It’s early. Much can happen between now and November. But as it stands today, with races like the Pacific Classic, Travers, and Woodward still to be run, the potential field for the Breeders’ Cup Classic probably isn’t scaring anyone that feels they have a horse who will like 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs.
Let’s start with West Coast, who I very strongly hope makes it to the Classic starting gate. I have a lot of respect for this guy, but I just have this nagging feeling that he’s a grinder who will be overbet in the Classic and will fail to catch whoever he needs to turning for home. Don’t ask me to expand on that opinion, because I’m not sure I can. And it’s possible I’ll change my mind by November. But as of today, West Coast is a horse I’m hoping makes it to the BC so I can bet against him.
Accelerate races next week in the Pacific Classic. He’ll probably win I guess. And while he’s really upped his game this year with two Grade I wins at 10 furlongs, can you see him winning at Churchill Downs? Neither can I. Yes, his race at Oaklawn when losing to City of Light was decent as an initial effort out of California, but shouldn’t he have beaten City of Light? I mean, MAYBE City of Light had an edge being that the race was at 1 1/8 miles. So MAYBE you can excuse the loss and focus more on Accelerate’s two 10 furlong Grade I wins. But I don’t see a scenario where I make a big bet on Accelerate in the BC Classic.
Will Mind Your Biscuits still find himself routing when BC Day rolls around? Doesn’t the Dirt Mile seem like a better spot? But what if Mind Your Biscuits gets a win around two turns in his next start? Then what? His race in the Whitney was certainly no disgrace. Whatever. I see MYB in the Dirt Mile. Not the Classic. But I guess nothing would surprise me.
And speaking of the Whitney, Diversify is now the hot horse in the Handicap Division. There is no point in being stubborn anymore, especially since he’s beaten me twice in a row now. He’s good. Let’s see how his next could starts go before passing judgment.
Pavel has been talked up for over a year now, and he finally delivered in the Foster in June. I really want to see what he does in the Pacific Classic. A clear win over Accelerate and we just may have a horse who has figured it all out just in time to be a force in the fall.
I think the latest report is that Catalina Cruiser is headed east for the Woodward. That’s gonna be fun. I love it when big talents ship from one coast to the other. This guy could be a beast.
And how about the three-year-olds? Good Magic. Hofburg. Gronkowski. Catholic Boy is supposed to try dirt again in the Travers. And Don’t forget Wonder Gadot. She’s expected to land in the Travers too. And we know she likes Churchill Downs. She took on the boys and won in two of Canada’s biggest races. So it’s reasonable to think they will at least consider the Breeders’ Cup Classic for her even if the Distaff makes much more sense. We also have Mendelssohn to deal with. And what about Thunder Snow?
Just for fun, give me Wonder Gadot at the current 85/1 odds. Yeah, she’s unlikely to end up in the Classic. But she’s no joke and she’s on the upswing. And if she wins the Travers, you ain’t gettin’ 85/1 no more. That, I can tell you.