Breeders Cup Classic Preview

The 2021 Breeders Cup Classic will be Race 12 on November 5th at Del Mar. Post time is set for 7:40 PM CT. This Grade I race is one and 1/4 miles and has a purse of $6,000,000. There are nine horses in the field this year. Last year’s winner was Authentic. Let’s take a look at the rankings for everyone in this year’s field.

Kicks Go is the deserving favorite at 5/2. He’s won three in a row and will definitely get out to the lead here. Will he take this field wire-to-wire is the question. This race is longer than he runs (1 1/4 vs 1 1/8 miles) so if you’re rolling with Knick Go you’re hoping he won’t tire.

Hot Rod Charlie looks the best of the 3-year olds to me based on recent figures. He’s won the Pennsylvania Derby in his last and was DQ’d in the Haskell the race prior, but improved his speed figures in each. He likes to get out and press, but Knicks Go will be the pace to run at here.

Art Collector has a definite shot in here. He’s racing the best of his career right now. He’s won three in a row and improved in each, running a similar speed figure to Hot Rod Charlie and Knicks Go in his last. He’ll try to be up by Hot Rod Charlie and has to stay close enough to Knicks Go without tiring so he can make that stretch run.

Essential Quality won his last three. Ranks lower due to his speed figures, but who knows how much faster he could’ve gone. It has been 70 days since his last start in the Travers. He could benefit from Knicks Go getting out to the lead and setting the pace.

Max Player is more of an exotics play. He likes to run late, but he did win his last two (Suburban Stakes and Jockey Club Stakes). He hasn’t hit the speed of the top horses in here, but can be running on late.

Tripoli looked great two starts back when he won the TVG Pacific Classic, but he did benefit from a perfect trip there too. He took a step back in his last with a 4th place finish in the Awesome Again. If he runs like he did two back, it wouldn’t be crazy for him to be in the mix.

Medina Spirit needs to lead to win and the problem with this field is that Knicks Go is in it. Knicks Go is going to take the lead and that’s an issue for Medina Spirit.

Stilleto Boy is a toss here. I don’t see him getting up, even in the exotics.

Express Train is also a toss. Has a stalking style, but this there’s no way he can do that in this field and be succesful.

Below we take a look at each horse’s last three speed figures.

I’ve ran the Classic 1,000 times in simulations. Below are the results of those races.

Quick Wrap Up and Betting Strategies

Most Likely to Win: 5 Knicks Go

My Bet: 6 to Win, 3/6 exacta box

Superfecta: 6-5-3-4 superfecta

Contrarian Finish: 6-3/4-9-3/4

Will Knicks Go run away with it? Or will Hot Rod Charlie or Art Collector run him down. I could also see the pace set up well for Essential Quality. Max Player would be a longshot to use if you think the pace will be very contentious and those speed horses tire themselves out. I’d see where the odds are at tomorrow because there’s a few different ways this race could shake out. As for now I’ll take a shot with Art Collector at 8-1, he should be able to hang off the pace and finish strong.

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