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#4 California Chrome – The BEAST looks for one final monster race to round out his 2016 in front of his home fans in California. There really is no signs that point to him not being able to win this race. We know for a fact he can dominate all of these rivals except for one which is Arrogate. That looks to be his only competition, and since he’s never faced him before he will be the unknown heading into the race. However, it’s hard to imagine a lightly raced horse like Arrogate beating a champion like California Chrome. It’s Chrome all the way for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing all his “Chromie’s” go insane at Santa Anita when he crosses the finish line.
#10 Arrogate – Here is the wildcard of the entire Breeders’ Cup. What more can you say about his Travers Stakes performance…wow…it was completely amazing. Here is a fun fact for you: Arrogate’s Travers race was faster than any race California Chrome has ever ran by a decent margin. That’s stunning to think about, especially considering the Travers was Arrogate’s FIRST stakes race of any kind! Bob Baffert has done a tremendous job getting this horse to this point, but can a horse this lightly raced and this untested possibly bring down a warrior and a beast like California Chrome? I’m leaning towards no, but there is no way I am leaving Arrogate off of ALL of my tickets. You’ve got to play him on a few based on that crazy record breaking Travers Stakes race.
#9 Hoppertunity – By now we know exactly what this guy is all about. He is never…I repeat NEVER…going to win a race like this, however he is always going to have a great shot to hit the board and round out your trifecta or superfecta. He’s a very classy horse that any one of us would LOVE to own, but he just lacks the talent to beat great horses like California Chrome. Bet him underneath with confidence though as he’ll come with his run.
#2 Frosted – Many people are down on Frosted, but I’m not one of those people. Going two turns Frosted is exactly what you saw at Saratoga this summer. If he gets a clean trip he can win and look really good (The Whitney), but he’s not going to overcome a poor trip and win going long (The Woodward). He can compete for the minor awards in this spot for sure, but it’s hard to see him beating the top two if they run their best races. The Mile would have been an easier race for him, but he belongs in the Classic and isn’t without all hope if things go perfectly for him.
#6 Melatonin – Very intriguing horse as we haven’t seen him in over three months. However, he has two Grade 1 wins at this distance, as well as two Grade 1 wins at this track. That certainly counts for something, and his trainer has been able to pull off some big upsets in the past. The numbers don’t really point to him being able to match up with the likes of California Chrome, and it’s hard to know what his fitness level is heading into such a tough challenge. However, there are enough positives to give him a very small shot if the odds are high.
#1 Effinex – He was a HUGE price last year when finishing second to American Pharoah, but you just can’t logically make a case for him this year. Hasn’t looked very good since winning the Oaklawn Handicap in April.
#8 Shaman Ghost – Comes into this one as the hot horse, but it’s been proven the competition in New York doesn’t match up to the competition on the west coast. He might make a small impact late, but can’t see him hitting the board.
#5 Win the Space – Really wish he would have been entered in the Dirt Mile, but goes in this race instead. He’s quality horse that always tries, but he’s proven several times he just a cut below the top class horses.
#3 Keen Ice – It’s insane to think that this horse has not won a race since last years Travers Stakes…when he beat American Pharoah. He might get a little pace in this race, but there is just no way you can have confidence in him.
#7 War Story – Might be one of the craziest entries in the Classic that I’ve ever seen. Would be the biggest upset in Breeder’s Cup history.
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