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Breeders' Cup Classic

Saturday, November 2, 2013 5:35pm (8:35pm ET)

See the Latest Odds

TV: NBC

The headliner of Breeders’ Cup weekend at Santa Anita Park is the 12th race of the day – the Breeders’ Cup Classic.  It will be run at a mile and one-quarter over the main track for 3-year-olds and up with a purse of $5,000,000.  Post time is scheduled for 5:35pm local time (8:35pm ET).

Santa Anita Race 12:  #2 Paynter - #10 Will Take Charge - #7 Fort Larned - #12 Flat Out

Breeders' Cup Classic

I think this race, while not the best Breeders’ Cup field of all time is as competitive and tough to sort through as races get.  For the most part, these horses are very talented but they all have their questions to answer.  The #2 Paynter could be the most curious and polarizing of them all.  Everybody knows his story of almost losing his life last winter and if you’re not captivated by his comeback you should check your pulse.  The distance questions are unfounded as he ran a huge Belmont Stakes last year at a mile and a half.  The form is clearly there even though he hasn’t been visiting the winner’s circle recently.  He clearly didn’t enjoy the off track in the Woodward, but other than that his campaign appears very calculated and useful.  Sitting just off the speed should put him in a good spot, so if he handles the inside post he’ll have every chance to prove the doubters wrong at more than a fair price.  The #10 Will Take Charge is a three-year-old, which is something that originally turned me off to him, but he has come into top form at the perfect time.  He has made it clear that he relishes this classic distance and he can count on getting the speed he needs to run at.  If this guy continues to improve, the sky is the limit – and it is exactly what he is reaching for right here.  The #7 Fort Larned is the defending champion and it seems inevitable that he will be overlooked in a similar fashion to last year.  He won’t exactly be a long shot, but his resume probably warrants a closer look than he will get.  The addition of Moreno will make things a little tougher on him this time around as that rival figures to take aim at the lead at all costs.  Fort Larned is not at his best when he has to run behind horses, but he did a masterful job of fighting off Mucho Macho Man’s challenge last year.  If he somehow finds himself on the lead again this year, it will be a terrifying sight for those that discounted him.  The #12 Flat Out probably hasn’t lost a step despite what you may hear.  He has adopted a new style recently, running much closer to the pace.  That strategy should suit him better than years past when he found himself too far out of it despite being able to make up considerable ground in the last stages of the Classic.  Trainer Bill Mott does an out-of-this-world job getting his horses to peak at the right time. 

#11 Ron the Greek has scratched

Mucho Macho Mancomes in off a huge effort in the local G1 Awesome Again and was a great runner-up in this race last year, but I question his ability to back that race up off of less rest than he has grown accustomed to.  Game On Dude and Palace Malice can go ahead and prove me wrong, but I see both of them as “bet-againsts.”  The Euros don’t interest me in the slightest.  Last Gunfighter and Moreno appear very much overmatched. 

Best of Luck.

Full Field:

1

Last Gunfighter

Castellano/C Brown

20-1

2

Paynter

M Garcia/Baffert

12-1

3

Planteur

Moore/Botti

20-1

4

Moreno

Talamo/Guillot

15-1

5

Declaration of War

O’Brien/O’Brien

10-1

6

Mucho Macho Man

Stevens/Ritvo

5-1

7

Fort Larned

Hernandez/Wilkes

6-1

8

Palace Malice

Velazquez/Pletcher

10-1

9

Game On Dude

Smith/Baffert

8-5

10

Will Take Charge

Saez/Lukas

12-1

11

Ron the Greek

Lezcano/Mott

SCR

12

Flat Out

Rosario/Mott

12-1

 

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