start around two turns and galloped home an easy winner of the G3 Lukas Classic at the same distance over this course last out. Tyler Gaffalione rode him for the first time in his latest and returns for this.

The Rest

Catholic Boy is one of two horses in here to have won G1 races on both dirt and turf this season. After a couple of dirt starts on the Derby Trail, he returned to turf for the G3 Pennine Ridge and G1 Belmont Derby and won both stretch battles with his rival, Mile runner Analyze It. He returned to dirt to roll home in the Travers by four lengths under Javier Castellano, who rides for trainer Jonathan Thomas.

The other to pull off the feat is Yoshida, who is looking to give his trainer Bill Mott his record-tying third Classic victory. Yoshida started the year with a win in the G1 Turf Classic at Churchill on the grass before a fifth-place finish in the G1 Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. A disappointing fifth as the favorite in the H1 Fourstardave on the Saratoga turf, Mott switched him to dirt for the G1 Woodward where he stormed home to win by a couple of lengths. Jose Ortiz rides.

Mendelssohn is a returning Breeders’ Cup winner having taken the Juvenile Turf last season at Del Mar. Since then, he’s run six times but is winless in his last four starts since winning the G2 U.A.E. Derby by over 18 lengths in his dirt debut. He’s made several trips over the pond this summer and has finished second in the G2 Dwyer, Travers and was third most recently after chasing a hot pace in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Ryan Moore rides for Aidan O’Brien.

Thunder Snow threw a fit when he came over to the U.S. to run in the 2017 Derby off of a win in the U.A.E. Derby, bucking and jumping soon after the gates opened, taking himself out of the race. He returns a two-time G1 winner, including this season’s Dubai World Cup for Saeed bin Suroor and rider Christophe Soumillon.

Roaring Lion makes his stateside and dirt debut for trainer John Gosden off of a pair of G1 wins, the Irish Champions at this trip and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot just two weeks ago at one mile. He won his lone start on a synthetic surface in his second start as a two-year-old last season. Oisin Murphy rides.

Gunnevera comes in for Antonio Sano having won just a minor stakes and money allowance contest in 10 starts since grabbing the 2017 G2 Fountain of Youth. Fifth in this last year, he has run some big efforts in races like last year’s Travers where he was second, his third-place finish in the Pegasus and last out when he rallied for second in the Woodward.

Pavel returns to the scene of his biggest tally as he upset the G1 Stephen Foster back in June on a hot, steamy night in Louisville. Fourth in the San Pasqual, Dubai World Cup and Gold Cup at S.A. prior to the win, he was second most recently in the Pacific Classic when last seen in mid-August.

Lone Sailor won for just the second time in 14 starts when he won a head bob in the G3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park most recently. Trained by Tom Amoss, he’s finished second in the G2 Louisiana Derby as well as the G3 Ohio Derby by a nose and G3 Super Derby. James Graham will ride in what will be his first start against older horses.

Axelrod won the G3 Indiana Derby and prep for the Pennsylvania Derby, the G3 Smarty Jones, before finishing a solid second to McKinzie in the big one at Parx. Joe Bravo rides for Mike McCarthy.

Discreet Lover has won just two of his nine starts for trainer Uriah St. Lewis this season but certainly made the last one count when he rallied from far back to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup at 45-1 under Manny Franco.

If I’m Right…

This could be the most interesting race over the course of the two days as you could make a solid case for 10 of the runners.

Live Longshot

Why is Gosden running Roaring Lion, a son of turf sire extraordinaire Kitten’s Joy on the dirt? I’ll find out at 15-1