Breeders' Cup Classic Preview

by Alec McMordie

The 37th Breeder’s Cup Classic will be the 12th race today at Keeneland race track in Lexington, Kentucky. This 1 1/4 mile race on a dirt track features horses that are at least three-years-old with the $6 million prize in this Grade 1 event. 

Twelve of the 36 previous winners of this race have been three-year olds. Only five of those winners won a Triple Crown race earlier that year. With the COVID pandemic changing the spring racing schedule, bettors will need to evaluate how those races taking place in the fall affects the three-year-olds in this field. 

The morning line favorite is Improbable with 5-2 odds. The four-year-old is trained by Bob Baffert, who enters this race with three-straight Grade 1 wins in a row. Improbable’s most recent start was six weeks ago, where he won by 4 1/2 length at the Awesome Again. Improbable’s Beyer rating of 108 in that race was a career-high. Improbable will be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., who also was his jockey in his fourth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby last year. Improbable drew the 8th position. 

The second-morning line favorite is Tiz the Law with 3-1 odds. The three-year-old won the Belmont Stakes and the Travers going into the Kentucky Derby, where his Triple Crown aspirations were thwarted by Authentic in a second-place finish. This event is Tiz the Law’s first race since the Derby on September 5th. Tiz the Law is trained by Barclay Tagg and will be ridden by Manny Franco. Tiz the Law will ride of the second slot.

Maximum Security is the third favorite at 7-2 odds. Maximum Security is another four-year-old that is trained by Baffert. Maximum Security won the 1 1/4 mile Pacific Classic in August before losing to Improbable at the Awesome Again six weeks ago. Luis Saez is the jockey. Maximum Security will race out of the final 10th spot on the outside. 

The Kentucky Derby winner, Authentic, has morning line odds of 6-1. He followed up that effort with a second-place finish to the filly, Swiss Skydiver, at the Preakness Stakes on October 3rd. The three-year-old is the third horse in this field trained by Baffert. Authentic's jockey is John Velazquez. Authentic drew the ninth position. 

Tom’s d’Etat also has morning line odds of 6-1. The five-year will be racing his final race before going out to stud. Tom’s d’Etat defeated Improbable at the Oaklawn Mile after losing to him at the Whitney. In between those two races, Tom’s d’Etat won the Stephen Foster with his best career Beyer rating of 109. Al Stall, Jr. is the trainer with Joel Rosario taking the harness for his final race today. Rosario has won five of the six races he has ridden Tom’s d’Etat, who drew the fourth hole for this race. 

By My Standards has morning line odds of 10-1. The four-year-old has won four of the previous six races in 2020. By My Standards' other two races were second-place finishes to Tom’s d’Etat at the Stephen Foster and to Improbable at the Whitney. By My Standards won the Louisiana Derby last year before finishing eleventh at the Kentucky Derby. By My Standards is trained by Brett Calhoun and will be ridden by Gabriel Saez. By My Standards drew the third position. 

Tacitus has 20-1 morning line odds. The four-year-old has been favored in six of his nine races this year. Yet Tacitus only fulfilled those expectations with a win at the Suburban. Tacitus finished in second place in the Woodward. As a three-year-old, Tacitus finished in third place at the Kentucky Derby before a second-place finish at the Belmont Stakes. Tacitus is trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Jose Ortiz. Tacitus drew the pole position. 

Higher Power is the second of three horses with morning line odds of 20-1. The five-year-old finished in third place in the Breeder’s Cup Classic last year. His peak performance was last year at the Pacific Classic, where he won the race with a Beyer figure of 107. However, Higher Power is winless in his previous six starts. Higher Power is trained by John Sadler and ridden by Flavien Prat. Higher Power drew the sixth position. 

The third horse with morning line odds of 20-1 is Global Campaign. The four-year-old was the front-running winner in the Woodward this year. Global Campaign is trained by Stanley Hough and ridden by Javier Castellano. Bettors should take note that his ownership overlaps with Improbable. Global Campaign drew the seventh position. 

The long-shot in this ten-horse field is Title Ready with morning line odds of 30-1. The five-year-old has never won a graded stakes race. Title Ready’s top Beyer figure was 95. He is trained by Dallas Stewart, with Corey Lanerie serving as his jockey. Title Ready drew the fifth position.

NBC has the broadcast of the Breeder’s Cup. This final twelfth race starts at 5:18 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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