Last Updated Nov 02, 2022, 4:10 PM

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 1 and Saturday November 2 at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California. 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 To purchase Anthony Stabile Pick Packs, Click to win!

Distance: 1 ¼ miles
Purse: $6 million
Age: 3up
Date: Saturday, November 1
Time: 8:44 pm EDT

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: 10 for 35 (29%)
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? No. Accelerate has been retired.


McKinzie will look to rebound from a colossal upset in the G1 Awesome Again where he finished second as the 3-10 favorite when he tries this event for the second year as the likely favorite having finished up the track in 2018 for trainer Bob Baffert.

McKinzie has won just two of his six starts this year, the G2 Alysheba at Churchill on Oaks Day and the G1 Whitney, a career-bet performance, two starts back in early August, at Saratoga.

But this season has been more about the races McKinzie has lost as opposed to the ones he’s won. He was second with no excuse as the 1-2 chalk in the G2 San Pasqual, lost a stretch duel to Gift Box at this distance in the G! Santa Anita Handicap and just missed after being shuffled back early in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont.

Baffert has opted for a rider change, taking Mike Smith off and replacing him for the Classic with Joel Rosario.

Code of Honor and Vino Rosso will renew their rivalry after coming to blows in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont last out when Vino Rosso finished ahead of Code of Honor by a nose but was disqualified for impeding his rival several times in the stretch.

Before their meeting last out, Vino Rosso, uncharacteristically on the lead last out, won the Stymie at Aqueduct to start the year and survived a long battle with Gift Box in the G! Gold Cup at Santa Anita at this trip in May before a third-place finish in the Whitney for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Code of Honor has the distinction of being involved in the two most famous DQs of the season as he was elevated to second after making what appeared to be a ground-saving, winning move in the Derby and to victory in the JCGC last out.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, three-year-old honors and perhaps more could be in the offing with a Classic win. His spectacular late run to take the G1 Travers two starts back would make this his third straight win at the classic distance of 10 furlongs.

That distance is what has enticed trainer Bill Mott to run the five-year-old mare Elate in the Classic against the boys for the first and only time in her career in what will be her swan song as opposed to facing fellow ladies in the Distaff going nine furlongs.

Perfect in three starts at this distance having won the G1 Alabama at three and the last two runnings of the G2 Delaware Handicap, Elate comes in to this off of a pair of runner-up finishes behind Distaff favorite Midnight Bisou when she was cut down in the final stages of the G1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga and last out when she raced wide before being run down in the G1 Spinster at Keeneland by defending champion Blue Prize.


Higher Power ran the race of his life to starts back when he sat just off the pace before pouncing and drawing away to win the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar by over five lengths going this distance. Earlier this year he finished off the board in the Gold Cup at SA and just last out finished third after a stumble at the start in the Awesome Again.

Math Wizard has been claimed three times in his career, last time back in late January at Gulfstream by Saffie Joseph for $25K. Winless in six starts for his new barn going into his last start, he made that run in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby count when he overcame a slow pace to win by a neck at 31-1.

You could have claimed Mongolian Groom for $30K in the first two starts of his career back in the spring of 2018 but no one did and he too is now a G1 winner having gone gate-to-wire in the Awesome Again last out at 25-1. Earlier this season he finished third in both the Big Cap and Pacific Classic and second in the G2 San Diego.

Owendale has earned close to $1 million dollars this year, winning four of his seven starts against easier sophomores and will be making his first start against older horses. He counts the Lexington, Ohio Derby and his most recent score in the Oklahoma Derby, all G3 events, among his wins and was third in the G1 Preakness despite a wide trip.

Seeking the Soul does his best work in Kentucky and has failed in both of his starts on the left coast this season, with off the board finishes in both the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again. He took down the G2 Stephen Foster at Churchill back in June and was second at over 34-1 in the G1 Pegasus World Cup to kick off the season.

2019 has been a mixed bag for Preakness winner War of Will. Wins in the G3 LeComte and G2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds to start the year had him marked as one of the Kentucky Derby favorites but then he raced poorly in the G2 Louisiana Derby. After almost getting dropped by Maximum Security in the Derby, he sat a dream trip in the Preakness to win by just over a length but has done little in three starts since with his third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby his best effort in the second half of the year.

Yoshida has won just once in six starts on dirt, the 2018 G1 Woodward but did manage to finish fourth in this event last year, second in the Whitney this year and third in the Woodward last out. Mike Smith will ride for the first time.

If I’m Right…

I don’t think McKinzie wants any part of this distance and is as dressed up a favorite as we are going to see over the course of the 14-race event.

Live Longshot

Yoshida has shown up in almost of all of his dirt starts and should appreciate the added distance along with the presence of Smith. Plus, he should be 12-1.

Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6:00 p.m. ETon Wednesday and 3-7:00 p.m. ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 201 or streaming live at He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as the co-host of Talking Horses and a backup racetrack announcer. Follow him on Twitter @TheBigAStabile

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