Categories: Horse Racing

2016 Breeders Cup Classic: Can California Chrome Stay Hot?

One of horse racing’s best events is just around the corner, with November rapidly approaching to bring us the 2016 Breeders Cup Classic.

There will be a slew of Breeders Cup sprints and other events to monitor for the die hard horse racing bettors, but this is the mother of all races at this point in the horse racing season.

The best part is we get to see some familiar (and elite) horses heading into this massive event, with previous Breeders Cup Classic runner and one-time Tripe Crown hopeful California Chrome set to return for a repeat bid.

Most experts don’t really see much competition for California Chrome headed into this one, so it’s no shock to see him lead the way at horse racing betting sites like Bovada:

While California Chrome is the clear favorite, this is actually a fairly loaded field at the moment. Let’s take a quick look at the odds going into next month and point out a few horses to consider before making our tentative Breeders Cup Classic pick:

2016 Breeders Cup Classic Odds

  • California Chrome +110
  • Arrogate +300
  • Frosted +900
  • Songbird +1600
  • Connect +1800
  • Dortmund +1800
  • Melatonin +2000
  • Shaman Ghost +2000
  • Nyquist +2000
  • Beholder +2500
  • American Freedom +2500
  • Hoppertunity +2500
  • Gun Runner +2800
  • Mubtaahij +3300
  • Effinex +4000
  • Hit It a Bomb +4000
  • Destin +4000
  • Mohaymen +4000
  • Suddenbreakingnews +4000
  • Imperative +5000
  • Mor Spirit +5000
  • Keen Ice +5000

It’s easy to see why California Chrome stands out to lead this pack, as it’s easily the most accomplished horse of the entire group and finished third here back in 2014. California Chrome returns against an underrated field to finish the job, but that might be a little easier said than done.

Arrogate and Frosted enter as the main competition when you look at the odds, as well as recent success. Arrogate scored a big win in August, when he took down former Triple Crown studs, Exaggerator and Creator.

Frosted has been impressive, too, scoring three big wins this year, while also running well at the Kentucky Derby (4th) and Belmont Stakes (2nd) in 2015.

Top Breeders Cup Classic Sleepers

There are a ton of horses to consider in a field that currently sits at 22, but over the next few weeks we’ll get a better idea of who has a real shot. Odds will naturally adjust, some horses will bow out and random entries will be deserving of a look.

For now, our favorite sleepers are Nyquist, Destin, Gun Runner and Mor Spirit.

We all remember Nyquist, the colt that started it’s impressive career off at a perfect 8-0 and entered the second leg of the Triple Crown with a chance at history. He faded down the stretch in the Preakness Stakes, however, giving way to winner Exaggerator, as well as Cherry Wine.

Nyquist hasn’t quite regrouped yet, finishing just 4th and 6th in his other two races, but the idea of this horse being “washed up” feels a bit premature. The talent and pedigree is there, and a big rebound at the 2016 Breeders Cup Classic wouldn’t be all that shocking.

We probably should pay some mind to experienced horses like Destin, Gun Runner and Mor Spirit, as well.

Destin had three wins ahead of the Triple Crown, where he ran well with a 6th place finish at the Kentucky Derby this summer and finished 2nd at the Belmont Stakes. He regressed (9th) at the Travers Stakes, but had previously parlayed his Triple Crown success into a nice 3rd place finish at the Jim Dandy race. It’s possible he could have the goods again after being well rested.

Mor Spirit has also remained competitive. Aside from a bad 10th place run in his last race, he’s finished 2nd or better throughout his young career. Gun Runner has been even better, with a 5th place finish or better all 10 of his races. That includes a strong 2nd place run recently at the Pennsylvania Derby, as well as five career 1st place wins.

Breeders Cup Classic Prediction

It’s a little early yet and we absolutely want to factor in some of our favorite sleepers, but the evidence doesn’t really support a major upset just yet. There is every reason to believe California Chrome can storm back and take first place in this race – a feat he nearly accomplished two years ago.

For anyone not quite sure and concerned we’re leaning too hard on his past experience in high profile races, consider California Chrome’s recent success: an insane six straight 1st place runs.

His career tells the rest of the story, as this is a horse that doesn’t take losing well. He’s finished worse than 3rd just five times and has the experience and recent success to warrant a full backing.

That’s precisely why betting sites like Bovada are fully behind this horse. That doesn’t mean we can’t throw darts at Arrogate, Froster or any of the sleepers we touched on, but no other horse has the talent, pedigree, experience or recent run of success. Unless something drastically changes going into November, your 2016 Breeders Cup Classic winner is destined to be California Chrome.

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Kevin Roberts

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