2020 Breeders’ Cup Classic Profile: Higher Power

In the days leading up to the 37th Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, usracing.com will profile the horses in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Saturday, Nov. 7).

By Ed McNamara

High Power – Photo Courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography

The year started wrong and didn’t get much better for the third-place horse in the 2019 Classic. Higher Power ran 10th as the 5-2 favorite in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Jan. 25 at Gulfstream, and he’s 0-for-3 since.

His best race was a second, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, to Improbable in the Santa Anita Gold Cup, and overall he’s 0-for-4, beaten 34 1/2 lengths. He’s 0-for-6 since August 2019 and 1-for-11 in stakes. Not good.

John Sadler, 64, has been a terrific trainer in his native Southern California since the Eighties, with 39 Grade 1 wins, but the Breeders’ Cup never has been his happy place — 1-for-50 with four seconds and seven thirds. He was 0-for-44 until Accelerate won the 2018 Classic for Hronis Racing.

Don’t expect Higher Power to give the partnership a second one. His ceiling would be picking up the pieces for third or fourth if there’s a pace meltdown. Unfortunately, he’s backed up in the stretch in five of his last six races. If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe use him underneath in trifectas and superfectas. I won’t be playing him.

Odds: 20-1

Post position: 6

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Trainer: John Sadler

Owner: Hronis Racing

Career record: 19-5-2-7

Career earnings: $1,534,648

Top Equibase speed figure: 115

Pedigree: Medaglia d’Oro-Alternate, by Seattle Slew

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notes: Sadler was a show jumper who tried out for the 1976 U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team. He worked as a groom and hot walker before serving as a veterinarian’s assistant and an assistant trainer. He took out his trainer’s license at 22 in 1978 and saddled his first winner the next year … Hronis Racing also owned Stellar Wind, whom Sadler trained. She ran second in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff and was named champion 3-year-old filly.

Breeders’ Cup Odds

2020 Breeders’ Cup Odds and Post Positions
PP Horse Jockey Odds
1 Tacitus
Jose Ortiz
2 Tiz the Law Manuel Franco 3-1
3 By My Standards Gabriel Saez 10-1
4 Tom’s d’Etat Joel Rosario 6-1
5 Title Ready Corey Lanerie 30-1
6 Higher Power Flavien Prat 20-1
7 Global Campaign Javier Castellano 20-1
8 Improbable Irad Ortiz Jr 5-2
9 Authentic John Velazquez 6-1
10 Maximum Security Luis Saez 7-2
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