2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic Preview and Prediction

2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic
Churchill Downs, Lexington, Kentucky
November 5, 2011
Distance: 1 1/4 miles Purse: $5,000,000
Appoximate Post: 7:20 PM EST

The 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic lacks the star power of the last two years with Zenyatta retiring to the breeding shed, but we still have a wide open field of the best equine athletes in training. We have last year’s 2-YO champion, a filly looking to become the second female ever to win the Classic, a lone European, several of this year’s 3-YO Triple Crown players, and the best older horses racing.

Last year’s juvenile champion Uncle Mo is the 5/2 morning line favorite. The Todd Pletcher trainee missed the Triple Crown season with injuries but has had a big summer and earlt fall racing against older horses. Havre de Grace is the second choice and takes on the boys hoping to become the second mare to win the Classic. She finished third in last year’s Lady’s Classic and is a nose shy of being perfect in 2011. So You Think is this year’s lone foreigner. He has the credentials but tries dirt for the first time. Ruler on Ice (the Belmont winner) and Stay Thirsty (Travers) are this year’s three-year-olds trying their luck against the best. Flat Out carries the flag for the older horses.

Here is Sportsbetting3’s break down of the race and prediction of the first four finishers to fill out your Breeders’ Cup Classic Superfecta.

Here are the also-rans in post position order. Note that #1 Prayer for Belief has been withdrawn

#3 Drosselmeyer: Won last year’s Belmont and can go all day. He has excellent connections but might have been better served at a longer distance or even the Marathon.

#4 Ruler on Ice: This year’s Belmont winner has tailed off some in the summer but does have last year’s Classic winner jock Garrett Gomez in the irons. This is his first race against older horses and hasn’t posted the speed numbers he would need to figure here.

#5 So You Think: This year’s Euro wildcard has had a big year but has never raced on dirt. His connections think he can. Sportsbetting3 doesn’t think so. Euros haven’t shown much recently in the Classic. Prove it!

#6 Ice Box: Has done little since winning the Florida Derby and finishing second in last year’s Kentucky Derby. His best recent Beyer number is 90. Other than being a Nick Zito horse, not sure what he’s doing in here. The only thing he’s going to do is get hot.

#7 Rattlesnake Bridge: A three-year-old that has improved through the summer, he’s never won a graded race. He does have the services of Calvin Borel but has no shot with these.

#9 Stay Thirsty: Won the Travers and had a big summer at Saratoga. Improves every start and has run the speed numbers needed to be competitive here. If there is one horse to crack the board vs out top choices it would be Stay Thirsty.

#11 Headache: Races competitively in lower grade races. This would be like and undercard fighter beating one of the Klitschko, Mayweather, or Pacquiao. No Rocky stories today.

And the winner is ….

WIN: #2 Flat Out: injury plagued early in his career, he’s really come on as an older horse and is perfectly spotted to run big here. Won the Jockey Club Gold Cup and was a hard charging second to Havre de Grace in the Woodward. His workouts this week at Churchill have been the talk of the track. Trainer Scooter Dickey has been training horeses since 1963. This is his best horse. This will be his biggest win.

Place: #12 Uncle Mo: Will race up front and the question here is how he’ll race at the distance. he’s 7-5-1-1 in his career but his only win at over a mile was in last year’s Juvenile. Trained by Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, this horse was meant for better things. We’ll see tonight.

Show: #10 Havre de Grace: Is a great race filly but no Zenyatta. Can’t blame her for that and she has beaten the boys before so she does belong. Beat top choice in the Woodward but will be involved in the pace here and might not have enough to hold Flat Out.

#8: Game On Dude: The 2010 Santa Anita Derby winner is tough as nails and trained by Bob Baffert. Woman jockey Chantal Sutherland would be first if she wins. This is a gritty grinder with the heart of a lion. His sire Awsome Again won this race in 1998. Will be around at the finish.

Good luck and enjoy the race.