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2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic

BC Classic at Santa Anita

Shared BeliefIt is time again to preview the Breeders Cup Classic. This race, while it has not achieved the notoriety of the Kentucky Derby, is the race of champions. It usually produces champions of the year in the different categories of thoroughbred race horses. It will be fun to look at this, but somehow this year I don’t believe the Classic will actually be a classic. The reason I say that is because we are missing some of the horses that we have loved to watch over the past few years. Mucho Mach Man will not be present from the entries as will Will Take Charge and Palace Malice. Others come to mind, but you get the point. Maybe it is because I am aging right before my eyes, I don’t know. But maybe this will turn out to be a Classic by producing a new super horse. A horse like Jerry Hollendorfer’s Shared Belief, with Mike Smith in the irons. This three year old colt is undefeated in seven starts and is the morning line favorite to win the Classic. It must be noted that while he is an exceptional horse, most of his races have been on the All Weather surfaces. The Classic won’t be. And he has not really faced the stars of 2014 like Bayern, Tonalist and California Chrome. And of course he will be running against some of the year’s seasoned older horses like Moreno, Majestic Harbor and Prayer for Relief. If he could somehow remain undefeated after racing against these, then we would truly have a “classic” winner.

California ChromeThe morning line’s second choice is Art Sherman’s California Chrome with Victor Espinoza up. Chrome is of course the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and was much ballyhooed as the next Secretariat. Of course that parade was rained on by Tonalist winning the Belmont Stakes and putting the California bred in his rightful place as another Triple Crown want to be winner. He followed that race up by running a dismal sixth to Bayern in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. Now don’t get me wrong here. This race is really setting up for Chrome with all the early speed that is present. He could lay just off the pace and gun them down in the stretch, thus redeeming himself and projecting himself to be a “classic” after all. Third choice in the ML is Christophe Clement’s Tonalist with Joel Rosario in the saddle. He is coming off a victory in the Grade 1 Jockey Gold Cup where he defeated older horses and showed that wining the Belmont was not a fluke. He usually is right on the pace, but in the Gold Cup he came from well back to win it.

V. E. DayThis is truly a tough one to handicap. And it may prove to be a “Classic” after it is all said and done. One thing I do believe is that there will be an upset in this race. The key here is to figure which longshot it will be. But at any rate here goes my opinion and you can do with it what you will. I think that V.E. Day with Joseph Talamo in the irons will get the upset victory. In August he came from way back to win the Grade 1 Travers Stakes and then had all kinds of trouble in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He gets a rider change in this one and nothing could please Joe Talamo more than to win the Classic. I believe you will see a big race from Prayer for Relief and he will be second with the early pacesetter Bayern winding up third. Have fun with this and happy horse picking Guys and Gals! To see our father/son showdown for each of the Breeders’ Cup races, check the links below-

2014 Breeders’ Cup- Friday, October 31st

2014 Breeders’ Cup- Saturday, November 1st

 

2014 Breeders' Cup Classic Picks

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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of HandicapHorseRacing.com. With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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