2011 Breeders' Cup Classic Contenders and Futures Odds
by Dave Schwab - 7/28/2011
Next to the only the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, traditionally run in November, is horse racing’s most prized event. This festival of racing gathers together the top thoroughbreds in the world for a series of races over a two-day schedule. The premier race on the 14-race card is always run as the final event and is simply referred to as the ‘Classic’.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic is a weight-for-age race open to thoroughbreds aged three and up. It’s contested on a dirt track at a distance of 1 ¼ mile with a total prize purse of $5 million, making it the richest race in the United States. There are four automatic bids awarded from previous victories in a designated Challenge Race for this division, and the rest of the field of Breeders’ Cup Classic contenders is determined by total points earned over the course of the entire racing season.
BetOnline has released odds for all the possible contenders that could make up this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic field, which will continue to take shape over the coming months. The reality is that of the 50+ horses currently on that list, only a select few will make into the actual field, and even less will have a legitimate chance at winning the race. The following is a look at a trio of contenders worth keeping an eye on as the rest of the season progresses along with their current odds to win this year’s Classic.
Richards Kid +1800
This six-year old colt is a longtime veteran of thoroughbred racing with several grade I victories on his long and illustrious resume. Trained by Satish Seemar and owned by Zabeel Racing International, he has a pedigree of racing that can be traced back all the way to famed thoroughbred Seattle Slew. His last victory came in grade I Goodwood Stakes at Hollywood Park on Oct. 10 of last year. This followed a win in the grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 28.
Richards Kid has raced twice this season, but has finished out of the money both times. He ended up a disappointing 12th in the grade I Dubai World Cup his last time out on March 26. Experience alone is what probably earned this horse the lowest odds on the board, because recent form certainly does not warrant these odds. It makes sense to closely track this horse from now until November, but right now the value is not there.
Uncle Mo +2500
This three-year old colt entered the 2011 racing season with a great deal of fanfare after being named the 2010 Juvenile of the Year. As a two year old he recorded four wins, including a victory in grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont, and an equally impressive win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs last November. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he spent the majority of this year getting ready for the Triple Crown races and he only ran in one graded prep race, the grade I Wood Memorial. After a shocking third-place finish to Toby’s Corner and Authur’s Tale, it was discovered that he was suffering from an intestinal disorder that has kept this early favorite to win the Kentucky Derby sidelined ever since.
The report is that Uncle Mo is finally healthy enough to race, and Pletcher has hinted that he might consider a return to action at Saratoga in August. Keep a close tab on this horse’s progress as he is still the real deal and a possible lock to be the favorite in this year’s Classic if he’s ready to go.
This Dale Romans- trained colt has had a very productive three year old campaign starting with a second-place finish in the grade 1 Florida Derby in early April. With more than enough graded stakes earnings, he easily qualified for the Kentucky Derby, but was not considered one of the favorites going off at 20/1. Jockey Jesus Castanon took him to the early lead out of the gate, but he could not hold on down the stretch and finished just out of the money in fourth place.
Castanon ran Shackleford at an easier pace in the Preakness Stakes to conserve some energy for a final kick. The strategy worked to perfection as he won the race as a moderate 13/1 longshot. He completed the Triple Crown season with a fifth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes and remains one of the few horses to run in all three Triple Crown races this season. You will get a good feel for this horse’s form at this point of the season as he is slated to run in this Sunday’s grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. A solid showing here would undoubtedly move him up the list as one of the top contenders for the Classic.
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